Category: Russell T. Davies

  • Introducing… The S-Word!

    I’ve been blogging. Faster than ever. Or, I was. Very recently. In fact, a few days ago, I posted an article announcing “Phase 3” of this blog in-which I decreased the quantity of what I reviewed and instead expanded the formats I write in order to have more range as well as having less frequency. So, […]

  • Cucumber: Episode 6 — review

    Cucumber: Episode 6 — review

    I’ll get straight to it. This episode transcends the boundaries of what the show is. Now it’s not the best episode – those are still to come – but this definitely accomplishes its goal in such a way that others can’t. As a longtime admirer of Davies’ work, the way this episode was executed surprised even me. Yes, I’ve seen what kind of writer Davies can be, but nothing prepared me for the achievement that is this episode. To be quite honest, this alone should win a BAFTA on the grounds that it’s a fourty-minute episode of a TV show that manages to work like a condensed biopic. Coming out of it, I felt as if I’d just been in a cinema, watching the story of an entire person’s life. All of that was absolutely necessary for Davies to do what he set out to do: write a death that feels meaningful.

  • Cucumber: Episode 5 — review

    Cucumber: Episode 5 — review

    Screenplay by Russell T. Davies. For a limited series of eight episodes about a man descending into madness, episode five is the beginning of the end, and as such requires that character to reach breaking point. Davies knows how to accomplish this, and pulls together all four elements from previous episodes to drive Henry Best insane. Everything that’s […]

  • Cucumber: Episode 4 — review

    Cucumber: Episode 4 — review

    If last week’s episode proved anything, it’s that Cucumber’s characters literally fight over screentime. It was hilarious, sickening and melodramatic all at the same time. This week, Davies lets them off for a while by giving them the chance to party when they all go out on a date night. Most of the characters remain separate, but do occasionally crossover with each other. It’s like an inter-episode, functioning to itself in the same way that Cucumber as a whole connects with Banana.

  • Cucumber: Episode 3 — review

    Cucumber: Episode 3 — review

    Episode 3’s a strange one. Even though Cucumber focuses on Henry Best, the instigator of most events this week was Freddie Baxter when he meets his old school teacher, with whom he once had an affair. As the plot progresses, Baxter reveals, piece by piece, the way their renewed relationship’s a revenge scheme for everything he experienced. Which makes this episode the archetypal Cucumber, as it presents a dark theme in a comedic fashion. Having acquired a photo of his target in the bedroom, he threatens to send it to his wife, with whom he has a child. So there’s also the idea, which is also present in reality, of gay men being married with a family. But it’s part of Davies’ goal to present a form of post-rights version of sexuality. Which is why that isn’t a highlighted theme, and instead the story’s about the way he leads himself into Baxter’s hands.

  • Banana: Violet and Sian — review

    Banana: Violet and Sian — review

    Screenplay by Sue Perkins. The reason I started watching Banana (and its parent Cucumber) is because it’s written by Russell T. Davies, without whom I might not even be running this blog. This week’s episode of Banana isn’t written by Davies, but Sue Perkins. And believe me, it shows. Banana, as a show, mostly works because of its format as […]

  • Banana: Scotty — review

    Banana: Scotty — review

    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.

  • Cucumber: Episode 2 — review

    Cucumber: Episode 2 — review

    Following last week’s launch episode, Davies develops the drama that is Henry Best’s life to a position that puts the audience in a moral dilemma: Best is punished based on allegations that are untrue. It’s a dilemma because he’s still a predator living amongst younger boys who openly admits to his boyfriend that he’s a whore. So, even though there’s that element involved, does he deserve to be punished for something else? Is it important what he’s being punished for, or does the fact that he’s being punished make it okay, even if it doesn’t actually stop the things he’s doing? No, he didn’t make racist, heterophobic remarks, but he’s still praying on younger men, who are of a legal age, but still feel threatened just by his presence.

  • Banana: Dean review

    Banana: Dean review

    Screenplay by Russell T. Davies.   Banana‘s the E4 sister show of Channel 4 show Cucumber, airing the same night. Cucumber finishes as Banana‘s starting, with a character from the Cucumber episode that night being given the spotlight in Banana. This week’s is Dean, resident of an unregistered property that becomes Cucumber protagonist Henry Best’s new hold-up at the end of Cucumber: Episode […]

  • Cucumber: Episode 1 — review

    Cucumber: Episode 1 — review

    Screenplay by Russell T. Davies.   I’m such a whore. I’ll watch anything if Russell T. Davies has written it. But then, he is the person who inspired me to be a writer. And here it is! The new RTD drama about gay life in Manchester, and one of two interconnected shows existing together in the Doctor […]