IT’S ONE THING for the cast members of a popular TV series to gather one last time for a reunion—think AfterMASH, the much hyped Seinfeld and Friends reunions, and the film spin-offs of Sex and the City—but it’s another thing for a TV show to mutate over the course of twenty-plus years. Queer as Folk is unique in this respect. Created by Russell T. Davies in 1999, the show first appeared on England’s Channel 4 and was arguably the first prime-time series to dramatize the sex lives of openly gay men. On the strength of its UK success, Queer as Folk was soon repackaged for an American audience in the year 2000, and it ran on Showtime for five consecutive seasons. The characters were transplanted from Manchester, England, to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, but the main plotlines were left intact. The series centered on a close-knit group of five gay men, one lesbian couple, and a brassy diner waitress intensely proud of her gay son Michael and a poster girl for PFLAG.
Now, seventeen years after the U.S. series ended, Queer as Folk has gotten yet another makeover.
Colin Carman is an assistant professor of English at Colorado Mesa University and author of The Radical Ecology of the Shelleys. His forthcoming book is titled Jane Austen’s Road to Happiness.