Ship, witches, drag & more: The Lavender Tube on the latest inclusive series

  • by Victoria A. Brownworth
  • Tuesday November 1, 2022
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Nadia Parkes, Jay Lycurgo, and Emilien Vekemans in 'The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself'
Nadia Parkes, Jay Lycurgo, and Emilien Vekemans in 'The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself'

Our favorite TV event this past week was watching the delightful Rowan Ward winning week two of the "Jeopardy! Second Chance" competition on Oct. 28. Ward made "Jeopardy!" history in more than one way when they came out as nonbinary on the show.

Rowan Ward on 'Jeopardy!'  

Ward explained that they had previously competed under their old name, but had—grab a tissue—spent their winnings on getting their official name change and were now competing as their true authentic self. Ward is a masterful player and their love for the game shines. Ward smiled throughout the two-day competition, clearly just happy to be part of the elite.

"I'm so excited," they said. "This is a dream come true."

Ward, a writer and editor from Chicago, proved victorious over Jack Weller, a law student from San Diego, and Sadie Goldberger, an interpreter from Columbia, Maryland. It was a superb two-day event as both players tried to best Rowan, but in the end, could not.

Rowan won their semifinal game with a huge lead after the first game of the two-day finals. Then in the final game, Rowan and Weller were in a dead heat and Friday's game came down to Final Jeopardy! All three contestants were unable to provide the correct response, which allowed Rowan to win the competition with a total score of $37,999 due to strategic betting. The Tournament of Champions began Monday, Oct. 31. We now have a new favorite to win.

The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself
Okay, spoiler alert: We are not fans of gore and "The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself" series is gory AF, but—there's always a but—it's also incredibly compelling storytelling. Based on the 'Half Bad' trilogy by Sally Green and adapted by British screenwriter Joe Barton, "The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself" has got witches, magic and massive amounts of mayhem. It also has a totally hot queer love triangle. Oh and that title—right?!

So the series is in part about a battle between witch clans—Blood Witch and Fairborn Witch. Kind of a Sharks v. Jets situation in witchdom. The title bastard is Nathan Byrn (Jay Lycurgo). He's Black, nearly 17 and some kind of witch, but the big question is what kind?

Nathan is the illegitimate son of a dangerous, mayhem-wreaking witch, Marcus Edge (David Gyasi). Marcus was a pretty awesomely terrible witch. He turned up at a peace council between the two clans and oops—turned into a wolf and massacred the Fairborns. Not surprisingly, this had some spillover for Nathan as he tries to find his place in the world and discover his powers and where he belongs.

As Nathan struggles to overcome his DNA, the conflict between Blood Witch and Fairborn Witch clans escalates, which gives Nathan a chance to bond with some surprising allies and possibly find a way to escape his heritage.

One of those allies is Annalise (Nadia Parkes), daughter of the Fairborn clan leader, Soul O'Brien (Paul Ready), who turns up as the new girl at Nathan's school. The two have an immediate connection with blood at its core. But Annalise isn't the only one Nathan connects with. There is the mysterious Gabriel (Belgian actor Emilien Vekemans), who is phenomenally sexy in that witchy, vampire-y, heavily accented way.

This series is lush and beautifully shot with stellar special effects and true creativity from Barton. The series is also simmering with emotions—rage, pain and loss among them. "The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself" is also hot, very queer and thoroughly engaging. And the sexuality fairly sizzles. Lycurgo is very, very good and we feel an immediate affinity with him. He reads as vulnerable and edgy and a bit lost. Like most of the darker stories that begin as Y/A, "The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself" doesn't read as a kids' story or plot at all. This Netflix original series was definitely made with sophisticated audiences in mind. At eight episodes, you can binge it in a weekend, and you'll want to; on Netflix now.

Okay, the thought of being on a cruise ship in the pandemic era seems like horror enough, no matter how many times that charming Norwegian spokesperson for Viking cruises, Torstein Hagen, tells us on PBS that "the world awaits." So it makes sense that "Wreck" would be a horror series set on a cruise ship, right?

The cast of 'Wreck'  

This British horror/dramedy created by Ryan J. Brown, was just renewed for a second season by BBC Three on Oct. 28.

