… and it won’t be the last, either. Following on from the brilliant post by Me, The Man and The Baby , I felt compelled to write about my own turbulent relationship with the soap. As Crystal Jigsaw put it in her comments to the aforementioned post, I too am feeling a little ashamed to call myself an Eastenders fan at the moment. Truth is, I stopped watching it whilst pregnant with my son (I forget why, too much time spent with my head down the toilet, perhaps) and I have only just started watching it again. In fact, New Year’s Eve’s episode was the first full episode I had watched in a long time. Like I said, I’ve had a turbulent relationship with Eastenders.
I remember the first episode, although I can’t have been that old, but I still have memories of Nasty Nick, Dirty Den and Wicksy with their mullets and perms down the caf. Ha!
So, the current storyliine is bringing complaints flooding in and people are fuming at the way the writers have turned an already devastating situation into something horrific and incomprendable. Yes, it does highlight the unpredictability of human nature and yes, we all deal with things differently. I hope that we never have to be in that situation and never have to choose.
But, I have to say that this is not the first time Eastenders has gone to lengths to hammer home a storyline, all in the name of “creating good, dramatic television”. A few years ago, Sharon tearfully revealed a dark secret that made me question my loyalty to the soap. She explained that she was infertile due to a botched termination and went on to beg Vicky not to end her pregnancy. It was all very pro-life and I found it quite upsetting. I am pro-choice and I believe that if Eastenders wants to be a social commentator they should at least offer both sides of the argument. The clear message- to me, at least- was that termination is wrong and so Sharon’s punishment was her inability to have a baby herself. Of course, in the style of bringing people back to life and swapping babies, Sharon then went on to fall pregnant (by her brother) and then lose the father before she could even get the chance to think about playing happy families. The fact of the matter is that I think Eastenders played the whole storyline wrong, much like they are doing now.
That’s why I don’t think this will be the last time that Eastenders brings us a contraversial storyline. They’ve done it before, they will do it again. The question is, why do they feel they need to play on the emotions of parents and why choose to make uncomfortable/ distasteful situations the star of the show? Its every mother’s worse nightmare to face cot-death, particularly having it happen whilst you- god forbid- are sleeping. It is every mother’s worse nightmare to find you are unable to conceive due to a mistake in your younger years. Will it be Eastenders’ worse nightmare if we all stop watching? Probably not. I’m not sure I will be tuning in next week, and yes- I know it is just a story. Its just that I have children and I am emotional about them. I simply don’t have the time to immerse myself in ridiculous storylines that cause hurt and are intended to do nothing more than boost ratings. Donate to SANDS or FSIDS, BBC.
There! Rant over. Feel free to disagree/ agree with me.