Although “The L Word: Generation Q” may have tried desperately to speak to a “new generation” of queer women and non-binary folks, fresher creative voices quickly rose to the top in its place. Though people still watched. Showtime’s “Work in Progress” was the best queer comedy of the year, Netflix’s “Feel Good” was an unexpected delight, and “Vida” is returning just in time for queer audiences to catch up on the best show about queer women of color on TV. Yet another contender released a promising first trailer today: “Betty” is a stylish and youthful portrait of Brooklyn teen skaters that already appears extremely queer.
The six-part half-hour arrives on HBO from filmmaker Crystal Moselle, who quickly made waves in 2015 with her her riveting documentary hybrid “The Wolfpack.” “Betty” is adapted from her second feature, the similarly hybridized “Skate Kitchen,” which followed a group of teenage girl skaters in New York City. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews and was released by Magnolia Pictures that year.
In his B+ review of “Skate Kitchen” out of Sundance, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote: “The streetwise alternative to ‘Girls,’ the movie weaves together such a complete vision of its subjects that the rest of the world barely exists. Of course, there's a long-standing precedent to capturing this subculture — ‘Kids’ did it, with more adventurous storytelling twists, more than 20 years ago — but Moselle's subjects hold their own with the surprising ability to clarify their emotions through the cathartic process of hanging out.”
“Betty” features many of the film’s original stars, most of whom had not acted before, including Kabrina Adams, Dede Lovelace, Nina Moran, Rachelle Vinberg, and Ajani Russell. All accomplished skaters in their own right, the first trailer shows the charismatic crew navigating various crushes and friendship trials with compelling panache and humor.
“Betty” is directed, co-written, and executive produced by Moselle. Lesley Arfin and Patricia Breen are also co-writers. Arfin, who also EPs, is a comedy writer best known for co-creating the Netflix series “Love” with Judd Apatow and Paul Rust.
HBO will release “Betty” beginning May 1 at 11 pm ET. Check out the exciting first trailer below:
If nothing below suits your sensibilities, check out our guide to What You Should Watch On Streaming Right Now.
Schitt's Creek Comedy Central, Pop TV 8:00 p.m. — Fans of this cult-hit series should prepare to be wrecked as the sixth season winds down to an end. The good news is that beloved shows don't die in the streaming era, and Dan Levy is open to a reunion down the road. With self-isolation being the name of the game right now, this and the show's unintentional pandemic banger might truly end up being a collective viewing event.
Parasite Hulu, Wednesday — Alright, so this biting, social-class satire officially does not arrive on Hulu until midnight on Wednesday, but it's worth celebrating Bong Joon Ho's history-making masterpiece landing on a streaming service near you. The film received a hefty box-office bump after winning so many awards that the director apologized to Oscar engravers, so if you still haven't watched, shoot your shot now.
The Resident FOX, 8:00 p.m. — Derek's improvement falls into jeopardy when he suffers a severe complication, and Kit's afraid that this might be more evidence of Cain's cover-up.
The Conners ABC, 8:00 p.m. — Bev is spreading happiness through her finances and decides to fund Mark's coding camp tuition.
Bless This Mess ABC, 8:30 p.m. — Jacob's after-prom event sounds potentially dicey after Kay suggests that Rio and Mike step up as chaperones.
Empire FOX, 9:00 p.m. — Cookie and Lucious have Andre committed to a treatment facility following his breakdown. Meanwhile, Cookie's feeling guilty about Andre's whole situation and wonders how her own troubled history may have contributed.
For Life ABC, 10:00 p.m. — After Cassius put white supremacists in the hospital, Aaron comes to his defense, while Marie's having more feelings for Aaron.
The Last O.G. TBS, 10:30 p.m. — The third season begins for Tracy Morgan and Tiffany Haddish's show about an ex-con attempting to readjust to the world after a 15-year prison stint.
Conan — Guest TBA
The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon — Kerry Washington, Russell Wilson, Ciara
A Little Late With Lilly Singh — Adam Rodriguez, Kelsey Cook
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah — Noah's reporting live from his couch, and naturally, the subject of the night will be the ongoing pandemic and social distancing.
Oscar-winning producers Barry Jenkins and Adele Romanski re-team for Eliza Hittman's timely tale of the challenges that face a teenage girl as she seeks an abortion.
As theaters shuttered across the nation amid the coronavirus pandemic, the filmmakers of Never Rarely Sometimes Always had a tough decision to make - wait to release the movie when theaters reopen, or release the film on digital platforms to capitalize on an audience confined to their homes.
Ultimately, for Adele Romanski and Barry Jenkins, who produced the film under their Pastel Productions banner, the story about a teenage girl's journey to get a safe and legal abortion was resonant with the current state of women's reproductive health in America, and so they, along with writer-director Eliza Hittman and distributor Focus Features, opted to release the film on VOD platforms.
"What we do know is that we have a film that's very urgent right now," Romanski tells The Hollywood Reporter. "There continues to be a war on women's health and certain states saying abortions are non-essential medical procedures in response to COVID-19, so we know we have a film that matters."
Written and directed by Hittman Beach Rats, It Felt Like Love and made for under $3 million, Never Rarely Sometimes Always is the story of the teenage Autumn, played by first-time actor Sidney Flanigan, who decides to travel with her cousin Skylar Talia Ryder from her rural Pennsylvania town to New York City to get an abortion. The film delves into the real challenges that the two girls face within the medical system and an unfriendly big city.
The film debuted at Sundance Film Festival this year, where it won a special jury award, and then went on to win the Silver Bear prize at the Berlin Film Festival in February. The film was slated to hit theaters on March 13, but with theaters closing down, it was released on demand on April 3.
"We all believe we have a very powerful piece of art and a very captive audience sitting at home," says Jenkins. "The movie's rated PG-13 and it's really powerful because there's all these kids sitting at home right now trying to figure out what to watch, and while they're doing that, there's states all across the country saying that an abortion is not an essential procedure."
Jenkins and Romanski talked to THR about how Hittman tackled highly politicized issue of abortion with nuance, the biggest production challenges and the decision to bring the film to home screens early.
How did your collaboration with Eliza Hittman come about?
Romanski: We had been fans of Eliza's work since It Felt Like Love, which also debuted at Sundance, and stuck up a friendship as one does on the festival circuit and when we were coming together years later and forming Pastel and thinking about who were the kinds of artists and filmmakers we wanted to...