Unstreamable is a column where Jas Keimig and Chase Burns recommend movies and TV shows you can’t watch on major streaming services in the United States. We post on Wednesdays 😊
CHASE: This month, a lot of the gay internet was shocked by HBO Max’s cancellation of its Emmy-winning series Legendary. The streamer then upped the ante by totally removing it from its library…
JAS: Ditto with Genera+ion, a coming-of-age teen dramedy centered around a group of mostly queer Zoomers that HBO Max removed back in August. What gives, HBO!?!?
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USA, 2020 – 2022, 50 min episodes, Executive Produced by David Collins
The “streaming wars” started at a perfect time, I guess, revving up right as the world was hunkering down. If you flash back to early summer 2020, you might remember the debut of HBO Max and its voguing reality TV series, Legendary. The show featured an all-star judging panel: Law Roach, Jameela Jamil, Leiomy Maldonado, and Megan Thee Stallion. Its set-up: Around ten ballroom houses from across the country competed against each other; houses got eliminated each week until one house won $100,000. Queer Eye executive producer David Collins led the show’s producing team. It was a Drag Race-type show that could conquer its own lane, and a high-cost move to drag LGBT viewers over to the more expensive HBO Max.
The show was a hit with a mainstream gay audience, for better and worse, and buoyed a rising tide of attention around regional ballroom scenes. Its production value was luxe–when Megan Thee Stallion dipped in season three, Keke Palmer took her spot–and its competitors became celebrities in queer communities. And then, you know, HBO Max pulled the plug, as part of its axe of its non-scripted division. The cencelation was a blow, but HBO Max pulling it off its library to move it onto FAST services was a shocker. The transition’s timeline is vague, so the series is unstreamable for now. And like most streaming series, it was never released on physical media. So long streaming wars, hello FAST fights? 🥴 CHASE BURNS
Find it nowhere, for now.
U.S.A., 2021, 30 min episodes, Created by Daniel and Zelda Barnz
Another casualty of the WarnerMedia-Discovery merger is Genera+ion. This sweetly weird show follows a chaotic group of Zoomers at a California high school as they grapple with sex, sexuality, gender, family, and fashion. Sound familiar? Yes, Genera+ion’s themes reek of HBO’s other, more famous Zoomer-oriented show, Euphoria. But where Euphoria is edgy and tense, Genera+ion is ridiculously goofy. It certainly pushes its cast into uncomfortable situations, but there’s a lightheartedness to the visuals and characters that makes it a bit easier to swallow.
Perhaps the show’s levity is due to its literal Zoomer co-creator, Zelda Barnz. Over several years, Barnz worked with her gay dads (who just happened to be producers and writers) and Lena Dunham (!!!) to draw from experiences in her own life to form the storylines of Genera+ion. It’s cringe! It’s cute! It features on-the-rise talent like Justice Smith and Chase Sui Wonders! But, unfortunately, those straight squares over at HBO didn’t like it and unceremoniously canceled the show the same year it premiered. And in August of this year, they took Genera+ion off the HBO Max streaming site completely as a way to cut costs on licensing. Like Legendary, Genera+ion never got a physical release, stopping its chances of becoming a Gregg Araki-like cult hit. Damn you streaming execs! JAS KEIMIG
Not streaming anywhere :\
Looking for more? Browse our big list of 350+ hard-to-find movies over on The Stranger.
*The fine print: Unstreamable means we couldn’t find it on Netflix, Hulu, Shudder, Disney+, or any of the other hundreds of streaming services available in the United States. We also couldn’t find it available for rent or purchase through platforms like Prime Video or iTunes. Yes, we know you can find many things online illegally, but we don’t consider user-generated videos, like unauthorized YouTube uploads, to be streamable.