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, reviewing only motion pictures rather than television (Doctor Who‘s the exception) wasn’t at first going to sustain a regular blog. But comic books, novels and graphic novels would. More formats, less frequency, but enough to keep ahead of myself.

But the reason I did this was because I’d realised something. It may be the most polarising comedy ever written (most people I know and many bloggers I follow hate it), but I really like The Big Bang Theory. I don’t love it, but I like it. In fact, it was one of the shows I’d review episodically before cutting television from my schedule. And that’s because of an episode called The Focus Attenuation, in-which the main four attempt to find ways of keeping their attention on-track to remain productive. The Phase 3 announcement article started as a review of that episode, before I thought “wait a minute…”. So I decided to restructure what I was doing in such a way that I could still review fiction regularly while also actually writing some.

Up until now, all I’ve done is talk about fiction written by others. And there’s nothing wrong with that, per se, but I’ve decided to talk about what I myself write. Writing’s my number one dream (cliched term, also true) since I have so many ideas. The tangible knowledge of not writing became my driving force to do so.

SO! I’m not saying I’m not a novelist, but novels aren’t my first format. I’ve attempted novels, and the stories remain with me, and in the future I’ll make them into something, but primarily I’m a screenwriter. There’s a different principle to it which Terrance Dicks put down to being that “writing novels takes more effort”. He’s write. And he should know, he wrote the majority of Classic Doctor Who‘s novelisations, thereby being responsible for my parents’ generation being literate.

I do write in prose, but only as side-projects. Eventually, I’ll bring them into my main flow of creativity, but for now, I’m sticking with screenplays. I won’t go into an overlong article about it, because I’ve got hundreds I could write and that alone could sustain this blog. But since I praise and criticise other writers so much, I felt I should justify my position by actually showing you what I’ve written.

Not many people have seen this. It took me four months to complete, and I’m reasonably proud of it. If you’ve never read a screenplay before… I don’t know if it’s that easy to. I’m self-taught from several years of reading Russell T. Davies‘ Doctor Who episodes. Anyway. This is a spec pilot for a series I created called The S-Word. Inspiration’s been taken from Breaking Bad and X-Men, and you can read it now as a PDF or a Google Doc.

THE S-WORD

By A. M. Sigsworth

Cucumber: Episode 6 — review

Screenplay by Russell T. Davies.

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.

Not to lie, I never liked Lance Sullivan that much. Over the series, I’ve found him annoying, whiney and secondary to the main attractions. But what Davies does is to take characters and give them the right stories to elevate them into being loved. You find yourself loving this character, even if you’ve had no investment in him at that point. This episode, in three quarters of an hour, gave Sullivan an entire life in the spotlight – the only way you’d care about the light fading. How exactly he did it is still beyond me. I know he did it – I felt it – but I didn’t notice it. The illusion of storytelling, of writing, was invisible. For the first time, I was unable to remember that everything happening is based on a textual blueprint written by someone I’ve never met in the early hours of the night. What’s he on? Cause I need it. The only thing I can guess is that it’s some form of Writer’s Juice I haven’t discovered yet. If you know of it, do please let me know.

What’s really going on in the duration of this episode is a build to a certain moment. One moment in time, at a certain place, between two people and circumstance. As we see Sullivan’s entire life, literally from the moment of his life beginning, to it ending, we’ve been shown every significant detail. From the van that inspired their new surname, to his numerous partners, his relationship with his Father, to meeting Henry Best, to their relationship falling apart, and how that lead to meeting the person that would stop his life. Not end it, stop it. That was very much what Davies seems to have wanted to do; have Sullivan’s life suddenly stop. Because that’s how life really works. All of a sudden, for no particular reason, you stop being alive. And everything’s that happened before it starts to make sense.

