Many members of our Pickle community turn to art as a way to celebrate their identities. While people choose to celebrate Pride month in many different ways, we have rounded up a streaming list to check out from home or on the go.
Below, you'll find films and series that our talented alumni helped to create. They feature prominent LGBTQ+ main characters and/or themes, in the hopes that members of our community can feel seen and represented through art.
A series that explores what life can be like for the modern teenager, “Euphoria” has received rave reviews from critics for its cinematography, acting, production and handling of mature content. Series lead Zendaya who plays Rue Bennet is the youngest person to ever receive the Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama series.
High school Visual Arts alumna Hunter Schafer stars as Jules Vaughn, a friend and love interest of main character Rue Bennet. Schafer also served as a writer for the special episode “F*** Anyone Who's Not a Sea Blob - Part Two: Jules,” released in January 2021.
A science fiction drama, “Sense8” tells the story of eight strangers from around the world who are suddenly reborn as “sensate,” meaning they are connected psychically and can share knowledge, language and skills. Throughout the series, the group works to help each other overcome personal obstacles and evade abduction.
Drama alumnus Terrence Mann plays main villain “Whispers,” who tries to capture members of the eight.
This innovative comedy-drama series loosely follows the life of American poet Emily Dickinson before and during the Civil War. Combining period design, contemporary music and dialogue, and vivid interpretations of her poetry, “Dickinson” explores concepts of gender, society and family through the eyes of Dickinson.
Alumni connections in this series are extensive, starting with Film alumnus David Gordon Green, who served as executive producer and director. Drama alumni featured in the series include Samuel Farnsworth as George Gould, Gus Halper as Joseph and Matt Lauria as Ben Newton. Other alumni involved include Assistant Art Director Lisa Merik (Design and Production), Dairus Shahmir (Filmmaking) in the camera and electrical department and vocal coach T. Oliver Reid (Music). Additionally, series star Adrian Blake Enscoe, who plays Austin Dickinson, is in the band Bandits on the Run with Drama alumni Regina Strayhorn and Sydney Torin Shepherd.
While the first two seasons of “Master of None” primarily follow series creator and actor Aziz Ansari in his role as Dev Shah, the third season centers around Dev’s friend Denise, played by Lena Waithe, and Denise’s wife Alicia, played by Naomi Ackie. The season follows the couple as they deal with their relationship and struggles as they try to have a baby.
Filmmaking alumnus Cody Beke served as casting director for the series.
Immigration, racism, PTSD, sexual orientation and gender identity are just a few of the topics addressed in this reboot of a 1970s show of the same name. A comedy/drama series that follows a Cuban-American multigenerational family living in Los Angeles, “One Day at a Time” has been praised by critics for both its writing and ensemble.
Drama alumna Tiffany Little Canfield served as casting director for the series.
Editor’s note: “One Day at a Time” was also recommended in “15 shows created by women you need to know.”
This comedy web series follows two homebody roommates figuring out the boundaries of their no-boundaries friendship. The third season of “Indoor Boys” won six 2020 Indie Series Awards, including Best Comedy Series and actress Veanne Cox received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination in the Best Supporting Actress in a Digital Series category for her work on the show.
Drama alumni featured in the series include Wesley Taylor as Luke, Issac Powell as Logan in six episodes, Erich Bergen as Rodney in one episode, Will Rives as Rocky in one episode and Ciera Payton as Alyssa in one episode. Wesley Taylor also serves as co-creator, producer and writer for the series.
A spinoff of popular come-of-age film “Love, Simon,” “Love, Victor” follows teen Victor Salazar after moving from Texas to the Atlanta area and starting at Creekwood High School. The series shows Victor's journey of self discovery as he navigates new friendships, family drama and figuring out his sexuality. The first two seasons are already available to stream, and the third and final season is premiering this summer.
Drama alumna Tiffany Little Canfield also served as casting director for the series.
An adaptation of the August Wilson play of the same name, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” is based on 1920s blues singer Ma Rainey, played by Viola Davis. Dubbed the “Mother of Blues,” Rainey is considered a Black LGBTQ icon of the early 1900s.
Set in an alternate timeline where the Soviets first landed on the moon and the global space race never ended, “For All Mankind” follows NASA astronauts as they work to pursue exploration and colonazation of the moon and beyond during the mid-to-late twentieth century. The first two seasons are already available to stream, and the third season is premiering this summer.
Drama alumna Krys Marshall plays NASA's first Black astronaut Danielle Poole.
A feel-good story about a Brooklyn-based musician and record store owner Frank (Nick Offerman) and his studious daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons), “Hearts Beat Loud” is set during the summer before Sam leaves for college in California. After a song they record for fun goes viral, Frank tries to convince Sam to start a band with him and create more music.
This film is packed with alumni connections, starting with film alumnus Brett Haley who served as writer and director. Drama alumni connections throughout the film include Linda Lee McBride as Callie, Alex Reznik as Professor Berg, Micheal Abbot, Jr. as Emcee, Quincy Dunn-Baker as Ryan and casting director Tiffany Little Canfield. Additional film alumni include Abraham Bengio as assistant to the producer, Dustin Bricker as script super and Zach Seivers as re-recording mixer, sound designer and supervising sound editor.
This webseries follows the lives of three young, queer Black friends — Jamal, Anthony and Syed — as they navigate love and friendship in New York City.
"For The Boys" is co-created by Drama alumnus Mekhai Lee and stars recent alumnus Chandler Bryant. Other alumni involved in series include film graduate Maddison Whitfield who served as sound designer and drama alumni Lawrence Davis Jr. and James Alton.
Writer, director and producer Ryan Murphy is widely considered one of the most well known content creators of our time. A majority of his work has focused on telling stories surrounding people of marginalized identities. Below are a few of his most notable films and series, available to stream on Netflix, that have UNCSA alumni connections:
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Originally published: June 2, 2021
Last updated: June 2, 2022