We’ve got a history of morbid public service adverts in the UK: the grim reaper haunting quarries, a hapless kid getting a foot stuck in a railway line, jolly cartoons of people drowning after eating too big a fish supper.
In the ’80s I vividly remember an advert with a big tombstone falling over, warning us all about Aids.
What was it? I had no idea but it was terrifying. Could a stonemason not sort out that gravestone?
The stories of those the disease affected was completely lost behind that macabre, iconic clip, as well as the years of strident, homophobic headlines.
Russell T Davies’ It’s A Sin has arrived and it’s an attempt to tackle the issue from the perspective of gay people in the ’80s.
Aids hasn’t really been an issue tackled with humour and humanity, at least from an outsider’s perspective; more fear and revulsion.
Davies, who is shaping up to be the great British television screenwriter of our times, redresses this in a masterful manner.
His trademark humanity and humour is woven through as we watch first the formation of a new type of family – the gay friends who find support in each other – before the inevitable dark cloud of an unknown disease which starts to affect their lives.
Beyond that there’s also the soundtrack filled with ’80s bangers. Come for the drama, stay for the music.
It’s A Sin Channel 4, Friday, 9pm
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