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It Was A Fab Night For The 'Fab 5' At The 2018 Creative Arts Emmy Awards

Fourteen years after Queer Eye for the Straight Guy won the Emmy Award for "Outstanding Reality Program," the new reboot of Queer Eye has snatched up a few more Emmys for making things better.

The cast and crew of the 'make better' show celebrated the big win at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards last night as the series won the Emmy for "Outstanding Structured Reality Program."

The reality series from Netflix beat out veteran shows Fixer Upper, Shark Tank, Antiques Roadshow, Who Do You Think You Are? and Lip Sync Battle.

Accepting the high honor, creator and executive producer David Collins told the audience, “This show is so important, thank you for what this fab five are doing to help the LGBT movement.”

The makeover series also nabbed two more statues for "Outstanding Picture Editing for a Structured or Competition Reality Program" and for "Best Casting for a Structured Reality Program."

Congrats to the 'Fab Five' and everyone connected to the show!

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

With tears in my eyes, I present to you OUR FIRST EMMY! So proud of my boys and the ENTIRE production!!

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We Won! #emmys2018

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(h/t Deadline)

 

Drag Superstar Alyssa Edwards Takes Center Stage on Netflix's 'Dancing Queen'

Alyssa Edwards has become one of the biggest stars to come out RuPaul's Drag Race. Her unforgettable one-liners, hilarious (and sometimes completely unaware) comic abilities, fashion sense and overall persona have easily made her so well-liked and appreciated that she has earned her own show on Netflix as a result called Dancing Queen.

Dancing Queen is a hysterical and heartfelt docu-series set in the dancing, prancing, world of the multi-talented, multi-layered Justin Johnson - aka Drag Superstar Alyssa Edwards - as he juggles his dance life, drag life, family life, and love life.

Filmed in Justin’s hometown of Mesquite, Texas, Dancing Queen goes behind the makeup and into the drag performer’s highly competitive Beyond Belief Dance Company as he prepares a young class for an intensely competitive season.

Alyssa is the first queen from RPDR to have her television/streaming series. Others have had comedy specials air (notably season 6 winner Bianca Del Rio), however the 38-year-old talented artist holds the honor when it comes to this sort of elevated exposure.

The show also has some special guest stars, including Shangela and Laganja Estranja, both of whom are in the Haus of Edwards. Dancing Queen ultimately goes beyond the confined walls of RuPaul's Drag Race and into Alyssa's own colorful and incredible world. "I hope to help them in finding their own crown, because mine is staying on my head," she says about the amazing dancers at her academy. 

Dancing Queen launches globally on Netflix October 5, 2018. For more information on the show, click here.

Are You Watching 'La Casa de las Flores' on Netflix?

I haven’t watched a telenovela since I was in high school, but I feel the high drama, plot twists, and good girl vs. bad girl scenarios set a foundation for my incessant need for gossip and to solve everyone’s problems. There’s no doubt that every Mexican household would shut down in the evening hours to make time for hours of dramatic storytelling that always seemed to center around the rich girl who made the poor girl’s life a living hell and who ended up causing a downward spiral in the lives of everyone involved—all while being fashionable. It’s what we all yearned for during ‘novela time’ at our house. But once you’ve seen one soap opera where a brother accidentally falls in love with his half-sister who is also blind, you’ve seen them all--or have you?

 

 

Growing up in a novela household perpetuated the heteronormative expectations of relationships. I rarely saw a gay man portrayed and if there were he was the flamboyant hairdresser friend or the business associate—always suggestive never open about their sexuality. And drag queens or trans characters far less representation. It has been generations of the patriarchal Mexican/Latino construct that fears any type of fragile masculinity. We have not been prepared to discuss issues like coming out, same-sex marriage/adoption, transitioning, or even drag. Yes, as Latinos in the LGBTQ world we have made strides, but it has been a great struggle to arrive to common place where dialogue can occur about the queer experience.

I fantasize about a telenovela where the two protagonists are men who are in love and fighting adversities in their lives so they can be together—because that is REAL LIFE!

