Crap Or Not? The Best of Queer TV & Movies NZ
Wading through the various queer tags on streaming providers can be an effort!
We've trawled Neon, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney +, and even had a go at the dry TVNZ to see what's streaming now, where you can find it, and the all important question - is it crap or not?
Netflix has a grand old selection - but tread with caution - some of them are 10/10, 100% crap. Here's a couple below who pass the A&E test!
Disobedience is high on our list mainly because Rachel W does that *thing* to Rachel M. Watch it if only for that scene. Thank us later.
God's Own Country
This is one of our absolute faves. I mean, Josh O'Connor made Prince Charles hot, so coupled with Alec Secăreanu, some sheep, and a moody countryside - we're SOLD.
Love it or hate it, Carol is on the list. It's Christmas. There's lesbians. There's Cate Blanchett.
We're starving for good queer history. The Queen delivers. A 1967 doco on the drag scene, it's illuminating seeing our elders navigate queer life in a world that didn't want them to be alive, let alone out. Grandmother Flawless Sabrina is exquisite, and Crystal LaBeija decimates the racism that BIPOC queers continue to experience.
The Death & Life of Marsha P. Johnson
As murders of trans women (especially trans women of colour) continue to plague our community, this doco highlights the suspicious nature of Marsha's apparent suicide, and how trans women continue to be subjugated and ignored, perpetuating the violence deemed acceptable by transmisogyny.
Trans on screen. Historically told through the trauma lens of films such as Boys Don't Cry, Transamerica, and the horrendous Dallas Buyers Club, Disclosure centres trans voices and the bare minimum blueprints for how to engage with trans lives in film.
Circus of Books
A Mum and Dad run gay porn bookstore - I wish they were my parents. Stalwarts in the resistance against the purification of queerness and sexuality, Karen and Barry Mason don't bat an eye when asked about procuring an explicit film, despite being devoutly religious. The paradox between family life and pornography is exemplified in this cool as documentary about safe places, gritty conversations, and social cohesion.
Please Like Me
Something a little closer to home, this Australian series follows a newly out gay man and the trials and tribulations of coming out queer. It's fun, slightly messy, and moves slowly in a way that American shows tend to miss - it's like real life.
To be honest it wasn't for us, but it's definitely for some! A 24 hour supercharged intro to a relationship (incredibly gay concept) where the sex scenes aren't too Blue is the Warmest Colour (iykyk), but it's just a little flat. A good addition to the queer film collection, so have a go.
Feel Good makes you feel vaguely unsettled whilst also rooting for Mae Martin's protagonist. We've all had to come out, be out, figure out where on the kinsey scale we want to stay or move around on, and had thoughts on gender. Couple this with some angst, sneaky drug use, and Lisa Kudrow and both seasons are worth a solid go.
What Keeps You Alive
Yes! A thriller/horror film! Watch it! Doesn't even matter if it's good or not! A thriller/horror film!
Andrew Scott is in it. Hot priest. Andrew Scott not playing hot priest but playing an ENGLISH TEACHER, which is just another iteration of hot priest. Oh, it's also a good movie.
Holding The Man
Based on the book of the same name, you know when you read the book first? And then watch the movie? Yeah.
Amazon are corrupt buggers, but they stream some rad films & telly.
This one is an oldie, and there's been lots of discourse and controversy, but Transparent paved the way for how to engage and involve trans people in stories about their own lives. Far from the cishet gaze, Transparent has trans people on screen, behind the camera, and in the writing room - fuck. yes.
Oh it's good, heck yeah, real good. Beautifully shot and full of rich experiences of gay men coming out, being out, and navigating queer life and all of its trials and tribulations - it's slightly predictable but doesn't lean on worn out tropes of the cishet playbook on queer lives.
Oof, life. Dude has it all, but realises it's not all he wants. The complications of getting older and finding your place in life, despite responsibilities is delicately shown in a way that makes you nod and "mmmmmmyep" along with the characters. Well worth a watch.
First Girl I Loved
An edgier coming of age story, this film deals with comphet, internalised homophobia, and a good ol dash of toxic masculinity.
The Hanging Garden
One from the 90s - The Hanging Garden exemplifies the challenges of reconnecting with toxic families, growing up queer in the 80s and 90s, and how chosen family is essential to the queer community.
Lesbians y e a r n i n g.
My Trans Life
A two part series following trans people in Ireland and the challenges and discrimination faced when trying to access gender affirming care, name change documentation, and navigating conservative UK social life. Poignant considering the impending BDMRR bill passing in Aotearoa.
A Moment in the Reeds
Yup. Love it. Reminiscent of God's Own Country, the parallels between queer immigrants and conservative social pressures makes the finding of connection all the more sweeter.
It's not great - but we scrounged a few for you!
You have to watch it. Watch it. Stop what you're doing immediately and watch it. Now.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
If there was a dictionary definition of queer yearning - it would just be a link to this movie. A slow burn, but well worth the intensive reading of French & Italian subtitles. And everyone is beautiful. Which helps.
Do you know what we really yearn for? A period drama with a happy ending. There's a *scene* and like, good for them, but whilst we recommend this film due to the sheer dearth of lesbian representation in film - come on man.
The short lived series might be a little boring, but it's a subtle and gentle watch. We find it so refreshing to see genuine examples of queer elders navigating relationships without the trauma of gayness being showered upon the audience for cishet entertainment.
Based on the diaries of Anne Lister, Gentleman Jack is the Brontë period drama dykes deserved. Plus there's the ever present and super lingering allure of owning property - that's the real drawcard for this millennial.
We're not stoked about it being on the list, but alas, here it is, along with that terrible fringe. Close your eyes and think of Aubrey Plaza.
Hunter Schafer - an absolute fave. It's over the top and how I imagine older people see teens today, but Rue and Jules' relationship is fab. Barbie Ferreira gets a special mention for simply being divine.
Tell It To The Bees
Don't even get us started. The book was incredible, and the movie lends itself to doing the same thing - but then it CHANGES AND WE ARE ANGRY BUT IT'S STILL GOOD - WATCH AT YOUR OWN PERIL.
There was only one - but we found it!
Exquisite. Incredible. We'd like to be the bunny under Emma Stone's foot.
Honourable mention - Loki
Look - Loki is bi and therefore the entire MCU can be read as queer. We don't make the rules - I mean, have you SEEN The Winter Soldier?!
What are some of your faves?