When Netflix first announced Q-Force back in 2019, the animated series sounded like a queer sendup of the James Bond franchise and other stories about hypermasculine superspies that have been fixtures in the genre space for decades. But Q-Force’s first trailer makes it pretty clear that the energy it’s going for is less 007 and more Totally Spies, aimed at the nearing-middle-age adults who first watched that series when it was first airing back in 2001.
Q-Force’s trailer introduces Steve Maryweather (Sean Hayes), a former member of the American Intelligence Agency who was once one of its most valued assets until he came out of the closet. After the AIA tries to write off Maryweather, aka “Agent Mary,” by assigning him to their West Hollywood branch, he rejects the organization’s plans to minimize his talents and forms his own ragtag team. They include fellow queer geniuses like mechanics specialist Deb (Wanda Sykes), a disguise expert whose name is literally just Twink (Matt Rogers), and Stat (Patti Harrison), the squad’s tech expert. Rounding out Q-Force is Agent Buck (David Harbour), the sole straight man counted among them who’s only on the team because the AIA requires it despite the fact that everyone else is perfectly capable of doing their jobs.
Q-Force seems to have a similarly raunchy energy to it that Netflix’s Super Drags did. But where that series’ outsized characters tended to feel more like a knowing attempt at lovingly poking fun at queer culture while focusing on the subversion of gender, Q-Force’s premise and the jokes in the trailer come across like a much more tame and recognizable go at the kind of queer pandering the show itself calls out. Trailers can be deceiving, and Q-Force might end up having something interesting to say when it premieres, but it won’t likely be part of this year’s Pride discourse, as the show doesn’t hit Netflix until September 2.
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