NewNowNext spotlights the latest (and queerest) movies, TV shows, webseries, and other LGBTQ shit for your viewing pleasure in our weekly watch list. Grab your popcorn, squirrel friends!
And Then We Danced
Director Levan Akin’s romantic drama has already stirred up violent, homophobic protests in his conservative home country of Georgia. Set in the fiercely competitive, traditional National Georgian Ensemble, it follows male dancer Merab (Levan Gelbakhiani), who finds it hard to be as “masculine” as his old-fashioned instructor demands and becomes fixated on his new (and hunty!) rival, Irakli (Bachi Valishvili). The pair wind up alone together, someone starts playing a Robyn song, and you can guess where things go from there. Soon, Merab must decide if he is willing to buck convention and face bigotry in the name of love. Nuanced and artful, with some cultural education to boot. (Opens February 7, Music Box Films)
Birds of Prey
Margot Robbie reprises her role as the Joker’s erstwhile girlfriend, cray-cray psychiatrist-turned-criminal Harley Quinn, in this female-led follow-up to 2016’s Suicide Squad. Rosie Perez plays the DCEU’s first openly gay character, Gotham police officer Renee Montoya (Ali Wong reportedly portrays her girlfriend), while villains Roman Sionis, a.k.a. Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), and scarred serial killer Victor Zsasz (Chris Messina) are rumored to be gay—but that could just be another case of queer-baiting given the actors’ irritatingly ambiguous answers when they were interviewed at the movie’s recent Hollywood premiere. Either way, we’re here for it! (Opens February 7, Warner Bros.)
DVD and VOD
The Good Liar
Smooch-happy Ian McKellen reunites with Gods and Monsters director Bill Condon for a twisty cat-and-mouse tale in which seasoned, shifty con man Roy (McKellen) plots to bilk lonely, wealthy widow Betty (Helen Mirren) out of her fortune. Russell Tovey—star of Russell T Davies’ recent HBO series Years and Years—plays Betty’s suspicious lawyer grandson, who is eventually revealed to be gay. Sorry/not sorry for spoiling! (Available now on Blu-ray, Warner Bros.)
TV and Streaming
RuPaul’s Drag Race didn’t exist in the pre-Stonewall 1960s. But shade, sickening lewks, and spilling tea sure did, and it’s all encapsulated in Frank Simon’s fierce 1968 documentary, which has finally dug its heels into Netflix. Restored to coincide with last June’s Stonewall50 celebrations, it charts the behind-the-scenes drama as queens vie for the prize at the 1967 Miss All-America Camp Beauty Pageant (judges included Andy Warhol and muse Edie Sedgwick) and features legendary house mother Crystal LaBeija, who formed House of LaBeija. This is must-see film herstory, henny! (Streaming now on Netflix)
The CW’s latest Riverdale spinoff, from gay über exec producers and writers Greg Berlanti and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, takes place in a fun, refreshingly murder-free NYC where early-20-something aspiring fashion designer Katy Keene (Lucy Hale of Pretty Little Liars) pursues her dreams alongside singer Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) and gay wannabe Broadway star Jorge Lopez (queer actor Jonny Beauchamp), who has a drag queen alter ego, Ginger. It’s a little bit Fame and a little bit Carrie Diaries, with some yummy lip-locking for Jorge. Did we mention a cameo from Broadway royalty Bernadette Peters? (Premieres February 6 on The CW)
Edie Falco returns to the not-too-small screen just when we need her most as newly appointed LAPD chief Abigail “Tommy” Thomas, who joins the force in the wake of a messy scandal involving male cops, prostitutes, and an underage girl. When she’s not reconnecting with her estranged adult daughter Kate (Olivia Lucy Phillip), Tommy tackles timely cases of the week (one involving the murder of an allegedly rape-y movie producer) and gets wooed by a mysterious woman. (Premieres February 6 on CBS)
The Category Is… Mexico City
Thanks in part to Pose, vogue and ballroom culture has now spread all over the globe. Revry’s six-episode original series The Category Is… launches with a season dedicated to Mexico City’s tight-knit House of Mamis, whose queer and trans members (one’s a Canadian expat) share their personal stories—and a shablam or two. (Streaming February 7 on Revry)
Main image: Bachi Valishvili (left) and Levan Gelbakhiani in And Then We Danced.