The recent tla releasing DVD of Series One (my people call them seasons) of the British gay-themed drama "Outings" introduces American audiences to a show that aptly is described as a cross between "Queer as Folk," which depicts the tales of the lives and loves of a group of youngish gay men, and "Skins," which is about younger and more dystopic characters. The two "source" programs having UK and US versions creates hope for "Outings" to follow suit.
The blokes who like blokes at the center of "Outings" are the sad sack Kane, the not-so-ambiguous Tim, and the nice guy Kiegan. Each lad takes center stage in each of the three episodes that comprise this inaugural season.
"Outings" immediately sets the tone of the show by having the very first image being one of Kane being above on-again off-again (no pun intended) boyfriend Tom while diligently trying to play the bottom role. The first problem is that Kane is having trouble taking one for the team. Tom not being sympathetic compounds the issue. The good news for the audience is that this interaction is a perfect example of something that is tragic when it happens to someone else being very funny to the rest of us.
The fallout from the poop figuratively hitting the fan between Kane and Tom for at least the second time in their relationship includes the former reverting to his habit of moving in with his mother. Equal parts hilarity and drama ensue regarding that development.
This pilot also establishes that Tim is a flamboyant young man with an open history of homosexual activity and current involvement in the gay lifestyle but also an understanding (up to a point) girlfriend.
The aforementioned Kiegan is the third member of our main trio; his role in the group and his personality put him in the middle between Kane and Tim. The drama surrounding Kiegan largely relates to the conflict between his lifestyle causing him to mostly being estranged from his family and said relatives acting to involve him in their lives. The brother of Kiegan being both the father of an infant and the fiance of the baby mommy is the source of additional tension.
The very apt middle episode that centers around Kiegan has him attending the christening of his niece only to his reaching the end of his limits causing a further rift. Meanwhile, an obnoxious fag hag from the past of Tim reappearing causes highly entertaining chaos in his life.
Tim both shines and shows his true colors in the (horribly teasing) final episode of the season. He chooses an '80s pop star costume party theme for a birthday party for Lucy. Said fag hag showing up, a boy putting heavy moves on Tim, and Kane having a horrible date is only part of the fun.
Having realistic developments and a cast that looks like the 20-somethings that you pass on the streets makes this show that centers around universal and timeless themes makes "Outings" truly a show for everyone 15 and up. Sexual. familial, and companion incompatibility have existed for centuries and will be around so long as there is life on earth. Further, many men with a history of homosexuality repeat it.
The DVD special features consist of deleted scenes and an aptly titled gag reel.
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