The fact that Queer as Folk is, at its core, a story about a group of friends has allowed the show’s structure to stand the test of time. The series is now on its third iteration, after the British original created by Russel T. Davies and the American adaptation produced by Showtime, and the concept continues to be effective. Simply moving to a new place and incorporating a new cast of characters will breathe new life into the situation. But will the format be able to endure all that the LGBTQIA community will go through in 2022?
QUEER AS FOLK: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?
Two guys had furious sex in the middle of a pulsing electronic beat and footage of scantily clothed males.
Brodie (Devin Way), one of the guys, has returned to New Orleans after finishing medical school in Baltimore. He hasn’t notified his family yet, so he’s searching for a place to stay. The other person offers him a place to sleep until Brodie saw a BLM tattoo on that guy’s extremely white skin.
When he sneaks inside his parents’ estate, he is met by his father Winston (Ed Begley, Jr.), who is clutching a shotgun because he believes there is an intruder. Brenda (Kim Cattrall), his mother, questions why he’s home before the semester is complete. And, considering the travel timing, his elder brother Julian (Ryan O’Connell) believes that Brodie just arrived in town.
Because his parents’ home is unavailable as a place to stay, he phones his buddy Daddius (Chris Renfro), wondering whether Noah would accept him (Johnny Sibilly). Noah and Brodie used to live together, but that ended a long time ago; Daddius is having sex with Noah while on the phone with Brodie.
Then there’s Mingus (Fin Argus), a 17-year-old from a local club called Babylon who is desperate to get into a drag school. He gets himself a false ID and everything. He also begs his English Lit teacher, Ruthie O’Neill (Jesse James Keitel), for a passing grade so that his mother, Judy (Juliette Lewis), would let him leave. Ruthie, a friend of Brodie’s, is expecting twins with her hubby Shar (CG).
Everyone but Shar is in and around Babylon when a catastrophe occurs. A wheelchair-bound regular called Marvin (Eric Graise) believes Mingus is underage, so he begs Mingus to assist him to go through the back door. Relationships are affected in the aftermath of the disaster, for better or worse.
What shows will it make you think of?
There have been two prior versions of Queer As Folk: 1999-2000 original by Russel T. Davies and the Showtime adaption from 2000-05. So let us stick with them.
Did Queer As Folk require a third season?
This reset feels more “necessary” than others. Since the American version finished 17 years ago, the LGBTQIA world has evolved significantly. Same-sex marriage is legal and popular. Like with The L Word’s comeback, it was an excellent moment to study LGBTQ youth in 2022.
Stephen Dunn put this version in New Orleans, a queer-friendly city with a Deep South ethos. Brodie’s restlessness contrasts with his family’s Southern traditionalism.
Brodie’s first-episode friends are a mixed bag. Noah is particularly mysterious while wanting to keep things platonic with Brodie. In a flashback, we discover that their relationship was serious, thus sentiments on both sides must be examined, particularly in light of the episode’s tragedy.
Ruthie is an interesting character for Keitel, known for Big Sky. She’s settled down with Shar and is about to have a family, but she feels like she’s receding from her neighborhood She’s at Babylon despite Shar’s pregnancy. She wants a taste of the old life before the new one arrives.
Given recent events, the tragedy may puncture an already raw emotional wound, but its consequences are being kept back for the season. Despite all the achievements the LGBTQIA community has achieved in the previous decade-plus, there are still forces who feel being gay or trans is a “lifestyle choice,” and not a good one. How future episodes handle this menace is unknown. Hate can’t be a “Big Bad”-type character, but we hope it seems genuine.
This version of Queer As Folk may have conflicting characters and storylines. In the first episode, Dunn introduces the friends and sets up their connections.
Sex and Skin:
Because it’s Queer As Folk, we see a lot of sex and skin.
Mingus imagines that the catastrophe at Babylon never occurred, culminating with him kissing Brodie while he wears the crown for winning the drag competition.
We adored Ryan O’Connell in Special, and it seems that not only is he playing a character that suits him as Julian, but he’s also one of the show’s many writers.
Most Pilot-y Line:
Following the tragedy, we show Brodie and Mingus visiting Rosie and Shar in the hospital with their newborn twins (yeah, we realize that this is a fantastic TV coincidence). Despite sheltering Mingus, Brodie is doing OK. When a nurse dumps a tray of equipment in the corridor, everyone is understandably alarmed, even the babies, who let out some of the most phoney baby screams we’ve heard in a long time.
Stream it or not?
While this new version of Queer As Folk is messy, it also presents an exciting new cast of individuals and analyses how much things have changed and remained the same for the LGBTQIA community.