Why Wreck and It's a Sin Are Game Changers | Rock & Art
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Why Wreck and It’s a Sin Are Game Changers

Over the past two years, we’ve had two programs on TV that have got many people talking, as well as changed the game in regard to group representation. I am in fact talking about the BBC Comedy Mystery series, Wreck, and Channel 4 series It’s a Sin. The latter was by legendary writer Russell T Davies.

Game Changers For LGBT+ Representation on TV 

Now what makes these shows game changers is that the lead characters, most or all the individuals depicted, are LGBT+. This is a first for television series, as it is a rarity in itself to have a full-length series where the leads are from a minority group.

Now I openly admit that even though I never fully watched Wreck I was somewhat impressed that for once the BBC actually commissioned a programme in which gay/bisexual men and women were the main leads. It was It’s a Sin that I watched within its entirety, and I absolutely loved everything about it. 

Why Wreck and It's a Sin Are Game Changers | Rock & Art

Now I know that we’ve had programs where LGBT+ featured prominently such as the likes Queer as Folk, but heterosexual actors portrayed them.

The truly groundbreaking part of the casting was that all the male leads were gay, bisexual, or queer. I have to admit that when I first read that part of the reviews and interviews about the series, I was genuinely surprised and thoroughly intrigued.

Wreck, the comedy-mystery which was aired on BBC 1 last year also had two gay characters as its leads, a gay man and a lesbian woman.


Not bad for a public service broadcaster whose past involvement with the LGBT+ Community hasn’t always been supportive or positive. Thankfully I’ve  learned that the program has been commissioned for a second series, which is a gooden 

Now I admit that this was the one that I didn’t watch, I mean I did know about it and watched a little but just wasn’t in the mood at the time. Also mainly because I’d have been watching something else on another channel.

Since the 90’s there’s been a change on British TV in the way lead figures are made, and by that, I do mean having who are either Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex or Queer etc. Now I have conducted research on this issue and I am aware of The Naked Civil Servant in the mid 70’s Colin and Barry on EastEnders in the 80s, that’s two examples. Just two.

As someone myself who was born in the mid-’80s, I didn’t get to see any gay characters in any TV shows until the ’90s. Let me guide you through some of the LGBT+ characters I remember through my years.

Eastenders: Tony and Simon, Sonia and Naomi, Dr Fred Fonseca.

Holby City; Sam Colloby, 

Casual; Ben Saunders and Tony Vincent 

Coronation Street; Sean Tully 

And some of them weren’t even played by LGBT+ actors. If you look at all roles those characters filled here are just a few I recall 

– The philander 

– The bit on the side (if a coming-out storyline was happening)

– Comedy sidekick 

– Unlucky in life or love

– Useless Herbert (if pursuing someone ultimately unavailable)

– The scheming knifing sod

Not exactly great but that’s pretty much all there was to go on and hardly fulfilled anything even remotely positive unless you genuinely were experiencing something hauntingly similar. Now I know that you could look at that list and tell me I’ve missed one aka the effeminate one but I frequently resist the urge to put them in as I genuinely think that that’s somewhat unfair. Mainly as you can still get those so-called stereotypes in the positive roles.

Since then we’ve had a greater change in the roles out there;

– The Leader

– Loving Parent 

– The sportsman 

– Law Enforcer 

– Army type

– The hero 

– Loveable rogue

– The intellectual 

And that’s just the first ones that come into mind, and many of these roles have been used as a profession of an LGBT+ character portrayed by an actual LGBT+ actor. As a proud Gay/Autistic guy myself, I am proud that these changes are happening and hope that the trend continues.

As the changes take further progress bit by bit it can only help make more positive ways that LGBT+ characters are represented on TV. Hopefully, as we go down the better routes and encourage more, proper game changes we can finally say that long-awaited goodbye to the negative stereotyping. 

Who knows, it might not be long till we see a prime-time TV police drama where the two main characters are two gay men.