Gay, Straight, Man, Woman: Now on DOVD: The Creator of Queer as Folk Brings Us Bob & Rose, about a Gay Man Who Falls in Love with the Last Person He Would Have Expected

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Bob & Rose * Written by Russell T. Davies * Directed by Julian Farino and Joe Wright * Starring Alan Davies and Lesley Sharp * Shout! Factory

"I'm not changing--I'm just adding a bit on top." That's how Bob (Alan Davies), a shlubby gay teacher in his late 30s, explains the fact that he's fallen in love with Rose (Lesley Sharp), an office manager who fears her social life is limited to boozy, cackling nights out with the girls.

It would be great to force timid American television programmers to watch the brilliant Bob & Rose, which proves once again that Queer as Folk's British creator, Russell T. Davies, is writing some of the sharpest and sweetest material anywhere about fags and breeders and this world we all share. With the sort of seeming effortlessness that only the most accomplished artists can muster, Davies creates characters who are gay, straight, old, and young, and makes them feel vital and true.

Over the course of the six-hour miniseries we track the complete cycle of Bob and Rose's unusual courtship. After a late-night meeting the two take a stab at dating, although Rose's discovery of Bob's sexual orientation throws a wrench into things. Also complicating matters is Holly (Jessica Stevenson), who acts like Bob's best friend while doing everything she can to subvert his relationships with men or with Rose. Holly, alas, wants him for herself, gayness be damned.

And Bob, as he falls further in love with Rose, makes it clear again and again that he hasn't stopped being gay. That little character element is one of many deft touches that Davies brings to this story, which has lots of fascinating twists and subplots. …