Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Letting the Kat Out and Cleaning Up the Katshit

A Digital Spy thread has been started asking the question about whether or not Kat can remain on the Square, long-term, especially considering her behaviour towards Alfie.

Traditionally, when a high-profiled couple are involved in an affair storyline, it's pretty obvious one of them will be leaving the Square. When Sharongate exploded, it was the prelude to Sharon leaving. When Bianca cheated on Ricky with Dan Sullivan, she left. When Pat and Frank cheated on Roy and Peggy, 

That was the rule of thumb. After all, EastEnders was really a modern-day morality play.

However, all that went out the window when Diederick Santer created the dysfunctional co-dependent unit that consists of Max and Tanya. When Max's infidelity with Stacey was exposed,   someone should have left the Square - certainly Tanya or Stacey. That way, Max could either have returned to the fold or moved forward without Tanya. 

But no.....

Seems it's one rule for some and another for another. Ricky Butcher was bullied off the Square after a one night stand, whilst his mother-in-law dismissed his wife's former infidelity (a full-blown affair with the man engaged to her own mother) as a folly of youth - when Bianca was a wife and the mother of a child.

Still, in Newman's recent interview, she made no secret of the fact that she intends to repair Kat - give her the karma she's due, mind you, yes ... but within the year, Kat would be laughing and happy again, and Kat and Alfie have a long way to go. Reading between the lines, this means that Roxy's going to be the year-long vehicle (like Vanessa) whereby Kat and Alfie reunite - most probably Christmas 2013. So now we know what to expect during the entire year, at least from Alfie and Kat: kabuki theatre wrapped up in will-they-won't-they and Roxy at the end with a broken heart. Again. And it will be Roxy who leaves.

Someone weighed in on this subject on the thread:0

I can't see how Kat can remain on the square long-term; in many ways upon her second return her main link to the square was Alfie; and her characterisation was very Alfie heavy and interconnected with him, with all her storylines being infidelity-based. In Kat's original stint - 2000-05, she at least had her sisters initially as characters to bounce off of; all the Slater sisters are gone now. And no, I don't fancy seeing any of the Slater sisters again; I really think they've had their time. 

John Yorke created the Slaters, dedicating an entire episode to their introduction and then featuring in every episode for the next year. They were the Brannings of their day. Lynne worked in the launderette and cafe. Kat and Little Mo in the pub. Zoe worked Mark Fowler's stall. Big Mo delivered Sonia's surprise baby. Little Mo was instrumental in inadvertantly exposing Frank's affair with Pat to Peggy.

 Lorraine Newman was part and parcel of that creation too, but that's no reason for her to sacrifice more viable characters at the expense of saving a character whom her production staff ruined for no reason and who is now immensely unpopular. Kat is spent. There would always be potential in the future for Kat to stray, and the viewers and Alfie would know it.

As for the Slater sisters, they introduced the peculiar dyamic of siblings sticking so far up each others' asses, that no friendships were made. The Slater sisters didn't interact with any other female dynamic on the Square except with each other. Consequently, Kat had and has no female friends. Even her partygirl association with Kim was suddenly forged and forced. The Slater sisters were followed by the friendless Fox girls and the even more friendless Mitchell sisters.

As such I suppose there's the argument that Kat after Alfie will have to have a 'rebirth' to revive her character - but I can't see it happening. Her friendship with Kim is 'meh'. In order for a friendship to work, you need to two reasonably successful characters to gel together. Currently both Kim and Kat have their own development problems; Kim has been too defined by the comedy, which means she's such a lightweight character she's simply not intriguing and lacks depth. This means the overdose of Kim - as we've had lately - means we get filler, rather than anything of substance. 
The sudden friendship of Kim and Kat was a joke beyond belief. Kim walked into the pub, shortly after they opened it, they introduced themselves and suddenly they were party buddies. Kim is another female character with drinking issues, but EastEnders sought to make a one-episode comedy out of her raiding the Minute Mart and ending up in the skip. She's a binge drinker. That was established from the getgo when she arrived for Denise's wedding when she was still with Dexter. Kim needs to be seen in more than one dimension - some sort of meaty storyline so she can prove she's more than a bad comic. Something more than mice in the B and B and bad cookers.

Kat's a wife and a mother now. I just don't think anyone cares for that Kat anymore. People want to see a softer version of Kat, and Kim just doesn't do that. A Tanya friendship would just bring out Kat's insecurities - which often have rather destructive consequences. 
Kat's an abysmal mother and an even worse wife. Oddly enough, the only woman on the show at the moment with whom I could ever see her forging a friendship would be Roxy, but Roxy loves Alfie, something Kat doesn't. Plainly speaking, Kat is the classic example of a victim of abuse who has become an abuser.

Alfie had the last name 'Moon' for a reason  But who can Kat be with - Ray? Ray is dull. Dull as dishwater. Besides having anger issues - with *that* infamous episode stereotyping Ray more than anything else - I don't see what a Kay union would bring to EE. Kim and Ray are already  Kat and Ian is a no-no. So is Phil and Kat. So is Kat plus any Branning Brother. 

Who is entertaining any of the above? People have suggested Michael, because Tommy is supposedly his son. But that's no reason to bond a couple. When Kat chose Alfie over Tommy, Michael walked away and didn't look back. Alfie has been open about him having access to Tommy, but - to Michael's credit - he's stayed away. Michael will have enough problems when Janine comes back - and the last thing anyone wants to see is Janine fighting another Slater over her husband and child. But then, EastEnders does believe in chasing about aimlessly in circles.

Others have suggested Jack the Peg, again, based on Tommy; but that's horseshit. Even though Tommy spent the first four months of his life with Jack, he is not Jack's son. Jack, actually, should take a long vacation and visit the children he never sees in France and Portugal. Besides, Shane Richie has said repeatedly that Kat was meant to be with Alfie or she wasn't meant to be with anyone. Think about that. It's got "plot device" written all over Rita Simons's forehead.

The poster MissFit sums it up succinctly:-

Jessie Wallace won't quit because she's got nowhere to go. She won't get axed because of the mistaken belief that Kat is a central character and there may still be someone out there who would want to see her. We may well be stuck with that orange in leopard print going round the affair-reconciliation-cycle a good few more times. 

Sadly, she's spoken the truth. Their last stint was ended when Shane Richie decided not to renew his contract whilst Jessie Wallace was still on maternity leave. When she returned, it was decided "by mutual consent" that Jessie would leave. Leaving "by mutual consent" is a euphemism for getting sacked, and Wallace did enough during her last tenure to warrant that.

Richie left, thinking his career would take off from EastEnders. It didn't. Wallace collected fiances. They were more than grateful this time around to be asked to return. This time, they are going nowhere. As long as they get the gongs and Newman is happy with them, they're safe; and we're stuck with the dross.

No comments:

Post a Comment