culture club

What to Watch: Lesbian weed, a queer Oscar nominee and Picard beams down again


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 Stream: Star Trek Picard Season 2

Sir Patrick Stewart returns to his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard in this new season of the Star Trek spinoff. In the aftermath of Picard’s discovery of a planet of androids and surviving a debilitating disease, Picard encounters a foe from the past: the puckish Q (again played by John de Lancie), who maybe has a slight crush on our dear captain. Q brings to light an anomaly that could (what else) wipe out the entire galaxy. That sends Picard and his crew into an encounter with the Borg, and back in time to change history and avert disaster. This second season also delves into the blossoming same-sex relationship between Seven of Nine and Raffi (Jeri Ryan and Michelle Hurd), and features the return of Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) to the action. We loved Season 1 of this darker, character-driven Trek series, and given that this season will delve even deeper into humanity’s sexually fluid feature, we’re beaming aboard the first chance we get.

Streams on Paramount 1 March 3.

The ICYMI: West Side Story

Hot off the heels of Ariana DeBose’s SAG Award win, the Oscar-nominated remake of the classic Bernstein-Sondheim musical lands on digital this week. Just to recap, West Side Story follows the tale of star-crossed lovers in 1950s New York, torn apart by racial tension between gangs. This new version, directed by Steven Spielberg, features a pair of megawatt performances by DeBose, and Rita Moreno, who, for our money, commands the screen. Loaded with unforgettable music and a nuanced script by Tony Kushner, we recommend it as a terrific movie musical…even if it’s not quite as good as the original.

Streams on VOD March 2. 

The Indie: Lady Buds

Queer director Chris Russo dives into the world of cannabis sales with this new documentary. Russo follows six female entrepreneurs trying to get a foothold in California’s (excuse the phrase) growing weed industry. The movie examines the complex legal issues surrounding the legalization of marijuana, as well as explores the role of women in a business overwhelmingly dominated by men. Russo also highlights a number of LGBTQ activists that helped begin the push for legalization of cannabis, and how queer businesswomen continue to break down barriers for equality in business. Watching with a joint in hand remains, of course, strictly optional.

Streams on Starz starting March 1.

The Spin: Sam Kogon “Barbed Wire”

Queer songster Sam Kogon drops his latest single this week, a folk-rock ballad. “Barbed Wire” meditates on how falling in love often feels like being trapped in a burning prison, albeit one where the “burn” actually feels good some of the time. Kogon’s melody and vocals recall the glam-flavored rock of Bryan Ferry and Lou Reed in the best possible way. The accompanying video—which stars Kogon’s dad—follows the story of an older man recalling falling in love with another guy in his youth. It’s an upbeat treatment of a potentially dour subject, one told with great affection and gratitude.

Streams on YouTube.

The Jam: Tanzer “Fantasy”

Anyone needing a dance tune with a queer-flavored twist won’t want to miss this new disco anthem by queer DJ Tanzer. The accompanying video for “Fantasy” tells the story of a dystopian future (inspired by 60s and 70s shlock) where a sci-fi beauty queen tries to seduce a female lover. As if the visuals weren’t enough, the beat—which recalls the best work of Sylvester and Andrea True—has us ready to hit the dancefloor ASAP.

Streams on YouTube

The Sip: The Picard

via Shutterstock

In honor of our beloved captain’s return, we offer up this cocktail based on his love of Earl Gray. Much like the man himself, it combines savory flavor with sweetness for an all-around classy libation.

  • 2 oz Earl Grey Infused Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
  • 2 Dashes Orange Bitters

Infuse bourbon with a tea bag for 45 minutes. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake well. Serve over one ice cube with an optional lemon peel garnish.