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‘Sylvia’ summons queer horror comedy at its comedic best

Something refreshing while we wait for summer movie season to arrive

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Travis Coles, Frankie Grande, Noah J. Ricketts, and Troy Iwata star in 'Summoning Sylvia.' (Photo courtesy of Diamond Dog Entertainment)

There was a time when the words “straight-to-video” carried an unspoken implication of mediocrity, at best – but that was before a massive shift in the film industry, accelerated but perhaps not solely driven by the pandemic and the need it created for “watch at home” options – changed the game when it comes to judging a movie by its viewing format.

Consider “Summoning Sylvia,” a campy horror comedy that made its VOD premiere on April 7, in which all but one of the characters (two if you count dead people) are queer. It’s safe to say that it’s definitely a “niche” film, and despite being granted a brief-and-perfunctory theatrical run – presumably, like most non-mainstream movies of similar ilk, for the purposes of awards consideration – it’s not the kind of thing that might have gotten a wide big screen release at any point in the history of the American film industry. At first assessment, it might seem like a rollicking, raunchy and VERY gay piece of fluff; it’s all those things, but it has a lot more imagination and ambition behind it than meets the eye from scrolling past the trailer on social media.

Written and directed by Wesley Taylor and Alex Wyse, it’s an absurdly farcical yet genuinely hair-raising adventure in which Larry (Travis Coles), on the eve of being “gay-married,” is kidnapped by his groomsmen (Frankie Grande, Troy Iwata, and Noah J. Ricketts) for a bachelor party weekend at a country house in upstate New York, reputedly haunted by the ghost of a woman (the titular Sylvia, played by Veanne Cox) who murdered her own son (Camden Garcia) before being killed herself by an angry mob 100 years ago. Naturally, the queer quartet tries to unravel this century-old mystery by holding a séance, but the unforeseen addition to the mix of future brother-in-law Harrison (Nicholas Logan) – an ex-soldier with clearly antisocial and possibly homophobic personality issues – turns their tongue-in-cheek party game into a terrifying-yet-hilarious battle with the dark forces that seemingly rule over their fashionably rustic Airbnb.

It’s all very silly, of course, and anyone hoping for hardcore horror featuring malevolent ghosts and demonic possession are likely to be sorely disappointed; what’s surprising is how often it manages to supersede its silliness to deliver more than just the occasional cheap jump scare, and how well it frames its madcap scenario through a perspective that, incredibly, makes everything feel a lot weightier – or at least, more meaningful – than its campy comedic tone invites us to expect.

Some background on the film’s creators quickly offers a possible explanation for why that might be so. Taylor and Wyse, Broadway stalwarts both onstage and off, come at their material from a theatrical tradition that includes such absurdist queer playwrights as Joe Orton, Christopher Durang, Paul Rudnick, and others whose work use pointedly nonsensical contrivances to poke fun at socially relevant themes that might otherwise not be so amusing. Their film is rife with that same surrealist spirit, while still evoking the old-fashioned pleasures of such humorously macabre classics as “Blithe Spirit” or “Arsenic and Old Lace” – a good-natured blending of styles that goes a long way toward opening audiences up to its familiar premise. To put it more simply, if a bit poetically, there is an unmistakable method to the madness.

If references to 20th-century absurdist theater don’t ring a bell for you, it might be more appropriate to draw parallels from a cinematic angle; it’s impossible not to notice how strongly “Summoning Sylvia” evokes the non-stop, throw-it-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks comedic milieu of filmmakers like Mel Brooks, whose anything-for-a-laugh style never got in the way of a respectful and proficient cinematic style nor precluded the possibility for scathingly candid cultural commentary, or even the self-aware “meta” sensibilities of someone like Guillermo Del Toro, whose understanding of horror is deeply intertwined with an recognition of the genre’s potential for underscoring fear with a humanistic streak that makes it a vehicle for transcendence as well as for terror.

