The cinematic history of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City — the TV adaptations of the San Francisco writer’s columns, and later books, about gay life in the City by the Bay — is an amazing long but also fluid one. The first six-part miniseries aired on PBS in 1993, and features fairly explicit gay sex scenes and dialogue, and was peeks most of us had of Laura Linney, playing naive Mary Ann Singleton. The rest of the cast included Olympia Dukakis as the mysterious Anna Madrigal, Barbara Garrick as DeDe Day, Thomas Gibson as her deceptive husband Beauchamp Day and Billy Campbell as Jon. They all returned five years later for the Showtime sequel More Tales of the City (with new actors in the key roles of Michael Tolliver and Mona Ramsey) for six more episodes, then again three years later for Further Tales of the City (once again with Linney, Dukakis, Campbell and Garrick in tow). Then nothing in the intervening 18 years … until now.
A new 10-part series, simply titled Tales of the City, follows a now-middle-aged Mary Ann returning to the friends she left behind at 28 Barbary Lane. And once again we have Linney and Dukakis back. That’s 26 years of a recurring TV show. Pretty awesome. The series arrives on Netflix later this year, and here are some first-look pictures from it.
— Arnold Wayne Jones