The series follows a group of friends, mostly in their late teens and early twenties, who move to London in 1981 and have their lives turned upside down by HIV/ AIDS, spanning a decade until 1991.
Wow! where do I even begin? This is the best TV I have ever watched. It showed me the beauty of being a gay man, but also the struggle that so many have had to go through before us. The show follows a group of friends in London at the start of and throughout the aids epidemic. When the show starts we don’t really know what is coming, but it slowly reveals itself.
The show centralises around the lives of 3 gay men, and they are all portrayed very well in my opinion. They show completely different sides of the community: from the most flamboyant to the introverted, the most feminine to the most masculine, even more, and everything in between. I think this just means more people can like the show as they can relate to one person. It also helps people see there are no fixed stereotype for gay people. Obviously, I wasn’t alive in the 1980’s and 90’s. So, I don’t know how it must have been for them. But, this show does an amazing job of informing me. It shows so many different sides of what it was like: love life; how it affected you getting a job; the secrecy and so much more. All I can say is I am so thankful that all these people fought for our rights, and that we don’t have to hide who we are like they did in so many situations.
The show is 5 episodes long, and although I felt like I could have spent days and days watching this show, I think this was the perfect length. It gave enough time to build a real connection to the characters. But not so much time that the story felt like it was moving really slowly; this was aided by big time jumps each episode.
The story shows of the AIDS epidemic in London, and I think they handled it amazingly. Before watching this all I knew about AIDS is that started spreading quickly in the San Francisco bath houses and then spread further. Now after watching this I realise how badly it affected so many people, and all the struggle that they had to go through. They lived for so long without even knowing what it was, and then even more time before they found a way to suppress the virus. The effects of AIDS are shown so well in the show, and it was upsetting to see them. Parents would hide what was wrong with their child in fear of being disrespected, and many parents disowned their children as soon as they came out. This lead to thousands of people being left in hospitals by themselves with no one to support them, and this was just too hard to watch at some points.
We still need to be aware of the huge AIDS issue in the world today. So, I’m just laying out some facts and I’m linking the Elton John AIDS Foundation at the bottom of this review; if you would like to donate. 32 million people have died from AIDS, 690,000 people died from AIDS in 2019, and 38 million people live with HIV and AIDS every day as of 2019.
I don’t really have any negatives for this show. I thought it was practically perfect. My only complaint is in a couple situations that should have been very serious some jokes were made, and it slightly took me out of the show. There is one thing that I have seen a lot of controversy over: the sex scenes. Personally, I think they are artistic and justified. For me they help represent the difference in the freedom they had, in the beginning they had no concerns, and as we got further on they had to watch out and be careful. Nonetheless, I’ll give you one piece of advice, don’t watch it with your parents.
This is the best TV show I have ever watched. It made me want to live my best gay life, and then made my cry for hours. But most importantly make me reflect on everyone that has come before me, and respect them for how hard they fought for us to be where we are today.
Elton John AIDS foundation - https://donate.eltonjohnaidsfoundation.org/uk/