Still, such comparisons don’t quite capture the exact nature of this unabashedly nonsensical movie’s charms – it’s neither as anarchic as a Mel Brooks film nor as melancholy as a Del Toro – but they approximate the space in which it stakes its claim; it should be obvious to any seasoned film buff that “Summoning Sylvia” carefully aligns its supposedly otherworldly sense of menace with an all-too-realistic fear of violent homophobia, and that its insinuation of an apparently angry straight man with seemingly toxic views about sexuality and gender as a potential existential threat to its queer band of determined-but-daffy protagonists has a lot more significance than a mere plot device. To put it simply, it’s a movie that never tries too hard to drive home its allegorical story arc, which it highlights as much by sending up as by serious contemplation, but it also never tries to pretend that it doesn’t have one, and in serving both ends at once it succeeds in proving that a film can be purely entertaining and still have the kind of substance that keeps it from being simply a guilty pleasure.

It should go without saying that much of its success comes from the ability of its cast to walk the thin line required of them by the material. Though the film’s most recognizable star is arguably out Tony-winning actor Michael Urie, who delivers little more than a cameo performance – albeit a solid and likable one – as Larry’s husband-to-be, it’s up to the rest of the cast to do the heavy lifting; they’re more than capable, with Coles standing out as a strong lead in a diverse ensemble of players, and Grande surpassing expectation with a show-stealing turn as the fiercely femme and unapologetically over-the-top Nico, whose self-proclaimed witchiness and unrestrained libido play a big part in making Larry’s bachelor party a weekend to be remembered, for better or for worse. Even Sean Grandillo, whose short appearance as an unexpected interloper into the weekend’s events adds a memorable dash of winking, trope-twisting humor to the program, makes an impression on the strength of his sheer, joyful goofiness alone.

All of this is not to say that “Summoning Sylvia” is the kind of cinematic masterpiece that makes a whole industry stand up and take notice; while its unpretentiousness allows us to absorb its higher points without heavy-handed obviousness, its messaging is hardly anything new. Even so, any movie that addresses the specter of homophobia – especially in an age when even the comparatively innocent phenomenon of drag, given suitably elevated status by Taylor and Wyse in a highly entertaining climactic sequence, is under attack from bigots desperate to turn the tide of growing queer acceptance – is a welcome addition to our must-see list, and this one manages to do so without sacrificing its sense of humor or its commitment to entertaining us.

It may not change your life, but it’s sure to provide a fun 75 minutes’ worth of viewing pleasure – and that’s more than enough to earn our recommendation for any queer movie fan looking for something new and refreshing while we wait for the summer movie season to arrive.

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Stylish ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ entertains despite falling short

Johansson and Tatum lack chemistry in leading roles

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Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum in ‘Fly Me to the Moon.’ (Photo courtesy of Apple Studios/Sony Pictures Releasing)

Greg Berlanti is known as a pioneer in bringing depictions of queer life to television, having been behind the first male-on-male kiss in an American network show (“Dawson’s Creek”), the first recurring transgender character on prime-time television (“Dirty Sexy Money”), and the first openly gay superhero to headline a series (“Freedom Fighters: The Ray”) – not to mention bringing the first live-action transgender superhero to TV with the casting of Nicole Maines in the show “Supergirl” or his production of last year’s high-profile Amazon adaptation of the gay literary romance “Red, White, and Royal Blue.” His legacy on the small screen, which includes numerous accomplishments beyond those mentioned above, is not just solid, but exemplary.

On the big screen, however — with the exception of  2018’s “Love, Simon” (a major hit, which scored an impressive $66 million at the box office) — his efforts in the theatrical film industry have failed to replicate his success on television.

Yet with “Fly Me to the Moon,” which opened a widespread theatrical release on July 12, he just might have changed that narrative. 

