May 29, 2018
Tales of the City: Gay Guys, San Francisco, Who Cares?
"And they're historically vital! Gay author Armistead Maupin originally published them in serial form in the San Francisco Chronicle, back when gay characters were unheard-of in mainstream literature!"
"And you lived in San Francisco! They will resonate strongly with your experiences!"
"And they're hilarious! You've never laughed so much in your life! You'll love them!"
This is not the least bit humorous. It's dull, dull, dull!
She moves into 28 Barbary Lane, where her free-spirit landlady, Anna Madrigal, tells her, "My dear, I'm not opposed to anything," and gives her a marijuana joint as a housewarming gift. Mary Anne is determined not to be shocked.
My life in San Francisco was nothing like this!
She goes shopping, sees two guys, and wonders if they might be gay. She's determined not to be shocked, if they are.
Maupin eases into the revelation of their gayness. I guess he had to be very, very careful, writing for heterosexuals in the 1970s.
I can't go on. I'm so very, very, very bored.
But sooner or later someone will start praising the books again, and I'll try again.
I already know what happens next: Mary Ann befriends a gay man named Mouse. He starts dating A-gay gynecologist Jon Fielding, who is dying, Mona Ramsey dates D'Orothea Wilson, and Mary Anne has an affair with Beauchamp Day. Anna Madrigal turns out to be a MTF transwoman, who has an affair with Beauchamp's father-in-law, who is dying.
Got all that?
Through eight books and thirty years, Mary Ann, Mouse, and their huge group of friends encounter angst and tragedy as life hits them with unemployment, failed romances, homophobia, transphobia, death -- lots of death -- and AIDS -- lots of AIDS.
This by you is humor?
More recently, the characters have been getting way old -- like, they remember the 1960s old -- and starting to ruminate on their mortality. Yes, they are going to die. So am I. Why would I want to read about it?
Why would anyone think it was funny?
Thomas Gibson as Beauchamp Day.)
I can't think of any other reason to care about Tales of the City