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It's A Sin

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Not sure if this is the right place for this show, or if it already exists somewhere else, but thought the show definitely needed a forum of it's own somewhere.

 

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A warning for those in our community who experienced these dark years as they happened. Events in the episodes may trigger a number of painful memories and/or some level of PTSD - at least, they did for me. Be prepared to deal with a lot of buried emotions (anxiety, sorrow, anger, fear, desperation, loss and grief, to name a few) when they resurface as the show plays out.

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Second episode:  Colin wearing that suit with that coat in New York City on what's supposed to be July 8th is irritating me far more than it should.

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Damn you RTD! I got a headache from all of the crying I did.

Colin, Roscoe, Gloria, Jill, Ritchie, Ash.... so much hope, joy and fun shone through these characters that when their pain hit, it hit me too. I've got so many text chains with mates that is just the crying emoji, with the odd 'I'm a mess' every so often.

Such an important show. I was born in 85 I didn't witness all of the discrimination gay men were subjected to at this time, but you can be damn sure I'd have embraced my inner Jill for them.

Between this and The Serpent for show of the year, and it's only February.

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Just watched the first ep and NPH killed me with that scene talking about the mold.

I like all the characters so far except I don't understand Jill at all. She's still a teenager yet seems to already know it's her mission in life to mother a bunch of young gay men. It's the most bizarre thing I've ever seen. She's Ritchie's best friend/wingman before she even knows his name, iirc.

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I've met a few Jills in my life, and thank God for all of them.  I believe, from interviews I've read, that Davies based this series on his own experiences in the 1980s, so I'm guessing he had at least one Jill in his life. (BTW, we used to call them "Fag Hags."  A friend of mine suggested "Fag Divas," but that of course never caught on.}

I'm now midway through the third episode, and I've had it on pause for half an hour, because the police locking Colin down in the hospital is making me not want to press "Play" ever again.  But I suppose I have to do it.

 

Edited by Demian
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1 hour ago, Demian said:

I've met a few Jills in my life, and thank God for all of them.  I believe, from interviews I've read, that Davies based this series on his own experiences in the 1980s, so I'm guessing he had at least one Jill in his life. (BTW, we used to call them "Fag Hags."  A friend of mine suggested "Fag Divas," but that of course never caught on.}

 

I wasn't sure if that phrase was problematic these days or not! But yeah, I did wonder if she was just the uber fag hag. 

But that's part of what's weird to me, that I know women who fit the name exist, but in the first episode this character made less sense to me than would an actual women who did some of the things she did. Especially compared to the way all the male characters were introduced. I mean, it's possible that Davies' own experience is what explains it, that he just didn't relate to her the same way. There's a reason that Hag clicked more than Divas.

That said, I've only seen one ep so far, so there's a lot more to come with the character.

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I’m three episodes in and can’t wait to watch the next two. This is the best series I’ve watched so far this year. I laughed, cried and felt so sad for all the characters. I remember when the epidemic started in the 80’s, the fear, ignorance and discrimination.
I started working at a hospital, we had a special meeting on how to care for anyone who came in with suspected AIDS. My cousins FIL got it from a blood transfusion, the family was so scared people would think he had  been secretly gay (he wasn’t) so they told everyone he died from Leukemia. I was a Meals on Wheels volunteer for a bit, we had two guys who had AIDS on our route, they were like Gregory, afraid to be seen. I still remember the one guy huddled in a blanket, peaking around the corner of his kitchen and saying ‘ just leave the food on the table’. I remember Ryan White. 
I’m  so glad things are different now. And that there’s medication. But I know people still die from this disease. 

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19 hours ago, giovannif7 said:

A warning for those in our community who experienced these dark years as they happened. Events in the episodes may trigger a number of painful memories and/or some level of PTSD - at least, they did for me. Be prepared to deal with a lot of buried emotions (anxiety, sorrow, anger, fear, desperation, loss and grief, to name a few) when they resurface as the show plays out.

I was 18 in 1981 [more of a Colin than a Ritchie] and moved to the big city - man oh man, did this show hit hard.

10 hours ago, Demian said:

I've met a few Jills in my life, and thank God for all of them.  I believe, from interviews I've read, that Davies based this series on his own experiences in the 1980s, so I'm guessing he had at least one Jill in his life.

The real life Jill

Spoiler

plays the fictional Jill's mother.

