• The ten episodes of the two seasons of

    Queer as Folk

     are now visible for free on the Arte.tv website

  • Created in 1999 by Russell T. Davies, this series marked the history of the representation of gays on the small screen by choosing gay characters as heroes.

  • The series, which took off the career of Russell T. Davies - he relaunched

    Doctor Who

    in 2005 -, was entitled to an American remake.

    A reboot is in preparation.

Queer as Folk

has just joined “Love, etc. », The collection of original series (

House of Cards

,

Hatufim

,

Bron,

etc.) available free of charge on Arte.tv. The opportunity to (re) discover this British fiction which, in barely ten episodes, marked a turning point in the history of TV series. Explanations.

We have to go back to a time that the under 20s cannot know. When

Queer As Folk

hit the air in 1999, it was the first time that a bunch of gay friends had featured in a series and that the script had focused on what they were going through. Until then, the rare gay characters who had the right of citizenship on television were condemned to suffering or to caricature, summoned to make pity or to amuse the gallery. In the vast majority of cases, their sex life was non-existent. A series giving a realistic representation of the daily life of young homos, it was unheard of.

And that was what Russell T. Davies, the creator of the series, 36 years old at the time, wanted to see.

“Gay characters started to appear in the 1990s, like Tony and Simon on [the soap]

EastEnders

.

But I didn't like these characters.

I'm delighted that they existed, but [feeling represented on the screen], that's really part of why I wrote

Queer as Folk,

 ”he confided at the beginning of the year to

Attitude

magazine

.

Identification

The

gay

public could now identify particularly with Nathan (Charlie Hunnam, future star of

Son of Anarchy

), 15, venturing, a bit intimidated, in Canal Street, the gay district of Manchester. Or to Stuart (Aidan Gillen, the Petyr Baelish of

Game of Thrones

), arrogant seducer of 29 years. Unless he recognizes himself in the more discreet Vince, who has not come out at work and must give the change. Romey and Lisa, a lesbian couple, are (unfortunately) confined to secondary roles.

That the under 20s will not imagine that the rainbow parade upset the French hertzian waves: if, across the Channel, the series was broadcast after 10:30 p.m. on Channel 4, in France, it was on Canal +, in encrypted form.

It is mainly thanks to its video editions and the resonance of its American remake - which we will discuss a little later - a few years later, that it achieved cult status.

Hence the interest in (re) discovering it.

A voluntary "forgetfulness"

In two seasons of ten episodes in total (eight for the first, two for the second),

Queer as Folk

speaks with humor and without prudery about love, sex, friendship, but also homophobia, discrimination and violence. homoparentality. However, the subject of HIV is not addressed there. Voluntarily. “The gay press was furious because we weren't showing condoms, warnings or other messages on the screen. At that time, in 1999, I refused to let our lives be defined by illness. So I deliberately excluded it. Omitting AIDS was a stand in itself, and it was the right thing to do, ”Russell T. Davies told The

Guardian

in January. He will have waited twenty years to feel at ease tackling the “AIDS years” head-on with

It's a Sin

, one of the best mini-series of the year - available on myCanal.

In the meantime, the screenwriter has delivered other milestones of LGBT representation on screen, whether themes related to sexual orientation occupy the foreground (

Cucumber

,

Banana

and

Tofu

in 2015) or appear below. -intrigues (the bisexuality of Jack Harkness, the hero of

Torchwood

 ; the gay couples of

Years and Years

dystopia

…).

The success across the Channel of

Queer as Folk

also allowed Russell T. Davies to relaunch, in 2005, the cult

Doctor Who

series

, of which he let go of the reins in 2009. We can also have fun watching in

Queer as Folk

the character of Vince fan of the alien hero who can change his appearance and travel in time.

Queer as Folk

crosses decades in its own way.

She was treated to an American remake that relocated the action to Pittsburgh and significantly developed the original material from which she gradually moved away.

The show has 83 episodes spread over 5 seasons between 2000 and 2005. A reboot is in the works for the American channel Peacock.

Eight episodes have been ordered and Russell T. Davies will serve as executive producer.

To

Têtu

, the latter said that it would take "a more inclusive cast" and "incorporate the trans experience."

The importance of representation, always.

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