Wanda Sykes as Deb, Sean Hayes as Mary, Patti Harrison as Stat, and Matt Rogers as Twink in ’Q-Force’. Picture: Netflix
Wanda Sykes as Deb, Sean Hayes as Mary, Patti Harrison as Stat, and Matt Rogers as Twink in ’Q-Force’. Picture: Netflix

'Q-Force' isn’t as bad as the trailers – but it's not good either

By Jamal Grootboom Time of article published Sep 3, 2021

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“Q-Force” can’t decide if it’s being satirical or being a queer take on a spy show, leaving it in a no man’s land, where it’s not funny for queer or cishet people.

Rating: 2.5/5

Set in America, Steve Maryweather, Aka Agent Mary (Sean Hayes), was once the golden boy of the American Intelligence Agency (AIA), until he came out as gay in 2011.

Unable to fire him, the Agency sent him off to West Hollywood, Los Angeles, to disappear into obscurity for 10 years. Instead, he assembled a misfit squad of LGBTQI+ geniuses.

When the first trailer of “Q-Force” dropped, the queer community cringed at this supposed satirical take on a spy show albeit a queer on.

It was filled with a bunch of clichés and stereotypes that left many people with a bad taste in their mouths, including me.

The second trailer was better and, while it was still leaning heavily towards the same stereotypes and tropes, it gave a glimpse of hope that the show wasn’t going to be as bad as we initially thought.

That said, it is still not an enjoyable show. The biggest problem is that it can’t decide if it wants to be a show that is taken seriously or if it is a fun satirical take on a queer spy offering.

Our lead character Agent Mary best exemplifies this indecision.

He goes from being this excellent super spy, who’s able to take down big guys with the grace and agility of any James Bond, but, in the same breath, throws all forms of common sense away to be a stereotypical WeHo white gay man.

It really makes no sense because he is a capable leader and spy, but then – for the sake of a joke – he will do something that leaves you scratching your head.

Deb (Wanda Sykes) is probably the most well-developed character – even though all of her comedic moments relies on lesbian stereotypes – and we actually get a full character arc for her.

Twink (Matt Rogers), on the other hand, yes his name is Twink – it’s not a code name – is about as one dimensional as they come.

All he does is shout out gay phrases and is an even more annoying version of Laganja Estranja on season 6 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”.

To summarise the bulk of his dialogue, this is what it sounds like: “Yaaas gawd mama, the house down boots for your nerve, okurrr, slay, werk, purrr.”

The writers on the show also can’t decide if they want us to take this show seriously, laugh with them, or laugh at them. There are glimmers of funny moments that aren’t forced and are even funnier as a queer person.

But others feel like it was written by someone who read about queer people and what happens in the community but doesn’t quite grasp certain nuances.

This is very strange, since there are so many queer people involved behind the scenes, along with the voice cast.

They also make references to Quibi a lot on the show, which is especially strange, since the mobile streaming service was shut down due to the pandemic.

Unlike “Super Drags”, which pushed its premise to the most absurd level, making it clear that they are very self-aware of the show they were making, “Q-Force” decided to sit on the fence between satire and realism and ended up failing at both.

“Q-Force” is streaming on Netflix.

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