Photo’s of Adam Rippon and Ellen Page credit KathClick.
Fried Green Tomatoes, but with lesbians – and Reba – this time?
In the early ’90s, when Fannie Flagg’s novel, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café was adapted to the big screen as Fried Green Tomatoes, the book’s lesbian themes were dialed way down. Ladies in love became very close friends and straight audiences were allowed to feel comfortable. But that was 30 years ago, straight audiences have evolved somewhat, and now NBC has put FGT back in development as a weekly dramatic series. Legendary progressive creator Norman Lear is executive producing, and Reba McEntire is attached to star. The story will revolve around Idgie (McEntire) – whose relationship with a woman was the center of the novel – returning to the small town where the first story took place and dealing with the events of the past. It’s early yet, and the fractured entertainment landscape makes no promises, but with TV production slowly ramping up again, then this one could see its way to screens sometime in 2021. And what nice news it could turn out to be; Primetime Lesbian Reba is absolutely something to hope for.
Tegan and Sara go back to High School
IMDb TV, Amazon’s free streaming service, is teaming up with recording artists Tegan and Sara Quin for High School, a coming-of-age comedy series based on the bestselling memoir the twin sisters co-wrote. Their situation was an unusual one, and reflected in the story: twin sisters growing up, discovering themselves in music as an outlet and an identity, all while coming to terms with being queer. Adding another layer of queer cred, actor-director Clea DuVall (Happiest Season) is writing the pilot and will also direct, all for Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company. And now that you know IMDb has a streaming service – admit it, you didn’t until just now – you also have a reason to go there when High School drops there.
Teen drag musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie will dress up 2021
One of the many cultural accomplishments of RuPaul’s Drag Race is something that few high school guidance counselors could have predicted: the emergence of drag as a viable career path. But now we’re here in a world where Trixie and Katya have had their own TV show, books and tours, and what drag-obsessed teen wouldn’t consider the glamorous possibilities? Well, based on a true story, they say, comes Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, the film adaptation of the hit stage musical about a 16-year-old named Jamie (newcomer Max Harwood) who, while trying to find his place in the world, decides that drag queen stardom is his future. And because this is a musical, that happy ending is assured, thanks to supportive friends and parents (Catastrophe star Sharon Horgan and Can You Ever Forgive Me? Oscar nominee Richard E. Grant co-star) who help him realize his destiny in the spotlight. And perfect timing: 20th Century Studios is set to release the film in February of 2021, in the middle of what pandemic experts are predicting will be a pretty tough winter. We’re all going to need Jamie’s queer blast of sunshine, music, dancing, and wigs by then.
Adam Rippon sitcom skates over to NBC
Good news or best news? America’s gay figure skating Olympic medal scoring sweetheart, Adam Rippon, is developing a sitcom for NBC. Now, Rippon is unquestionably a world-class athlete. But if you’ve ever seen him on a talk show or, well, anywhere, you also know that he’s simultaneously built for the world of comedy, so this was kind of a no-brainer. The as-yet-untitled series will be set in the world of figure skating, naturally, and center on a female skater who battles injuries, her family and other skaters on the way to ice stardom. Grace and Frankie vet Billy Finnegan will write the series from Rippon and co-creator Susan Kittenplan’s story. No cast set yet, no dates, just a great plan, and we’re readier than ready.
Clive Barker comes home to Hellraiser
Much like The Babadook, we’ve long assumed Pinhead from Hellraiser to be queer like us. Just a vibe we got, really, but we believe our standing is sound because the man who created him, Clive Barker, is also queer like us. And now Barker has signed on to participate in the production of an in-development HBO series starring our favorite elder monster. Hellraiser the series will explore the story of the Cenobites (former humans turned monsters) and will be written by Mark Verheiden (Battlestar Galactica, and he’ll also serve as showrunner) and Michael Dougherty (Trick r’ Treat), with David Gordon Green committed to directing early episodes. There’s no cast yet, and no release date set from HBO (everyone keeps saying 2021 but in reality it might be more like 2022), but it’s certainly something creepy and cool to look forward to. And with Barker now serving as an executive producer, we’re hopeful that it’ll all turn out as weird as we want it to be.
Kids in The Hall, no longer kids, back in the hall
You may worship at the altar of SCTV and currently get your laughs from Schitt’s Creek and Letterkenny, but never forget the legendary Kids in the Hall, Canada’s comedy lifeline to LGBTQ television audiences during the late 1980s and early ’90s. The trail blazed by Dave Foley, Mark McKinney, Scott Thompson, Kevin McDonald and Bruce McCulloch made queer comedy history, and now they’re back. Thirty-two years after the original series arrived on Canada’s CBC, the gang is returning for eight new episodes on Amazon Prime Video. Original producer Lorne Michaels will step back in, as well, and this will be the first new content from the sketch comedy team since 2010’s CBC limited series. And now a message to young people: this is your opportunity to go watch the original series and learn to respect the queenly majesty of Scott Thompson as Buddy Cole on a barstool making sexy jokes about Johnny Mathis. And while you’re at it go learn about Johnny Mathis, too.
Ellen Page is game for 1UP
Academy Award nominee Ellen Page (hope you didn’t forget about that Juno Best Actress nomination) and Paris Berelc (Hubie Halloween, Disney’s Lab Rats: Elite Force) are teaming up for 1UP, a gaming comedy feature film for BuzzFeed Studios. Berelc will play a gamer who quits her college e-sports team because of the misogyny of her male teammates, and then assembles an all-female team with the help of a gaming coach (Page) with some scandal in her past. Written by actor/writer Julia Yorks (Jack Reacher, The Adventures of Puss in Boots), and directed by Kyle Newman (Fanboys), it’ll be the second time Page has been associated with gaming: she was part of 2013’s Beyond: Two Souls, an interactive drama/Sony PlayStation game that also featured Willem Dafoe. And here you were thinking Inception was the strangest thing she’d done in her career.
Lady Bunny and Bianca Del Rio are Hateful Hags
“Enough with COVID and politics,” says legendary drag queen Lady Bunny. “It’s time for something really important… back-stabbing drag queens!” And while COVID and politics are sort of inescapable right now, she has a point, which is why she and queen Bianca Del Rio are launching HHN: Hateful Hags Network on Vimeo as we speak. The pair of hosts will bring audiences news from the drag world, roast other queens as often as possible, and then do a little musical number from time to time. Sounds simple enough, and that’s about all we have energy for at the moment anyway. And besides, if Trixie and Katya (and, obviously, RuPaul) have taught us anything, it’s that drag queens can slap together a show for 35 cents and make it werq. We’re ready for the wigs, the shade, and the reads. It’s the holidays, after all.
Romeo San Vicente’s library is forever open!