 

Edited by Fake Jan Brady · Reason: spoiler tag
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Watched two eps now and I can see this is just going to be so upsetting. I don't want any of these people to get hurt. Even Ritchie, who, as Jill says, is too clever by half. He seems like the kind of young guy that seems a lot to me but could be really inspiring too, the way he's so desperately, fiercely out there. 

I'm glad, at least, that Colin didn't wind up assaulted by his creepy boss, especially given how his creepy boss apparently spends his time. Not that this makes me think Colin will be safe. I remember watching the documentary "We were there" about the AIDS crisis in San Francisco and there was one survivor who seemed a bit like Colin--very shy and not into multiple partners. I think he got involved in care where he would be someone for sick people to talk to etc. I was worried for a second when he said he hadn't gotten the literature Jill wanted--glad he was kidding!

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36 minutes ago, Demian said:

Yep, a bunch of interviews with her are starting to pop up.

And not surprising at least in that interview, descriptions of her real life do not sound like what strikes me as so odd about the character on the show.

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I binged all five episodes last night.  I had a feeling going in that I was going to wither away to dust from reliving the 80s or be a sobbing mess from my memories of that decade by the end of the series, especially of the friends that were lost to AIDS in those years.  Turned out to be a little of the former and a whole lot of the latter.

Well done, RTD.  I loved every minute, even the ones that broke my heart.

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On 2/18/2021 at 12:58 PM, giovannif7 said:

A warning for those in our community who experienced these dark years as they happened.

I gotta agree with this, even though I kinda vociferously disagree with what I call "trigger culture."  This series, even though it's only five episodes, is incredibly tough to take, though I believe its ultimate message is one of joy.  Be prepared to die inside, a little bit, with nearly every episode, but also be open to that joy. Because that joy is beautiful.

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Can’t say I “enjoyed” this because it was a rough watch, but it was very well done. I binged it last night and had low grade nausea at the very start to a full on stomachache by the end. Haven’t felt like that watching a tv show since Chernobyl. 
 

The whole cast was wonderful. I was starting to wonder why they’d brought in Keeley Hawes for just a couple brief scenes and then wham! That hospital scene was brutal. 
 

Edited to add that I also really appreciated the touches of joy and hope (and great tunes!) in this to offset all the pain and loss, both fictional and very, very real. 

Edited by crystalball · Reason: Fixed spacing typo and added thought.
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Finished it and really loved it. It was really great. The one thing I still felt...it's not really a criticism because maybe it's just how the character was, but I was frustrated for Jill at the end. I was so glad when she told off Ritchie's mother, but I was a little sorry that she told her off on behalf of Ritchie and boys like Ritchie instead of for herself. Just because my god, first Ritchie's father accused her of turning Ritchie from a barrister into an actor with her slutty ways. Then his mother says it's her fault for not actually knowing her son because she couldn't tell Ritchie was gay as long as a woman was standing next to him. She got to get all personal about Jill (acknowleging the fact that there was a question mark about exactly what in her personality made her uninterested in having the kind of experiences all her friends kind of lived for) and it would have been nice to be able to hear Jill tell her she was not their family's scapegoat they could blame for everything they didn't like about the show. She didn't lie to the woman. Too bad one of the guys wasn't there. They would have let her have it.

But in general, loved it. Very said, but not depressing. Never stopped being unapologetically full of life even though it was about a deadly disease. And I liked how while it was clear they lived in a homophobic world, we got to stay on their island of kind people and good friends.

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13 hours ago, crystalball said:

Can’t say I “enjoyed” this because it was a rough watch, but it was very well done. I binged it last night and had low grade nausea at the very start to a full on stomachache by the end. Haven’t felt like that watching a tv show since Chernobyl.

Exactly!  It was just like watching Chernobyl.

(That was sarcasm, just in case you weren't able to figure it out.)

(And that sarcasm comes from me, having lived through both crises.  Apologies if I offended you.)

Edited by Demian

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My husband and I watched the five episodes over the past three days.  I initially wasn't going to watch because I knew this would be difficult and I since 2020 was a dumpster fire year I had started curating my tv shows, movies, and books to be more on the side of comfort-watching and more upbeat stuff.  But we love RTD's Years and Years (seriously I highly recommend it as a watch) so we decided to watch this.

It was really well done and I am glad I did watch it.  I loved the music and the sense of found family and friendship among the main characters.

While I liked it overall, I  do wish we had gotten a little bit more about Ash.  He seemed like just an afterthought with great hair.  I wish we had gotten a little bit of his inner story. And I was never convinced about his and Ritchie's love for each other.   I also wish we had gotten a little bit more with Roscoe and his father after his father had been confronted with the reality of the illness and seemed to come to some sort of come to Jesus moment. 

