In 1999, a new and distinctly original drama series set in working-class Pittsburgh – queers as folk – premiered on the American cable channel FX. Set in the vibrant yet often harsh gay neighbourhood of Liberty Avenue . With a soundtrack of high-octane techno beats . And was eventually shown around the world. It was an immediate hit with both gay and straight audiences alike. Queer as Folk featured a loosely linked group of friends who lived, worked and socialised in the area nearby. Each episode focused on one or two of these main characters through the ups and downs of their lives.
What is the plot of the story ?
The plot follows a group of gay friends and their relationships, careers, loves and ambitions. Their back stories are introduced as the series goes on but the main characters are Stuart Parker, Michael Novotny, Tina Kennard and Melanie Marcus. Stuart is trying to make it big in the music industry with his band Dag Nasty and Michael is a recent graduate trying to get a decent job for his degree in journalism. Tina is an alcoholic . Who lost custody of her daughter because of her drinking problem . And Melanie is an aspiring actress who also works as professional dominatrix on the side.
Who is in the cast ? What role did each character portray ?
The cast include Gale Harold , Randy Harrison , Deidre Hall , Kevin Alejandro , Stephen Martines (as Michael Novotny), Alexis De La Cruz , Lisa Benoit, Neil Flynn, Jeremy London, Ryan Eggold and more. Gale Harold as Stuart Parker : An openly gay rock singer and commercial artist who, after moving back to Pittsburgh from Washington, DC, struggles to find his place in an increasingly conservative world. He’s an out-of-the closet homosexual man and part of a group of friends he keeps in touch with. Randy Harrison as Michael Novotny : A young journalist who struggles to find work after graduating from Temple University School of Journalism. He is portrayed as being more “frat boy” . Than the rest of the main cast and was often times the comic relief on the show.
What are the difficulties they face ?
Every gay man and woman has been through the difficulties Stuart, Michael and the gang have to deal with. Being gay in America is still an taboo, even more so in Pittsburgh. The characters also come from different walks of life; some washed-up rock stars, some struggling artists, some wanna be actors who want to break into Hollywood… It is a struggle for a lot of people. One of their last major setbacks was when Tina got fired from her job at MacLarens Pub for being too drunk (she was fired due to her drinking problem) . And has now moved back in with Michael’s family (Michael’s ex-wife is Melanie’s mother).
Who is the antagonist ? What are its motives ?
Although the antagonist is not on screen for any extended period of time, it was realized that being a gay man in America is still an uphill battle and the antagonist does try to make Stuart’s life difficult throughout the series. The antagonist is hidden in the shadow of the show and its not until the last few episodes that we get a real glimpse at what he wants from Stuart Parker.
What are the epic scenes ?
The epic scenes in the series are when Michael and his best friend Justin go to a gay party . And they steal the spotlight when they both start grinding in the middle of the dance floor (a scene that was later parodied in another show, “Popular”). The other epic scene is when Melanie decides to perform a gig at a drag ball (the same night she was asked out by her agent) and ends up making Michael walk out on her.
Would you recommend watching this ?
I would recommend watching this series to anyone, gay or straight. It challenges the preconceived ideas of what a “gay” show should be. I also believe that every gay man or woman (especially those in high school or college) should watch it . Because it shows them how hard a lot of people had it in the mid-nineties . When the show was made. Thanks for reading !
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