We Watched The Premiere Episode, And…

Sean Hayes has heard the criticism hurled at his new Netflix animated show Q-Force. All of it. But in spite of all that he still wants viewers to give the adult animated show a chance. Hayes and executive producer Gabe Liedman say they set out to make a show full of joy, heart, and laughter. Liedman spoke to USA today saying,


“I wanted myself, but also the many writers I was working with, to have that freedom and say, ‘Let’s not be educational for a second. It’s not about holding everyone’s hands. Let’s make the jokes that make us laugh, and hopefully there’s an audience out there that are on our level of knowledge and ready for it.”

Shying away from heartbreak, devastation, and trauma so often found in ‘gay’ movies {I am still devastated from HBO’s Its A Sin} Q-Force aims to give viewers something different,

We were just trying to offer up something fun and happy and exciting, not trying to be hurtful. That’s the exact opposite of the intention. Obviously intentions only count for so much and it’s really in the hands of the audience, so I understand the crit

As reported in USA Today, Q-Force is “notable for its nearly all-queer voice cast and writers room – a sad rarity in today’s TV landscape.” However, a show created by queers starring queers might not appeal to a queer audience. This was evident once the trailer premiered back in June.  Hoping it was a great show with a terrible trailer we here at Instinct took a break from bingeing The White Lotus to watch the premiere episode.

photo credit: Netflix

(warning: the following paragraphs contain spoilers from the first episode of Q-Force)

“A gay superspy and his scrappy LGBTQ squad fight to prove themselves to the agency that underestimated them. Today, West Hollywood… tomorrow, the …” 

After spending 26 minutes with those scrappy superspies, sign me up for the next nine episodes! Is it groundbreaking television? Probably not. Is it fun and funny with a lot of heart? Very much so. Not every queer show is going to resonate with every queer person, Looking on Showtime worked better than Ambien for putting me to sleep, but some of my friends loved it! 


Through this first episode, I found myself laughing quite a lot as I got to know the squad. The references come fast and quick, though a line about San Vincente was lost on this New Yorker.

The show opens with Agent Steve Meriweather finishing a training exercise as a cadet with the American Intelligence Agency (AIA). “Bye, Bitch” is heard before he takes out each one of his competitors. Meriweather is the best agent they have seen in years, and at graduation he is valedictorian. He takes this moment to come out, 

“I look forward to serving the Academy with all of my big gay heart.”

Not so fast, Director Chunley {Gary Cole} immediately says there has been a mistake and names Agent Rick Buck {David Harbour} as the real valedictorian. Agent Buck deems our hero Agent Mary, a name that will stick with him through the series. It looks like Agent Buck will be the arch-nemesis of Q-Force, as he is assigned to their squad at the end of the episode.


Meriweather is given his own division – in West Hollywood. Fast forward ten years as the crew he assembled are working out of his garage – and have not received an assignment. Ever. After finding a grey hair – gasp! – Meriweather realizes he is aging, losing time and should be thriving not languishing. The squad decide to find their own case. 

photo credit: collider.com

Agent Deb {Wanda Sykes} tricks out their spymobile, naming her SUBARU MCCLANAHAN, and preloading Tracy Chapman’s entire music catalogue, “so you know its a FAST CAR!” (loved that line lol.) Genius hacker, and apparently ex-con, Agent Stat {Patti Harrison} and master of disguises Agent Twink {Matt Rogers}, who moonlights as a drag queen and doesn’t know what a fax machine is (“why is the the paper towel dispenser is texting us,”) round out our motley crew.

They find their suspect when Twink remembers a suspicious guy handcuffed to a metal briefcase that he saw at his show the night before. They locate him immediately on GRINDO and set up a stakeout at The Abbey, after finding a church emoji on the man’s phone. (hacked in from Agent Stat, naturally.)


Our heroes apprehend the suspect and uncover a sinister network with access to nuclear bombs, but not before having their credentials revoked by AIA. Only after his friend and mentor Agent V {Laurie Metcalf} puts her neck on the line for Q-Force are they reinstated. Will they foil the plot they have uncovered? Will V lose her job? Will Agent Mary hook up with his cute neighbor Benji {exec producer Liebman}? insert dramatic music! 

Hayes just hopes the show does well and doesn’t feel the pressure of living up to any post Will and Grace expectations,

I try not to load myself up with any pressure. I think it’s a much stronger example to lead with confidence than with any underlying pressure that’s self-induced. The haters will hate.”

All ten episodes of Q-Force are now available on Netflix. And before we leave you here are some favorite lines from the premiere episode. 


*How’s my favorite tragic story of wasted potential?

*She would be such a gay icon if her identity wasn’t a secret

*I am pretty sure his tattoo read ‘anarchy grows from the blood of the uninitiated’ – but I could be wrong.

*Let me put this in terms you can understand – sashay away agents.

Sources: USA Today


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