★★★★ | Cucumber, Banana, Tofu
He’s a clever bugger that Russell T. Bloke – you know the one who is basically is the godfather of Gay TV.
Forget Kim Kardashian breaking the internet, Russell T Davies’s Queer As Folk broke terrestrial television with many asses back in 1999 and it looks as though he’s about to do it again with a brand new interwoven, multi-platform series that celebrates sexual and gender diversity, like no other writer or broadcaster for that matter, has ever done before.
The erect penis has been studied, not just in this office, but scientifically, yes money has been spent on measuring how hard penises are – and they (the scientists) came up with a scale of hardest – from Tofu to Cucumber. Meet Henry, the story which Cucumber, the terrestrial offering from Channel 4. He’s a man in his late forties who hates the gay scene. Absolutely loathes it. It doesn’t resonate with him anymore, the young’un with their apps and inability to hold a conversation longer than their ejaculations. He’s been in a sexless, long term relationship for years and is having a bit of crisis of his placement in ‘the community’; fifteen years on is this how Stuart Jones would have turned out?
But let’s get this straight, as best we can, Cucumber isn’t Queer As Folk 2.0. It’s a different story, a different set of characters. It’s gay-centric, but packs huge laughs, sex and asks the big questions: What do ‘WE’ want? That’s the big ‘WE’ of course – and while Cucumber focuses mainly on a gay man, Banana delves into the world sexuality and gender and rips it open in a way that could break the digital channel.
Banana is the other side of the story. The young guns with their apps and their multi-sexual and gender identities and how these can collide. If Cucumber is generation gay, Banana is generation ‘Whatever’.
Boxes and labels are so 1997/2004, so BBC 3… Generation just-get-on-with-it, are about to have their say, and while viewers on e4 probably won’t bat an eyelid, their parents might just be a little confused at the ever changing landscape.
Then there’s Tofu an on-demand series, this is where the beauty of interwoven, multi-channel programming come into its own. Prepare to see people, yes real people, from all demographics talk about their sex lives. Even legendary Corrie actress Julie Hesmondhalgh talks sex – and as we heard at the press conference, “you heard it here first…”
Potentially not a groundbreaking as QAF, (times have changed) but certainly just as necessary. It is about time than the LGBT demographic had something more than a storyline here and there. We want our own series dammit and Cucumber, Banana and Tofu deliver this in loads… (wipe the smile off your face, you dirty bugger).