Queer as Folk U.S.
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These Folks is Queer

Okay, first of all, no more Queer as Folk screening parties for me. I forget how extremely embarrassed I get watching, uh, "sexually-oriented" material with large groups of people, and spent half the ep hiding in the kitchen, and the other half braced to go flee to the kitchen. Thank God for VCRs. And the only reason I'm telling you is because RedDev said that if I didn't, she would. Stop laughing, RD. Knock it off, I have to do the recap.

So, Showtime opens with this, like,thousand-word disclaimer which basically translated to: "ATTENTION EVERYONE ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET EVERYWHERE: In no way, shape or manner are all the Naked Gay Men meant to offend you!" For half a minute there, I thought I was going to have to sign a waiver. And yes, in my world, "Naked Gay Men" is capitalized. Get used to it.

The opening credits are an onslaught of pastel neon colors, against which muscle-bound men wearing various types of not much and the occasional cowboy hat -- they show up a lot in QaF so we'll just call them the Hot Dancing Gay Boys -- writhe frenetically to a pumping techno beat.

And now we're in Babylon, a gay club in Pittsburgh. And what did I tell you, it's Hot Gay Dancing Boy Central! Sweaty, gorgeous, half-naked men as far as the camera can pan. Man, I gotta tell you -- I love my life. Over a disco mix of "Can you Feel It?" originally by the Jackson Five, Hal Sparks voice-overs, "It's all about sex...they say that men think about sex every twenty-eight seconds. Of course with gay men, it's every nine...and that's why we're here at one in the morning, instead of home in bed."

Cut to a blank-looking demi-god standing at the bar. "That's me," Michael says, "...I wish." The camera jets down the bar to Hal Sparks. "This is me. Michael Novotny, the cute boy-next-door type. Twenty-nine, 5'10", 140, 9 and a half, cut -- all right, so I exaggerate." The sly eyebrow-raise at the end gets a chuckle. I'm not made of stone, here. If you amuse me, I laugh.

Michael's standing between two other men -- one tall, dressed in a tight orange midriff-revealing shirt and what looks like magenta leather pants -- Emmett -- and the other a nebbish-looking guy in a polo and jeans. That would be Ted. As the music switches to a club mix of "Let's Hear it for the Boy," Emmett asks the others, "Since when did '70s night become '80s night?" Personally, I'm bracing myself for "'90s night," at which point I will officially declare myself dead. Emmett's musing leads to group nostalgia about disco music, which leads to an off-key but spirited group rendition of "I Love the Night Life," which is interrupted when yet another gorgeous and mostly naked man walks past. "Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?" Emmett sighs. "Venice. At Sunset," Ted replies, not meaning it. And wrong, too. "Well," Emmett snaps, "you go down the Grand Canal. I'll go down on him." I like Emmett. "Emmett's campy, but you have to admire him," Michael voice-overs. "These days, it's not easy being a Queen among commoners." Tell me about it. The tiara cleaning fees alone...As they are passed by still another off-duty Hot Dancing Gay Boy, Ted, sounding remarkably like a fifteen-year-old boy complaining about the cheerleader who snubbed him, gripes about "perfection's inability to recognize anything but itself." Emmett calls it -- Ted hit on that particular HDGB, and got shot down. Snicker. Michael voice-overs, "Ted...has a really big heart. But nobody here is interested in that organ." Well, what organ are they -- oh. Never mind. Sorry, I usually think of that as an appendage. ["Oh. Not the brain, then." -- Wing Chun]

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Queer as Folk U.S.

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