tv: queer as folk uk

I could read @no-literally‘s posts about Queer as Folk forEVER because I love this show SO much. I love that people still love this show and still think about this show which first aired EIGHTEEN years ago this month (23 February 1999). So yeah, just a massive thank you for all your posts @no-literally. ♥

Originally posted by myrandar

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Stuart/Vince Signs:  What Question Is QAF UK Really Asking?

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Building off yesterday’s post, to figure out the structure of Queer As Folk UK I need to understand what question Queer as Folk UK is really asking. According to Katherine’s dramatic structures class (again, see yesterday’s QAF structure post if you’re confused), most stories ask a Major Dramatic Question. The question can usually be answered “yes” or “no,” and it guides the plot and guides you to believe the moral. Most stories also begin with a “ecoy question to get the audience’s attention and make them think the story might just go in a different direction.

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We’ll get to Queer as Folk in a second, but for an example of these ideas, let’s look at examples from Romeo and Juliet: 

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Moral: Long-term feuds destroy lives.
Major Dramatic Question: Can Romeo and Juliet’s love survive, despite the fact that they come from rival households?
Answer: No
Decoy Question: Will Romeo end up with Rosaline, that other girl he seems really interested in early on in the play?

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Here’s what I think these story structure pieces look like for Queer as Folk UK:

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Moral: Despite its problems, the queer community is supportive and positive.
Major Dramatic Question: Are Vince and Stuart stronger and happier together than apart?
Answer: YES
Decoy Question in s1:
Will Nathan end up “taming” Stuart?
Decoy Question in s2: Will Vince and Stuart sleep together?

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Major Dramatic Question

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One example of how this Major Dramatic Question guides the whole show is the “secret s1 arc” I pointed out, about how Vince saves Stuart. For his own part, Stuart ultimately helps Vince gain self-esteem despite the fact that he also does things that damages Vince’s self esteem. (I should do a whole additional meta to support that claim at some point, but for now I’ll just link to this!)

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How We’re Misled

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As for the decoy questions, you can find them in the first episode (s1) and first scene (s2). The final sequence of episode 1 (halfway through e1 on the DVDs, since e1 and e2 are combined now) features Nathan explaining to the camera that six months from the day he met Stuart, he got Stuart to beg:

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NATHAN: I was just a shag, I knew that. S’pose I fell in love a bit. Like you do. I’m not stupid, I thought, I’ll never see him again. How was I to know? Stuart Alan Jones. (Smiles) Six months later, he was begging me to stay.

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While Stuart DOES beg Nathan to stay in the final episode of the season, he’s not begging Nathan to stay because he’s in love with Nathan, or because Nathan has directly inspired Stuart to change his sexually promiscuous behavior. He begs Nathan to stay because he’s lonely, in part because he’s broken off his friendship with Vince. If, upon first watch, the “begging” scene surprised you–that’s okay! That makes sense! You fell for the decoy question, just like RTD wanted you to, in order to keep the show exciting and distract you at first from the Major Dramatic Question. (Note: it’s also why I’m so tickled by QAF US, who turned that into THEIR Major Dramatic Question.)

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Similarly, I do think it matters whether Stuart and Vince sleep together in s2. (Stuart himself CERTAINLY thinks it matters!) But I don’t think whether or not Vince and Stuart sleep together in s2 is needed to answer the Major Dramatic Question RTD is asking. The main conflict Vince and Stuart reconcile on-screen in s2 is whether or not they both want to fight for social justice. That’s the conflict we see reconciled on-screen in the epilogue. That’s the question RTD wanted us to see answered explicitly. Here’s RTD, not caring whether or not the audience decides Vince and Stuart are fucking:

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Oh God! Stuart and Vince are frozen in that last shot in Arizona. That was the whole point of that ending. It was mythical and epic. If I tried to make it real and say what they had for breakfast the next day, it would lose something. They’re out there, they’re lawless and I don’t know if they’re sleeping with each other. I always get asked that question ‘Are they sleeping together?’, but I never answer it. It’s up to you. I’ve actually got my own opinion of it, but the moment I say what I think - it becomes a fact. So whatever you think happened, happened. -RTD

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(Thanks to @cupoftea-and-dreamingisfree for posting the quote!)

