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“It’s a Sin”, “Prides” and the AIDS years in the series

Since March 22, Canal + has been broadcasting It’s a Sin, a flamboyant series by Russell T. Davies, to whom we also owe Years and Years and Queer as Folk. Homophobia, exclusion of HIV-positive people, lack of information and political management… The series depicts the devastating beginnings of the AIDS epidemic.

Of Prides on Amazon Prime, at Pose on Netflix through Emergency room… How has the representation of characters affected by HIV, the AIDS virus, evolved in the series? Can they help change the way we look at the disease? In SERIELAND, Eva Roque is interested in It’s a Sin and other series that evoke the AIDS years, with serivorous journalist Margaux Baralon and Fred Colby, blogger, activist and editor at Remaides, the journal of the association for the fight against HIV AIDES.

The recce of the week: It’s a Sin

A group of young British people settled in London in 1981, but the time for recklessness was brief. The AIDS virus is spreading. The epidemic affects their friends and companions and turns their lives upside down.

Designer Russell T. Davies (Years and Years, Queer as Folk) succeeds, despite the seriousness of the subject, in instilling a wind of frenzy and enthusiasm. It’s an informative series that realistically deals with some form of denial of the epidemic when it first emerged. It aptly testifies to the ignorance of the disease and the fears of some homosexuals that the virus is a conspiracy directed against them … It’s a Sin also portrays the homophobic climate of the 1980s, the loneliness of HIV patients and the ravages of this disease.

The backstage chronicle: How Emergencies changed the image of HIV-positive people

In 1995, the writers of the cult medical series Urgences decide that one of their recurring characters will be HIV-positive. Far from the usual clichés, Jeanie Boulet is a black woman, heterosexual, suffering from HIV who nevertheless continues to live like everyone else.

SERIELAND also recommends you: Staged

David Tennant and Michael Sheen, two famous comedians were to star in a play but the coronavirus pandemic has shaken their plans. Their director, Simon Evans, manages to convince them to continue the rehearsals by videoconference …

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Staged perfectly masters British humor. Connection problems, lack of privacy, home schooling … The series makes us relive the joys of confinement. Between fiction and reality, it blurs the genres. The actors play their own role, by using self-mockery, they also participate in giving a satirical vision of the life of an actor.

Guest: Fred Colby

Fred Colby has been a blogger, HIV activist for 10 years and editor for Remaides, the journal of the AIDES association. He is also the author of the book You don’t have AIDS, I hope published by Librinova editions.

The guest’s crush: Murder

Annalize Keating, a respected lawyer and professor of criminal law, welcomes, as every year, a handful of promising students to her firm. But everything goes wrong, when his young recruits find themselves involved in a dark murder case …

Murder is a series by Shonda Rhimes, to whom we also owe Grey’s Anatomy and The Bridgertons Chronicle. There are elements dear to his fictions: characters with complex psychology and a fair representation of black actors. In Murder, Annalize Keating, played by Viola Davis, is particularly nuanced. She is a powerful black woman, bisexual, plagued by many neuroses. We can also underline the audacity of the series. She is one of the few to have dared to portray a homosexual couple confronted with HIV on a national television channel.


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Author and presentation: Eva Roque

Director: Christophe Pierrot

Editorial project manager: Timothée Magot

Columnists: Clémence Olivier, Margaux Baralon

Distribution and publishing: Salomé Journo

Preparation: Magali Butault

Graphics: Karelle Villais

Direction d’Europe 1 Studio: Olivier Lendresse

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