The Coronavirus outbreak shows no signs of abating. With social distancing and WFH (work from home) being the order of the day, it is the perfect excuse to take a break and binge watch (as if you needed a reason) some new and classic LGBTQI  series and movies.

Everything good comes in sevens – the days of a week, musical notes, the colours of the rainbow, the Harry Potter series… Here’s our list of everything you can binge-watch in 7s. 

 

7 x MUST-WATCH SERIES

Ru Paul’s Drag Race 

Shantay, you stay! Season 12 of this iconic series debuted last month and an episode drops every week. This season has already made news for Sherry ‘Catfisher’ Pie, but that’s not the only reason to watch. A strong lineup of queens, great production values, special guests (hello, Nicki Minaj in the season premiere) and Mama Ru Paul promise a season to remember. If you can’t do with just one episode a week, catch all the previous seasons, plus Ru Paul Drag Race UK, plus Ru Paul Drag Race All Stars and Untucked on Stan. If you still haven’t had your fill, check out Drag Race Thailand. 

While at it, brush up your drag race history with Paris Is Burning and the award-winning series Pose.

Where to watch: Ru Paul’s Drag Race (Stan); Paris Is Burning (Netflix), Pose (Foxtel Now).

 

The Fosters 

What’s not to love about this series – a multi-ethnic American family comprising two mums, and their biological and foster children. One of the highest-rated LGBTQI shows (97 %) on Rotten Tomatoes, the critically acclaimed series ended its run in 2018 after five seasons. Its portrayal of LGBTQI characters has won it two GLAAD awards.

Where to watch: ​Stan

 

The L Word: Generation Q

The L Word: Generation Q is a sequel to The L Word from the previous decade. Many of the characters from the original series are joined by a new and diverse cast in Los Angeles. While critics have been measured in their praise for the new series, its popularity remains intact with Gen Q being renewed for a second season.

Where to watch: The L Word and The L Word: Generation Q are on Stan

 

The Bisexual 

This show – about a queer woman who struggles to come out as a bisexual woman – has been praised for being one of the few shows that have actually been written and directed by a queer woman, Desiree Akhavan. There is so much that this series gets right from the writing to the characters and much needed diversity in LGBTQI shows, while at the same time breaking down stereotypes around identities with dry wit. Each of its six episodes clocks just under 30 minutes, so give it a watch. If this series gets you curious about its Iranian American director Akhavan (she directed the critically acclaimed 2018 movie ‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post’), check out her 2014 debut feature film Appropriate Behaviour.

Where to watch: The Bisexual  and Appropriate Behaviour are available on Stan

 

 

The Politician

Panned by critics but an audience favourite, this Ryan Murphy show about student politics is the perfect watch this US Presidential election year. Starring Ben Platt and Gywneth Paltrow, the series follows the travails of a high school student who believes he is on a trajectory to become the President of the United States. The only hitch – he has to first win the student body president election first. 

Where to watch: Netflix.

 

Schitt​’​s Creek 

A riches to rags story, this Canadian series is about a family forced to relocate to the town of Schitt​’​s Creek after their fortunes take a hard tumble. This is one of the rare series, where every new season bests the previous ones. A pan sexual lead character, a gay love story, some superlative writing – there is much to recommend about the show. The greatest gift the show delivers is giving us a new queer icon in the character of Moira Rose. The sixth and final season has not yet reached streaming platforms, but catch the first five seasons to know what the hullabaloo is about. 

Where to watch: Netflix 

 

Orange Is The New Black

Your queer card is in danger of being revoked if you haven’t ​yet ​watched this show. Set in a women’s prison, this show with a strong ensemble cast is populated by queer characters and actors of covering every hue and identity. The seventh and final season ended last year and this is television at its best. 

Where to watch:  Netflix

 

7 x MUST-WATCH FILMS

Carol

Photographer and department store clerk Therese (Rooney Mara) meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), an enigmatic older woman, and romance blooms. Directed by Todd Haynes and based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Price of Salt, this tender love story set in 1950s Manhattan is a must watch. 

Where to watch: SBS On Demand

 

The Death and Life  Of Marsha P Johnson

The documentary profiles the life and mysterious death of trans icon and Stonewall activist, Marsha P Johnson, who was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992. The film focusses a much needed spotlight on violence faced by transgender persons. 

Where to watch: Netflix

 

Gods Own Country

This pre-Brexit era British drama is about a young Yorkshire sheep farmer who falls for a Romanian migrant worker. Intense, passionate and sexy, this is the debut feature of writer-director Francis Lee, who himself grew up in a Yorkshire farm.

