Sunday, 23 February 2014

Queer As Folk - 15 Years On (The "Oh God, I'm Old" Edition)

I suspect I read about the upcoming first episode of Queer as Folk in the Guardian's "Guide" supplement. At 15 I took its recommendations deeply seriously. So that was how I found myself that evening 15 years ago today watching Channel 4 with the sound turned right down and one eye on the door.

Queer as Folk was just as spectacularly naughty as I'd hoped. 15 year old Nathan Maloney was living my dream, being an arrogant, insufferable idiot (not that I thought of him that way back then). Though Queer as Folk was an over the top gay soap opera, it was still grounded enough to make 15 year old me feel that being gay wasn't as abnormal as I feared. Turned out LGBT people were just like everyone else (well like everyone else in a soap opera...).

I couldn't wait for the second episode, which started with one of my most favourite scenes of all time, and lapped up the rest of the series. Sure the acting was often over the top but it was so fantastically entertaining that you could overlook its flaws.

Today I decided to pretend I'm not moving in just one month and have packing to do and rewatched series one. Despite the 15 years between me and that rather over-excitable 15 year old boy, it is still excellent stuff. Eminently quotable and now tinged with a little bit of nostalgia for my youth.

And along comes a little political point-scoring to make it all the more delicious. Earlier today I joked that Stonewall would oppose Queer as Folk. Well that just goes to show how naive I am and how willing to give them credit for past actions I remain, even now. Because in 1999 Stonewall DID oppose Queer as Folk. Absolutely beyond parody. But it did make watching the last few episodes that little bit sweeter.

It all seems a little surreal now looking back on it, not knowing then it'd spawn an even better American remake AND that its creator, Russell T Davies, would go on to resurrect my beloved Doctor Who. 'Nowt as queer as folk!

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