Indeed, changing narratives might be what the movie itself is all about. Set in 1969, a year in which divisive politics and an unpopular war had made America a deeply anxious and cynical nation (sound familiar?), the pseudo-historical but entirely fictitious plot takes place during the Cold War “Space Race” in the months leading up to the historic Apollo 11 moon landing. National sentiment for the U.S. space program has waned, thanks to shifting public priorities and tragic setbacks in NASA’s progress. But with a perceived battle between American and Russian ideologies on the line, the U.S. government has decided that the mission is “too important to fail,” and they enlist the services of New York marketing whiz Kelly Jones (Scarlett Johansson) to give the floundering moon mission a boost in popularity.

Bringing all the tricks of her trade to NASA’s Florida headquarters, she is, naturally, met with resistance from mission director Cole Davis (Channing Tatum), a Korean War hero whose no-nonsense military background immediately puts him at odds with her “do whatever it takes” approach to selling the public on his project. Nevertheless, a mutual attraction sparks between them, but when Kelly’s “handler” (Woody Harrelson) instructs her to arrange a faked moon landing that can be sold to the public in case of the mission’s failure, any potential romance is put on hold as she tries to pull it off under Davis’s unsuspecting nose. Needless to say, as the launch date grows closer, the stage is set for a confrontation of ideals – and a comedy of errors — with consequences that will impact not just their personal lives, but America’s future understanding of its own history, as well.

Ostensibly a “romcom,” Berlanti’s film — built into a screenplay by Rose Gilroy from a story by Bill Kirstein and Keenan Flynn — certainly incorporates that always-popular genre into its slick-and-stylish formula. The match between its two attractive leading characters seems a foregone conclusion before they even meet, and once they do, proceeds through the standard series of tropes toward a presumed happy ending in which they ride (or, in this case, fly) off into the sunset together.

But “Fly Me to the Moon” doesn’t set out to simply be a love story with a historical backdrop; the romantic tension between its leads is really a hook to pull us into a satirical, absurd-ish confrontation between perception and reality — defined, in this case, by the juxtaposition of a historic event and the public image being manipulated around it — which plays into (and pokes a bit of troll-ish fun at) the perplexing popularity of conspiracy theories two generations later, and pitting the “end justifies the means” approach to truth embodied by half of its leading couple against the tight-lipped, old-fashioned idealism embodied by the other.

For fans of classic Hollywood cinema, it’s as much this aspect as the movie’s romcom trappings that will likely resonate. In its first half, it feels more than a bit like an homage to the sly and cynical wit of the great Billy Wilder, whose films from “Double Indemnity” to “Sunset Boulevard” to “The Apartment” looked beyond comfortable morality to cast a grimly humorous spotlight on human corruptibility. As the plot shifts toward its “save the moon mission” denouement, however, a swelling of sentiment fueled by the emotional arc of Johansson’s seemingly amoral huckster transforms the vibe into something more akin to the populist fables of Frank Capra, whose films about underdogs fighting and winning against a stacked system arguably helped to shape the American sense of self throughout the mid-20th Century. Indeed, one might easily envision James Stewart and Jean Arthur — the stars of Capra’s 1939 classic “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” — as the two romantic leads here.

Unfortunately, they’re not. While Johansson — for our money, one of the best yet most under appreciated film actresses in the industry — easily wins our attention and our loyalty early on, her chemistry with Tatum never quite ignites into the crackling flame clearly intended by the script. For his part, Tatum is well-cast in his role, but seems to us a little out of his depth when it comes to the finer points of his character growth.

Among the supporting players, there’s a more solid slate of performances. Ray Romano tugs our heartstrings without trying as a schlubbish career rocket scientist, and queer actor/comedian Jim Rash gives a hilarious but completely authentic turn as the “high maintenance” would-be directorial genius hired to orchestrate the phony lunar landing. Rounding out his headlining cast, Woody Harrelson steals his scenes as the shady government operative who serves as Kelly’s “handler,” and the fact that the actor’s father was in real life a CIA agent, on the scene at the John Kennedy assassination, adds a layer of fun detail for those who care to look.

