Liz is 15 and her boyfriend Justin has just moved to Australia. Her working class friends and bankrupt mom team up to buy her a mobile phone so she can keep in touch with him. Liz doesn’t waste their good will. She’s always on the phone, but at the same time she starts to get sick: moods take her and she grows impatient with her best friend Alice, and suspicious of her boyfriend.
As the series develops, we meet Elizabeth, the agent for a phone company called Millennial Telecom, who is tasked to watch Liz from afar. The company believes that Liz’s phone, their product, may be a lemon: a defective piece of technology that is leaking radiation. Elizabeth has to watch as Liz’s health continues to decline, unable to warn the girl without losing her career. Meanwhile, she covers up the consequences of Liz’s sabotaged relationships for the protection of the company.
The Lemon is a 12 episode, 30 minute drama set in Norwich, UK. It’s about how technology enables us to communicate but isolates us at the same time. The whole cast relates to this theme: it’s in Liz and Justin’s long distance relationship, Liz’s attraction to Alice, her friends from high school who are drifting away, her hypochondriac mother; Elizabeth has difficulty communicating with her telecom executive husband, and so on. Even Millennial Telecom, which comes across as a villain in this synopsis, covers up Liz’s suffering because the company sees the pros of their technology ultimately outweighing the cons.