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Queer as Folk: the ultimate episode guide.

QUEER AS FOLK has pushed, shredded, and defined the envelope when it comes to television portrayals of gay and lesbian lives, stories, and sexuality on the small screen. As the series continues to shatter boundaries and take risks, The Advocate looks back at Showtime's adaptation of the hit British drama with the up-to-date episode guide imaginable: Relive Brian's Babylon tricks, Emmett's outrageous outfits, and, of course, Debbie's salty life lessons.

SEASON ONE

episode

101 Brian, in the middle of violating the virginal 17-year-old Justin, is summoned to the hospital as his son is being born to his old friend Lindsay and her lesbian lover, Melanie. Brian and Michael perch on the ledge of the hospital roof, discussing life--behavior not generally recommended for people who have been ingesting chemicals at popular gay dance club Babylon until 2 A.M. We also meet Justin's school chum, Daphne.

BRIAN'S SCORE THIS EPISODE:

I guy in the back room

I breaking-in of Justin

I with Justin in the shower

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

Melanie to Brian: "So you and Lindsay each had an infant tonight."

102 Michael remains closeted at work and, having learned how to speak one phrase of straight fluently, passes himself off as such when he's pressured into meeting his Big Q coworkers for a drink. Lindsay and Melanie want Brian to take out a life insurance policy in case one day he gets sick.

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

To Justin: "The thing you've got to know about Brian is, he's not your boyfriend. Brian doesn't do boyfriends."

ALL THE NUDES:

Many fine young bottoms are seen in the high school locker room scene. For the ladies, Lindsay is seen nursing as Melanie goes in for a taste.

103 Gus's bris is a merry affair until Brian finds out what it is and puts a stop to it. Emmett fails to notice that his new Japanese boyfriend is a hustler. Ted picks up the very cute Blake at Babylon but ends the evening in a drug-induced coma.

DEB SEZ:

"Em, honey, you should try to eat some of your protein off a plate."

THE VOICE OF YOUTH:

Daphne: "That's Brian? God, he's so old! And skinny! You can do way better than that."

104 Brian is left responsible in Ted's living will for pulling the plug on Ted if need be. Luckily, Brian's having sex with an orderly in the next bed returns Ted to the land of the living. Justin eases the pain of detention by giving high school thug Chris a hand job in the equipment room. Justin comes out to his mother, Jennifer. Michael and Emmett do a porn purge of Ted's apartment.

BRIAN'S SCORE THIS EPISODE:

2 Justin couplings, one of them in Michael's old bedroom while he's downstairs

I doctor

ACCORDING TO EMMETT:

"When I go, promise you won't let them sew my mouth shut, because when I get to heaven and I meet Natalie Wood, I want to be able to say, 'Natalie! It's Emmett! What happened that night?'"

105 Lindsay invites Brian over to dinner so he and Melanie can make nice. Michael meets a very cute chiropractor, Dr. David, after he injures his neck at work. When they go out on a first date, though, he doesn't attempt to have sex with Michael, leading to confusion. Brian includes himself in the bonus package in order to land a closeted out-of-town client.

DEB SEZ:

"It's amazing how you always manage to work anal intercourse into the conversation."

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

Lindsay to Brian: "Don't apologize; it doesn't become you."

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL, PART 2:

Melanie: "He's a selfish shithead."

106 Lindsay persuades Justin to enter his artwork in the show at the gay and lesbian center. Brian continues to try to eighty-six Michael's practically perfect boyfriend but finds the good doctor can give as good as he gets. Debbie ties one on with Jennifer, all in the name of life coaching. Ted tries to find a man with depth and character, only to realize he's really not serious about things like depth and character.

DEB SEZ:

"I've known Brian since he was 14. He hasn't changed much. In fact, I'd say he and Justin are pretty evenly matched."

ALL THE NUDES:

Ted's attempt at an affair of depth leads to perhaps the only sex scene on this show to feature both body hair and fat.

POOR TED:

"I was rejected by everybody. It's good to be back!"

107 Michael denies it, but Dr. David displays the three signs of a true boyfriend: flowers, dinner with Mom, and a trip out of town. Brian gets broody over Michael's diverted attention. Justin gate into a fistfight with Chris at school. Justin's father finds out about his son and Brian, so he rear-ends Brian's car repeatedly. Michael and Dr. David rush back from their idyll. The doctor gets dressed up like a bad boy and tosses down the gauntlet to Brian while dancing at Babylon.

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

To Michael: "You can't stay. I've got someone coming over in approximately 7 1/2 inches."

BLAME CANADA:

David's sex-wife and son live in the mysterious location "down in Oregon."

108 Michael clings to his impersonation of a straight man so he can get a promotion at Big Q. Debbie suffers from exhaustion so overwhelming she doesn't even wear her wig. Justin's father beats up Brian outside Babylon and makes home life impossible for Justin, who moves from Brian's couch to the girls'. Brian tries to take Justin back to his folks but reconsiders the wisdom of it once be hears that the house rules include no more gay bars. Brian and Justin take their relationship to the next step: dinner.

BRIAN'S SCORE THIS EPISODE:

I toothsome youth from Atlanta, who consults with Justin on jambalaya

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

Jennifer, to Brian, about Justin: "You seduced him. You fucked him. He's yours. Kindly see that he takes his allergy medicine and does his homework. And gets to school on time."

109 Emmett discovers what it must be like to be his online persona. Michael tries to learn how to behave around grown-ups but still has a miserable time at a dinner party with Dr. David's friends. Gus needs to go to the hospital, but Melanie isn't allowed in. The girls ask Brian to sign over his parental rights to avoid a repeat of such an incident, but he ultimately refuses. Dr. David asks Michael to move in.

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

Michael: "What is this, adopt-a-trick?"

