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TV: Soap round up

It never pays to be too happy in soap land. Nicola Mostyn gives us the lowdown

Published on September 1st 2008.

TV: Soap round up

There is a rule in soap land which dictates that the happier you are, the worse things are going to get next episode. So I wasn’t particularly hopeful for Jo and Andy, who last week were getting along famously despite their previous altercations. The pair decorated their kitchen, flicking paint at each other romantically in the way people only ever do on television, gloss in the eye being one of life’s least erotic experiences. “I think we’re finally starting to sort things out,” said Jo to Diane (T Bag), shortly before Andy did another Jekyll and Hyde. Well, no wonder’s he angry, having that haircut for fifteen years.

Meanwhile, Val is finally free of crazy blackmailer Bonnie (Brookie’s brilliant Sue Jenkins) who tracked her down after they met on holiday and threatened to reveal all about Val’s dalliance with a (it turns out non existent) waiter called Derek. Having returned from her groom-less honeymoon with the name tattooed across her back, you can’t help feeling Val didn’t really help herself here.

Over in EastEnders there’s no danger of anyone being ominously happy; things are just plain ominous. Last week, as Dawn tried to enjoy her sparsely-attended hen do, Shirley lectured her on the shallow nature of her infatuation with possessions, though quite when Shirley turned into a Buddhist is anyone’s guess. (Perhaps it started with her affection for the Buddha-shaped Phil Mitchell?)

Meanwhile Dawn’s fiancé Jason and Billy Mitchell were in trouble as Terry, the gangster type Jason stole money from, paid him a visit with his henchmen. I would find this a lot scarier had Terry not looked like Lionel Blair.

Anyway, after Billy and Jase’s son Jay made it out of the flat, Billy locked Jay in the van for safekeeping, and then went back to help, only he seemed to take a wrong turn and ended up cowering in the bathroom with his hands over his ears. Poor Billy –who really doesn’t seem to have a scrap of Mitchell in him – started punching the tiles; presumably once he was finished with the tiles he was going to move onto the towels and the loo roll holder and then work his way up to the baddies. Except the police found him before he could.

Oh, and Jason died, stabbed to death, which is a tragedy, not only because bride-to-be Dawn had an epiphany and renounced her materialistic ways, but because he’s one of the few fit men on the Square. *Sigh.* I suppose now I’ll have to fancy new Square hottie Callum, although him being the son of Vinny, played by Bobby Davro, I will find this rather disturbing.

Coronation Street
Speaking of disturbing, if there are three words liable to make me lose my lunch they are “Dev’s dirty weekend.” Yes Dev, he of the strangely elongated vowels interspersed with crazy fast-forward speech, who may well not have had sex since Deidre. Or if he has, I’ve blanked it out of my mind.

Dev told his daughter he was off for a golfing trip when actually he was meeting married former Bollywood actress Nina in a hotel for sex.
Strangely, she didn’t seem that keen on an encore, preferring to head off for a hot stone massage. Can’t say I blame her, what with Dev’s penchant for premature/delayed ejaculation plus his apparent predilection for saying “Wowee!” after sex. Dev, this is Coronation Street. Not Whizzer and Chips.

Back on the street Sinbad…sorry, I mean, Jerry is looking ever more like something out of Night of the Living Dead. Only plumper. Ex-wife Theresa has her feet firmly under the table, despite the fury of daughter Mel, and under Theresa’s care and attention (i.e. slow poisoning) Jerry is rapidly turning the colour of drying cement. To help, she bought him a medicinal pineapple. Jerry seemed unimpressed: “You know where you are with a tin.” Yes, Jerry. Sixteen stone. Soon enough Jerry dropped to the floor with a bleed on the brain and was rushed to theatre, where no pineapple can help him.

In happier news, Gail is dating Tina’s dad aka Joe Macintyre aka Matthew from 1980s sitcom Home To Roost, and she can’t stop smiling. Is it just me, or is there something really scary about Gail smiling? It’s like looking into a hellmouth. Though possibly this is just because you know that as soon as Gail is happy it means someone is about to drive her entire family into the Rochdale canal to an indie-pop soundtrack.

Sadly, it may be a similar story for Sean who has been so nauseatingly loved-up with partner Marcus recently that you sense heartbreak is on the horizon with its foot on the pedal and a distasteful cuddly Garfield in the window. Sure enough, while Sean pines for his absent lover, Todd reports to mum Eileen that he saw Marcus hugging another man in a gay club. All the gay men in this soap naturally collect in the one venue. Presumably nurse Karl Foster, new guy Tom and Norris from the Kabin were all in there bopping to hiNRG anthems, too.

Anyhoo, when confronted, Marcus claimed that it was simply an innocent embrace with an ex. Hmmm. Sean, I’d check him for tattoos, if I were you…

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profSeptember 1st 2008.

...and of course repeats, Mrs Trellis

DigSeptember 1st 2008.

I think soaps should be banned. When I watch one it makes me feel really dirty. Like my person has been violated in some way. Probably why they're called soaps actually. Cos you need a wash after you watch one. Plus you get a bonus labotomy while you watch one. I say rid British tv of horrible stupid soaps and free up lots of airtime for some proper programming and deprogramming for the people. It will be a long and difficult road to enlightenment and salvation but you can be saved from the mind control and brainwashing that is a soap. Free your minds people. Just say no... Or turn over, both will work.

profSeptember 1st 2008.

...and of course repeats, Mrs Trellis

Professor ChucklebuttySeptember 1st 2008.

I see your version of so-called Soapland is restricted to those based in England. Why have you chosen to ignore the far superior offerings from our Celtic cousins? Since the loss of Take The Highroad with the charming and yet troubled Dougal, I find that Scotland still leads the way in high quality the drama serials.(a term I prefer to the downmarket US imported slang, Soap) For me Balamoray is far superior drama to the misery of Eastenders and Wensleydale Farm. Why only this week, we had Miss Hulee Hoop worried that the dirnks had not arrived at the local nursery and she got the kind of action and drama from the police that brought back those heady days of live Z cars. The local officer, who was just an ordinary constable, utilised a criminological technique of colour related psychological profiling that astounded me in the accuracy of his findings. He was able to pinpoint by just the colour of a house who had the missing drinks. Justice is swift in Balamoray and the culprit, Penny pocket was Hanged from a gallows made of yoghurt pots. Drama that entertains, informs and excites. No wonder the Met use episodes in their training of new recruits. Compare that to a shopkeeper having a dirty weekend with Rita Fairclough. Of course Wales also continues with its legendary and longest drama serial, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch Roads, which has been sadly reduced to only five minutes of actual drama since bloody Dennis Waterman joined the cast and started singing the new theme tune. I suppose the only other really popular Welsh drama is the one about life on the road, Araf. although I actually think this is slow.Bring back Mrs Dales Dairy!

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