The biggest sin is that there are no more episodes in the series “It’s a Sin”.
The new HBO production is a fun and tragic journey into the 1980s gay community – and into the HIV epidemic.
It’s a portrait of the 80s drama
An unknown disease becomes some kind of dark menace that hangs over society. Little is known about it, only that it is fatal. In the story, which begins in 1981 and at the same time seems so topical, there is something terrifyingly contemporary: ignorance, misinformation and impact.
“It’s a Sin” travels to the libertine 1980s of London, the country where everyone can be what they have dreamed of. Well, maybe not so much. That is the goal of Ritchie Tozer (Olly Alexander), who is moving to the capital to study law.
The London air sets him free. He decides to switch to a theater course and, free from the bonds of the little Isle of Wight on which he grew up, finally manages to be satisfied with his homosexuality. By happy, we mean getting in touch with as many men as possible in the shortest possible time: something that will never be treated as sin or shame.
According to Russell T. Davies – he is more than happy with the theme that Queer as Folk created – this was the gay community’s natural, fun, and carefree habitat that was oppressed in the face of the day. freed himself far from discriminatory looks. And this whole context is crucial to understand the cruel trap that fate set in creating one of the greatest epidemics of our time.
So it’s easy to see why the new “HBO” miniseries so easily jumps back and forth between the laugh and the lump in the throat, which is such a weak and complicated balance to achieve successfully. But that’s exactly what happens thanks to the many friendly, approachable and charismatic characters.
Ritchie quickly finds a group: girlfriend Jill (Lydia West), eccentric Roscoe (Omari Douglas), handsome Ash (Nathaniel Curtis), and shy Colin (Callum Scott Howells). Together they live in an apartment known as the Pink Palace.
Unlimited joy and fun cannot go on for long without feeling guilty. Scary news comes from the United States: a type of cancer that kills gays. The infection is cruel and has only one end: death. Heal? There is not.
Ritchie is the main character
While some receive the news with a dose of fear and disbelief, Ritchie takes on the role of denialist. “They say it spreads in poppers. It came down to a comet from space. That was created by God to kill us. Or that it was created in the laboratory. It was the Russians. We brought it from the jungle. It is caused by friction. It’s in the semen (…) Do you know what all this has in common? You are a lie. And I know that because I’m not stupid. “
GRID (Gay Immunodeficiency) is rapidly turning into AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) and the demon who lived across the Atlantic is quickly reaching the London community. The shock forces the community to hide, but also society in general, to face the problem with an honesty that was previously unaccustomed.
Among all the London avant-garde, the truth was that Margaret Thatcher’s conservative UK was unwilling to enter into discussion on this dimension. The center of the theme is in the title: “It is a sin”. It was sin that justified the punishment that befell gays.
More than the debate about the AIDS epidemic and its impact on society – its short duration still allows one to address drug use and the ignorance of health and safety authorities – this is a story of feelings and secrets.
About children who hide from their parents and who pay the highest price to escape the cruelty of conservatism. It’s also about reconciliation, forgiveness and regret – life.
Even in this melodramatic setting, Davies finds a way to accommodate small escapes of humor without falling into vulgarity. The only sin of “It’s a Sin” or its creator is to have left no room for more.
Although the circuit is complete, the ending gives the feeling that five episodes are so rare that they could be counted. It is the one who confirms it: “There are so many stories I could have written 100 episodes about them”. There is still time. It only takes a moment to wipe away the tears and get another pack of tissues.