First Published: Before August 2002
       This is an OutUK Archive Item and so some of the links and information may be out of date.
Rodney Breen of reviews Channel 4's sexy new series Metrosexuality
"It's a funky, sexy soapy look at the way people are living now," says Metrosexuality's creator, Rikki Beadle-Blair. "It's not like Coronation Street, which I like, but which is about how people used to live".

The show begins with Kwame, a young man who wants to reunite his family. He tries to persuade his parents to get back together. Kwame is black. So is his Dad. So is his other Dad.

Metrosexuality is a valiant attempt to portray our modern, multicultural urban society, in which straight and gay, black, white and Asian are all just different kinds of normality. It's colourful, upbeat and inventive. It's positive. It's refreshing to see a programme where race and sexuality are not the issue.

For all its good intentions, though, Metrosexuality doesn't quite make it. It's never a good sign when the actors have to speak really quickly to deliver the complicated lines they've been given. No amount of good intentions can overcome the need for serious character development and subtle exposition. There's some serious overacting here. And in its eagerness to avoid stereotypes, the show creates some stereotypes of its own: Asian Lesbian - Straight Black - Gay White, etcetera. Nobody is vague about their orientation. Almost everyone is young and attractive. Everybody wants to have sex all the time (okay, that bit's probably true).

In the first episode there's a quiet scene in which the camp father, Max - played by Beadle-Blair himself - discusses his issues about his son, and admits he really hopes he won't turn out to be gay. It's not developed, which is a pity because it touches on the more real, complex nature of human beings.

All in all, it must be said that a programme so calculated to give apoplexy to right-wing Tory MPs cannot be all bad. But it needs to calm down, and develop. The heart is in the right place. But the head needs to do a lot of thinking.

Channel 4 Wednesdays 11.15pm weekly until 14 March


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