Queer As Folk (U.S)



The story of a group of gay men.



Unfortunately, the first season of QAF U.S follows quite closely in parts, the UK version, which was, quite frankly, shorter and better.

This is not to say that the US version is bad, it just appears 'uncomfortable' when it's following the UK scripts, and only really shows promise when it deviates from the original.

The characters are essentially supposed to be the same as the UK versions, but of course, they're not. The whole point of the UK casting was to show that to be 'sexy' you didn't have to be big, buff, and drop dead gorgeous, but this is the US, and the same 'rules' obviously don't apply, since their 'Stuart', Brian, is all of those things, he's also nauseatingly smug, which I had a hard time getting past.

There's a huge difference between being 'cocky, and arrogant' and 'smug, and condescending', for me, Brian falls in the latter category.

Anyway, Brian and Michael are still old school friends, Brian is 'big in advertising' and Michael is the assistant manager of a local store. Brian treats everyone like a doormat, and is adored for it, Michael is a 'nice guy' and everyone ignores him.

Michael's mother is played by the wonderful Sharon Gless, and she is a lovely character, beautifully handled, and so 'real' you're sure you know her.

One of the main differences is that in the US version, Ted (who was Phil in the UK show) doesn't die, and despite the fact that this destroys one of the key elements of the story, I'm glad Ted lives, because he becomes a wonderful character. He and Emmett turn into a lovely double act, both actors treat their characters with love and care, and wring out every last drop of humour and pathos from situations.

Michael gets a doctor for a boyfriend and becomes a complete prat, but the boyfriend, 'Dr Dave', played by the lovely Chris Potter, turns into be a good, solid character.

Schoolboy, Justin, turns out to be very well acted, and I actually like him better than his UK counterpart, but the writers must beware of making him too 'preachy'. The relationship between him, and Brian is also very different from the original, with Brian showing more attachment to Justin, than to Michael.

There is a lot of sex, and lots of nudity in the show, and someone has clearly decided that this will do instead of a script in places....it won't. Though a percentage of the audience will keep watching as long as there are naked men in every scene, most people want plot too. After all, gay porn isn't exactly difficult to obtain, but well written, and plotted gay drama *is*.

Reading this, I'm sure you think I hate this show, but I don't. I really just wish they'd thrown away the original script, and written their own version, with the 'Americanisms' and the cultural differences, and not tried to copy the British script so closely.

I also have 'issues' with my utter dislike of the way the character of Brian is portrayed. You don't have to love him, but you should at least admire him in some way to warm to the character, I simply don't. I find the character unbearably smug, and self satisfied, and find no basis for sticking with him, to see how it all plays out.

I'm hoping that the second season will find its own ground, and become a show in its own right, without the shadow of the UK show looming over it, who knows...I may even yet learn to love Brian:)