weekend binge

Is James Bond not gay enough? We have the solution for you.

Q-Force – (L to R) PATTI HARRISON as STAT, WANDA SYKES as DEB, SEAN HAYES as MARY and DAVID HARBOUR as BUCK in Episode 4 of Q-Force. CREDIT: Courtesy of NETFLIX / NETFLIX ©2021

Welcome to the Weekend Binge. Every week, we’ll suggest a binge-able title designed to keep you from getting too stir crazy. Check back throughout the weekend for even more gloriously queer entertainment.

The Flaming: Q-Force

Leave it to stalwart queer performers Sean Hayes and Wanda Sykes to lead a series that both celebrates and lampoons LGBTQ stereotypes with good humor and adventure. Q-Force is the queer answer to Charlie’s Angelsa series about a clan of LGBTQ secret agents saving the world from nefarious villains and bad fashion sense. Hayes stars as Agent Mary, a secret agent determined to prove his team to the American Intelligence Agency. Partnered with a butch lesbian genius named Deb (Sykes), named Twink (Matt Rogers), a master of disguise (in particular, drag), and the despondent hacker Stat (Patti Harrison), the force sets out to discover the truth behind a series of kidnappings involving attractive gay men. Oh, and at the direction of AIA boss V (Laurie Metcalf), the group also must play host to a straight lothario agent named Buck (David Harbour), a man as self-obsessed as he is clueless.

For those of us that grew up accused of being queer stereotypes–or trying to deconstruct them–Q-Force offers a certain laughing catharsis. Call it a kind of kitchen table humor: the type of jokes we within the LGBTQ community share among our queer family to roll our eyes and laugh. Whereas a lesser show would induce cringes for such ridiculous humor, Q-Force tells its story (and its jokes) with incredible love and affection. The more a viewer knows about LGBTQ culture, the funnier he will find the series: jokes about circuit parties, lube, lesbian animal rescues, online dating, Netflix & chilling, flannel, Euro-pop, influencers, Todd Haynes, reality TV and gay icons abound. The show also has one of the funniest non-sequitur lines about a beloved actress we’ve heard in a very long time.

We compared Q-Force to a drag show when it landed on Netflix back in September, and we stand by that comparison. As with drag, not everyone will be able to get on board with the outrageous, campy humor of the series. For those who can, though, the show plays like a love letter to LGBTQ culture, one told amid a genuinely compelling mystery. Most of us who grew up wrestling with queer stereotypes also dreamed of one day seeing LGBTQ superheroes, secret agents and warriors on the screen. With Q-Force, we finally get them.

Streams on Netflix.