Whatever your entertainment needs, we got your back (and hopefully your mind) with Queerty’s weekly “Culture Club” column with some of the highlights of new releases, streaming shows, classics worth revisiting, and what to drink while you watch
The Finale: Search Party Season 5
Television’s most underrated (and possibly queerest) comedy returns for a final season this week, wrapping up five seasons of mystery, murder and Millennial insanity. When last we left our trainwreck antiheroes, Dory (Alia Shawkat) had finally regained her memory after escaping captivity at the hands of an obsessed fan and surviving a fire. That near-death experience apparently had a lasting effect, as Season 5 sees a reinvigorated Dory found her own spiritual movement and become the leader of a cult. Hey, nice work if you can get it.
Search Party has spent five seasons spewing venom at youthful naivete, self-absorption, superficiality and hypocrisy, and now seems poised to add messiah complexes to that roster. Few shows have observations this sharp or humor this acidic, which makes watching loads of fun. For that matter, few shows celebrate queerness with such abandon, with the flamboyantly gay Drew (again embodied by the uninhibited John Early) stealing scenes from his co-stars. If, somehow, dear reader, you have not yet joined up on Search Party: you’re missing out. This may well be the funniest show on TV. Catch it while you can.
Streams January 7 on HBO.
The Tribute: Betty White Match Game Marathon
We continue to mourn the passing of TV legend and queer icon Betty White who, at nearly 100 years old, still feels gone too soon. Lucky for us, and for future generations, White has left behind a treasury of television appearances, and this week sees GSN haul out some of her best with the Betty White Match Game Marathon. This Saturday, the network will run a full eight hours of White’s antics on the classic game show which, of course, inspired the “Snatch Game” contest on Drag Race.
Watch White show off her characteristic—and contradictory—mix of wholesomeness and sexy snark alongside other classic 70s celebs, including Ed Asner, Richard Dawson, Charles Nelson Riley, Paul Lynde and White’s late husband, Allen Ludden. 50 years on, these episodes are still hilarious owing to the comic talents of White and her co-stars, as well as—let’s face it—to the huge amounts of booze the cast reportedly consumed between shows, and occasionally on camera too.
Airs on GSN Saturday at 9 a.m. EST.
The Juggernaut: Amy Schneider on Jeopardy!
Speaking of game shows for the ages, fans of trivia and queer trailblazers won’t want to miss the continued run of Amy Schneider on Jeopardy! this week. For anyone joining us mid-program, Schneider—an openly transgender software engineer—has shattered one record after the next, becoming the highest-winning female contestant in the history of the show, and the first transgender person to qualify for the show’s Tournament of Champions. This week, in particular, makes for compelling watching as Schneider stands on the threshold of $1 million in earnings…assuming she hasn’t already reached that point by the time this article runs.
With Schneider, anything is possible. As lifelong Jeopardy! fans, we find her utterly transfixing: never before have we seen a contestant so rarely get an answer wrong. For that matter, seeing a queer sister mop the floor with her straight competitors also brings a swell of joy to our hearts. At the time of this writing, Schneider needs to win only six more games to rank as the #3 biggest winner in the history of the show. We wouldn’t be surprised if she sails into the #1 spot, displacing current record-holder and host Ken Jennings. Whether or not she replaces him as the host remains an open question.
Airs on ABC weekdays. Check local listings for times.
The Jam: Alaska’s XOXOY2K
Drag recording artist Alaska drops her latest video single this week, a tribute to the fashion, tech and bubblegum pop of the Y2K era. For any of you born after 2000, the period roughly ran from 1997 to 2002, producing artists such as Destiny’s Child, *NSYNC, Eminem, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Nelly, and the ultimate Y2k Pop product herself, Britney Spears. Alaska’s song channels the sound of Aqua’s “Barbie Girl,” one of the earliest hits of the era, while the accompanying video pays homage—and lampoons—the brands and styles of the time. As with all thinks Alaska, the track comes with a hearty dose of tongue-in-cheek humor, which is exactly what the song needs. God forbid we drag our blue pleather pants, Von Dutch shirt and visor out of storage…
Streams on YouTube.
The Anthem: Miranda Lambert & Queer Eye “Y’all Means Y’all”
Kicking off the New Year and a new season of Queer Eye, country star Miranda Lambert has teamed with the Fab Five for this new single, a celebration of inclusivity and queer fabulousness. We also suspect that Ms. Lambert maybe wants to do some damage control. After all, Texas and the American South don’t have the best record when it comes to LGBTQ acceptance, and “Y’all Means Y’all” aims to smash that stigma, portraying the south as a welcoming and hospitable place. It’s a noble aim, and seeing Lambert frolic alongside the Fab Five is enough to give us hope.
Streams on YouTube.
The Sip: Vodka with lemon
In honor of our dear Betty White, we suggest one of our simplest cocktail recipes to date–and the drink White credited with granting her long life. Yes, White notoriously said that vodka and hot dogs provided her with longevity, and since her friend and co-star Sandra Bullock has said she intends to celebrate Ms. White with a glass of Vegas Water, we suggest doing the same.
- fresh lemon wedge
- soda water (optional)
Pour vodka over ice. Add a fresh lemon wedge for flavor. If that’s a bit too strong, add some soda water to soften the sting.
The Gay Mess played by John Early on “Search Party” is named “Elliott”. Drew is Dori’s Boyfriend.
Miranda Lambert’s song is called “Y’all Means All”.
I. LOVE. SEARCH. PARTY. Hilariously dark – razor sharp and fearlessly written. I’ve watched seasons 1-4 four times so far. Elliott is such a mess – a total narcissist who is ready to tailor his principles (if he actually has any) to anyone who can make him famous. I howled when, in season 4, Elliott is approached by the producers (male and female) of his and Charlie’s show; Elliott senses he’s about to be fired. He blurts out to the male producer, “I’ll suck your dick.” Such quiet grace and dignity. 😉 If you haven’t seen it, start watching NOW. It is nothing short of brilliant.
GSN featuring Betty on Match Game is a fun idea but the show can be hit and miss, especially on late day tapings when Gene and panel are beyond blotto. Password is the absolute best showcase of Betty White’s wit and incredible intelligence. These funny, SMART shows go back way before Match Game to the B&W days with stringent conduct codes. Yet Betty White (and Carol Burnett) kept the censors on their toes with double entendres and nearly nasty side jokes. Password shows us Betty White as one smart cookie. We’ve been binging it on Youtube.
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