The sequence of Sullivan seeing his life in his dying moments was one of the most effective uses of editing that I’ve, frankly, ever seen. It was surreal, meaningful, sad, beautiful, and with an exponential stutter that in next to no time showed us the dying awareness of Sullivan of what was happening. I’ve convinced myself that Sullivan knew what had happened, and that he was dying, but only a moment to think to process it. In fact, this whole episode could well be what he saw in that moment, as his mind attempts to understands its death by piecing together its past to work out what had happened, almost as if to fight back. You already know Sullivan’s going to die – you’re shown his birth and death year in the final shot of the pre-credits scene (which is typical of Davies to be honest – I can just picturing him watching it with the nation and laughing like a maniac at the terror he’s caused the show’s fanbase), but you only come to accept it as the episode reaches its final act: the Sullivan van driving past, like his own flashback-to-come overlapping to before it was caused, and Queer as Folk‘s Hazel coming to Sullivan in a ghostly image warning him to go home. This turns out to be a racist woman shouting abuse at him, but he sees it as Hazel coming to him. Is Queer as Folk set in the same universe as Cucumber? I like to think so.

All the signs were there. Your strings are being pulled, and you’re hurting, because it’s obvious that Daniel is dangerous. It’s been written all over his personality since the beginning. You’re begging for him not to go with Daniel, even though you’ve already worked out that’s going to be his fatal mistake. It’s painful, but you like Davies for doing it to you. If anyone could pull my heart right out of my body and eat it front of me, I’m glad it was Davies. He can have it all. I find it pleasurable. Does that make me a sadist? You know what, probably. But this is Cucumber, so sadism is hardly going to shock this far in. Especially when Sullivan’s brains are beaten out with a golf club blow. That was the Moment. It had come. But as he worked it out, he died. Shame. No really, it is. I actually came to love Sullivan, because I’d seen his whole life, and had come to understand that someone who’d lived all those years could suddenly not be living any more. Makes me appreciate how young I am, and that’s no lie.

Mr. Davies OBE, I applaud you. You took a person I found a bit bland, and blasted a montage of his life into my eyes and ears, and seared him onto my heart. It was like being Cpt. Picard in the episode Inner Light. I could only understand what it was like to be him by becoming him. By absorbing every part of him. That’s what made the death meaningful – I felt as if I were him. It’s a lesson to other writers in how to write deaths: make us into your characters, and then do it quickly and painlessly. In the end, he’s only to be as cruel as he needs to be. That’s what I love about him – he’ll stab a knife in your eye if the story requires it, but he’ll stop as soon as it doesn’t. Without that kind of mindset, that realistic attitude toward characters, he wouldn’t be able to tell such compelling stories or make us care about people. Every writer could learn from Davies, and this episode is one I shall regard highly in the ming mong mantra.

I didn’t fear death before. God knows I do now.

Cucumber: Episode 6 – lesson in characters and death 9/10.

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 got him this far, all the deceit and dishonesty, falls-apart. Because all that requires a life built from lies to fail is for someone to discover just one of them, and from that, everything else can be unravelled.

We’ve enjoyed watching Best be a bastard to succeed, because every time he does, we wonder when he’ll fall from grace. And Episode 5 is the perfect time to do it. Any earlier would lead to it being drawn-out, and any later would lead to it being rushed. And in true Breaking Bad tradition, it happens when one person, close to the protagonist, in this case Cleo, discovering the long-term, unexpected consequence of one of his actions, and tracing it back far enough to discover the source. Every bad thing in this show has happened because of Best, which makes Cleo’s revelation to him all the more enjoyable. We’ll only tolerate his villainy for so long, but after a while, we want him to get what he deserves. Davies clearly realised this, and served justice in the form of the one person closest to him of all the other characters. But we watch, knowing his deserves it, and appreciating the development this show’s having in that moment.

And just like that, everything clicks for him. The best thing he can do is return to Sullivan. Ask for forgiveness. But that can’t happen now. If the previous episode meant anything, it’s that these people are moving forwards with themselves. they’re abandoning everything from before, and starting anew. Which is why we, the audience, can’t possibly expect Sullivan to take him back – we’ve seen him with someone else now. We won’t be patronised by seeing everything work out just as everything’s going wrong. I certainly wouldn’t stand for that cliched kind of drama. So instead, things continue to move forward. That’s the general rule with writing drama: keep going forwards. Development is good. If something changes, write into that and embrace it. It’ll lead somewhere more interesting.

In this case, it’s definitely more interesting. Baxter doesn’t want him anymore, given that his parents have discovered who he’s living with, Cleo’s no longer funding his spare house after his using it to effectively run a pornography empire, and Sullivan made a clear point to him that, not only has he moved on, but that they never went anywhere in the first place.