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To be clear: I still think Stuart and Vince are sleeping together at the end of s2. I think there are clues about that all over the series, and in the epilogue as well. But I also think the “dummy question” of s2 helps explain why RTD has said he doesn’t care if people think Stuart and Vince are sleeping together in the end.

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It’s not that it doesn’t matter. It matters to the characters! Very much. It just that regardless of whether or not Stuart and Vince are sleeping together, they are still stronger and happier together than apart–whether that together is platonic or sexual.

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(But…to be clear: It’s sexual. That’s what I think, and that’s what RTD thinks.)

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[more QAF UK meta]

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“Ohh father tell me, do we get what we deserve ?
We get what we deserve… And way down we go.“

Stuart/Vince Signs:  “He loves Vince”

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What delights me about this passage from the Queer as Folk s1 script isn’t JUST how shippy it is (“casual, tender gestures,” like, I’m screaming) but also the idea that maaaaybe Stuart is obsessed with nerdy Vince because he loves Vince at his most pure and enthusiastic. Like, maybe Stuart memorized all the doctors specifically BECAUSE he pays attention when Vince goes on nerdy rants. Maybe he bought Vince K9 for his birthday BECAUSE he loves Vince when Vince is nerding out.

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[more QAF UK meta]

myovechka  asked:

Якими рисами повинен бути наділений герой/-ня книги чи фільму, щоб ти в них закохалася? Ну і взагалі дуже цікаво по кому ти фанатіла в різні періоди життя?

Отже якщо на сторінках книги, або в кадрі фільму зявляєтся руда дівчина, то все це вона героїня в яку я буду напевно закохана з першої її появи і це буде кохання на все життя. Вона може потім виявитись відьмою, що вбиває беззахисних цуценят, або професійною вбивцею, та все одно, вона буде моєю улюбленицею. Я не знаю звідки в мене така пристрасть до рудих жінок, можливо, з далекого дитинства, коли мені було сім років і в мами була подруга тьотя Аліса, вона була руда, в неї було татуювання на лопатці в вигляді Ліліі, лисячий розріз очей і вона вчила мене плавати, а ще пахла, як мої улюблені ванільні тістечка.

Якщо рудої дівчини, або жінки в кадрі немає, то нам потрібно шукати просто сміливу та кмітливу дівчину, пристрастну, вірну своїм друзям. Такими дівчатами для мене були в різні часи Аліса дівчинка з майбутнього з серії пригодницьких романів Кіра Буличева, потім такою дівчиною була саркастична Герміона Грейнджер з серії книг письменниці Джоан Роулінг “Гаррі Поттер”. Це якщо брати книги.

Якщо брати фільми, або серіали то одна з перших від кого я фанатіла була Джуліана Андерсон з “Секретних Матеріалів” агент Скаллі, просто взірець сарказму, розуму та допитливості.

А потім Джуліана Мур з “Ганібала”, взагалі ніжно кохаю цих акторок:)

А ще була жінка-кішка з “Бетмен повертаєтся”.Богиня, як же я хотіла бути нею. На ту мить Мішелль Пфайфер так гарно зіграла цей разючий контраст між сірою офісною мишею,  та небезпечною, розумною жінкою-кішкою, що цей образ досі в моєму серці.

Якщо це чоловік, він має бути владним, володіти небезпечною зброею в тому числі і гострим слівцем, якщо він буде трохи сивим це взагалі досконалий варіант. Один з перших моїх закоханостей був Ганібал Лектор. А потім був фільм “Серце Дракона” і там був Лорд Фелтон, якого зіграв Джейсон Айзекс. Лорд Фелтон обладав владою, розумом і був тим ще соціопатом.

Взагалі не любила я протогоністів, вони мені здавалися нудними та нецікавими, завжди співчувала антогоністам.

Зараз в мене є ще два, що ідуть серіали, це “Вовченя” та “Гра Престолів”, які я ні за що не кину. Хоча “Вовченя вже скатилося в якийсь нелогічний фільм жахів, але в мене там є два персонажа і актор і акторка, яких я дуже люблю це Лідія Мартін розумна руда дівчина та мисливець на перевертнів Кріс Арджент сивий чоловік. що володіє зброєю і у нього такі гарні прозорі сиві очі наче туман.

