Gay Love Story Comes to Lifetime's Flowers in the Attic: The Origin

·2 min read
Luke and Harry from Flowers in the Attic: The Origin
Luke and Harry from Flowers in the Attic: The Origin

Lifetime's Flowers in the Attic: The Origin returns on Saturday to continue the saga of the Foxworth family.

The twisted origins and secrets of the wealthy Foxworth family are revealed in this prequel to Flowers in the Attic, based on the novel Garden of Shadows by V.C. Andrews. For the television adaptation, writers incorporated a gay storyline not found in the books.

The third episode of Flowers in the Attic focuses on the gay romance between Joel Foxworth (played by queer British actor Luke Fetherston) and Foxworth’s family’s employee Harry (played by British actor Jordan Peters).

The series recounts the story of Olivia, the grandmother of the Dollanganger children. The new episode revolves around Joel’s struggles with his rising sexuality and romance with one of their housekeepers, leading him to undergo conversion therapy in the 1920s and 1930s.

In a recent interview, Fetherston discussed the controversy surrounding gay actors in Hollywood and how, even now, they are still urged to hide their sexual orientation.

With LGBTQ+ rights suddenly appearing to be under threat in various parts of the world that had formerly been forward-looking, Fetherston said he felt strongly about portraying the role responsibly.

“It carried a lot of weight. And I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know about what people were put through, and what people still are being put through,” he told Attitude. “I did as much research as I could. And I wanted to give that moment in the series as much weight as I believe that it deserves.”

In the interview, he acknowledged that one day he'd hope sexuality won’t be “anyone else’s business.” We’re not there yet, he said, so the representation of queer people in queer roles is crucial.

"I’m sure the majority of us have been told to hide our sexuality. I can’t imagine meeting a gay actor that hasn’t been told that,” he said. “So, until we don’t have to do that, then, yes, I believe it’s important that gay people are cast as gay characters. It’s the most authentic option. So surely, that’s the best option.”

In part three, set in early 20th century Virginia, when homophobia and racism were rampant, Malcolm discovers that his son is in a relationship with Harry and sends him to a mental institution to “cure” him.

"With the help of a family member who realizes the sad tragedy unfolding, Joel finds his voice and the strength to defy his powerful father," a description of the episode explained.

The four-part limited series premiered on July 9, and the third episode airs Saturday on Lifetime at 8/7c.

Watch a sneak preview of the episode below.