And so, the time has come for the liar to descend. For everything to start working against him. He’s Walter White past his peak. The Sheriff is coming, and all he can do is wait for the ending. Meanwhile, I’ll cherish these last few episodes like never before.

Cucumber: Episode 5 — expertly crafted drama of madness 9/10.

Banana: Helen — review

Screenplay by Charlie Covell.

Following last week’s disappointment, I concluded that Banana episodes not written by Russell T. Davies risk being noticeably so, rather than well-written in their own right. But I also concluded that giving other writers the chance to write about unconventional love was a good opportunity some diverse ideas in there. Based on that, this week’s episode makes me think that maybe this show works best with just Davies. Just as episode three, Violet and Sian, was written by Sue Perkins, with whom’s work I was unfamiliar, Helen‘s written by Charlie Covell, with an identical situation. I’m unaware of anything she’s written, but this episode still just didn’t do it for me.

One thing to say about this is that it’s at least better than last week, because there actually is something here. It wasn’t boring, it was just unmemorable. Banana generally ignores any anti-normative traits of its characters, instead it just acknowledges them. Helen is post-gender-transition, and this is only acknowledged in one scene. What works is that it never becomes a big plot thing. It’s just dropped-in and never highlighted. And there was definitely an interesting point made about how, while someone pre-transition can be scared of it for their life until embracing it, after the transition, every other fear suddenly becomes real. Their world is fixed because they’re now in a body that makes them much more comfortable, but that makes the world no longer a fantasy. All the nightmares suddenly are a reality, and this nightmare is a sex tape being uploaded online as revenge by an ex. But the sequence showing the revelation of the video being discovered is executed really annoyingly. There are notifications popping-up everywhere, with comments appearing at the bottom of the screen and a webcam showing Helen’s reaction. The intention looks to have been Brechtian; to push the audience to the point of pain. What it ended up looking like is a first-year student film, which is then completed with the cliched slow-motion walk through the public, with people noticing her. It’s all very well, but it’s been done before, and the unoriginality of it suppresses any potential that was there. And I say this as someone who attended a school that constantly screened productions by students, and after a while we began to realise how similar they all were.

What left me the most unfulfilled was the ending. It wasn’t so much an open ending as a random stop. As the drama elevates, the episodes suddenly plays end credits. What happened? The problem is that open endings often happen for a reason, either thematically or for narrative effect, but here, it’s as if time just ran out.

I don’t know who’s writing next week’s episode, but I’ll still be watching. There are only going to be eight episodes of this show, so we’re more than half way through. I may as well see this play-out till the end, since the first few episodes were so entertaining. As we approach the finale, Davies will probably write the last few and quality might be restored. Unless it isn’t. But even then, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I can’t judge this show on a whole until I’ve seen the whole of it, obviously. These two latest episodes are the only ones I haven’t liked, so the majority of it’s been pretty good.

Banana: Helen – vanilla narrative executed with cliches 4/10.

Cucumber: Episode 4 — review

Screenplay by Russell T. Davies.

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.

One’s of the show’s problems, depending on how one sees it, is that it shouldn’t actually have an ensemble cast – that’s exactly what separates it from Banana. For the first episode, the single protagonist was Henry Best, who’s been relegated to being part of a character team. That doesn’t have be a problem, but it is for me since it’s an opportunity being missed to make Freddie Baxter the central character. Davies has said he isn’t going to write a second season, but there’s a loophole there that means he never said he won’t do spin-offs. Just saying…

And yet, the most interesting subplot in this episode is that of Dean, who finds a very interesting way to get pleasure: hiring a service whereby men will fake-kidnap you, tie you to a bed and stimulate sex. It isn’t sex, but it stimulates sex. Let’s just say that the situation allowed Fisayo Akinade to showcase his more-than-satisfactory body language. I do like Dean. Every situation he’s in turns into a farce, but he’s also really – no, overwhelmingly – polite. To Hell with it, my proposed Baxter spin-off should now include Dean as the secondary character. Maybe add in Adam there, as well. There was too little of him this week. Call it Peeled Banana. And yes, they do “do it”.