Brian: "It's only temporary."

Michael: "Until he grows up?"

ALL THE NUDES:

There's an exceptional full-frontal when Melanie peels off her towel. Emmett's chat-room moment at the keyboard is notable not so much for the nudity as for his astonishing accuracy when typing with one hand.

110 Brian rescinds his offer of shelter after he's robbed, so Justin runs away to New York City. The boys go off to find him, disregarding the warnings from bar tarot reader Mistress Marilyn. Michael decides against moving in with Dr. David, who ends the relationship, while Debbie tells the returned Justin he can have Michael's old room. Emmett's drug problem pops up. Lindsay decides she wants to be able to stay home with Gus rather than go back to work.

ACCORDING TO EMMETT:

Michael: "If you're not careful, you're gonna get addicted."

Emmett: "Please. I've been doing it for years."

ACCORDING TO EMMETT, PART 2:

"I have a problem with rubber. It accentuates my hips."

ALL THE NUDES:

Michael and David in the shower reverie moment.

111 Turning 30, Michael has a small surprise party at work and a huge one at Brian's. Debbie asks Brian to let Michael go so be can be happy with Dr. David. Ted has an HIV scare, so Emmett goes in with him to be tested. A call from the center asking Emmett to return makes him promise God he'll give up men if he tests negative.

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

Brian: "If I invited just your friends there'd be, like, six people here. I had to open it up to sex partners."

Michael: "I haven't slept with any of these people."

Brian: "My sex partners."

POOR TED:

Ted: "He's one of my best friends--I can't let his 30th birthday go by without getting him something cheap and demeaning."

112 Emmett gives up man-on-man sex and joins the conversion group See the Light. Ted takes up the slack by snagging Brian's castoffs now that Brian is searching for new playmates. Michael unpacks his things at Dr. David's only to find that Captain Astro and understated good taste don't easily mesh. Melanie and Lindsay process their feelings.

BRIAN'S SCORE THIS EPISODE:

I guy in an alleyway

I incident with Justin involving ice cream

POOR TED:

Ted: "[Brian] wants me to mere him at Woody's after work!"

Emmett: "God, he must really be desperate."

113 Emmett resists temptation even though Michael and Ted have rented his favorite porn star to lure him from the light. Brian fails to resist temptation even though it's a coworker spread on top of his desk at the office. Melanie doesn't resist temptation either.

BRIAN'S SCORE THIS EPISODE:

2, but it's the same guy, once on the job, once at home

SOMETHING BLUE:

Marianne's successful pickup line to Melanie: "I suppose you could say I am PC ... that is, if PC means 'performs cunnilingus.'"

114 Brian's office trick goes bad when Mr. Kinney gets sued for sexual harassment. Michael runs to Brian's aid but has to lie to Dr. David to do so. Emmett just lies to himself about being straight.

BRIAN'S SCORE THIS EPISODE

O: Litigation curtails libido, it would appear.

BRIAN'S MR. WONDERFUL:

Melanie: "What are you, Mr. Teflon? Shit just never sticks to you."

115 Brian babysits Gus, forcing him to deal with father issues: being one, having one, losing the one he's got. Ted allows himself to deal with his own daddy issues when a school friend turns out to be a leather master, Dr. David drives his visiting son crazy.

ACCORDING TO EMMETT:

"As long as your erogenous zones are covered, you're safely in the conservative code."

POOR TED:

Brian: "You'll always be old ... old ... reliable Ted."

116 Francophobia rears its head when the gang find out Lindsay is planning a green-card marriage to Guillaume, a fetching but arrogant Frenchman from her school. After being suspended for defending himself against classroom bullies, Justin tries to organize a gay-straight alliance at St. James Academy but meets with limited success in spite of Debbie's help. Michael wants to pay his own way in the relationship but comes to realize the folly of this and allows Dr. David to take him to Paris.

DEB SEZ:

"That's the way people are. They're ignorant. And they're scared. And there's nothing you can do. Except educate 'em. Dr shoot 'em."

ALL THE NUDES:

Brian and Justin strategize in the buff; Michael and Dr. David practice their French. The gym locker room, of course, is always a delight.

117 Michael is rather full of himself after returning from Paris. Dr. David throws a political fundraiser for Senator Baxter, to which Michael pointedly fails to invite his friends and family, feeling it's not for them. Brian funds their way in. Justin's attempts to organize a gay-straight alliance are met with more success after he makes a political connection at the party. Lindsay's impending sham of a wedding is stopped dead when Brian finally signs over his parental rights to Melanie on the condition that the women reconcile.

DEB SEZ:

Michael: "Try the brie."

Debbie: "Tastes like come. Where's the cheddar?"

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

Guillaume: "Look who's here, Gus. Your sperm donor."

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL, PART 2:

Brian, to the ladies: "You're a bunch of dykes, for Christ's sake. Toughen up."

ACCORDING TO LINDSAY:

"Now and then, I must admit, I've often dreamed of being a bride. It's true. I suppose even dykes can't escape that fantasy."

118 Ted stumbles across Blake, quite literally, as he is passed out an the bathroom floor at Babylon. He takes him to the E.R., then home, only to find his wallet mysteriously missing. Dr. David goes to the baths, where he's busted by Brian. Justin wavers between arts school in Pittsburgh or an MBA at Dartmouth.

DEB SEZ:

To Justin: "Well, all due respect to your mother, who's a very lovely lady ... who gives a shit what they want?"

POOR TED:

Emmett: "Let's go to Babylon. Dozens of beautiful men will reject you, and you'll feel so much better."

119 Daphne wants Justin to be her first time so she'll know what to expect with her boyfriend, but rehearsal becomes opening night for Daphne, leaving Justin wondering what's going on. Ted operates under the belief that love will conquer crystal meth as far as Blake is concerned. Brian's father dies.

