Queer TV is all around us. Thanks to the glory that is streaming, we have way more options for representation — and really good sex scenes. In other words, it’s not just about “The L Word” anymore (though “Generation Q” was delightful.) If you’re craving lighthearted romcoms, serious theater, or family drama — all of it very, very gay — your phone or laptop has anything and everything in between.
What better time to discover the good stuff than when you’re stuck indoors with no one but your cat for company? Now’s the perfect opportunity to binge all the gayness you possibly can, because who knows when the world will be normal again! Whether you’re into quirky stand-up comedians, lesbian-style Shakespeare, or tasty treats with a side of snappy pantsuits, these shows will perk you up until it’s safe to go out and hook up again.
For the gay AF Shakespeare stan: Look no further than the Donmar Warehouse trilogy (available on BroadwayHD and Marquee TV, both of which offer free trials). Director Phyllida Lloyd cast only women in her productions of “Henry IV,” “Julius Caesar,” and “The Tempest,” giving the Bard a very queer, diverse twist. In addition, the actors play incarcerated women staging Shakespeare while locked up. Lloyd and the cast, including star Harriet Walter (“Succession,” “The Crown”), did in-depth research and toured the productions in prisons across the UK. Check out “The Tempest” for the sweetest lesbian wedding you’ll ever see.
In case you missed it while everyone else was freaking out over “Tiger King:” Get on board with “Feel Good.” In a case of incredibly unfortunate timing, this series co-created by and starring comedian Mae Martin dropped at the same time as the meme-tastic tiger train-wreck. Martin plays a version of herself: a struggling stand-up comedian and recovering addict who’s just started dating the gorgeous George (Charlotte Ritchie), who’s not quite out of the closet yet. Both bittersweet and darkly funny, “Feel Good” also features the priceless Lisa Kudrow as Mae’s perpetually disapproving mom.
If you’re craving a millennial “Sex and the City” only gayer: “The Bold Type” is where it’s at. The Freeform series is available in its entirety on Hulu and follows three best friends working at progressive fashion magazine “Scarlet.” One of them, director of social media Kat (Aisha Dee) experiences an awakening of sorts when she meets stunning photographer Adena (Nikohl Boosheri) in the show’s pilot. Kat’s journey as she comes into her own as a queer woman of color — who often dabbles in non-monogamy — is a joy to watch.
If you’ve always wanted to rewatch “The L Word:” You have nothing but time to do exactly that! The original show is now on Hulu in all its problematic glory. Relive your queer awakening as Jenny goes from confused baby lesbian to full-on crazy pants who has an unfortunate run-in with a swimming pool! Cringe your face off as Dana rips on Alice for being bisexual before dying of cancer for no reason! Simultaneously cheer and get very turned on by Bette Porter’s big daddy energy! This show was a complete mess that we will all still love no matter what and has endless potential for Zoom watch parties and quarantine drinking games.
For reassurance that the kids are all right: Pop on “One Day at a Time.” New episodes are currently streaming on PopTV, but you can still watch the first three seasons on Netflix. The original 1975 series is rebooted with a multigenerational Cuban-American family, and it is gay, gay, gay. Teenage daughter Elena (Isabella Gomez) comes out as a lesbian, has a nonbinary love interest (Sheridan Pierce), and forms a gay-straight alliance at her Catholic school. Both funny and heartwarming, the comedy’s garnered several GLAAD Award nominations.
If Jamie Clayton caught your eye on “The L Word: Generation Q:” Dive into “Sense8” on Netflix. Co-created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski, the sci-fi series follows eight strangers from around the world who find themselves mentally and emotionally connected. Clayton, who shone on “Generation Q” as recovering alcoholic server Tess, shines as Nomi Marks, a queer trans blogger and hacktivist living in San Francisco. To call her relationship with girlfriend Amanita (Freema Agyeman) goals is the understatement of the decade.
For sweet treats and reassuring older gay women: Try “The Great British Baking Show.” This isn’t your typical reality competition; instead of contrived bitchiness, every season has genuine warmth and camaraderie among its baking-nerd contestants. At the heart of it all are its gay co-hosts, first Sue Perkins — who rocks the hipster glasses, power pantsuits, and short haircuts — and later Sandi Toksvig — who brings a cheery levity and is always the first to cry at eliminations.
Because the title is just too good: Queue up “The Bisexual” on Hulu. New Yorker Leila (series co-creator Desiree Akhavan) has the perfect life, co-habitating in London with Sadie (Maxine Peake), her girlfriend of a decade who also happens to be her business partner. But when Leila realizes she may be bi, she decides to take a break from her relationship and struggles to come out to her friends while living her truth. No one is messier than a bi lady still figuring things out — um, ask me how I know — and these six episodes perfectly capture the most beautiful of messes.
For multigenerational queer drama: Check out “Vida.” The Starz original series follows the relationship of two formerly estranged sisters who return to East LA following the death of their mother. Responsible, openly queer Emma (Mishel Prada) and freewheeling Lyn (Melissa Berrera) must decide what to do with the bar that mom Vidalia left them — not to mention the news that Vidalia was a lesbian. Gentrification, identity, and family dynamics are all on the table in this powerful show.
In case you missed “Work in Progress” the first time around: Catch up now, because it’s been green-lit for a second season! Lilly Wachowski co-executive produced this Chicago-based comedy about Abby (series co-creator and comedian Abby McEnany), a 45-year-old self-identified “fat queer dyke” whose therapist drops dead mid-session. Soon after, Abby starts dating sweet trans millennial Chris (Theo Germaine) and wonders when’s a good time to disclose her obsessive-compulsive disorder, her ex-girlfriend issues, and her crazy family. Both hilarious and truly real, “Work in Progress” is a near-perfect eight episodes.