12 Gays of Christmas

2 of 13

The Normal Heart

This one seems like the right place to start if we’re operating under the assumption that you’re growing bored of the incessant pervasive joy radiating from all around. Because when you watch it, you’ll be pretty positive you’re never going to be able to feel happiness again.

Based on the incredible play by Larry Kramer, this HBO adaptation follows activist Ned Weeks in his fight during the AIDS crisis in 1980’s New York City. It’s an intimate view into both the everyday struggles that gay men faced while desperately screaming for the world to pay attention to their very real epidemic AND at the crisis on a more global scale. The men’s loving, fierce devotion evident in their personal relationships with each other might do just a tiny bit to ease the heart-wrenching pain this movie refuses to let the viewer escape, but the constant underscoring of loss and fear is unavoidable.

Though physically, we are far removed from this particular decades-old crisis, the phenomenon of the world at large ignoring the blatant and incontrovertible suffering of its fellow man will likely be so resonant, it’ll scare you. It’s a hard one, but it’s necessary viewing, especially going into the uncertain abyss of this New Year. But at least no stockings hung by the chimney with care, right?!?!?! **Weeps indefinitely**