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

Wake repartee: "What's in the bag, Uncle Brian?" "Grandpa's head."

THE VOICE OF YOUTH:

To Justin: "It's like I don't even know you. You've just become this full-time homosexual."

120 It's King of Babylon time again, a beefcake contest that involves not only the expected platoon of strippers but eventually Dr. David and Justin, who leaves with both the crown and Brian's behavioral pattern. Vic is arrested for indecent exposure in a store men's room. Blake ingratiates himself by making it possible to post Vic's bail on a Saturday night.

ALL THE NUDES:

Special notice must be taken of the fireman who sprays the horde at Babylon with a geyser of glitter from his impressive hose.

THE VOICE OF YOUTH:

Justin: "Sad, isn't it? All these older guys, still partying way past their prime--they don't know when to stop. So how about the real thing?"

121 An "Ad Person of the Year" award and its hunky presenter convince Brian that his professional future lies in New York City. Dr. David needs to move to Oregon, and an uncertain Michael agrees to go with him. Melanie helps Blake get a temp job in her office and also gets Vic's public-exposure trial thrown out of court.

ALL THE NUDES:

In one of Ted's more audacious moments, he gets on his knees for Blake in a dressing room that consists of nothing more than a circle of fabric in the middle of the store, making the entire enterprise visible in silhouette. Nice heinie shot of Blake too.

POOR VIC:

"I can't remember the last time someone looked at me. Or touched me. It was probably that Filipino nurse who gave me that barium enema. That was a treat."

122 Brian finally turns 30, and he's not about to do so gracefully. Justin wants him to be his prom date, but Brian considers it beneath him. Michael resents the control Dr. David has taken over his life once they started the move and begins to get cold feet. Brian makes it to the prom after all and takes an impossibly romantic spin with Justin around the dance floor. When Chris Hobbs attacks Justin in the parking lot, though, the fun ends. Just as Michael is boarding the plane for Oregon, Brian calls him.

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL

Lindsay: "I think that's so adorable that he asked you [to the prom], despite the somewhat questionable difference in your ages and the fact that emotionally he's 12 years your senior."

POOR TED:

Ted: "You two have never looked more butch."

Melanie: "Neither have you,"

SEASON TWO

episode

201 Brian keeps a private late-night vigil over Justin until he's released from the hospital. Lindsay, in the middle of proposing a toast at her sister's wedding, tosses in a proposal to Melanie as well. Michael returns from Oregon for keeps. Chris Hobbs gets a remarkably lenient sentence for assaulting Justin. Jennifer tells Brian to go away.

DEB SEZ:

"Eagle Scout's honor. And they're all fags, you know."

ACCORDING TO EMMETT:

"Why shouldn't [Michael] per a little action? He's outside the required 400-mile limit for extramarital quickies and anonymous assignations. Mind you, if you want to do anything further, you'll need overseas travel and a minimum 14-day stay."

202 Jennifer realizes her error and asks Brian to take Justin in. Ted gets fired after being caught surfing for porn on his coffee break. Melanie proposes to Lindsay. Michael and Emmett get jobs as nude waiters, but Michael ends up back at the Big Q anyway. Brian works to help Justin remember what happened the night of the attack.

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

Bathhouse acquaintance: "For someone who has enough disorders to merit your own classification in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, you are one of the most well-adjusted and high-functioning bastards I know."

POOR TED:

"I'm going to talk to Wertshafter, confront him like a man, tell him, 'Look, I've been a loyal and devoted employee here for nine years. You've got no right to treat me like this just because I'm gay,' Then I'm gonna grovel."

203 Emmett gets a domestic position with a gay couple who appear to be as flawless and politically correct as the duo in his favorite soap opera, Gay as Blazes. Brian is getting an Outstanding Gay Hero Award for saving Justin, but moral conscience of the gay community Howard Bellweather publicly protests, saying that Brian's lifestyle makes him unworthy of the honor. The tables turn when Michael and Emmett run across the writer at a barebacking party, however, Michael tries to reconnect with Brian at ComiCon, a date Brian makes--but only eventually.

BLAME CANADA:

Though it differs by but one digit, the number with a 416 area code on the sign behind Justin belongs not in Pittsburgh (412) but in Toronto.

CONTINUITY ALERT:

Note Emmett's ease in the kitchen as he whips up his sauce piquant. Later culinary adventures are decidedly less well-managed.

204 Local drag legend Godiva dies, leaving behind little more than a spangled dress. Brian decides that the best way to market his homophabic client's line of wine coolers is in gay bars. Melanie's incredibly hot ex, Leda, breezes into town for gay pride season, making Lindsay a bit uncomfortable. Ted connects with a really hot guy but fails to recognize it for the annual charity gesture that it is. Michael finally marches with his mom in the PFLAG contingent--but wearing Godiva's frock so as not to be recognized.

POOR TED:

Ted's hot trick: "For pride I go out, find some guy--like you--and give him a break. I give him me. It's my way of giving back to the community."

ALL THE NUDES:

Ted is lustily topped by his hunk, and with pride.

205 The humiliation at the Big Q gets out of hand and Brian is forced to quit, only to find the opportunity to own a comic book store presenting itself. Ted quits the accounting jab Brian got him at his firm to follow his dream, which turns out to be running a porn Web site. Justin wants to quit art school when it appears his damaged hand will prove an insurmountable problem.

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

To Ted: "If you see me at lunch, pretend like you don't know me."

THE VOICE OF YOUTH:

Justin, on his postcollege plans: "I could be here [at Babylon] popping pills and drinking beer and sticking my hand down guys' pants."

