It’s a Sin — ★★★★★ A wonderful masterpiece of TV that poked a humorous spin on a serious subject
If you haven’t heard already, at the start of this year a TV show made huge waves on social media and viewership and sparked conversations around the topic of AIDS. It became the most viewed show on Channel 4, and was awarded accolades and a wave of five star reviews (this one being added to its list…sorry for the spoiler!).
I am slightly late to the party, but I finally had the time during a very busy semester to watch It’s a Sin. I was a little sceptical to begin with to be honest. I can’t really plant my finger on why, but I have watched a lot of tv shows with a very gay perspective, being gay myself I love them! However, I did think was this going to be a quick little fling on the tv, and then disappear into the realm of Netflix or the TV graveyard.
How wrong was I!
It was a rainy day, I was alone, as me and my husband are currently looking for a place to live together and we both are in the middle/end of our study. I am finishing a Masters and going to train to be a teacher, and my husband finished his undergraduate and because he is insanely clever, he is going off to his pHD.
So, I finished everything I need to do, and wanted to for once sit and watch something and just chill, not work on anything at all. I browsed and browsed, and then came across It’s a Sin. Hmm, why not give it a go, anything gay I love so what did I have to lose! Richie Tozer grabbed me right away, with his energy, charisma and just general charm. He bloomed in the show, starting in the first episode as a very shy introvert, to a hyper sexual gay icon in the space of a few years. That is something I love about all the characters, the level of character development. They all change and evolve in such intimate and beautiful ways, that are touching and lovely to see on TV.
Roscoe on the other hand did not start the show as a shy recluse. He was unaplogitically queer and himself from the start, which also was a joy to see. Knowing kids today have cahacrters like these to see and idolise is such a progression from even my childhood. Of course, there were gay people everywhere, but it took much longer to find ‘my crowd’ as these shows werent the mainstream, they were still the ‘niche’. But today, thats all changed. Characters like Richie and Roscoe, Jill and Ash, even cute litle Colin. These are now mainstream characters and narratives, and its a joy to see.
Speaking of Colin, the highly shy, Welsh recluse, he was the most endearing for me. For the first two episodes, we see him coming to terms with who he is, and he gets an unlikely friend in the form of a character played by Neil Patrick Harris, called Henry Coltrane.
The matriarch of the group, Jill, must be my favourite character from the show. She is straight, but her brazen support for her friends and their sexuality at a time where it really wasn’t good to be gay, with the HIV pandemic spreading hate and disease to those must vulnerable.
She is an anchor throughout the entire show, she loved the most, and lost the most, and throughout never lost her love for the friends she holds dear. It was truly beautiful to watch.
As a whole, another element of the show I really loved was its depiction of gay sex. There was *alot* of sex in the show, but none of it not needed. All of it added to the story, and never felt like and a side thought. It didn’t always show picture perfect scenes of love making that never seems real in other TV shows and films. It showed some of the awkward morning after scenes, it showed some fumbles, and just authentic, natural sex. Something I think doesn’t get shown enough in the world of gay film and TV, let alone Hollywood and other big film houses.
So, what are my final thoughts. My final thoughts are that the show is a masterpiece. It shows in a beautifully authentic and inclusive manor, the time it was set. The horrors and anxiety that filled that time period for people in the LGBTQ+ community. It was an educating piece for those who were watching that may not be LGBTQ+ or don’t know much about gay sex how how different things work. I also could not end this review, without praising the incredibly infectious ‘La!’, that they adopt when they say hello and goodbye. A lovely touch, to a lovely show that I really think you should see if you haven’t already.
You can watch it for free on Channel 4’s streaming service ‘All 4’.