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Jun 28 2023
Face-On: A Review Of GLAMOROUS Starring Miss Benny & Kim Cattrall Comments (0)

Glamorous-kim-cattrall-miss-benny-boycultureThe mirror has pretty faces. (Image via Netflix)

I shouldn't have liked Glamorous, the new fashion-fueled Jordon Nardino rom-com on Netflix that centers on a femme-presenting young guy (YouTube star Miss Benny) who lands a dream job working directly for a beauty-biz legend (Kim Cattrall) ... but I mostly ate it right up.

Kim-cattrall-glamorous-boycultureYeah, I'm sure this wasn't on purpose. (Images via Netflix & 20th Century Fox)

The series is not super deep or realistic, but if you were charmed by Cattrall in Mannequin (even though it was no Splash) and/or if you enjoyed Ugly Betty (even though it was no The Devil Wears Prada), you may be as satisfied with Glamorous as I was. It is, after all, a tremendously queer series, an engaging ring-light comedy and filled with pretty people, colors and messages.

Miss Benny is Marco Mejia, a flopping beauty-channel influencer who works at a makeup counter, where he winds up waiting on ex-supermodel Madolyn Addison (Cattrall), now a famous beauty brand founder of Glamorous by Madolyn. As elite as she is, she is trying to avoid a flop era of her own.

Marco charms Madolyn with his chutzpah and knowledge, and she hires him on the spot as her second assistant, just one decision she makes in an effort to goose her sagging business.

Zane-phillips-glamorous-shirtless-muscles-gay-boyculturePlus, he works out in the office.

Marco breezes into the office and promptly makes impact after impact, much of it to do with being unafraid to challenge Madolyn, who is coming to believe she needs this sort of shake-up. After all, business is stagnant — no thanks to her VP son Chad (Zane Phillips), who in spite of being next-gen is inclined to play everything safe.

Venetia-glamorous-boycultureEveryone wants Venetia to shiv somebody to get ahead.

More progressive is Venetia (Jade Payton), Madolyn's first assistant; but while she has the ideas and the brains, she lacks Marco's confidence, which leaves her vulnerable to suggestions she dive headfirst into office politics, even as she reluctantly finds herself falling for designer Britt (Ayesha Harris).

Glamorous-parkhurst-boycultreParker: “I'm not showered.” Marco: “You know I like that.” Oh, my!

The series is drenched in romantic entanglements, most prominently Marco's with Parker (Graham Parkhurst), a straight-presenting gym brah who could become his first relationship, and also with co-worker Ben (Michael Hsu Rosen), who is this season's Ducky.

It's clear with whom Marco should wind up, yet equally clear why he is torn between post-workout sex with a stud and romance with a (let's face it, also very hot and built) nerd. Shockingly, nobody seems to fixate on Chad, who at one point announces a secret, only to be told, “We know you're on steroids, Chad.”

Then there is Madolyn herself, who speaks of both her past career as a model and her own love life as wistfully as Cattrall does not speak of her past on Sex and the City ... that is, until Madolyn finds herself being courted by human side-hustle James (Mark Deklin), all but blind to how lovesick her driver Teddy (Ricardo Chavira) has been all along.

The star-crossed elements of Glamorous pop against a backdrop of corporate espionage and intrigue as Madolyn attempts to sell her life's work to Vendimiare, a rival company represented by amoral consultant Mykynnleigh (Nicole Power), and swings into high gear once it's decided Glamorous by Madolyn must cook up a killer campaign in order to seal the deal.

Miss benny glamorous gay boycultureMiss Benny is how Lohanthony SHOULD HAVE ended up.

I fell for Miss Benny. Their presence is charming, even when Marco makes some shout-at-the-screen wrong choices, and I felt they sold the character's worries about fitting in beautifully. Cattrall — described as “bored” in one review I read — comes off as world-weary to me, a Greta Garbo-like contemplative figure in a world of backstabbing and catwalking and messy, messy business. I felt she brought a movie-star heft, and managed to play a fabulous diva without simply disinterring Samantha.


Hsu-rosen-glamorous-boycultureRosen is an absolute doll, and as Marco's frenemy Dizmal, Damian Terriquez is hilarious and deliciously bitchy. I also have to give it up for Matt Rogers, who came in as part of a Fuckbois in the Band group of toxic gays, and who managed to sell the concept of repeating the same line — “Not this ...” — with different intonations, stealing scenes.

Glamorous is not without missteps. It hopes we will believe Glamorous by Madolyn launching a Pride campaign is somehow groundbreaking and edgy (MAC did it 30 years ago, babes, and every major brand acknowledges Pride now), a huge ask for suspension of disbelief. Also, certain excesses (a cringey lip-synch contest in P-Town involving the score of Chicago — something a handful of young gays would not know) took me out of my otherwise nonstop enjoyment.

More risky is the series' decision to mock feelgood LGBTQIActivism from corporations, which could lead some viewers to re-examine just how real the show itself is.

However, if you are looking for a frothy, summery, queer-tastic dose of fun, Glamorous shimmers more than it shines, and successfully covers up its flaws.