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Exclusive: Get your first look at Netflix’s ‘Tales of the City’ revival

Prepare to head back to 28 Barbary Lane...

By Will Stroude

Words: Will Stroude

Almost two years after it was first announced that a new instalment of Tales of the City was in the works at Netflix, we’ve been given our first official look at the upcoming revival of the hit ’90s series.

Original show stars Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis have reprised their roles as Mary-Anne Singleton and Anna Madrigal for the 10-part drama, which is set to hit the streaming service this summer.

Exclusive first look images give us our first glimpse of the pair back together, as well as new additions to the series like as Ellen Page, who plays Mary-Anne’s daughter Shawna, and Looking’s Murray Barlett in the role of Michael ‘Mouse’ Tolliver.

May Hong as “Margot” with boyfriend “Jake” played by Garcia

The pictures also tease what might be in store for show newcomer and non-binary actor Garcia, who plays Jake, a transgender man who is Anna Madrigal’s caregiver, as well as Girls star Zosia Mamet as Claire.

Adapted from Armistead Maupin’s best-selling book series of the same name, Tales of the City first aired in 1993, charting the journey of Linney’s Mary-Anne as she moved to San Francisco and befriends the colourful fellow residents of 28 Barbary Lane. 

Olympia Dukakis as “Anna Madrigal” at 28 Barbary Lane

The series returned for two further instalments with 1998’s More Tales of the City and 2001’s Further Tales of the City, and the latest outing is set to pick up the story 20 years later, as Mary-Anne returns San Francisco once again after leaving the city behind to pursue her career.

Tales of the City sparked plenty of controversy in the ’90 for its frank depiction of LGBTQ life – then still a rarity on television – and the new seres is set to bring a fresh collection of diverse LGBTQ stories to the small screen.

Murray Bartlett as “Michael ‘Mouse’ Tolliver” and his boyfriend “Ben Marshall” played by Charlie Barnett

A synopsis reads: “Fleeing the midlife crisis that her picture-perfect Connecticut life created, Mary Ann is quickly drawn back into the orbit of Anna Madrigal (Olympia Dukakis), her chosen family and a new generation of queer young residents living at 28 Barbary Lane.”

Murray Bartlett as “Michael ‘Mouse’ Tolliver”; Laura Linney as “Mary Ann Singleton”

As well as a diverse new cast, Netflix’s Tales of the City revival has already won early paudits for ensuring queer people have been heavily-involved behind the scenes too: Orange Is the New Black writer Lauren Morelli serves as showrunner and executive producer, while LGBTQ directors and an entirely queer writing team are helping reintroduce the beloved series new and old audiences alike.

Laura Linney as “Mary Ann Singleton” & Olympia Dukakis as “Anna Madrigal”

There have been nine installments in Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series since the first book was published in 1978, with the last, entitled The Days of Anna Madrigal, coming in 2014.

The 73-year-old author, who serves as a co-producer on the Netflix revival, said previously: “I couldn’t be more excited about this new brand-new incarnation of Tales. It’s set in present-day San Francisco with all the joys and complications that might suggest for the residents of 28 Barbary Lane”. 

Ellen Page as “Shawna Hawkins” with “Claire” played by Zosia Mamet

“Mrs. Madrigal’s tenants, both old and new, will be entangled in delicious new adventures and ever-expanding possibilities for love.”

Tales of the City is set to arrive on Netflix this summer.