It’s finally 2023, so make it your New Year’s Resolution to only watch the best and gayest of what the wide world of streaming has to offer.
To help you battle the winter doldrums, there are plenty of exciting home viewing options headed your way in January. Across the major streaming platforms, this month will see the premiere of a beloved sitcom reboot, an A-List rom-com, the return of one of television’s gayest procedural dramas, and what’s sure to be the first big watercooler show of 2023. And, if that’s not enough, there are plenty of certifiable gay classics and indie hidden gems dropping, too!
As is Queerty tradition, we’ve put together a guide to the best of the queer and queer-adjacent series and films coming to streaming this month to help you stay on top of it all. Whether you use Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, or Hulu (or some combo of the four), we have your can’t-miss recommendations for each. So get those watch lists ready; it’s going to be a very gay 2023.
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What’s new and gay on Netflix in January 2023
The New Release: That ’90s Show (January 19)
A lot of kids who grew up in the ’90s likely remember the nostalgic teen sitcom, That ’70s Show, which ran for 8 seasons and took us back to the halcyon days of the grooviest decade. Fittingly, Netflix is now rebooting the series for a new generation, following the lives of the grandchildren of Kitty and Red Forman (Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith, both making a welcome return) as they fool around and *puff-puff-pass* in the basement. We’re told the show prominently features an LGBTQ+ teen character with a poignant storyline all their own, which is great news—but, still, the mere existence of this show makes us feel old.
The Gay Classic: Brokeback Mountain (January 1)
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: A lonesome cowboy and another lonesome cowboy walk into a tent in the middle of the Wyoming wilderness, surrounded by nothing but sheep. What happens next is the stuff of gay cinema history. It’s hard to overstate the importance of Ang Lee’s sweeping romance in 2005, featuring incredible performances from Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger. Yes, sure, they were a pair of straight actors playing gay, but the film represented a major shift for queer stories in the mainstream, and went on to earn eight major Oscar nominations (with three wins!).
Related: Still can’t quit: A brief history of Jake Gyllenhaal’s comments on ‘Brokeback Mountain’
The Indie Gem: Mars One (January 5)
After premiering at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and playing the international fest circuit this past year, Brazilian drama Mars One is finally making its way to streaming in 2023. The film follows the lives of a lower-middle class family struggling to hold their lives together in the wake of the country’s inauguration of a far-right extremist president. (Sound familiar?) Its title is inspired by the younger sibling, Deivinho, who dreams of going to space, in spite of the fact that his father wants him to be a soccer star. Meanwhile, his sister Eunice falls in love with another woman, and starts to make her own plans for independence.
Related: The 2023 Sundance lineup is going to be gay AF. Here’s what’s screening…
Amazon Prime Video’s LGBTQ+ offerings in January 2023
The New Release: Shotgun Wedding (January 27)
From gay director Jason Moore (Sisters, Pitch Perfect) comes this star-studded action-comedy romp about a destination wedding hijacked by criminals. Jennifer Lopez stars as the bride-to-be, with Josh Duhamel as her fiancé (filling in for Armie Hammer for, um, reasons), and they’re joined by forever-crush Lenny Kravitz, scene-stealer D’arcy Carden (The Good Place), comedy legend Cheech Marin, and the one-and-only Jennifer Coolidge. Considering The White Lotus: Sicily ended a few weeks back, we’re already dying to see Coolidge on our screens again, so we’ll definitely be tuning in.
Related: No one had “Jennifer Coolidge with a machine gun” on their 2022 Bingo card but they all do now
The Gay Classic: Clue (January 1)
We love this movie so much, it… the… flames. Flames on the side of our face…. Really no words can describe our intense adoration for this 1985 screwball whodunit, which took the bones of a classic board game and turned it into comedic gold. Madeline Kahn, Eileen Brennan, Lesley Ann Warren, Tim Curry, Martin Mull, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean (playing a closeted Mr. Green, by the way)—each legendary performer is at the top of their craft as the colorful characters at the center of this mystery, and it’s only become more of a cult favorite with each passing year.