 

 

Okay, so whether you watch Spanish-language television or you don’t, I think you get what I am trying to say here. Queer representation in the media is still not where it needs to be.

But for novelas it seems that a new Netflix, La Casa de las Flores (The House of Flowers) is breaking down the boundaries and shattering the telenovela formula. The Spanish-language show revolves around an affluent family in Mexican high society whose lives begin to spiral out of control after a death occurs in the opening episode (no spoilers here).

The family’s matriarch, Virginia de la Mora, is played by Mexican telenovela royalty Verónica Castro (yes, she’s had work done, but she’s still fierce). Virginia’s character is a feisty business woman who has created an empire out of her family’s flower shop, for which the show gets its title. Upon first meeting Virginia you think she is a typical novela architype of the wealthy, judgmental mother who is trying to save face—but the more you learn about her and her family, the more you realize her redeeming qualities.

 

 

This show is progressive by Mexican novella standards. Each storyline is woven into one another. Without giving away too much, you'll learn about Virginia’s husband’s big secrets, her eldest daughter Paulina fighting for her place as the successor of the family’s empire while grappling with her ex-husband who is trans, her youngest daughter Elena stuck in a love triangle, and her son Julián who struggles with coming out of the closet and getting rid of his pretentious girlfriend to be with the family’s silver daddy financial advisor.

La Casa de las Flores is a binge-worthy story that is full of the story arcs, character development, scandals, deceit, treachery, humor, tears, sock puppets, and a whole lot of drag queens. Yes, did I mention that the flower shops counterpart is a cabaret nightclub also called La Casa de la Flores where nightly drag shows become a reality for the De la Mora family?

 

Las penas cantando son menos.

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La Casa de las Flores is pivotal for modern-day Mexican television (and Netflix in general) as it demonstrates the direction our Latino narratives should be headed. We’ve suppressed much of who we are due to our Catholic guilt and inability to see past the superficiality of what other people will think of us. La Casa de las Flores is an experiment in this theory, breaking down each of the characters one by one to see if they will grow or wilt. The show’s dealings with the queer experience is refreshing and gives me a lot of the telenovela I always wished I could have watched as a kid. But finally, it’s here thanks to Netflix.

The show was created by Manolo Caro and stars Verónica Castro, Cecilia Suárez, Dario Yazbek Bernal, Aislinn Derbez, Juan Pablo Medina, and Lucas Velazquez. The standout performance is given by Cecilia Suárez as Paulina, in my opinion, whose accent in the show is a character of its own. But there is no shame in saying that the gay men may want to tune in just for lust between Dario Yazbek Bernal and Juan Pablo Medina. You’ll thank me later.

La Casa de las Flores is the show you should be watching on Netflix right now. If you don’t speak Spanish, the subtitles will be your best friend, just know that you some of the witty banter and jokes may not land—still you’ll be able to follow the story just fine. It was released on August 10th and due to its popularity, we may just be seeing another season. Grab yourself a drink and sit down for some modern-day ‘novela time’.

Here’s a trailer for La Casa de las Flores (House of Flowers):

 

 


This was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

h/t: Netflix

Armistead Maupin Teases From 'Tales Of The City' Revival Set!

Armistead Maupin Teases From 'Tales Of The City' Revival Set!


Backstage Photo Reveals The Return Of A Legend!

Ahh! I’ve been keep you updated with the latest updates on the Tales of the City revival since March 2018! From the latest casting news of Juno’s Ellen Page and Orange is the New Black’s Writer, Lauren Morelli, leading as Showrunner: This is definitely about to be THE revival of the decade! I feel like a bit of a hypocrite since I’ve previously slammed the abundance of televisions shows getting revived, but in my defense: I was barely alive during the first run of Tales of the City. Watching this being distributed from Netflix is going to be so much better than the crap-quality YouTube videos I’ve formerly ogled.


