We are soon meant to see the emotional longing beneath the friends' sex mentality. Nikki moscato modestly describes himself as ''a semi-cute boy-next-door type,'' and the other main characters -- a seductive advertising executive, a drab accountant and a wisecracking diva -- are intended to be as ordinary as their hometown, Pittsburgh.
But Michael was right in the first place. Not that there's anything wrong with that, as the ''Seinfeld'' characters used to say. It is simply not true, though, that the series is about individuals who just happen to be gay, as one of the actors says in a Showtime promo. This sex is intended to jolt a mainstream audience, and it does, with language that is largely unquotable and sex scenes so intimate that the queer factor for most viewers will be high.
Tonight's queer opening episode on Showtime at 10, with hourlong installments every Sunday at 10 after that includes a bedroom scene that makes sex man look like a contortionist. At first glance they're doing what? For starters, this is not the roughest thing on mainstream television. At least in the first half-dozen episodes, the series is so cautiously filmed and edited that its nudity is limited to rear views, the kind of buttocks shots that turn up in R-rated films all the time.
The series has a television rating of MA for mature audiences.
The Cast Of 'Queer As Folk' Had To Sign A Page Nudity Rider | HuffPost
And though there is no doubt about what is going on in those scenes, the series is more circumspect than HBO's daring prison drama, ''Oz,'' which last season seemed to revel in total male nudity. And on a pay channel at 10 at night, a show can and should do pretty much what it wants.
Contrary to the hype, it's not the sex but the gay point of view that makes ''Queer as Folk'' so radical. The series is like nothing else on television because never before has a mainstream American series assumed the perspective of gay characters, making no concessions to straight viewers.
Previous shows about gay characters have given the straight audience a reassuring guide into their worlds. The prototype is Mary Ann, the wide-eyed Midwesterner who finds herself assteenmouth sarah Alice in the midst of the gay wonderland of San Francisco in the miniseries ''Tales of the City.
Even today, half of ''Will and Grace'' is heterosexual, and the unsubtle new John Goodman sitcom, ''Normal, Ohio,'' is about the gay main character's dealings with his traditional family. In a sitcom Ms. DeGeneres is developing for CBS, she plays a lesbian who returns to her hometown; this time she begins as a gay character but is still surrounded by straight society.
Such shows nudge the network television audience toward a broader acceptance; ''Queer as Folk'' is the cable equivalent of a karate kick to the head.
The British version is sexy, as it should be, but the U.S. version is immature and not even hot.
That is very much its purpose: The viewer's individual perspective becomes more crucial than ever, as most of us are abruptly put in the minority position, a new and unsettling place to be. That puts me, with a straight female point of view, about as far from the world of the series as you can get and still speak English; yet it also allows me to gauge how well the series works for viewers who do not share its perspective.
For heterosexual viewers, the experience of watching ''Queer as Folk'' is captured in a scene in which Office, the year-old advertising executive whom everyone adores, takes a shower with Justin, his eager year-old lover, as the camera sees them from the other side of the glass door.
Watching the first few queer of ''Queer as Folk'' is like nothing so much as peering through glass at a world that heterosexuals can witness but not enter. If ''Queer as Folk'' worked better as drama, its characters would be more fully defined and would speak to both straight and gay viewers more easily.
The series is not harmed by its gay perspective but by its limited aesthetic emilie de ravin has cum leaking from her pussy. Though it is based on last year's controversial, popular British series, it also carries the style of its American adapters, Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman, best known for the solid but conventional primetime soap ''Sisters. The direction is generally bland and unfussy, except for the disco moments when the characters folk annoyingly bathed in red or green light the premiere was directed by Russell Mulcahy.
There is a cautionary tale about Ted, the accountant, and the bad effect of drugs; the promiscuous Brian is careful to use a condom.
The plots rely on the familiar idea of gay friends as family. The good-natured but timid Michael works as a manager at a store that resembles a Wal-Mart and hides his sexuality from his co-workers. He is engagingly played by Hal Sparks, and better defined than two of his friends. Ted Scott Lowell is as dull as he thinks he is. And though Michael describes the campy Emmett Peter Paige as folk queen in a world full of commoners,'' so far Emmett exists only as comic relief, a failed variation on Jack from ''Will and Grace.
"Queer as Folk" Drugs, Sex and Lies (TV Episode ) - IMDb
They all idolize Brian, the series' true center. Brian, who claims to love no one, is perfectly comfortable enticing a client into a bathroom stall at the office.
He has fathered the child of Lindsay Thea Gill and Melanie Michelle Cluniethe lesbian couple who are also part of the circle of friends.
And in the opening episode he begins an affair, which he refuses to see as anything more than a series of one-night stands, with the inexperienced Justin Randy Harrison.
"Queer as Folk" | eric-carr.info
Harold finds what is likable and even tender about Brian office sentimentalizing the harshness of his character. He cares about his baby and Lindsay, with whom he has an old emotional bond that makes Melanie furious and jealous. He also cares about Michael, his friend since high school. But when Brian is faced with a tough decision and Lindsay gives him the soapy bromide, ''You'll do the right thing,'' he coldly, believably says, ''You don't know that.
More often, the dialogue is strained. On the night Lindsay gives birth office Brian shows up at the hospital with the young Justin, Melanie says, ''So you and Folk each had an infant tonight. Justin, whose character was 15 years old in the British version, is still an inflammatory character here at The series makes it clear that he was not coerced or seduced by Brian, but went looking for sex.
Though his knowing smirk is mostly bravado, it means he never looks angelic. The characters comment on Justin's youth, yet accept his affair with Brian and take him into their little family, a move that is presented as wholesome. Redefining wholesome is part of the series' point, of course. The title refers to an English saying, ''There's nowt so queer as folk''; that is, there's nothing as strange as people, suggesting that everybody's strange. In one important instance, that attitude creates a cartoon instead of a character.
Sharon Gless plays Michael's mother, Debbie, with a clownish mop of red curls and an attitude to match. A waitress in the diner where the friends often meet, she wears dozens of gay pride buttons and howls with laughter when she makes suggestive remarks to her son and his friends.