The fourth series of Queer As Folk sees its cast of characters facing difficult challenges and serious changes in their lives -“ breathing much-needed new life back into this popular series.

Things had been getting a tad dull in season three, until the last few episodes where Ted’s (Scott Lowell) crystal meth addiction spiralled out of control and Brian (Gale Harold) risked everything to bring down a politician who tried to cover up the murder of a young gay guy.

Now we find the usually unflappable Brian unemployed and concerned about where his next pay cheque is coming from. Ben (Robert Gant) and Michael (Hal Sparks) have been granted custody of troubled teen Hunter (Harris Allan) after his mother was judged unfit to care for him. Ted is trying to readjust to life outside rehab, where he received treatment for his addiction and befriended his former flame Blake (Dean Armstrong). Emmett is still furious at Ted for the way their relationship ended and doesn’t want anything to do with him. Melanie (Michelle Clunie) is expecting a baby and homophobic violence is beginning to flare up around Liberty Avenue.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because things are about to get even more interesting. Especially for Justin (Randy Harrison), who decides to join a group of gay vigilantes trying to rid Pittsburgh of homophobia. Debbie (Sharon Gless), Brian, Lindsay (Thea Gill) and Melanie are also about to face major challenges in their lives -“ some with tragic consequences.

In episode two next week, when Brian finds no one will hire him, he decides to start his own advertising agency. Ted finds himself tempted to take drugs again and starts to grow closer to Blake.
Meanwhile Michael decides Emmett needs to de-stress after the trauma of break-up, so takes him on an all-gay retreat in the woods to discover their inner faeries. The scenes at the camp are, well, incredibly camp and quite hilarious as the boys are forced to dress in women’s clothing and mingle with the other strange guests getting back to nature.

Queer As Folk has thankfully returned to form and is now more compelling than ever. Season four is shaping up to be the best one yet.

Queer As Folk screens Mondays at 10pm on SBS.

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