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Queer as Folk - The Complete Series

228 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Season One
They're here, they're queer, and they make Sex and the City look like a demure tea party. Showtime's quintessentially American Queer As Folk--based on the British miniseries--pours on copious amounts of hot and steamy sex. This slick (and slickly entertaining) series shares the same basic concept as its British counterpart--centering on a group of gay friends living in a primarily industrial city--but after that, all bets are off. Whereas the British version focused on the gritty, realistic drama of its characters, the American QAF is a glossy, fun soap opera that occasionally tackles big issues but never lets you forget that life at times can be a party, and you shouldn't be one of those poor suckers starving to death. A good part of the show's charm lies in its cast--boy-next-door Michael (Hal Sparks), ruthlessly seductive rake Brian (Gale Harold), out-and-proud Emmett (Peter Paige), wallflower Ted (Scott Lowell), and nubile teen Justin (Randy Harrison)--who grew from standard gay prototypes to intriguing characters by the first season's end. And while some subplots didn't work (such as Emmett's farfetched foray into gay-conversion therapy), others were quietly affecting, including Brian's coping with his father's death. Some may object to the show's relentless fixation on sex (and gay men--there are just two lesbian characters), but this is a series that in its own polished way is both engrossingly fun and truly groundbreaking. It's liberating to watch an American TV series in which the straight world is only peripheral. Let's hear it for the boys! --Mark Englehart

Season Two
They're still out and proud, and in their second season the boys (and girls) of Queer as Folk continued to break ground as the most gay-friendly show on television (sorry, Will and Grace). Some plot lines were a little over the top, others truly heartfelt, but they were never less than entertaining, even during their All My Children moments. Season two opened in the aftermath of the gay-bashing of Justin (Randy Harrison), the young artist who wondered if he'd ever be able to paint or draw again, and went on to face a variety of issues and plotlines as diverse as its characters. Some were timely (Michael negotiating a relationship with new HIV-positive boyfriend Ben), some romantic (lesbians Lindsay and Melanie tying the knot), some new to the show (Emmett embarks on a relationship with a--gasp!--older gentleman), and some, well, far-fetched (how many of you had to wrestle, like Ted did, with starting your own pornographic web site?).

While the writing tended to flail about a bit, thankfully coalescing by the season's end, the show continued to be anchored by stellar actors, especially Peter Paige's Emmett, who grew the most during the second season; Michelle Clunie's Melanie, the alternately wry and sweet lesbian who became the show's secret weapon; and, as always, Gale Harold's Brian, the lothario with a heart of tarnished gold. Frustrating, fascinating, exasperating one moment and charming the next, Brian perfectly summed up the guilty pleasures of Queer as Folk, where humanity peeks out every now and then from behind the curtain of fabulous comedy and drama. --Mark Englehart

Season Three

Drama ruled in a big way on the third season of Queer as Folk, as the gay men and women of Pittsburgh rode a roller coaster of emotional and personal upheavals that would make a regular soap-opera cast blanch. Budding comic book artist Justin (Randy Harrison) finally left longtime lover Brian for a chance at ecstasy--and not a bit of agony-–with a charming violin player. Emmett (Peter Paige) finally came face-to-face with his affection for friend Ted (Scott Lowell), only to have Ted's growing drug habit get in the way of their happiness. Lesbians Melanie (Michelle Clunie) and Lindsay (Thea Gill) decided to have another baby, whose father would be... Michael (Hal Sparks), whose nesting with hunky Ben (Robert Gant) is rudely interrupted by runaway Hunter (Harris Allan). And as for Brian (Gale Harold), the man everybody wants but can't ever have? Just when it seems he's gone to work for the enemy--a homophobic mayoral candidate-–it turns out he might be the savior the Pittsburgh gay community never knew it needed.

Snaps to the makers of QAF for trying to bring their characters into the grown-up world – Michael, Emmett, and Ted started their own businesses; Justin finally cut loose from Brian-–but too many melodramatic plot twists and turns impeded a lot of the character development this show worked hard at during its first two seasons. Still, most of the cast was topnotch, including Harrison, whose Justin finally came into his own, and the always dependable Harold, who made Brian a fascinating creature through all his steamy travails and over-the-top encounters. --Mark Englehart

Season Five
Gay has rarely been so glamorous as in the American version of Queer as Folk. But the show's success rests on more than hard bodies and glossy, picture-perfect sex (though there's an abundance of that); this series gave its characters a multidimensional richness that rivals more high-profile programs like Six Feet Under or The Sopranos, while tackling an impressive breadth of social and political issues without ever (well, almost never) feeling preachy. The fifth and final season lays out its themes with authority: Alpha-gay Brian (Gale Howard) buys and revamps the sex club Babylon, declaring promiscuity and independence as a gay birthright, while Brian's oldest friend Michael (Hal Sparks, Talk Soup) embraces domesticity with his partner Ben (Robert Gant); the flamboyant Emmett (Peter Paige) finds success as a tv personality, only to find his persona may trap him in a stereotype; and Ted (Scott Lowell) grapples with body prejudices within the gay community. Meanwhile, the crumbling relationship of Mel (Michelle Clunie) and Lindsay (Thea Gill) takes a more troubling turn when Michael demands more rights as the father of their daughter.

