A Long-Awaited Return
Noah’s Arc is a comedy-drama tv series created by Patrik Ian-Polk about four gay Black men and their relationships in Los Angeles, California. It was the only one of its kind in an already small pool of queer content in general for its time in the mid-2000s. We also had Queer as Folk and The L Word, but Noah’s Arc was the only one to feature the Black queer perspective front and center. It was groundbreaking and gave: representation, meaning, endless eye candy, Black gay love and joy, and answers to un-askable questions for countless queer people at the time (including this writer). Getting only two amazing seasons starting in 2005 before its ridiculous cancelation in 2006, a follow-up film in 2008, and a special in 2020, fans have been clamoring for the return of the series proper for years.
Now that Noah’s Arc is officially coming back, here’s what we’d like to see
From the moment the show was canceled the first time, to the release of the film, to the special, and up until now, fans have been vocal about a resurgence of the show. On April 23rd, 2023, fans got their wish when series creator and writer Patrik Ian-Polk announced the return of the IP, to the immense delight of fans everywhere.
Here are some things that fans would surely appreciate upon the series’ triumphant return:
The Couples We Love with New Developments (and Drama)
We want to see our main couples happy, but not without the juicy drama! Show us how some (or all, all is good too) of them keep the spice alive after years together. How serious (or exclusive) did Ricky and Junito become after the special? Those with kids, we want to see them and how they interact with our beloved guys, and not just their dads, but their uncles too. I can see Ricky giving advice to one of the kids (Kenya might actually be a teen by now).
Bring Back Brandy, Baby Gat Too
Brandy was perhaps the most recurring and noteworthy female character of the cast. She always brought style, laughs, and was a no-nonsense boss for Noah. We love a lady in charge! Bring her back and give her a man of her own! Baby Gat too was a delight and would be a welcome return with his chaotic antics and endless charm.
Bring Back Titus and Wanda, Leave Lena Though (Please!)
Titus Burgess and Wanda Sykes were welcome additions to the 2020 special. They would be great characters to bring back if they had the time or interest in returning. Considering the fact that both admitted to being fans of the series, the interest is likely there, if only for an episode or so.
Lena Waithe, also in the special, can be left behind. She’s not the most up-and-up person of queer celebs in the limelight. If you know, you know. Instead, there are a number of other queer femme celebs who would be far more welcome additions to the cast. We’ll get to them later.
Noah’s Arc was also special in that the core four characters (Noah, Alex, Chance, and Ricky) were all played by gay men in real life. Even the other popular queer shows around the same time Queer as Folk and The L Word featured leads who were not queer themselves. This isn’t a bad thing, but something hits differently when a queer actor is allowed to play a queer character. Let’s bring in some new, younger actors who are openly queer, and some of whom are not being given the most opportunities for roles right now. The ones pictured are options, and there are many more, including unknowns (please cast some unknowns in meaty roles, even if for only an episode!).
Real-life couple Justice Smith and Nicholas Ashe would be super adorable as one of the guys’ relatives, new friends, neighbors, or perhaps Chance’s students. They could already be a couple in the show or meet and fall in love for the first time over the course of the show.
Bring in the Queer Femmes!
The original series mainly featured Brandy, who was cishet, and had an episode or two that featured a lesbian couple who had been in respective heterosexual marriages when we first met them. The new series should definitely feature more femmes as friends, relatives, coworkers, neighbors, and even potential rivals or enemies to one or more of the guys. But we definitely need some femme friends to at least be recurring and play important roles. Others can play smaller roles, if they’re interested but maybe don’t have the luxury of time for meatier roles.
In general, we could also explore more on gender identity (the special did this with mentions of Alex and Trey’s child identifying as non-binary), as well as bisexuality (all but non-existent in the main series), and sexual fluidity. Every character doesn’t need to be paired off, some can be single and ready to mingle and prefer that to relationships (like Ricky did once upon a time). The first show also mentioned effeminophobia in season two, the fear/hatred of effeminate men, let’s discuss it, and other variations, further.
Potential Allies and Scenarios
Why should Brandy be the only ally? Keke Plamer, Michaela Coel, Jamila Jamil, or any number of the actresses would likely be down to play new friends, neighbors, coworkers, or rivals to the guys. Some het men could also take part, one of whom could be Brandy’s man.
But another idea would be Brandy finding out that her new man has a past with one of the guys. Either as past experimentation or as bi. It could be a great way to explore some het women’s biphobia and homophobia with men who have been with men. Whether it’s Brandy herself or one of her gal pals (maybe even played by one of the above ladies or someone else entirely), the expectation could also be that he will “cheat on her with a guy”. It can be a learning lesson that, regardless of sexuality, if you are in a relationship with someone and you both agree to be exclusive, that you should trust they only want you. Plus, a sexually fluid or bisexual, or pansexual partner can also cheat on you with someone who is the exact same gender identity as you.
Clear Up Any Loose Plot Threads from the Franchise
The biggest plot thread left dangling that comes to mind is the ultimate fate of Dre, Wade’s former boyfriend whom he cheated on with Noah in season two. He was last seen in a horrible car wreck with Wade also in the car. Jumping the Broom was created partially to resolve the cliffhanger that was Wade’s fate as well as his future with Noah. The film opens with Noah and Wade embracing on their way to planning their impending wedding, but Dre and what happened to him is never mentioned again.
Like him or not for being clingy and holding tightly to someone who loved someone more than him, it feels cruel for Dre to have been lied to and cheated on, to be either injured or killed, and not have anyone mention or care what happened to him.
We could have Noah or Wade have a run-in with Dre and there could be hard feelings or not. Or, the encounter could be with a friend or relative of Dre’s who at least lets the audience know what happened to him. Maybe he got married to (or became) a hot billionaire and forgot all about Wade?
We can speculate until we are blue in the face and create wishlist after wishlist. The most important thing, however, is that we are finally getting a return. It seems like a new season, hopefully. And hopefully, we will get multiple seasons, that our guys (who still look amazing) will shine once again, that we will get scenes steamier than ever before, more tension and anticipation, more heart and emotional payoff, and more star power joining the party and bringing in more fans than ever before.
More than anything more Black queer shows and projects by Black queer creators with Black queer thespians in the spotlight. This is a happy occasion, and here is hoping it leads to wonderful things for everyone involved, including us viewers.