Russell T. Davies, creator of British TV series Queer as Folk and credited for re-inventing the sci-fi classic Doctor Who, is launching two new series on Logo TV on Monday — Cucumber and Banana, as parallel dramas featuring the same characters and overlapping story lines.
Cucumber is be an hour-long series about the lives of a nine-year strong gay couple in Manchester, England. Banana is a thirty-minute show revolving around some of the younger characters from Cucumber and focuses on their love lives.
The series, and an additional, connected online-series in the UK called Tofu, were named after a European study on the hardness of the male erection. The scale has a four part range: tofu, peeled banana, banana and cucumber.
Watch a preview:
According to the Daily Mail, Davies had written the script for Cucumber when his partner, Andrew Smith, was diagnosed with brain cancer. They left Los Angeles to return to their homes in central Manchester for Smith’s treatment. Now the show is being pushed at full speed with the help of the Logo Network, who Davies said has been supportive since the beginning.
Although the shows are set in England, Davies said he doesn’t think the culture gap will be too wide for an American audience.
“Gay men are gay men and gay women are gay women in the west, certainly wherever you are,” Davies said. “I think there might be in terms of minting a British drama, there might be simple cultural differences. They might refer to television programs that you’ve never heard of. But we’ve put up with that in reverse for years over there,” he joked.
Article continues belowIt’s been 16 years since Davies created the original Queer as Folk. Davies said when it came out in 1999 there were comparatively fewer gay characters on television. Since then, the number of LGBT characters has grown but he believes there was still a lot of material not being explored.
“I found myself looking at what wasn’t being said,” Davies said, “and I’m really happy to write that stuff. So I was looking this time at middle-aged gay men, what they go through, their sex lives, the details of those sex lives without being sexy.”
Without being sexy, Davies said, meant genuinely analyzing the mechanics of sex and all of the attitudes associated with it.