Acorn Media recently released Queer as Folk: The Complete U.K. Collection. From creator Russell T. Davis (Torchwood, Doctor Who), Queer as Folk follows Stuart (Aidan Gillen, Game of Thrones, The Wire), a promiscuous, ornery gay man in Manchester, England. His considerably quieter best friend, Vince (Craig Kelly, Coronation Street) has a crush on Stuart that isn't exactly secret. Then Stuart picks up a fifteen year old boy named Nathan (Charlie Kunnam, Sons of Anarchy, Undeclared), disrupting their lives in many ways.
Queer as Folk aired more than 10 years ago in Britain, and its American remake put in five seasons on Showtime. Thus, if one is interested in the material, it is likely a great deal is already known about the plot. What may have been forgotten over the years is the large amount of controversy that Queer as Folk caused upon its debut, and the special features do everything they can to remind fans of that.
Queer as Folk is a show that people either love or hate; those against the show were quite vocal about it when it aired. The show's critics have argued that the series is a bad representation of the gay community, and promotes dangerous and destructive behavior. There is graphic sex depicted between a man and an underage boy; characters pop pills. Any reference to safe sex is subtle. Many gay individuals have claimed that Queer as Folk has nothing for them to relate to, as they live far more 'normal' lives.
The argument that creator Davies and his cohorts make is that they never set out to provide fair representation. That would have been a less exciting documentary. Instead, they want to tell a story, a drama of three men, their friends, and a very special, specific time in their lives. Davies, as a gay man, uses his experience to tell the story, knowing that the circumstances don't apply to everyone.
Under these arguments, most of the complaints appear to be baseless. After all, are television series featuring straight people attacked for not being representative of all straight people?
Then again, Queer as Folk was, and is, held to a higher standard by many because of what it was: the first big, dramatic television series to focus on homosexual individuals. In that light, perhaps some viewers expect it to be something more than entertainment. Davies and his crew are not worried about the larger implications. Thus, there is a disconnect between what is being made, and what comes to screen.