В “Грі Престолів” у мене улюблені персонажи це Кейтлін Старк була поки її не вбили, Санса Старк, Арія Старк взагалі дуже гарний приклад нонкомформної дівчини,  і Мізінчик, або пан Петір Бейліш, хоча Єйдана ще памятаю по серіалу “Близьки друзі ВБ”, де він був головним героєм, якого звали Стюарт з невичерпаним запасом сарказму та кошачею грацією. 

Ці персонажі периодично мене надихають на написання фанфиків і колажі, які я роблю в фотошопі)

Наразі все…. Дякую за запитання і те що залишаєшся зі мною це дуже цінно.

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Stuart/Vince Signs:  Stuart’s Their Jeep

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Queer as Folk UK is COVERED in recurring symbols. We’ve discussed apartments/houses, photos and gun iconography so far. But I’d argue that the jeep is the most important symbol of all, in regards to the message of QAF.

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“One of my Favourite Symbols of Gayness” -RTD

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Even looking at episode 1 alone, the jeep is a key aspect of Vince and Stuart’s relationship. Stuart expects Vince to drive him to the hospital because the jeep (which Stuart owns) is at Vince’s apartment. Vince drives Stuart home from the hospital, nearly injuring them both when he swerves the car, too busy freaking out about Stuart taking mystery drugs and making out with Nathan in the backseat. In the morning, Vince awakes to find the car covered in homophobic graffiti (see above) and Stuart insists on driving Nathan to school in it anyway.
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By just describing what happens in/around the jeep, I’m able to come away with a pretty solid explanation of Vince and Stuart’s dynamic as explained by the first episode. That because the jeep is used SO prominently. It shows Vince and Stuart’s co-dependence (they share a car and have to navigate logistics around that) and Vince’s frustration with Stuart’s reckless behavior and relationship with Nathan. Most importantly for this meta, the jeep symbolizes Stuart’s view of his sexuality as a political stance.

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It doesn’t get any less subtle–Stuart drives his car, covered in homophobic graffiti that he refuses (at this moment) to hide or wash off, into a non-queer-friendly space (Nathan’s school) for all to see. He’s taking an act against him and his friends (the graffiti) and using it to force the world to acknowledge, if not accept, his sexuality. In that moment, the car becomes a symbol that will apply to the rest of the show. Like the show’s title, it’s a deliberate re-appropriation of “queer” as a homophobic term. (For an American comparison of the word, the US series had their version of Stuart drive to school in a car graffiti-ed with the still-used slur, f—–, on it.)  The jeep is an open car design–everyone can see who he is and what (who?) he’s doing. Look–the car is so important and such a clear symbol that it’s even part of the show’s promotional images.

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But it turns out the jeep as a political statement goes even deeper. @byker-groveposted a quote from showrunner/writer Russel T. Davies, who says the jeep was a direct call out to the show Byker Grove (<–click on this link and see byker-grove’s fantastic gifset, please!), where one of the characters and his boyfriend drove into the sunset together in a jeep. 

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“Noddy got a boyfriend, and they had to write them out because they had nowhere else to go. But they drove off together in a black jeep. It was so fantastic to watch that on children’s television at ten past five in the afternoon. And you were sitting watching it thinking: ‘They have sex! Those two boys have sex! They’re not showing it, but they absolutely have sex. That’s fact.’ And the black jeep became one of my favourite symbols of gayness.” - RTD

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It was a pivotal moment of representation in TV, and RTD didn’t forget it when he went to make a show FULL of representation.

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Cars & Destruction

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Though Vince uses Stuart’s car all the time, it’s actually very fitting that Stuart retains ownership. This not only speaks to Stuart’s economic status (it’s implied that he makes way more money than Vince) but also to Stuart’s greater focus on political activism. While Vince hungers to stand up for his friends and himself, he feels more constrained.

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Stuart, on the other hand, has no patience for haters.

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Stuart’s biggest destructive political moments involve cars. Some of this is probably for plot/the visual, but I also think it’s to show that Stuart’s acts of destruction are directly linked to his awareness that performing his sexuality (jeep = gayness, according to RTD) is a political act (since the jeep was labeled with a then-slur).