206 Ted's fledgling porn site is in danger of going under when Emmett steps in to provide the needed talent. Lindsay's problem with Ted's new adventure bothers Melanie, since she has a bit of the blue movies in her past as well. Brian sets up his new store when his next beautiful boyfriend, professor Ben Bruckner, walks in the door. Feeling closer to Brian than ever, Justin comes home to find him at it on the couch, which forces the two of them to negotiate the rules for their relationship.

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

Grocery shopper, spotting Brian: "See that guy? That's Brian Kinney. He used to be the hottest stud on Liberty Avenue. Now he's in a relationship."

ALL THE NUDES:

Better than the usual gym locker-room scene, as Zack O'Tool makes a return appearance.

207 Ben's being HIV-positive proves to be the one thing Debbie can't handle. Lindsay invites her parents over for a party--one that turns out to be the sort you don't want your parents to walk in on. Emmett's growing status as a Web site porn star makes him think he's in a position to make a demand or two. Ben's status is more than Michael can handle as well.

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

Leda: "And you must be the Antichrist. Big fan."

ALL THE NUDES:

Emmett makes a lovely homage to Marilyn Monroe as he stretches his body across red satin.

208 Michael begins dating again even though he's still hung up on Ben. Emmett meets his secret admirer, the much older and vastly wealthy George Shickel. Justin gets a chance to behave like Brian when he meets a virginal young man while at a party with Daphne.

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

Brian, at Babylon: "So many men, so little body hair."

SOMETHING BLUE:

"Just for your information, Lindsay and I fuck like crazy. We pant and drool like a couple of bitches in heat."

209 Michael shamelessly does a karaoke version of "Ben" to persuade his handsome professor to give him another chance. Brian's mother discovers that he's gay--but not that he had her handsome minister at the bathhouse earlier. Ted avails himself of Emmett's Viagra stash, and the resulting boner lingers longer than a bad houseguest.

BRIAN'S SCORE THIS EPISODE:

I priest at the baths

I Viagra-enhanced roundelay with a brace of sturdy young men

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

To his nephew: "Sit down and shut up, or I'll make sure your balls never drop."

210 Michael goes into deep mourning when his comic book hero, Captain Astro, is killed off when the fans start perceiving him as too gay. Debbie encounters a more tangible death when she opens the diner Dumpster and there's a young man's corpse inside, but Detective Carl Horvath shows little interest in finding the killer of a gay victim. Lindsay goes to liberate her Granny Faye's wedding dress from her parents' attic and discovers love letters from Granny's World War II romance with another woman. Emmett makes George take him to the opera to bring him out of his hermetic existence.

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

George: "From what Emmett tells me, you're the love child of James Dean and Ayn Rand."

ACCORDING TO EMMETT:

Upon meeting George's ex-wife at the opera: "The reason I'm with George is, he gives spectacular head--a skill I'm certain he didn't learn from you."

211 Lindsay and Melanie get a tarot reading from the uncannily accurate Mistress Marilyn (episode IIO), who warns them that their impending nuptials have the planets aligned against them. They press on anyway; a band of fairies rescues the disaster at the last minute. Emmett goes shopping for a new butt.

ALL THE NUDES:

When Emmett looks for a sassier derriere, the doctor obligingly summons his hunky staff and has them drop trou to show the goods.

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

Lindsay, to Brian: "I want you to go. It wouldn't be right for you to stay. Brian Kinney sacrificing for others? I'd lose all faith, all hope."

212 Ben and Brian's White Party tryst surfaces, much to Michael's irritation. Ted is admitted to a gay A-list function but more as a pimp than as a person. The cops drag their feet in the murder mystery, but Debbie's footwork turns up both the name of the boy found in the Dumpster and his sad past.

BRIAN'S SCORE THIS EPISODE:

I, sort of, if you count Ben all those years ago

SOMETHING BLUE:

Michael, to Ben: "Leave your underwear on. I'm gonna chew through 'em."

ALL THE NUDES:

Water-themed night at Babylon, plus a gratifying steam room sequence.

213 When Ted wants to get Pittsburgh's pride, drag legend Devina Devore, to work a charity function, it turns out Michael has an in: Back in high school Devina (ne Danny) used to date Debbie. As this was nine months before Michael's birth, family secrets are soon spilled. Lindsay recruits Brian to play husband at a preschool interview for Gus. Justin gets a jab as a go-go boy, where he learns the line between sexual harassment and career advancement is an exceedingly fine one.

JUSTIN VOICE OF YOUTH:

Justin: "I have a great ass. And I'm blond. You have no idea how far that gets me."

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

Brian, upon being discovered spanking Justin: "Note to self: Be sure to lock the fucking door."

214 Just as their round-the-world trip begins, George's heart gives out while Emmett is inducting him into the Mile High Club. Justin's work proves detrimental to his education. Deb begins dating Horvath, so now she and Michael can both hate each other's boyfriends.

POOR TED:

Brian: "The reason you don't have a boyfriend is because you don't want one. If you had one, it would challenge the well-established opinion that you have of yourself as a worthless sack of shit that nobody wants; therefore, you go after guys that you know will reject you, you stand around here and bitch like a high school girl, when in fact you've gotten exactly what you want--namely, nothing."

ACCORDING TO EMMETT:

On why he wants to induct George into the Mile High Club: "It's my first time in first class. I want to make sure you get your money's worth."

215 Justin and Michael create a comic book superhero based on Brian and call him Rage. Emmett is barred from delivering a eulogy at George's memorial service but gets to do so at the porn awards when Fetch Dixon wins as New Cummer of the Year. Lindsay's plan to turn the attic into a studio is less DIY than DOA until Leda moves in to help.

BRIAN'S SCORE THIS EPISODE:

We're now well into the married-sex years, as Justin falls asleep in the middle of it.