On top of its collection of memorable performances, “Fly Me to the Moon” offers a spectacularly genuine period aesthetic, achieved with a seamlessly orchestrated visual design that ranges from perfectly recreated late-sixties fashion to a convincing and magnificent recreation of the real-life moon landing. And though it’s far from being a “thinker,” Berlanti’s movie is layered and compassionate enough to make us drop our reticence over some of its less historical elements.

We won’t mislead you: “Fly Me to the Moon” is a genuinely insightful comedy, but the chemistry between its leading players fizzles. The cast is stellar, and even if its effort to balance hard-boiled social commentary with feel-good sentiment doesn’t always feel simpatico, its throwback, classic Hollywood style makes for an oddly satisfying nostalgic romp. In other words, it’s not what we would call great cinema, but as mainstream, middle-of-the road entertainment goes, you could do a lot worse.

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Two queer indies rank among the year’s standout films

Don’t miss ‘Big Boys’ and ‘Cora Bora’

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Isaac Krasner and David Johnson III in ‘Big Boys.’ (Photo courtesy of Dark Star Pictures)

If there is any downside to living in an era when movies about queer people are finally plentiful, it’s that sometimes the best of them are overshadowed by bigger, splashier films and end up getting lost in the mix.

Two such titles are a pair of indie projects, both of which focus on “outsider” queer characters, newly available on the VOD market after brief-and-limited theatrical runs; each of them deserves a better fate than that. 

The first of these, “Big Boys,” was a major hit in the 2023 queer festival circuit, winning multiple awards (including Outstanding Lead Performance honors for its young star, Isaac Krasner, at LA’s Outfest) and emerging as an audience favorite. It’s easy to see why.

Written, produced, and directed by Corey Sherman, it’s a small, slice-of-life story centered on Jamie (Krasner), a bright-but-awkward 14-year-old trying to navigate the dual challenges of growing up as a chubby gay-and-closeted teen, who sets out (along with his slick and more confident older brother Will, played by Taj Cross) on a camping trip with favorite cousin Allie (Dora Madison), though he’s initially disappointed when he finds out her new boyfriend Dan (David Johnson III) is also coming along. His attitude changes, however, when the interloper turns out to be a handsome young man who wears his physical “chunkiness” with an easy confidence. Yes, it’s an instant and impossible crush, leading to a weekend adventure that pushes awkward boundaries for all four campers. But aside from his attractiveness, Dan also emerges as a positive role model for Jamie, who begins to find a confidence of his own.

Equal parts bittersweet coming-of-age story and uncomfortable-yet-endearing comedy, Sherman’s movie wins us over early on, largely through the strength of Krasner’s performance; the young actor exhibits not just the comedic chops necessary to get laughs from even his most painful moments, but the vulnerability to make them ring true. Seemingly unafraid of exploring his own identity through his character, he turns in a tour-de-force which stands up to comparison with some of the greatest “young actor breakthrough” performances of all time.

He’s given an ideal foil in Johnson, whose easygoing charm as Dan still allows us subtle hints of an internal process that keeps him from coming off as callow and clueless – something that pays off well in the film’s quiet-but-heart-stirring climax, which is best left unspoiled here. Madison also provides invaluable support with a performance that captures the conflicted impulses that come between youth and adulthood, and Cross successfully gets past the casual toxicity of his aggressively hetero-centric character to remain sympathetic. 

It’s a stellar collection of performances from an ensemble of relative newcomers, and it goes a long way toward endearing “Big Boys” to a presumably queer audience, which will likely find resonance in the way they each – especially Kasner – convey its theme of trying to claim and define one’s young identity when it goes against the grain of the world around you. But it’s ultimately Sherman, who drew heavily from his own experiences growing up as a plus-size queer kid in creating the film, that deserves full credit – not just for putting it all together, but for having the courage and determination to deliver a queer story that foregoes the glitz and glamour of “gay romance” and connects with the lived experience of viewers who may feel left out of the typically glossy mainstream depictions of queer life.

