Welcome to Queerty’s latest entry in our series, Queerantined: Daily Dose. Every weekday as long as the COVID-19 pandemic has us under quarantine, we’ll release a suggested bit of gloriously queer entertainment designed to keep you from getting stir crazy in the house. Each weekend, we will also suggest a binge-able title to keep you extra engaged.
The Alternate History: Hollywood
Ryan Murphy‘s latest Netflix romp takes a page from Quintin Tarantino’s playbook, substituting the history that should have been for what actually happened. Unlike Tarantino’s revisionism, as seen in films such as Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Murphy’s Hollywood has a point. The series follows a group of aspiring showbiz types, led by Jack (David Corenswet), a wannabe actor, and Archie (Jeremy Pope), a would-be writer. While the pair take a job at a gas station brothel, run by the flamboyant Ernie (Dylan McDermott) they begin to assemble a group of performers that Tinseltown has marginalized. With the help of accidental studio boss Avis (Patti LuPone), they plot to produce a film that breaks down racial and social barriers to implore America to put aside prejudices and embrace authentic living.
Hollywood has won its share of fans, who enjoy it for its lush recreation of the Hollywood Golden Age, good humor and sexy situations. It has also won vocal detractors, who decry its fanciful take on history. Those critics miss the point: Hollywood doesn’t attack marginalized people of the past for not trying hard enough. Rather, it shows what our future could be when underrepresented groups band together, and when people of influence offer to share their power. Murphy and executive producer Janet Mock know something of that, having done the same to produce a show called Pose. Hollywood shares those lessons learned against a romantic backdrop of the 1940s, with a sex-positive attitude and even a few terrific performances to boot. Right now, it’s exactly the kind of hopeful escapism we need.
Streams on Netflix.