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 you watch.
The event: Pose Season 3 / The Exhibition Ball
The final season of the historical drama debuts this weekend, and true to form, it begins with a fabulous snap. Celebrate the season premiere with The Exhibition Ball, a special virtual ballroom hosted by show choreographer Twiggy Pucci Boy. The 90-minute special will give viewers a crash course in ballroom history, dance and style and feature an actual ballroom competition. It’s the perfect start to the show’s farewell season.
As for Season 3 itself, yes, we’ve seen it, and no, there’s not much we can reveal here. We can say that the story picks up in 1994 as Blanca (MJ Rodriguez) begins a new romance with a handsome doctor (Jeremy Pope), Angel (Indya Moore) and Lil Papi (a much bigger Angel Bismark Curiel) plan for their future. . together, and Electra (Dominique Jackson) enters a new business. Meanwhile, Pray Tell (Billy Porter) bemoans a more commercial, less common ball scene, and begins to suffer from the effects of AIDS. We can say that season 3 considerably lightens the mood of the show; it is more Sex and the city than Paris is burning. This lightness also makes up for the later, darker episodes of the series which bring the story to a touching and fitting conclusion. As for the performers, Jackson, Dyllón Burnside and Curiel shine in expanded roles, while Pope once again reveals himself to be a prominent charismatic man. The show, however, is still owned by Rodriguez and Porter, who both flex their considerable dramatic gifts. It’s a fitting ending to a show that changed television and characters that make us feel like family.
Pose – A show ball starts at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on Sunday, May 2, followed by the Season 3 premiere at 10 p.m. ET / PT on FX
Indie: stone fruit
This truly independent film caught our attention on the festival circuit last year. We are happy to share it with you, dear readers, as it is finally coming to streaming. Stone fruit follows the story of a married gay couple, Manny and Russ (Matt Palazzolo and Rob Warner) as they face their failing relationship. The couple set off on a trip to the California wine country together in hopes of saving their marriage and, along the way, begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other. Things get even more complicated with the arrival of Bryon (Thomas Hobson), Manny’s sometimes friend with benefits, who decides to become the couple’s vacation toy. For all its heavy subject, Stone fruit do not get depressed. Rather, it raises some very real questions that all couples face in the long run in thoughtful exploration: Are Manny & Russ still in love? Or are they afraid to part with the past? The film is also notable as the final on-screen performance for Palazzolo, who passed away suddenly in 2018. Here he is revealed to be a likeable and handsome actor in an intriguing drama. Much like Russ & Mann ask “What if?” Viewers of a good actor are gone too soon.
Airing on Amazon, Dekkoo and iTunes on April 29.
The forgotten: I miss you
Speaking of festival favorites finally coming to the fore, this delicious Spanish drama is coming home this week. I miss you follows the story of Sebastian (Fernando Barbosa), a playwright in mourning for the suicide of her boyfriend Gabriel (Jose Duran). Then Gabriel’s ultra-religious father, Jorge (Oscar Martinez), arrives from Bolivia to demand answers on his son’s death. Jorge and Sebastian begin a difficult relationship as Sebastian tries to educate Jorge about the queer world and allows him to better understand a son who has always hidden his identity.
Told in English and Spanish, and featuring a hybrid of dramatized scenes and documentary interviews with real gay men discussing their lives, I miss you excels both as a tender relationship drama and as a meditation on the contemporary gay world. We attribute this to two stellar performances by Martinez and Barbosa, as well as the exceptional direction of Rodrigo Bellott. Bellott is not afraid of frank representations of sex, criticism of religious homophobia, or criticism of the gay and male community itself. Provocative, sexy and tough, I miss you is the rare genre of film that makes us feel its characters and question ourselves about how trauma-suppressing gay men generate their own toxicity.
On DVD and VOD May 4.
The Creepy: The Doodler – Season Finale
It’s rare here on Queerty that we recommend a podcast – it seems like Everybody has one these days – although this time around we found one too good to pass up. The Doodler follows the case of the titular serial killer who preyed on gay men in the San Francisco area in the 1970s. Today, police estimate he killed at least 16 gay men, while three more survived . The podcast, hosted by reporters Kevin Fagin and Michael Taylor, chronicles the crimes of the Doodler and the role that homophobia in the police service and the public has played in enabling him to continue his crimes. The couple also presented a series of suspects and examined modern evidence in hopes of finally bringing the killer to justice. Scary, infuriating and absolutely convincing, we recommend you listen to it. Trust us; you will find yourself looking over your shoulder after doing it.
Streams on DoodlerPod.com
The Plug: When the beat falls on DVD
Not enough can be said about this 2018 documentary, the debut film by choreographer Jamal Sims. When the beat falls delves into the underworld of “bucking,” a style of dance that involves men – of all shapes and sizes – donning heels to perform some of the most athletic moves we’ve ever seen. The film also explores the communities of gay men of color that helped popularize the style, and how the subversion of gender norms through bucking leads to personal empowerment. Both musical and sporty, it’s just awesome.
Available on DVD and World of Wonder Presents Plus.
The Spin: Morgxn’s Meridian Vol. 1
Queer pop crooner Morgxn returns this week with a new album of introspective tracks focused on finding a balance between mind and body. For Morgxn, that kind of thoughtful exploration has helped him stay grounded in the chaos of COVID-19. For our money, the mix of dance electronica, synthpop and simple piano represents his most accomplished work to date, both in terms of melody and in terms of consistently impressive lyrics. Our favorite track: the dark rock-pop fury of “Reframe,” which reminds us of a late-days Miley Cyrus at her most cheeky.
Available on iTunes.
The Sip: Billy Porter Craft Ice Texas Martini
To pay homage to Pose and the incomparable Mr. Porter, we suggest you try the man’s favorite cocktail this week. This spicy margarita doesn’t bring Porter’s blood up (he says), but is a soothing way to wind down before bed.
- 2 oz of tequila,
- 1 oz of freshly squeezed lime juice,
- ¾ oz of Cointreau
- ½ to ¾ oz of jalapeño agave (to taste)
- Tajin seasoning
Combine the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Add Tajin seasoning to the edge of a highball glass. Pour the cocktail over the ice and serve.