Queer as Folk: S1

The American version of the original British import not only is my favorite but still holds up beautifully over ten years after its premiere in the U.S. on Showtime. It’s brilliant, risk-taking, and still relevant. It tackles tough issues, and overcomes lots of negatives from viewers (not enough diversity, too many stereotypes, too hedonistic, too ghettoized). It was our very first full on sex-celebratory gay television series. Since QAF and The L Word have left the airwaves, not one new television show has come to take their place. We’re now a character here and there on several shows, but in my mind, that’s just not visible enough. We need both supporting roles/ensemble characters and full-on LGBT series. Highlights of this first season are Emmett’s conversion therapy, Michael’s relationship with Dr. David.  Zack O’Tool, Debbie, Jennifer, Uncle Vic, and the luscious Blake plus a bevy of amazing bodies (thank you Toronto extras), explicit gay male sex including I believe the only mention of fisting in an American television series. A must-see and a modern classic. It’s comfort food for me and when you hear I’ve been watching it again by myself, you know I’m pining. I really need to own this one on DVD.

4/19/2018: After a student in my friend Sally O’Driscoll’s English class where I did a unit on LGBT Film and Television History mentioned she was researching a paper on HIV characters in Queer as Folk (contrasting them with An Early Frost), I dipped back into the show’s first season. 18 years later, Queer as Folk doesn’t disappoint. It’s still the only show that’s ever shown in your face, unashamed gay male sexuality: solo, couples, threesomes, and group play in both loving and lustful moments. Looking took a more refined look at sexuality. Queer as Folk put it front and center and in your face. A vocal part of our culture continues to be afraid of two men loving instead of killing each other, Queer as Folk remains as relevant and necessary as it was when it premiered in 2000. Many thanks to showrunners Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman who adapted and expanded the British series for American television. 5 out of 5 for this classic television series.

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One Response to “Queer as Folk: S1”

  1. End Of The Golden Age? 12 Shows Hoping To Be The Next ‘Breaking Bad’ (Indiewire’s The Playlist) | Reel Charlie Says:

    […] and check out the list. I would add many more HBO and Showtime shows to that golden list including Queer as Folk and The L […]

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