Matrimonial madness hits Pittsburgh's gay scene on Sunday's Queer as Folk (10 pm/ET on Showtime). Spoiler alert: If you don't want a pre-nuptial preview, read no further. For fans who can't wait to learn how QAF will finally weigh in on the gay-marriage controversy, the scoop is served up here!
Here's the sitch: The gang boards a bus bound for Canada, where they'll kick off the AIDS charity bike ride. Just before departure, Sharon Gless's Debbie receives a surprise proposal from her policeman beau. That inspires Prof. Ben Bruckner (Robert Gant) to pop the question to Deb's stunned son, Michael (Hal Sparks). If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. "Despite their ups and downs," Gant tells TV Guide Online, "Ben and Michael's relationship is the most stable one on the show."
After four seasons of booty-shakin' at Club Babylon, it's about time some of QAF's dudes made honest men of one another. "I'm very happy with the direction the show's taken," Gant says. "The writers really found their legs in the third season. Last year, the show started to become more about family. This year, it became more political, too."
A single, openly gay man offscreen, the 36-year-old Gant was thrilled to play out his own same-sex TV wedding. "As a kid, I really didn't anticipate that gay marriage could come about in my lifetime," he admits, "so I love that we're tackling this issue right in the middle of it. The writers really have their finger on the pulse."
Still, you may wonder why Ben and Michael are marrying in Canada, since American marriage could soon be a legal option for same-sex couples. "What a wonderful problem to have, really," Gant responds. "We didn't want to tell the story and be behind the mark, since this situation changes daily in the news. And there was discussion of whether the wedding should shift to the States. What it came down to is it's not yet legal in the United States, even to the extent that, for the moment, it's legal in Massachusetts. Our characters live in Pennsylvania."
Gant admits that he was initially disappointed by the lack of pageantry surrounding the Bruckner-Novotny nuptials. (Ben proposes on the bus and marries Michael in Toronto's city hall.) "It was tough because I had my idea of what I wanted the wedding to be," he chuckles. "I wanted something a bit more ceremonial with more friends around. But who's to say? I have two visions in my head of what I'd ultimately like--one picture has all my family and friends around, and one is just my future partner and I.
"On the show, it's interesting because Debbie doesn't get to go all out," he continues. "Everything's very impromptu since they're on the road. I think it's because the writers intended to strip away all the fluff and focus on the simple exchange of commitment between these two men. It's very cool."