Culture Club

What to Watch: Love after death, galactic swashbuckling and a dark queer comedy

After Forever

Stepping out on a movie date this weekend? Netflix and chillin? 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: The Clone Wars: Season 7

Suffering from Mandalorian withdrawal? Still angry over the hot mess that was Rise of Skywalker? Yeah, us too. Luckily, the Star Wars animated series The Clone Wars returns this week for a much-delayed final bow. The series focuses on the final days of the Republic, as Anakin Skywalker veers ever closer to evil, and Yoda & Obi-Wan Kenobi do their best to fight back the droid onslaughts of Count Dooku. It’s another exercise in the revels of a galaxy far, far away, and that’s good enough for us.

Streams February 21 on Disney+.

The Addictive: I’m Not OK With This

For anyone who ever wanted to see a mash-up of Carrie and My So-Called Life, except gayer, look no further than this latest outing from Netflix. Sophia Lillis, the talented young actress from IT Chapter 1 plays Syd, a tomboyish high school girl going through a sexual awakening…and manifesting a batch of weird psychic powers after the death of her father. More than that we don’t want to spill here, other than to say that Syd’s awakening involves both her male neighbor and her female bestie, and that Syd’s feelings of alienation and confusion mirror our own high school experience. In this case, the Stranger Things-type weirdness is just added charm.

Streams on Netflix February 26.

The Sobering: The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez

Speaking of Netflix and horror stories—genuine horror, that is—the streaming giant also drops its latest true-crime series this week. The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez details the events leading up to the murder of the titular 8-year-old, killed because his mother and stepfather believed he was gay. The documentary explores the numerous complaints investigated by social workers and reported by schools, none of which prevented the torture and killing of the child. Much like the recent slow-motion trainwreck seen in Don’t F*ck With Cats, The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez has no shortage of gasp-inducing revelations or infuriating questions about how best to protect LGBTQ children.

Streams on Netflix February 26.

The Spin: Brandon Anderson’s “Silence”

Queer singer-songwriter Brandon Anderson drops his latest video this week for the melancholy ballad “Silence.” With a melody that recalls the haunted rock of The Doors, and a slow-motion, single-take video that channels the surrealism of David Lynch, we can’t resist the hypnotic allure. In an even weirder twist, the song manages to scare and seduce in a unique mix of soundscape terrors combined with a sexy sensuality. In short, you won’t find music this unique—or this good—on the radio.

Streams on YouTube.

The Belated: After Forever Season 2

We fell in love with this digital series back when it landed on Amazon in 2018. The long-awaited second season has finally arrived, and we’re smitten all over again. Season 2 sees Brian (again played by Kevin Spirtas) still haunted by the memories of his dead boyfriend Jason (Mitchell Anderson) as he tries to navigate business and dating as a middle-aged gay man, especially as his relationship with David (Mike McGowan) intensifies. Grief over the death of a spouse still goes largely undiscussed in the queer community, and After Forever, despite a privileged protagonist, treats the issue with appropriate messiness. Spirtas carries the show with a natural, subdued performance, and the addition of McGowan as a series regular helps prevent the persistent ghost of Jason from getting a bit too silly. Somber but sincere, After Forever cuts deep with its exploration of mourning, and ultimately, about what it means to get older.

Streams on Amazon Prime.

The Sip: Margaritas

National Margarita Day approaches! Don’t feel bad if you didn’t realize–with all these new holidays associated with booze & pop culture, who can keep up! Still, for anyone looking for a way to celebrate, or just some cocktail refreshment, we feel compelled to recommend this staple of Mexican restaurants and bachelorette parties.

  • 2 oz. tequila
  • ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
  • ¾ oz. simple syrup

Mix over ice in a cocktail shaker, or blend with ice in a blender. Serve in a salt-rimmed glass.