Queer Sh*t to Watch Right Now

Gorgeous wrestlers, dancing inmates, and queer '80s punks. Plus: Rocko returns.

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!

In Theaters

This Is Not Berlin

As with last month’s Always Say Yes, Mexico City provides an electric, queer, hedonistic setting for director Hari Sama’s 1980s coming-of-age drama about a pair of 17-year-old friends, Carlos (Xabiani Ponce de Léon) and Gera (José Antonio Toledano), transformed after falling in with the crowd at an underground polysexual nightclub called Azteca. (Now playing, Samuel Goldwyn Films)

Vision Portraits

Black gay filmmaker Rodney Evans (Brother to Brother) has been losing his eyesight due to a rare genetic disorder, retinitis pigmentosa. With complete blindness closing in, and a deepening struggle to pass as “sighted,” Evans decides to come out publicly and funnel his experience—and a last-ditch effort to seek out a European medical therapy that could bring his sight back—through this deeply personal, poetic documentary, which also profiles several other visually impaired artists. (Now playing, Stimulus Pictures)


A producer of Amazon’s Transparent, Rhys Ernst makes a controversial, captivating feature film debut with this adaptation of comic book and TV writer Ariel Schrag’s 2014 novel about a teenage cisgender male, Adam (Nicholas Alexander), who begins an affair with a slightly older lesbian, Gillian (Bobbi Salvör Menuez), who mistakes him for a transgender male. Also writing the screenplay, Schrag takes some self-deprecating shots at herself with explicit references to her earlier work on Showtime’s The L Word and its clumsy depiction of a nonbinary/trans character, while Adam’s cast includes a wonderfully diverse, dynamic, and libidinous set of trans, nonbinary, and queer characters portrayed by trans, nonbinary, and queer actors such as Pose’s Mj Rodriguez, Leo Sheng, Maxton Miles Baeza, and Jac Bernhard. (Opening August 14, Wolfe)


All Is True

Ian McKellen co-stars in Kenneth Branagh’s under-the-radar, queer-tinged British period drama set during William Shakespeare’s later years. After his play Henry VIII literally bombs and the theater catches fire, the Bard (Branagh) returns home crestfallen to Stratford and his wife, Anne (Judi Dench), reconnecting with foppish friend and possible longtime crush, the Earl of Southampton (McKellen). (Available on VOD August 13, Sony Pictures Classics)

TV and Streaming


The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling are back in the ring for a third season of neon-lit 1980s Las Vegas antics, including stories featuring queer characters Arthie, a.k.a. Beirut (Sunita Mani); Yolanda, a.k.a Junkchain (Shakira Barrera); and Sebastian a.k.a. Bash (Chris Lowell), who, given that his “friend” and butler Florian (Alex Rich) died from AIDS-related complications last season, could really use a nice boy to cuddle with. (Streaming now on Netflix)

Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling

The 1990s Nickelodeon cartoon series is back with a major development: Ralph, the child of Mr. and Mrs. Baghead, is now a transgender woman, Rachel. The 45-minute special’s story line sees titular wallaby Rocko and pals Heffer and Filburt return from outer space after 20 years to find a whole new world, seeking out the self-realized Rachel to reunite her with her estranged family and friends. You may not need as many tissues as a season of Queer Eye requires, but keep the box handy. (Streaming now on Netflix)

Family Pictures USA

Out filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris (Through a Lens Darkly) brings us this affirming new series in which everyday Americans revisit their family histories and reconnect during community photo sharing events in North Carolina, Detroit, and Southwest Florida. It’s fascinating stuff, chock-full of cool factoids, ethnic diversity, and moments of unity we so need right now. (Premiering August 12 on PBS)

The Terror: Infamy

George Takei, who recently released a graphic novel, They Called Us Enemy, about his childhood in Japanese-American internment camps during WWII, again revisits that shameful era in the second season of AMC’s real-life-inspired horror anthology series, for which he served as a consultant and co-star. Infamy centers on a Japanese-American fishing community forced to live in a camp that is haunted by sinister, deadly forces (you know, besides racism). (Premiering August 12 on AMC)

Happy Jail

Known for its 2007 viral video performance of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” the Philippines’ Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center and its prisoners’ dancing program are the subject of this five-part documentary, which features gay, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming inmates, who admit they are actually treated “like queens” in the clink by their fellow prisoners and choreographer. From Emmy-winning Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine director Michele Josue. (Premiering August 14 on Netflix)

Photo: Xabiani Ponce de León and José Antonio Toledano in This Is Not Berlin.

Lawrence is a New York-based travel and entertainment writer whose work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Time Out New York and The New York Post.