Queer Sh*t to Watch Right Now

Labor Day bingeing with “Carnival Row,” “The Dark Crystal,” and “Styling Hollywood."

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

Before You Know It

Making her feature directorial debut, lesbian multi-hyphenate Hannah Pearl Utt lets her quirk flag fly high with this dryly comic tale of a dysfunctional NYC theater family. After has-been playwright patriarch Mel (Mandy Patinkin) kicks the can, his lesbian stage manager daughter, Rachel (Utt), and her straight actress sister, Jackie (lesbian co-writer Jen Tullock), learn that their long-thought-dead mother is actually a living soap-opera diva, Sherrell (Judith Light). A reunion, off-kilter chaos, and an extended Alec Baldwin cameo (he portrays a psychiatrist) follow. (Now Playing, 1091 Media)


John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

Nonbinary actor Asia Kate Dillon (Showtime’s Billions) joins the adrenaline-charged, ultraviolent action franchise as The Adjudicator, who oversees merciless disciplinary measures for those who violate the strict rules of shadowy international criminal guild The High Table. Keanu Reeves’ master assassin John Wick is on top of The Adjudicator’s list of transgressors, leading to a global chase involving a kickass Halle Berry, “dog-fu,” an LGBTQ-inclusive assassins’ switchboard, and gory high-octane action set pieces. More, please! (Available now on VOD, Lionsgate)

Miss Arizona

RuPaul’s Drag Race queens Willam and Ginger Minj play pivotal roles in this tale of grrrl power from writer-director Autumn McAlpin. Enlisted to teach life skills to abused women at a local shelter, housewife and former beauty queen Rose Raynes (Johanna Braddy) ends up on the run with these ladies, leading to an adventure involving a drag club and pageant. (Available now on DVD, Cinedigm)


Taron Egerton delivers an incredible lead performance, both dramatically and while delivering Sir Elton John's songs, in this biopic chronicling the music icon’s life, career, and pivotal collaboration and friendship with lyricist Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell). The extras-packed Blu-ray release includes a booklet written by John that dishes on what is fact versus fiction and his upcoming autobiography, Me. Nuff said! (Available now on Blu-ray, Paramount)

TV and Streaming

Carnival Row

Leggy British queer multi-hyphenate Cara Delevingne, who bared all in Marie Claire’s August issue, stars as a pansexual faerie (her words!) in this new Amazon series. Set in a Victorianesque world with timely political and social undertones, Carnival Row features fantastical creatures turned refugees in their former homelands—including Delevingne’s Vignette Stonemoss—after humans invade and take over. When a killer starts murdering faeries, human detective and Vignette’s romantic interest, Rycroft Philostrate (Orlando Bloom), is on the case. (Streaming now on Amazon Prime)

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

Jim Henson’s visionary 1982 movie phenomenon about an elfin race, the Gelflings, and the diabolical, power-hungry Skeksis gets a revival on Netflix with this 10-episode prequel series. As with the movie, elaborate animatronic creatures and puppets portray the characters, here voiced by Rocketman’s Taron Egerton, who plays the heroic Gelfling Rian, and Awkwafina, Mark Hamill, and gay national treasure Harvey Fierstein as the Skeksis. Is it wrong to say we’re so Team Skeksis? (Streaming now on Netflix)

Simon Amstell: Set Free

Gay British comedian Amstell (known back home in the U.K. for the TV shows Popworld and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, in which his Jimmy Kimmel-gone-evil persona could make guests bristle or even flee) gets deeply confessional and existential in this riotous stand-up special. If you’re a stan, also check out Amstell’s sometimes cringe-y semi-autobiographical sitcom, Grandma’s House, on the U.K.-centric streaming service Acorn TV. (Streaming now on Netflix)

Styling Hollywood

Celebrity stylist Jason Bolden and his interior designer husband, Adair Curtis, are the gay black power couple behind Los Angeles’ JSN Studios. Netflix’s new reality series charts the highs and lows of their high-profile work designing homes and styling for the red carpet (rips in a dress before the Emmys—gag!). Their clients, whom they describe as “the epitome of black girl magic,” include Ava DuVernay, Gabrielle Union, and Taraji P. Henson, but also expect to see more than a smidge of the couple’s domestic life (walking the goldendoodle! contemplating parenthood! love!). We’re addicted already. (Streaming now on Netflix)

Directed by John Schlesinger

The late, great, and very much gay British director receives a special spotlight on the Criterion Channel that includes a new introduction by cultural historian Ian Buruma—Schlesinger’s nephew—and some LGBTQ-inclusive classics like 1969’s grimy Midnight Cowboy and his 1971 bisexual love triangle drama, Sunday Bloody Sunday. (Streaming September 1 on Criterion Channel)

Photo: Jason Bolden in Styling Hollywood.

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