Pride Month: 13 essential television shows to watch

Pride Month: 13 essential television shows to watch

A man in a zip jacket in front of a room lighted with orange columns.

DJ and music producer David Morales in “Disco: Soundtrack of a Revolution.”

(PBS)

‘Disco: Soundtrack of a Revolution’
In 1970s New York, gay and Black communities got sweaty together in small clubs and basement bars to the beat of disco music, a genre that made its way into the global mainstream, thanks to singers like Donna Summer and Sylvester, and venues like Studio 54. Described as a “revisionist history” of the disco age, this new docuseries reinforces disco as a defining gay music genre and a cultural phenomenon that brought together people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. (Disco also faced a hateful, anti-gay backlash.) The three-part series also looks at how disco enabled gay men who were feeling newly empowered by the gay liberation movement to find joy and camaraderie (and sex) on the dance floor in the years before a plague changed everything. (Streaming on PBS.org June 1; airs on PBS June 18.)

‘Dead Boy Detectives’
Based on Neil Gaiman and Matt Wagner’s comic book series, this paranormal fantasy is about Edwin (George Rexstrew) and Charles (Jayden Revri), teenagers born decades apart — and ghost besties now — who run a detective agency that solves supernatural mysteries. The eight-episode series, the latest in Netflix’s Sandman Universe, features tenderhearted queerness and queer characters in various stages of coming out and coming of age. Central is the chemistry between Edwin and Charles, who share a kind of love story — homoerotic, if not “Euphoria”-style sexual — that underscores the value of chosen families. In his review of the series, Times television critic Robert Lloyd called it “uncommonly well done — cleverly written, smartly cast, sensitively played, marvelously realized.” (Streaming on Netflix)

A man in a coat and hat carrying a suitcase walking by a train.

Andrew Scott in Netflix’s “Ripley.”

(Netflix)

‘Ripley’
Andrew Scott, who with Paul Mescal plunged into dark emotional waters in the gay drama “All of Us Strangers,” stars as the title rogue in this slick eight-episode thriller. Adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” the series is set in Italy in the ’60s and follows Tom Ripley — grifter, heartbreaker, psychopath — as he manipulates his way into the lives of Dickie (Johnny Flynn), a trust-fund wielding American, and Dickie’s lady friend, Marge (Dakota Fanning). The question of whether Ripley is gay is as old and unanswered as Highsmith’s novel and the 1999 film adaptation starring Matt Damon. Here, the answer is still deliciously enigmatic. In an interview with The Times, Scott said, “I love the fact that we don’t know. I think there’s a lot of people who can relate to that.” For an extra scoop of the macabre, the Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Elswit shot the series in stark black and white. (Streaming on Netflix)

‘I Kissed a Boy’
From “The Bachelor” to “Love Is Blind,” gay men who are fans of reality dating shows have had to live through the romantic aspirations of straight people for a long time. (Thanks for trying, “Boy Meets Boy” and “Finding Prince Charming.”) Queer men get a new chance to watch romance blossom with dopamine butterflies and then crack from tear-soaked rage when the U.K.’s first gay dating show makes its American streaming premiere this month. The Australian singer Dannii Minogue — younger sister of gay diva Kylie — plays host at a swank mansion where 10 single young men meet, mingle and make out in hopes of finding a partner, or at least a lover (or if that doesn’t last, maybe a hot friend with benefits?). Crossing the pond sometime later this year on Hulu: “I Kissed a Girl,” this show’s sapphic sister. (Streaming on Hulu on June 15.)

Three men walking down a cobblestone street.

Louis De Point Du Lac (Jacob Anderson), Armand (Assad Zaman) and Lestat De Lioncourt (Sam Reid) in AMC’s “Interview With the Vampire.”

(Larry Horricks/AMC)

‘Interview With the Vampire’
This sleek adaptation of Anne Rice’s beloved and bestselling vampire novel is back for a second season with a few additions (a Parisian setting) and subtractions (a new actress, Delaine Hayles, plays the young but old vampire Claudia). Returning are the debonair vampires Louis (Jacob Anderson) and his servant, Rashid (Assad Zaman), who, as it was revealed in the first season, was actually Armand, an ancient vampire who has a troubled but charged relationship with Louis. Lestat (Sam Reid) is back too, haunting his lover Louis’ imagination and providing the series with dark and hallucinatory mischief. These are some hot, elegant gay bloodsuckers who speak French and flash brilliant smiles but aren’t afraid to kill to survive — kinda like Fire Island with fangs. (Season 2 episodes air weekly through June 30 on AMC; streaming on AMC+.)

‘The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy’
Fans of queer animation will have a busy summer, with characters in every shade of LGBT and Q appearing on several new and returning shows, from “Hazbin Hotel” to “Harley Quinn.” This adults-only sci-fi comedy released in February, from the “Russian Doll” writer Cirocco Dunlap, is set at an outer space hospital where two alien surgeons, best friends Klak (Keke Palmer) and Sleech (Stephanie Hsu), treat their creature-patients’ oddball interstellar maladies in a world where gender isn’t binary and queerness is a given. The starry cast includes queer performers Sam Smith and Bowen Yang and queer favorites Maya Rudolph and Natasha Lyonne. Dunlap recently told Yahoo News that the eight episodes reflect her family’s own queer contours. “My mom is bi, my dad was gay, my sister was in a polyamorous relationship and that was my growing up experience,” she said. (Streaming on Prime Video.)

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