With this weekend being a bank holiday, we can guess where most of your lazy Mondays will be spent – on the couch. Instead of staring at the wall, why not let Team GCN suggest some of the best and queerest that Netflix Ireland has to offer. Enjoy!
This dark comedy tells the story of Thom, a gay man who finds out that Cal, his boyfriend of four years, has been cheating on him. Over the course of the three series, it explores Thom and Cal’s ever-changing relationship and all the road bumps along the way. This web-series-turned-Netflix-find is a whole lot of queer fun.
If you haven’t watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend by now then you actually must be crazy yourself, so sort it out quick! This nutty, subversive, hugely clever musical (yes, that’s right – musical) dark comedy stars Rachel Bloom as a whip-smart lawyer who jettisons her New York life to return to her hometown to win back Josh, the boy who dumped her years ago. The title pretty much says it all in regards to where Rachel’s head is at, but more than just an exploitative look at mental illness, the show is an incisive, dark and intelligent comedy-drama.
Sense8 is a mind-boggling sci-fi drama that’s been the talk of the queer community for a while now! The show follows 8 ‘sensates’ – people from around the world who share a telepathic connection. The show is so beloved by fans that it was even resurrected for a series finale after being cancelled by Netflix. With queer characters, you can’t help but root for (we’re looking at you Nomi and Amanita), it’s a helluva watch!
London Spy can’t help but feel like a gay love story disguised as a conspiracy thriller. It tells the story of Danny (played by the always lovely Ben Wishaw), a young gay man who falls for the secretive Alex. Things get dark pretty fast, and Danny spends the series trying to uncover the plot-twist ridden truth behind his lover’s secret life. Strap yourself in for this rollercoaster of a show.
Orange Is The New Black
Orange Is The New Black has been topping our TV lists for years and it can be considered a Netflix classic. One of the most successful queer shows in the mainstream has just started its fifth season – so you’ve got a lot of catching up to do! The show follows Piper Chapman, an upper-class, soap-making blonde as she turns herself in for drug smuggling. She ends up in Litchfield Penitentiary, an all-female prison full of unforgettable characters. It’s got tons of queer characters (most of them played by actual queer actors), including cult favourite Natasha Lyonne. It’s the kind of show that will have you in stitches one minute and leave you heartbroken the next.
While you’re waiting for season 11 to grace your screen, why not fall in love with Steven Universe? The show follows Steven and the Crystal Gems, a team of guardians who fight to protect the universe. It’s all kinds of quirky and lovable. The animated show has made ground-breaking moves towards queer inclusivity in cartoons, and even just last week aired the first ever mainstream cartoon lesbian proposal. It’s got buckets of heart, plus Steven Universe would make a GREAT name for a drag queen.
Everything Sucks! is an American comedy-drama web television series created by Ben York Jones and Michael Mohan that parodies teen culture of the mid-1990s. The series is set in the real-life town of Boring, Oregon in 1996, and focuses on a group of teenagers who attend the fictional Boring High School as they proceed to make a movie together while dealing with issues such as dating and sexuality. Netflix has unfortunately cancelled the show after the first season but it’s still worth checking out!
This celebrated Irish movie about a gay rugby player depicts the growing friendship between Ned (Fionn O’Shea), a music-mad outsider unimpressed by the home teams’ antics on the pitch, and Conor (Nicholas Galitzine), their new star rugby player. Ned soon comes to realise that Conor is gay and being forced to conceal it in order to fit in.
The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson
If you missed it at last year’s Gaze Film Festival, this excellent documentary, directed by David France, follows the search for justice for trans activist and Stonewall veteran Marsha P Johnson, who was found dead in suspicious circumstances in New York in 1992.
A comedy that has deservedly developed cult status since its initial release in 2004, Saved! stars Jena Malone as Mary, a high school student at an ultra-hip Christian high school who discovers she’s pregnant after she has sex with her boyfriend Dean (Chad Faust), who then tells her he might be gay. After Dean is sent off to a Christian treatment centre, Mary finds herself ostracised by her former friends, led by Hilary Faye (Mandy Moore). Throwing one-liners from the side are Macaulay Culkin, Patrick Fugit and Mary-Louise Parker. One for fans of Drop Dead Gorgeous. A true Netflix gem!
