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Hot Sheet: Ellen Wheels

Hot Sheet: Ellen Wheels

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Our top 10 entertainment and events highlights this week include The Flash's new gay villain, Sirens, getting kinky with The Duke of Burgundy, and Ellen's Design Challenge.

Hs150123-01010. TV: Transparent Streaming Free on Amazon
Clear your schedule Saturday and prepare to get to know the Pfefferman family at the center of Amazon's captivating dramedy Transparent. To celebrate the groundbreaking series' dual wins at the Golden Globes (Best TV Series, Comedy or Musical, and Best Actor in a TV Series, Comedy or Musical, for Jeffrey Tambor, who plays the titular parent, Maura), Amazon will make all 10 episodes available for free all day Saturday. The episodes are usually only available to those who pay for an Amazon Prime membership, but starting at 12:01 a.m. Eastern on Saturday, anyone can watch Transparent at no cost online at Amazon.com/Transparent or streaming through the Amazon Instant Video App for TVs, mobile, and connected devices (like Roku). Creator Jill Soloway has said she believes the episodes are best watched back-to-back, so pull up a chair, pop some popcorn, and tune in to Transparent Saturday to meet Maura and her dysfunctional but loving family as they all grapple with what it means when a parent comes out as a trans woman at the age of 70. You'll be glad you did. -- Sunnivie Brydum

Hs150123-0099. MUSIC: "Celloverse,"2Cellos
It's time to get familiar with this handsome Croatian duo who can work a cello like none other. Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser aren't gay, but one can dream. And you will, when you hear their soothing music and see their enraptured faces as they pluck their strings with absolute precision. Their new video, "Celloverse," will take you up, up, and away. -- Neal Broverman

Hs150123-0088. THEATER: Harbor
Married gay couple Kevin and Ted seem to be living the dream in the exclusive community of Sag Harbor on New York's Long Island, but their idyllic existence is interrupted by the arrival of Kevin's train wreck of a sister, Donna, and her teenage daughter, Lottie. Chad Beguelin's Harbor, dubbed "wickedly funny" by Variety, makes its West Coast premiere (after runs in New York and Connecticut) at the New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco. Preview performances begin tonight, and the official opening night, January 31, features a post-show celebration catered by Minas Brazilian Restaurant. Harbor runs through March 1; tickets and info here. -- Trudy Ring

Hs150123-007-27. EVENT: Masq
Masq, a benefit for New York City's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center, promises an evening of elegant dress, mysterious masks, decadent drinks (including an open Grey Goose vodka bar), and marvelous entertainment, featuring DJ Vito Fun. Organized by the center's Young Leaders -- activists and philanthropists under 40 -- the event is sure to offer a good time for all ages. It happens January 31 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Bowery Hotel. Get tickets and more information here. -- Trudy Ring

Hs150123-0066. FILM: Salvation Army
As a coming-of-age film about a gay Muslim in Morocco, Salvation Army presents alluring subject matter and an experience that may be unfamiliar to many Western audiences. But the film, which is based on the life of its director, Abdellah Taia, is original in many respects. The actor who portrays young Abdellah is a quiet and often heartbreaking force as a boy searching for identity. Within his home, the war between the sexes threatens to split the family apart, and in the streets of Casablanca, older men catch his eye and lead him by the hand to dark corners and other out-of-sight locales. Based on a novel written by the filmmaker, Salvation Army is full of poetry and honesty about family, class, culture, and sexuality, and is out in limited release this weekend. Watch the trailer below. -- Daniel Reynolds


Hs150123-0055. TV: The Flash, Episode 11
DC Comics' gay villain Hartley Rathaway, a.k.a. Pied Piper (played by out actor Andy Mientus), makes his TV debut Tuesday on The Flash. A member of the Scarlet Speedster's original rogues gallery, Rathaway has worked on both sides of the law throughout his comic book history as both the sonic weapon-wielding villain Pied Piper and as a reformed friend and sometimes assistant to the Flash. Plans are already in place for Piper to be a recurring character in the series, making him the second recurring gay character -- with CCPD director David Singh (played by Patrick Sabongui) -- who will be running around Central City. Catch a sneak peek at the episode in the video below. -- Jase Peeples

Hs150123-0044. BLU-RAY: Dear White People
Directed and written by gay filmmaker Justin Simien, Dear White People follows a group of African-American students, among them a gay student struggling with his identity played by Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris), as they navigate social life at a fictional predominantly white Ivy League college. This politically charged satire, which won the 2014 Sundance Film Festival's Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent, gives a much-needed microphone to the varying voices of black Americans, which often clash on issues such as a controversial leadership election at a historically black dorm and an ill-advised Halloween party with the theme "Unleash Your Inner Negro." As A.O. Scott said in his New York Times review, "Everyone should see this movie, and everyone will see it a little differently." Dear White People is now available on Digital HD and VOD, and will be released February 3 on DVD and Blu-ray. Watch the trailer below. -- Daniel Reynolds

Ellen-hot-sheet-x6333. TV: Ellen's Design Challenge
Ellen DeGeneres isn't just the world's most-loved talk show host, she's a real estate fanatic, known for flipping houses with zeal. Apparently, Ellen also loves decorating those mansions. That all translates into a new show for HGTV called Ellen's Design Challenge, where six furniture designers compete to win over the star with their creations. For anyone who can spend hours at Ikea or gets the Dot & Bo catalog, this is the show for you. Premieres Monday at 9 p.m. -- Neal Broverman

Hs150123-0022. FILM: The Duke of Burgundy
Director Peter Strickland's twisted and tied tale of Cynthia (Sidse Babett Knudsen) and Evelyn (Chiara D'Anna) is as visually arresting as it is narratively intriguing. Simple yet provocative rituals become a daily occurrence between the two women, ending with Evelyn's punishment and pleasure -- a routine that quickly becomes an addiction for her, while Cynthia longs for a more conventional relationship. The film opens in select theaters today. Catch the kinktastic trailer below and leave your inhibitions at the door. -- Jase Peeples

Hs150123-0011. TV: Sirens, Season 2
For fans of Denis Leary's dark comedy Rescue Me, Sirens feels like a solidly funny yet lighter follow-up. The series follows three EMTs in Chicago who are cute, dumb, and hilarious. This season, Brian learns the ins and outs, so to speak, of dating Voodoo, an asexual woman and fellow EMT. And then there's Kevin Daniels's Hank, who is gay and owns it with pride and funny lines. -- Michelle Garcia

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