Queer As Folk, the latest reboot of the LGBTQ fan favourite has a premiere date set for Australian audiences. The new revamp of the iconic series is set to bow on Stan June 10.
The reimagined series, now set in New Orleans, follows a fresh cast of characters and is said to “follow a diverse group of friends who find their lives transformed in the aftermath of a tragedy.”
The series stars Devin Way, Jesse James Keitel, John Sibilly, Fin Argus, Candace Grace, and Ryan O’Connell, fresh of his well-received Netflix series Special. O’Connell also is serving as a writer and executive producer on the series.
The team released a teaser and first look images of the new Queer As Folk reboot earlier this week.
Original QAF Depicted Stories of Mainstream Gay Culture
Queer As Folk has had a long history of success, with the first UK series, which premiered in 1999, drawing great critical acclaim as well as notoriety for its sexual content. The Manchester-set series ran for two seasons on Channel 4. The second incarnation, set in Pittsburgh, was produced in partnership between US cable channel Showtime and Showcase in Canada. That version ran for five seasons, between 2000-2005.
The latest reboot promises to address some of the criticism which was directed at the previous series, particularly in addressing the criticism that the US version was “too white.”
While both of the previous incarnations of the show were praised for depicting stories of mainstream gay culture, both were faulted for their lack of diversity in casting, with the US version not including any actors of colour in any lead role during its five-year run.
A Diverse Cast
The first US series also was heavily criticised for casting largely heterosexual actors in the lead roles, while the reboot promises a significantly more diverse cast. Keitel, who was the first cast member to be announced, was the first non-binary actor to be cast as a non-binary character in a series leading role in Big Sky.
The new Queer As Folk does face the hurdle of attracting a sizeable enough audience to justify further seasons. The last major LGBTQ-focused series, HBO’s Looking, which received critical acclaim, failed to attract a large-enough fan base to persuade the streamer to order further seasons.
The Idea Of An Unapologetic Queer Series Was Provocative
Executive producer Stephen Dunn told The Hollywood Reporter, “It is a surreal honor to adapt the notoriously groundbreaking series by Russell T. Davies.
When the show originally aired, the idea of unapologetic queer stories on TV was so provocative that I felt I could only watch Queer As Folk in secret. But so much has changed in the last 20 years and how wonderful would it be if the next generation didn’t have to watch Queer As Folk alone in their dank basements with the sound muted, but with their family and friends and the volume cranked all the way to the max …”
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Dunn said, “I wanted to create a new groundbreaking version of this show for this moment. Our new Queer As Folk is set in New Orleans — one of the most unique queer communities in North America — and I am immensely proud that the new series is composed of an electric ensemble of fresh characters that mirror the modern global audience.”
‘Everything A Queer Show Should Be’
“Queer As Folk was more than just a show, it was a groundbreaking and necessary voice for so many people. Stephen’s new version for Peacock arrives at yet another pivotal moment in our culture,” Lisa Katz, president of scripted content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, told The Hollywood Reporter.
Russell T. Davies, who created the original series, told Entertainment Weekly “I’m very proud of what we achieved in 1999, but in queer years, that was a millennium ago! As a community, we’ve radicalized, explored, opened up, and found new worlds — with new enemies and new allies — and there was so much to be said.”
“Stephen pitched a brand new version of Queer As Folk with so much imagination, insight, and crucially, joy, that I simply couldn’t resist. I thought it was about time the title belonged to a whole new generation. The 2022 show is more diverse, more wild, more free, more angry — everything a queer show should be,” Davies said.