Memorable TV Characters: ‘Brian Kinney’ [Gale Harold, Queer as Folk]

19 ene 2016

January 19, 2016
A unique character from a groundbreaking show, Brian Kinney (played by Gale Harold) embodies the hero and the anti-hero, the executioner and the savior; the distant lover and the most protective father figure you will ever find, though he is not a big fan of showing his true feelings. 

That self-defense-mechanism is a very distinctive mark of his personality. At the same time, Brian is also the loving, loyal guy whose best friend is Michael (Hal Sparks), almost his little brother and some kind of a sexless lover. Michael has always been in love with him, but for their friendship’s sake that feeling remains very much closeted during the whole series.  

Gale Harold and Hal Sparks delighted the audience for years in "Queer As Folk"

Gale Harold’s strong commitment as an actor and great talent were enough of an incentive to watch Queer as Folk every week. However, maybe part of the audience still doesn’t get in touch enough with this character’s softness and vulnerability. 

You know, they see the obvious: Brian Kinney is, by all means, a sexual predator. That is true, as it is also true that this is the way he deals with a painful childhood (he lacked paternal love and a kind of distant mother). But deep inside, he is just afraid of falling in love and getting hurt. Even so, no matter how many hot guys he tops in a week (or should we say in a single night?), he’s looking for that special one to share his life with.

Gale Harold and the great Thea Gill, who plays 'Lindsay' ('Gus'' mother). 

So another memorable Queer as Folk character, Justin (Randy Harrisson), enters the scene and changed Brian’s life forever. The highly successful advertising executive suddenly finds himself at a crossroads, and realizes for the very first time that there is room in his heart for someone else. Actually, it is the hot blond teenager the one who makes him think about building a nest within that luxurious, flamboyant condo that he owns. 

'Brian', 'Justin' (Randy Harrison) y 'Daphne' (Makyla Smith) in one of the most remembred sequence of "Queer as Folk".

Therefore, after years of rejecting any kind of emotional relationship, Kinney finally find his match. This is, of course, according to his own rules, to avoid any kind of heteronormativity-translated to gay relationships that he hates so much. In other words, he can still sleep with any number of men he wants.

Gale Harold touched the audience’s heart with his impeccable performance (and turned it on too, of course, but that’s another story). There are many memorable scenes to discuss, like the one when he’s holding Michael while saying goodbye to his father. 

Maybe the best of all them is the one closing the first season: that livid, broken and speechless man completely in shock after Justin’s prom bashing proved how great he is as an actor, and also completely exposed Brian’s heart to his followers. As a fan of the show I can say this was a gift itself.

Brian is the one who is never afraid to tell you the truth, right in front of your face. He can break your heart, but surprisingly, he’s also the one who will help you heal any wound. In addition, he is the loving father of the most adorable baby on Earth: Gus (his sonny boy), a living proof that even the toughest men are capable of loving unconditionally. 

Brian Kinney's rawness was criticized by some activists who thought the character reinforced negative LGBT stereotypes. Far away from that, his personality, mindset and memorable quotes are just a celebration of life, love and sex. "No apologies and no regrets" he says, and maybe the rest of us should follow his example.

Thanks to Gale and Randy for their amazing performances! 

'Brian Kinney'
From Queer as Folk [2000-2005]
Created by Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman 
Played by Gale Harold

19 ene 2016