Whatever your entertainment needs, we’ve got you (and hopefully your mind) here for you with Queerty’s weekly Culture Club column featuring some of the highlights of new releases, streaming shows, classics worth revisiting and what to drink while watching.
The Heartbreak: Moffie
South African director Oliver Hermanus unveils his latest film this week, which caused a sensation on the international film festival circuit. Moffie adapts the memoir of the same name by André Carl van der Merwe on South African military service during a 1981 war with Angola. In the film, Nicholas (Kai Luke Brummer) arrives for his compulsory military service and encounters a world of severe racism and homophobia where soldiers suspected of being gay are severely beaten and tortured. In this context, Nicholas develops an attraction to Dillon (Ryan de Villiers), a handsome fellow soldier who is not afraid to show affection to Nicholas. A passionate, albeit chaste, affair develops between the two as war and homophobia threaten to destroy the two.
Moffie reminded us a bit Apocalypse now in the sense that it shows the harsh dehumanization of war and military maneuvers. According to the film, war not only changes people, it destroys them. Brummer and de Villiers both give strong performances with difficult material that relies more on subtext than hysteria. Beautifully photographed, acted with conviction and with an ending meant to spark debate, Moffie raises the sickening question: in a system fraught with racism and homophobia, who is the real enemy anyway?
On-demand broadcasts April 9.
The Return: Everything’s Gonna Be Alright Season 2
The Josh Thomas-directed sitcom about a gay older brother and boyfriend raising two teenage sisters returns this week. Predictable hilarity ensues as the show resumes in the height of the COVID-19 lockdown, with the still eccentric family trying to overcome cabin fever, neurosis and general boredom. This season also gives actor Adam Faison (who plays Thomas’ boyfriend Alex) a chance to shine, as the series delves deeper into its backstory and family life, and as Alex tries to playing an island of reason in the midst of an increasingly crazy family. With the show’s unique and unique brand of humor and its unusual premise, we found Season 2 to be even more delicious than the first.
Streams on Freeform on April 8.
The Creepy: Them
Executive producer Lena Waithe and queer creator Little Marvin are bringing this new exercise in horror to the screen this week, and in short, we’re disturbed. Their follows a middle-class African-American family as they move to a new home in the all-white neighborhood of Compton, Calif., in the 1950s. There, they immediately encounter the racist antipathy of some of their new neighbors (led by Alison Pill in a blood-curdling show), along with other dark and supernatural forces centered around their home. Just like with American horror story, them borrows heavily from the Grand Guignol horror and psychological thrillers of the 50s and 60s. Paying viewers will see references to Psycho, Straight-Jacket, Poltergeist, Dressed to Kill and Everything That Happened to Baby Jane. It is also difficult to watch the show and do not think of recent films such as We and Antebellum, both of which take the real horror of racism and translate it into racism-horror. In other words, Their shows racism as the real monster that it is. Additionally, the show’s subtextual thesis that racism is not a single force, but rather a combination of different forces (envy, ignorance, confusion, fear, pride, and maybe just cosmic evil) , is as provocative as it is clever.
We want to be absolutely clear here: Them is, without a doubt, among the most violent and scary TV series we’ve ever seen. Yes, scarier than Tales from the Crypt, American Horror Story, The X-Files, The Twilight Zone, or Alfred Hitchcock Presents, enough that the combination of psychological terror and violence made our heads spin during episodes. This is not a show for the faint of heart. For all of its many strengths, the series lasts a bit too long, and several character arcs don’t pay off until Hit Dead (excuse the pun) ends. Still, we can forgive the fat for all the rich food here.
Sleek, scary as hell, and featuring two main performances by Deborah Ayorinde and Ashley Thomas, we recommend giving her a watch. Love it or hate it, it’s impossible not to have a gut reaction.
Airs on Amazon April 9.
The Teary: Incomplete T11
This indie lesbian drama arrives to stream this week, bringing with it a touching story of sexual arousal and devotion. T11 incomplete follows the story of Kate (Karen Sillas), a home caregiver struggling with addiction issues and a nasty habit of stealing money from her clients. When she takes a job caring for Laura (Kristen Renton), a recently paralyzed woman, the two find their passions aroused in ways they never expected. Led by a tremendous performance by Sillas (who is sort of a Jessica Lange lookalike), T11 incomplete finds the right marks for its calm, character-driven drama. The film also deserves props as it emphasizes the issues surrounding being LGBTQ and being disabled – a topic of discussion and growing urgency within the community. It’s an honest and personal statement worth seeing.
Broadcast on VOD on April 13.
Les Adios: Final of the Wynnona Earp series
The queer cult fantasy series goes down this week, encapsulating the story of the Cursed Earp family in a gripping and satisfying conclusion. After four seasons of battling outlaws, demons, demonic outlaws and everything in between, Wynonna and her company seek to free the city of Purgatory from supernatural forces once and for all. The show also ends the longtime fan favorite relationship between Sherriff Nicole Haught and Wynonna’s younger sister, Waverly. More than that, we won’t say here other than to add that any finale that does right through its LGBTQ characters deserves praise and recognition. We are happy to say that this includes Wynonna earp.
Aired on SyFy April 9.
The Hairy: Pet Peeves
Actor Jonah Blechman (Not another gay movie) landed her final role this week in a new comedy by Revry. Pet peeves combines the premise of Ghost whisperer with The murder she wrote in very strange comedy about a private investigator (Belchman) who can psychically communicate with animals. After serving a 15-year prison sentence, Milton Michaels attempts to restart his career as a pet psychic, only to find himself embroiled in an elaborate plan. Blechman channels a more neurotic Tennessee Williams into the lead role, and his furry co-stars will, no doubt, have an immediate fan base of animal lovers. With episodes lasting around 10 minutes each, we recommend giving Pet peeves a chance. It’s a wacky comedy that isn’t afraid to take risks.
Airs on Revry April 1.
The Sip: Bubblegum Bitchslap by Waverly
As Wynnona Earp bids farewell, we offer this official cocktail greeting so named in honor of her younger lesbian sister. Sweet, bubbly, and powerful enough to seat your late parents, you’ll be up and running a six-shooter on demons in no time. We recommend that you just reach for the remote and watch one of this week’s highlights instead.
- 1 oz bubblegum vodka
- 1 7-Up splash
- 1 ounce of gin
- 1 ounce of Everclear
- 1 oz light rum
- 4 oz lemonade
Combine liqueurs and lemonade over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Pour over ice and top with 7-Up.