STREAMING: ‘Queer as Folk’ with Randy Harrison and Gale Harold returns via Netflix

This photo I took of Randy Harrison in 2010 has traveled around the world.

This photo I took of Randy Harrison in 2010 has traveled around the world.

Randy Harrison Returns
by Larry Murray

(Part of a series about streaming entertainment vs. commercial cable and satellite)

Update: We’ve checked and 27 Discs, 5 seasons of Queer as Folk are now available through the Netflix streaming library in the USA.

The ability to stream QAF (in the US at least) has seen the original stars come together. Above Randy Harrison and Gale Harold at the last Q&A panel at the QAF Con in Bilboa Spain on 3/3014.

The ability to stream QAF (in the US at least) has seen the original stars appear together. Above Randy Harrison and Gale Harold at the last Q&A panel at the QAF Con in Bilboa Spain on 3/30/14.

In what has to be the best lineup of new additions to Netflix in a long time, the precedent-setting series Queer as Folk will finally be available for instant watching on that service beginning February 1. Queer as Folk ran for five years, from 2000-2005 and stars Berkshire regular Randy Harrison, plus Gale Harold and Hal Sparks. Similar to the British series, but franker and more graphic sexually, it made news all around the world by portraying the lives and loves of a group of gay friends living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in a forthright manner.

Gale Harold (l) and Ramdy Harrison in Queer as Folk.

Gale Harold (l) and Ramdy Harrison in Queer as Folk.

What better series to enjoy as Valentine’s Day approaches?

Actor Randy Harrison who has been a regular at the Berkshire Theatre Festival until recently has pursued some of the most difficult roles since leaving that show – and Justin’s fictional sexual escapades with Brian (Gale Harold) – behind him to delve into more heady stuff like Shakespeare, Beckett and cutting edge theatre with his QWAN group in New York City. Despite the fact that everyone in the cast has moved on, some of the show’s fans still want to believe that Harrison and Gale Harold are still meeting secretly, but those wishes are not based on fact.

Netflix will stream the series with Randy Harrison beginning Feb. 1, 2014..

Netflix will stream the series with Randy Harrison beginning Feb. 1, 2014..

Still Queer as Folk – which has played on television systems all over the world – has spawned dozens of Randy Harrison and Gale Harold fan sites in places as far-flung as China, Italy and even Russia. Closeted homophobe Vladimir Putin will be hard pressed to keep the show’s fans down in his country, they are relentless in their admiration for the series and its actors.

Also coming in February on Netflix is the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard and a whole flock of other films of more recent vintage.

For lovers of political drama there will be episodes of House of Cards as it premieres its second season on February 14, which means a lot of people are going to be spending their Valentines Day trying to both please their loved one while also sneaking in House of Cards.

Also the final season of Breaking Bad is coming to Netflix meaning all five of the show’s seasons will be available for free to subscribers. If you haven’t checked out this series starring Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, and Aaron Paul, you should. It’s about a former chemistry teacher stricken with cancer, who cooks meth to provide for his family but finds his morals and chances of living a long life increasingly compromised, and not by cancer.

Best of all, the whole series is now available on demand and without a single commercial interruption either.

20 thoughts on “STREAMING: ‘Queer as Folk’ with Randy Harrison and Gale Harold returns via Netflix

  1. Larry – At last. QAF will be aired again in the US and without the censoring and the awkward deletion of scenes to allow for more commercials that occurred with LOGO. A correction if I may – QAF ran 5 seasons: 2000-01, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

  2. Pity the Queer as Folk series has been unceremoniously and devastatingly altered by replacing almost completely the original soundtrack. I would strongly recommend to look for other sources if you intend to watch it, because with the original songs, the series has lost also its heart bit. IT IS NOT THE SAME! 😦

    • We do fall in love with soundtracks, don’t we. But for those who have not seen the series before, the differences in the soundtrack will not even be noticed. When the series was made, streaming rights for music were not even in the contracts so when Netflix came along, some of the corporations that hold these rights decided to try to hold them hostage financially and they could not afford to pay their ransom. The alternatives are to stream the series on Netflix, or to borrow or buy the DVD’s.

      • The original iconic songs have been changed to horrible semi-sound-alikes. To suggest that people unfamiliar with the series won’t notice is to suggest anyone who hasn’t already seen the series is an imbecile. The worst of the atrocities is the replacement of “Save the Last Dance For Me” with whatever wretched stand-in they found. Dreadful.

      • Also the song Proud that played in the first episode with Brian and Michael on the hospital room was also played on the final episode with Brian and Michael which I feel tied up the show perfectly so that was ruined by Netflix. Once I realized they messed with the soundtrack I stopped streaming and got my dvds out, I hope everyone else does the same.

