In the early aughts Queer as Folk and its remake were the primary sources of gay men on television. Peacock’s re-imagining arrives amidst a wave of queer programming. This takes pressure off the writers. After a shocking opening they transition to the same love quadrangles of any soap. The difference is a diverse cast of trans and BIPOC artists.
The foundation is shaky. Brodie (Devin Way), a smug brat, survives a mass shooting at a night club. He copes by doubling down on his Peter Pan antics. His love interests, a fragile lawyer (Johnny Sibilly) and a moody teen (Fin Argus), are bland. Argus looks every one of their 24 years but the relationship still begins with statutory rape. It’s the least welcome holdover from the original show.
Things improve when the supporting cast takes focus. Jesse James Keitel shines as cynical teacher saddled with a killjoy partner (CG) and two unwanted babies. They settled too quickly and are ready to sever the ties. Ryan O’Connell and Eric Graise break boundaries as a pair of disabled men hunting for sex and connection. Kim Cattrall earns laughs as a bored trophy wife seeking reinvention. These folk could push the series into uncharted territory.
Creator Stephen Dunn claims he wants to tell the story of a community rebuilding. But Brodie never engages with this. He only mentions the shooting when he needs to have an argument or a panic attack. If the show renews then Brodie either needs to pursue a goal or let his cooler friends take over.