The Showtime hit, which was based on a British series of the same name, broke fresh ground in its portrayal of gay and lesbian lives. For many young, queer people in particular, the show was a veritable rite of passage during its five-season run. For its new LGBTQ issue, Entertainment Weekly reunited the “Queer as Folk” cast ― including stars Gale Harold, Randy Harrison and Hal Sparks ― for the first time since the 2005 series finale.
In the 13 years since “Queer as Folk” went off the air, the show has enjoyed a second life among newer, binge-watching audiences ― and the cast and creative team are grateful that their work has stood the test of time.
“We saw it as an opportunity to address a lot of issues that had never been shown on American TV before,” executive producer Ron Cowen told EW. “That was very important to us because we gay people didn’t really see a true reflection of ourselves on TV very often.”
He continued, “Back then, you couldn’t get married. There was ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ in the Army. In 14 states, there were still sodomy laws on the books. It was a very hostile atmosphere.”
Scott Lowell, who played Ted Schmidt, added, “We stopped making this like 90 years ago. People are still discovering it for the first time and think it’s real [which is] a wonderful tribute to the writers ... to everybody that this felt, in an odd way, like a docu-drama.”
According to EW, there’s no talk among the cast or creatives of a “Will & Grace”-style reboot just yet. But Peter Paige, who played Emmett Honeycutt and went on to co-create the hit Freeform series “The Fosters,” believes the original five seasons are indelible.
“God knows the clothes and the hairstyles have changed, but the emotional stories are eternal,” he said. “I often say people came for the queer, but they stayed for the folk.”