WHAT'S UNEXPECTED about the programme is the sheer strength of the writing, the depth of the characters, the fact that Queer as Folk shows gay men caught with their trousers down - a warts-and-all gay drama with the emphasis firmly on the drama. Shocking? Yes, but shocking because it's normal, everyday. Being gay is not the drama here, it's the starting-point. And it's about time that was shown on the box. (Toby Sawyer)
QUEER AS FOLK proves that we need censorship. Year by year, the boundaries of what is deemed permissible are pushed wider and wider apart. Certainly we shouldn't be at liberty to watch naked actors having relentless homosexual sex. Any nation which allows this without any voices raised in dissent is lacking in both wisdom and self-respect. It's hell-bent on destruction. (Lynda Lee Potter)
IF IT didn't have the novelty of gay sex, would anyone have made a fuss about it? Or got excited about it in a positive way, rather than because of its depiction of under-age man-boy sex? Its cynicism could just be a stab at chic metropolitan knowingness, but you can imagine it leaving a nasty taste in many viewers' mouths.
CALL ME old-fashioned but I think sex is best carried out in private between two consulting adults of the opposite sex. It appears to be something of a rarity these days. On television, people are at it all over the place with all sorts. If the opening episode of Queer as Folk was anything to go by, the bare bum count is heading for an all-time record. (Tony Purnell)
SMART, FUNNY, beautifully acted and squelchingly explicit, this drama leaves us in no doubt as to what gay men do to each other. What it may do, though, is present a humane, challenging picture of a section of our society in which they may, at long last, recognise themselves without wincing. Is this the end of television as we know it? I do hope so. (Allison Pearson)