Related: With ‘Glass Onion’ out now, here are 9 more whodunits that prove why the genre’s a queer favorite
The Indie Gem: Tangerine (January 1)
Made on a shoestring budget and filmed entirely on iPhones, Sean Baker’s Tangerine is a gritty and intimate character study that’s hard to shake. After getting out of prison, trans sex worker Sin-Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) sets out on a mission to find her cheating pimp/boyfriend, and enlists the help of her friend Alexandra (Mya Taylor). Their journey through Los Angeles manages to be both hilarious and harrowing, but Tangerine never loses sight of the authentic characters at the center of its story, and this little film represents a big step forward for trans representation on camera.
What’s gay on the way to HBO Max in January 2023
The New Release: The Last Of Us (series premiere January 15)
There’s plenty to be excited about in HBO’s next major event series, adapted from the super popular zombie(ish) apocalypse video game of the same name. For one, it’s got major LGBTQ+ ally Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) in a lead role, as a courier with some precious cargo: The young girl (Bella Ramsey) who just might hold the key to the cure for the deadly fungal disease that’s ravaged the country. And, assuming the series adheres closely to the thrilling games, there are queer storylines in store, including one centering on a gay survivalist couple played by Nick Offerman and Queerty favorite Murray Bartlett.
The Gay Classic: Cruising (January 1)
If the latest season of American Horror Story looked eerily familiar to you, there’s a good reason: That’s because it cribbed heavily from landmark erotic thriller, Cruising, from acclaimed filmmaker William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist). Al Pacino stars as a police detective who goes deep undercover in NYC’s leather subculture in order to catch a serial killer who’s been preying on gay men. The film was controversial from the jump, and was even protested by gay rights activists, but it remains a tense and fascinating time capsule that has only grown in esteem as the years go by.
Related: How ‘American Horror Story: NYC’ cribbed from 1980’s controversial erotic thriller ‘Cruising’
The Indie Gem: Skate Kitchen (January 1)
A charming slice-of-life tale, this indie drama welcomes viewers into a tight-knight clique of young female skaters who turn New York City into their skate park. Many of the roles are taken on by non-professional actors (aside from Jaden Smith), with an endlessly watchable skate collective playing lightly fictionalized versions of themselves as they bond, fight, love, and (of course) skate. As a bonus, if you vibe with the film, director Crystal Moselle and much of the cast returned for the HBO series, Betty, which continues the story of the “Skate Kitchen” across two winning seasons.
The best and queerest on Hulu this January 2023
The New Release: 9-1-1: Lone Star (season 4 premiere January 18)
From the mind of Ryan Murphy, Lone Star moves the procedural melodrama of 9-1-1 from LA to Austin, where firefighter Owen Strand (Rob Lowe) and other first-responders constantly finds themselves at the center of over-the-top emergencies, Texas-style. Now entering its fourth season (on Fox, with new episodes dropping on Hulu the next day), Lone Star remains notable for its focus on the relationship between Owen’s firefighting son, TK, and his police officer boyfriend, Carlos, who are played by hunky queer actors Ronen Rubinstein and Rafael L. Silva, respectively. These two can save us any day!
Related: ‘9-1-1: Lone Star’ actor Rafael L. Silva drops thirsty beach snap and we’re parched
The Gay Classic: A League Of Their Own (January 1)
Before it was a super queer TV show, it was a (sub-textually queer) crowd-pleaser starring Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Lori Petty, Madonna, and our fairy gay godmother, Rosie O’Donnell. The sports film takes audiences back to the 1940s, with the tale of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, and particularly the first game season for a scrappy underdog team known as the Rockford Peaches. Funny, emotional, and endlessly quotable, A League Of Their Own is responsible for an entire generation’s worth of sexual awakenings
Related: Let’s revisit the ill-fated 1993 ‘A League Of Their Own’ sitcom that nobody remembers
The Indie Gem: Professor Marston And The Wonder Women (January 1)
Did you know the origins of Wonder Woman are super queer? The gorgeous Luke Evans stars in this unique biopic of psychologist William Moulton Marston, who was inspired to create the Amazonian superheroine by the two women in his life: His wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall), and their polyamorous life partner, Olive (Bella Heathcote). From queer filmmaker Angela Robinson, Professor Marston is a refreshingly frank and sexy history lesson, one that provides an authentic and honest look at three-way romance outside of society’s norms.
Related: Luke Evans shows off his Tarzan-style jungle training routine… in his speedo
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The best LGBTQ+ movies and TV shows coming to streaming in January 2023
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