The ten-episode Netflix’s adult comedy animated series Q-Force hit the streamer on September 2, 2021, and has garnered mixed reactions.
Created by Gabe Liedman, the creator of Big Mouth, this queer series is unabashed and unapologetic and indulges in crude queer humour. It is about the Queer Force that comprises a group of LGBT spies and a “gay James Bond”-like secret agent named Steve Marywhether (Agent Mary). These spies try to prove their worth via various private and professional endeavours.
Agent Mary soon faces a new problem when the American Intelligence Agency needs to appoint a straight man as a part of their team.
Starring Sean Hayes, Gary Cole, David Harbour, Laurie Metcalf, Patti Harrison and more in voice roles, the show subverts the tropes of masculinity that are a unwavering characteristic of espionage films.
Emmy Award-winning 51-year-old comedian Hayes, known for bringing in the groundbreaking Will & Grace that abounded in LGBTQ+ representation, told South China Morning Post, “We’re the first queer agents in the field ever.”
He added, “I feel so much pressure to show I’m the best because if I mess up, I don’t know if anyone else like us will ever get a chance.”
An avid James Bond fan, Hayes had always envisioned this project. Q-Force was a dream come true for him. Although he wanted a feature-length film initially, upon the suggestion of his producing partner Todd Millner, he decided upon an animated series.
His friend Michael Schur, known for Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, agreed to the show as soon as Hayes pitched it as a “gay James Bond” show.
The show is quite graphic with various gay sex scenes. Hayes defends the same by saying “It felt great, because how many years have we been forced to watch straight sex in commercials, on TV, in movies, in magazines? Everywhere”.
Hayes recognises the problem with the misrepresentation and/or the lack of representation in the landscape despite people’s beliefs about how a lot has been accomplished. He expressed his hope regarding the animated series bringing about a positive impact. “As fun and silly as this little cartoon is that we made, hopefully, it’s another step forward,” said he.
“It’s showing that gay people have sex too, and it can be just as sexy, if not more.”
The series has an astounding representation of the community with nearly all-queer voice actors and writer creatives which is still a rarity in the realm of television. Liedman said, “There’s good ethics in that, giving queer actors the opportunities they deserve.”
He added, “I also think that actors do great work when they feel connected to the material. So it’s not just a political statement, I think it really helps the product in the end.”
Liedman wanted to bring in a change in the landscape of gay humour and replace the “educational” trauma with something more “fun and stupid” while relaying the problems of the queer spies in an inherently heteronormative society.
Twitteratis and critics have not been very kind to the teaser trailer of the show and the reception has been lukewarm due to the somewhat dated stereotypes. While Hayes said that he does not have “time” to pay heed to the backlash, Liedman has expressed his sincere hopes that viewers take some time to give the show a chance and consider the “fun and happy and exciting” things it has to offer.
Watch the show streaming on Netflix right now.