Affter sitting with a brew and slagging off Russel T Davies LGBT trio of treats a few weeks ago, I thought I’d better write an updated post.
I won’t remove the other because, like words cannot be unsaid, opinions shouldn’t be deleted. I can go back on what I’ve said, say I was wrong (which I won’t quite say, here) and I can say that next time I’ll wait to pass my judgement. But I can’t, and I won’t, delete it.
The reason I won’t say that I was [completely] wrong is that I did think it was slow to start., I didn’t ‘get’ the characters and I felt like the series wasn’t addressing all of those things that affect LGBT people every day. But I perservered because I’d committed to the series (I’d watched two episodes of the three seperate limbs equating to nearly three and a half hours of my life- I’m not an idiot. I’d ride it out now.) And I’ve been impressed.
The Saturday after episode 7, the penultimate episode and I find myself texting a freind about how I can’t believe that it started so long ago, collectively we don’t know how the series will end and I confirm that I hope it’s a cliffhanger so that our characters will return next year. But not for too many years, Tovey seems to know when to stop so that it’s not the whole ‘Too much of a good thing’ thing.
My favourite episode was six. Lance’s murder. It showed the life of the man, showed us how he had come to be who the audience knew him. Kind, slightly eager, puppy-like Lance. And he shiftedfrom a character I’d found mildly annoying to one of my favourites. The opening shot had indicated that this was not to be a happy ending though, and only a week after we’d seen Henry confess that he still loved Lance it was to be the end.
Sadly, homophobic violence still happens even in 2015 and I’m pleased the programme addressed it. As shocking as it was to watch, it was vital and educated us all. Though we are undoubtedly extremely lucky in the UK there’s still a lot of work to do and the episode showed that without the audience feeling they were being preached to. Davies delivered probably the most impactful scene I think I have ever viewed on television. I wondered how the programme might move on from the devastating murder but the latest episode had the viewer empathising one minute and laughing the next.
The other thing I need to say is that the ‘crossover’ between Cucumber and Banana as become better,more fluid. Meanwhile, Banana is also stealing the show. My favourite story was Amy and Kay (Episode 6); the OCD Lesbian on a nightmareish first date. But it worked out in the end (unlike this week’s Aidan 24 Versatile and his unlikely lover, sadly for the viewers that were egging on the mismatched pair to work). Special mention to Bethany Black’s take on revenge porn too, which aired with perfect timing given the recent publicity on the important subject.
Next series, maybe Cucumber could focus on one of those characters we’ve come to know through Banana, occasionally revisiting Henry and the boys who he’s forged quite the friendship with?
Something else that’s become apparent is that all of the people involved in the making of the programme seem to have loved doing so. It really, really shows.
So, yes I still agree that Cucumber doesn’t reflect my life as a gay twentysomething exactly. But maybe I’d got it wrong, I’d missed the point. It addresses important issues and it’s drama and it’s good to see gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender characters all on TV where that isn’t the sole focus of the show and they’re not some kind of token nod to equality and diversity. It’s powerful, it’s refreshing, it’s not seeking to represent everyone.
There. I take it back. It’s bloody brilliant.