Let’s Talk about Cucumber…

Cucumber-Channel4The new Channel 4, E4 and 4oD series written by the brilliant Russell T Davies. Of course when this began it was pitched as an LGBT show based in Manchester and of course I had my reservations, I feared RTD was trying to recreate Queer as Folk (RTD’s 1999 series) but after I’d watched the first episode it became clear that he wasn’t, this was just also based in Manchester.

We’re currently 6 episodes in and until last nights episode (26th February) it was a little flat, sure it was enjoyable there were some brilliant plots, some great lines and some great characters.

But last night, all kinds exploded. RTD knows when to throw in a wild plot twist (which I already knew from continuous 2005 – 2010 Doctor Who watching). Last nights episode shocked from the beginning giving the information that a central character was going to die, this made you instantly begin to anticipate what would happen, when would it happen, how it would happen, we then had a reasonably pleasant look at this characters life, seeing from his birth to the day we were at and by the time we’d gotten to that bit the information that he was going to die was gone, it’d just been forgotten.

Throughout the 6 episodes of the series we’ve seen many characters come and go, we’ve seen many characters develop and we’ve formed opinions on characters, whether we like them, whether we dislike them and there was a certain character I disliked from the off, I thought he was a bit of, to put it lightly, a prick tease and was reasonably wary of him, last night that wariness flew off the scale.

I found Episode 6 of Cucumber chilling and frightening and a harsh reality was flung from the screen right at me as I sat and I watched it. It was terrifying as, I am just about reaching my twenties, I never ever really experienced a truly homophobic nation but Cucumber made me realise, made me remember that unfortunately the nation is still reasonably homophobic and that is terrifying, that there are people living day after day hating others because of their sexual ordination and that ‘Gay Panic’ is still around – I first heard about that two years ago whilst putting on a production of the Laramie Project and even then I couldn’t believe it.

If you haven’t already I truly recommend Cucumber, Banana and Tofu. As each episode is a fantastic piece of television and writing whilst through brilliant actors performances, the stories and characters feel so real and so true that you cannot help but get drawn in.

Bravo RTD!

Character names have been left out this post to avoid spoilers. 

R.J.

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