#QueerAsFolk

Will Gay Men Ever Have Another Queer as Folk? Another Will & Grace?

Arguably speaking, the two greatest television shows to primarily feature gay men are Queer as Folk and Will & Grace. Two fantastic programs that were completely different in terms of how they portrayed gay men and our daily lives.

Not only did both shows start roughly 20 years ago and had a great amount of success, but their production was also a major milestone for our community, getting the conversation going outside of our community to where audiences from all backgrounds not only felt invited, but also became educated on what it was like to be a gay man.

The struggle to find something even close to the scope of those two shows and since then has not happened. We should becounting our lucky starts that Will and Grace returned. Sure, LGBTQ visibility on television is at its greatest numbers ever, however the majority of who we are on camera revolves around supporting characters and not an entire LGBTQ ensemble. We’ve come this far yet still feel kind of like a second thought.

Have we had opportunities since W&G and QaF premiered? Sure. We had Noah’s Arc and Looking. Both with similar premises, but with entirely different characters, plots, storylines, and whatnot. Did we s**t all over each? Not sure about the former, but the latter we definitely did.

I was one of those very harsh critics of Looking the minute it premiered, and my jaded attitude about the characters and their development kind of stuck with me all the way to the movie. Looking (no pun intended) back, I didn’t realize how necessary this show was given that we haven’t had an all gay ensemble in so many years, yet due to low ratings and the criticism the show faced it was canceled after two seasons. Luckily, there was the movie to try and tie all the loose ends up, however this was a series that could’ve gone further if we just rolled with the punches and stopped being so freaking critical for 5 minutes.

It’s very frustrating that this is sort of the equivalent to how people view girl groups and The Spice Girls. Domestically (in the United States), we really haven’t had a girl group of that magnitude in such a long time and this goes for developing a successful gay television series where we are the focus and not the side dish. Yes, it's great that W&G is back, but the show is still heavily flawed in not focusing on the relationships for Will and Jack (separately), but more about Grace’s love life and Will being there for her in the end.

Why can’t we seem to get it together and make a new LGBTQ show happen? That goes the same for a lot of the primarily gay movies that have been made for decades now. We hated so many of them, yet several are unknown gems today, and they cover material that the younger generations should be watching (And The Band Played On, Longtime Companion, etc).

Things are different today compared to what they were even ten years ago. Shows like Friends, Frasier, and Sex and the City wouldn’t really work in 2018 as they did 20 years ago given how everything has become so digital today. Looking did a good job at capturing both in real life experiences mixed with digital ones, and W&G has done the same… even repeating ideas they did in the original one with the reboot.

Still, we don’t have that television series that focuses on the modern-day life of the gay man. There have been reality series that have tried to capture this, but have failed, some of which were more insulting then helpful (Boy Meets Boy anyone?)

 

Whether it be a drama, comedy, horror, or whatever, it would be amazing if we could capture that magic of the gay lifestyle on a 42-minute edited television show sometime soon. This time around, I can say for myself that I will not be so quick to judge as I did in the past, as these things can be the “little engine that could” and our community is the tracks that it needs to ride on. Otherwise, programs will never leave the station and we'll continue with being represented by a supporting cast member.


This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

Watch the Queer As Folk Cast Talk About The Making Of The Iconic Series

Earlier this month, we shared with you photos, and a video of the photos being taken, of the Queer As Folk reunion.

The cast of the North American series got together with Entertainment Weekly Magazine to create some memorable pictures and talk about their memories of the show.

While that original post had included some words from that interview, EW later released several videos of the interview as well.

These videos cover many topics from Hal Sparks talking about the moment he discovered the series and the character of Michael, to Peter Paige talking about originally auditioning for a different role, and the writers talking about filming a show with a lot of gay sex in it.

If you want to see the videos for yourself, you can watch them down below.

EW Magazine Reunites The Cast Of 'Queer As Folk' For Pride Issue

It’s hard to fathom but it’s been 13 years since the ground-breaking Showtime drama Queer As Folk left the air.

The cast reunited for the first time since filming the series finale for Entertainment Weeklys Pride Issue. During a photo shoot and group chat, the actors and creators shared their memories of the series - and all those sex scenes.

Taking a trip on the ‘way-back machine,’ EW begins it’s profile the same way the series did.

“The thing you need to know is, it’s all about sex.”

That’s the first thing audiences heard from Hal Sparks’ character “Michael Novotny” in the first seconds of the premiere of the series back in December 2000 as dozens of sweaty, shirtless young men dance at the club Babylon 

And, that was very much a part of the truth.

“I can tell you what everyone here’s genitals look like,” says a still boyish Randy Harrison. “I won’t, but I could.”

“I think the sexuality — and the honesty of that sexuality — propelled us throughout the whole series,” adds Thea Gill.

Michelle Clunie, who played girlfriend "Melanie" to Thea Gill's "Lindsay," shared the preparation for their first sex scene together.

“I remember Thea and I got together the night before our first sex scene, and we actually practiced kissing because we felt it was very important that it was a real, intimate connection between these two women who had been together for so long,” says Clunie, 48.

Not everyone participated in the overt sex scenes. Sharon Gless, who played Michael’s over-the-top supportive mom, "Debbie" says, “They paid me to keep my clothes on!”

While the actors and creative team were ready for backlash from the conservative right, executive producer Ron Cowen says it never really materialized.

But the LGBT community had plenty to say.

“The show received criticism from gay people and gay organizations, but they never said we weren’t telling the truth,” says Cowen. “As we often said, ‘If you don’t like the reflection you see in the mirror, don’t blame the mirror.’”

“We saw it as an opportunity to address a lot of issues that had never been shown on American TV before,” Cowen told EW about creating an American version of QAF. “That was very important to us because we, gay people, didn’t really see a true reflection of ourselves on TV very often. Back then, you couldn’t get married. There was ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in the Army. In 14 states, there were still sodomy laws on the books. It was a very hostile atmosphere.”

And yet, the series was a major hit for Showtime becoming the most-watched series for the cable network by the end of the first season.

The series lasted for five seasons following Michael and friends often addressing serious issues for the LGBT community as the world entered the new millenium.

That said, the cast was informed at the end of the fourth season that the fifth would be the last.

“The last year, every scene was important,” says Sharon Gless, who played Sparks’ mother. “‘This is the last scene I’ll do with Randy.’ ‘This is the last scene I’ll do with Thea.’ Even though it was sad, it was complete.”

With the current spate of TV reboots, EW asked the cast if there could be a new season of Queer As Folk?

“God knows the clothes and the hairstyles have changed, but the emotional stories are eternal,” Paige shares. “I often say people came for the queer, but they stayed for the folk.”

Watch the cast of Queer As Folk chat with EW below: