Looking: Jonathan Groff in leather
by MJ Lyons
Queer As Folk pronounced part way through the first season that gay men might as well be dead when they turn 30. I remember at the time thinking, “Shit, I’m almost 20. I’ve only got a good 10 years to get in lots of sex and lots of relationships and lots of partying.”
Of course, life went on for Brian Kinney, and life’ll go on for me even when I turn 30, as it will for every other queer guy despite any anxieties about aging. Hopefully we can all move on. (Disclosure: I never watched beyond season one of QAF due to complete lack of interest.)
This week Patrick and boss Kevin are trying to get a demo ready for a presentation the next day as the Folsom Street Fair rages on outside the office.
I don’t have a whole lot to say about the episode as a whole. I thought it was the weakest of the four episodes so far; interesting as it was written by creator and producer Michael Lannan, as opposed to Andrew Haigh who penned the first three.
One thing I thought the episode caught really well was the idea of… I’ll call it the Gay Celebration Paradox. Events like Pride, or in this case the infamous Folsom Street Fair, where many gay guys feel the need to simultaneously judge/make fun of and also participate in/have fun at big gay events. Typified by when Patrick and company making snide comments about all of the activities going on around them, but still go out and enjoy them as well.
And I did truly adore the scene where they were shopping in the leather store, and Patrick was comment on some of the clothes:
Patrick: I wish I could wear it…
Agustín: No one’s stopping you.
Patrick: No, I’m saying I wish I was one of those people who could wear something like that and not give a shit.
Again, a scene after my own heart. This is a conversation I would have (and probably have had) with a friend in relation to clothing in general. I wish we’d explore issues of self-esteem, and the way gay culture exacerbates them, more in mainstream gay culture.
I still find it funny that, at least for me, the most exciting things the show explores is the job aspect of it. I love seeing Patrick as a video game designer, that’s something cool and new for me!
In episode four, certainly the strongest element, and the part I most enjoyed, was Dom meeting up with Lynn (the guy he met naked in the steam room) for lunch, and to discuss his plans to open an authentic Portuguese chicken restaurant. There’s a lot at stake in these interactions, because Dom’s character is sympathetic, and the tension is we want to see him succeed.
We also learn in this episode (or maybe I just forgot until this moment) that he’s nearing 40. Nearing 40 and trying to start a new life as a business owner. I know it doesn’t read like riveting stuff on paper, but that’s interesting and is a big “Screw you!” to the Queer As Folk death-at-30 school of thought.
Agustín’s story, which was a big focus in this episode, doesn’t work for me. I really liked the interactions between boss Kevin and Patrick, and setting up boss Kevin in this frustrating, somewhat loveless relationship. So some of the dynamics were interesting, despite it being a fairly weak overall.
But as we’ve established, life, and the series, will go on.