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In season 1, episode 8, when Stuart drives a new jeep into the glass window of a dealership after the car dealer brags about how much money his company makes over gay men who die young. We also see him send Alex’s mother’s car into flames after she cuts off her son (Alex) because he’s gay. Stuart’s taking away her power, since she makes Alex feel powerless.

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Even when Stuart is the one being attacked–like when Nathan’s angry father rear-ends the jeep with Stuart inside it (!)–his car still represent power. The tiny Maloney family car is the one that comes away broken, the bumper literally falling in to the street.

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Finally, even within his own community, the jeep is a sign of Stuart’s power. We see that when Stuart drives the jeep recklessly along canal street, making everyone else jump out of the way, in episode two and at the end of season two.

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The Jeep = a Stuart/Vince Sign

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In late season one, when Cameron tries to break Vince away from Stuart (since Stuart has that tendency to initiate kisses with Vince, including twice in front of Cameron), he does so in part by buying Vince a car.

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Vince is overwhelmed by the car, thinking it’s too much for a present, but it’s pretty clear why Cameron chose a car in particular as his Big Dramatic Gesture of Love. On a practical level, it means Vince won’t see Stuart all the time to trade the jeep back and forth. On a symbolic level, it’s giving Vince his own source of power/gay identity.

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So the little red car becomes a symbol of Vince/Cameron, so much so that Vince dumping Cameron is foreshadowed by the car door being broken. Cameron tries to use the fact that he bough the car as leverage to get Vince to see things his (Cameron’s) way, which is a fundamental betrayal of the power and independence the gift of the car seemed to promise. (Also, we never see that car again in season 2, so Vince clearly got rid of it and chose co-dependence instead.)

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One other sign of how the jeep shows up as a symbol of Vince and Stuart’s relationship is in episode 4, when Vince leaves Stuart behind because he’s mad Stuart hooked up with Nathan in Vince’s childhood bedroom. Stuart begs Vince to get back in the car, but Vince runs away. It’s a sign of Vince running away from his partnership with Stuart (just like how Vince and Stuart are apart most of the time Vince owns the red car from Cameron), because their car is such a clear symbol of their relationship. But he’s particularly walking away this time from Stuart’s symbol of power–meaning, just like Cameron will try to do a few episodes later, Vince is contumaciously separating himself from the power Stuart holds over him.

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What the Jeep Means for the Finale

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In the s2 finale, we see Stuart waiting by his jeep before leaving Manchester. Given that cars = power and destruction, and given that Stuart is leaving in part because he feels Vince is holding him back from being more political, I’d argue that Stuart waiting by his car is a visual sign that Stuart refuses to abandon his politics. We’ve seen Vince refuse to take the car before (the funeral episode, above) so we know it’s possible Vince won’t choose Stuart’s lifestyle.

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Of course, that’s now how this scene goes. Not only does Vince hop in the jeep, signing on to co-dependence and politicizing his identity, he suggests they drive beyond London. Which the show gives us, including TAKING THEIR BRITISH CAR MAGICALLY ACROSS AN OCEAN AND ALL THE WAY TO AMERICA.

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I just want to return our attention to the jeep’s origin in this moment.

But they drove off together in a black jeep….And you were sitting watching it thinking: ‘They have sex! Those two boys have sex! They’re not showing it, but they absolutely have sex. That’s fact.’ - RTD

So.  I think those implications are pretty clear.

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[more QAF UK meta]

There was a famous scene where I showed Charlie Hunnam, who played Nathan, what rimming was all about. Filming that took a lot of trust. But the sex was an essential part of the character and the drama, and I always saw it as a story of empowerment. In the past 15 years I’ve met a lot of people – men and women – who said Queer as Folk helped them get their confidence. I’m pretty proud of that.
—  Aidan Gillen on Queer as Folk (x)
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Queer as Folk Challenge 2014:

Day Four: Favourite Appendage - Stuart’s Jeep

By the way, I don’t think I’ve seen the top picture before with Stuart and Vince with the whole of the jeep. Correct me if this picture, in this form, has been floating about for years!