And while I also liked Jill, I think her character was also done a bit of a disservice.  She felt like a stand in for a character type and not the real person she was based on.  Like Ash, she just didn't have her own story, she seemed to just have a role.  And like @sistermagpie notes, when she had the opportunity to speak about her own disappointment, anger and pain at the end to Ritchie's mother, she isn;t given the opportunity.  She instead speaks for Ritchie and all the other Ritchies.  I am not gonna lie, it was a good moment the line about 'The perfect virus came along to prove you right." she said to his mother was kind of a mic drop.  But still I came away feeling I didn;t know much about Jill. 

I will say, in retrospect, after seeing her go to to sit with the lonely dying man to be there when he had no one else, was its own sort of activism.  Not the loud type, bit the quiet, compassionate type.  I have a lot of respect for the people who did that.

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Here's a half-hour Zoom panel Q&A with the stars of the series plus writer Russell T Davies, moderated by Russell Tovey

 

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She felt like a stand in for a character type and not the real person she was based on.

I didn't mind it per se, as with Longtime Companion, you have a certain amount of time and a certain amount of characters, so not everyone will get the same amount of development and/or be a character instead of a character type. I mean, this series could have been an episode or two longer, and maybe included some more body type diversity, but overall, it got the points it wanted to across and did it really well.

Quote

it was a good moment the line about 'The perfect virus came along to prove you right." she said to his mother was kind of a mic drop. 

One of the best lines in the series.

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11 hours ago, Hiyo said:

I didn't mind it per se, as with Longtime Companion, you have a certain amount of time and a certain amount of characters, so not everyone will get the same amount of development and/or be a character instead of a character type. I mean, this series could have been an episode or two longer, and maybe included some more body type diversity, but overall, it got the points it wanted to across and did it really well.

 

I think what made it distracting for me with Jill, though, is that she was a major character who was making choices and going through things that one would expect would get played out in some way. Like we first meet her as an acting student, but Ritchie is the only person presented as having acting ambitions or a career. When the second ep started with the two of them trying to get equity cards I thought oh, okay, they're going to show her being an actress too. But that quickly got wrapped up as Jill having a longterm job in a West End chorus that would pay the bills and not having any ambitions beyond that.

And of course plenty of people do keep those jobs, so it's not like nobody would do that. But it was like when Ritchie's mother is telling her she has no life of her own. You'd almost expect some perspective about Jill discovering that activism is a calling to her in ways that acting turns out wasn't, or discovering that she isn't really interested in romantic love just because it's already happening front and center throughout the show.

I mean, I never felt like these guys were bad people for her to be friends with. They're not using her or anything. But given the situation, we're never seeing them support her the way she can support them and she winds up on the receiving end of at least three bursts of misplaced anger from parents blaming her for things they don't like about their son. Note that Ash, for instance, instinctively demands some respect for himself as Ritchie's boyfriend. That does underline how society privilege romantic love over friendship. Roscoe, for instance, didn't feel like he could do that as Ritchie's friend. But he did get other scenes where he demanded respect for himself. ("Good, that's the one I pissed in." LOL!)

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On 2/20/2021 at 6:31 PM, sistermagpie said:

Finished it and really loved it. It was really great. The one thing I still felt...it's not really a criticism because maybe it's just how the character was, but I was frustrated for Jill at the end. I was so glad when she told off Ritchie's mother, but I was a little sorry that she told her off on behalf of Ritchie and boys like Ritchie instead of for herself. Just because my god, first Ritchie's father accused her of turning Ritchie from a barrister into an actor with her slutty ways. Then his mother says it's her fault for not actually knowing her son because she couldn't tell Ritchie was gay as long as a woman was standing next to him. She got to get all personal about Jill (acknowleging the fact that there was a question mark about exactly what in her personality made her uninterested in having the kind of experiences all her friends kind of lived for) and it would have been nice to be able to hear Jill tell her she was not their family's scapegoat they could blame for everything they didn't like about the show. She didn't lie to the woman. Too bad one of the guys wasn't there. They would have let her have it.

I could not believe how horrible Ritchie’s parents were (likewise Gloria’s father and sister), but for most of the series it seemed like it was the dad who was the worst with all his nasty comments. But man, when they found out and the mom showed her true colors, she was SO much worse, having a giant tantrum, verbally abusing everyone in sight and basically showing off her massive ignorance. (I applauded the other mom in the break room who told her off for being willfully blind to her son’s being gay.) When she called Jill a monstrous bitch there were two thoughts in my head: 1) wow, are you ever the Queen of Projection, and 2) I wish Jill would haul off and punch you right in your smug face. 

