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Film and TV

Quibi shows from LGBT+ stars like Sasha Velour make new streaming service home of queer excellence

Reiss Smith April 6, 2020
Sasha Velour and the Quibi logo

Sasha Velour is bringing her NightGowns show to Quibi. (Quibi)

Quibi shows include NightGowns with Sasha Velour, The Hot Shot with Keke Palmer and Joel Kim Booster and You Ain’t Got These with Lena Waithe.

What is Quibi exactly? Another subscription service in an increasingly crowded market seems like the last thing anybody needs, but the newly-launched app looks set to become a fast favourite among the queer community.

The service differentiates itself from the likes of Netflix and Disney+ by promising to be mobile-first in every sense, and has signed up a host of LGBT+ stars including Sasha Velour, Willam, Adam Rippon and Titus Burgess.

What does Quibi mean?

Quibi is short for quick bites, a handy way of describing the platform’s innovative video strategy.

Quibi shows are only available to stream on the mobile app, and are filmed and designed for on-the-go consumption with each episode lasting 10 minutes or less.

Because the service has been designed for mobile from the get-go, each of the Quibi shows can be viewed in either full-screen horizontal or full-screen vertical, a feature it has dubbed Turnstyle.

What’s on Quibi?

Quibi is spending more than $1 billion in its first year on original content. It launches with 50 Quibi shows, but plans to total 175 series by the end of the first year: about 8,500 quick bites.

The streamer is focusing on three strands of content: “movies in chapters” (scripted series), “daily essentials” (news and lifestyle shows) and unscripted series.

LGBT+ highlights on the new streaming service.

Singled Out

Joel Kim Booster teams up with Keke Palmer for this reboot of the MTV dating show where one dater speed-dates 30 singles to find the one. The 2020 twist is that each of the potential lovers is connected to the main dater by social media.

Like The Hot Drop, the Quibi show will introduce singletons of all genders and sexualities, championing inclusivity right off the bat: the first contestant is bisexual and the second is gay.

Gayme Show!

Matt Rogers and Dave Mizzoni bring their live comedy act to the small screen with Gayme Show!

Each episode will see two LGBT+ allies paired with a celebrity “life partner” as they battle for the title “Queen of the Straights”.

Expect appearances from Trixie Mattel, Rachel Bloom, Nicole Byer and more.

The Hot Drop

Imagine The Batchelor, only LGBT-inclusive and interactive. That’s kind of what The Hot Drop is.

The Quibi show will release new episodes three times a week. The first will introduce the week’s contestant, with producers promising singletons of all genders and sexualities.

Viewers can then submit their own videos for a chance to go on a date with the week’s “hot drop”. The second episode will reveal the top three entrants (as voted for by viewers), and by the end of the week the audience will watch the winner go on their date.

NightGowns with Sasha Velour

Sasha Velour, winner of Drag Race season nine, takes Quibi viewers behind the scenes of her acclaimed Brooklyn revue show NightGowns in this eight-part series.

Each episode will focus on a single performer, exploring their story and process before debuting an exclusive number. The series is directed by Sophie Muller, a collaborator of Beyoncé and Kylie Minogue’s.

Pillow Talk with Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato turns talk show host for this 10-part series, discussing topics including gender identity, activism, body positivity and sex with a string of celebrity guests.

“I’ve always considered myself someone that speaks honestly about issues that face my generation,” Lovato said.

“We’re excited to bring those frank conversations to a public forum, where people can have the opportunity to relate to the topics and guests, while finding room for laughter and learning.”

You Ain’t Got These

Lena Waithe examines race, class, gender expression, politics and creativity by taking a deep dive into sneaker culture.

“This is not a show about sneakers, this is a show about sneaker culture,” the multi-hyphenate explains in a trailer. Each episode will include guests such as Hasan Minhaj, Nas and Questlove to discuss sneaker culture, what it says about society and how it was birthed from black culture.

Dishmantled

Titus Burgess hosts what can only be described as the natural endpoint of the cooking competition show.

Two chefs are blindfolded before having a dish blasted into their faces with a cannon. They then have to identify and recreate it. Seriously.

Guest judges for Dishmantled include Queer Eye‘s Antoni Porowski, Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy and Burgess’ Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt co-star Jane Karakowski.

Fashion’s a Drag

Willam (Drag Race season four) teams up with supermodel Denise Bidot for this daily fashion talk show.

“People have looked up to drag queens for style cues for years and that’s not just a joke about men being taller in heels and wigs,” Willam said.

“And since red carpets need a recapping, Quibi decided to give me a show which will utilise the two things I’m known for – my style and my mouth.”

Potty Talk

Fashion designer Alexander Wang is flushing the traditional talk show format down the toilet, gossiping with celebrities in the bathrooms of the most exclusive events.

Each episode will see Wang and a guest host serve as restroom attendants while chatting and playing games with A-listers.

Trip

Joel Kim Booster created, wrote and stars in this “gay Pride and Prejudice adaptation that takes place entirely on Fire Island”.

The series will serve as a reminder of the old, pre-coronavirus world, following two best friends as they embark on a rosé-fuelled, Speedo-sprinkled summer vacation.

“This is my version of Sandler telling Netflix he has to film his next movie on the Amalfi Coast or some s**t,” Booster tweeted of the project. “Only I’m making all my friends wear Speedos on Long Island in April!”

Just One Drink

Laura Dern, Oscar-winning actor and flawless LGBT+ ally, plays a bartender in this experimental series of vignettes.

Each episode will be a two-hander, following Dern’s character as she serves customers in various states of emotional despair.

This Day in Useless Celebrity History

Adam Rippon hosts a daily recap of “useless” celebrity stories from history, from the early 2000s to the present day.

Each episode will focus on events that happened on the calendar date it airs on.

The Olympic figure skater said: “There are so many great moments to choose from, and I’ll be there breaking it down for Quibi’s viewers and reminding them of all the drama we’ve lived through together.”

What does it cost?

Quibi launched in the US on April 6 with a 90-day free trial for all users.

After that, the service will offer two price tiers: $4.99 with ads, or $7.99 without.

When will Quibi launch in the UK?

So far, Quibi is only available in the US. A UK launch date has not yet been announced.

More: demi lovato, Lena Waithe, NightGowns, Quibi, Sasha Velour, Singled Out, The hot Drop

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