Black baby Jesus is working overtime! In what can only be described as divine intervention, the cable channel Logo has uploaded all episodes of the seminal Noah’s Arc to YouTube.
For those too young and uninformed, Noah’s Arc was a cable dramedy from Patrik-Ian Polk that ran in 2005 and 2006. It followed Noah, played by the still-gorgeous Darryl Stephens, and his group of friends, all Black gay men living and loving in Los Angeles. It was based in part on Polk’s debut feature Punks (which was produced by icons Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and his then-wife Tracey Edmonds). Some have likened it to a Black, gay Sex in the City.
Noah’s Arc was historic at the time of its debut, centering Black gay men in their own narratives and rebuffing the gay best friend-hairdresser-comedic relief trope Hollywood loves to harp on. Now, don’t get me wrong — there was a major storyline about Noah falling in love with a downlow man, and some people thought the show was chock-full of clichés. But my granny always says there’s some truth in every stereotype, and Noah’s Arc found that truth, gave the characters fully-developed, nuanced arcs, and allowed so many Black queer people to truly see themselves on screen for the first time. Because up to this point, Black queer characters were more often than not caricatures. And since this show, the Black gay experience has yet to be replicated in as full a way. (Obviously Pose is killing the game centering Black and brown LGBTQ+ folk, but that show is set in the past and Noah’s Arc was very much present day.)
Almost 15 years later, the jury is still out on why Logo canceled the show after just two seasons, especially because it was the network’s highest-rated original series. But they did give us the campy goodness that is Noah’s Arc: Jumping The Broom to wrap up the storylines.
This show is Black queer history, full stop. And if Hollywood was truly into diversity and inclusion, what with all these reboots, they’d throw a few dollars to Polk and bring back this treasure.
Check out Noah’s Arc here.