Thirteen years after the original Queer As Folk ended on British television, creator Russell T. Davies is back with an ambitious new gay television project.
The two new shows, Cucumber and Banana, will focus on different aspects of gay life in the Manchester setting where Queer As Folk took place. If you think the titles are more than vaguely phallic, you’re right.
“I once read about a scientific institute which had studied the male erection,” said Davies. “It divided the hard-on into four categories, from soft to hard. One, tofu. Two, peeled banana. Three, banana. And four, cucumber. Right there and then I knew I had my drama.”
The two shows, which will both air on Britain’s Channel 4, will take a look at gay life through different generational lenses. Cucumber will tell the story of the “comfortable” life of mid-40’s Henry and his partner, while Banana focuses of the younger gays who appear peripherally in the lives of the Cucumber characters. The two shows will be supplemented by a webseries spinoff called Tofu, which will delve into themes presented by both television shows and which Davies hopes will operate as an online gay sex guide.
Gay characters on television have definitely become more commonplace since Queer As Folk shocked the world with its frank and uncompromising depiction of gay sexuality and relationships, but Cucumber and Banana are looking to say something more interesting about generational boundaries in the gay community.
“It’s really about the collision of two generations of gay men,” says Channel 4 head of drama Piers Wenger. “Henry and his friends in their 40s, who went on the marches and had to go to Canal Street [on nights out]. In Banana they never have done that. They haven’t had the experience of being ghettoized.”
No word yet on whether the series will be adapted for American television, but if these shows are as groundbreaking as they sound, it shouldn’t be too long before someone wants to duplicate the success of the American Queer As Folk, which ran for five seasons on Showtime and still inspires a devoted fan base.