Karamo Brown on the Importance of 'Noah's Arc' and Reuniting the Cast (Exclusive)
By Stacy Lambe
Noah’s Arc is back! The groundbreaking Logo TV series about queer Black men is returning 15 years after its premiere for an all-new special episode, Noah’s Arc: The ‘Rona Chronicles, and a reunion hosted by Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown.
Created by Patrik-Ian Polk, Noah’s Arc followed the overlapping and complicated lives of screenwriter Noah (Darryl Stephens), HIV/AIDS educator Alex (Rodney Chester), boutique owner Ricky (Christian Vincent), professor Chance (Doug Spearman), physician Junito (Wilson Cruz), writer Wade (Jensen Atwood) and others as they navigated love, lust, and work life in Los Angeles. The series ran for two seasons from 2005 to 2006 and was followed by the theatrical film Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom two years later.
When the show first premiered in 2005, it came after Brown made his debut on The Real World: Philadelphia and marked the first time stories about LGBTQ community of color were being told in any real, significant way. “I felt like I could relate to it. And it just felt really good to know that I wasn’t alone in my experiences and that somebody else was going through it as well,” Brown tells ET. “They were my original Sex and the City, they were my Golden Girls.”
Brown was not alone. When ET reached out to LGBTQ stars about the first time they saw themselves represented on screen, Shangela said Noah’s Arc. “Seeing Black queer characters that were funny, complicated and multilayered people was a complete representation of my friends and I,” he said. “For me, this was a real validation of my life, sexuality and the way I loved.”
At the time, the show covered everything from HIV and AIDS awareness to homophobia to gay marriage and parenting -- many topics that are still as relevant and topical today. And the new episode will not only address those issues, but what’s happening in the country, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the Black Lives Matter movement.
According to Polk, the reunion finds “Noah and company in the middle of a worldwide public health crisis and global social justice movement.” “While we’ve all struggled to stay sane during these stressful and trying times, the cast and I wanted to do something special to show our appreciation for all the love we continue to receive from the fans,” Polk said in a statement to ET, revealing that special will also serve as a fundraiser for several Black LGBTQ organizations providing vital services to their communities.
Karamo echoes that sentiment, adding: “To have this show address that in a fun yet poignant way is really important.”
The Queer Eye star, who became friends with the cast after its debut when they all toured the country to talk about bringing visibility to LGBTQ people of color on TV, says he's looking forward to seeing all of the cast in one spot (or rather via Zoom) as they revisit memories from the show and reflect on “the journey of where we are as Black queer people.”
Noah’s Arc: The ‘Rona Chronicles premieres July 5 at 8 p.m./5 p.m. PT on Patrik-Ian Polk Entertainment’s Facebook and YouTube followed by the live reunion hosted by Karamo Brown on MOBI.