ANYWAY…

Because what Baxter and Dean are getting up to are so interesting, the other subplots are just… boring. Best’s encounter with Rufus “Peter Eccleston” Hound aren’t really different in anyway from conventional love stories and even then, what’s distracting is the that, through all of this, “that’s Rufus Hound!”. It’s just not something you can ignore. And then there’s Cleo, who just isn’t present enough for me to care about her when something big is happening.

Luckily, the exploits of Baxter and Dean are satisfying enough for me to say that, despite the other subplots being overnumerous and unremarkable, I liked this episode more than I didn’t. Though it is the weakest so far.

Cucumber: Episode 4 – positive extremes of audience engagement 6/10.

Cucumber: Episode 3 — review

Screenplay by Russell T. Davies.

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.

In fact, the highlight of the episode is by far the climactic scene in the middle of the open-plan residence, as Freddy prepares to send the image, supported by Best, and opposed by the image’s subject, all leading to a physical confrontation on the floor as they scramble over the phone, locked against each other and unable to actually do anything. And cue Dean, whose only reaction is “I’m not getting involved in this. It’s too weird. Use the safety word”. I love Dean. Dean’s probably my favourite character created by Davies, though actor Fisayo Akinade’s also due credit for making him unique. I just adore the way he floats around scenes on the periphery, and bounces around like a kangaroo. You never actually see him walking anywhere. And he’s always so happy! It’s almost inspiring. And as his Banana episode showed, when it comes to a yes or no answer, he’s happy with his life. Hopefully Davies will give Dean his own spin-off called Peeled Banana so I can write endless reviews in-which I essentially lick his ass every week.

Another thing that surprised me about Baxter was his attitude toward Best. Whereas in Episode 1, he was completely dismissive toward him, and in Episode 2 he confronted him about the copyright license of his face regarding masturbating (so sue me, bitch!), here he actively pleads to him, addressing him by his first name, for help. That’s what I love about Davies – he isn’t afraid to force immediate character develop if it’s called for.

Of course, this only makes the following scene even more effective, with the three recovering from not Baxter sending his image, but Lance Sullivan having given them a good kicking after melodramatically making a point of them deserving it. And I’m not going to say they did deserve it, but it was funny because of how Davies-esque it was. He was clearly having so much fun with what he was writing, and his presence can be felt in literally every character.

Again – he’s managed to write what he himself would call “marvelous!”. I love it when he says that. I’m kinda glad that he doesn’t want to give Cucumber a second season, because the story only has so many episodes to develop, and he’s making sure it does. I both do and don’t want this show to end – do you understand my problem?

Cucumber: Episode 3 – fearlessly melodramatic comedy of revenge 8/10.

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 an anthology show with continuity links to Cucumber. Generally, I prefer Cucumber for the same reason I disliked this episode, which is standalone. And being a standalone makes it easier to view as its own presentation, and on that basis – what the hell?

Generally, I like Banana. I find it entertaining and at times deep. But the strength of the show means each episode has the unfortunate requirement to work twice as effectively as a continuing show, because each week, there are new characters to establish and develop, and there’s often a sexual concept at the centre of it. There’s the risk with that kind of story-telling of it wearing-thin after a few episodes, and, whilst I’m not going to be so dramatic as declaring that to be now, this would appear to be the first dip in quality.

This week’s episode, Violet and Sian, has two things going for it: the arguably rare occurrence of both parent and child being gay, as well as a love story between one of those characters developing. Unfortunately, none of those two things really work and the episode’s easily forgettable because of its lack of impact. The idea of a parent and child both being gay is introduced well, and could have gone somewhere. It has a few moments that explored it, but they happened as angry monologues from the mother, which was a shame, since their backstory had some real potential to be interesting and it’s only touched-upon fleetingly, with the only mention of it being that heterosexuality in their household wasn’t really talked about. But then the romance between Violet and Sian was also very standard. In a nutshell, the plot is “they meet, fall in love, move in, have an argument, fall out, and then it’s open ended”. But that’s just storytelling. That’s not a problem intrinsic to it, but’s it’s so frustratingly, boringly basic. There was none of the charm or cheek that Davies could have provided. The bravery and charisma of his characters was just absent. This episode was about one thing and one thing only – the absence of Russell T. Davies. Instead, we have Sue Perkins. I’m not familiar with Perkins’ work, so I honestly can’t say whether I’d normally like what she writes. But that’s what’s at stake, and I can’t just be that forgiving on the basis of it being her first time writing something I’ve seen. And not to inflate my own ego, but I view her from the point of view of what I’ve been exposed to by her, so if she’s normally very good, that’s just unfortunate, because I didn’t like it.