DEB SEZ:

Brian: "I don't do jealous. Jealous is for lesbians." Debbie: "Well, then you'd better start likin' pussy."

216 Ben and Justin turn out to have the same birthday. Brian says he doesn't do birthdays but gives Justin a hustler. Michael gives Ben a surprise party; neither turns out to have been a good idea. Lindsay and Melanie take Justin to a recital, where he meets the very cute violinist Ethan. Ted meets a nice young man at church and lies about his job to him.

ACCORDING TO EMMETT:

"Why don't we do a geisha-sushi-Miss Saigon kind of thing?"

ACCORDING TO TED:

To the fully Madama Butterfly Emmett: "You put the gay back in geisha."

217 Lesbian Bed Death visits the house of Lindsay and Melanie, but Leda has the solution. Emmett inherits a nice chunk of change from George's estate. Brian cancels out on a snowboarding trip with Justin when the ad agency is sold, and Brian has to stay in town to do some serious sucking up, but Justin goes anyway.

ACCORDING TO EMMETT:

On worldly attachments: "There were a few interesting sales, but then I realized I don't need to buy on-sale anymore and it all suddenly seemed so empty."

On temps perdu: "The good thing about not balancing your checkbook is that when you finally do, you get to relive all your purchases. Ooh, the Pleasure Vault!"

218 Ben goes into the hospital when he has an adverse reaction to his meds. George's lawyers contest Emmett's windfall and offer to settle for $1 million to avoid making the affair public, but Emmett discovers that he has expensive scruples. Justin's attention is ignored by Brian but embraced by Ethan.

BRIAN'S SCORE THIS EPISODE:

I stranger, whom Justin gets to walk in on

I Justin, up against a pillar in the loft

I guy on his knees in the back room

ACCORDING TO MELANIE:

"The truth has as much to do with law as gay men have to do with lesbians."

219 Ted's constant exposure to porn renders him immune to its charms. Leda finishes the studio but doesn't seem to be in any hurry to move on. Debbie challenges Horvath's bowling team to a match against the Liberty Balls, a hastily assembled gay team composed of the usual suspects. Michael tells Brian of Justin's dalliance with Ethan. Debbie gets a big public smooch from Horvath. Ted realizes he has feelings for Emmett.

DEB SEZ:

Debbie: "Next year we're gonna ream their asses."

Brian: "Let's stick to bowling, shall we?"

SOMETHING BLUE:

Leda: "First I renovate your attic, and then I renovate your sex life, and then it's 'So long, Leda'?"

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

Brian: "Who would have thought that you, Theodore Schmidt--loser, reject, putz--would wind up being the luckiest fucker in the world?"

ALL THE NUDES:

Ted is part of a sequence where he plays the Brian Kinney part in a mound of writhing men. Twice.

220 Brian produces a big, expensive release party at Babylon when the first copy of Rage hits the streets. Justin and Michael, alas, have stopped speaking over Michael's betrayal. Ted gets ever more gooey over Emmett, who is initially unreceptive but ultimately smitten. Ben plans to go to Tibet on a spiritual retreat but doesn't. Ethan makes the release party, and Justin leaves with him.

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

"You have no idea how vicious queers can be. Especially when it comes to someone else's success. That's why I've invited them all to a party."

ACCORDING TO EMMETT:

"Once [Ben] realizes that there's no fucking, no dancing, no gym, and you have to wear orange--which, trust me, no human being looks good in no matter how spiritual--he'll forget all about it."

episode

301 Michael tells Justin to get out of everyone's life now that he's left Brian for Ethan. Ted has sublet his apartment for the trip he didn't take, so Michael suggests he move in with him. Lindsay and Melanie have a party for their eighth anniversary, the highlight of which is Brian clocking Michael when he won't shut up about Justin. Ted and Emmett finally decide the time is right to have sex.

ACCORDING TO MICHAEL:

To Emmett: "I want you to have everything in the world, including the hottest sex. I just don't want to hear about it."

BRIAN'S SCORE THIS EPISODE:

I, with a hustler who looks just like Justin

302 A Justin-less Brian monopolizes all of Michael's time. Melanie and Lindsay discuss having another child. Justin finds out Brian is still covering his tuition and decides to start on a new issue of Rage. Newly coupled Emmett tries to cancel but ends up going through with a date made previous to his pairing.

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

"They say, in the vast emptiness of space, the faster you move the slower you age. I have to believe the same holds true for Pittsburgh."

BRIAN'S SCORE THIS EPISODE

I hustler, whom he turns into Justin

303 Debbie is nervous about her upcoming tryst with Horvath, so Ted and Emmett conduct a sex refresher course for her. As a result, Horvath assumes she's a tramp. Melanie has a procedure to make pregnancy possible but decides she'll have nothing to do with Brian's DNA. After finding out a former lover has died of AIDS, Ben begins to inject steroids to ward off the wasting he so fears. Brian produces a fund-raiser for the gay and lesbian center, a Felliniesque affair that proves both lucrative and mortifying for the center.

ACCORDING TO MICHAEL:

"Ma, you already go to the same bars and same clubs I do, new you gotta come to the same gym? Can't I have one place in the world that's my own?"

SOMETHING BLUE:

Debbie: "Boys, you know I love you. I just need to ask one question."

Ted: "If it's about suppressing the gag reflex, we're getting to that."

304 While babysitting his nephew, Brian catches the lad stealing money, so the boy tells his homophobic mother he's been molested, leading to police intervention. Melanie and Lindsay want Michael to be the donor for the next baby, but Michael wants to be a father. Emmet? and Ted get a place together--but not for long.

ACCORDING TO MICHAEL:

"I'm half Italian and half drag queen. I'm allowed to get worked up."

