NewNowNext spotlights the latest (and queerest) movies, TV shows, web series, and other LGBTQ shit for your viewing pleasure in our weekly watch list. Grab your popcorn, squirrel friends!
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Now that every imaginable spoiler of this finale is out there online—as well as a few disgruntled clapback breakdowns—we can reveal that the LGBTQ inclusion J.J. Abrams teased is a fleeting lesbian kiss between Commander D’acy (Amanda Lawrence) and another female resistance member seen during a climactic victory scene. But it wasn’t fleeting enough, apparently, since Singapore and Dubai censors removed it from their countries’ respective releases; considering this is one of the biggest international film franchises in history for all age groups, that’s a pretty big deal. Now, Disney, how about casting Lea DeLaria or Russell Tovey as a big ol’ queer in The Mandalorian Season 2? (Now playing, Disney)
DVD and VOD
The Death and Life of John F. Donovan
Queer Quebecois director, writer, and actor Xavier Dolan (I Killed My Mother)—who recently shook us in It: Chapter 2 as the gay-bashed victim Pennywise devoured—makes his English-language feature debut with this under-the-radar drama about a closeted TV star, John F. Donovan (Kit Harington), who shared a secret pen pal correspondence with a wannabe child actor (Jacob Tremblay) before committing suicide. Inspired by Dolan’s own letter writing to Leonardo DiCaprio while he was a boy, the film features a slew of A-list stars including Natalie Portman, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, and Thandie Newton. (Now available on VOD, Lyla Films)
TV and Streaming
Compiled from TV and movie footage found in the British Film Institute’s archives, this utterly fascinating quasi-documentary charts the ways LGBTQ people have been depicted in the U.K., from really fucked-up “educational” movies when homosexual acts were criminalized (pre-1967) to the emergence of complex, inspiring portraits of filmmakers including Isaac Julien, Terence Davies, Derek Jarman, and John Schlesinger. It’s like experiencing one of the best queer film school lectures ever, with the bonus of incredible songs by John Grant and Hercules and Love Affair. (Streaming now on Amazon Prime)
Jodie Whittaker returns as the first female Doctor Who in the two-part Season 12 premiere, the first of which airs on New Year’s Day. Titled “Spyfall,” and riffing at least a bit on the James Bond film Skyfall, it features gay actor-writer Stephen Fry guest starring as “C,” an M16 spymaster who enlists the Doctor and friends to investigate an alien attack on intelligence agents across the globe. Maxim Baldry, who played Russell Tovey’s Ukrainian refugee lover Viktor in HBO’s devastating Years and Years, also appears this season. (Premieres January 1 on BBC America)
Sherlock creators Steven Moffatt and Mark Gatiss bring gothic-horror realness and, reportedly, no-holds-bitten bisexuality to the legendary literary character for Netflix’s new three-episode series. In its tantalizing, gruesome trailer, Denmark-born actor Claes Bang imbues the Count with menace and charisma, at one point tenderly caressing the face of a handsome young male—and most likely meal—and telling him to “try and stay calm.” The fangs are out, henny! (Streaming January 4 on Netflix)
Main image: Claes Bang in Dracula.