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Fellow Travelers TV Show


Quick Warning: Fellow Travelers is rated TV-MA and depicts many intimate acts. Also many instances of derogatory language and actions geared towards gay and black communities 

Now that both the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes have finally come to an end, it’s time to catch up with all the amazing movies and tv-shows that have come out in the past couple of months. One tv-show that I have been utterly obsessed with is Fellow Travelers on Showtime starring Jonathan Bailey and Matt Bomer. This show features a mostly gay cast and explores the lives of LGBTQIA+ Americans during the Lavender Scare based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Mallon. 

What was the Lavender Scare?

The Lavender Scare was a time in our history that coincided with the Red Scare. While on the hunt for communist spies working for the government, Joe McCarthy spearheaded the movement to also hunt down “deviants” who may be susceptible to Russian blackmail. These “deviants” were of course gay men and women. There was an estimate of 5,000-10,000 Americans that lost their jobs due to these witch hunts. Not every American accused of being a “deviant” was gay, simply being reported as one could be the end.


Hawkins Fuller is a State Department Official working for the United States government, he is also a gay man. Hawk enjoyed his life as a gay bachelor in D.C. participating in tearoom flings, never with the same man twice. During an election night party he meets Tim Laughlin who immediately catches his attention. An odd young man who doesn’t seem to fit into D.C. culture. Both men try their hardest to be vulnerable together under the active threat of the government they work for. 


If there was one show that could be geared towards my specific interests it would be Fellow Travelers. The realistic depiction of politics in the 1950’s with a personal look into multiple queer relationships just worked so well for me. Now this show isn’t finished yet, as of November 22, 2023 there are 4 episodes out in total. Regardless, the 4 episodes that are out are phenomenal. You feel like a fly on the wall as these queer couples struggle to stay afloat in a bleak time in American history. For those of you who are looking for something lighter this holiday season I would recommend putting this show on the backburner. This show is trying to show us a forgotten time in history and unfortunately that history isn’t a happy one. 

The characters are what really sold me on this show. We get to see very intimate and vulnerable scenes between these characters. It makes you feel like you are watching the lives of real people who lived through the Lavender Scare. They are flawed and make decisions that make you want to yell at the screen, but you also understand. The time they are living through requires them to hide key parts of themselves in order to survive. This doesn’t just stop at queer struggles either. One of the main characters is a gay black man who has to fight twice as hard as the others due to his race. We get a very raw look into Washington D.C. through the lens of everyone. This even includes Roy Cohn, one of the main perpetrators of the Lavender Scare. A gay man who threw his community under the bus to get a leg up in politics.

Final Thoughts 

It’s difficult to give a definitive rating on this show seeing as it isn’t finished yet. Though I can say that I believe this show has extreme promise and I would recommend it in a heartbeat. What the shows creators and cast are doing is extremely important, this is a crucial time in our history that many sweep under the rug. If you are in the mood for a sad show that documents this time in our history I would highly recommend checking it out on Showtime or Paramount+.

Current Rating: 4.75/5

Check out Fellow Travelers on Showtime or Paramount+!

Check out Steffan’s review on Fahrenheit 451!



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