And then she deliberately kept Ritchie’s friends away. Unforgivable. She came across so vindictive and manipulative that when she finally talked to Jill at the end and said Ritchie had died, I initially thought she was lying just to get them to go away for good. And when she said she wanted to hear stories about Ritchie’s life in London? I really wanted Jill to tell her she didn’t fucking deserve to hear any.

I’ve never yet seen Keeley Hawes in anything where I found her the least bit likable, not even The Durrells, and this was no exception.

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Today in Focus, taking its cue from this show, did a really emotional podcast episode with someone who worked as a nurse on the HIV wards in the 80s.

On 2/20/2021 at 3:49 PM, crystalball said:

Can’t say I “enjoyed” this because it was a rough watch, but it was very well done. I binged it last night and had low grade nausea at the very start to a full on stomachache by the end. Haven’t felt like that watching a tv show since Chernobyl.

I felt the same. Both, Its A Sin and Chernobyl, are the type of shows that keep me up at night.

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The group house reminded me superficially of the group house in Pose. That show also deals with the AIDS epidemic in the 80s/90s, but is not about the AIDS epidemic the way this show is. (Pose spoiler)

Spoiler

So the main characters who are HIV+ have all survived so far ... but it's also set a bit later, more treatment options, etc.

They really caught me off guard with Colin. At the beginning, you're of course trying to figure out who is safe and who isn't--I actually thought the curveball might be that Jill would become infected. I forgot to worry about Colin, while worrying about literally everyone else. 

On that note: I wasn't sure how to read the flashback scenes where Colin was sleeping with his (boarding house co-guest?). Was that consensual, or not so much?

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I’ve never yet seen Keeley Hawes in anything where I found her the least bit likable, not even The Durrells, and this was no exception.

I unabashedly love Keeley Hawes because I'm one of the three people who thought Ashes to Ashes was better than Life on Mars. But The Durrells puts me to sleep. 

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On 2/22/2021 at 2:04 AM, CarpeFelis said:

And then she deliberately kept Ritchie’s friends away. Unforgivable. She came across so vindictive and manipulative that when she finally talked to Jill at the end and said Ritchie had died, I initially thought she was lying just to get them to go away for good. And when she said she wanted to hear stories about Ritchie’s life in London? I really wanted Jill to tell her she didn’t fucking deserve to hear any.

I’ve never yet seen Keeley Hawes in anything where I found her the least bit likable, not even The Durrells, and this was no exception.

 

I wondered if she was lying too. It was interesting how she seemed like she was somehow the nicer one, but really she just had a different brand of terribleness. Even when her son was asking for Jill she was not letting him see Jill, and it was seemingly just out of spite, like she was marking her territory. Not only that, but she was telling him that Jill wasn't there because she was really busy, trying to imply that Jill didn't care enough to be there. Ritchie had to spend his last days with someone who was still trying to make him the person she wanted him to be, or the person she was going to remember him as, who he no longer was/never was.

I did love that woman in the hospital. It was great how she could speak to her as a total equal in the same situation. 

I did love his sister, though. She cracked me up with her constant sourness that didn't seem like it was actually toxic. She was the non-favorite kid.

 

On 2/22/2021 at 10:51 AM, kieyra said:

The group house reminded me superficially of the group house in Pose. That show also deals with the AIDS epidemic in the 80s/90s, but is not about the AIDS epidemic the way this show is. (Pose spoiler)

Yes, the tone reminds me of Pose too, in terms of people taking care of each other etc.

Quote
  Hide contents

So the main characters who are HIV+ have all survived so far ... but it's also set a bit later, more treatment options, etc.

They really caught me off guard with Colin. At the beginning, you're of course trying to figure out who is safe and who isn't--I actually thought the curveball might be that Jill would become infected. I forgot to worry about Colin, while worrying about literally everyone else. 

On that note: I wasn't sure how to read the flashback scenes where Colin was sleeping with his (boarding house co-guest?). Was that consensual, or not so much?