Cut from a similar cloth is “Cora Bora,” starring “Hacks” fan favorite Meg Stalter as the title character, a bisexual musician who might just be the poster child for clueless self-centeredness. Openly rude, unrepentantly shallow, and blatantly manipulative, she steamrolls her way through life seemingly oblivious to the impact her attitude has on others. Having departed her native Portland – and left behind longtime girlfriend Justine (Jojo T. Gibbs), though ostensibly maintaining a “long-distance open relationship” with her – to pursue a music career in Los Angeles, success has proven elusive. She decides to make a surprise visit back home to re-evaluate, only to find that a new girl (Ayden Mayeri) has moved in to take her place. When her attempts to reassert her claim in the household just make matters worse, Cora is forced to recognize that both her professional and personal lives are a shambles – but can she find the humility it will take to get “real” enough to repair them?

Directed by Hannah Pearl Utt from a screenplay by Rhianon Jones, “Cora Bora” also relies heavily on the talents of its star player. Statler, in a turn that lends a darker, more desperate edge to the comedic persona that has made her “Hacks” character one of that show’s biggest assets, is at once monstrous and endearing, a ridiculously broad yet shrewdly-drawn caricature of modern bourgeois boorishness that serves as a fragile cover for something deeper and – without spoiling anything – profoundly traumatic. The journey we take with her is at once hilarious and powerfully affecting, echoing a time-honored comic tradition of transcending pain by finding humor in a pain that feels universal.

She’s aided by an equally gifted supporting cast, with both Gibbs and Mayeri finding enough heart to keep either of their characters – the other two points of the film’s romantic triangle – from being positioned as a “villain,” and a convincing turn from Manny Jacinto (known for his breakout “himbo” role on TV’s afterlife comedy “The Good Place”), as a character that would otherwise seem too good to be true, lending credibility to an eventual resolution that hinges on a pile of coincidences that would seem absurd without his sincerity. There are also appearances from other familiar faces in cameo roles – such as Margaret Cho as part of a polyamorous commune and Chelsea Peretti as an outraged dog owner – which serve as highlights in a movie already rich with them.

Both “Big Boys” and “Cora Bora” are linked by a common thread. Each of them features a queer protagonist, of course, but they are outsiders even within their own community. Ultimately, their struggles are born of a perspective that separates them from the rest of the world, a lived experience that others around them do not and cannot fully share. It would be easy enough for either film to make its lead character the butt of the joke, but neither of them makes that choice. The humor comes through their relatability, rather than from their “otherness,” and that makes all the difference. Despite these films’ occasional painfulness, their kindness is what comes shining through – not just toward their misfit characters, but toward the misfits in the audience, too.

For our money, that’s what the world needs a lot more of these days, and it places these two hidden gems among 2024’s best releases so far.

Megan Statler stars in ‘Cora Bora.’ (Photo courtesy of Brainstorm Media)
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LGBTQ critics announce Dorian Award nominations for best of TV

Honorees reflect widely diverse range of cultural experience

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Sam Reid and Jacob Anderson from ‘Interview with the Vampire.’ (Photo courtesy of FX)

They might not be as coveted or as prestigious as some of the other awards out there, but the Dorians — presented annually by GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, at separate ceremonies throughout the year, for excellence in film, television, and theater – nevertheless represent an important and much-needed perspective that “reminds society that the world values the informed Q+ eye on everything entertainment.” Fittingly enough, the 500+ member media journalists’ association, now in its 15th year, chose the 55th anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion to announce the group’s 2024 nominations for the best in television and streaming across 24 categories, and the competition – as one might expect –  skews a little bit on the queer side, even if the nominations reflect a widely diverse range of cultural experience.

“A lot of our nominated shows are focused on outcasts trying to punch through norms, and their own fears and flaws, to find peace – a not-easy road, but one our members obviously loved following,” says GALECA founder and Executive Director John Griffiths. “It’s fitting we’re flagging these stories on the same day that, years ago, the brave souls of Stonewall […] took to the streets of Greenwich Village to protest abuse and oppression and hate at the hands of bigots and bullies. Like those protesters, the writers of these Dorian Award-nominated shows remind us that you can’t just pout and clutch pearls if you want a better existence.” 