Most tv series would take a topic like this last legal wrangle and stretch it over an entire season, but Queer as Folk is more ambitious; the writers recognize that the resolution of one problem is rarely the end of the story, that muddy consequences can be as dramatically compelling as head-to-head conflict. This aggressive and effective plotting, combined with the show's willingness to explore the complexities of every issue--be it assimilation or the coming out of a celebrity--results in an increasing emotional power as the series steamrolls towards its final episode. Some subplots can be silly (Brian has a ridiculous stud-off with a new hot guy in town), the dialogue can sometimes veer from wit to camp cliches, and the omnipresence of sculpted, muscular physiques is absurd and even a little alienating for some viewers, but Queer as Folk's strengths--the compassion and intelligence of the writers, the commitment and nuance of the acting--make this show a true television landmark and a pleasure to watch. And then, of course, there's all that graphic and lovingly photographed sex. Rosie O'Donnell and Cyndi Lauper make guest appearances, and Sharon Gless (Cagney & Lacey) continues her much-loved performance as Michael's mother, Debbie. --Bret Fetzer



Amazon.com

Season One
They're here, they're queer, and they make Sex and the City look like a demure tea party. Showtime's quintessentially American Queer As Folk--based on the British miniseries--pours on copious amounts of hot and steamy sex. This slick (and slickly entertaining) series shares the same basic concept as its British counterpart--centering on a group of gay friends living in a primarily industrial city--but after that, all bets are off. Whereas the British version focused on the gritty, realistic drama of its characters, the American QAF is a glossy, fun soap opera that occasionally tackles big issues but never lets you forget that life at times can be a party, and you shouldn't be one of those poor suckers starving to death. A good part of the show's charm lies in its cast--boy-next-door Michael (Hal Sparks), ruthlessly seductive rake Brian (Gale Harold), out-and-proud Emmett (Peter Paige), wallflower Ted (Scott Lowell), and nubile teen Justin (Randy Harrison)--who grew from standard gay prototypes to intriguing characters by the first season's end. And while some subplots didn't work (such as Emmett's farfetched foray into gay-conversion therapy), others were quietly affecting, including Brian's coping with his father's death. Some may object to the show's relentless fixation on sex (and gay men--there are just two lesbian characters), but this is a series that in its own polished way is both engrossingly fun and truly groundbreaking. It's liberating to watch an American TV series in which the straight world is only peripheral. Let's hear it for the boys! --Mark Englehart

Season Two
They're still out and proud, and in their second season the boys (and girls) of Queer as Folk continued to break ground as the most gay-friendly show on television (sorry, Will and Grace). Some plot lines were a little over the top, others truly heartfelt, but they were never less than entertaining, even during their All My Children moments. Season two opened in the aftermath of the gay-bashing of Justin (Randy Harrison), the young artist who wondered if he'd ever be able to paint or draw again, and went on to face a variety of issues and plotlines as diverse as its characters. Some were timely (Michael negotiating a relationship with new HIV-positive boyfriend Ben), some romantic (lesbians Lindsay and Melanie tying the knot), some new to the show (Emmett embarks on a relationship with a--gasp!--older gentleman), and some, well, far-fetched (how many of you had to wrestle, like Ted did, with starting your own pornographic web site?).

While the writing tended to flail about a bit, thankfully coalescing by the season's end, the show continued to be anchored by stellar actors, especially Peter Paige's Emmett, who grew the most during the second season; Michelle Clunie's Melanie, the alternately wry and sweet lesbian who became the show's secret weapon; and, as always, Gale Harold's Brian, the lothario with a heart of tarnished gold. Frustrating, fascinating, exasperating one moment and charming the next, Brian perfectly summed up the guilty pleasures of Queer as Folk, where humanity peeks out every now and then from behind the curtain of fabulous comedy and drama. --Mark Englehart

