Cucumber and the Smartphone Welding Masses

In Opinion, Technology

It’s been sixteen years … yes sixteen years since Queer as Folk aired and made a name for Russell T. Davis. So it was with both trepidation and excitement that I sat down to watch his latest incarnation of Manchester’s gay scene. Albeit this time round through the lives and loves of an older generation.

Spanning across three shows, Cucumber, Banana, and Tofu. Cucumber the flagship show, features a older gay couple struggling with their new place in the gay world. While Banana dovetails with the main show to chronicle the lives of the shows younger members. While Tofu which is produced by ‘Becoming Youtube’ creator Ben Cook, is a candid look into the sex lives of the shows actors, the general public, and people of the internet. It’s an interesting approach, and speaks a lot of where television is these days. No longer confined to the small screen in the corner of the living room. This is a show that uses the internet and technology to expand it’s offering, as well as create a narrative.

“With Henry even bemoaning that they aren’t even in a gay bar, while another character responds “The whole world is a gay bar.”



What is more striking is the fact that a show like this couldn’t have happened sixteen years ago. There is barely a mention of a mobile phone in Queer as Folk while in Cucumber and Banana, characters are seen using Grindr to arrange hook ups. It’s this contrast between Queer as Folk’s Dial-up internet connections and CBT’s smartphone welding characters which really shows just how gay life and life in general has changed massively in just sixteen years, thanks to the proliferation of social media, and smart phones.

We live in a world with always on internet connections, a world where everyone and everything is available to us. This is brought home in one of Cucumber’s opening scenes where the group, find a whole host of information, and pictures, including a cum shot video of the waiter in the restaurant. With Henry even bemoaning that they aren’t even in a gay bar, while another character responds “The whole world is a gay bar”. This scene would have been unthinkable, and impossible in Queer as Folk.

It’s sometimes hard to notice just how much technology is changing the world around us, until you stop take a look around and just really take it all in. And thanks to CBT I sat there last night and really for the first time in a while really noticed just how technology and always on internet connections has change my world.

While we’re only one episode into the new show, I have a feeling this will become in it’s own right a classic, which will in a way complement Queer as Folk.

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