Cucumber’s central character is a 45 year old man Henry and his life and his loves and his adventures. Henry is an insurance salesman and has been living with his boyfriend of 9 years, Lance. Interestingly, we find out that Henry doesn’t like anal sex and somehow he has convinced Lance of that. Lance is desperate to get married to Henry and end his virginity phase but Henry is more interested in his conversations with Dean (a black teenager working in his office) and Freddie, a delicious 21 year old hot working in cafeteria. Henry is totally smitten by him and just dreams of having him in bed at least once in life. In an unfortunate incident, Henry and Lance break up and Henry ends up moving in with Dean and Freddie. Henry eventually gets thrown out of his job, after supposedly causing the suicide of one of his colleagues. Henry starts making homoerotic videos with his nephew and his friend while Dean and Freddie continue with their sexual trysts. Meanwhile Lance gets totally smitten by Daniel, his co-worker, who keeps making sexual moves at Lance but seems like a bipolar personality. So while Henry drools for Freddie, Lance is doing same for Daniel. Lance eventually succeeds but it comes at a price of his life when Daniel in a fit of anger kills him. Some fingers point at Henry for cause of Lance’s death but he is equally devastated by Lance’s death. He needs to move on. His friendship with Dean and Freddie is getting closer even to an extent when Freddie offers to have sex with him which he refuses. When the trio along with many other are thrown out of the illegally occupied houses, Henry decides to take all of them to their home and make a Collective. But things don’t last too long and eventually everyone moves out. Time moves and few years pass when Freddie and Henry have a reunion of sorts. The reunion between Freddie and Henry was the highlight of the episode. I love that this show went from Freddie being barely able to tolerate Henry to actually having the both of them develop an understanding and respect for each other without either of them becoming a couple.
Cucumber has been a mixed bag for me. There are scenes and episodes that I completely loved but then at the same time, there have been stages where I have been left wanting more. The story idea and presentation is definitely novel and something new but I wished there was more detailing into some of the other aspects. At any stage, i never felt connected with any of the characters and this is where I think the series fails a bit. If nothing more, as a viewer, I should have found a warmth about Henry, but I don’t. On the contrary I found him a very selfish individual. Freddie adds the right mix of attitude by a hot gay guy who can have anyone who he wants and Dean as the goofy teenager struggling to find his own. The actors are all charming and have done their job well. Having been to Manchester and seen some of those places, I felt good. I know its not fair to compare but the show ‘Looking’ in US is far more better than this series. Gay television dramas need to be free to fail, and gay characters to be fully rounded human beings rather than walking issues.
I would still recommend this to everyone. My expectations were bit much higher than what I eventually got. (7/10)