Season Three

Drama ruled in a big way on the third season of Queer as Folk, as the gay men and women of Pittsburgh rode a roller coaster of emotional and personal upheavals that would make a regular soap-opera cast blanch. Budding comic book artist Justin (Randy Harrison) finally left longtime lover Brian for a chance at ecstasy--and not a bit of agony-–with a charming violin player. Emmett (Peter Paige) finally came face-to-face with his affection for friend Ted (Scott Lowell), only to have Ted's growing drug habit get in the way of their happiness. Lesbians Melanie (Michelle Clunie) and Lindsay (Thea Gill) decided to have another baby, whose father would be... Michael (Hal Sparks), whose nesting with hunky Ben (Robert Gant) is rudely interrupted by runaway Hunter (Harris Allan). And as for Brian (Gale Harold), the man everybody wants but can't ever have? Just when it seems he's gone to work for the enemy--a homophobic mayoral candidate-–it turns out he might be the savior the Pittsburgh gay community never knew it needed.

Snaps to the makers of QAF for trying to bring their characters into the grown-up world – Michael, Emmett, and Ted started their own businesses; Justin finally cut loose from Brian-–but too many melodramatic plot twists and turns impeded a lot of the character development this show worked hard at during its first two seasons. Still, most of the cast was topnotch, including Harrison, whose Justin finally came into his own, and the always dependable Harold, who made Brian a fascinating creature through all his steamy travails and over-the-top encounters. --Mark Englehart

Season Five
Gay has rarely been so glamorous as in the American version of Queer as Folk. But the show's success rests on more than hard bodies and glossy, picture-perfect sex (though there's an abundance of that); this series gave its characters a multidimensional richness that rivals more high-profile programs like Six Feet Under or The Sopranos, while tackling an impressive breadth of social and political issues without ever (well, almost never) feeling preachy. The fifth and final season lays out its themes with authority: Alpha-gay Brian (Gale Howard) buys and revamps the sex club Babylon, declaring promiscuity and independence as a gay birthright, while Brian's oldest friend Michael (Hal Sparks, Talk Soup) embraces domesticity with his partner Ben (Robert Gant); the flamboyant Emmett (Peter Paige) finds success as a tv personality, only to find his persona may trap him in a stereotype; and Ted (Scott Lowell) grapples with body prejudices within the gay community. Meanwhile, the crumbling relationship of Mel (Michelle Clunie) and Lindsay (Thea Gill) takes a more troubling turn when Michael demands more rights as the father of their daughter.

Most tv series would take a topic like this last legal wrangle and stretch it over an entire season, but Queer as Folk is more ambitious; the writers recognize that the resolution of one problem is rarely the end of the story, that muddy consequences can be as dramatically compelling as head-to-head conflict. This aggressive and effective plotting, combined with the show's willingness to explore the complexities of every issue--be it assimilation or the coming out of a celebrity--results in an increasing emotional power as the series steamrolls towards its final episode. Some subplots can be silly (Brian has a ridiculous stud-off with a new hot guy in town), the dialogue can sometimes veer from wit to camp cliches, and the omnipresence of sculpted, muscular physiques is absurd and even a little alienating for some viewers, but Queer as Folk's strengths--the compassion and intelligence of the writers, the commitment and nuance of the acting--make this show a true television landmark and a pleasure to watch. And then, of course, there's all that graphic and lovingly photographed sex. Rosie O'Donnell and Cyndi Lauper make guest appearances, and Sharon Gless (Cagney & Lacey) continues her much-loved performance as Michael's mother, Debbie. --Bret Fetzer


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Gale Harold, Sharon Gless, Hal Sparks, Peter Paige, Scott Lowell
  • Format: Anamorphic, Box set, Surround Sound, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 28
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Showtime Ent.
  • DVD Release Date: November 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 4206 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (228 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UX6TK2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,029 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Queer as Folk - The Complete Series" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

147 of 153 people found the following review helpful By S. Redd on January 11, 2008
Format: DVD
First off, let me just say I would give the show five stars. It has heart and soul, gives you character you love, and still deals with important social issues.

The box set, on the other hand, I would give two stars. The set is actually really nice and looks great. There's just one problem, the disc holders are faulty. I've had to exchange the set more then once and eventually get a refund because each set I got had about half the discs dislodged from shipping. Most were scratched and scuffed so that they were unplayable in parts. Others have reported the same problem as well. I would suggest buying the seasons individually despite the increased price because no matter what method of shipping, the discs are likely to get dislodged and damaged. Better to pay a bit more and have a set you can actually watch.
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Lynn on January 13, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The delivery was on time and the packaging is exceptional. However, some of the DVDs have glitches in them, places where the scene stops and doesn't move and there is no sound. It is a situation where you don't want to send the entire collection back, because only parts of it are defective and you don't know what you will get when the replacement arrives. I have only viewed the first season and have this problem. I am hoping for better for the rest of the collection.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Iowa Sunshine on December 8, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Queer as Folk - The Complete Series - is worth buying. The characters are so different from one another and one gets caught up in wondering what they will experience next. QAF presents the characters and storyline so well that you feel as if you know each one and your feelings/concerns are yanked right into their lives.

