Friday, 23 November 2007

More Best Telly Ever...

I was catching up with my Tivo last night - well, we haven't been speaking much recently, I've been too busy, Tivo's been doing what Tivo does best, and all in all I haven't sat down and had a good night in with the poor thing for aaaages.

And I say that, unbeknownst to me, Tivo had done A Very Good Thing. Recorded every episode of series one of Queer As Folk which Channel 4 repeated recently to celebrate their 25th anniversary. As a lovely treat for Tivo, me and lots of others - ta C4. As a tactical ploy - err, well, it kinda shows up the drama they make now, doesn't it?

QAF was vibrant, full of life and fun, dirty as f**k and packed with characters who simply hadn't been seen on telly before. From Vince, the ordinary-looking gay guy who works in a shop and loves Doctor Who, to far-too-out-and-proud-at-his-age Nathan, this series kicked the teeth in of stereotypes of gay people on TV.

As a gayster myself, I obviously was going to love this. From that electric first few minutes where you see thirtysomething shagabout Stuart chat up and then properly, totally and explicitly shag young Nathan, this was jaw-droppingly dangerous drama. And it simply got better and better, from Vince's somewhat eccentric mum to the lesbians, minor characters that were simultaneously believable yet extreme, and the whole hedonistic world of Canal Street at that time made QAF unmissable.

An often overlooked part of any good show is music and QAF was oozing with the insistent dance music that was so current in the gay scene then. And still is now, he says, shaking his head like an old man and preferring a bit of Blur. But it was perfect for the show and, yet again, wasn't something I'd ever heard in a drama series before.

Now it was a product of the times, and, yes, QAF is a bit dated in some ways, but it still stands up as a fantastic piece of television. We can thank The Man Who Can Do No Wrong (well, apart from Casanova, I didn't like that much) Mr Russell T Davies, Saviour of Doctor Who And All-Round Telly Genius. It's such a personal piece and all the better for it.

OK, so Russell was a top writer but would C4 nowadays take the risk they did on him back then? They still take a punt on comedy and entertainment but not really with their drama... apart from a few right-on one-offs like Britz (yawn). Maybe it's because British drama rarely produces people like Davies - talented, clever, funny people who can write believable, interesting, funny scripts about anything from the second coming of Jesus through Daleks and Cybermen to gay blokes in Manchester.

When Lovely Vince dumped his bf and went dancing on a stage with Stuart surrounded by drugged-up gaysters, I had to give Mr Davies a special toast - he'd even ended the series in a way I'd never seen before. OK, so Vince's bf was dull and controlling, but - hell - he was cute and nice, and Stuart was such a bastard who'd never really care for anyone but himself, and... and... well, surely, the sign of a top telly treat, even now I feel strongly for these characters.

And the great news is that Mr RTD is going to do a new gay series.

A big gay hooray to that :)

1 comment:

John said...

You didn't like Casanova!!!

Crazy man.