Released almost five years after the groundbreaking 1993 miniseries, this adaptation of Armistead Maupin’s second entry in the “28 Barbary Lane” book series is not nearly as addictive and charming as its predecessor. It’s clear that, despite being set in San Francisco, this was actually shot in Montreal, which is a strange choice for a series that’s as much about the city as it is about its characters. To add to the tonal disconnect, some of the actors from the first series are back but others have been re-cast, and it’s completely distracting – in particular, Nina Siemaszko replaces Chloe Webb as Mona, and seems to be playing a different character altogether, and the final result is perplexing and inconsistent. Additionally, Marcus D’Amico, who originally played Michael in the 1993 series, is replaced by Paul Hopkins, who imbues the character with far too much confidence, flying in the face of how the character is actually written. Add to this a series of strange plot developments that aren’t as fun or clever as we’re expected to believe, and the final result is so-so at best.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)