Queer Sh*t to Watch This Week

Ryan Murphy continues his roll with "Hollywood," and Alice Wu makes our sapphic rom-com dreams come true in "The Half of It."

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!

DVD and VOD

15 Years

When young lawyer Dan (Udi Persi) expresses the desire to have a child, he inadvertently unleashes long-buried demons and self-destructive impulses in his partner of 15 years, Yoav (Oded Leopold). A Best Feature winner at Chicago and Tel Aviv’s LGBTQ film festivals last year, this intense drama from Israeli writer-director Yuval Hadadi is riveting fare. (Available now from Breaking Glass Pictures)

TV and Streaming

As I Am

Anthony Bawn, founder of black LGBTQ streaming service Bawn TV, makes his feature debut with this Arizona-set, lyrical romantic drama about an antisocial, withdrawn marketing executive, Emmanuel (Andre Myers), who comes to grips with buried emotional trauma while falling for the easygoing, compassionate Demetrius (Jeremiyah Dunbar). The second season of Bawn’s queer love triangle series, Conframa, also kicked off this month. (Streaming now on HereTV)
 

Never Have I Ever

A little bit Booksmart and Jane The Virgin, Netflix’s 10-episode high school romantic comedy series—co-created by Mindy Kaling—sees an overachieving Indian-American sophomore, Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), and her equally nerdy besties Eleanor (Ramona Young) and Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez) try to spice up their lives with hookups… which go hysterically sideways, especially when Fabiola realizes she’s thirsty for another girl. (Streaming now on Netflix)
 

A Secret Love

Female baseball pro Terry Donahue helped inspire the 1992 comedy A League of Their Own, yet that iconic hit didn’t reflect a major part of her reality: Donahue’s relationship with another woman. Produced by Ryan Murphy (Hollywood, Circus of Books), Chris Bolan’s documentary fully illuminates Donahue’s nearly 70-year relationship with Pat Henschel, from the challenges of closeted life to Donahue’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease and their decision to finally live out loud. Swing out, sisters! (Streaming April 29 on Netflix)
 
https://youtu.be/Mif1RfqyUPw

Betty

A spin-off of Skate Kitchen, director Crystal Moselle’s 2018 feature about a clique of female skateboarders including take-no-crap lesbian Kirt (Nina Moran), HBO’s new series follows many of the same characters. Given the lesbian kiss in the trailer, it packs a queerer punch, too. (Premieres May 1 on HBO)
 

Hollywood

Ryan Murphy’s latest Netflix series is an audacious, ultra-queer, progressive reimagining of post-WWII-era Hollywood movie history, much like how Quentin Tarantino brought us some gratifying wish fulfillment with Inglorious Basterds and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Over the course of eight episodes, a band of outsiders—including a gay black screenwriter (Jeremy Pope), who works as call boy for famous clients like Noel Coward and director George Cukor, a half-Filipino aspiring director (Darren Criss), and a would-be actor named Rock Hudson (Jake Picking)—try to get a movie greenlit with help from a studio boss’ wife (Patti LuPone). Hollywood’s stacked cast also includes Jim Parsons as the sleaziest, vilest gay talent agent ever committed to screen. Hooray for Hollywood! (Streaming May 1 on Netflix)
 

The Half of It

Lesbian Chinese-American filmmaker Alice Wu finally follows up her GLAAD Award-nominated 2005 lesbian romance, Saving Face, with this YA-friendly Netflix original movie. Described as “a modern day Cyrano-meets-Pygmalion,” The Half of It stars Leah Lewis as Ellie Chu, an introverted A-student drafted by the school jock, Paul (Daniel Diemer), to write love letters to a girl (Alexxis Lemire) whom they both fall in love with. (Streaming May 1 on Netflix)
 

Billions

Nonbinary actor Asia Kate Dillon’s fan-favorite nonbinary character, genius Taylor Mason, is forced to re-join billionaire Bobby Axelrod’s (Damian Lewis) Axe Capital in the fifth season of Showtime’s crime drama set in the world of high-stakes finance. (Premieres May 3 on Showtime)

Main image: Jeremy Pope (R) in Hollywood.

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.
@LawrenceFerber