There's too much damn TV. It's overwhelming, it's exhausting, it's even a little annoying. But whether we like it or not, we're all better for it. Is it really so bad to have too many good things to watch?
With fall comes a whole new slate of series to binge, to obsess over, to check out once and never acknowledge again. Here are 10 we're looking forward to, all of which offer dynamic queer representation (or at least a dynamic queer sensibility). So get ready to Netflix (or Hulu or Amazon or HBO or Disney+ or Apple TV+…) and chill.
If True Detective had two female leads it might look like Unbelievable, the new Netflix miniseries based on "An Unbelievable Story of Rape," the Pulitzer Prize–winning article from ProPublica/The Marshall Project written by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong. Toni Collette and Merritt Weaver star as two detectives hunting a serial rapist, one of whose victims includes Kaitlyn Dever's Marie, a teenage girl charged with lying about her assault. Lesbian director Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are Alright) is helming the series, which boasts executive producers like Michael Chabon, Katie Couric, and Erin Brokovich screenwriter Susannah Grant. September 13 on Netflix.
BoJack Horseman has consistently been one of the best-written, best-acted, funniest, and saddest shows on television (it also features one of the few asexual regulars—shout-out to Aaron Paul's Todd!). Now, BoJack creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg and writer-producer Kate Purdy have headed to Amazon for their ambitious animated series Undone, based on Purdy's struggles with mental illness. Rosa Salazar stars as Alma, a young woman who is involved in a near-fatal car crash that causes her to develop a strange new relationship to time. The show promises to explore "race, culture, gender, family, and sanity," but really, it just looks fucking cool. September 13 on Amazon.
American Horror Story: 1984
AHS is still going… well, strong may not be the best way to describe it, but she's still trucking. The good news? For its ninth installment showrunner Ryan Murphy flashes back to the time of VHS tapes and everyday spandex in an ode to the slasher films of the '80s. AHS vets Emma Roberts, Billie Lourd, Cody Fern, and Leslie Grossman return for the ride, as do some recruits from other Murphy projects including Glee's Matthew Morrison and Pose's Angelica Ross. Bonus: Dear White People's DeRon Horton (a.k.a. hot gay nerd Lionel) and Olympic bae Gus Kenworthy will also pop up. This season promises to be not only gay but gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, taking the queer subtext of all those campsite horror flicks and giving them deliciously campy text. September 18 on FX.
Let's say Election had an illicit affair with Popular, Ryan Murphy's low-key classic dramedy from back when The CW was still the WB, while Glee watched in the corner. The resulting product would be The Politician, the first show spawned from Murphy's multimillion partnership with Netflix. Broadway gayby Ben Platt stars as Payton Hobart, an ambitious gay high school student determined to be President of the United States. Gooper Gwyneth Paltrow comes out of a conscious uncoupling from her acting career to play his mother, Georgina, while Jessica Lange is serving you literally everything you need in a role originally intended for Barbra Streisand. (You read that right. Babs Streisand coulda been yelling about gays munching butts.) With guest appearances from legit gay icons Bette Midler and Judith Light—not to mention the occasional musical number—this one, um, has our vote. September 26 on Netflix.
Ruby Rose plays the titular caped crusader, the first queer superhero to star in their own live-action vehicle, in The CW's latest addition to the ever-expanding Arrowverse. Though Green Arrow is hanging up his quills this fall, Batwoman is out there in a Batman-less Gotham City fighting the good fight and grappling with more than just hooks. She's got a complicated relationship with an ex-girlfriend, a dad she's always failing to impress, and a new villain terrorizing Gotham—as well as a huge cowl to fill. If you think queer angst is rough, try adding a corrupt city in serious need of protection to your plate. October 6 on The CW.
Aside from that classic shady AF reference from Angels in America (Context: Harper - "I never drink or take drugs."; Prior - "Well, smell you, Nancy Drew."), the iconic girl detective has held a place in many a queer heart over the years. Following in the mysterious footsteps of The CW's Riverdale, this TV adaptation of the classic book series stars newcomer Kennedy McMann as the sassy sleuth who gets in over her head after the murder of a socialite (she and her friends are both witnesses and suspects). The CW has never shied away from intriguing queer story lines and characters, so expect Nancy to be no different. Plus, this one has ghosts. Now, how about a cameo or two from those old kweens The Hardy Boys? October 9 on The CW.
The New York Times column gets made into an anthology series because why not? With a cast that includes Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey, Dev Patel, Catherine Keener, Andy Garcia, and gay actor Andrew "Hot Priest" Scott, Amazon clearly spent a pretty penny on this project. (That formula of high-powered stars and big-budget extravagance didn't pay off with The Romanoffs, but maybe Modern Love stands a better chance since it's tackling a more relatable subject than a Russian monarchy.) The eight episodes plan to spotlight relationships in a multitude of forms—sexual, romantic, familial, platonic, and the ones we have with ourselves. October 18 on Amazon.
Sid & Judy
Judy Garland is back! The legendary diva is not only getting the biopic treatment, but Showtime is dedicating a documentary to her and her third husband, Sid Luft, who famously mounted one of Garland's greatest comebacks, A Star Is Born. Narrated by Jon Hamm and Jennifer Jason Leigh, it uses rare concert footage, never-before-heard voice recordings, and personal photos to chronicle the couple's life together through “Luft’s observations, only recently made public, and Garland’s own words.” October 18 on Showtime.
Alan Moore's classic graphic novel, generally considered the best ever, got a movie adaptation in 2009 that you either kinda liked or openly hated. But this ain't your daddy's Watchmen. We're in an alternate 2019, one without internet and cellphones, and the action picks up 30 years after the comic ended. A white supremacy terrorist organization is running wild; Oscar and Emmy winner Regina King has taken up a vigilante alter ego known, rather fabulously, as Sister Night; and Robert Redford plays President Robert Redford, the commander in chief since 1992. The original graphic novel was pretty queer—Rorschach, who was asexual, referred to Ozymandias (here played by Jeremy Irons) as "possibly homosexual." With the spate of queer superhero representation on The CW, here's hoping HBO can keep up. October 20 on HBO.
The Morning Show
What could possibly fill the Big Little Lies–sized hole in our hearts? Well, Madeline Mackenzie herself, a.k.a. Reese Witherspoon, is hitting the small screen with former Friends sister Jennifer Aniston to play her rival on a morning show. Apple is finally throwing its fancy-ass hat into the content ring, and this will prove if the tech giant has what it takes to compete with the billion other streaming platforms at our disposal. Though we don't know just how queer The Morning Show will be, let the witty asides, snide remarks, and lacefront wigs fly. November 1 on Apple TV+.
The L Word: Generation Q
Picking up 10 years after the original series went off the air, The L Word: Generation Q reunites the West Coast lady-loving-ladies, with Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig, and Leisha Hailey reprising their roles. They'll also be joined by “a new generation of self-possessed LGBTQIA characters experiencing love, heartbreak, sex, setbacks, and success in Los Angeles.” December 8 on Showtime
Main image: David Corenswet and Ben Platt in The Politician.