Russell T. Davies is back at it with another hit that takes taboo and shows how normal it really is. Named after the highest metric on a scale measuring the intensity of the male erection, Cucumber’s first episode revolves around a middle-aged, gay man and his partner, and their group of friends going through the throes of love, sex and getting old in life. Henry, the protagonist, and his partner Lance lead lives like you would expect from any adult in Britain. They gripe over dying sex lives, aging and work issues. They go out with their groups, engage in office flirting, and cope with frustrations and ups and downs in their romantic and familial relationships.
What’s remarkable about Cucumber is how unremarkable it is. The things these men deal with are the exact same things you would see from any show about a straight, middle-aged couple going through a rough patch in their lives. The show does an excellent job at challenging the stereotypes people may have about how gay Brits may live their lives from pretty much the first scene to the last by showing how their lives are just like anyone else. Along with challenging heteronormative stereotypes of gay people, the main couple is biracial, which is another great touch by Russell T. Davies in saying “eff you” to bigoted opinions of normal people.
Cucumber is one of three shows all-named after levels of this male erection scale, about the gay experience in modern Britain. Channel 4 has taken a bold but empowering move by bringing Tofu, Banana and Cucumber to the forefront of their programming. Davies writes perfectly for whatever the current times. Kudos to Davies for another masterpiece and to Channel 4 for taking a stand against the stereotypes placed on gay men and women in this country. On top of that too, it’s just an interesting show with realistic performances. If you’re not watching Cucumber yet (or any of its counterparts), I guarantee it’ll be built into your weekly routine after just a few minutes of viewing.