My Beef with Soap Operas
As a mother of two who really should be allocating my evenings to book-writing, I spend far too much time procrastinating through the medium of soap operas. My ultimate indulgence when accompanied by a bottle of wine and a ‘More to Share’ (ha!) bag of Galaxy Minstrels is the Emmerdale/Corrie/Eastenders/more Corrie Friday night marathon.
But the more wine I pour down my neck the more irked I start feeling about the recurring unlikeliness of situations on the Cobbles, in the Dales and on the Square. I can’t really comment on life in Hollyoaks because I no longer lie in bed eating salt and vinegar crisps watching the omnibus with a Sunday Hangover (though it’s safe to say I’m yet to visit a town where the population demographic is almost exclusively attractive 16-30 year olds with HD brows).
Anyway, the following are my main bugbears:
Nobody ever agrees a time
“Do you fancy a drink tonight?”
“Yeah sure, I’ll see you later.”
WHEN? This is not the end of the conversation. Call him back over! What time? Are you meeting there? Is he picking you up? Is he going to WhatsApp you when he’s leaving? Are you having food out? Because if not you will need to line your stomach with a jacket potato. SO MANY QUESTIONS.
God bless soap kids. Besides a strategically placed steriliser (because nobody breastfeeds??) and the odd stray sippy cup, where is the actual evidence of the kids? Nobody is ever seen questioning why there are raisins in the DVD player or picking up their baby with a sniff and slight grimace because he has shat through his vest or because his neck folds are a bit cheesey. Kylie never has baby drool, poster paint and half an Ella’s Kitchen pouch on her leggings. And why do soap toddlers never behave like total knobheads, protest planking in the Minute Mart or crying in The Woolpack (because they asked for chips and sauce and were given chips and sauce but when the chips and sauce came they remembered they hated chips and sauce)?
Where do they get their money from?
The enhanced living wage must already have reached Walford because those daily breakfasts in Cindy’s café and pints after work in the Vic can’t come cheap. Perhaps business is booming for the Bridge Street market traders – there is understandably a high demand for knock-off flammable bodycon dresses that can be worn for a night out at the R&R and washed the next day in the launderette. HMV is closing stores nationwide but online digital giants like iTunes can’t compete with Winston’s CD stall. Maybe he gets paid overtime for minding every other buggers’ stall (“can you just mind the stall again, mate?” “FUCK OFF.”)
Don’t even get me started on how they can afford to live there. A fictional borough of East London it may be but buying or renting a property in E20 can’t come cheap. Kirstie and Phil would have a field day showing young professionals (with a whack of inheritance) around those three bedroom terraced houses which are in such close proximity to Walford East tube station.
But alas, Max Branning lives there (or he did when he wasn’t in prison or round at Carol’s). Max Branning who is described as a ‘Serial womaniser, Square regular and lucrative entrepreneur’ on the BBC’s Eastender’s website. Entrepreneur! HAHAHAHA. It’s not bloody surprising he fell behind with mortgage payments – for a long while he was supporting an entire family with his salary from Deals on Wheels. Does anybody in Walford even drive? Would they want a Vauxhall Vectra from 2002? Even if by some miracle they did the sales cabin was probably locked because he was inside shagging somebody half his age. But who doesn’t fancy a balding ginger semi-bankrupt used car salesman? Forget ‘who killed Lucy?’ the real Walford mystery is why so many women shag Max.
Yes I have got far too much time on my hands.
(Note from the editor: Many thanks to TheUnmumsyMum for being a house-guest! To read more about TheUnmumsyMum, click here or take a look at her hilarious blog. If you are interested in becoming a Glass House house-guest and contribute articles to The Glass House Girls, click here)