I wondered that as well. I got the impression it was consensual, that that was what was meant by him saying how he'd always be home on Thursdays when the parents were out. But that it was also bound up with shame, which is why he was with a guy who was treating him that way--and we know he had that same shame, given his mother. We know that what Colin really wanted was a relationship like Henry had. I like how they established that he would still have that kind of shame despite having a loving mother who went out of her way to say she loved him as a gay man. In fact, it was nice how the show never much leaned into the homophobia. A lot of times when it might have turned into something ugly, instead the person turned out to be kind--like the bartender that Ritchie saw when he went back home. Ritchie seemed to be pushing him, almost goading him into telling him off, but the guy shut him up without doing that. So he got that nice bit of closure there.

One of my favorite little moments was when Roscoe was fixing Hugh Laurie's ETA: Stephen Fry! I meant Stephen Fry!-- and sat that his friend Colin told him how to wear one properly. As soon as he fixed it I knew Colin must have told him that.

Edited by sistermagpie
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36 minutes ago, sistermagpie said:

I wondered if she was lying too. It was interesting how she seemed like she was somehow the nicer one, but really she just had a different brand of terribleness. Even when her son was asking for Jill she was not letting him see Jill, and it was seemingly just out of spite, like she was marking her territory. Not only that, but she was telling him that Jill wasn't there because she was really busy, trying to imply that Jill didn't care enough to be there. Ritchie had to spend his last days with someone who was still trying to make him the person she wanted him to be, or the person she was going to remember him as, who he no longer was/never was.

Yes, it came across very spiteful. What made her a truly horrible person was letting Ritchie think his friends were “too busy” implying they just didn’t care, and that was incredibly cruel. And she was extremely controlling. It was really pathetic that she wanted to go back to when he was what, 4 years old(?) with that stupid windmill song. Right to the last she was denying who he was, and he was too ill to fight back. If I’m recalling correctly, he asked her not to put the song on, and she steamrolled right over him. Pretty much encapsulated their entire relationship.

Keeley Hawes said this about her in an interview (https://www.redonline.co.uk/reviews/film-reviews/a35331341/keeley-hawes-its-a-sin/) :

Quote

‘Valerie is someone who is very easy to dislike,' Hawes admitted when speaking at an event for the BFI At Home series last week. 'So the trick was bringing something likeable to her because we have to have empathy with her.'

She added: 'And I do. I knew women like that, I knew people like that. At her core she adores her children and her son. In her heart she adores him.'

To me, absolutely none of this came across on screen. Valerie adored the son she deluded herself into believing he was. (Remember the earlier episode where Jill told him he was way too good at thinking his way into whatever he wanted to believe? Yeah, guess where he got that from.) And from the moment she found out the truth, she made it all about herself. For all I know, Keeley Hawes could be a truly lovely person IRL, but it seemed like the writers failed to give her anything sympathetic to work with here. The character was obviously hurting, but her viciousness just made her impossible to feel for.

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I feel sorry for any parent losing a child, but I cant feel all that much sympathy for Ritchie's mother. Taking Ritchie out of the hospital and not allowing his friends to see him, apparently out of petty bitterness, was just so horrible its hard to feel bad for her. She even let Ritchie die thinking that his friends never even bothered to come see him as he was dying, its just such a terrible thing to do. She basically made his death all about her and how upset she was that he had a whole life that she didn't know about, not about Ritchie and what was best for him. It seemed at first like maybe his dad was the biggest asshole in their family, but I think mom pulled it out for the victory in the end. She was just as bad, if not worse than the dad, just in a different way. 

Not exactly a fun watch, given the topic, but I found it to be very well put together and emotionally powerful. They did a good job at showing how gradually AIDS creeped into the gay community and then mainstream society and how long it took for people to really understand what AIDS was and how it was spreading, and the issues surrounding it. Sometimes it got a bit on the nose, like how you could almost hear the ominous foreshadowing music when Ritchie tossed the condoms his father got him in the first episode, but they also used us knowing what is coming to create more dramatic tension, like when NPH's partner got sick and everyone was all confused about what he had and how it was such a coincidence that both of them got sick. The acting was all also really good, I think the guys playing Colin and Roscoe in particular stood out, and of course they got a lot of mileage out of the 80s soundtrack. I thought they also did a pretty good job showing the progression of style from the early 80s to the early 90s, you could especially see the 80s transitioning into the 90s in the last episode, the color palettes really started going from bright colors to more earth tones. 

