We’re Ready to Cry Over Netflix’s Adaptation of Tales of the City
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Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis are back at 28 Barbary Lane. Netflix has dropped the first trailer for their upcoming miniseries Tales of the City, inspired by Armistead Maupin’s books and the 1993 PBS adaptation that also starred Linney as Mary Ann Singleton and Dukakis as Anna Madrigal. The new series will also star Ellen Page as Shawna, Mary Ann’s daughter. If the first trailer is anything to go by, we’re going to be crying a lot when the series drops.
The original Tales of the City followed Mary Anne after she left her daughter and husband and moved to San Francisco to pursue her career. She lived on 28 Barbary Lane with landlord Anna and gay, queer, and trans housemates who ultimately helped Mary Ann find herself and grow as a person.
The Netflix series is set twenty years after this adaptation; the synopsis reads, via IndieWire, that Mary Anne will come back to “present-day San Francisco, where she is reunited with her daughter Shawna (Ellen Page) and ex-husband Brian (Paul Gross), twenty years after leaving them behind to pursue her career. Fleeing the midlife crisis that her picture-perfect Connecticut life created, Mary Ann is quickly drawn back into the orbit of Anna Madrigal (Dukakis), her chosen family and a new generation of queer young residents living at 28 Barbary Lane.”
I’m already crying based on the trailer, set to the stirring sounds of Antony and the Johnson’s “Today I Am A Boy.” This is exactly the queer narrative I want to see more of.
I am always down for found family stories, but stories of those in the LGBTQ community finding home and family together appeals to a special place in my heart. This looks to be an uplifting story of found families as well, rather than one marked by grief and sorrow. LGBTQ audiences deserve to see themselves in powerful, uplifting stories, rather than in a constant state of tragedy.
I’m also incredibly excited for Page’s turn as Shawna, a lesbian who strikes up a relationship with a character played by former Girls star Zosia Mamet. Page is a wonderful actress and I cannot wait to see her shine in this role alongside Linney, another favorite of mine. Their scenes are sure to be powerful.
Overall, this looks like a series that will focus more on uplifting the LGBTQ characters at the heart of the story rather than make them tragic archetypes. It’s important to tell queer stories beyond tragedy, and an uplifting dramedy centered on found families and finding yourself seems like the perfect vehicle to continue to explore new narratives. I cannot wait for this series, which drops June 7, and I’m sure I’ll need to stock up on tissues as I cry my way through the show.
(via IndieWire, image: Netflix)
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