Words: Hugh Kaye
Alex Lawther seems to be making a habit of playing oddball or gay or both. We’ve had him as the young Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, Elliot in Departure, James in The End of The F***ing World and now he’s a “gender obliterator” in Freak Show (Sky Movies Premiere, Thurs 10 Jan, 6.25pm).
Based on the book by James St James, who was also responsible for Disco Blood, which later became known as Monster Party, the comedy drama tells of Billy Bloom who is forced to attend a highly conservative school but shakes things up by running for homecoming queen.
Co-stars include Attitude Award winner Laverne Cox, and Bette Midler, as well as – oddly – former tennis great turned pundit John McEnroe.
On a more serious note, there’s I am Jazz (TLC, Mon 7 Jan, 9pm). Billed as a reality series, it’s rather better than that. It focuses on transgender Jazz Jennings who was born male but was diagnosed with gender dysphoria at the age of four. The show follows her as she faces her new life.
Another transgender woman, Donna Perry, is featured in 21st Century Serial Killers (Really, Weds 9 Jan, 10pm), where - disturbingly - she blames the murder of three women on the man (Douglas) she used to be.
If you find that shocking, you might remember feeling the same way when you heard the news on Christmas Day two years ago, and The Last Days of George Michael (C5, Sun 6 Jan, 11.35pm) looks at the hours building up to the superstar’s death.
At least there should be some laughs as Two Doors Down (BBC2, Mon 7 Jan, 10pm) returns for a fourth series. And things don’t get off to a good start as Cathy causes problems for Ian and his boyfriend Gordon, played by gay stand-up comedian Kieran Hodgson, who is interviewed in our new February issue.
Also returning, this time for a second series, is Riverdale (5Star, Mon 7 Jan, 5pm). It picks up immediately where the previous series left off with the sound of gun fire at the diner.
If you are recording it, take note that there is a new episode every day this week. Meanwhile, the earlier time slot is a little worrying for those of us hoping for a stronger gay story arc…
Among Netflix’s offerings is Snervous Tyler Oakley, which follows the internet sensation on his sell-out world tour, and the festive special RuPaul’s Drag Race Holi-slay Spectacular. Our lesbian readers should try Below Her Mouth and Blue is the Warmest Colour.
Of more interest to gay men, the streaming service has the first series of Titans from Friday 11 January. Although not out-and out gay, who doesn’t love a super-heroes series?
This one stars Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson/Nightwing and Ryan Potter as Gar Logan/Beast Boy. You might also fall for Curran Walters as Jason Todd/Robin.