The latest offering from Queer as Folk (1999–2000) creator Russell T. Davies. This short run of five episodes is as joyous as it is bleak, chronicling the emergence of AIDS in early eighties London.
Pretty boy Ritchie, exuberantly played by the Years and Years frontman Olly Alexander, heads to the bright lights to study law. His interest in the academic quickly wanes as he discovers a passion for drama.
Young and free and ignorant of the future, Ritchie takes his cock on a tour. Throwing himself completely into the never ending fuck-fest, sacrificing his sweaty arsed innocence to a suck-session of fit young things, until his innocence is nothing more than a footnote and a joke.
As the numbers pile up, Ritchie assembles a household of friends and ex-lovers, including the endlessly compassionate bestie Jill, played by the wonderful Lydia West. Mother hen to the household, she’s there for the parties, and the heartaches, and is at the vanguard when people start getting sick.
To reveal anymore would spoil a powerful peek at the physical and emotional cost of HIV and AIDS on those it hit hardest. In the end it’s a story about shame, the turbocharged reason for everything. It drives people’s behaviour, and confronting it, dealing with it, getting past it, drives the drama.
Worth seeing, and if you’re brave enough, binge it in one day. It’s definitely worth your time.