Did you notice? : Brian's Bracelet
Patrick Antosh : "If you notice, Brian wears that little Conch Shell
bracelet thing. [Ed.: It's actually a cowry shell bracelet]. I never thought
anything of it for the whole year... the first day we started shooting again,
all the extras showed up, and there was like seven guys that had them, so obviously
you can buy them anywhere, and it must be directed from the show. I didn't do
that on purpose." [from an earlier interview with Michel Chantelois of
If you didnít notice Brianís bracelet, maybe you should be
more careful when youíre watching Queer as Folk, because you
canít miss it. But why should you focus on a simple bracelet
when you can focus on some way more interesting things? Because
I think this bracelet is more important than one can imagine.
There is nothing extraordinary about its history.
Itís been bought by Brian in Mexico and his initials are
carved on one of the shells. Thatís all we know, itís just a
bracelet. And it appears in the first episode as an insignificant
prop. So insignificant that no one seemed to notice the coherence
issues itís induced because it keeps appearing and disappearing
during the first Brian-Justin scenes.
out of Babylon with his bracelet.
at home without it...
it again when he takes off his pants.
it disappeared in the next shot...
Until episode 111, Brian doesnít
wear this bracelet constantly. He doesnít wear it at work for
example, nor at the gym. Then again, nothing seems to indicate
that this object has any special meaning. However, since episode
112, the bracelet is omnipresent. I wonít say Brian wears it
all the time because it canít be proved, but we donít see him
not wearing it anymore. Heís wearing it at work, at the gym,
at home, everywhereÖ Just like it became a fetish object, a
part of Brianís character.
Then comes episode 219 where Brian realizes that Justin is
having an affair, and where Ted realizes his biggest fantasy
: being Brian Kinney for one night. On this occasion Brian loans
him his bracelet (which by the way shows us how important this
object is in the Brian Kinney outfit). Once the bracelet is
back to its owner, it mysteriously disappears. I mean Brian
doesnít wear it anymore.
It will come back a couple of times though.
In episode 301 for example we can see the bracelet on Brianís
wrist while heís waiting for Justinís "double". But if
you really pay attention to this scene, youíll notice that this
shot of Brian on his bed is in fact a shot from episode 215 (when
Brian is waiting for Justin to come back from Michaelís).
Did the director Ėthe same for both episode
215 and 301- want to give the scene a flashback effect? Or was
it just due to technical issues? (Who knows, maybe Gale Harold
was sick that day and couldnít shoot this scene again) It doesnít
really matter anyway. Even if the first option seems to be the
most credible, I guess weíll never know the truth about that,
and therefore weíll never know whether the bracelet was supposed
to be there or not.
However, the bracelet is making its comeback
in episode 304 where itís one of the main characters. Not on
Brianís wrist though, on his nephewís who stole it. Whatís strange
in this scene is the way the bracelet stands on a table with
Brianís keys and cellphone, like he still wears it all the time,
but we know he doesnítÖ
Anyway, at the end of the episode, Justin puts the infamous
object back on Brianís wrist. And once again the bracelet disappears
in the next episode, and for good this time.
I donít know if this object and
its presence or absence mean anything. We can find a lot of
scenaristic or technical reasons for this afterall. Maybe Brian
simply got tired of wearing it, or maybe the PA lost it and
had to buy another one especially for episode 304. We could
also think that Gale Harold got allergic to the bracelet and
couldnít wear it anymore. But I donít want to believe that itís
just a coincidence Ėfirst and foremost because it would mean
that I spent hours analyzing this for no good reason! Brian
stopped wearing the bracelet at a very significant point of
the story: Justinís "betrayal.Ē And according to me, if
this "fetish" object thatís been a part of the character
during so many episodes suddenly disappears, it might be a way
to show us that Brian evolved and grew up. That Brian-Kinney-the-seducer
is slowly turning into someone more "natural" and
opened, without any propÖ
Or maybe he just didnít want to wear a bracelet worn by Ted!
Because knowing Brian, he probably thinks this little experiment
kinda spoiled the charms of this bracelet.
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