This March, scripted television reigns, as an impressive lineup of new shows — including a Donald Glover horror satirizing the fanbase of Beyoncé (i.e. Queen Bey) — is set to debut. Joining the aptly named “Swarm” in sending shivers down the spines of pop culture fans is the acclaimed series “Yellow Jackets,” which is set to return for a second season, along with “Next in Fashion,” which managed to rise from the dead after being canceled three years ago. And, perhaps more disturbing for some than others, “The Power,” starring Toni Colette and an international group of young stars, imagines a world in which girls have evolved to radiate electricity as a means of self-preservation.
The spooky streak continues on the big screen, with the next chapter in the Ghostface franchise, “Scream VI,” making its way to theaters early in the month, followed by “The Five Devils,” an artsy queer horror about the power of olfactory memory, starring Adèle Exarchopoulos.
There’s plenty more LGBTQ-inclusive content to see this month, including the 95th Academy Awards ceremony on March 12, where queer creators and films have plenty of potential to sweep and earn history-making wins.
‘Daisy Jones and the Six’
The screen adaptation of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s best-selling novel “Daisy Jones and the Six” stars Riley Keough and Sam Claflin as troubled rock stars who front a band inspired by Fleetwood Mac. Set in the 1970s, the 10-episode limited series charts the meteoric rise and eventual breakup of the fictional band. Rock royalty Keough, the granddaughter of Elvis, fittingly steps in as Daisy Jones, a self-doubting lead singer who captures the heart of reformed bad boy Billy Dunne (Claflin), against his better judgment. Actors Suki Waterhouse, Josh Whitehouse, Will Harrison and Sebastian Chacon fill out the rest of the bandmates, and Nabiyah Be features in a scene-stealing subplot role as Simone Jackson, who rises to the top of New York’s disco scene and has to choose between living openly as a gay woman and achieving mainstream success.
“Daisy Jones and the Six” premieres on Amazon Prime Video March 3.
‘Next in Fashion’
Despite being canceled in 2020, following its first season, design competition series “Next in Fashion” returns, helmed by veteran host and “Queer Eye” star Tan France. In the long-delayed second season, model Gigi Hadid takes the place of Alexa Chung as France’s co-host, corralling a new set of fashion designers hoping to win $200,000 over 10 episodes worth of grueling sartorial challenges. Helping the bubbly fashion guru and model choose the next face of fashion are regular judges Jason Bolden and Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, as well as a host of guest judges that includes Helena Christensen, Bella Hadid, Isabel Marant and Donatella Versace.
“Next in Fashion” season two premieres on Netflix March 3.
BAFTA-winning actor and writer Daisy May Cooper (“This Country”) stars in playwright Cash Carraway’s new series about the necessity of chosen relations: “Rain Dogs.” Cooper plays Costello Jones, a struggling mother who turns to her imperfect but loyal best friends (Jack Farthing and Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo) for help raising her daughter (Fleur Tashjian). The series — which feels like a more chaotic “The Next Best Thing,” complete with a rakish Rupert Everett-type — follows the group as they buck convention and form their own, truly modern family.
“Rain Dogs” season one premieres on HBO Max March 6.
With queer cinema making its way into almost every film genre in the past few years, a teen love story revolving around toxic masculinity feels almost nostalgic. But “Punch,” a New Zealand indie starring Tim Roth, makes the argument that finding gay romance and coming to terms with your sexuality in a small town, anywhere in the world, is still a story worth telling. In the film, Roth plays the demanding father of a young, local boxing hero (Jordan Oosterhof) who, while preparing for his first professional fight, begins to question where his life is headed, after meeting an openly gay Māori classmate (Conan Hayes).
“Punch” opens in U.S. theaters and is available on video-on-demand platforms March 10.
Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett continue the work of queering up the Ghostface franchise with “Scream VI.” The pair’s first addition to the campy slasher saga, which was released last year, saw a new generation of Woodsboro, California, residents facing off against the masked killer — with the help, of course, of the iconic Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox). The four young Californians who made it out alive — sibling duos Sam and Tara Carpenter (Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega) and Mindy and Chad Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding) — have moved to New York City in the new film, hoping to escape the bloody memories of the past and find new lives and loves in the Big Apple. But it turns out they’re not alone, as the killer is also called by the crowded subway cars and bustling streets of the big city. Luckily, the group happens to cross paths with another fellow survivor, Kirby Reed, played by Hayden Panettiere in her return to Hollywood, and the surprisingly sluethy Gale, who is never far from a bloody news story.
