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Queer as Folk: Series 1

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2-Disc Version

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From its tell-it-like-it-is title to its candid dialogue and nonjudgmental take on the lives of three very different young gay men, this series ventures into television territory previously unexplored. Its stunning success in England inspired an American version, but this is the trailblazing original, set in Manchester's gay community. Meet Stuart, Vince, and Nathan, whose lives and loves, triumphs and tribulations, are the focus of this witty, honest, and provocative drama. Series 1 is 4 hours on 2 DVDs. Series 2 is 90 min. on 1 cassette or DVD.

When it appeared on British television in 1999, Queer as Folk caused quite a ruckus. There was the sex, as graphic as most anything you'd see in an R-rated film. There were the questionable morals--after all, one of the lead characters knowingly seduced a virginal 15-year-old boy. There was, of course, the rampant homosexuality, seeing as the series followed a group of gay men living in Manchester. But what really got people talking was the quality of the series: no leaden soap opera or exploitative sex romp, Queer as Folk is an engrossing, incredibly well-written series that ranks with some of the best ever produced for British TV. Following the adventures of Stuart (Aidan Gillen), a rake capable of seducing anyone anywhere, and Vince (Craig Kelly), his boy-next-door best friend, as well as the family and friends who surround them, Queer as Folk paints a complex, emotional, and funny portrait of its characters, who range from the regular to the outlandish. Less sensationalistic than it sounds, Queer as Folk shares more in common with gritty, working-class British films like My Beautiful Laundrette and Beautiful Thing than it does with glossy, sex-themed American TV like Sex and the City or even the Americanized version of Queer as Folk. Though definitely comedic in parts, Queer as Folk takes a clear-eyed yet fond view of its characters, from lothario Stuart, who can be charming one minute and self-obsessed the next, to hapless Vince, a mess of insecurities who can't believe it when a handsome Australian (Peter O'Brien) falls in love with him. Fans of the American Queer as Folk will recognize the British counterparts to the American characters, as well as familiar plot arcs, but this series' writing and directing make it a far more dramatic--and multifaceted--look at gay life. This first season set, known as "Series 1," clocks in at four hours. --Mark Englehart

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Craig Kelly, Peter O'Brien, Aidan Gillen, Carla Henry, Denise Black
  • Directors: Charles McDougall, Sarah Harding
  • Writers: Russell T. Davies
  • Producers: Nicola Shindler, Russell T. Davies, Tom Sherry
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: X (Mature Audiences Only)
  • Studio: Wolfe Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2001
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005B3Z6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,781 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Queer as Folk: Series 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

91 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Stephen McLeod on May 23, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD contains the first series - 4 hours on two discs - of *Queer as Folk* as it was originally seen on television in the U.K. I hesitated for awhile, wondering whether it was worth the rather steep price for two discs. (Actually, I didn't know how many discs there were -- search as you might, I dare you to find that information here). Plus, I wasn't crazy about the what I saw of the U.S. version. Finally, I'm always scared by films and television from the U.K. because the regional accents are often indecipherable to my Yankee ear. Anyway, I bought it and I'm glad I did.
First, I had no problem with the accents or the regional idioms. All the "shagging" and "wanking" wore off on me a bit, actually. ("Do you think ov'im when you av'a wank? No? Then ee's your Boyfriend alright.") The teleplay is flawless. Other reviewers are better at synopsis than I am. The point is, it's how the story's told that really sells this.
The ensemble cast, led by Aiden Gillen, Craig Kelly, and Charlie Hunnam is terrific. Where the U.S. show had guys who really looked good but weren't very interesting, this show has more or less normal, but still good looking guys who look better and better as you get to know them. As Stuart, Aiden Gillen, for example, plays a character who "doesn't even have to work for it." But it's not so much that he's a god, physically, it's rather his attitude, which is so much more complicated than the voracious party boy he pretends to be. Craig Kelly broke my heart as Vince, Stuart's best friend, who apparently has been smitten by Stuart since they were both 12.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Ian D. Smith on December 20, 2001
Format: DVD
I had seen 'Queer As Folk' in its original cut in the U.K., and I was dutifully impressed by how realistic, breezily fun and uncompromising this series was. As sexy, glitzy and prettily-cast the American version is, it doesn't have the heart or depth of the British original.
One of the most obvious things the U.K. version develops better is its characters. The non-chalant and irresponsible Stuart is not as cut and dry as his American counterpart (though I personally find the American Brian to be more attractive), and the multi-dimensional character is served by a more interesting actor. The hapless character of Vince, with his babbling unease, obsession with 'Doctor Who' and endearing modesty is never hard to watch, and he is played with absolute earnest by Craig Kelly. Nathan, as played by Charlie Hunnam (late of Fox's 'Undeclared') is a fresh-faced and honest character with a well developed transformation from innocent boy to more worldly young man.
Without the need to stretch stories out for whole seasons at a time, this miniseries is able to spend just enough time on all the fun and serious moments which comprise the plots of these 8 episodes. While this series isn't as graphic or as dependent on sex as the Showtime version, it certainly has more than its fair share of controversial situations and characters, and as a result it is a far more daring and relevant production.
The DVDs are a bare-bones presentation of the series, condensing all 8 episodes into 4, and editing some scenes while severely altering the soundtrack into basically a series of generic (read: cheap) dance tracks.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Matt Graham on August 11, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I watched the first series of QAF when it aired in the UK and it was pretty ground breaking stuff over here. This was mainly due to the gritty storylines and its 'no holes barred' approach. I loved the series as it was refreshing to see gay storylines that weren't all about HIV and queer bashing (which is all you got previously on british TV). I disagree with some of the other reviewers as I thought it was really well acted and the casting was fantastic.
The american QAF has just started to be aired on cable over here and I found it a little disappointing though still enjoyable. Me and many of my mates were really excited when we heard HBO were releasing an american version. Even Russell T Davies (the writer of britsh QAF) hailed it as fantastic. Yes the actors are much more attractive and there's more nudity and better sex scenes, but if thats all you want from a series, go and get some porn. If you can't watch TV without needing to be titilated the brish series is probably not for you. I personally prefer the series because its not so 'fluffy' and makes you question your own opinions and ideas of gay life. It had to be rougher cause thats life in the UK - no one here would of been able to relate to the beauty of QAF USA. Maybe a british audience expect different things to an american audience. It also appealed to a huge sraight following here because it wasn't incredibly homo-erotic.
If you enjoy good, gritty drama as opposed to lighter, sweeter, more attractive TV, I think you'll like the series a lot. QAF USA is good and has its place but in my mind doesn't equal this series.
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