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Who's Who in the New Queer as Folk: Peacock v. Showtime
Brian & Brodie or Justin & Mingus: Who's Who in the New Queer As Folk?
In November 2000, the New York Times ran the headline "Cable TV Shatters Another Taboo; A New Showtime Series Will Focus on Gay Sexuality" as the groundbreaking show, Queer as Folk prepared to debut in the United States. Over the course of five seasons, viewers fell in love with the antics of Brian, Justin, Michael, Emmett, Ted, Debbie, Melanie, and Lindsay. Fast forward to June 9 of this year, and now 22 years later, a new cast of characters has joined forces in an extension to the modern struggles facing LGBTQ+ people. These young (and hot) queers and allies are taking turns on the small screen to show the world what life is like in today's Babylon.
And while the characters are all distinctly different, fans of the Showtime version of Queer as Folk will certainly notice some parallels.
At least we did. Do you agree?
Brian Kinney and Brodie
Lots of it, whenever, whatever, with whomever. That was basically Brian Kinney's M.O. in the original series. Brian was cocky and had a cold exterior, but really, he was just a self-conscious over-achieving gay man, terrified of aging and being relegated to domestic life. He was a perpetual bachelor with a soft spot for his young (very young) plaything-turned-soulmate, Justin Taylor.
Brodie is also all about that D and, like Brian, has an on-and-off-again very young love interest and like his 2000 counterpart, Brodie too is running away from something in his life that he's afraid of.
Justin Taylor and Mingus
During his teenage years, Justin lost his virginity and fell in love with Brian. His bright smile and bright disposition earn him the nickname "Sunshine." He briefly contemplates attending business school to appease his father but ultimately decides to study art to pursue a career as a visual artist instead. The relationship between Justin and Brian continues throughout the five seasons, culminating in a marriage proposal.
Despite Justin's response, Brian suggests he pursue his art in New York, where he will succeed more.
On the other hand, Mingus is also underage and infatuated with older man Brodie, the Brian of this series version. And the two also have a sexual relationship. Mingus's immaturity through his actions on the show harkens back to Justin's character from the previous U.S. version of Queer as Folk.
Michael Novotny and Julian
Everybody loved Michael Novotny. What's not to love? He was the doting and loyal friend who saw the best in everyone and whose naivete was at the same time endearing as it was maddening.
With Julian the audience again is invited to love a character who seems to be incredibly green and naive to gay life. But, just as with Michael, the viewer get surprised here and there with how much Julian actually does know.
Emmett Honeycut and Noah
Emmett was unapologetically himself. Flamboyantly over the top, the outspoken, bold, and up-for-anything character was beloved by his circle, even if his antics would come with a bit of drama from time to time.
Noah is introduced to the audience in a fit of drama. As a lawyer, Noah is professionally dissimilar from Emmett, who would find a new seeming adventure often, but the two drop everything for their friends as is evident when Noah uses his lawyering skills to get a friend out of trouble.
Debby Novotny and Judy
The 2000 version of QAF featured the over-the-top PFLAG mother of the year to Michael Novotny, Debbie. The loud and colorful waitress at the local diner, popular with the LGBTQ+ community, went out of her way to celebrate all things gay. The love for Michael inspired Debbie to get up every day as she navigated her son's life while eventually needing to find a way to pursue a life of her own that didn't revolve solely around activism and allyship.
Judy, like Debbie is super (perhaps overly) involved in her son's life. She wants the know it all: who did he sleep with, and does he need the good poppers? Judy meddles in Mingus's life out of love, just as Debbie did with Michael.
Lindsey Peterson and Shar
Melanie and Lindsay have a strong relationship, but they have problems, like any committed couple. During its five seasons, the show dealt with infidelity twice. Both had affairs, but neither affair lasted more than one night, and both participants regretted it immediately. But, Lindsay's affair was treated as a much more severe offense for being with a man.
Without spoiling anything, let's say that Lindsay and Shar have a lot in common: particularly the caregiver vibe. Shar and Lindsay care deeply for their families and won't tolerate anybody's bullshit.
Melanie Marcus and Ruthie
Melanie was rebellious and had a thickheaded clarity to her nature. She's a strong woman and she speaks her mind. She demures to nobody.
Ruthie also has an eff around and find out attitude.
Honestly, both characters are not to be messed with lest one wish to find oneself having been taken down several notches. Both are not immediately drawn to parenthood, but over time each develops into the role.