On Monday, April 6th, the world was introduced to Quibi, the mobile-only streaming service full of “quick bites,” a new $1.75 billion funded media company from the minds of former Walt Disney Studios chairman and DreamWorks co-founder and CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and former eBay and Hewlett-Packard boss (and Presidential candidate) Meg Whitman. And with the slew of new original programming came a number of LGBTQ-inclusive programs – as well as several programs fronted by LGBTQ hosts and content creators.
For now, Quibi is only available to stream on your phone (iOS and Android) and, no, you can’t AirPlay stream it to your television while at home. Some folks have expressed frustration with the service moving forward with its launch while the world is sheltering-in-place due to the coronavirus pandemic – a service that’s meant to be on-the-go is tough to digest when there’s plenty of content available on larger screens. The service ultimately is meant for those 10-15 minute breaks you have while waiting for the bus or standing in the line at the grocery store.
Still, Quibi launched out of the gate swinging and has made one of the biggest gambles Hollywood has seen in quite some time. So, what exactly is Quibi? Vulture (New York Magazine’s pop culture site) summed it up well, writing, “It’s a subscription-based streaming platform designed to deliver short-form scripted and unscripted content to your cell phone. The name is a mash-up of the words “quick” and “bites,” a nod to the fact that episodes of Quibi shows will run roughly seven to ten minutes in length. It’s available for download in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. And it’s pronounced “kwĭb-ee,” if you’re wondering.”
It launched with two different subscription options – with ads, you’ll pay $4.99 per month, with likely one or two spots per episode, around 6-10 seconds each. It’s $7.99 per month without ads. And everyone who signs up gets the first 90 days for free. And the service is free for one year to T-Mobile unlimited wireless family-plan customers. Reported investors include Warner Bros., NBCUniversal, Disney, BBC Studios, Lionsgate, and MGM.
So, what are some of the shows on Quibi that will appeal most to LGBTQ audiences? We’ve got your guide, below!
Sasha Velour’s NightGowns
One of the most compelling shows for Quibi’s launch is Sasha Velour’s NightGowns. From the winner of Season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, this docuseries follows the Brooklyn-based Velour as she works to truly redefine queer and underground drag and performance art for the next generation. “We’re transforming the system that doesn’t work for us,” she told EW.com prior to the show’s launch. Velour’s show provides a true peek behind the curtain of one of New York City’s most interesting performance spaces and it’s very worth the journey!
From the beloved Titus Burgess, comes Dishmantled, a new food show in which blindfolded contestants are shot at with cannons containing mystery food that has been pulverized to slop. After licking its contents off their faces, the walls and even their own shoes, they attempt to identify and re-create the dish. Whoever comes the closest.., wins! Guest hosts join Burgess for every episode. Hilarity ensues.
The Gayme Show
The Gayme Show is another competition show, but one that co-opts gay culture in an attempt to show which of two straight guys can become “queen of the straights.” Gay comedians Matt Rogers and Dave Mizzoni serve as emcees and they’re joined by LGBTQ celebrities and allies, who attempt to assist the contestants. Popular American Idol alum Vonzell Solomon sings ditties to usher in each challenge.
MTV joins Quibi with a reboot of their popular ‘90s dating show, Singled Out! Hosted this time around by Keke Palmer and out comedian Joel Kim Booster, unlike the original, this version is super queer-friendly. The first two episodes alone involve same-sex couples who are looking for love!
You Ain’t Got These
Actor/Writer/Producer Lena Waithe brings You Ain’t Got These to Quibi, a new show about worldwide sneaker culture.
And soccer super Megan Rapinoe hosts Prodigy, a documentary series following the stories of eight young athletes and the sacrifice and dedication it took for them to reach the highest levels of their sport.
Murder House Flip
Out host Mikel Welch is a co-presenter of Murder House Flip, a show that helps transform homes where murders have happened.
Fashion’s a Drag
Not yet available is Fashion’s a Drag, hosted by Season 4 Drag Race fan favorite, Willam. The series has been billed as a daily fashion and pop culture review show, but as of Friday, it hasn’t yet premiered on the service.
Still, to come, new shows from LGBTQ talent including Andy Cohen (The Andy Cohen Diaries), Demi Lovato (Pillow Talk), Alexander Wang (Potty Talk), and Cara Delevinge, as well as a scripted show called Trip from Joel Kim Booster (also a co-host of the aforementioned Singled Out!) described as a gay Pride and Prejudice that’s set on New York’s Fire Island.