Screenplay by Russell T. Davies.
As I said last week, Russell T. Davies’ best trait is his ability to push the audience to the limit of what’s tolerable. Last week’s Banana emotionally tested us, this week he ethically tested us by giving us a teenage girl in love with an older, married woman. And the way she deals with it is wrong. Totally wrong. And for just about all of it, you find yourself thinking “Why would you do that!?”. You know, of course, that were you in that situation, you’d do the opposite. You’d confess to nothing. You’d keep out of her way, you wouldn’t pester her. And you certainly wouldn’t follow her home, spy on her house and cold call. When her husband comes out to confront Scotty, you don’t blame him. But you do blame Scotty for being stupid enough to expose herself like that.
And yet, at no point do you ever blame her for being in love. Yes, it’s extremely uncommon for someone of her age to be in love with someone that much older than her, but you never blame her for it. Part of the self-given remit of Banana is to challenge social ideas by presenting unacceptable actions to otherwise acceptable thoughts. What Davies is doing is to make that kind of love perfectly alright. The fact that it’s same sex doesn’t matter, what’s significant is the age gap. And you never get freaked out by that age gap, just the way it’s responded to. You find yourself seeing the potential in these two characters because of it being unfulfilled by stupid decisions.
Really, Banana: Scotty proves how strange love can be by presenting it in a form notable for something other than the genders. At no point does any of that come into it. There’s a moment of racism there, and it’s acknowledged as racist by the person saying it in criticism of Scotty’s action. But it doesn’t make her any more wrong. It just makes him a dick. He’s still in the right, but he’s still capable of being a dick. He is being racist in that moment. He admitted it, but it makes it no less true. It’s a malnormal statement from an otherwise innocent character. And it’s the kind of complexity that exists in these characters that Davies writes so well.
Two episodes in, and I’m already loving it.
Banana: Scotty – alternative look at love, progressive. 8/10