Sin is Sensational (Television Thoughts: It’s A SIn, S01 E01, Channel Four)

Russell T Davies’ new show ‘It’s A Sin’ starts off so much fun – it tells of the stories of three young gay men in 1981 – Ritchie, Roscoe and Collin. I always love these stories of young people starting their life, and I don’t know what it says about me. The show is set in 1981 London, and that would have been a perfect time and place for me to be in, so from th every beginning I am all in.

All three young men come from conservative-ish families – and you can just imagine how the wild explosion of post 70s London blasts in their faces. One of the funniest early scenes for me is Roscoe leaving his Nigerian family as they plan to bring him back to the outskirts of Laos, and he dresses up in drag as he dramatically leaves their house.

Neil Patrick Harris stars as Henry, a colleague of Collin in a Saville Row tailoring house, and his presence is a breath of fresh air – an out, confident gay man of the times. But of course the shadow of AIDS looms, and he dies before the end of the episode. I got so much joy from the earlier scenes that I am dreading what is about to come next – there are hints of what is to come, and if I were to guess, it will break my heart. But this is our story, my story, and I will be tuning in.

For The Best Time (Television Thoughts. The Best Time Ever, NBC)

btevI have finally seen the first two episodes of Neil Patrick Harris’ NBC Variety show “The Best Time Ever,” (thank you, every trusty DVR) and I don’t know why the critic were harping about, but it’s a good time. I don’t think Harris is trying to reinvent the variety show format, although he probably needs to do that for today’s audience. What we get here is a mix of reality show, games, and heart. It has a lot of heart. On the first episode, the gag about him trolling a couple for months seem a bit forced, but on last night’s show, the crescendo of a man doing death-defying stunts for his girlfriend – and then proposes to her at the end of the segment brought tears to my eyes (but then again is it too hard to do that nowadays?)  And sorry, but I do like “SingaAlong Live,” a state-wide karaoke contest which brought out the likes of Gloria Gaynor and Bnnoe Tyler (the latter looks smashing – preserved or plastic?)  And the Britney Spears bit from last night is turning viral – nice to see BritBrit relaxed and having fun. I wish there was a major song and dance number in every show featuring Harris, but that may be too old-fashioned. I would totally love him duetting with a guest every week – maybe one with Reese Witherspoon or Spears herself. I am somewhat bewildered by the 10 pm time slot, and if it did stay there, he should get a little racier. I think the show has very subtle gay elements – dancers in gold spandex during ‘I will Survive’ – but its’ more a very guarded wink than anything else. All in all, it’s fun, and very counter programming from the likes of everything else on television these days. It is definitely staying on my DVR.