You could definitely tell that Jill was a composite character despite being based on a specific person. While the rest of the characters were all very complex and had good and bad qualities with wants and dreams and arcs as characters with distinct personalities, it was hard to really get a feel for Jill as a character. She is basically a perfect wonderful person who takes care of everyone, takes AIDS seriously when no one else does, she gets super into AIDS activism so she can tell us lots of facts about AIDS and the issues surrounding it, and even her speech at the end was more about how people like Ritchie's mom have hurt men like Ritchie instead of how she feels about her best friend dying. I also thought that Ash rather got the shaft as a character, which is too bad because I liked him a lot. He started out strong in his first meeting with Ritchie, then kind of disappeared into the background until the end where he apparently was in love with Ritchie all along. It seems like he was having an interesting story offscreen, becoming a teacher in a homophobic school system, becoming the first of the guys to join Jill in activism, having perfect hair, but its too bad he got kind of forgotten until he tied into Ritchie's story again. 

So obviously a very tragic story, but I am glad that they still had moments of joy and happiness in between as of the sadness, it made it all less relentlessly depressing. It also had a few bits of karmic retribution, like Colin's creepy boss getting arrested, and moments of humor and victory. 

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1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

Sometimes it got a bit on the nose, like how you could almost hear the ominous foreshadowing music when Ritchie tossed the condoms his father got him in the first episode,

That was such an interesting moment for me because for me it played just the same way, but at the same time I knew it totally is something that Ritchie would probably not only do, but would have played so very differently at that time. In fact, I was listening to a podcast where a person my age was saying it might play very differently to young people today. Like back then it would have played just as Ritchie meant it, a laughing signal that he was a gay man planning to finally go off and be gay. The perfect symbolism for lack of fear of pregnancy!

I just wonder now, in fact, if Ritchie's parents had to get married because the wife was pregnant. Maybe his father saw all women as a trap to keep him from being rich.

1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

I also thought that Ash rather got the shaft as a character, which is too bad because I liked him a lot. He started out strong in his first meeting with Ritchie, then kind of disappeared into the background until the end where he apparently was in love with Ritchie all along. It seems like he was having an interesting story offscreen, becoming a teacher in a homophobic school system, becoming the first of the guys to join Jill in activism, having perfect hair, but its too bad he got kind of forgotten until he tied into Ritchie's story again.

Agreed. His first scenes with Ritchie are great and I wish there was more of him. Though he does get that great moment where he says there's Mary Rennault in the library. LOL!

One other thing about Colin's mother is I almost felt the show intentionally holding back by not having her say something racist to Jill at the end. I think it was the right choice because it wasn't the point, but no way would Ritchie's parents just be thrilled at their son having a black girlfriend. Ritchie's story about the Indian family on the island nailed it.

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In case you’re curious, here’s an article about what would’ve happened if Davies had been given the originally asked for eight episodes.  It would’ve been the end for six episodes too. 
 

Probably shouldn’t read until after finishing the show. 

https://www.digitalspy.com/tv/a35613755/its-a-sin-russell-t-davies-surprise-twists-missing-episode/

 

Edited by Stuffy
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On 2/22/2021 at 1:10 PM, sistermagpie said:

One of my favorite little moments was when Roscoe was fixing Hugh Laurie's waistcoat and sat that his friend Colin told him how to wear one properly. As soon as he fixed it I knew Colin must have told him that.

STEPHEN FRY!  Sorry, you really stressed me out that was Hugh Laurie, lol!!!

I agree with a most of the praise and criticisms shared above.  This was truly a lovely series, and having adjacently through the AIDS crisis (I was in middle school in NC at its height, so pretty much 0% chance I needed to be worried about it, but believe me when I say EVERYONE worried about it.  It was so easy for me to get angry watching this at the way people would treat AIDS patients, but I had to remind myself, there truly was a time when no one knew anything and that's what it was like then.  It wasn't fair of me, with all my 2021 knowledge, to judge.  It was a scary time.  How awful to have died like that, alone and shamed.

The actor that played Colin murdered me.  They really stacked the deck with the actors being SO charming and everyone of them having a smile that made you grin back at them even through the tv, but man, Colin.  He just broke my cold heart.  I figured he was a goner though - I thought what would happen is the most "innocent" person would get it, and the "sluttiest" would get lucky.  So I'll admit I was surprised when Ritchie got it too.  I ugly cried through the whole thing.  Eyes are still puffy.

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41 minutes ago, lasu said:

 I figured he was a goner though - I thought what would happen is the most "innocent" person would get it, and the "sluttiest" would get lucky.

As for the latter, I think we got that with Roscoe? 

(Not placing any value judgements on 'slutty'.

