Culture Club

What to Watch: Secret conspiracies, Chicago-style love, queer rebels & ‘Rocko’s Modern Life’ returns


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. Enjoy!

The Step Out: This is Not Berlin

We caught this powerful queer drama when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Director Hari Sama’s semiautobiographical story of growing up among queer artists in Mexico City channels and subverts the typical John Hughes-style high school movie with portrait of gritty life as an artist, and with plenty of sexual exploration (be warned: the movie has a lot of frank nudity). This is Not Berlin will no doubt strike a chord with so many of us who discovered underground LGBTQ as part of our own coming out, or who have relished in the punk rebellion of being part of the community.

In New York cinemas August 9, with a nationwide rollout to follow.

The Stream: Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling

Chances are, many of you reading this new grew up with Nickelodeon’s mid-90s animation, the NickToons. Now one classic series gets the revival treatment, courtesy of Netflix. We’re happy to report that Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling not only reunites the original voice cast, but it also recaptures the irreverent, bonkers humor of the original. Even better, the new film confronts the recent wave of toxic 80s & 90s nostalgia obsession (Fuller House, anyone?), and political pushback (MAGA, anyone?) as a fear of change by having one of the main characters of the show come out as queer. More than that we can’t reveal here, other than to say Static Cling made us laugh and think not from obsessing over the past, but by writing a compelling new story that gives us hope for the future.

Streams on Netflix August 9.

The Art House: Socrates

This Brazilian film won us over at Frameline43 for its depiction of coming out in Brazil, and for a terrific lead performance by newcomer Christian Malheiros. Socrates follows the life of its titular character following the sudden death of his mother. At only 15, he wants to avoid returning to the home of his abusive father, and must confront his own burgeoning sexuality. Socrates depicts a life in poverty far from the usual comforts so many of us take for granted, and give a subtle reminder of the hardships so many other LGBTQ people face around the world.

In theatres in Los Angeles August 9. Streaming rollout to follow August 20.

The Binge: The Family

For anyone obsessed with political kingmakers like Rebekah Mercer and the Koch Brothers: get ready to clear your calendar. Netflix drops The Family this week, a documentary series about a well-connected and high powered cabal of Christians hellbent (excuse the phrase) on exerting control over American politics…and beyond. The new series aims to expose the secretive group and its aims, as well as uncover its fingerprints on some of America’s most inexplicable faith-based policies.

Streams on Netflix August 9.

The Nibbles: Kissing Walls

Season 2 of this Chicago-based web series just dropped this week, and had us in stitches. Kissing Walls follows the lives of two gay men of color (played by series creator Zak Payne and actor Nathaniel Tannenbaum) as they try to navigate the world of gay dating, and their own career pursuits. Most of all though, Kissing Walls focuses on an endearing friendship between two men ravaged by insecurity, and how the two keep one another balanced in the face of career setbacks, romantic rejection and sexual mishaps. Plus, at only 10 minutes per episode, the series is easy to devour all at once, or as a bite-sized distraction.

Streams on YouTube & OpenTV.

The Provocative: Are You The One

Normally, reality television (outside of Drag Race, anyway) doesn’t really fit our purview. One recent exception: Are You The One Season 8. This season, MTV partnered with GLAAD to create a show with an all sexually fluid cast, where anyone can be anyone else’s match. This season, the goal is for the entire house to work together to find each other’s match, however the gender formula might break down. What easily could have come off as exploitative and embarrassing instead feels sensitive and thoughtful as the story focuses less on jackassery and more on the complexity of dating in a fluid world. Ok, and there’s still plenty of hooking up going on. Still, Are You The One deserves props for filling the void of queer dating shows on TV, and for making the proceedings so much fun, and downright addictive.

Airs on MTV Wednesdays. Also streams free on

The Sip: Midori Sour

In honor of Rocco’s Modern Life getting the revival treatment, why not sip on something that resembles Nickelodeon’s iconic green slime? This sweet, fruity blend gives a good, soft buzz which will pair well with any of the fine entertainment listed here.

  • 1 1/2 oz Midori Melon Liqueur
  • 2 oz Sweet and Sour Mix
  • 1 1/2 oz Lime Juice
  • 1 dash Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Cherry garnish

Pour all ingredients into a shaker over ice. Shake well. Pour into a martini glass and add cherry.