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Its a Sin (Limited Series)

I don’t always weigh in on limited series, but I was particularly captivated by this one (5 episodes). Three young and very different men – Ritchie, Colin, and Roscoe – all are 18 and move to London to explore their lives as gay men. It’s a Sin spans the decade between 1981 and 1991, the time when AIDS, a then-unknown disease that was affecting primarily gay men, was casting a shadow over the lives of many, gay and straight alike. It is a bit like the Boys in the Band but from the perspective of the UK. Those of us of a certain age and who lived during the era have seen many of the films that document the period, fiction and non-fiction, and followed the many ups and downs in treatment options, inadequate medical and government response, and activism tactics such as die-ins made popular through groups like ACT UP. You never quite think there is a need for another film about the topic, but then you get something like this and realize that the story never gets old. This series explores the physical and emotional toll the disease had on the gay men, their friends, and their families but for new audiences, many of whom may not even realize the extent of the epidemic or what impact it had on the identities of so many people. The actors seemed to really “get” the stories of the characters they portrayed, and they felt so real and like many people I knew during that era. There is an unexpected turn by the actress who plays the mom of one of the guys whose grief and pain turn to vindictiveness anger that is compelling. The acting is fantastic. I was incredibly moved by the characters. The music selection, including many of the songs from the era that played in gay clubs, is perfect. Overall, there is a lot of sadness but also fun and joy and love.  The director and writers have assembled a compelling, creative, and fresh series that brings these stories to a new generation. One of the best series I have seen. (2021; 5 Stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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