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Soap update

The soaps are getting confused and so are the scriptwriters

Published on November 25th 2008.

Soap update

So Max is finally a beaten man, in hospital, recovering from a coma, having been almost been killed in a hit and run. Last episode, Bradley went to his dad’s beside to deliver yet another one of his “you let me down, I’ve had enough, this is my very last “‘you’ve let me down, I’ve had enough’ speeches” speeches. Whilst there, he revealed that it was Tanya who tried to murder Max, leaving his father looking more shocked than is reasonable for a man who was recently buried alive by the same spouse.

Yes, Tanya has owned up to the crime and is currently banged up at Her Majesty's pleasure. Separated from Booty, she’s gone very Prisoner Cell Block H, all scraped back hair and porridge complexion. Give it two weeks, she’ll be wearing dungarees and making people call her Top Dog. Her cell mate is an amateur psychologist: “It’s a thin line between love and hate,” she advises Tanya, positing that the reason Tanya tried to kill Max was because she still loved him. Since this is the second time, she must love him very, very much. Next time, perhaps just buy him some Ferrero Rocher, eh?

She didn’t do it anyway. But who is Tanya covering for? In a similar vein to the Who shot Phil Mitchell? scenario of a few years back, there are no shortage of people who might want Max dead. Jack. Stacey. Bradley. Dot. The only EastEnder in the clear is Tracy from the Vic, and that’s only because you can’t kill a man by fetching a box of Smokey Bacon crisps.

Over at the Vic, Shirley and Suzy continue their feud, with Shirley suspicious of Phil’s girlfriend’s offer of a free pampering session. “What could she possibly do anyway?” asked Heather, presumably wondering how anyone could make a negative impact on Shirley’s blonde-spike-and-hatchet-face ensemble. Has anyone else noticed that Shirley appears to be played by Ailsa from Home and Away? Someone should tell Alf Stewart that, just as Harold Bishop once blew off a rock whilst playing the trombone and then turned up safe and well five years later, so, too, Ailsa is alive and well and scrubbing the bogs at the Queen Vic.

Whilst they are at it, they should tell Harold that Madge is spending most her of time in the Woolpack. But they’d best be quick. Last episode, Emmerdale’s Lily (played by Neighbours’ Anne Charleston) had a funny turn, with all the signs suggesting that she might be doing a Donald – though hopefully without the intervention of the Kings, a family who are bumping off people at such a rate they have presumably bought some shares in the local funeral parlour.

Elsewhere, Andy’s angry alcoholic act is wearing a little thin. Andy could pick a fight in an empty room and it seems to run in the family, since his daughter, Sarah, has been chucked out of playgroup for smacking seven bells out of the other kids. In reaction to Jo not allowing him to see his child, Andy sensibly hits the whiskey, then turns up to work for ex-wife Katie, who advises him to pull himself together and makes him a coffee to sober him up. Possibly she shouldn’t have made it an Irish coffee, since in the next frame he was off round Jo’s house, shouting the odds. Eventually, he was punched by his half brother, Darren. Nice. Why not put the entire Sugden family in a room, throw them a crate of tequila, and let them scrap to the death? Just a thought.

Over in Coronation Street, Roy has been counting down the days ’til Hayley’s return but she has been feeling rather differently about her homecoming and asks to have a quiet word with her husband, leaving Roy looking a little anxious. Unsurprising, really - the last time Hayley asked to have a quiet word it was to tell him she used to shop at Burtons.

This time, her heart has been stolen. By Africa. Or a bronzed hunk called Olaf. Either way, it led to her pacing around the streets and sitting on park benches gazing wistfully into the middle distance, international language for “I’m outta here.” That was until she realised, courtesy of Becky, how selfish she was being. Pah. I say let Hayley have Africa: Becky and Roy are a more entertaining pairing than Roy and Hayley, anyday.

Speaking of Becky, Steve is in trouble, what with his court date to testify in Becky’s defence coinciding with the day Michelle has decided to throw her parents a big anniversary party. Yeah, those parents who have just lost their only surviving son in a horrific car accident. Party time, in anyone’s books. Anyhoo, the finer details require Becky and Steve to put their heads together down an alley, with Lloyd turning up in the shadows like The Equalizer.

Again, I say: scriptwriters, give Lloyd a storyline of his own. Please. You could take one from Dev, who we could all do with hearing a bit less of, since he is slowly turning into Tim Westwood.

In other exciting news, Norris has come second in a Cliff Richards competition. Now all he has to do is discover the identity of his nemesis, perennially first prize winning comp-champ Mary Taylor. I hope it turns out to be Emily. Or, even better, that it turns out to be Norris himself, and he’s actually schizophrenic and tormenting himself in a Secret Window type fashion. Admittedly, this may be pushing things a tad Twin Peaks. Sniff. Would have happened on Crossroads, though.

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