Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves

Mon Dec 2, 10-11pm, BBC4
Don't Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves
By Anna Smith |
Episode one
Don’t let that title put you off – this new Swedish drama series is another winner. Based on Jonas Gardell's novel, this first three-part series gets off to promising start. Most of the action takes place in Stockholm, 1982, where 19-year-old Rasmus (Adam Pålsson) is exploring the gay scene for the first time. Meanwhile closeted Jehovah’s Witness Benjamin (Adam Lundgren) knocks on the door of one of Stockholm’s most flamboyant party-throwers, Paul (Simon J Berger). A Christmas dinner at Paul’s will see the two meet, and their fates set.

All this is terrific fun, with a witty script, strong performances and great period detail. But there’s a tragic note underscoring every moment: the latter-day opening scene shows Rasmus dying of Aids (hence the nurses’ conversation of the title). It’s as if a Swedish ‘Queer As Folk’ was imbued with the sense of impending doom that wafted through the film ‘Kids’: you know the HIV virus is spreading faster than the breaking news.
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