“Holidays can be such a witch” is the fabulous tagline for the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Christmas special. When last we saw Sabrina, the young sorceress signed the Book of the Beast and suddenly sprouted a whole new ultra-blond dye job. So there’s no telling what’s brewing for Christmas. The holiday special appears to be one big reason to celebrate with the Spellman family, including Sabrina’s pansexual cousin Ambrose and her gender nonconforming pal Susie. Still, the episode does involve a séance and a nefarious Santa and that seems reason enough to tune in.
As of December 17, Tumblr will be banning adult content. This is the end of an era for many LGBTQ artists and content creators, who found community as well as a means to celebrate their sexuality through this social media platform. Take time this weekend to revisit these digital spaces and also sign a petition protesting the ban.
After a 15-year hiatus from stand-up comedy specials, Ellen DeGeneres is back with the must-see Netflix special Relatable. It’s the first special since her benchmark post-coming out special Ellen DeGeneres: Here and Now, which aired on HBO in 2003 prior to the launch of her wildly popular daytime talk show. The title of the special derives from DeGeneres’s current status as a mega-celebrity. In a clip from the special, she explains that a friend questioned her return to stand-up, asking if she’s still “relatable.” What’s more, DeGeneres addresses being essentially blacklisted in Hollywood after she and her sitcom character Ellen Morgan came out concurrently in 1997.
The Wedding, the feature film debut from Egyptian-American writer-director Sam Abbas, tells the story of a young engaged Muslim couple, Rami (played by Abbas) and Sara (Nikohl Boosheri of The Bold Type). But the two New Yorkers are both having clandestine relationships with other men and are feeling the pressures of their conservative culture. “Every character in the film is me to an extent,” Abbas, who identifies as sexually fluid, told New York's Gay City News. “So, just by making this film I feel a weight off my shoulders. At one of my last work-in-progress screenings, the Middle Eastern individuals really identified with it — even the ones that weren’t Muslim or gay. I made a film I’m proud of and my friends enjoy. My concern is that the film is touching.” Gay City News contributor Gary M. Kramer says it certainly is, calling it “a gem” and “a subtle, observational, voyeuristic film that encourages audience engagement.” The Wedding opened today at New York's Cinema Village, where there will be Q&A sessions with Abbas and other guests tonight, Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday.
RuPaul's Drag Race stars BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon have hit the road again to tour "a spankin’ new two-queen holiday extravaganza." The drag performers demonstrated talent and chemistry in their last production, Drag Becomes Her, and their latest collaboration promises to be a fan-pleasing musical spectacular. So skip the nativity scene this year and, as the event's website declares, "thanks for handing every drag queen a sure-fire December gig, Jesus, but Jinkx and DeLa will take it from here!" Shows run through December 28 at a theater near you.
Barry Jenkins, writer-director of the 2016 Best Picture Oscar winner, Moonlight (no, it was not La La Land), is back with a film that blends a tender love story with an exploration of injustice. Based on a novel by the great gay writer and activist James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk traces the relationship of a young couple in 1970s Harlem, Tish Rivers (KiKi Layne) and Fonny Hunt (Stephan James). They are very much in love, but there are complications. She has just found out she's pregnant; he has been falsely accused of rape by a woman who was encouraged to do so by a racist cop. The members of Tish's family, thankfully, react supportively to the news of her pregnancy, and they are working diligently to try to clear Fonny, whose family is not nearly as helpful. Critics have particularly praised the actresses who play the protagonists' mothers — Regina King as Tish's mother, Sharon, and Aunjanue Ellis as Fonny's mother, identified only as Mrs. Hunt. With the film's juxtaposition of the bitter and the sweet, "it's as if Jenkins were trying to show us the world for the harsh, unjust place that it is — but also the more hopeful, beautiful place it could be," says NPR critic Justin Chang. If Beale Street Could Talk is in limited release now and will be in additional theaters Christmas Day.
RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars is back for its fourth season. Join contestants Farrah Moan, Gia Gunn, Jasmine Masters, Latrice Royale, Manila Luzon, Monét X Change, Monique Heart, Trinity The Tuck, Naomi Smalls, and Valentina as they drag it out for a second chance at becoming America's top drag performer. Watch a clip from the show below, and catch the premiere at 8 p.m. Eastern on VH1!