That said, this episode didn’t work for me for the same reason the show does. It’s a good opportunity for new writers to get their chance at writing LGBT romance on television and could be a formula for success. If future episode aren’t written by Davies, I’m not going to be skeptical. I’m going to go into them with an open mind and hope that this week’s chosen writer can write episodes that reinforce the depth of the show so far and include more social and emotional ideas – something other than just filler.

Banana: Violet and Sian – unmemorable, undeveloped, formulaic, disappointing filler 4/10.

Banana: Scotty — review

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

Cucumber: Episode 2 — review

Screenplay by Russell T. Davies.

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.

Of course, all of this is made even more complicated by the possibility that he did do those things as well, and that we just didn’t see them. Perhaps Banana will reveal things Cucumber didn’t. But what matters it that this episode, regardless of what was shown, still makes no attempt to hide the fact that Best is bad. He fantasises about Freddie Baxter (and honestly, no really, honestly, who wouldn’t?) and is waiting for the moment to seduce him with wine and a shoulder massage, in a similar manner to his threesome from the previous episode, and the drama never denies that it’s wrong of him to do that. But at the same time, we’re being asked to empathise with him based on a situation that maybe didn’t even transpire. That’s the kind of moralistic problems that come-up in Davies’ dramas, and he doesn’t shy-away from it. He embraces the complications of morality, by making us find ourselves supporting a person for being in the right in one situation, when they’re in the complete wrong in another, more important situation. Cucumber‘s kinda like a gay Breaking Bad.

And yet, even in that far more serious situation, you still really like him for it. Or at least, I did anyway. You find his fantasies and desires to give it good to Baxter satisfying yourself, especially if you would gladly drop whatever you’re playing with to do the same. The episode reveals that he’s a virgin, and feels frustrated by his own sexual inexperience, and that frustration can be appeal if you connect with it. Davies makes you like a man you know you should hate for thinking things he shouldn’t be, despite them being your own thoughts. You want to champion him for at least trying, because it’s fiction. You want to him to succeed, so you can achieve the same through him. You want him to do the things you know you shouldn’t because it’s a safe way. But it never once stops trying to remind you of how sick you really are.

Cucumber: Episode 2 – complex moral ideas, socially engaging. 8/10

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 1. Here, in Banana: Dean, we see Dean’s point-of-view of that episode, with both shows’ episodes crossing-over when they meet. Both end with Dean welcoming Best to the place, unaware of his predatory intentions shown in Cucumber: Episode 1.

Given the choice, I expect I’m going to prefer Banana by the end of its and Cucumber‘s first season for its anthology format. Davies has described Cucumber as a novel, wheres Banana is a collection of short stories. I prefer short stories; there’s more of an art to them, since you have to establish the world and characters, develop them, make it interesting, and conclude it in a shorter space of time. Cucumber will develop over fourty-five minute episodes, whereas Banana features standalone stories in twenty-five minute episodes.

If the universe of Cucumber and Banana‘s to be congratulated for anything, it’s the casting. Andy Pryor always finds the perfect actors for each role, and Fisayo Akinde being cast as Dean was another perfect find. He’s the kind of actor that makes you realise only they could be their character (that’s not true, but they can still make it seem that way). And I find Dean so interesting as a character because he, almost uncannily, reminds me of someone I know. She’s the kind of person who tells great tales of their domestic life, yet lives quite an average existence. Davies has the advantage of having lived a life full enough to meet enough types of people to be able to write them as characters, and it would see, Davies has met this person too. Or at least someone like her.

Hopefully, every episode of Banana will be as entertaining as Dean, with characters that all have their own, strange sex habits and ways of getting it. Dean, as a person, makes  a vow of chastity until the person he’s been stalking becomes available, which forces him to literally saw his way out of it and rush to his apartment. It’s something only Davies could come-up with, and I have absolutely no doubt – this coming from a huge admirer of his work – that he’ll be able to ride this wave right to the end.

The next episode, Scotty, is a tale of lesbianism conducted through social media.

Banana: Dean – introduces quirky sex comedy anthologies. 7/10