Leading the nomination tally among dramas are three very disparate series based on period novels, with “Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire” (AMC) snagging six nods, while “Shōgun” (FX/Hulu) and “Fellow Travelers” (Showtime/Paramount+) each earned five. In the comedy field, critical darlings “The Bear” (FX/Hulu) and “Hacks” (Max) – alongside Netflix’s shocking (if darkly amusing) “Baby Reindeer” – all grabbed six nominations. 

This year, GALECA has included a couple of new categories. One of those is Best Written Show, where nominees include the aforementioned “The Bear,” “Hacks,” “Reindeer,” and “Fellow Travelers,” alongside ABC’s “Abbott Elementary,” a show that has been a past favorite with the group and scored additional nods across several categories; the other is for Best Genre TV Show, where the deeply queer “Vampire” competes with Netflix’s haunting “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Amazon Prime’s future-trippy “Fallout” and comedic horror offerings “What We Do in the Shadows” (FX) and “Chucky” (SyFy/USA).

Under the category of “nice surprises,” beloved SNL alumnus Kristen Wiig landed a nod for Best Comedy TV Performance for her work on the fizzy Apple TV+ hit “Palm Royale,” joining fellow SNL vets Maya Rudolph (for “Loot”) and Martin Short (“Only Murders in the Building”) alongside rising stars like Devery Jacobs of “Reservation Dogs. The latter show, about an underdog cadre of Indigenous American friends in Oklahoma, is up for both Best Unsung TV Show – a unique-to-the-Dorians category – and Best TV Comedy.

In fact, each of the Dorians’ acting, performance, and tribute categories – which are all non-gendered (hello, other Awards bodies, time to catch up with the times) – are peppered with beloved names, both big and up-and-coming. Such revered performers as Emma Stone, Jodie Foster, Angela Bassett, Ryan Gosling, Christine Baranski, LeVar Burton, Carol Burnett and Meryl Streep join those races alongside relative newcomers like Kali Reis, Ncuti Gatwa, Moeka Hoshi, Nama Mau, Jessica Gunning, Benny Safdie, Emma D’Arcy and Julio Torres. 

Then there’s GALECA’s most irreverent Dorian Award, for the year’s Campiest TV Show, where  honors could go to doll-gone-wild tale “Chucky,” Netlix’s cheeky post-modernist period romance “Bridgerton,” Peacock’s opportunist reality/competition hit “The Traitors,” the 1970s Manhattan society “true gossip” dishfest “Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans” (FX/Hulu), and the aforementioned “Palm Royale,” which skewers high society in Palm Beach circa 1969 through the story of an average woman (nominee Wiig) seeking acceptance at a posh private resort while discovering there is more to life than the superficial trappings of glamor and ostentatious prosperity for which her fellow vacationers seem to hunger.

Of course, the biggest interest for most queer TV fans lies in knowing which of their fan favorites made the cut for recognition at the Dorians. In the TV Drama category, alongside “Travelers” and “Vampire” (our personal pick for the most thrilling and transgressively queer show of the year, hands down), contenders include fellow genre-labeled series “Fallout,” Broadway-star-slumfest “The Gilded Age,” and the feel-good YA romance “Heartstopper.”

On the comedy side, queer-inclusive critical darlings “Abbot Elementary” and “Hacks” are joined by the under appreciated gem “Reservation Dogs” and the literary remake “Shōgun,” with irreverent fan favorite “What We Do in the Shadows” and Hulu’s “The Bear” rounding out the race.

