Coming up to Mardi Gras I’ve been pre-celebrating by watching some of my favourite lgbtqia+ shows and films that Netflix has to offer. While the selection on Netflix isn’t vast, it does have some gems you must see. There are also a few that you could do without — one of which I have noted for you at the bottom! This list only pertains to fictional shows and movies, so unfortunately the masterpiece Queer Eye has been left out.
This movie was steamy from beginning to finish. It follows two teens, Alex and Elliot, as Alex comes to terms with his undeniable attraction to Elliot — all the while organising to sleep with his girlfriend for the first time. I was legitimately breathless in the scenes between Elliot and Alex. Chemistry sizzled between them, and the (spoilers sorry!) kiss was an absolute explosion of tension and repressed desire. It was an emotional piece that was absolutely heartbreaking in some places. It was a witty, comical and heartfelt, and I really recommend it.
Sotus: The Series
This was the first Thai drama that I ever watched, and I was shook. It follows the relationship between a freshman at a university and his hazing senior, as they butt heads in a battle of wills, that becomes more flirty than angry. It features a pretty classic (fictional) gay couple — the (potentially/hasn’t realised it yet) bisexual, and the forward, confident gay. Despite this potential stereotype, it was a heartfelt show that left me squealing in some places. If you can handle some cultural difference and subtitles, this is an excellent show to bite into in celebration of Mardi Gras.
I was expecting something from Handsome Devil that didn’t come (a romance) but it was the perfect movie in the exact way it was intended. Centred around two young boys in a rugby-focused boy’s boarding school, it featured the collision of worlds between the outcast and the “in-guy”. It had discussions about masculinity, the detriments of stereotyping and the diversity of experience/identity. Most importantly it showed that sexuality is not a personality trait. I actually liked the fact that the two didn’t hook up in the end, but had a very meaningful friendship and bond. It was a film about being true to yourself, and “speaking with your own voice”, rather than a romance. For some teen, cute vibes with a side of drama, I’d recommend this lgbtqia+ movie!
What can I say about this masterpiece other than its literally your dreams and all forms of happiness wrapped up into one perfect cinematography experience? If you haven’t seen this yet – ummm, why the heck not? Go, go, go! This is perhaps my favourite on the list. Not only is it beautifully written, but it is a perfect example that yes you can have a hugely diverse cast. With all kinds of different nationalities paired with different sexualities and forms of gender expression, this was the ultimate lgbtqia+ show. From the beautiful trans-woman hacker Nomi to the gay movie star Leto, this was a win for all kinds of expressions of love. There is not a single couple in this show that will disappoint. It has such a deep, well thought out plot that stings when it should, and lifts you up always.
(Disgraceful Mention!) 4th Man Out
I watched 4th Man Out expecting something entirely different than what I got. After a mechanic, Adam, comes out to his three best friends, the group overcomes their aversion to his sexuality and attempts to find Adam a partner. Not only did it lay out rules for how one should be gay, it had two heterosexual unions by the end, and none for the gay man — despite that being the premise of the movie! It tricks you into thinking the man and his best friend (shown in the gif below, Adam on the left, Chris on the right) will deepen their relationship, and when they don’t, you’re left confused and saddened. I felt oddly queer-baited in a queer film. In the end, it was more the straight best-friends movie, and that was truly miserable.
As Mardi Gras is just tomorrow, I hope this list will set you up nicely for some pre-celebration festivities. Enjoy the well-written, diverse expressions of love, and fantastic cinematography. Here’s to hoping for more lgbtqia+ projects in the future!
Feature image via The Gay UK