Queer As Folk First Look: Peacock's Reboot Premieres This June

"Queer as Folk" began its life in 1999 as a British soap opera created by Russel T Davies, a TV impresario who would go on to achieve fame reviving "Doctor Who." The series would be remade in America in 2000 and run on Showtime, quickly becoming the network's biggest hit. The British series only ran for one year, but the American version ran for five seasons, bringing the stories of its queer characters into the mainstream. The American series became a touchstone for queer kids in the early 2000s, talking frankly about the era's gay scene and depicting gay sex on TV. "Queer as Folk" was a revolutionary series when it aired in Korea, and while the showrunners expected protests and pushback from right-wing censorship groups, the protests never manifested. Indeed, there was only concern from within the LGBTQIA+ community over the show's potential stereotypes. 

In December of 2018, it was announced in Variety that "Queer as Folk" was to be rebooted. At the time, the plan was for the show to air on Bravo, but it has since been moved to Peacock. /Film has previously covered everything we know so far about the show.

The new show will address concerns in the queer community as they are experienced in the '20s; a lot has changed since 1999. It will star Jesse James Keitel, Fin Argus, Johnny Sibilly, Candace Grace, and Devin Way. The following pictures are some of the first looks at the new show.

A unique relationship

From Stephen Dunn, the show's executive producer, creator, writer, and director: 

"Like most queer '90s kids, I had a unique relationship with the original 'Queer as Folk.' Growing up, I was desperate for any sort of connection with people like me. It was the first time I really felt seen. The show offered a new paradigm — one where we could accept and celebrate queer love, families, and communities on a global stage. It was truly iconic. I am honored that Russell T. Davies, the creator of the original series, entrusted me to continue this legacy."

Setting: New Orleans

Dunn continues:

"I wanted to create a new groundbreaking version of this show for this moment. Our new 'Queer as Folk' is set in New Orleans — one of the most unique queer communities in North America — and I am immensely proud that the new series is comprised of an electric ensemble of fresh characters that mirror the modern global audience. If there's one person who is able to see 'Queer as Folk' and feel less alone, or who now feels more supported and seen, our job is done. In the true spirit of the original, our show doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of our community, but above all else, the series is about people who live vibrant, vital, unapologetically queer lives."

A millennium in queer years

From Russel T. Davies, the creator of the original "Queer as Folk," and who will serve as executive producer on the 2022 series: 

"I'm very proud of what we achieved in 1999, but in queer years, that was a millennium ago! As a community, we've radicalized, explored, opened up, and found new worlds — with new enemies and new allies — and there was so much to be said. Stephen pitched a brand new version of 'Queer as Folk' with so much imagination, insight, and crucially, joy, that I simply couldn't resist. I thought it was about time the title belonged to a whole new generation. The 2022 show is more diverse, more wild, more free, more angry — everything a queer show should be."

Queer characters in the messy middle

Jaclyn Moore, a writer an executive producer had this to say:

"I believe deeply in the power of storytelling to make people feel seen, but all too often I feel as though queer and trans representation in art is limited to extremes. We are either shown as saintly heroes bravely surviving a bigoted society or two-dimensional queer-coded villains that feel airdropped in from some previous era. With 'Queer as Folk,' we aimed to depict queer characters who live in the messy middle. People who are complicated. Who are funny and caring and flawed and sometimes selfish, but still worthy of love. Still worthy of narrative. As a trans woman, I'm excited to take steps to move past telling stories that seem to just be arguing for our basic humanity. My hope is that 'Queer as Folk' is one such step."

From punk to parenthood

From the press release, the character descriptions lay out a tantalizing cast of interesting characters. Helpfully, pronouns are included: 

Devin Way (he/him) will play Brodie (he/him), a charming and sometimes chaotic commitment-phobe who finds a reason to stay in New Orleans after tragedy rocks his community.

Fin Argus (they/them) will play Mingus (he/him/they/them), a cocky high schooler whose confidence belies their lack of real world experience.

Jesse James Keitel (she/her) will play Ruthie (she/her), a trans, semi-reformed party girl who is struggling to grow up.

CG (they/them) will play Shar (they/them), a non-binary professor navigating the rocky transition from punk to parenthood.

More than ready for independence

Additional character descriptions read thus: 

Johnny Sibilly (he/him) will play Noah (he/him), a successful lawyer who is not as put together as he seems.

Ryan O'Connell (he/him) will play Julian (he/him), a pop culture nerd with cerebral palsy who is more than ready for some independence.

O'Connell is also one of the show's writers and co-executive producers. Also involved in the show will be Kim Cattrall, Juliette Lewis, Ed Begley, Jr., Armand Fields, Chris Renfro, Eric Graise, Sachin Bhatt, Benito Skinner, Nyle DiMarco, Lukas Gage, Megan Statler, Olli Haaskivi, and Calvin Seabrooks.

"Queer as Folk" will begin airing on Peacock in June of 2022.