As you likely know, Tales of the City was originally a novel series written by the fabulous Armistead Maupin. It was turned into a limited series starring the sensational Laura Linney. Maupin, who everyone needs to be following on social media for immediate updates, recently posted a backstage photograph of himself and a turned-to-the-camera Linney, we all know our favorite blonde by the back of her head. Check out Maupin’s Facebook post featuring Linney below:

 

 


In my young life, I can only compare Tales to the other Queer television series I’ve seen: Queer as Folk and Looking. Details of the revival are pretty scarce, but it is set to be in modern day San Francisco. Should we expect to see storylines involving Prep, dating apps, or perhaps even an argument over adding colors to the Pride flag? I’m hoping so!


How excited are you for the Tales of the City revival?!

Netflix Announces Season 3 Of 'Queer Eye'

Less than 24 hours after receiving 4 Emmy Award nominations for the much-lauded reboot of Queer Eye, Netflix has announced there will be a third season of the ‘make better’ reality show.

The reality show celebrated Emmy nods in the categories of Structured Reality Program, Casting, Picture Editing and Cinematography. It’s hard to believe its been 14 years since the groundbreaking series was honored with its first Emmy win for Best Reality Show.

According to Deadline, production for season three will shift from Atlanta, Georgia to begin in Kansas City, Missouri, on July 16. 

All of the ‘Fab Five’ co-hosts - Antoni Porowski (Food & Wine), Bobby Berk (Interior Design), Karamo Brown (Culture), Jonathan Van Ness (Grooming) and Tan France (Fashion) - will be back to help more heroes be their best selves.

The new season is scheduled for 2019, but you can watch all of season 1 and 2 now on Netflix.

Jonathan Van Ness' Literally Loses It Over His Emmy Nominations

The 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards nominations were revealed on Thursday, which found several members of the LGBTQ community up for several awards. 

This included RuPaul, Ricky Martin, and the entire cast of Queer Eye (Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Bobby Berk).  

Jonathan had a separate reason to celebrate outside of his nominations with his fellow cast mates, as his Funny or Die series Gay of Thrones got two Emmy nods including Outstanding Short Form Variety Series. It was nominated for this back in 2016. He serves as the show's executive producer.

Video was posted when Jonathan found out about the news, and well, it's full of so much emotion that you may need to grab a tissue prior to clicking play. 

Congrats to Jonathan, the Queer Eye cast, and everyone from the LGBTQ community who scored a nod this year! Here's hoping for several wins come Emmy night! 

 

 

A Fab Couple From Season 2 of 'Queer Eye' Gets Married!

The Fab Five have done it again!

One of the couples from Netflix's wildly popular show Queer Eye got married in a beautiful ceremony a couple of weeks back.

William Mahnken, who appeared on the reboot's second season, married his girlfriend Shannan Eller on June 16th.

"On June 16, I got married to my best friend, Shannan (@treeandshield)", William revealed. "It was a small, private ceremony on the beaches of Amelia Island (Florida) at sunrise." The wedding was also officiated by one of his friends.

The official Queer Eye account shared photos from their wedding day with a beautiful caption congratulating them on the big step. "Congratulations William and Shannan! Thank you for letting us be a part of your love story and we hope that the next phase of your life is filled with love, movies, and a lot of avocado goddess! We Shannan you both."

William got engaged to Shannan during his episode in the most "dramatic" of ways. The budding actor creating a movie short which was played at a festival of sorts in their home state of Georgia. He got down on one knee by the time the movie was over, and the rest is history.

Congrats to William and Shannan! 

 

Sexually Fluid Sci-Fi Series "Sense8" Gives Fans The Finale They Wanted

The time has finally come to say goodbye to the psychic, sexually-fluid sci-fi series from Netflix, Sense8.

When the series was canceled last year after only two seasons, outraged fans lobbied until Netflix announced we would get a series finale TV movie.

The movie attempts to tie up several layered storylines of the diverse group of human beings who suddenly found themselves interconnected via telepathy in two and a half hours instead of what was originally planned to be a five season arc.

