Hey there Outbuzzers, Robert here. Hoping that you and your family are staying safe and healthy during these stressful and ever-changing times. If you are at that point during this quarantine or shelter in place, where you have run out of things to do, to read, to watch, here is a list of LGBTQ shows and movies to keep you entertained – focusing specifically on shows and movies during the 90s and the 2000s.
QUEER AS FOLK – this 2000 Showtime drama was one of the first shows the LGBTQ community could claim as theirs! Revolving around the lives of a group of close-knit friends in Pittsburgh gay people finally saw themselves reflected on-screen as fully realized individuals with careers, hopes, dreams, successes, and failures. Every week I wanted to go dance at Babylon or cruise Liberty Avenue! Bonus points for storylines rarely seen on television like HIV medication advertisements promising users will be “climbing mountains,” instead of what the reality is, and the Pallotta Teamworks cycling fundraising scandal. Maybe a little too much custody drama (Gus, Hunter, J.R.) for my liking. Favorite characters: Michael and Emmitt. Hottest character: Ben. (HULU)
ANGELS IN AMERICA – The Pulitzer Prize-winning play written by Tony Kushner was made into a 2003 miniseries on HBO. Pulling out all the stops HBO lined up the cast of casts (many of whom won Emmy awards) including Al Pacino, Emma Thompson, Mary Louise Parker, Jeffrey Wright and the greatest who ever lived – MERYL STREEP! Set in 1985 at the heights of the AIDS epidemic, the story centers around characters who are seemingly separated but whose lives all intersect in one way or another. An American masterpiece. (AMAZON PRIME and HULU)
BROKEN HEARTS CLUB – A gay rom-com classic! Like Sex and the City, the “romance” in this movie are the friendships between the main characters. Billy Porter! Dean Cain! Zach Braff! Mary McCormack! A pre-Jennifer Aniston Justin Theroux! And the late John Mahoney. The title refers to the softball team the WEHO-living guys all play on, as they work in the same restaurant. “The first time I knew it was OK to be gay was when I met these guys!” After you watch it, think about what your OGTs are! (AMAZON PRIME $2.99 and ITUNES $3.99
TALES OF THE CITY – Armistead Maupin’s sweeping literary series follows the lives of the characters who live at 28 Barbary Lane in San Francisco. It just got a 2019 reboot. Start with the 1993 PBS original. Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis star as Mary Ann Singleton and Anna Madrigal in both! Look for a blink-and-you-will-miss-it cameo by Maupin in the wedding scene in the reboot! (NETFLIX)
LITTLE BRITAIN – One spot on this list deserves to be held by a hilariously raunchy sketch comedy show and “Little Britain” delivers. To call the motley crew of characters David Williams and Matt Lucas create “eccentric” would be putting it nicely. Everyone is fair game on this show, so be prepared to think, “Did they just say that?” (Eagle-eyed viewers will recognize Matt Lucas from “Bridesmaids”) (AMAZON PRIME)
MILK – Sean Penn won a well-deserved Academy Award for his uncanny portrayal of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office. The film chronicles Milk’s life beginning with his move from New York to San Francisco and ending with his murder just a few years later. Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black also won an Oscar. Knowing how it ends doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking. (HULU)
BROTHERS AND SISTERS and SIX FEET UNDER – Two critically acclaimed television series. Both centering around the lives of a large family. Both series have a gay brother as a central character (Matthey Ryhs on “B&S,” Michael C. Hall on “SFU”.) Both star Australian actress Rachel Griffiths (nominated for Emmys for both shows.) “Brothers and Sisters” is more soapy, while “Six Feet Under” has a darker tone to it, as each episode opens with a death. “Brothers and Sisters” lost some steam in its final season, while the series finale of “Six Feet Under” is brilliant. Did I forget to mention 2-time Oscar winner Sally Field stars as matriarch Nora Walker on “Brothers and Sisters?”(HULU)
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER – The Joss Whedon supernatural drama based on the movie of the same name, was a cultural phenomenon in the late 90s and it put the now-defunct WB network on the map. Sarah Michelle Gellar played the girl that “into every generation a Slayer is born. One girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness.” The lesbian relationship between Willow and Tara is arguably stronger than any other “couple” relationship on the show. Times like these we could definitely use a Buffy, as “she saved the world. A lot.” (HULU)
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN – Visionary filmmaker Ang Lee directed this 2003 tearjerker which many felt was robbed of the Oscar for Best Picture by “Crash.” Based on the short story by Annie Proulx, it centers on the decades-long “forbidden” romance between two cowboys in the 1950s. Starring the late Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhall, Anne Hathaway and perennial Oscar nominee Michelle Williams, have a box of tissues ready if you plan on watching it.
Stay healthy and safe and Happy Streaming!