I think he himself says something like "how can I be negative, I slept with everyone". BUT I could be thinking of another character, or even a character on Pose (which I started rewatching after watching this series). Things are a blur lately.

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5 minutes ago, kieyra said:

As for the latter, I think we got that with Roscoe? 

Absolutely, I just thought with Ritchie being so worried and avoiding the test, he would end up being fine.

Also, just so we're all on the same page, I put slutty in quotes because I don't believe in slutty, at least as a bad thing.

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3 hours ago, Stuffy said:

In case you’re curious, here’s an article about what would’ve happened if Davies had been given the originally asked for eight episodes.  It would’ve been the end for six episodes too. 
 

Probably shouldn’t read until after finishing the show.

https://www.digitalspy.com/tv/a35613755/its-a-sin-russell-t-davies-surprise-twists-missing-episode/

 

I'm glad we didn't get that ending, personally. Sometimes limitations focus on what's important. Some of those extra things seem like trying to broaden things out in ways that undercut seeing just the parts we saw.

1 hour ago, lasu said:

STEPHEN FRY!  Sorry, you really stressed me out that was Hugh Laurie, lol!!!

OMG- LOL! In my head I was definitely typing Stephen Fry. Guess it's obvious why I connect the two. 

 

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I didn’t like the alternative ending for either Roscoe or Jill. I would’ve liked to know more about Ash though, but there’s no guarantee we would’ve had that with extra episodes. I had a hunch about the Valerie information based on a couple of Keeley’s lines in that last episode. My hunch was then confirmed in a different Davies interview. 

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39 minutes ago, Stuffy said:

I didn’t like the alternative ending for either Roscoe or Jill. I would’ve liked to know more about Ash though, but there’s no guarantee we would’ve had that with extra episodes. I had a hunch about the Valerie information based on a couple of Keeley’s lines in that last episode. My hunch was then confirmed in a different Davies interview. 

So what was the abuse going on in the alternate ending? Was Valerie "not looking" at that too? Was it Ritchie and the father?

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1 hour ago, sistermagpie said:

So what was the abuse going on in the alternate ending? Was Valerie "not looking" at that too? Was it Ritchie and the father?

Spoiler

No Valerie was the abuse victim. In the show, when Valerie commented about his grandfather being a horrible man which came after a few comments about men including the rutting line, I wondered if she’d been abused.  Davies said in a separate interview Jill was almost there when she questioned what happened in that house.  That confirmed my suspicions about Valerie. 

The home wasn’t happy because of Valerie’s own abuse and shame, but Richie wasn’t abused.

 

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I wouldn't have minded those endings. I can believe it about Roscoe. I'm sure there were people like that who escaped the virus due to pure luck in those days, only to get HIV decades later, when it can now be managed with meds.

By the way, it seemed like Ritchie walked out and refused to hear the results of his first test but in the next episode he seemed to know he had HIV and was trying to figure out how he could stop it from progressing. Did he actually know for sure or did he just assume he had to have it because Donald did?

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2 hours ago, ruby24 said:

By the way, it seemed like Ritchie walked out and refused to hear the results of his first test but in the next episode he seemed to know he had HIV and was trying to figure out how he could stop it from progressing. Did he actually know for sure or did he just assume he had to have it because Donald did?

That's what I assumed. I knew he had it because he knew Donald did, but he didn't want to get the actual diagnosis so he could have a fig leaf of denial in his mind.

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On 2/22/2021 at 10:51 AM, kieyra said:

They really caught me off guard with Colin. At the beginning, you're of course trying to figure out who is safe and who isn't--I actually thought the curveball might be that Jill would become infected. I forgot to worry about Colin, while worrying about literally everyone else. 

On that note: I wasn't sure how to read the flashback scenes where Colin was sleeping with his (boarding house co-guest?). Was that consensual, or not so much?

So much of what made me tense while watching the show was knowing that some of these people we would get attached to would die.  My husband was convinced after episode one that Colin (whom he referred to as Colin Creevy) would be one who would die.  He felt for sure that Colin's on screen seeming abstinence was a macguffin and we'd get blindsided and he was right.  When Colin got sick I was sure he'd had a threesome with NPH and his partner that we never saw. 

Regards his actual sexual encounter we saw, I too had a hard time reading that scene.  It really felt uncomfortably non-consensual the way it was presented in some ways.  On the one hand I got the sense that Colin was sexually turned on by the guy but on the other hand, I got such a rapey vibe from the guy himself. But also, Colin was very eager to get out of that house.  Not sure if it was because of the parents or the guy?  

