The Queer As Folk Reboot on NBC Illustrates the Swiftness of Cultural Change

Queer As Folk has come back, but it isn't the same as your grandmother's gay and lesbian soap opera. One needs historical perspective. But to a greater extent than previous generations, today’s generation doesn’t have that perspective, likely because of the lack of TV reruns. We're living in the hottest but rerun-free era since the advent of the syndication process. The youth of the past viewed over-the-air and cable TV, which featured programming from years ago. However, today's young people derive their cultural influences from social media on the spur of the moment. They watch movies and shows through streaming services or perhaps watch what they have read about online.

The only reality that young people today know is the one that is currently happening. Perhaps teens aren't able to comprehend that just a few years ago, “trans” wasn't a common word.” “Gender identity” and the concept that one is “nonbinary”—rooted in the concept of transitional transgenderism—had no place in the American dictionary. Students at school may not know that these topics—in the way they have currently and widely been portrayed—are new.

A great illustration of the changing culture comes from NBC's Queer As Folk reboot. For those who aren't aware, the drama series' premiere was in 2000 for the American market. For five years, it aired on Showtime, as the subject was considered taboo by networks such as NBC.

Wikipedia describes the show as based on the characters of five gay men who live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Brian, Justin, Michael, Emmett, and Ted; as well as a lesbian couple, Lindsay and Melanie; and Michael's mom, Debbie, and father, Vic. A third main character, Ben, was introduced in the second season.

Queer As Folk is no longer taboo but acceptable to a major network, an indication of where cultural change has taken us in less than a decade. Take a look at the 2022 reboot's list of characters, according to the email sent by Peacock TV:

  • Brodie (he/him): A delightful but sometimes unpredictable commitment-phobe who finds a reason to remain in New Orleans after tragedy rocks his neighborhood.
  • Mingus (he/him/they/them): A suave high-school student with a confident personality but a lack of experience in the real world.
  • Ruthie (she/her): Trans, semi-reformed party girl struggling to get older.
  • Shar (they/them): A professor with a non-binary identity navigates the rough transition from parenthood to punk.
  • Noah (he/him): A lawyer who is successful but not as well-organized as he appears.
  • Julian (he/him): A nerd from pop culture suffering from cerebral palsy who is eager to be independent.

America isn't a place for the words of amateurs; we've all turned professional. There was a time when there was only the LGB. Then Mr. “T” came along. Within moments, the new kid was “the cool” kid. It's shameful of anyone not to show respect to them. “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Features the First Transgender Model, Who ‘Improves the Well-Rounded Woman,'” “It's Official: Barbie Goes Transgender,” “Transgendered Contestant Is the Game Show's Most Iconic Winner,” “Church Pastor Claims Jesus ‘Transgenders Himself’ in the Bible,” “’Nonbinary Gender Acknowledgement’ Doctors Provide Sexual ‘Nullification’ Surgery,” “Transgender Revolutionary Joe Biden Is ‘Advancing the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons All Over the World.'”

Queer As Folk‘s latest version has some outstanding talent, such as Ed Begley, Jr., Juliette Lewis, and Kim Cattrall. It's also tackling hot subjects, according to Decider's coverage of Episode One. Opening shot: In the midst of the pulsating electronic music and videos of skimpily dressed men, two guys are engaged in vigorous sex.

The main plot concerns one of the guys, Brodie, who has returned to New Orleans after leaving medical school in Baltimore. Of course, he has not told his family members yet and is looking for a suitable place to stay. He was given a spot to stay by another man, but then Brodie notices a Black Lives Matter (BLM) tattoo on his extremely white skin.

There's also Mingus, a 17-year-old who's determined to attend the drag school run by a local organization known as Babylon. He is issued a fake ID and everything else. He also requests an A- grade from the English lit instructor, Ruthie O'Neill, so his mother, Judy, will allow him to go. Ruthie, who is friends with Brodie, is set to have twins together with her wife, Shar. Ruthie is already settled with Shar and is now preparing to begin the journey of becoming a parent. However, there's a part of her that is concerned that she's being cut off from the community with which she's familiar and loves. That's the reason she's in Babylon, even though Shar is very pregnant.

What is the critical reaction? Decider, for one, asked if we really needed a third (or fourth) version of Queer As Folk? In the realm of reboots for series, this one appears to be more on the “necessary” side than most. It's because the landscape of the LGBTQIA group has changed dramatically during the period following the time the American version came to an end. Legally, gay marriage is permitted, and the LGBTQIA community is now more popular than it has ever been. As in the case of The L Word series, it was the perfect time to think about what it's like to be young and gay in 2022. It has changed drastically—although an upcoming generation of Americans might not know the extent of it.

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