If performances are provided with this note from trauma therapy, viewers are threatened with trouble. What can be seen and heard here can create resistance, fear, even panic in sensitive minds. A trigger warning would therefore be absolutely appropriate before the start of another fiction from the – next language creation of the mindfulness society – LGBTQ cosmos.
At the beginning of the second remake of the legendary milieu study “Queer as Folk”, two guys are doing it so visibly that Starzplay should definitely warn against pornography. And indeed: the Amazon Prime video portal warns of caution when viewing this Peacock adaptation – albeit not of explicit sex, but of the terrorist violence that can be seen 30 minutes later. It’s all a matter of circumstances.
After all, when Russell T Davies brought the original of this literally groundbreaking series to television in his native Britain in 1999 and adapted it for the American market months later, the gay author could hardly have printed enough warnings on the environmental studies from Manchester and Pittsburgh – they were so big at the time heteronormative resentment against a format that shows the everyday life of homosexuals.
Almost 17 years after the last of 83 US episodes, the wind has turned. When “Queer as Folk” first aired, the United Kingdom was ruled by the liberal Tony Blair and the United States by the politically identical Bill Clinton; but their countries were anything but open to the descriptions of five gay friends in the bourgeois mainstream. That’s another reason why Davies tried almost desperately to draw his characters as “normally” as possible, despite HIV and drugs.
The promiscuous Brian, for example, was virile, volatile and also in a relationship with Justin, who was initially a minor. However, like his sidekick Mikey, the bird of paradise, Emmett, and Ted, the intellectual fig leaf of this hedonistic clique of middle-class white kids, he has a settled income and solid manners. Television was not yet ready for intersectional multiple discrimination when “Queer as Folk” was allowed to prepare the ground for series like “The L Word” or “All you need”, lesbian detectives and gay Pilcher sons-in-law.
Today, at most, the CSU and “Bild” crow when the black folk star Brodie (Devin Way) has a one-night stand at the season opener, which he leaves half-naked on the streets of New Orleans, where the queer community has its everlasting street festival seems to celebrate diversity with relish. When he donates sperm to trans woman Ruthie (Jesse James Keitel) and her African-American friend Shar (CG) for reproduction and feels the pain of separation from ex-lover Noah (Johnny Sililly) in a club toilet quickie with teenager Mingus (Fin Argus). In general: when his entire environment displays everything that abbreviates LGBTQ, openly and confidently.
Half a life after Carsten Flöter’s same-sex kiss premiere in “Lindenstraße”, this has long since become a fictional monotony like Ryan O’Connell (known from “A Special Life”) as Brodie’s brother Julian, whose mental disability is no longer worth mentioning. And because normality and the state of emergency were defined very differently in 2005 than in 2022, showrunner Stephen Dunn prefers an event from the 80th episode of the “Queer as Folk” original to the first today.
While a homophobic assassination attempt on Brian’s club “Babylon” previously initiated the end of the series, this time the terrorist attack is at the beginning of the season. From then on, Brodie has panic attacks and Ruthie fears commitment, Noah numbs himself with drugs and the others with anonymous sex, passive aggressiveness and cynical self-denial.
Like the originals, “Queer as Folk” is about holding on to the edge of doom – once in the reactionary mainstream after Reagan and Thatcher, now in the reactionary backlash of Trumps and Johnsons.
Like Davies on the streets of Pittsburgh, but also under the Florida sun, Dunn’s team of changing writers and directors succeeds in pairing the traumata of the (survivors) with energy and combativeness.
Juliette Lewis and Kim Cattrall also make sure of that as eccentric mothers of ambivalent characters. Trigger Warning: Queer as Folk is highly addictive. Yet again.