How about some good news? Netflix is developing a new installment of Armistead Maupin’s beloved Tales Of The City. The original version aired on PBS in 1993, and the Conservatives totally lost their shit over it. You know how the hate PBS and LGBTQ people. It won the Peabody Prize and was Emmy Award nominated. The miniseries was originally planned for HBO who dropped the project because it was considered too controversial (isn’t that just too nutty?). It showed up again for two seasons on Showtime as More Tales Of The City (1998), and Further Tales Of The City (2001).
The Netflix limited series would welcome back original stars Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis. Maupin is set to executive produce and Alan Poul, who directed the original, is to return as well. Michael Cunningham, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist of The Hours, has written the script. Tales Of The City was one of the first television shows in the USA to show LGBTQ characters in a way that avoided clichés, and portrayed them with honesty and heart.
The original series and the Showtime reboots followed the original books faithfully while opening-up the story for the camera.
Tales Of The City are actually a series of nine books. The first four were originally serialized prior to their novelization, appearing as regular installments in the San Francisco Chronicle, with the fifth serialized in the San Francisco Examiner.
Tales Of The City follows the adventures of Mary Ann Singleton, a Midwest girl who moves to San Francisco in the mid-1970s. She rents an apartment in a rather magical building at 28 Barbary Lane, owned by mysterious and marijuana-growing landlord Anna Madrigal. She becomes friends with other people in the building: sweet gay boy Michael Tolliver, bisexual hippy Mona Ramsey, ladies’ man Brian Hawkins, and the sinister Norman Neal Williams. There is lots of sex of all sorts, drugs, and plenty of intrigue. It is breathtakingly funny, but also honest and sensitive about issues like coming out of the closet, transgender identity, the horrible era when the plague first appeared, and the wonderful concept of choosing your own family family.
Variety, the showbiz daily, says that the Netflix series is not a done deal, but everything seems to be falling into place.
Current television offers LGBTQ characters of all stripes, but none are as loved as the people who populate Tales Of The City, and after Netflix so rudely cancelled Sense8 without the chance for a finale, bringing Tales Of The City back with that creative team seems like the least that they could do.