With the onset of summer, so comes out my TV On DVD collection, among the treasures is Queer As Folk. Revisiting the Liberty Avenue gang is always a treat, the characters are reflective of gay meneverywhere.
During the initial run of the groundbreaking series, it was plagued by controversy including some from the very community they were trying to represent, some said the drug use was too much, some said the excessive sex was too over the top. Neither was true, at least in my opinion. Nobody bats an eye if straight characters cheat on their partners, which regularly occurs or if a straight character does drugs. Why is that? In this case I think it was because there was no nasty consequences for the actions, except time and again there were. Ted had unprotected sex with what he considered an Adonis and he feared he may have Aids.
Queer As Folk was infamous for exploring topics that other shows, many of them respected shied away from including an open relationships. The center relationship of Justin and Brian was not your typical storybook romance, in fact it was the farthest thing from it. Sure both had a certain amount of feelings for one another but both admitted that they couldn't be faithful in a relationship. This shocked and offended many of the gay men who were watching, I remember one debating me on the topic and he said "Well, I wish they would just have Brian and Justin be together instead of sleeping around, What will straight people think?" Ummm let me fill you in, this guys relationship could have been story material for the next three seasons, but more to the point the show wasn't aimed at debunking stereotypes but rather celebrating the truth and by doing this, opened some eyes in different ways.
Before one gets the idea that the show was full of slutty gay men, Michael, who was the narrator for the first three episodes, and was suppose to be the central character (by the middle of season 1 he ceded that title to Brian) , in any case Michael was the serial monogamist, he dated chiropractor David in the first season then couldn't see himself living without his friends, and his mama. So he came home and ended up falling in love with Ben, who was HIV positive. The show opted for a realistic portrayal of how dating someone effects everyone in your life, and not just skirting around the issue. This was one of the most effective stories in the shows arsenal and they played it to the hilt, milking it for all the drama they could.