  3. I was never able to watch the show when it was orig on Showtime, so I find that this is really a good series. I also love the music that comes along with it on Netflix and so am I wondering where can I find the ending songs that are with the ending credits ?. I have seached and searched with no avail..Can anyone help with that?..Thanks Mike

    • I’ve been watching QAF on Netflix and there’s a song that places at the end of Season 4, Episode 10 while Michael and Ben dance that I know is not the original song that had played on Showtime but I loved it and Ive been searching and searching all over the internet trying to figure out what it is, but cannot find it anywhere. Since you were having a similar problem I was hoping that you could point me in the right direction or maybe you can help me figure out who the hell this song is by and the name of it.

  4. I just subscribed to NETFLIX for other reasons and got overly excited to see “Queer as Folk” in the TV section. I started playing the first episode ready to reminiscence after all these years and noticed the music was different from the first moment it started playing and jumped to the web to see what the deal was. Now I know. I cannot watch this with the crappy music. Even if I never saw this show before, the way it was dubbed in sounds awful. There is nothing recognizable about any of the music I heard so far except when they were racing through the hospital hallway to greet baby Gus. I decided to stop watching after that. I had no idea that music rights were still an issue after filming and editing. I figured it was a sealed piece of work. I wonder how much more content on NETFLIX I am interested in has replacement music. How disappointing. It’s only my free trial. If this effects a ton of content… I am not sure that I want to continue with my subscription. More research to be done on this another day.

  5. Denise,
    I have been a Netflix user for a couple of years now and generally the original soundtracks stay the same in the instant streaming. I have heard Dawson’s Creek and a couple others have been altered, as well as QAF. The main reason I believe is simply due to the age of the shows. Times have changed and licensing has become stricter. Unfortunately, tracks like “Proud” (which was the QAF theme song) and “Save the Last Dance For Me” were cut from the Netflix version and replaced with mediocre and similar sounding tracks. Which kind of baffles me because they were able to keep the credit music the same across all five season, “Spunk (Thank you)” and the other dub-insturmental from seasons four and five. Honestly and generally, I feel like if you are a QAF virgin and want to get the full effect of the show, pay the extra money and stream it from Amazon or rent it from a video store (or find a friend that has the DVDs and watch theirs) because it is truly not the same show without the original soundtrack.

  6. the version that showtime is currently airing monday through friday is the same netflix “edited” version. It took me a few half watches or random episodes to catch that some of the songs weren’t right. today i watched S2 E4 and noticed the 2 songs at the end of the pride episode were both changed and sounds horrible compared to the original songs. im very upset i lost my dvds in a house fire and can no longer watch the episodes in their original glory 😦

  7. I would like to remind readers that the soundtrack has been changed in all the rebroadcasts, whether on Netflix or Showtime. As explained in the most recent issue of OUT Magazine: “Viewers who are just finding the show for the first time, or returning for a repeat experience, should be forewarned that its not quite the show you may remember. The soundtrack was an essential part of Queer as Folk’s appeal, and many of the songs have been replaced with bad replicas of classics due to music licensing agreements. So if you remember that moment when Brian (Gale Harold) is receiving a blowjob at Babylon while The Stooges’ “I Need Somebody” blares over the speakers, you’ll be disappointed to find it absent. Despite these changes, the show remains a bellweather for much of the progress of queer representation on American TV in the years that followed.” It happens a lot, especially when license agreements are only for five or ten years.

  8. I have NETFLIX & wouldn’t trade it for anything…I have watched QAF 15 times & started first season again 2 weeks ago. Yes, I would like to meet Gale & Randy in person and put handcuffs on them for life……Love to them both from West Virginia. Don’t live to far from Pennsylvania border from Morgantown, wv

  9. I love Gale and Randy, and wish the writers had given them a different ending. They did not have to end it the way they did. They could have still been together. After being without each other for so long, they could have given them that much. I am so disappointed. They are good together!

  10. I love Randy & Gale together. Hard to believe those love scenes were not for real (especially the kissing between the two of them). I watched the reruns on Showtime first, then bought the whole series from Amazon and was disappointed to see some of the music in the first season changed, such as Brian’s scarf dance, the music B&J danced to at the prom, and the very beautiful somber music played as Justin is taken from the ambulance and Michael joins Brian at the hospital. I liked Showtime’s version much better.

  11. What is the end/credits song for S1E19? Not the original but the one used in the Showtime streaming version. Listen to the lyrics. It is haunting…still a fool for you.

  12. on NETFLIX version of this episode the New Order song ” True Faith” was changed to another. Can anyone tell me the name and the artist of the song??? Thanks.

  13. Really? I am addicted to your queer as folk. I was busy raising children in 2001 but listened to the soundtrack when I was a runner. Now I watch it and so in live with the message it sends. I worked with the HIV positive and AIDS community in the 80s when it was a death sentence. People need to be loved no matter what💋💋💋💋❤️

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