Are you ready for an adult animated comedy series that has spy action cliches, numerous pop culture references, and a EuropeVision that will leave songs stuck in your head for days after? Coming to Netflix on September 2 is the ten episode series Q-Force created by Gabe Liedman, who writes the episodes alongside Sean Hayes and Michael Schur.
There are spoilers beyond this point.
From the first “Bye Bitch!” we are introduced to a soldier-esque character who is good at what he does. During Steve Maryweather’s class of 2011 American Intelligence Agency (AIA) graduation valedictorian speech, he comes out as a gay man. He is abruptly interrupted by Director Chunley, who says that actually Agent Buck, who happens to be straight, is the valedictorian — of course, he is. So, the Director sends Agent Maryweather to West Hollywood, also known as WeHo, thinking he will never hear from him again. But Q-Force is here to stay.
“You can’t pander to the gays they can smell it.”
It is now 10 years later. Steve has built a team of the best Agents in WeHo who have never been assigned a case, and their headquarters are in his garage. After finding a single grey hair one evening, Steve becomes even more determined that they will get a case and save the world even if they have to go rogue to do it. But first, it is introduction time!
Steve Maryweather, who goes by Mary, is overly optimistic and has put his career before everything. That can make him, at times, a bit arrogant. His lack of dating game gets pointed out when he tries to flirt with the adorable Benji. Steve’s blind allegiance to the AIA gets shaken to its core as the team goes on their first mission and discovers something much bigger. Lesbian genius mechanic and mom energy of the group, Deb, a former Survivor contestant who balances her secret spy work identity with her life at home with her wife Pam and their 16 trauma pit bulls. Drag queen and master of disguise, Twink, is a vocalist, theatrical, and uses his jelly bones to get what is needed to be done. Sarcastic and goth Stat is a brilliant hacker who says what you may be thinking about but out loud. She also hates many things, as we learn from the profile that her girlfriend Jacqueline who is her AI girlfriend who has gained sentience creates. Buck is a typical macho male, egotistical womanizer, loves the smell of his own farts, and takes to insulting the members of Q-Force continuously. They report to boss lady V; she puts her faith and job on the underdog ensemble succeeding and not screwing up. But like Steve, she is going to see what the AIA is as the mystery unfolds each episode.
With a fictional EuorpeVision that is a front for black market weapons sales, an AIA convention, a gay retirement village that is not what it seems, and a different take on Princess Diaries, viewers are in for a treat — including many amazing guest actors, including Dan Levy, Stephanie Beatriz, and Jane Lynch to name a few. This is not your typical Saturday morning cartoon to curl up with a bowl of cereal with the kids; it is full of nudity, profanity, and violence. And okay, yes, the first teaser trailer fell short and did not show the true potential of this show. Try not to let a 40-second clip cloud your judgment to the entire season. It stars and focuses on LGBTQ+ characters voiced by LGBTQ+ people, plus many LGBTQ+ creators working on the animated show, which in itself is a move forward regarding representation.
“Like, we’re the first queer agents in the field ever. 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. “
“Uh-huh. Hey, why don’t you try being a Black woman for five seconds?”
It is using and poking fun at the stereotypes mixed in with real-life issues. After watching *cough* four times *cough* I can definitely see how depending on your humor, some could be offended. But every time I watched, I noticed some different pop culture Easter eggs (Sailor Moon fans, watch out for Antony’s phone case). I enjoyed the season, the satire, the humor, that there was character growth in each of the characters, and that it had heart. I am hopeful for a season 2 (fingers crossed) to get more backstory on the characters.
The series features the voice talents of Wanda Sykes, Sean Hayes, Gary Cole, Patti Harrison, Matt Rogers, Laurie Metcalf, David Harbour, Gabe Liedman, and keep an ear out for the fantastic guest stars.
Q-Force premiers on Netflix on Thursday, September 2, and stay tuned for our interview with the creator, actor, and writer Gabe Liedman.