Altho my husband was dooming and glooming about Colin as we were watching (seriously, he  such a downer partner to watch with LOL) I was holding out hope to the very end that he a=was wrong, but very sure he was right.  So when it turned out to be true, I was gutted.  Colin was my fave.

On 2/22/2021 at 3:24 PM, tennisgurl said:

Sometimes it got a bit on the nose, like how you could almost hear the ominous foreshadowing music when Ritchie tossed the condoms his father got him in the first episode,

Most definitely.  Again, like the the story beats with Colin, the scene with the condoms felt very obvious.  I do agree that is probably how it would have happened at the time.  The dad was giving Ritchie the condoms so he would not get a girl pregnant, but Ritchie knew he wouldn't be having sex with girls so the condoms would feel useless to him.  So that all made sense in the time, it is just we knew we were watching a tv show about HIV and AIDS so it had a very 'on the nose' vibe.  I do wonder, tho, didn't he tell Jill when he first met her that he was bi?  Was he telling the truth of pulling her leg?  The show just never seemed to code him as bi.

Meanwhile, while I was only 50% sure about Colin, I was 100% sure about Ritchie.  The show was telegraphing its plots and Ritchie was too central of a character to not be one of the casualties.   Ritchie and Colin got the most narrative depth early on.

On 2/22/2021 at 1:10 PM, sistermagpie said:

I did love that woman in the hospital. It was great how she could speak to her as a total equal in the same situation. 

That woman in the hospital who had no time for Ritchie's mom's navel gazing was giving me life! I love how acerbic yet still judgy she was making it real obvious she thought Ritchie's mom was stupid for not knowing her son was gay.  LOL.

 

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Colin and the football guy made me uncomfortable too. In retrospect, the fact that he was so eager to get out of that house made me think that he must have wanted to get away from that guy more than anything else, and given the fact that he had wanted to hook up with him at first made me think that things had taken a turn. Maybe he had started raping him or something.

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2 minutes ago, DearEvette said:

I do wonder, tho, didn't he tell Jill when he first met her that he was bi?  Was he telling the truth of pulling her leg?  The show just never seemed to code him as bi.

In the past, especially, it wasn't uncommon for young gay guys to claim they were bisexual because it seemed a little better than labeling themselves as gay. You can see the logic when Ritchie does it, in fact. He says he's just bisexual so he can have everyone in the room, as if he's not gay, he's just really horny. It's similar to what his mom claims later. It's like he's still masculine because he still likes girls, though of course Ritchie was always gay, with no interest in women. He just wasn't quite confident enough to say that when he met Jill.

6 minutes ago, DearEvette said:

Regards his actual sexual encounter we saw, I too had a hard time reading that scene.  It really felt uncomfortably non-consensual the way it was presented in some ways.  On the one hand I got the sense that Colin was sexually turned on by the guy but on the other hand, I got such a rapey vibe from the guy himself. But also, Colin was very eager to get out of that house.  Not sure if it was because of the parents or the guy?  

 

I wonder if that guy was his first experience, but after he was attracted to the Pink Palace vibe where people were happy and healthy, with supportive relationships. So, like, he wasn't running away from the house because he was being assaulted, exactly, but he knew he wanted a nice relationship and not what he was getting with that guy, which was always going to be tinged with loathing. 

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2 minutes ago, sistermagpie said:

I wonder if that guy was his first experience, but after he was attracted to the Pink Palace vibe where people were happy and healthy, with supportive relationships. So, like, he wasn't running away from the house because he was being assaulted, exactly, but he knew he wanted a nice relationship and not what he was getting with that guy, which was always going to be tinged with loathing. 

True, but the fact that he didn't pursue any other sexual experiences for years after this happened sort of implies that he was scarred from that experience, doesn't it?

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1 hour ago, ruby24 said:

True, but the fact that he didn't pursue any other sexual experiences for years after this happened sort of implies that he was scarred from that experience, doesn't it?

Good point! I had thought he didn't want casual sex like the other guys, but you're right. You'd think he might have had some fun. 

Whether or not he experienced it as consensual, it didn't seem like the start of a happy sex life for him.

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it wasn't uncommon for young gay guys to claim they were bisexual because it seemed a little better than labeling themselves as gay.

Welcome to me in my early and mid 20s lol

Quote

I had thought he didn't want casual sex like the other guys, but you're right. You'd think he might have had some fun. 

It's also possible he wanted more than just casual sex, but at the same time liked the supportive environment of the PP.

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