In the race for Best LGBTQ TV show, “Fellow Travelers” (which also received nods in the Lead and Supporting Performance categories, for Matt Bomer and Jonathan Bailey, respectively) and “Vampire” (likewise for series star and “Game of Thrones” veteran Jacob Anderson) are joined by “Heartstopper,” “Hacks,” and “Baby Reindeer,” while the Best Unsung TV Show category – which also includes “Vampire” – spotlights less high-profile shows like “Chucky,” “Reservation Dogs,” Peacock’s “We Are Lady Parts,” and Max’s now-canceled queer pirate dram-com “Our Flag Means Death.” Not to be ignored, “Ripley,” Netflix’s stylish black-and-white adaptation of iconic queer novelist Patricia Highsmith’s novel “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” scored noms for Best TV Movie or miniseries, Best Drama Performance (Andrew Scott), and Most Visually Striking Show – another category unique to the Dorians.

The Dorian Awards, presented by GALECA, the Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, are  chosen democratically by the full membership, and are presented to TV, film and Broadway/Off-Broadway winners at different times of the year. Members work or freelance for a variety of mainstream and niche media outlets, including the Washington and Los Angeles Blade. A nonprofit organization, GALECA also advocates for better pay, access and respect for entertainment journalists, especially the underrepresented. Winners of the 2024 Dorian TV Awards will be announced Aug. 12. The full list of nominees is available on the Blade website.

BEST TV DRAMA

Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire (AMC)

The Curse (Showtime/Paramount+)

Fallout (Amazon Prime)

The Gilded Age (HBO)

Heartstopper (Netflix)

Shōgun (FX/Hulu)

BEST TV COMEDY

Abbott Elementary (ABC)

The Bear (FX/Hulu)

Hacks (Max)

Reservation Dogs (FX/Hulu)

What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

BEST LGBTQ TV SHOW

Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire (AMC)

Baby Reindeer (Netflix)

Fellow Travelers (Showtime/Paramount+)

Hacks (Max)

Heartstopper (Netflix)

BEST TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES

Baby Reindeer (Netflix)

Fellow Travelers (Showtime/Paramount+)

Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans (FX/Hulu)

Ripley (Netflix) 

True Detective: Night Country (HBO)

BEST UNSUNG TV SHOW

Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire (AMC)

Chucky (Syfy/USA)

Our Flag Means Death (Max)

Reservation Dogs (FX/Hulu)

We Are Lady Parts (Peacock)

BEST WRITTEN TV SHOW (new category)

Abbott Elementary (ABC)

Baby Reindeer (Netflix)

The Bear (FX/Hulu)

Fellow Travelers (Showtime/Paramount+)

Hacks (Max)

BEST NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGE TV SHOW

Elite (Netflix)

Lupin (Netflix) 

Shōgun (FX/Hulu)

Tore (Netflix)

Young Royals (Netflix)

BEST LGBTQ NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGE TV SHOW (new category)

Drag Latina (Revry/LATV+)

Elite (Netflix)

Past Lies (Hulu)

Tore (Netflix)

Young Royals (Netflix)

BEST TV PERFORMANCE—DRAMA

Jacob Anderson, Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire (AMC)

Matt Bomer, Fellow Travelers (Showtime/Paramount+)

Jodie Foster, True Detective: Night Country (HBO)

Richard Gadd, Baby Reindeer (Netflix)

Ncuti Gatwa, Dr. Who (Disney+)

Lily Gladstone, Under the Bridge (Hulu)

Tom Hollander, Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans (FX/Hulu)

Anna Sawai, Shōgun (FX/Hulu)

Andrew Scott, Ripley (Netflix)

Emma Stone, The Curse (Showtime/Paramount+)

BEST SUPPORTING TV PERFORMANCE—DRAMA

Jonathan Bailey, Fellow Travelers (Showtime/Paramount+)

Christine Baranski, The Gilded Age (HBO)

Elizabeth Debicki, The Crown (Netflix)

Jessica Gunning, Baby Reindeer (Netflix)

Moeka Hoshi, Shōgun (FX/Hulu)

Jennifer Jason Leigh, Fargo (FX)

Nama Mau, Baby Reindeer (Netflix)

Jinkx Monsoon, Doctor Who (Disney+)

Kali Reis, True Detective: Night Country (HBO)

Benny Safdie, The Curse (Showtime/Paramount+)

