Saturday, 31 January 2015

Cucumber: Episode 2

"Uncle Lance says you never take it up the bum!"

This episode is perhaps a little shorter on the flashes of brilliance than the last one, but it is again a joy to experience Russell T Davies' writing again. The theme of the week is clear, and stated at the start with the "Henry test" of looking at your partner's last twenty texts- what are the boundaries of faithfulness? At what point does lust for another person, or flirting, make you unfaithful to your partner? Are Henry and Lance still together? This is awkwardly ambiguous. Yet for the younger crowd of Dean and Freddie such ambiguity is happily accepted.

There is a gap between Henry's young hosts in terms of both age and social class- but perhaps we should not separate the two, in our age of austerity which is aimed at the young. It isHenry's  generation which has the property and the good jobs. Perhaps this explains Freddue's more-or-less open contempt.

Oh, and I was wrong about Danny, Lance's friend with the casual homophobia; he's clearly gay and repressed, and Lance clearly likes him.

This episode is just as funny as the last one, and most of the best humour revolves around Henry's sister Cleo,who is fantastic and behaves like a real person. Her reactions to Henry's plight are nuanced and not as one would expect from a character in a drama.

RTD is brilliant at how he shows characterisation- the dialogue, the use of modern social media in TV drama and, of course, people not communicating properly with each other- the main theme of this series. It's all very Marshall McLuhan; the medium is the message.

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