This month, as spooky season comes to an end and cuffing season begins, streaming platforms turn their attention away from campy horror to content that pairs well with a cozy night in — whether that involves cat wine or a “Negroni Sbagliato with prosecco in it. ”
Among the bingeable, date-night-approved series returning in November are Netflix’s teen romance “Young Royals” and HBO’s coming-of-age series “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” which are both back for their second seasons. And, for a feature-length option, there’s Amazon Prime Video’s “The People We Hate at the Wedding,” a dysfunctional family comedy starring Allison Janney, Kristen Bell and Ben Platt.
When you’re ready for a night out, the highly anticipated sequel to “Black Panther” finally makes its way to theaters mid-month — buoyed by Rihanna’s release of “Lift Me Up,” her tribute to late actor Chadwick Boseman that’s featured on the soundtrack. Joining the Marvel blockbuster on theater marquees are a few of the year’s biggest Oscar contenders, including Luca Guadagnino’s cannibal-themed romance, “Bones and All,” and Laura Poitras’ affecting documentary about artist and activist Nan Goldin, “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed.”
Netflix’s hit Swedish teen romance “Young Royals” is back with a second season and a whole new set of growing pains. The end of Season One saw the burgeoning romance between the fictional Swedish Prince Wilhelm and his boarding school flame, Simon, cut short after a cozy video of the two was leaked to the paparazzi. But, now that the would-be love birds and the rest of the elite school’s student body are back from winter break, Wilhelm is determined to set things right. That means getting revenge on his snobbish cousin, August, for leaking the video and winning back Simon’s affections.
“Young Royals” Season Two premieres on Netflix Nov. 1.
‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’
Even before making its way to theaters, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” — the long-awaited sequel to the 2018 film starring Chadwick Boseman — has birthed some of this fall’s biggest pop culture moments, including a Rihanna song drop. Among them is multihyphenate Michaela Coel’s return to the limelight ahead of her appearance as a queer Wakandan warrior, Aneka, who has a forbidden romance with one of her colleagues. As Vogue’s November cover star, the Ghanaian-British creator and star of the groundbreaking HBO series “I May Destroy You” lit up the internet with an interview about her character’s sexuality and her relationship with her family’s home country, where there are few legal protections for LGBTQ people: “That sold me on the role, the fact that my character’s queer … I want to show that to Ghana.” Coel joins an impressive cast of actors — including Angela Bassett and Lupita Nyong’o, who are both back to reprise their roles — in the next installment of the MCU’s beloved Afrofuturist franchise.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” opens in US theaters Nov. 11.
‘The Sex Lives of College Girls’
Essex College’s most unlikely friend group returns from Thanksgiving break to finish out their freshman year in Season Two of Mindy Kaling and Justin Noble’s “The Sex Lives of College Girls.” Before the break, dorm mates Whitney (Alyah Chanelle Scott), Bela (Amrit Kaur), Kimberly (Pauline Chalamet) and Leighton (Renée Rapp) were all facing significant hurdles in their collegiate journeys. Whitney had just ended an affair with her married soccer coach, while Bela was pushed to drop out of the school’s elite comedy group after being assaulted by one of its members. Kimberly lost her scholarship — and maybe her chance of graduating from Essex — while Leighton struggled to accept her sexuality and address her fears about coming out. Although their bond has proven fragile in the past, the girls are definitely going to need each other in Season Two if they’re going to overcome these early college traumas and make it back for their sophomore year.
“The Sex Lives of College Girls” Season Two premieres on HBO Max Nov. 17.
“The Inspection,” photographer and filmmaker Elegance Bratton’s narrative debut, stars Emmy-nominated actor Jeremy Pope (“Hollywood”) as a young gay man who joins the Marines after a decade living on the streets. Pope’s character, Ellis French, is based on Bratton’s experiences of being kicked out of his home as a teenager for being gay and then joining the military after years of struggling to find housing. The film, which also stars Gabrielle Union as Ellis’ mother, focuses on the main character’s boot camp training, during which he struggles with his sexuality and the dangers of the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” era.
“The Inspection” opens in US theaters Nov. 18.
‘The L Word: Generation Q’
After two seasons that divided “The L Word” fans, Showtime’s reboot of its groundbreaking lesbian series from the early aughts is back for more bed-hopping, breakups and female bonding. Returning for Season Three is the largely unchanged cast of veterans and series newbies, led by producers and stars Jennifer Beals, Kate Moennig and Leisha Hailey. They’ll pick up a year after Season Two’s cliffhanger ending, in which Bette (Beals) seemed on the verge of making a major confession to her ex-wife and co-parenting partner, Tina (Laurel Holloman). Whether or not something materializes between the historically fraught twosome, there will be plenty of sapphic drama to go around with Alice (Hailey) back on the market, Shane (Moennig) shacking up with business partner Tess (Jamie Clayton fresh off the “Hellraiser” reboot) and the younger generation making a whole new set of relationship mistakes.
“The L Word: Generation Q” Season Three premieres on Showtime Nov. 18.
