By Sofia Pham
The Half of It
Synopsis: Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis), a gifted but introverted girl who helps her father run a local train station, operates a side business where she writes her classmates’ essay papers. When school jock Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer) asks her to write love letters to a girl he likes, she must wrestle with and confront her feelings for the same girl.
With director Alice Wu at the helm, this teen coming-of-age film has it all – loveable characters, a gorgeous soundtrack, and a queer person of color center stage. Although its core is a quiet romance between two girls, the film doesn’t just speak about the stigma behind same-sex relationships in small, close-knit towns. It addresses a variety of topics, brushing on the domestic struggles of an immigrant family while never failing to lighten the tone with subtle yet effective humor.
Starring: Leah Lewis, Alexxis Lemire, Daniel Diemer
I Am Not Okay With This
Synopsis: Based on a graphic novel by Charles Forsman, I Am Not Okay With This tells the story of Sydney Novak (Sophia Lillis), a teen girl who suddenly learns she has supernatural powers.
Although the story doesn’t predominantly focus on Sydney’s struggle with her sexual identity, it touches on important themes and features a cast of relatable characters, fighting against toxic masculinity and portraying deep friendships in a way that will make audiences fall in love. Perfect for anyone who feels unseen or frustrated with the world, this show has an undeniable charm to it.
Starring: Sophia Lillis, Wyatt Oleff, Sofia Bryant
The Perks of Being A Wallflower
Synopsis: Adapted from Stephen Chbosky’s bestselling novel, the film follows Charlie (Logan Lerman), a socially awkward high school freshman who befriends Sam (Emma Watson) and her stepbrother Patrick (Ezra Miller).
Ezra Miller’s portrayal of Patrick, an openly gay character, is enhanced by the fact that they are also queer and reject the gender binary. While this film is dark at times and deals with heavy topics, the performance of its stellar cast is enough to make it worth a watch (if you somehow still haven’t seen it).
Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller
Synopsis: Set in 1920s Spain, four women begin work at the first national telephone company in the country, wrestling with family, identity, and their separate experiences as women.
This show is absolutely worth the watch, with a cast of strong women, a thrilling storyline, and the portrayal of both a transitioning woman and a queer relationship. It’s no wonder its first season boasts a staggering 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. With six action-packed seasons, Cable Girls is perfect for those looking for something to binge-watch.
Starring: Bianca Suárez, Yon González, Ana Fernández
One Day At A Time
Synopsis: One Day At A Time follows Penelope (Justina Machado), a Cuban-American single mother and Army veteran, as she navigates life with her children Elena (Isabella Gomez) and Alex (Marcel Ruiz) and her mother Lydia (Rita Moreno).
You may have heard of this from the #SaveODAT movement that spread like wildfire over Twitter following Netflix’s announcement in 2019 that they were cancelling the show. Luckily, the fourth season will be picked up by Pop TV, but the first three will still remain on Netflix. It’s funny, heartfelt, and features an amazing portrayal of the experiences of an average Latinx family in America.
Starring: Justina Machado, Rita Moreno, Todd Grinnell