Thursday, July 07, 2005

Queer As Folk US Series 1-4 (Completed)

About this time last year I seen the first two series of Queer As Folk UK and other than the ending in series two, it was stunning, so with people raving about the US series I thought I had better give that a go too. And two weeks and two days ago I started watching all 63 hours of series 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the US series.

On the representation of gay culture, Queer As Folk does an excellent job. The US series stands as an adaptation of the UK series. The two UK series are combined and adapted into the first half of the first US series so everything feels a little bit more condensed, but tighter and some of the alterations like the character of Ted not dieing from a drugs overdose made me realise how much the story had been softened for a US audiences, but all the meat of the UK series is still there, but with plenty more gravy.

I would say the US series is better than the UK series. Primarily because it is longer and that allows the characters to develop much further, and for the story to go more places. Some of the constructed sequences, specifically around the several disasters throughout the series are done very well. I don't want to go into details, but the most shocking thing in the UK series is when Nathan (Justin US) goes home after his Dad finally accepts that he is gay and he says:
Roy Maloney: You've made up your mind, and it's obvious there's no stopping you. It's Helen I'm worried about, she's ten years old, she's a child. I don't want her head filled with notions.
Nathan: Like what?
Roy Maloney: As far as Helen is concerned, the anus is for shit. Got that?
The US series however does a much better job with visual sledgehammers and that is probably because of a much bigger production budget. There are a few things that the US series fails to do well. For example, the character of Brian is softened over time for reasons that aren't truely explained and the other characters in the series are just as puzzled as I was. And it is obvious that the writers are struggling for plot lines by series four, but the fifth series of Queer As Folk is currently being shown someplace in the world, and when it is released on DVD I will certainly give it a go.