[Warning - while there are no specific spoilers in this article, stop reading now if you don't want to know anything about the TV finale]

The creators are not wasting much time recapping where we were left off at the end of season 2, so here’s the wrap-up plot: for the first time, seven of the sensates are physically together in Paris to plan a rescue of Wolfgang (Max Riemelt), who's been captured by BPO, an organization of evil doers who have chased our heroes from the outset.

To save Wolfgang, the seven have kidnapped their own prisoner, the evil scientist Whispers (played by Broadway’s Terrence Mann), hoping to trade him in a prisoner exchange for Wolfie. 

Swirling over, under and around this central plot, there’s plenty of fight scenes, dancing in a Parisian club, chases, another epic mental orgy and a rapturous road trip to Naples.

And we’re going to have to move fast here, so if you don’t like a certain set of characters, don’t worry - the scene will change in a minute.

I won’t offer any real spoilers here but a few thoughts:

Fan favorite “Lito,” a sexy Mexican movie star who recently came out (played by Miguel Ángel Silvestre), was woefully under-utilized in my opinion. It seemed like every major cast member had a “moment” except Lito.

Perhaps that lapse in screen time happened because just not only are our 8 heroes here, but so are their significant others - and more. If a character had more than a couple of scenes during the two seasons of the series, they pretty much got a ticket to come back.

One of the advantages of having our protagonists in the same place was the budgetary savings for the movie. During the two seasons of the series, when members of “the cluster” would share their knowledge and abilities via a sort of shared consciousness across the planet, it required traveling the actors around the globe to appear in two sides of highly choreographed action scenes. Since the heroes are now all together there were fewer of those oh-so-cool sci-fi moments it seemed. 

That said, the movie is visually stunning.

The series received well-deserved praise for its diverse cast that included several LGBTQ characters, including the previously mentioned Lito and his totes adorable bf, “Hernando” (Alfonso Herrera); and trans woman "Nomi" (Jamie Clayton) and her girlfriend, “Amanita” (Freema Agyeman), who have a beautiful moment of resolution.

In fact, the finale spends as much time on resolving romantic connections as it does solving the sensates predicament. Bonus points - a possible love-triangle made for an interesting plot twist.

I felt like the final resolution kind of came and went pretty fast, but seemed appropriate for the pace set by trans director/producer Lana Wachowski.

The final screen of the movie reads, “For our fans.” And I do think it’s great that we at least got this last hurrah.

If you were a fan of the series, you’ll probably really get jazzed by the finale movie.

If you weren’t already a fan, this may not convert you. It’s a lot of info coming at you fast.

This writer loved the series, so I was all smiles by the end. 

The finale movie is currently available on Netflix. You can check out the trailer for the finale below.

Grade: B

 

Yas! 'Queer Eye' Returns June 15th!

Well that didn't take long!

Netflix announced on Thursday that the second season of the freshly rebooted Queer Eye will return on June 15th. The show premiere in early 2018 to much adoration and fanfare from millions of fans who truly enjoyed the new fab five (Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness) in action. The popular streaming service revealed that the show was renewed back in March. 

The first season of Queer Eye found the guys in the deep red state of Georgia, where they were able to successfully makeover a slew of men from all different backgrounds, with one of them identifying as gay (the original run 15 years ago had them primarily making over heterosexual men).

The show tackled many different issues that plague our world today, including homophobia, racism and more, and gave a much needed shine to each of the cast members that went beyond their responsibilities on the program.

So where will the boys end up this time around and how will they use their expertise (Bobby with Interior Design, Karamo with Culture, Antoni with Food & Wine, Jonathan with Grooming, Tan with Syle) to the best of their abilities? Turn on your Netflix account on June 15th for another super fun season with this wonderful group of men. 

For more information, click here.

13 Reasons Why Season 2 Review!

13 Reasons Why Season 2 Review!


Lots of Spoilers, Grindr Advertisements, & Teenage Sex!

