It’s a Sin: Phenomenal, Heart-Breaking Television

Having eagerly waited for this series for the past three months, when the boxset finally came out on Friday 22 January, I binged it in one sitting. Doctor Who’s Russel T Davis’s new series tells the story of a group of gay men, their wonderful friend Jill and their experiences during the aids epidemic in 1980s.

Perhaps the best drama in years, the heart-breaking story highlights the horror and the fear that many young gay men faced in this time. ‘It’s a Sin’ does not shy away from hard truths, showing how awfully many were treated at the time, such as being imprisoned by the police for simply having the disease or being denied a mortgage if you were a gay man as you were too high a risk. The show doesn’t shy away from showing gay sex, something that is fiercely underrepresented in our media. The show celebrates gay sexuality while also showing us the very act that transmitted the virus. It’s this duality that is a key theme in the show, constantly showing us the wonders and the horrors of gay life in the 80s. 

Davis’s writing introduced us to such wonderful, complex characters that you find yourself deeply caring and rooting for just in the first episode. The young cast, many of whom have never been on screen before, give such stellar performances that my heart broke for them at least five times an episode.

Never in my life, have I cried so much during a TV series and trust me, I love a good cry. A heart-warming, yet devastating story that blends the characters fictional lives with tragic history is incredible television that should be a must watch for years to come. 

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Niamh Brook

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December 2021
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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

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