CONTINUITY ALERT:

This is the episode where Emmett seems to have forgotten how to cook without dirtying everything in the kitchen. The trait disappears when he goes into party planning at the end of the season, though.

305 When the gay-unfriendly police chief Stockwell runs for mayor, Brian lands the job of sexing up his campaign. Ethan fails to place first in the Heifetz competition but is offered representation as long as Justin stays out of the picture. Michael's performance problem at the donor center is solved when Ted hires a superhero to arouse him. Ben's steroid use escalates.

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

Michael, to Brian: "You whipped up the batter that eventually became Gus in a sex club?"

SHOCKING REVELATION:

Ted, it turns out, is a registered Republican.

306 Debbie warns Ted to be careful about his Web site in the new family-values environment but to no avail: Ted is arrested at the welcome-to-the-neighborhood cocktail party his neighbors throw for the new couple. Ethan gets a gig playing in Harrisburg and Justin secretly follows, catching the new boyfriend making time with an admirer. Ben's steroid use is destroying everything but his fabulous good looks.

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

Brian: "For the life of me, I'll never understand why so many gay men want to tuck their bodies up with drugs."

ALL THE NUDES:

In Ted's effort to keep everything aboveboard, the employees are assembled and quizzed. Naked. The weenie lineup is breathtaking.

307 Brian intercedes to keep Ted from going to jail, but Ted still loses his house and his business. Ethan's out-of-town fling shows up with roses at his front door, which Justin answers. Ben quits steroids after Michael threatens to infect himself with one of Ben's used needles. Vic finds a boyfriend at a meeting of HIV-positive men. Melanie makes the stick turn blue.

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

To Michael, who's worried about being a sperm donor: "You'll be a great dad. You raised me, didn't you? And look how I turned out."

ACCORDING TO EMMETT:

To Ted: "Even if worst comes to worst and you have to go to jail, it won't be so bad. You'll have time to read and work cut. It'll be like a spa vacation."

308 Stockwell, cleans up Liberty Avenue, forcing the young hustlers to ply their trade right beneath Michael and Ben's window. Lindsay's new job at the gallery involves planning an opening party, so she hires Emmett to do it. Justin regrets leaving Brian and starts working his way back into his life, beginning with taking an internship at Brian's agency. Ted throws his back out and spends a great deal of time on pain pills.

BRIAN,MR. WONDERFUL:

Brian: "Most guys who'd just lost everything and been humiliated in all the major media would have too much self-respect to show their face in public.

But not you."

Ted: "I don't know whether to say 'Thank you' or 'Fuck you.'"

ACCORDING TO EMMETT:

"I feel like the town slut on prom night! Again!"

309 Melanie is supposed to be lightening her workload load during pregnancy, but an important case takes priority. Woody's is raided during a charity strip event and closed down. Stockwell fires Brian for being gay, but when his poll numbers take a dip over perceived homophobia, he hires him back. Ted becomes despondent over his unemployment.

ALL THE NUDES:

Brian promises one of the strippers at Woody's $100 if he shows his goods. He does.

ACCORDING TO BEN:

On seeing Brian and Justin together again: "It's the most historic reunification since Germany."

CONTINUITY ALERT:

Emmett is back to being a meticulously neat cook.

310 Justin secretly begins an anti-Stockwell campaign and prints the posters in the ad agency late at night. Ted heads out to the country for a little R&R but waylays at the skanky Paradise Motel, where he meets a doctor with quality crystal. Michael is worried Melanie isn't taking care of herself and begins stalking her. Stockwell closes the back room at Babylon, which is the last straw for Brian. Hunter turns out to be HIV-positive and needs to be told. Ben takes Hunter under his wing when the hospital calls thinking Ben is his uncle.

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

Discussing Michael: "You'd think with all the chronic masturbation he'd be calm, but he's a jangle of nerves."

ALL THE NUDES:

While the Paradise Motel sequence is s cavalcade of lushly photographed nudes, it seems to have been rather a cold day.

DEB SEZ:

"Who's worrying? That's my job, damn it."

311 Now that they have HIV in common, Ben is determined to help Hunter. Melanie and Lindsay set up a college fund for Gus and ask Ted to manage it, but he uses it to spend time with his new friends at the White Party in Palm Springs, Calif. Brian sets up a trap far Stackwell, who has Brian fired once he realizes who the culprit is.

BRIAN'S SCORE THIS EPISODE:

2, both Justin. Yawn.

ACCORDING TO EMMETT:

"I finally gave my notice at Torso. Au revoir, auf Wiedersehen, and good riddance to peddling polyester pullovers to tweaked-out club kids."

DEB SEZ:

"I love the Airplane. I lived for Grace Slick. Now we've got Britney Spears. Tell me the world isn't going to shit."

ACCORDING TO EMMETT, PART 2:

"My life is a Lana Turner movie, I don't need to see one."

312 When he returns from the White Party, Ted's drug use is more entrenched than anyone realized, and even Emmett is talked into dabbling. Emmett has words with Melanie when she loses patience with his making excuses for Ted. Hunter turns out to have a lead on the murderer of the young man in the Dumpster (remember, from episode 210?), and it's a cop. Horvath says the case is closed, but both Brian and Debbie persist in tracking the killer down.

BRIAN'S SCORE THIS EPISODE:

High. In an act of charity, Brian turns his loft into a back room until the one at Babylon reopens.

THE VOICE OF YOUTH:

Justin, sleuthing in a wrinkle bar: "Accept the fact that youth is fleeting that time will inevitably leave its mark, and that we should accept our mortality with grace and dignity. Until then, I could really clean up in this place."

