02 February 2015

TV: Banana ii

I really like that Banana and Cucumber are two series that are so inextricably intertwined, but are so dissimilar and disparate. Banana concentrates on one romance per week, whereas Cucumber tells one long, overarching story. I don't have a preference in storytelling style, but both are heart achingly well executed. 

Following her fleeting role in this week's Cucumber, Letitia Wright takes the lead as Scotty. After last week's relatively conventional gay storyline, to ease us into the series, you might expect more of the same here. You'd be completely wrong though. In under a minute, all expectations have gone out the window and you feel bad for even having had them. Love is just love, an emotion you can't help or control, and I am so glad this message is being broadcast so loud and clear.

One theme of Russell's writing I'm beginning to recognise again is pay-off. It features in both of this week's episodes, but is probably more satisfying here. In Cucumber, we're introduced to the Henry Test, and we see it tear Henry and Lance apart again towards the end of the episode. In Banana, the red cap is initially mocked and presented as a device to tell us about one of the worlds Scotty lives in. Come the closing moments though, and you'll be applauding. 

'Love without limits' is the tagline of this trio of series, and nowhere is that reinforced more than in this episode. Letitia Wright is perfectly cast as Scotty, and owns the role. This is saying a lot; many wouldn't be able to. I'd expect to see a lot more of her in future - and I'm glad to be saying that. This episode demands a lot of her, with heartwarming, scary and mellow moments, but she completely lives up to the challenge. Lewis Arnold isn't a director I was aware of before this show, but he's clearly got some talent too, and produces one of the most polished and professional shows in the business. 

Like its parent show, this is the complete package. I can't think of any areas for improvement. This is stunning drama at the highest level and although each episode is perfectly plotted for 30 minutes, you can't help but want more. If it weren't for Cucumber, this would be the best thing on the box right now.

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