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July 16, 2001 2:00 AM
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DAILY NEWS: Beadle-Blair Unveils Uncompromising Series, "Metrosexuality," for American Festival Audi

DAILY NEWS: Beadle-Blair Unveils Uncompromising Series, "Metrosexuality," for American Festival Audiences



by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE


>> Beadle-Blair Unveils Uncompromising Series, "Metrosexuality," for American Audiences


(indieWIRE/07.16.01) -- Showtime's landmark gay television series "Queer As
Folk
," a spin off from the British TV program, has been hailed as
groundbreaking and criticized as stereotypical since debuting late last
year. As "Queer" gears up for a second season later this year, another
British TV series is hitting American shores after causing a stir back home.
The program, "Metrosexuality," candidly explores the lives of a sexually and
racially diverse group of young Londoners living in Notting Hill. Rikki
Beadle Blair
(writer of "Stonewall") writes, directs and stars in the
six-episode Channel 4 series that aired during February and March of this
year in the UK, on the heels of Channel 4's "Queer As Folk." Initial
comparisons to "Queer" are common, but Beadle Blair is quick to correct
that, even admitting that "Queer as Folk" actually made it harder for his
series -- which began as a short film -- to get off the ground.


"All they need in England is one (gay) program, and they don't consider that
there may be black gay people, or vegetarian gay people, or punk gay
people," quipped Rikki Beadle Blair, in a conversation with indieWIRE last
week. "If you don't relate to 'The Circuit' -- this gay scene -- then you
are kind of screwed really."


"Metrosexuality" had its second screening at the 7th Philadephia
International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
over the weekend, following a
showing at Frameline in San Franciso. On Sunday, it will hit Outfest in Los
Angeles.


"'Queer (as Folk)' is a gay program," Blair explained in the conversation
with indieWIRE, "It is uncompromisingly a gay program, as much as we might
sit around and complain about it -- our program is actually not a gay
program, it is a multi-racial program -- it has a black family at the
center."


At the heart of this series, which was screened in its entirety Saturday
afternoon in Philadelphia, is Beadle-Blair as Max, the gay father of a
straight son. His son's two best friends are gay and their circle of friends
run the sexual orientation gamut -- Beadle-Blair has called its setting "a
multicultural, ambi-sexual community." As the fast-paced, brightly-colored
show begins, Max is breaking up with his boyfriend and their son Kwame is
having girl troubles. The teenager's best mates are facing their own
problems, from love troubles to abuse at home. A free spirit with a knack
for finding the drama of most situations, Max ends up becoming a surrogate
Mother to much of the large extended family that comprises the series.


"'Metrosexuality' is really looking at family," explained Beadle-Blair, a
gay man who's Mom is a lesbian, "That's the thing that matters to me the
most -- the shape of your family is not what governs the quality of your
family." Continuing he added, "It's really about motherhood and men learning
how to be mothers, and women learning how to expand beyond motherhood --
it's about getting over the kind of misogyny that we have, that being woman
is weak, that being a man is strong."


Beadle-Blair is hoping to follow in the footsteps of "Queer as Folk" in
bringing his program to United States television screens. He just finished a
script for an hour-long pilot and is in LA shopping his program around.
While he admits that the series might be best suited for Showtime or HBO, he
is not leaving out more mainstream outlets.


"I would love to have it on network televeion," Beadle-Blair offered, "To
break down that barrier." [Eugene Hernandez]

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