Welcome to June 2021, where we're still in the worst timeline, but with this month with a rainbow logo
Happy Pride to everyone who is still going to sit inside and rot while watching TV all month (read: us)!
But what to watch?
HBO has established themselves as always on the cutting edge of television, always pushing the boundaries of representation and chronicling the lives of underrepresented groups — not always, however, but where else would we get our fix of terrible rich white people if not for Succession?
From breaking boundaries in their representation of female friendship in Sex and the City at the turn of the century to doing so again with the now-dated, once revolutionary (for white women) Girls, to other dramas and thrillers and comedies, it makes sense that HBO Max is a hub of queer stories.
Their original content in recent years has produced a wealth of queer content and continues to move in that direction, boding well for both the future of representation and for our Pride Month watchlists.
Starring rising queer icon Justice Smith (previously of Netflix's The Get Down and All The Bright Places), Genera+ion is one of the most honest portrayals of Gen Z on television. Disposing of the TikToking caracarures of other portrayals and the millennial-lite depictions found even in shows like Euphoria which get close, Genera+ion was intentionally researched and written to depict the increasingly queer generation Z.
The show follows a group of friends as they go through life and love, normalizing queer relationships on television without the overplayed narratives we've become accustomed to. And its fresh cast gives us a new, diverse representation of teens to empathize with and adore.
It’s A Sin
The smash British mini series It's A Sin premiered in 2020 to rave reviews for its careful blend of celebration and mourning of queer lives during the height of the AIDS crisis. Though many of the stories about the crisis show the devastation of the era, not many take care to show it through as diverse a lens.
Following a group of four friends in London, the miniseries boasts incredibly rendered characters with lives outside of their sexuality and their diagnoses. Perfect for an emotional June binge, it's both heartbreaking and heartwarming at once.
After FX's Pose dazzled the screen with its look at the '70s ballroom scene, Legendary emerged to show the current stars of the scene. The reality show features both mainstream celebrities and legendary mainstays of contemporary ball culture.
With its diverse cast and dynamic energy, it offers a real life glimpse at ball culture to celebrate the persistence of the scene and its stars.
We Are Who We Are
By the director of 2017's Call Me By Your Name, We Are Who We Are is an achingly intimate portrayal of contemporary coming of age. The show follows two American high schoolers growing up on an army base in Italy, navigating their emergent queerness within the rigid structure of the base.
The series is an unflinching portrayal of their stumbling attempts to find themselves, to talk to their crushes, to figure out who they are. And, as you can expect from Luca Guadagnino, it's also a gorgeous cinematic experience that will have you astral projecting to a seaside town in Italy.
The Lady and the Dale
Based on a true story, The Lady and the Dale is a sumptuous feast of '70s aesthetics which tells the dramatic true story of Elizabeth Carmichael, who started a company to release a fuel-efficient car during the 1970s gas crisis.
The docu-series blends interviews and narrative to craft a compelling character study that shows the wild story of a thrilling, stranger-than-fiction saga.
Based on the real lives of female New York skaters, Betty is a dramaticized series and follow up to the 2018 indie feature film Skate Kitchen. The show walks us through the lives of a diverse group of skaters, not blinking an eye at their different backgrounds, aesthetics, or their queer relationships.
Ultimately, it's a chronicle of female friendship and an ode to a niche of some of the coolest girls is New York. You want to be them, you want to be with them — you know the deal.
This Spanish-language drama is an instant cult classic. If you're not watching Veneno, what are you doing? Veneno has captured a niche and predominantly queer American audience for its compelling characters and captivating true story.
Based on the memoir Not a Whore, Not a Saint: The Memories of La Veneno by Valeria Vegas, the series illustrates the life of '90s trans icon Cristina Ortiz. A chronicle of kinship, the show is a feat of representation and inventive storytelling in how it portrays the multiplicity of all of its characters and asks how we are seen, how we want to be seen, and how we see ourselves.