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

Brian: "I miss the good old days of politics when we had real crooks and real liars: Nixon, Bush the First--"

313 Justin is suspended when he refuses to apologize for his guerrilla art project. Brian goes hunting for a DNA sample from the killer only to have Hunter beat him to the punch and deliver a condom full of it. Ted invites all of his crystal buddies over, and Emmett caters the affair, but Ted throws Emmett out anyway. Emmett makes nice with Melanie and moves in with the girls. Hunter cleans up his act.

THE VOICE OF YOUTH:

Hunter, justifying hustling: "I have low self-esteem. I was sexualized at too early an age. it's exciting, fun, and a great way to make nonreportable income."

BRIAN, MR. WONDERFUL:

Michael, on Brian: "He already has a boyfriend." Hunter, to Brian: "You do?" Brian: "In a nondefined, noncommissional way."

314 Hunter's mother appears out of the blue, but he wants nothing to do with her, putting Ben and Michael in an awkward position. Melanie is worried about her first trimester. Debbie tries to rouse the voters in the face of the police state Liberty Avenue has become. Ted passes out at a crystal party and is so horrified to find himself the subject of am amateur porn tape that he checks himself into rehab, where he again encounters Blake, now a counselor. Stockwell loses the mayoral race, and Liberty Avenue becomes a dance floor.

THE VOICE OF YOUTH:

Brian: "This used to be such a magical kingdom, full of sprites and fairies."

Justin: "Now it's like watching The Wizard of Oz in reverse."

ACCORDING TO EMMETT:

"[My daddy] bought me boxing gloves to teach me to be a man. I put rhinestones on 'em."

ALL THE NUDES:

Pregnant lesbian sex

SEASON FOUR

Middle age comes to each of us on its own schedule. In the ease of Queer as Folk, it appeals to have arrived in season 4. The loss of youth, the loss of life, and Brian's diet of almost nothing but monogamous sex are. indications that we're not the kids we once were. The eternally cool, damp environs of Toronto--er, Pittsburgh--provide the perfect locale for pensive reflection and, in episode 409, Emmett's white-on-white ensemble that reminds one of the lovely young Julie Christie cloaked against the Russian winter. We proceed:

episode

401 Liberty Avenue throws a surprise benefit for Brian, whose fortune was spent defeating Stockwell. Hunter looks as though he'll be returned to his mother until she calls him a "dirty little faggot" in front of the judge. Emmett visits Ted in rehab. The neighborhood discusses self-protection but not in time for drag bijou Shanda Leer, who gets bashed.

402 Emmett, with Michael in tow, attends a Radical Faeries gathering in order to relight his inner flame. Brian's new agency, Kinnetic, steals away one of his former agency's accounts by using honesty instead of beefcake. Ted negotiates post-rehab life. Justin runs into the aggressively butch little Cody, from the neighborhood meeting, at Woody's. The vigilante patrol group Pink Posse is born.

403 Ted follows his dream of singing opera, albeit in an Italian restaurant. Vic and Rodney get a place of their own, leaving Deb at loose ends. The Pink Posse quickly escalates from defending Liberty Avenue to preemptively beating straight men up on their own turf. Jennifer finds Brian a bathhouse he can turn into the offices of Kinnetic.

404 Ted works accounting magic for Brian, who offers him a job with Kinnetic. Melanie's lesbian child custody case may be taken away from her. With Vic out of her house, Deb becomes an overbearing presence at Michael's. Living with lesbians is cramping Emmett's style. Cody lets Justin play with his pistol; Justin likes it.

405 Ted distributes amends notes to everyone--but Emmett. Melanie sulks when her case is given to a straight white male lawyer but eventually offers her assistance, Michael lies and says he liked Ben's boring novel. Em and Deb start hanging out. Justin and Cody humiliate Justin-basher Chris Hobbs with their new friend, the handgun.

406 Ted's written apology eventually gets to Emmett. Blake's tardy apology to Ted is sealed with a kiss. Hollywood nibbles at turning Rage into a movie. Lindsay meets artist Sam Auerbach and finds him contemptible yet oddly charming. Vic dies--but not before pissing off Deb. Brian tricks with a doctor, who finds a testicular irregularity.

407 Brian says he's going to Ibiza, but he's leaving town for cancer surgery. Blake breaks it off with Ted. Deb throws a Christmas party in February per Vic's wishes. A recovered Shanda Leer performs holiday favorites. Deb has a breakdown when her perfect parry turns out not to be.

408 Hollywood heat on Rage grows. Ben's novel languishes. Justin learns of Brian's cancer by mistake and tells Michael ... who tells Brian ... who throws Justin out for telling what he wasn't supposed to know. Detective Carl Horvath checks in on Deb. Vic visits Brian in an anesthesia dream. Deb works extra shifts to pay for a massive headstone.

409 Ben has an admirer in a former student, who appreciates Ben's novel. Michael and Justin each get a $10,000 check from Hollywood. Deb settles on a reasonable headstone. Ted covers a presentation with Kinney flair when Brian's radiation therapy sends him home. When Emmett goes to pick up his catering fee from a football player, the quarterback violates his tight end.

Randy Harrison

If Justin were a real person, would you be his friend?

It's difficult for me to imagine Justin as a real person. He's so thoroughly a character created for serial television. How could I be friends with someone who has nervous breakdowns at spilled marinara sauce, assaults high school enemies with small firearms, and has been systematically and repeatedly betrayed, lied to, condescended to, and humiliated by his boyfriend for four years?

What have you learned about yourself by playing Justin?

What I've learned most while working on QAF [is] the importance of being constantly aware that people are going to skew and censor you in order to make the idea of you better represent whatever agenda they've decided you'll promote.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing American gays and lesbians, and how well do you think QAF has addressed it?

While I think QAF has done a remarkable job addressing gay-specific politics--most notably gay marriage--it seems to ignore the fact that we are part of a global community of human beings even before we are part of a local community of homosexuals.

