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John Winthrop Philbrick
Based on the British series of the same name, Showtime's 'Queer as Folk' presents the American version. Following the lives of five gay men in Pittsburgh, 'Queer as Folk' is a riveting drama full of sex, drugs, adventure, friendship and love. Although the creators of 'Queer as Folk' wanted to present an honest depiction of gay life, it is by no means a comprehensive depiction. In addition to the usual sexual escapades and relationships of the five friends, the show explores critical gay political and health issues. Written by
It's always fashionable to negatively critique US versions of British material, but I am not always into that fashion.
I loved the first two episodes of this Americanized QUEER AS FOLK. It certainly follows the plot of the British version (so far at least). Yet the pace is more leisurely since the US version takes 45 minutes to do what was done in 30 minutes on the British version.
The US version is also easier to understand -- and it's not just the fact that we aren't getting the British slang in quickly-spoken thick British accents. Maybe it's the more leisurely pace that makes the plot easier to follow.
Hal Sparks has a wonderful dead-pan dry humor as the narrator, Michael. Randy Harrison is sweet as Justin, the newly-out teenager. When he was rejected by his dream-man Brian, his pain looked genuine and touching.
Even though the opening narration indicates "It's all about sex," the show is actually about more than that. The narrator is referring to the fact that gay night life in trendy bars is "all about sex," but we see in Michael and Justin the reality of people searching for a sense of connection in a world that doesn't offer a lot of connection -- especially for gay people.
While the British version was only 8 episodes with a 2 hour finale (which I found disappointing), this US version promises to begin with 22 episodes and possibly go on from there. I look forward to the future developments. So far, I see nothing to complain about.
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