“Scream VI” opens in U.S. theaters March 10.
“Atlanta” creator and writer Donald Glover and Janine Nabers don’t pull any punches in their new horror series “Swarm,” which takes aim at toxic fandom through the story of an obsessive fan’s murderous spiral. Dominique Fishback (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) plays Dre, a superfan of fictional pop sensation Ni’Jah, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Beyoncé and has a rabid fanbase to boot. When the series opens, Dre’s grip on reality is already tenuous, but then a traumatic event pushes her deeper and deeper into diva worship — and the depths of fan Twitter. As a bloody road trip through the South ensues, the series increasingly has an air of psychosexual thriller, leaving audience’s wondering just what it is about Ni’Jah that Dre finds so compelling.
“Swarm” season one premieres on Amazon Prime Video March 17.
After a runaway hit first season, the haunting teen series “Yellow Jackets” returns for a new chapter, along with its ensemble cast of 90s stars and newcomers like Jasmin Savoy Brown and Liv Hewson. When the debut season came to a close, a few survivors of the plane crash that wiped out most of a high school soccer team were still stranded in the wilderness and things were definitely beginning to unravel: a rescue plot that goes up in flames, a mushroom-fueled manhunt, and one of the teammates freezing to death right under the girls’ noses. Meanwhile, on another timeline, their adult selves — played by Melanie Lynskey, Christina Ricci, Tawny Cypress and Juliette Lewis — were starting to revert to their baser instincts while tracking down a blackmailer who is all too familiar with what happened in those woods decades ago. As the new season begins, there are plenty of questions to be answered, including how much longer the teens can scrape by without resorting to the show’s much-teased cannibal plotline.
“Yellow Jackets” season two premieres on Showtime March 24.
‘The Five Devils’
After flying under the radar for years, actor Adèle Exarchopoulos (“Blue Is the Warmest Color”) is primed for a major comeback, with one film, “Passages,” currently collecting accolades at film festivals, and “The Five Devils” releasing to the delight of horror fans. Léa Mysius (“Ava”) directs the surreal film about a young girl, Vicky (Sally Dramé), who channels her powerful sense of smell into figuring out the relationship between her mother (Exarchopoulos) and her estranged aunt (Swala Emati). As she digs deeper into her small family’s secrets — transported by a potion of her aunt’s smells — she unintentionally unearths years’ worth of festering resentment and a smoldering pile of trauma, which all plays out against the dramatic backdrop of a remote Alpine town.
“The Five Devils” opens in U.S. theaters March 24 and streams on Mubi in May.
‘Mae Martin: SAP’
“Feel Good” star and creator Mae Martin returns to Netflix with an hour-long comedy special, directed by Abbi Jacobson: “Mae Martin: SAP.” The pairing is a match made in heaven, with Martin’s reputation for challenging gender and sexuality norms with deadpan, disillusioned humor and Jacobson’s growing success as a leading queer, creative voice, most recently with her hit series adaptation of “A League of Their Own.” The special, which was filmed live last year in Vancouver and is described as a reflection on “a world off its axis,” takes its name from one of the set’s tree-related jokes, setting it up to be an altogether very comical, Canadian affair.
“Mae Martin: SAP” premieres on Netflix March 28.
Amazon continues to look to the future with its new series, “The Power,” starring Toni Colette, John Leguizamo and an international group of rising young stars, led by Halle Bush, Auli’i Cravalho and Ria Zmitrowicz. Like with the streamer’s recent series “Paper Girls” and “The Wheel of Time,” the show looks at present-day social issues through the lens of fantasy and feminist metaphor — which, in this case, means that young girls have evolved to shoot electricity out of their hands. With their new power, the series’ young heroines also develop a means of fighting back against oppressors, which poses a major threat to the world order and makes them the enemy of everyone from world leaders to teen boys. The show, based on Naomi Alderman’s novel of the same name and also starring Daniela Vega (“A Fantastic Woman”) and Toheeb Jimoh (“Ted Lasso”), imagines a world in which women no longer fear for their safety at every turn.
“The Power” season one premieres on Amazon Prime Video March 31.