culture club

What to Watch: Love, cowboy style; Cosby exposed & Miss Vanjie’s date from Hell

STEAM!

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 Catch: We Need to Talk About Cosby

Much like Leaving Neverland before it, this new documentary series has set Sundance abuzz with its raw depiction of Bill Cosby as an American Icon…and a serial rapist. Director W. Kamau Bell examines the rise of Cosby first as a stand-up comic, and later, a sitcom superstar while telling a parallel narrative of how the man used his charm and celebrity to prey on one woman after the next. In other words, he wasn’t a superstar then a monster. He was always both at the same time.

We Need to Talk About Cosby tells its story through a mix of new interviews with Cosby’s co-stars, collaborators and victims. And, again, like Leaving Neverland, victims recount his assaults in unedited, graphic detail in a way that will leave viewers dazed and furious by what they’ve just seen and heard. As LGBTQ people remain disproportionately higher at risk for sexual exploitation and abuse, a series like this can help break down the taboos surrounding conversations about the subject. It also will help viewers process the grim reality that people that earn our admiration for their great talent (Kevin Spacey, Bryan Singer, Woody Allen), can be both admirable and awful at the same time.

Premieres January 30 on Showtime.

The Stream: Julia

Many a queer person has mimicked chef Julia Child over the years, if not in her recipes, than for her larger-than-life persona in the kitchen. This documentary film by directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West (RBG, My Name is Pauli Murray) chronicles the life of the culinary fixture, from her early days as a Pasadena girl to decades as a TV icon. Watching Child in archival footage flouncing about the kitchen or flirting with Charlie Gibson on Good Morning America is fun enough. Cohen and West, however, also include a touching subplot. Once a homophobe, the death of a close, gay friend to AIDS transformed Child into an ardent AIDS and queer rights activist. It’s just one more reason to love a woman who transformed the way Americans look at food, and made cooking into entertainment.

Available on VOD February 1.

The Nibble: STEAM!

A reader tipped us off to this most peculiar short film debuting on Revry this week. STEAM! follows Lance (Broadway’s Coby Getzug), a conductor of a steam train and guide to scores of tourists in an Old West town turned tourist trap. Lance loves the myth of the Old West, dreaming of life as a gay cowboy. When a real-life outlaw (Liam Cronin) robs his train, Lance swoons, drooling over the rugged, masculine man he’s always lusted after. When their paths cross again, Lance sees an opportunity to make his fantasy come alive. The problem: Lance also has a boyfriend, Jud (Barrett Riggins).

Oh, and did we mention its a musical?

Props to writer/director/composer Jeffrey D. Simon for making a film both unusual and ambitious, and for finding a real-life working steam engine to use as a backdrop. We have to wonder what a feature-length version of this story would look like. At about 19-minutes, its wall-to-wall music and action—not to mention its underlying themes of lust and fantasy—cry out for deeper exploration. Catchy tunes also make us wonder what other fun songs Simon could turn out over 90 minutes. As it is, STEAM! makes for a fun snack, and one that signals a promising future ahead for its visionary.

Streams on Revry January 28.

The Shocker: True Dating Stories – Miss Vanjie Edition

Drag star Miss Vanjie of Drag Race infamy shares a chapter from her romantic history in this week’s episode of the comedy reenactment show. Think of it as Drunk History with dating.

Vanjie recounts how, as a Floridian pre-drag gogo boy, he met a handsome Texan, and sparks flew. When Vanjie went to visit him, however, things went sideways…before going full-on table-flipping crazy. We don’t want to spoil too much here, so we’ll just say that Vanjie’s wild personality makes her a Hell of a fun storyteller, and that this anecdote ends like something out of a bonkers kung-fu movie. Is Vanjie exaggerating, or telling the full truth? Watch and decide. Either way, we’ll think twice about taking her for Chinese food.

Streams February 2 on Fuse and Fuse+.

The Jam: Years & Years “Night Call”

Anyone ready to get back to some dancing and revelry after the post-holiday hangover won’t want to miss this new track by Years & Years. “Night Call” finds Olly Alexander channeling Kylie Minogue for an upbeat, pop-dance ballad about trying to seduce a longtime crush…and making a late-night bootie call. Now who here can’t relate to that?

Streams on YouTube.

The Sip: Stone Fence

via Shutterstock

In honor of the Old West motifs of STEAM! we offer up this simple libation which proved popular back in the days of gay cowboys…or at least, days when gay cowboys didn’t drive a car to go line dancing. Sweet and strong, it’s just how a gay cowboy should taste. Take that as you will.

  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Medium-dry apple cider

Mix whiskey and bitters in a cocktail glass over ice. Add cider to taste.