TV Club: Cucumber: “Episode 5” / Banana: “Episode 5”

“We should have a proper fuck one of these days,” Leigh says to his budding boyfriend Henry one night. “I don’t even know what you’re like. Are you Ross or Rachel?” Somebody watches Looking! An homage to the other show about gay men on TV is always welcome—and surprising; whoda thunk such a small show would have concrete evidence of influence already?—but it also has the effect of bringing Looking and Cucumber into comparison, which I’ve been resisting. Despite sharing a central character motivated (or unmotivated) by fear, the stories of Cucumber and Looking don’t have a lot in common. Looking is a romance and a somewhat more traditional coming of age. Cucumber is a stranger, spikier story that isn’t so easily wrapped in a bow, but the trunk of the tree has to do with Henry’s fear of sex. Television has …

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