‘The People We Hate at the Wedding’
In “The People We Hate at the Wedding,” Kristen Bell and Ben Platt star as siblings who begrudgingly agree to attend their wealthy, estranged half-sister’s overseas wedding. Accompanied by their mother, Donna (Allison Janney), Alice and Paul head to England to spend a few days before the wedding with the bride, Eloise (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), bringing a hefty amount of emotional baggage along with them. For Alice, that means hangups about Eloise’s privilege and anxieties about where her own life is going, especially now that she’s dating her married boss. For Paul, it means feelings about his mother’s discomfort with the mere presence of his partner, Mark (Karan Soni). The dysfunctional family comedy is based on the 2017 novel of the same name by Grant Ginder, which was adapted for the screen by the Molyneux sisters, the writing duo behind animated comedies “Bob’s Burgers” and “The Great North.”
“The People We Hate at the Wedding” premieres on Amazon Prime Video Nov. 18.
‘All the Beauty and the Bloodshed’
Laura Poitras’ “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” a documentary about the activist and artist Nan Goldin, took home the Golden Lion when it premiered earlier this year at the Venice International Film Festival. Since then, it’s been wooing audiences at festival after festival, generating plenty of Oscar buzz along the way. The film traces Goldin’s work as an advocate during the HIV/AIDS epidemic to her recent opposition to the Sackler family, whom she has publicly criticized for their part in the opioid crisis. Before her film won Venice’s top prize, just the second documentary to do so, Poitras was best known for her Academy Award-winning 2014 Edward Snowden documentary, “Citizenfour.”
“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” opens in US theaters Nov. 23.
‘Bones and All’
Queer auteur Luca Guadagnino continues his collaboration with actor Timothée Chalamet (“Call My By Your Name”) in the new cannibal-themed romance making audiences cringe and cry in equal measure: “Bones and All.” In the film, which picked up two of this year’s big Venice awards, Chalamet stars opposite Canadian actor Taylor Russell as young lovers who share a taste for human flesh and a road trip across 1980s America in search of self-discovery. Based on a young adult novel by Camille DeAngelis, Guadagnino’s film adaptation combines his talent for coming-of-age stories and body horror, seen respectively in recent productions like HBO’s “We Are Who We Are” series and his remake of the Dario Argento classic “Suspiria.” To that end, actors Chloë Sevigny and Mark Rylance join the young stars in particularly haunting supporting roles, playing older cannibals who leave devastating scars on the new generation.
“Bones and All” opens in US theaters Nov. 23.
After feeling let down in the past by films like “Luca” and “Doctor Strange 2,” queer fans may finally be getting a Disney feature with an openly gay teen romance. The family friendly sci-fi film “Strange World” centers on the Clades, a storied clan of explorers who are called upon by their president (Lucy Liu) to help fix an energy crisis. Traveling to the center of their world, the family — made up of dad Searcher (Jake Gyllenhaal), mom Meridian (Gabrielle Union) and son Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White) — discovers a treacherous subterranean landscape, which also happens to be the home of Searcher’s long-lost father, Jaeger (Dennis Quaid). Details about how Ethan finds love in this foreign environment are sparse, but audiences are hoping it’s more than just a passing fancy.
“Strange World” opens in US theaters Nov. 23.
Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka and Shangela (who recently made history on “Dancing With the Stars”) head to America’s reddest states for Season Three of their heartwarming makeover series, “We’re Here.” This time around, the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alumni make their first stop in Florida, where they begin their season-long look at growing anti-LGBTQ sentiment in the US From there, their cross-country adventure takes them to a collection of Southern states, the mountains of Utah and beyond, where they stun local townspeople, spread queer joy and help people heal with world-class drag.
“We’re Here” Season Three premieres on HBO Max Nov. 25.
‘Planet Sex with Cara Delevingne’
Since the mid-2010s, model-turned-actor Cara Delevingne has progressively been making her way onto audiences’ screens in film cameos and guest TV roles — most recently as Selena Gomez’s love interest in “Only Murders in the Building.” But now she’s graduating to the big leagues, with her own docuseries about the joys, mysteries and ever-changing aspects of human sexuality. In the series, aptly titled “Planet Sex with Cara Delevingne,” the queer entertainer will be front and center, sharing details from her own experiences with identity and desire and, according to press materials, putting “her mind and body on the line in search of answers” about humans’ most basic instinct.
“Planet Sex with Cara Delevingne” premieres on Hulu Nov. 29.
In case you missed it…
‘American Horror Story’
Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s anthology horror series has always been very queer — from its campy visuals and erotic storylines to its host of LGBTQ series regulars, like Sarah Paulson and the late Leslie Jordan. But the latest chapter, “American Horror Story: NYC,” dives headfirst into gay subculture. Set in 1980s New York, the season is about a mysterious murderer who targets men frequenting the city’s bathhouses, a la the 1980 Al Pacino-led film “Cruising.” When these murders prove to be of little interest to the NYPD, a young man disillusioned by violence (Charlie Carver), a journalist (Russell Tovey) and a police officer (Joe Mantello) take it upon themselves to root out the killer, whatever the cost.
“American Horror Story” Season 11 is available on Hulu.
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