'glamorous' streams on Netflix starting june 22 Source: Netflix

Review: 'Glamorous' a Smart, Sexy Sitcom with Serious Undertones

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 5 MIN.

Netflix's new Kim Cattrall-starring comedy "Glamorous" is a New York-set venture into the world of high-end cosmetics, LGBTQ+ romance, and corporate intrigue that also has the distinction of being, perhaps, the first major series about the YouTube makeup tutorial generation.

Marco Mejia (Miss Benny, who identifies as queer and non-binary) puts time, energy, and a lot of heart into YouTube tutorials, only to be met with a discouraging lack of engagement. A side gig as a cosmetics salesperson at the mall leads to a chance encounter with one of the industry's most revered figure: Madolyn Addison (Cattrall). When Marco does Madolyn's makeup,it's a masterful job; even better is the unvarnished opinions that Marco offers, which Madolyn realizes reflect the thoughts and wishes of a whole new generation.

This insight – and Madolyn's instinctive move of hiring Marco on as her "second assistant," just under ambitious go-getter (and makeup chemistry expert) Venetia (Jade Payton) is timely, since the company is in serious financial straits. Once a major up-and-comer in the cosmetics world, Madolyn's company is now starting to founder, and only a juicy buyout can save the brand. Marco's ideas might just be what Madolyn needs to save her legacy.

But all is not work and desperate times. No sooner is Marco working at the company than romance is in the air, starting with a young member of the product design team named Ben (Michael Hsu Rosen), an adorably nerdy guy who's smitten with Marco at first glance. But Ben's not the only suitor: In a classic meet cute (and a major first day on the job blunder) Marco jumps into the wrong Uber and shares a ride with a cute hunk named Parker (Graham Parkhurst), whom Marco assumes to be straight... but is he? The sparks that fly between them suggest otherwise.

Miss Benny stars in 'Glamorous'
Source: Netflix

The possibility of finding love with Ben isn't the only workplace romance the show explores, with Ben's colleague Britt (Ayesha Harris) picking up on some serious vibes from a female co-worker and even Madolyn meeting up with a "Sex and the City"-type hunk who seems like he might be just the thing to take her mind off her troubles.

Rounding out the cast – and complicating Marco's life with his jealousy over Madolyn's attention – is Chad, a nepo baby who runs the marketing department and who's also Madolyn's son. A blend of scheming and needy, ripped and reprehensible, Chad schemes to get Marco fired – something that Marco, due to a lack of experience, might accomplish without any help. When Marco's well-intentioned (but boundary-free) mother, Julia (Diana Maria Riva) starts working at the company, too, the setup starts to feel overstuffed – until, that is, the writers start paralleling the mother/son dynamics between Chad and Madolyn with those between Marco and Julia, bringing some depth to a show that otherwise might have been fun but shallow.

"Glamorous" not only achieves a little depth, but dares to broaden its genre, as well; a trip to Provincetown offers a bit of musical entertainment, plus a guest spot by Joel Kim Booster, shirtless men galore, and enough drag to send GOP lawmakers into a full-blown panic attack, while other installments dip into corporate espionage and whodunit territory, along with some fairly heavy drama... too heavy, and without sufficient character motivation, but the points the series raises (Marco feeling disrespected for being "femme," for instance) feel so relevant that they stop the show from being mere fluff.

Source: Kim Cattrall's Madolyn draws inspiration from the LGBTQ+ community - and drag - on 'Glamorous'

Perhaps best of all, Kim Cattrall is back in the zone. Madolyn is every bit as fabulous as Samantha Jones, and a whole lot more fun than Cattrall's "Queer as Folk" character was.

Miss Benny follows up on their previous acting gigs and proves they can carry a series, helping lead a sexy, diverse cast.

This is a show that tells us what we need to hear right now: That Pride is important (and so is true corporate allyship); that the LGBTQ+ community, and especially drag, is a source of creative energy for so-called "mainstream" culture; and that "femme" is neither a dirty word or an indication of weakness, but a sign of strength that gym-grown muscles can't match. All these topics, and more, are folded into ten fun and frothy episodes, a feat that shows this show to be smart as well as sexy.

"Glamorous" is loaded with rom-com tropes both good and bad, but it's as a vehicle for Cattrall – and a gift to her big gay fandom – that many will tune in to see. Once here, they'll stay for Marco's many comedic and dramatic journeys (into the dating world, into a career, and into gender questions that deserve to be more than the butt of jokes... and are treated seriously here), which propel one episode into the next.

Your next binge is here!

"Glamorous" streams at Netflix starting June 22.

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

Read These Next