In Russell T. Davies’s magnificent British miniseries “It’s a Sin,” rebellion, pleasure, sexuality, and desperation define the days and ways of a group of young homosexual men in 1980s London. The five-episode drama offers a sympathetic window—dressed by a top toe ensemble that has been expertly cast—into lives that have been affected and demolished by the precipitation of AIDS in recent years, even if its protagonists attempt to live freely out of their own closets.
It’s a Sin cast, Olly Alexander as Ritchie Tozer, Omari Douglas as Roscoe Babatunde, and Callum Scott Howells as Colin Morris-Jones, all of whom relocate to London. Jill Baxter, Ash Mukherjee, and Gregory Finch respectively play Lydia West, Nathaniel Curtis, and David Carlyle. The ensemble is the one that primarily concentrates on the show together. Keeley Hawes, Shaun Dooley, Tracy Ann Oberman, Neil Patrick Harris, and Stephen Fry were among the actors cast.
Roscoe, the tartly sarcastic resident queen, is played by Omari Douglas, who escaped his Nigerian immigrant family to live freely as a gay guy in London. Colin (Callum Scott Howells) is a tweed-clad introvert who works at a London clothing shop under the leering surveillance of a scary, corpulent man employer. Gregory (David Carlyle), whom the gang affectionately refers to as “Gloria”, is considerably more advanced in his gay journey. They relocate together to a shabby flophouse, colorfully decorated and called the Pink Palace, where Jill is a hub for all of them.
The latter was a raucous celebration of gay metropolitan living led by three buddies who represented different phases of exploration as they embraced life as hot single guys. It was essentially a magnificent dream meant to oppose both the historical merit and harm of such representations.
What it didn’t do was pay much attention to the darkness that had given birth to such freedom and that still hung over the lives of its Canal Street revelers. In short, it didn’t address the consequences of Aids on the homosexual community.
(Image source: theguardian.com)
In the fourth episode, some members of the gang participate in a public demonstration that begins peacefully until the police arrive with nightsticks. It’s one of the most difficult situations to witness, but it’s also one of the most inspiring and uplifting. In principle, tragedies shouldn’t be much fun, but in It’s a Sin, the moments that will make you laugh are just as necessary, if not more important, than the parts that will make you cry.
All five episodes of “It’s a Sin” are now available to watch on HBO Max.