We’re celebrating Pride Month here at SYFY FANGRRLS and, really, that can only mean one thing. In addition to discussions of important moments for LGBTQ characters in comics and television and arguments about queer representation on screen, it meant I had to watch DEBS.
DEBS, which debuted in the halcyon days of super low-rise jeans and too-short shirts in the far-off land of 2005, is not a good movie. It is cheesy and absolutely insane and stars a group of young women who don’t seem to know how to hold their weapons despite the fact that they are highly trained super spies. Plus, the outfits are impractical even by female spy standards.
And I love it.
DEBS is easily the best entry in the queer girl cinema canon that is also about spies in short plaid skirts. It is the kind of movie that knows 100% what it is about and who its audience is and leans so hard into it that it comes out the other side on a rainbow slide of sparkles and unicorns.
Don’t believe me? Check out this Deja View for more thoughts and musings and gals being pals. (Oh, and did I mention that this movie is directed by Angela Robinson, who directed 2016’s Professor Marston and the Wonder Women?)
1. Okay, right off the bat, how exactly does the SAT measure your ability to lie, cheat, fight, and kill? I want to know what those questions look like and how I got them wrong.
2. There is far too much ability for dudes to just appear on screens without your permission. Avoiding your ex is the reason the decline button was invented.
3. Holland Taylor, on the other hand, can hologram into my breakfast meetings anytime.
4. I know we’re only like five minutes into this movie, but can I get a sequel/prequel where we find out about this “plot to sink Australia”? I don’t know about the rest of you, but that sounds FASCINATING.
5. When exactly did the KGB go under? This is 2005. The USSR fell 15 years ago and this KGB-trained assassin can’t be more than 25.
6. Lucy being too nervous to go on a date after being dumped is so relatable.
7. Someone get me these spy swings for my birthday, please. I don’t know how they work, but swings are always fun and it can only be a good thing to have them on the go.
8. Scud is a quality sidekick. He helps you hold the world hostage, sets you up on blind dates with hot Russians, and gives you encouraging advice. Plus, his name is top notch.
9. Homeland Security boyfriend is THE WORST. He won't leave her alone even though she has said multiple times that she doesn’t want to talk to him and nearly blows the op.
10. I want to know where this restaurant gets its tables from. They’re bulletproof. Has IKEA just gotten way better?
11. “I’m writing a term paper on you.” Does… does that work as a pickup line? Am I just sitting on a romantic gold mine of long-winded research papers?
12. Lucy Diamond apparently just leaves a litter of actual diamonds in her wake. Expensive wake.
13. “PS, SHE’S STRAIGHT!” Gutting words, really, but we’ll see about that. (Note for queer ladies reading this: Don’t actually try to turn straight girls. IT DOES NOT WORK.)
14. If you’re gonna kidnap a girl and force her to go on a date with you, at least let her put on some actual clothes.
15. This underground punk club thing is a surprisingly good location for an intimate conversation.
16. Wait … is that not a hologram? Is it like a transporter? Can I have one?
17. “This is not the Girl Scouts. This is espionage.” Frankly, that sounds like a much better version of the Girl Scouts.
18. Look, I know I’m not one to talk, but I’m thinking there are easier ways to spend time with your crush than “stage a bank heist and hope she’s the responding officer.” Maybe I’m wrong.
19. These spies all have varying degrees of insane weaponry.
20. We are halfway through this movie and no one has made out yet. Who do I speak to about this?
21. I wonder how comfy it is to break your fall on a pile of money.
22. WHY ARE THERE GIANT SPIKES IN THE CEILING OF THIS BANK VAULT? Is that just standard bank vault design?
23. Doesn’t it suck when the girl who likes you tries to flirt by trapping your friends in an ever-shrinking bank vault of death?
24. “I don’t like…like you.” Okay, Amy, you’re giving me mixed signals here.
25. How do you date your dream girl who is also an international criminal? Stage a kidnapping, of course!
26. Sometimes the best time to have sex with your new girlfriend is when your spy team is storming the place accompanied by your annoying ex-boyfriend. I mean, not usually, but maybe sometimes.
27. The DEBS organization seems to have two uniforms: tiny skirts and ties or tracksuits. Both of these are oddly quintessential to the fashion of the mid-'00s and honestly, maybe we should rethink the entire decade.
28. “I know you still love me.” NO. SHE DOESN’T. You literally walked in on her having sex with a woman who is decidedly not you. Honestly, why are men?
29. If you were on the fence about this movie up to this point, I feel like you should know that there’s a two-minute montage in which Lucy tries to win Amy back by returning everything she’s stolen while lip syncing to Erasure.
30. Come to think of it, this entire soundtrack is amazing. Can I live in it?
31. Apparently, according to Amy, her teammates all have things in their pasts/personalities that make them good candidates for spy work. These include shoplifting, sex addiction, and borderline psychosis. What kinds of spies is she hanging out with?
32. Oh look, SPY PROM!
33. Apparently, Spy Prom is BYOG (bring your own gun).
34. Amy has only ever worn a single shade of blue throughout this entire movie and I have to respect her skills at color coordination.
35. You’d think a school full of spies wouldn’t dissolve into full-on panic mode when one supervillain decides to crash the proceedings.
36. Why don’t these women ever look where they’re going?!
37. I'm adding “makeout while holding a gun and being chased by super spies” to my bucket list.