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TV Critic’s Corner

‘Tales of the City’ marks an anniversary

Laura Linney (front left) and Olympia Dukakis (center) in “More Tales of the City.”

One of my favorite TV miniseries, "Tales of the City," is having its 25th anniversary. To celebrate, the streaming service Acorn TV is making it available beginning on June 4.

The six-parter, which was followed by two sequel miniseries, is based on the novel by Armistead Maupin. It's about looking for love, sexual identity, and peace among a group of neighbors in 1970s San Francisco, and it features a number of now well-know names, including Laura Linney, Billy Campbell, Thomas Gibson, Chloe Webb, Parker Posey, Mary Kay Place, and Olympia Dukakis.

It's hard to believe that this sweet-natured tale was actually quite controversial in 1993 for its gay themes and nudity. Now, of course, it seems so innocent and, in terms of sexual content, unremarkable. The characters are likable, and there's an irresistible mystery at the core of the plotting.


By the way, Netflix is in the process of developing a return to Maupin's world, with "The Hours" novelist Michael Cunningham involved and Linney, Dukakis, and Ellen Page in the cast. It will be 10 episodes, and it will be ready next year.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.