Picks and Pans Review: Queer as Folk
Adapted from a British hit, this groundbreaking weekly series must be the most explicit program about gay life ever made for American TV. It trails a handful or so of hard-partying, mostly twentysomething Pittsburgh boys from bar to disco to bedroom and on to careers conducted in the glaring light of day. Queer is willing—delighted—to shock: When Brian, a handsome heartbreaker, visits a comatose friend in the hospital, he hops onto the next bed and makes love to a stranger. We're far from NBC's Will & Grace, which glides along on the blithe, elegant teamwork of Eric McCormack and Sean Hayes. If they're twin Astaires, this is dirty dancing. Proud of it, too.
But Folk could use some of Will's grace. As played by Gale Harold, Brian, the show's strongest character, is haughtily (and tiresomely) reptilian as he pursues a life of youthful pleasure. It wouldn't be a surprise to learn that he keeps his portrait, hideously wrinkled by age, stashed in a closet.
In contrast, the British original, while just as explicit, is also funny and warm, with a Trainspotting zip. You'll be happier renting videotapes of that.
Bottom Line: Folk pas