What one complaint about QAF bugs you the most?

I find it ridiculous when people talk about QAF like it's supposed to carry some enormous humanitarian agenda. No one expects The O.C. to change the world.

Read Randy's full answers and additional questions at www.advocate.com.

Scott Lowell

What single scene has been the most memorable for you?

The whole crystal meth story line was the most rewarding. But the single scene and speech that I will always remember is the "God speech" Ted gives to Emmett back in season 1.

What have you learned about yourself by playing Ted?

That I've got nowhere near the level of self-loathing that Ted does.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing American gays and lesbians right now, and how well do you think Queer as Folk has done in addressing that issue?

Hands down the issue of gay marriage is the biggest civil rights issue the country is facing. The fact that religious beliefs are blinding people to the civil issue at hand is infuriating to me. I think our show does a good job showing both sides of the issue from the gay perspective.

In what ways do you think QAF has influenced the portrayals of gays and lesbians on other TV programs?

I think it has raised the bar in terms of portraying gay characters as only--as Ron Cowen and Dan Lipman have already said--clowns or eunuchs. Hopefully the community won't stand for just that anymore. QAF was the first to show gay characters as three-dimensional, flawed, sexualized people.

Read Scott's full answers and additional questions at www.advocate.com.

Peter Paige

If Emmett were a real person, would you be his friend?

I already feel like Emmett is my friend. I've spent more time with him over the last four years than all my previous boyfriends combined. He's smart, funny, open, kind--what else exactly would you want in a friend?

What would you like to see in the future for Emmett?

I'd like to see Emmett address his family issues. And buy a car. Seriously, how is this guy getting around?

What do you think is the biggest issue facing American gays and lesbians right now, and how well do you think QAF has been in addressing that issue?

We are alive at an incredible moment in history--complete civil rights lie just ahead. Imagine how wonderful it will be for the next generation of gay youth, coming out in a world that demands for them the same rights, same privileges [as] everyone else. But, as with every swing of the pendulum, there will be backlash. We must remain calm, true to ourselves, committed to our own possibilities. And we have to get that bastard out of the White House.

In what ways do you think QAF has influenced its viewers?

It's straight people who seem to be most powerfully impacted by the show. What started as a freak show for them has so normalized the idea of same-sex relationships.

Read Peter's full answers and additional questions at www.advocate.com.

Michele Clunie

If Melanie were a real person, would you be her friend?

We would most likely be very good friends, I enjoy surrounding myself with people who tell it like it is. She also has a very true heart, which is rare to find.

What have you learned about yourself by playing Melanie?

I have learned through playing Melanie that people respond more to strength than to weakness. We all are looking for heroes.

What single scene has been the most memorable for you?

I still and always will love the scene from the first season when we are in the hospital and they won't let Melanie go back with Linz and the baby. It was raw and true and right.

In what ways do you think QAF has influenced its viewers?

It has made room for other less intimidating gay programming to be readily accepted. To create that sort of an impact one cannot be timid or meek, but bold and in-your-face. Change does not happen easily, It takes balls. And that's what Queer as Folk has. Both literally and figuratively: balls.

What one complaint about OAF bugs you the most?

Everyone is entitled to their opinions. It is still a free country. Well, sort of. I am not interested in doing bland, boring, conventional, or safe work. Safe is not something that interests me.

Read Michele's full answers and additional questions at www.advocate.com

The Gill

What is the one thing you would most like to say to Lindsay in person?

Right now I'd want to say to her, "What the bell's going on with you?"

What is one blessing you hope your character faces in a future episode?

I would want Lindsay's blessing to be the freedom to go back in time to the days when Melanie and Lindsey first fell in love and live those memories over and over again. A type of a "Run Lindsay Run Back" episode!

What single scene has been the most memorable for you?

I have to say the prom dance scene in the finale episode of season 1 is one that is extremely memorable to me. On our final day of shooting, the last scene that was being shot was the one in which Randy's character, Justin, is being bashed in the head. Everyone in the cast and crew were there, and while we all witnessed the scene being performed there was such a silence that pervaded the room that I'll never forget it.

What have you learned about yourself by playing Lindsay?

I've learned to be in my body more. I've learned to be more physically confident and to be proud of my body. I've learned to express myself more with it. I feel the most empowered I've ever felt, and I owe a lot of that to Lindsay, QAF, and all the go-go dancers!

Read Thea's full answers and additional questions at www.advocate.com

Daniel Lipman & Ron Cowen

If these characters were real people, would you be friends with them?

First off, all the characters are real--to us. They truly speak to us, tell us what words to put in their mouths, dictate their behavior--as any good character does. We love every one of them--warts and all. Just as one accepts their closest and dearest friends.

What have you learned about yourselves by creating these characters?

These characters represent aspects of both of us. Reality. Fantasy. What we wish we could be. What we're glad we're not. They act out behaviors for us. And suffer the consequences for us.

In what ways do you think QAF has influenced the portrayals of gays on other TV programs?

QAF threw down the gauntlet and set a standard for all portrayals of gay characters in its wake. Sure, there were and will continue to be gay characters who have no discernable sex life and who are just there for laughs. But the fact that QAF exists makes that kind of two-dimensional portrayal feel exactly like what it is: incomplete.

What one complaint about QAF bugs you the most and why?

We try to cover every aspect of the gay community. Our job is tO tell the truth. And the truth isn't always politically correct. People want to see gay judges and gay brain surgeons and monogamous relationships, All well and good. We like that too. But that's not all gay people either.

Read Dan and Ron's full answers and additional questions at www.advocate.com

Jones also writes for Back Stage West.
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Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 
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Author:Jones, Wenzel
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Cover Story
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 6, 2004
Words:8802
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