EastEnders. Warning… here comes Polish night

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EastEnders. Warning… here comes Polish night

February 17, 2017 - 18:34
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You know those things that make you feel guilty because you do them too much? Smoking, drinking, eating unhealthy food and all that. Well, here’s what I overdo to my eternal shame… rave reviews of the BBC’s laughably ludicrous soap opera EastEnders.

EastEnders' French night...going down a storm

You know those things that make you feel guilty because you do them too much? Smoking, drinking, eating unhealthy food and all that.

Well, here’s what I overdo to my eternal shame… rave reviews of the BBC’s laughably ludicrous soap opera EastEnders. I’ve tried to give up, but can’t. So sod it, stand by for another one.

Even by Albert Square’s low standards of plausibility, the current stupid state of affairs is way beyond the outer limits. Nothing rings true. And the mind-numbing storylines are about as interesting as an accountants’ convention.

Gormless kids Shak, Bex (Common and Bex?), horrible Louise and their dismally dull school chums are turning the shabby show into a Poundland version of Grange Hill. New-headed Michelle appears to be having an affair with her American great-grandson, some dork called Preston. She used to be his teacher… now she’s giving him squalid lessons in inappropriate love. Uplifting stuff. And oh dear what can the matter be, Dot Branning’s cat got stuck in the lavatory. Wow.

Meanwhile, I’m bored to tears with Jane in her swish new wheelchair, a special Valentine’s gift from her incurably romantic husband Ian Beale. Just get her back on her feet, enough is enough. Jack’s bid to keep drowned cokehead Roxy’s name off her joint headstone with dearly-departed baby snatching murderer Ronnie was just bizarre. And weird liar wife-beater Lee Carter walking out on dim Whitney defied all logic. Which is probably why his irrational father Mick ordered him to do it.

But amid this swirling mass of lunacy, one particularly mad storyline is standing out from the crazy crowd. Step forward the scintillating saga of the Queen Vic’s stupefying theme nights. They keep on coming. And coming. And coming.

In a feeble fortnight of non-stop insanity, the world’s worst pub has treated its long-suffering regulars to Chinese night, Swedish night and French night. Each one proving to be more stunningly successful than the last. Not forgetting anti-Valentine’s night. After fancy dress-obsessed Johnny Carter explained the ridiculous concept of his evening for lonely singletons, easily impressed Mick shook his head in wonder and gasped: “Genius.” Yeah right.

Chinese night involved a bit of soy sauce and a few lanterns dangling over the bar. Swedish night starred a cardboard cut-out of Malmo born soccer hero Zlatan Ibrahimović. French night featured quick-change Johnny in his alleged ooh la la costume that was more Venetian gondolier than Paris. And all of these spectacular non-events offered the relevant foreign food.

Against all expectations Swedish night exceeded the triumph of Chinese night. And after its deliciously exotic menu of cheese, chips and sliced bread hit le spot, surly Shirley sensationally revealed: “French night went down a storm.” As opposed to like a lead balloon.

Now get ready for – drum roll – Polish night! Yay. In preparation for the piss poor party, old Shirl’s busy buying Eastern block-food for East End people. Good news for Conrad the Pole whose shop has suddenly cropped up in the market. Bad news for those who just want to go for drink at the their local.

Almost as far-fetched as Babe’s breakfasts at the boozer for which, in real life, there would be no demand whatsoever. Even if the daft old boiler was offering illegal pints of beer with eggs and bacon. Apart from chronic alcoholics, who wants that? On the off chance you do, get your ale from the supermarket. Then you don’t have to break the law.

Talking of real life, pubs are closing all over the country at an alarming rate of knots. Outmoded 70s-style neighbourhood drinking holes like the Vic are dying a death due to lack of interest. But over at the Beeb’s unlikely Cockney paradise it’s knees-up time round the clock. Twenty four-seven. Cheers!

In the weird world of unacceptably unrealistic EastEnders all they have to do is hang up a few flags, serve the kind of food that in London would be vastly superior at any nearby restaurant… and get Johnny to don another of his dubious outfits. Then simply wait for the money roll in. It’s absurd. Make it stop.

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Moggie's picture

By Moggie

The current trailers for EastEnders show the nation’s least favourite couple, Preston the man-boy from the USA and the new Michelle colliding in slow motion. We therefore must assume that the next stage of the tedious and not altogether pleasant coupling is the dramatic plot that the soap wants to hang its hat on.

Well I don’t know how to put this gently, but oh boy what a mistake. I have had more than enough of hearing Michelle telling Preston he should leave and the current absence of Walford’s least convincing Romeo in that far-flung land known as Manchester is giving some relief.

Returning him for the big showpiece drama shows how offkey the BBC soap is. The soap does not know when enough is enough and keeps flogging the same dead horses.

I think that the insistence of paying homage to the film The Graduate is indicative of a major identity crisis the soap seems to be going through now. In addition to Michelle being Mrs Robinson to Preston’s Benjamin, there seems to be a bit of an obsession with creating scenes and stories that bear more resemblance to Grange Hill or Bad Girls. Sadly, none of these tribute acts are any good.

We have reached Bad Girls thanks to the continual Carter crisis involving lots of dripping water and Whitney taking control, yes the same Whitney who was unable to spot her husband’s downward decline and could only then muster instructions such as “pay the deposit on the flat” and “I want expensive Christmas crackers”. She is now reborn as the new L supporting her man, oops, L’s man, during his mumbling turmoil. Can one soap ever have too much discussion about how to solve the financial crisis of a family who paid for a London pub in cash? Apparently not. Tonight, we saw street savvy business man crumble after trying to stir up trade for St Patrick’s day with some poorly drawn fliers. Obviously using a pc to write and produce an image never occurred to him.

His half-sister/mother Shirley is now in prison having offered herself up as sacrifice. The only thing that could make that scenario more realistic is for one of the other prisoners to shout out “Oi Vonne, watch out for Fenner!” (younger viewers should Google that reference). I dislike prison scenes in soaps as they are usually filled with clichés and seem disconnected to the main soap drama. There is no such respite here though from the repetitive EastEnders dialogue as we have Tina visiting and repeating the only dialogue she seems to have these days “What about Mum?” and “I am worried”.

We also have the never-ending school drama involving a lot of unlikeable teens and mobile phones that has been responsible for the Grange Hill tribute. I cannot remember why simpering Bex is continually crying and looking out of windows but I wish she would pull herself together and do something interesting and ensure the formulaic bad teens go away. We really need Mrs McCluskey to return and tell them all to “just say no!” (younger viewers should Google that one too).

The Graduate/Bad Girls/Grange Hill sagas lend themselves to easy jokes because the whole programme does not seems to know where it is going. Sadly, for me the show that most frequently comes to mind when I watch EastEnders is the Magic Roundabout, as the thin plotlines are simply going around in circles. I am not against cougars, financial woes or school children, but the show currently lacks anything interesting and relies too much on the same characters embroiled in the same dramas and speaking the same dialogue and pulling the same faces. Each night I think that 30 minutes is too long and the end cannot come quick enough. Duff duff duff – time for bed.