The plot is simple horror fare. Jamie (Oscar Kennedy) joins the crew of the Sacramentum cruise ship. His mission is to uncover what happened to his sister Pippa (Jodie Tyack), who went missing while on board the ship months earlier. But as Jamie searches for answers, the ship's duck mascot Quacky is revealed as more than just a big lovable water fowl.

Helping Jamie find out what happened to Pippa are his friend Vivian (Thaddea Graham), frenemy Hamish (James Phoon) and Cher impersonator Rosie (Miya Ocego). Brown told BBC, "I'm really thrilled to be serving up another slice of 'Wreck.' We'll be back, bigger and bloodier in 2023. To have BBC Three's confidence in us reaffirmed is the best feeling. I've always had big plans for where our story could go and to fully realize that is an honor."

In 2017, Brown was featured in Gay Times as an "LGBT Emerging Artist" to watch and "Wreck" has been praised for its LGBTQ characterizations. Watch via

Drag Latina
Revry's international drag competition series, "Drag Latina" premiered to a global audience with over a million viewers tuned in from the U.S., Brazil, Mexico, and the U.K. Revry says "many clubs, bars and households hosted viewing parties in Los Angeles, San Diego, Houston, New York City, Dallas and Puerto Rico to celebrate the beginning of the series."

LGBTQ-first media company Revry released the Revry Original series, "Drag Latina," which Revry calls "a Spanish-language international drag competition with performers representing their identity, their culture and their country."

The cast of 'Drag Latina'  

This unique drag series is hosted by Mexican singer and television actress Ninel Conde with singer Fedro as a mentor and judge. "Drag Latina" is viewable on a host of services, including Samsung TV Plus, Vizio WatchFree+, Roku Channel, Rakuten TV, Xumo, and Freevee in Spanish and with subtitles for English viewers.

In season one, the "Drag Latina" queens are Afrika Mendiola, Anika Leclere, Amalara Sofia, Chichi Fuera, Leyla Edwards, Mariah Spanic, Sunel Molina, Valeria Sparx, Venus Carangi, and Vicky Chavarria.
For more info, check out Revry at

The Patient
"The Patient" is a new psychological thriller limited series created and written by Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg. Steve Carell plays Dr. Alan Strauss, a therapist mourning the recent death of his much-beloved wife, Beth (Laura Niemi), after a battle with cancer. Alan is in an unmoored state, a fact he shares with a colleague. We also learn that Alan is estranged from his son, Ezra (Andrew Leeds).

Steve Carell in 'The Patient'  

Then a new patient comes for counseling. This enigmatic new client, Sam Fortner (Domhnall Gleeson), has some complicated issues that are slowly revealed. As Sam tells his troubles to Alan, Alan makes choices that are as irrevocable as they are shocking.

"The Patient" is a perfect metaphor for the way we live now and delves into the concept of the young, white male loner and what they are capable of. Carell gives one of his best performances and Gleeson is creepily perfect as Sam. With Linda Emond as Candace Fortner, Sam's mother, David Alan Grier as Charlie Addison, Alan's former therapist, and Alex Rich as Elias, a man with whom Sam is deeply involved.

This is a very unsettling series —you will be mulling it over for days and more— but at 10 short episodes, a weekend's binge and well worth your time; on FX and Hulu.

What to watch
If you aren't watching USA's "Chucky," do! Season 2 is incredibly over-the-top with Jennifer Tilly at her campiest best. It's the gayest show on TV.

ABC's "Alaska Daily" is our fave new series with Hilary Swank's Eileen as the best and most unlikable of protagonists. Also, Roz (played by Indigenous actress Grace Dov) is giving off serious lesbian vibes with her side action on the basketball court. Fingers crossed. And Reba McEntire is our new fave villain on the new season of ABC's "Big Sky," which continues to give off queer vibes, despite the exit of Jesse James Keitel for "Queer as Folk."

Finally, we would be remiss if we didn't say that every news network should have reported the attack on Paul Pelosi for what it was: an assassination attempt on the Speaker of the House. If you haven't already, vote. The rhetoric from the GOP couldn't be more violent or more anti-LGBTQ. And for that and so much more, you really must stay tuned.

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