Years and Years front man has taken to the screen and brings liberation, sexuality and a looming epidemic to our Friday nights.
The first half an hour of channel 4’s eighties hedonism sets a scene for three young boys from different backgrounds who find their way into the gay scene of London and escape the small town views that they come from.
Russel T Davis creates a dream state full of alcohol, sex and freedom that seems unimaginable for homosexuals in this decade but can only be delivered by England’s sexually liberated capital city.
The three boys Ritchie (Olly Alexander), Roscoe (Omari Douglas) and Colin (Callum Scott Howells) meet at the start of their new London life with character development even within the first hour.
Their coincidental meeting leads to the three of them and Ritchie’s friend Jill (Lydia West) renting their own house together creating the biggest shock of the episode the fact that people could ever live in London for £25 a week!
As the second advert break comes to an end so does the party- filled, happy hysteria that has been seen so far, it fades into a darker side that has only been hinted at before.
The modern audience watching this know the deadly outbreak for gay people in the 1980’s was AIDS but from the characters point of view, this new disease is a mystery to all.
Word of the looming pandemic is just shadowing over the canal street house through newspapers and word of mouth, Colin’s new friend from work, Henry (Henry Neil Patrick- Harris) who had previously created an idealistic lifestyle for a gay man in the 80’s has now been struck with a mysterious illness and is left alone and isolated.
Keeping this dark and foreseeing section to just a 15 minute section it meant that before long we were back to the comedy and fluorescent colours that the boys brought to the screen but the ominous disease will not be quickly forgotten.
As the first episode draws to an end the connection the writer has created for us with these young boys can only leave a fear for what may happen in the episodes to come.