TV viewers will be treated to both the familiar and unexpected when they tune in to Pride month premieres. In addition to LGBT-themed storylines and characters, a record number of LGBT actors will be portraying those roles. And, three new documentaries also put our progress into perspective since the Stonewall riots 50 years ago. Here are some of the highlights:
“State of Pride,” YouTube Originals
“State of Pride,” a compelling documentary now available on YouTube Originals, examines what it’s like to be a member of the LGBT community in three very different cities: San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Raymond Braun, a gay millennial from a small town in Ohio, takes viewers along on this revealing journey, both providing insight based on his own experiences, while offering a fresh perspective on LGBT Pride from the young people who call these places home today. Watch at YouTube.com.
“Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City,” June 7, Netflix
It’s been a quarter of a century since PBS first brought the San Francisco newspaper columnist’s colorful characters to life on national TV—and not with controversy. Netflix takes viewers back to Barbary Lane 20 years later, as Mary Ann Singleton (Laura Linney) returns to visit her family and friends after a long absence. The cast also includes Murray Bartlett as Michael “Mouse” Tolliver, Olympia Dukakis as matriarch Anna Magdrigal and introduces trans actress Jen Richards as a young Anna in flashbacks. Watch at Netflix.com.
“Pose,” June 11, FX
House Evangelista is back with a fury on the critically-acclaimed and wildly popular cable series about the black ballroom scene in 1980s New York City. Season two jumps ahead to 1990 and all is not good. Vogueing has become mainstream and the HIV/AIDS epidemic has taken an especially disastrous toll on the communities of color who frequent the ballrooms. In addition to the phenomenal cast, look for appearances by Patti LuPone, Sandra Bernhard, Bette Midler and Judith Light. Check local listings for channels and show times.
“Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life,” June 14, PBS
PBS’s “American Masters” explores the six-decade career of playwright and LGBT activist Terrence McNally in this new documentary. F. Murray Abraham, Audra McDonald, Christine Baranski, Nathan Lane, Angela Lansbury and others weigh in on the pioneering playwright's influential career and speak frankly of his struggles and monumental successes. Intimate conversations with McNally complete this portrait of a leading voice in contemporary theater. Check local listings for channels and show times.
“The Wig,” June 18, HBO
South Florida fan favorite Lady Bunny is back in this fabulous documentary about Wigstock, the legendary drag festival that started in New York City’s East Village more than three decades ago. The film features appearances by Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, who helped revive the camp fest with Lady Bunny last year at the South Street Seaport. The film includes dozens of memorable performances by outrageous drag queens—both past and present. Check local listings for channels and show times.