#DRAMA! If you haven't read the title, please beware of some spoilers. The second season of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why premiered over the weekend and I’m here to tell you all about it. From the moment the season one recap began, my eyes were glued to my “whatever device” I was watching on. The story surrounds the aftermath and subsequent trial after Hannah Baker’s (Katherine Langford) tragic suicide. Many, including myself, were skeptical on how a new season would progress as much of the plot seemed to be resolved by the season’s end. To my surprise, the second season takes a different direction that may even top the first season’s success.


We are taken back into the lives of the colorful characters, many who are gay and lesbian (in real life and on screen) as each episode deals with one of Hannah’s “reasons” for suicide. The reasons – or people - explain their side of the story Hannah told about each of them. Please let me be the first to say that these teenagers have more sex than I could ever dream of! It’s like they are all walking around in a bathhouse, jeez!


Quickly, we learn Hannah wasn’t as much of a “good girl” as she led us to believe in the recordings she released before her suicide. Throughout the season, Hannah’s should’ve-been-beau, Clay (Dylan Minnette), and her mother Olivia (Kate Walsh) fight in court believing the school – and a rapist (Justin Prentice) – should be held responsible for the suicide. In the end, believe it or not, they lose the case due to the teenagers lying about their past and Hannah’s reputation is destroyed, along with her parent’s marriage and pharmacy. In the finale, Olivia, now divorced, moves to New York, Clay painfully decides it’s time to move on from Hannah, and the rapist gets probation for three months. Yes, it’s a devastating ending to an otherwise remarkable season.


Throughout the season are incredible LGBTQ storylines. Stand outs include the coming out of character Courtney (Michele Selene Ang), who is the adopted child of two hunky, gay men including Robert Gant – who you may know as Ben from Queer as Folk. Miles Heizer’s character Alex survives a gunshot to the head and plays a weepy, nothing-to-write-home-about victim throughout the season. He’s the series’ worst Actor and it’s clear every time he’s on screen. Musician Sam Smith’s boyfriend, Brandon Flynn, chews scenery as a recovering heroin addict Justin – although it is a little difficult to see him playing heterosexual. If any of the males from the series are getting any sort of Academy nomination – it’s Flynn, for sure.


There’s a long-drawn out storyline with two openly gay characters, Tony (Christian Navarro) and Ryan (Tommy Dorfman) that drains from any of the wild, teenage angst on screen. I suspect there will be a third season and the writers really need to give their gay boys something else to focus on besides relationships and Grindr dates. Grindr was featured a lot; there must have been a sponsorship.


Playing a rape victim herself, Alisha Boe’s Jessica truly takes the cake for best Actress out of the entire bunch. She’s made a new fan in me with her stellar performance and I hope I can see her talents beyond this streaming service gem. She’s seriously such a Rockstar and may be the only relatable teenager among the dramatics of the series.


Ross Butler’s Zach was a total beefcake all season and finally got to show off his acting chops as the only jock in the school with any sense about him. It also helps he had an endless amount of sex scenes with the series titular character. Seriously, that body! Even if the actor has an immature focus on relationships, he was still fun to watch. Another hot body on a douche is Monty (Timothy Granaderos) who is arguably the series’ sexiest actor – and gives us a buttshot in episode one of season two! His character rapes a male student (Devin Druid), but I’m really trying hard to separate acting from reality.


The season ends with a would-be school shooting from the aforementioned raped, male student but he is halted by the goodness of the rest of the cast as they all unite in a teary-eyed embrace to a song which reminds them of Hannah.


The second season of 13 Reasons Why is definitely worth a watch in any and all aspects. The chance to see – and celebrate – many LGBTQ actors and characters is noteworthy for all of the community. The story, while intense and about mental illness and suicide, is still fun and certainly binge worthy. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another season appear on Netflix, although season two pretty much finished up any remaining storyline. I’ve grown to like nearly all of the characters, so I’ll be along for the ride next year.


What did you think of the second season of 13 Reasons Why?


This post is the opinion of this contributing writer to Instinct Magazine. Opinion pieces do not always reflect the stance of the magazine or the other contributing writers. 


Important to note: If you or anyone you know is considering suicide, please consider visiting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website for immediate distress information.

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