Jessica Green reviews Amazon Prime's recent original series The Bold Type, as it tells a story set in a fashion magazine with an empowering feminist angle for a new generationWritten by Jessica Green on 18th March 2018
Redbrick TV meets: Banana
It's part of Channel 4's much talked about drama trio, alongside Cucumber and Tofu, and focuses on the lives and relationships of young LGBT people. Writer Dean Eastmond speaks to the producer of Banana, Emily Feller, and poses his questions about creating the series and her career.
Redbrick: So how was it making the show?
Emily Feller: It was just a wonderful, brilliant experience. The scripts were in a really good shape and the team were great to work with. Overall a really really nice experience and we all had so much fun
RB: Did you work closely with the producers of Cucumber or were they two separate entities?
EF: No, we were completely as one. We spoke daily at least, or more regularly depending on how busy the productions were. Matt Stevens [producer of Cucumber] was a fantastic person to work with and a great person to turn to. This was my first main production and it was good to have him on standby. The show wouldn’t have worked without a great relationship between the both of us.
“''The show wouldn’t have worked without a great relationship between the both of us.''
RB: What’s the feedback been like over the past few weeks of the show being aired?
EF: I’m not really on social media so I didn’t see the feedback on Twitter et cetera, but all feedback I’ve heard has been great; really positive.
RB: Do you feel the show is challenging LGBT representation?
EF: I think that since Queer as Folk, LGBT representation has been changing and I think we’re helping along that way. There’s obviously still a way to go.
RB: Do you feel it needs to be challenged?
EF: I think that it’s always good to have a representation of everybody, especially if it’s been lacking. What I loved about making Banana is that the stories aren’t really led by the characters being gay or lesbian. They’re universal stories of people that age regardless of sexuality.
RB: Do you feel the series is having or will have an impact?
EF: I don’t know about perception, but it’s definitely giving opportunities for those characters to be on television more. We’re finally moving on from coming out stories.
RB: What formed the idea of a three-part series?
EF: Russell [T. Davies] always wanted to do it. Two reasons mainly. The first being a commercial reason, that three channels all being prepared from marketing and pushing them as single units. The second being creatively. While writing Cucumber, he wasn’t able to represent all voices and stories he wanted to tell , such as the younger and more female voices in Banana. Tofu creates more stories and more faces being able to be told. Three series, in which each series has its own identity.
RB: Do you feel that LGBT members have poor stereotypes within the media?
EF: I wouldn’t say poor. Maybe sometimes limited but soaps and other mainstream dramas have made a real effort to get LGBT characters involved. Cucumber, Banana and Tofu have been more productive and inclusive.
“''Soaps and other mainstream dramas have made a real effort to get LGBT characters involved.''
RB: Having worked in Emmerdale, what’s the jump like?
EF: I’d like to say it’s massive, it’s all quite massive. I loved Emmerdale; it’s been the most amazing rounded experience. With Emmerdale we were doing 16-20 pages a day, but with Banana we were doing 3-5. It’s amazing having that extra time. It’s nice to be able to spend a little bit longer on the production.
Banana continues Thursdays at 10pm on E4.