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The Lavender Scare and Wig are Appointment Viewing for Pride

ALSO: Ambitions, Drunk History, Good Trouble, Adam Devine, and more
  • Lady Bunny in the HBO Documentary Wig (Photo: Steven Menendez/HBO).
    Lady Bunny in the HBO Documentary Wig (Photo: Steven Menendez/HBO).

    Across America, June is an occasion for celebration within the LGBTQ+ community, as Pride parades and celebrations criss-cross the country. Pride is a complicated thing for a community that has found some social standing and power, but not nearly all and not nearly for everyone. Pride celebrations get caught up in the intersections of politics, capitalism, resistance, and the very real and understandable need to have a space and occasion for the queer community to let go and celebrate for once. Still, amid all the revelry, it's good to see that Pride can also be spent enriching ourselves (and the culture at large) with our history. To that end,PBS's airing of The Lavender Scare and HBO's airing of Wig make this the one night of Pride month worth spending at home. The Lavender Scare spotlights the anti-gay actions taken by the U.S. government during the Red Scare times of the 1950s and '60s, while Wig is the more celebratory (but still illuminating) story of the annual drag celebration Wigstock in New York City.

    SPECIAL PRESENTATION: Director Josh Howard's documentary The Lavender Scare has been bopping around film festivals and picking up prizes for a while. Tonight PBS is giving it a TV premiere, and the subject matter is potent: the harmful witch hunt that happened during the mid-20th Century as the U.S. government deemed homosexuals too much of a security risk and began systematically rooting them out and destroying their careers. It's an eye-opening piece of filmmaking. 9:00 PM ET on PBS

    DOCUMENTARY PREMIERE: HBO presents Wig, illuminating the art of drag while centering around the New York City institution called Wigstock. The annual drag festival has been a staple of New York queer culture since long before Drag Race, although fans of VH1's televised drag competition will recognize the likes of Latrice Royale, Willam Belli, Alaska Thunderfuck, and Lady Bunny (who co-created Wigstock in the 1980s). 9:00 PM ET on HBO

    SEASON PREMIERE: The second season of Good Trouble kicks off tonight. Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) jumps into a new relationship, which is the good news, though she also ends up stumbling into a situation she wasn't prepared for. Meanwhile, Callie (Maia Mitchell) has to deal with the outcome of the Jamal Thompson case. 8:00 PM ET on Freeform

    SERIES PREMIERE: Ambitions is a new primetime soap opera starring the great Robin Givens, and set among the sexy, powerful elite in Atlanta, Georgia.  10:00 PM ET on OWN


    • Adam Devine: Best Time of Our Lives gives the Workaholics star his first Netflix stand-up special, filmed in his hometown of Omaha. Streaming on Netflix
    • Drunk History kicks off the back half of its 6th season with a trio of too-strange-to-not-be-true stories. 10:00 PM ET on Comedy Central
    • Alternatino with Arturo Castro gives the Broad City and Narcos star his own sketch show. 10:30 PM ET on Comedy Central

    Joe Reid is the senior writer at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.

    TOPICS: HBO, PBS, Ambitions, Drunk History, Good Trouble, Adam Devine