Where to watch: Netflix

 

Other People

A year in the life of a young, struggling, gay comedy writer who moves back to his family home to take care of his ailing mother. Far from being a melodrama, this film is by turns funny, tragic, poignant and above all as real as it comes. 

Where to watch: Netflix

 

 

Tangerine

That this film is shot on an iPhone 5 is not the only claim to fame for Tangerine. When it premiered at the Sundance film festival in 2015, the film was a milestone for trans representation on screen. Starring trans actors Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor in lead roles, this slice of LA street life, follows a sex worker searching for the pimp who broke her heart. 

Where to watch: SBS On Demand

 

Alex Strangelove

Alex Truelove plans on losing his virginity to Claire, but things don’t go as planned when he meets handsome and out Elliot. This breezy teen romance may seem predictable, but has its heart in the right place.

Where to watch: Netflix

 

All In My Family

Director Hao Wu introduces his Chinese American husband and their two children to his traditional family in China in this documentary film. The film provides no easy solutions, but is a tender and loving look at the struggles of a family for acceptance. 

Where to watch: Netflix

 

7 x INTERNATIONAL FILMS AND SERIES

Elite

Spanish teen thriller set in an elite private school features strong gay characters and themes. The third season of this highly binge-worthy series recently dropped on Netflix. Amidst murders, lies, deceit that engulf the lead characters, the love story between Andre and Omar, as they navigate diverse cultures and class, stands out.

Where to watch: Netflix

 

Made In Heaven

This is a groundbreaking Indian television series with a lead gay character. Two wedding planners, a gay man, and his female business partner serve Delhi’s affluent class. The first season has been praised for being “queer and unapologetically feminist”. 

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

 

Dear Ex

Taiwanese box office hit Dear Ex looks at grief from the viewpoint of its three main characters, a 13-year-old, his mother and his deceased father’s male lover. 

Where to watch: Netflix

 

Margarita With A Straw

This Indian drama is a coming of age story of Margarita, a teenager living with cerebral palsy and her very personal journey of sexual discovery.

Where to watch: Netflix

 

BPM

Winner of the Grand Prix at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, this historical drama follows a bunch of AIDS activists with Act Up in Paris in the early 1990s. The personal and political are entwined to deliver a powerful story.

Where to watch: SBS On Demand

 

Spa Night

18-year-old Korean-American David Cho takes a job at an all-male spa in Los Angeles’ Koreatown to support his family. His sexual awakening clashes with his immigrant parents’ expectations.

Where to watch: SBS On Demand

 

 

I Am Jonas

In this gripping French drama, 15-year-old Jonas meets Nathan and his life is set to change forever. The two parallel timelines meet in a heartbreaking final act.

Where to watch: Netflix

 

7 x AUSSIE SHOWS

Black Divaz

Queer and indigenous in Australia are a minority within a minority. The hour-long documentary takes a look at the queens participating in the inaugural Miss First Nations drag queen pageant. 

Where to watch: SBS On Demand

 

Riot

This ABC TV movie brings to the screen, the real-life stories of the 78ers and the first Mardi Gras protest in Sydney. 

Where to watch: ABC iView

 

Please Like Me 

Twenty-something Josh finds out he is gay after he is dumped by his girlfriend. Warm and funny in equal measures, we follow Josh and his friends and family over four seasons as they deal with love, heartbreak and mental illness. Australian comedian Josh Thomas, who wrote Please Like Me, is now back with his new series Everything’s Gonna Be Okay set in Los Angeles.

Where to watch: Please Like Me is on Netflix, Everything’s Gonna be Okay is on Stan

 

Queer For Short

Six short films from emerging filmmakers capture lived LGBTQI+ lived experiences in Australia. 

Where to Watch: SBS ON Demand

 

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

Set in 1920s Melbourne, Phryne Fisher solves crimes and smashes patriarchal mores while at it. Her lesbian BFF, Mac, is the other reason you should watch this series.

Where to Watch: ABC iView

 

Out Here

This three-episode documentary series brings to the screen LGBTQI stories from rural and regional Australia – a transgender couple start their gender reaffirmation journey, two generations of gay activism in Tasmania and a gay farmer’s fight to combat climate change. 

Where to watch: 10Play

 

Hannah Gadsby: Nannette

​Australian stand-up comic Hannah Gadsby’s lived experiences as a lesbian and gender non-conforming woman makes for a powerful live comedy performance. A perfect 100 % score on Rotten Tomatoes, this is one show that you should not miss.

Where to watch: Netflix

 

HERE’S A 7x BONUS

Seven trailblazing LGBTQI classics

Queer As Folk (Stan), Tales of The City (Netflix), Will and Grace (Stan), Brokeback Mountain (Stan), The Birdcage (Stan), Glee (Netflix) and My Beautiful Laundrette (Stan).

 

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