NY Mirror

Now that the Sex and The City babes are dabbling in relationships—as boners around the country topple—it's no surprise that the Queer as Folk guys are also taking little stabs at monogamy instead of mononucleosis. At a Tower video event the other day, three of the show's leads told me that the new season is bringing a few dollops of maturity to temper all the penetration (if not enough to be downright gross).

Randy Harrison said his character, the chicken-y Justin, will recuperate, go to art school, and renegotiate his relationship with Brian—as we all should. Is he still a victim? "Not as much," Harrison said. "But that's how people like to see me best. I'm accident-prone." At that very moment, the darling boy all too perfectly knocked over some contraption by the cash register. But Harrison's not verballyclumsy. When I asked if his costars who moaned about having to wash out their mouths after kissing scenes have been properly disciplined, he said, "Yeah, they got a good thrashing!" Probably by Harrison; he next plays "a bad high school student" in a Showtime movie called Bang Bang, You're Dead. A victimizer? "A victimizer!" he said triumphantly.

In another corner, that pinchable Hal Sparkssaid hischaracter, Michael, is evolving, too, "and has to deal with the fact that his new guy slept with Brian at one point." Please—who hasn't? But Sparks's biggest concern is that the show's gay ghetto comes off more West Hollywood than Pittsburgh, "and we might be the cause of a mass exodus out of the South and into Pittsburgh." But the rush of incoming queens will makeit into a gay mecca, right? "Yeah," he said, "we might germinate a huge gay community. Just one little show—look what we can do!"

Boys will do boys: Queer as Folk’s Hal Sparks, Gale Harold, and Randy Harrison.
photo: Brian Finke
Boys will do boys: Queer as Folk’s Hal Sparks, Gale Harold, and Randy Harrison.

And look at what Brian can do—with his mouth alone. "He's still slutty," Gale Harold, who plays him, told me. (You can't expect everything to change.) "His sexual scope has been impacted by a bit of trauma, but I think he'll get it back after he mourns and grieves." I bet beforehe mourns and grieves. Harold—who was nice enough to forgive a sliming I once gave him based on erroneous info in the Post—joked to me that there'll be a Queer as Folkanimated feature, "and I think you'reup for the voice of Emmett. I can help you out. It's from the makers of Hasbro's Spiderman that never got released." Sorry, kid, I don't do voice-overs—or relationships.

Sidebar: What the fuck is everyone's problem with the upcoming gay channel? It won't add to alcoholism and domestic abuse, as one schmo said on Fox News. It's just an entertainment option, and one that will provide gay employment and programming that it's really hard to argue with, even if it doesn't answer the riddle of the Sphinx. (Does Lifetime? Does Oxygen?) Just give me a show on it and shut up!

While we're on that channel, let's talk about John Blair, who owns the state-of-the-art Chelsea bar xl and does those eternal Roxy Saturdays—the focal point of many a mass exodus from the South. As you know, his Flatiron Entertainment now owns the legendary Limelight, which has been unexpectedly granted another gasp and even a liquor license, paving the way for some real-life animated action. Blair tells me that the club—once a church, then a debauch—will be redesigned by the xl people, who've checked out nightspots from Boston to Vegas for visual inspiration. ("There are no original ideas," admits Blair, who says the "xl meets gothic" result will be unveiled in September.)

By then, we'll have a better idea of whether our new mayor is any less of a fun-dampening tyrant than the last guy. Says Blair, "I'd like to see Bloombergcontinue to do the things Rudydid that were positive, like push for club owners' accountability to neighbors, but on the other hand, you can't tie our hands behind our backs." (Speak for yourself, hon.)

Um, er, is Blair's Limelight takeover just a nominal change to throw attention away from beleaguered ex-owner Peter Gatien? "This is no front for anyone," he insisted. "Peter hasn't told me about his plans. I don't wish him any ill will, but it doesn't fit into anything we're doing." In fact, Blair's personal mantra is: "We're in the business of selling liquor, not drugs." Hopefully people will still want to go!

Moving on to the over-the-counter stuff, I know this is ancient history, but I can understand Winona Ryder's pain, having just seen her in a trailer for an Adam Sandlermovie. Still, Winnie should have come clean; the old "I was just doing research for a movie" excuse wouldn't wash even if she wasworking on a movie. Sorry, dear, but illegal acts are still illegal, even if done in the name of kitsch art (and even if celebrity justice gets you off the hook). Come on, Anthony Hopkinsisn't eating people and saying, "I'm rehearsing for the next Hannibal." I know you're crying out for help and trying to reclaim a sense of power, but sticky fingers only diminishyour power and whittle away at your dignity. Kindly realize your creative beauty, distance yourself from prescriptions and Courtney Love, and buy yourself something nice.

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