To clarify the packaging...yes, it is true that the DVD's do come loose easily. The comments made in this opinion section scared me and I questioned whether to order it. I took my chances anyway. My first set was poorly packaged. The discs were loose and scratched; the box was damaged. I contacted Amazon, which made my exhange seamless. I UPS'd (at their cost) my damaged set for a new box set that they packaged extremely well. It arrived in perfect condition. Amazon was an A+ company to work with.

I am so happy I took the chance. QAF is now mine to watch and keep to watch again. It was definitely worth it.
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83 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on August 12, 2007
Format: DVD
"Queer as Folk" is one of those amazing series that is a perfect time capsule of its time. The series is based upon the British television series of the same name and follows the lives of four gay and two lesbian friends that along with a few others make up an artificial family. This family lives in Pittsburg, PN and the series focuses primarly on their relationships as friends as well as the romantic entanglements they get themselves involved in within the five years of the series.

The inaugural season focuses upon establishing the key characters for the series. At the center of the series are boyhood friends Michael (the essential `boy-next-door') and Brian Kenny (A Tom Cat that has slept with more men that he could possibly count). From there the characters branch out to include Emmett (a very flamboyant, yet comfortable with himself), Ted (the most closeted and republican member of the group and the lesbian's Melanie and Lindsey. From their the characters branch out to include Michael's almost overly accepting Mother, Debbie (who works at the groups hangout diner) and her brother Vic (a older gay man infected with the HIV virus).

The pilot perfectly sets the stage for the series as Brian meets Justin, a underage boy that makes him think about his lifestyle as well as the birth of the Melanie and Lindsey's son. From there the series branches off into a character study of four contemporary gay men, just trying to live their lives. They aren't trying to make any gradeoso statements about homosexuality - they are just trying to find love in a crazy and sometimes harsh world. And beyond love - all they really want is acceptance.

"Queer as Folk" was the first series in America to bluntly discuss the life of homosexuals.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By danway on September 14, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This comment is for the box set. The series is great but the case design is crappy. All the dvd's are lose in the set. Every time you open a season the dvd's fall out. Mine wasn't scratched but I can see how that can happen.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Richard P Lopez on March 12, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What a relief to be able to view Queer As Folk in it's full glory after having endured the edited LOGO airings. This show is to be revered and is beautifully and fully commemorated with this complete box set.The reunion DVD was the first thing I watched when I opened the box. Sadly, neither Gale Harold(Brian) nor Randy Harrison(Justin) were present. It was a little jarring to watch seeing that these were probably the most neurotic and insecure individuals who were ever assembled.( Can we say "shallow"?.Sorry cast ,I still love what you each contributed to the series!) Instead of being greatful to have been part of this landmark series they seemed traumatized and disgruntled about being typecast. If you don't want to be disillusioned skip this disc and just enjoy the show for what it is : a rich and full account of Gay life as it existed just a few years ago. The emotions and situations in the show are timeless and universal and will warm our hearts as well as titilate us for years to come. Much thanks to the creators and to Showtime.I have never enjoyed anything in entertainment more than this. I will always cherish QAF.
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Topic From this Discussion
Blu-ray anyone?
This series would look great on bluray. I hope they convert it soon.
May 31, 2008 by B. Vincent |  See all 28 posts
This Boxed Set VS. Individual Seasons
just letting you know, it's probably MUCH CHEAPER to buy this series box set than to buy all 5 seasons individually. You can get the box set on fye.com for $130 instead of spending so much here on Amazon. That's what I did. I'll currently waiting for my order in the mail, I'll let people know... Read More
Nov 26, 2007 by CSMars |  See all 13 posts
Spanish Subtitles??
i need this information too. please help us
Nov 22, 2012 by Diego M. Ruben N |  See all 4 posts
Faulty discs
Try playing the DVD's in your computer, or on a different DVD player. Can your DVD player play other DVD's without a problem? I would look into trying others players before aything else.
Feb 2, 2009 by tracy s. |  See all 3 posts
A bonus Disc is Included
Quick question -- how is this packaged? I'm debating about buying THIS SET, or each season individually. Any photos of the inside you'd like to share? Are all the bonus features of the previous seasons included?
Nov 24, 2007 by Amazon.Commie |  See all 5 posts
Does the current complete series DVD collection have the original music? Be the first to reply
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