“Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness” is exceptionally educational


Photo via Netflix

Netflix’s newest reality TV show, “Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness,” was released on Jan. 28. I’ve had a special place in my heart for Jonathan Van Ness ever since I first watched them in the revamped version of “Queer Eye,” another Netflix special they host. It was only natural that I was keen to watch when I heard the announcement that a solo series starring them would be aired on the streaming service.

The show is a visual adaptation of Jonathan’s widely-known podcast with the same title, which began in January of 2016. The show has seven episodes in total, each around 25 minutes long, with each episode featuring experts answering Jonathan’s bizarre inquiries about random things and concepts, ranging from the true reason behind why they love snacks so much and if bugs are either gross or beneficial. It transitions to more important conversations such as lack of nonbinary representation, gender dysphoria and active physical and verbal violence against the queer community as well. The show acts as an informative hub for its viewers.

Gifted with a bubbly personality, Jonathan succeeds in keeping their audience reeled in with never-ending enthusiasm over even the most boring topics, such as the process of building a skyscraper. Throughout the show, the audience is introduced to a diverse group of guests who join together to inform both them and Jonathan in each episode, such as activist Nala Toussaint, American figure skater Eliot Halverson and congresswoman Ayanna Pressley.

In episode three, “Can We Say Bye-Bye to the Binary?,” Jonathan Van Ness (far right) discusses issues within the queer community with activists Alok (far left), Geo Neptune (close left) and Joshua Allen (close right). (Photo via Netflix)

Jonathan identifies as nonbinary, using ‘they/he/she’ pronouns. As someone who identifies as nonbinary, using ‘she/they’ but cisgender passing, episode three, “Can We Say Bye-Bye to the Binary?” made me feel overly emotional. In this episode, the audience watches four gender-nonconforming individuals converse together and acknowledge the rampant discrimination against the queer community by the United States government. Many transgender friends of mine have been victims of over 100 strict bills repressing their basic human rights, simply because of their brave choice to live their most authentic self in a world that promotes extreme heteronormativity. It is so refreshing to feel as though your pleas for change are being heard and answered through public figures such as Jonathan, who spread awareness on a platform as large as Netflix.

After finishing the series in about a day, I can conclude that it’s truly a wonderful selection to not only entertain yourself during spare time, but also to educate yourself on topics, such as why Entenmann’s white powdered donuts are so irresistibly delicious.