Sunday, December 28, 2003

Room 101

An occasional series on things that get right on my tits.

No.7: Soaps

The enema of British culture. The trivialisation of life and society into “issues” and the resultant celebration of mediocrity in supermarket magazines with an exclamation mark in the title. And for what?

There you are, bored out of your skull after tea, the children are either tucked up in bed or lying in a freezing heap in the coal hole (hey – whatever floats your boat, I’m non-judgemental), and they drag you in, stir your brains with the big stick and spit you out the other end, and you don’t even realise you’ve been watching.

I don’t give a flying shit about Neighboursemmerdalecoronationenders, but you’re thrown into a world where nobody’s got a real job, no-one owns a washing machine or watches television; and the characters consider themselves lucky if they know who their parents are.

It’s friends, family and social life for people whose identity has been sucked away by the idiot box. And I should know. I really shouldn’t give a toss about Alfie and Kat, but I do. In defence, I enjoy a good laugh at Corrie, simply because it’s such hackneyed tripe.

Consider this. Seven nights-a-week soap-ism means that every single plot imaginable has already been done. “Whose baby?”, “The will they/won’t they romance”, “Who shot Phil?” In that respect it’s like porn. You know you shouldn’t be watching, but you do in dumb fascination. Meanwhile the producers of the grumbleflick action know that every orifice has been thoroughly explored, their job is to make it interesting enough to maintain the punters’ wood.

What’s needed in that respect are news ideas – the bukkake flick of soap-ism, if you will. And I’m the man for the job. Dynasty thought they were being clever with that whole UFO story, and Bobby Ewing can walk out of the shower as many times as he likes, but they were just a bunch of rank amateurs compared to what I’ve got in store for Enders. Take a butchers at these little numbers, appearing soon down Walford way.

- Battle of the Soaps. A concept always hyped up by the red-top press, but never adequately explored. Until now. Let’s do it for real, with knuckle dusters, knives, and lengths of rubber tubing with razor blades embedding in the end. Brookie’s already bitten the dust, now let’s see Corrie vs Enders in the wedding disco fight to end them all as Ricky and Fizz’s nuptials end in a torrent of blood.

Roy Cropper staggers out, blood spurting from his neck, collapsing in the gutter on top of Mo Slater’s twitching corpse as Dot Cotton rakes the Rovers with an Uzi. Now that’s what I call a good start.

- Public Crucifixion. I’m really excited about this one. Nail the bastards up. A big line of crosses right across the Square, all singing a wretched, pain-stricken version of “Always look on the bright side of life” as life slips away. There’s always room for guest stars, too. First up – Ant and Dec. I’d watch that. If there’s nothing else on.

- Zombies! A chemical spill at Walford Cemetary causes the dead to rise from their cold, cold graves in search of revenge and fresh, spicy brains. Arthur Fowler, still in his dressing gown. Ethel and her Little Willy. Mrs Duck’s cousin who got run over by Martin Fowler and married Sonia the Moose on his deathbed. Dirty Den. Ah. You just watch – you just know he’s going to rip the top off Sharon’s skull and paint the side of the Vic with her brains. “Hello Princesssssss…..”

- The Testcard. Bring back the Potter’s Wheel, I say. In this multi-channel age, thirty minutes of that smiling bint playing noughts and crosses with the clown will do the plebs a power of good. They might even start talking to each other. Pigs might fly first.

Stuff it, if they don’t bring back Lofty, I’ll never watch again.

The Scaryduck Archive

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