The UK film starring Looking’s Russell Tovey and Arinzé Kene tackles a bromance relationship between two football players that turn into something more after an intimate moment. Touching on the widespread homophobia found within the world of professional football and featuring plenty of the hunky actors running around in their underwear, The Pass has got something for queer politicos and thirsty gays alike.
Strike A Pose
This documentary film revisits the lives of dancers from Madonna’s Blond Ambition tour of the early nineties, examining the contrast between the ‘gay and proud’ front the dancers presented with the reality of being gay in the middle of the AIDS crisis. Blond Ambition broke down sexual boundaries and inspired LGBT+ people around the world and this documentary reconnects with the lives of Madonna’s dancers as they reflect on the tour.
A frankly fabulous film altogether, Pride tells the story of London gay and lesbian activists lending their support to the striking miners in Wales in 1984. Sounds a bit bleak, but believe us, this is one helluva movie. The only time you’ll wipe the smile off your face is when you’re wiping away tears. Writer Stephen Beresford even announced a stage musical adaptation is in the works. How fab is that?
Dallas Buyers Club
Not exactly a film that snuck under the radar, what with its two Oscar-winning performances, but it’s still worth catching if you missed it the first time around. Matthew McConaughey stars as the fast-living straight rodeo rider Ron Woodroof who contracted HIV in the mid-1980s and sought to open access to AZT for himself and others battling the disease. Jared Leto plays Rayon, an HIV positive trans woman who becomes Woodroof’s business partner.
Blue Is The Warmest Colour
Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival where director Abdellatif Kechiche and actresses Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos were jointly awarded the prize, Blue is the Warmest Color focuses on the passionate love affair between student Adèle and free spirit Emma. Awarded the dreaded NC-17 rating in the US for its graphic sex scenes, do not let the three-hour running time put you off under any circumstances – it’s worth every single second of your time.
Holding the Man
Based on the best-selling memoir by Timothy Conigrave, Holding the Man is the story of Conigrave’s 15-year relationship with his childhood sweetheart John Caleo, who died of AIDS in 1992. While lead actors Ryan Corr and Craig Stott knock it out of the park, getting them to play their younger selves was probably a bit of mistake. That said, the casting won’t stop you from ugly crying at the end. Guy Pearse, Geoffrey Rush, Anthony LaPaglia and Kerry Fox also feature in a film that was nominated for six Australian Oscars.
Technically this isn’t a TV show, but we couldn’t go without mentioning Hannah Gadsby’s queer stand-up Nanette. In this hour-long special, the Australian comedian shares her stories of gender and sexuality in front of a packed out crowd in the Sydney Opera House. We’re so here for this Great Gadsby.
If you haven’t already caught Queer Eye then you’re in for a treat. Imagine the most fabulous gay man you’ve ever met, then multiply him by five. The aptly named Fab Five consists of experts in everything from food and fashion to culture and home decor. They travel across America performing life-changing makeovers on firefighters, Trump supporters, homophobic churchgoers and every kind of person in between. As far as queer shows go, this is as good as it gets! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll probably want to be best friends with the Fab Five by the end of your two season binge. If that doesn’t convince you, they’ve just been nominated for four Emmys!
Skin Wars: Fresh Paint
If you can’t bear the thought of watching anything without RuPaul in it, fear not! Skin Wars: Fresh Paint is hosted by hers truly. Fresh Paint is a spin-off of Skin Wars that sees highly accomplished artists try their hand at body-painting for the first time. Every week contestants serve body art looks that will blow your mind, and they’ve even had a special drag queen episode featuring some of our favourite queens! Thank you Netflix!
Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce
You might recognise Big Freedia’s name from her appearances on RuPaul’s track Peanut Butter or her brief vocal cameo on Beyoncé’s iconic track Formation. This hip-hop queen’s new reality series follows her life as a performer in the underground New Orleans rap scene as she tries to introduce “bounce” into the mainstream. You’ll come out of this two series binge (fingers crossed that Netflix will add the rest of the series ASAP) with a new-found love for all things bouncing Big Freedia.
This concludes our long (and we hope satisfying list). Now get the kettle on and put your feet up!
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