BEST TV PERFORMANCE—COMEDY

Matt Berry, What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

Quinta Brunson, Abbott Elementary (ABC)

Ayo Edebiri, The Bear (FX/Hulu) 

Renée Elise Goldsberry, Girls5Eva (Netflix)

Devery Jacobs, Reservation Dogs (FX/Hulu)

Maya Rudolph, Loot (Apple TV+)

Martin Short, Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)

Jean Smart, Hacks (Max)

Jeremy Allen White, The Bear (FX/Hulu)

Kristen Wiig, Palm Royale (Apple TV+)

BEST SUPPORTING TV PERFORMANCE—COMEDY

Joel Kim Booster, Loot (Apple TV+)

Carol Burnett, Palm Royale (Apple TV+)

Hannah Einbinder, Hacks (Max)

Harvey Guillén, What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

Janelle James, Abbott Elementary (ABC)

Jamie Lee-Curtis, The Bear (FX/Hulu)

Sheryl Lee Ralph, Abbott Elementary (ABC)

Ebon Moss-Bachrach, The Bear (FX/Hulu)

Megan Stalter, Hacks (Max)

Meryl Streep, Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)

BEST TV MUSICAL PERFORMANCE

Miley Cyrus, “Flowers,” 66th Annual Grammy Awards (CBS / Paramount+)

Billie Eilish & Finneas O’Connell, What Was I Made For?,” 96th Academy Awards (ABC)

Ryan Gosling, “I’m Just Ken,” 96th Academy Awards (ABC)

Steve Martin, “Which of the Pickwick Triplets Did It?,” Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)

Maya Rudolph, “Mother,” Saturday Night Live (NBC)

BEST TV DOCUMENTARY OR DOCUMENTARY SERIES

Black Twitter: A People’s History (Hulu)

Girls State (Apple TV+)

The Greatest Night in Pop (Netflix)

Jim Henson Idea Man (Disney+)

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV (Investigation Discovery)

BEST LGBTQ TV DOCUMENTARY OR DOCUMENTARY SERIES

Beyond the Aggressives: 25 Years Later (Showtime)

Jerrod Carmichael Reality Show (HBO)

Last Call: When A Serial Killer Stalked Queer New York (HBO)

Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed (HBO)

The Stroll (HBO)

BEST CURRENT AFFAIRS SHOW

The Daily Show (Comedy Central)

Hot Ones (YouTube)

Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC)

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

BEST REALITY SHOW

Rupaul’s Drag Race (MTV)

Queer Eye (Netflix)

Top Chef (Bravo)

The Traitors (Peacock)

We’re Here (HBO)

BEST GENRE TV SHOW (new category)

Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire (AMC)

The Fall of the House of Usher (Netflix)

Fallout (Amazon Prime)

What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

Chucky (SyFy/USA)

BEST ANIMATED SHOW

Blue Eye Samurai (Netflix)

Bobs Burgers (Fox)

Harley Quinn (Max) 

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off (Netflix)

X-Men 97 (Disney+)

MOST VISUALLY STRIKING TV SHOW

Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire (AMC)

Fallout (Amazon Prime)

Palm Royale (Apple TV+)

Ripley (Netflix) 

Shōgun (FX/Hulu)

True Detective: Night Country (HBO)

CAMPIEST TV SHOW

Bridgerton (Netflix)

Chucky (SyFy / USA)

Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans (FX/Hulu)

Palm Royale (Apple TV+)

The Traitors (Peacock)

WILDE WIT AWARD

(To a performer, writer or commentator whose observations both challenge and amuse}

Joel Kim Booster

Quinta Brunson

Ayo Edebiri

Hannah Einbinder

Julio Torres

GALECA TV Icon Award

(To a uniquely talented star we adore)

Gillian Anderson

Angela Bassett

Carol Burnett

LeVar Burton

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

GALECA LGBTQIA+ TV Trailblazer Award

(For creating art that inspires empathy, truth and equity)

RuPaul Charles

Margaret Cho

Alan Cumming

Emma D’Arcy

Ncuti Gatwa

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