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!
There are no PTSD-inducing Jellicle cats to be found in this latest retelling of the 1900s children’s classic about an eccentric doctor (Robert Downey Jr.) who can communicate with animals. It does, however, seem to star every actor who’s ever played gay (or wowed us otherwise) as both CGI critters and humans, including Emma Thompson, Michael Sheen, Jim Broadbent, Rami Malek, Selena Gomez, Antonio Banderas, Octavia Spencer, Ralph Fiennes, and Tom Holland. (Opens January 17, Universal)
DVD and VOD
Pain and Glory
Freshly nominated for Oscars for both Best International Film and Best Actor, gay Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar’s semi-autobiographical drama spills a lot of tea. Replicating the auteur’s real-life wardrobe and signature haircut, Antonio Banderas stars as his alter ego, an aging filmmaker named Salvador Mallo who is wracked with physical ailments and a creative block. Numbing his pain with heroin, Salvador reconnects with the star of his 1980s films, Alberto (Asier Etxeandia), and revels in memories of his prickly mother (played by Penélope Cruz and Julieta Serrano). With appearances from other longtime Almodóvar collaborators and his trademark humor, this is the cinematic confession we’ve been waiting for. (Available now on VOD, Sony Pictures Classics)
TV and Streaming
Grace and Frankie
Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda return with a game-changing sixth go-around of their hit buddy comedy—the next-to-last season, apparently. Grace (Fonda), who officially came out as bisexual last season, is now married to a former boyfriend, Nick (Peter Gallagher), while her bestie Frankie (Tomlin) wonders if that might have been a blunder. Meanwhile, their respective gay ex-husbands, Robert (Martin Sheen) and Sol (Sam Waterston), cope with a couple of crises that will affect their families, and Barry (Peter Cambor), boyfriend to Grace’s daughter Brianna (June Diane Raphael), causes drama when he decides to help his lesbian pals get preggers. (Streaming January 15 on Netflix)
Gay Los Angeles luxury real estate agent Aaron Kirman and his team swoop in to sell “difficult” properties and deal with equally challenging wealthy AF clients in this addictive new eight-episode reality series. First-world probs make fun TV during the apocalypse, y’all! (Premieres January 15 on CNBC)
Everything’s Gonna Be Okay
Australian writer, actor, and comedian Josh Thomas, creator of the three-time GLAAD Media Award–winning series Please Like Me, returns with a superb new 10-episode dramedy about a self-centered gay 20-something, Nicholas (Thomas), who takes custody of his two teenage half-sisters, Genevieve (Maeve Press) and Matilda (Kayla Cromer), the latter of whom falls on the autism spectrum, in the wake of their father’s death. Fun fact: Striving for authenticity in the show’s depiction of both how teenage girls think and act and the autistic experience, Thomas assembled an all-female writer’s room and cast an autistic actress, Cromer, as Matilda. (Premieres January 16 on Freeform)
Created by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, Apple TV+’s timely eight-episode anthology series about the modern immigrant experience features an LGBTQ-themed story, “The Son,” co-written by Closet Monster’s Stephen Dunn and queer nonbinary Iraqi-Brit Amrou Al-Kadhi. Gay Lebanese-American actor Haaz Sleiman (who came out as “a total bottom” in 2017, for which we salute him) plays Rafiq, a closeted gay Syrian whose own rabidly homophobic family will murder him unless he’s granted asylum by the U.S. Meanwhile, Zachary Quinto stars as a yoga guru at a silent retreat in the aptly titled ep “The Silence.” The series has already been greenlit for a second season, so expect excellence and an ugly cry or two. (Premieres January 17 on Apple TV+)
Netflix’s hit dramedy is back, and luckily so are Otis (Asa Butterfield), the awkward teen son of a sex therapist (Gillian Anderson) who becomes a private sexual counselor to his school’s student body, and his gay BFF Eric (Ncuti Gatwa). The second season gets even gayer and more love triangle-y: Eric juggles his former bully-turned-playthang, Adam (Connor Swindells), and Rahim (Sami Outalbali), a French transfer student with a talent for rocking bowl cuts, while Otis’ girlfriend Ola (Patricia Allison) seems to spark with graphic artist Lily (Tanya Reynolds). Oh, and did we mention the schoolwide chlamydia outbreak? This class is in sesh, squirrels! (Streaming January 17 on Netflix)
Main image: Sex Education.