Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Branning Show: Much Ado About Sluttin' - Review: 29.11.2012

Much ado about sluttin' ... and gurning ... and gawping ... and that terminal illness of selfishness and self-centredness. The culture of memememememememememe which comes as a genetic trait in any female with Cross blood.

Like a Shakespearean drama (of which EastEnders at the moment is the furthest thing), here are its features tonight with appropriate musical interludes:-

Lauren the GurnGirl Does Her Party Piece

Lauren's got a gash on her forehead, which will heal within the next week and will leave nary a scar. I wonder, did she mash her mouth against the steering wheel? Because since Jacqueline Jossa started on the show, it seems her upper lip has enhanced itself greatly. As in collagen greatly.

Here's a picture from her early days, post-fringe:-

And here's another, taken after she began to believe her own publicity:-

And here's one showing a couple of other things which she's "enhanced."

Not only are these photos shown in order that Digital Spy's xTonix could have himself a good wank over his laptop, they're also being shown to illustrate that the difference between the first picture and the last two symbolises the difference between the acting exhibited by Jossa when she first undertook the role of Lauren and how that acting ability has regressed to the point where she's constantly aware that she's playing a role, that the camera is rolling and that it's honing in on her. And if it isn't, it should be.

The over-emphatic arm and physical gestures, the exaggerated facial expressions - amoungint to gurning, the loud delivery, and - as an astute observer noted - she's beginning to gawp that mouth open a lot. Wonder where she learned that party trick? As well, the total wailing and weeping she's done in an earlier episode this week and also tonight, was an embarrassing attempt. 

Derek aside, Lauren is vying with Tanya and Joey for the title of Most Unlikeable Branning, although I'll give her fair dos tonight: she actually wanted to take responsibility for her actions in ploughing Derek's car through that shop - all for lurrrrrve, mind you; but however much she might protest that her one-week-one-fuck tangle with the unintelligible hulking Neanderthal, who can't shut his mouth except when he talks is the real thing, it must not be and she must know it; because at the end of the day, she didn't have the courage to tell the police the truth - either face-to-face in her own front room of by going to the copshop.

The fact that she's harbouring a mega lie from her father, with her mother's collusion and at her mother's instigation, is just that much evidence of the straw upon which the House of Branning is built. We know Max is keeping a major secret from Tanya - so major that it will most likely make their wedding arrangements implode. And Tanya's keeping the secret of Lauren's involvement in the crash from Max for various reasons.

Yes, it's true that Lauren, with her track record, would most likely do time for dangerous driving and driving under he influence. Also for perverting the course of justice. Tanya, in this instance, really is no better than Phil Mitchell in protecting a child who's committed a major crime. This isn't the first time Tanya's done this, however. It's the second. But also, Tanya's doing this, as evidenced in her last scene with her daughters and Max.

Yep, this is a bad patch through which the Brannings are going, but - according to Tanya -they've been through worse and survived. This is true - but have they really survived? I'm amazed at Abi's maturity, although Cora is quick to want her to go off the rails. The Brannings spoil one daughter and ignore the other. The real reason Tanya wants to sail through this is her wedding.

That woman collects weddings like Jessie Wallace collects fiances. Did anyone ever tell her it's bad taste to have such an overt display of tackiness after her last wedding to Greg, which was laughably all white and virginal?

Tanya's worried because she wants to get this minor incident out of the way, doesn't want Max to find out and she wants everything perfect for her wedding.

Lauren's not a tragic lovesick heroine; she's a spoiled little brat of a bitch who's whining now because her beefcake cousin seems to have gone off her after one fuck and an escape attempt. And what a cowardly cousin he is too - he'd rather dump the girl he's supposed to lurrrve rather than share a roof with his old man, who saved his bacon, by the way. So Lauren is acting out, whining, crying and running after Joey - which shows that she really isn't the adult she claims to be. And when Turdhopper rejects her, what does she do?

She reaches for the vodka - just like her mother and grandmother before her - except she has to have an overly-dramatic Camille-cum-Sydney-Carton line to express the full level of the tragedy of losing such a noble penis soul as Joey Branning.

Looks as if the money Jossa's dad embezzled from the citizens of Enfield to fund the expensive education afforded Jossa at Bromley's DB Theatre School was all in vain. This girl sucks. We're supposed to like, root and feel sorry for Lauren Branning, but the writers who wrote her and the actress who portrays her have fucked the character up so bloody badly, that she's nothing more than a pejorative waste of space. Her entitled, lazy and selfish character is a blight on and an insult to all the worthier young characters from previous years in the programme.

Then, there's Cora the Bora. Another bitter and twisted old man-in-drag lag feeling sorry for herself and making everyone around her suffer. She writes Tanya off on Monday, literally cuts her out of her life, and then complains because no one in the family thought to run knocking on her door to tell her about Lauren's accident - as if Cora is the hands-on grandmother on a normal day. She'd probably castigate Lauren about not being 'ard enough to hide her booze level and drive in a straight line.

Once again, tonight, this was less about the fact that her daughter had been involved in a serious car accident and more about Cora's huge ego and even huger feelings being hurt. Once again, it's Tanya's fault. Hell, it's anyone's fault but Cora's.

Was it me, or when she was standing on the doorstep of her house feeling sorry for herself to Tanya, did she look like Derek in drag?

Cora could convincingly play Albin in La Cage aux Folles.

Musical interlude:-

Well, Dot's house, really ... not that anyone would remember. But you'd think Fatboy would, since he "advised" Poppy to take in a lodger to help with the bills it looks as though Cora hasn't been paying. Yes, Cora's lost her job at the charity shop, but Final Demands for payment don't come right away. Cora's been spending her earnings on false eyelashes, plaster-of-Paris make-up and liter bottles of vodka to keep her embalmed going.

So now, we've got Cora, Poppy and Joey all living in Dot's House. Soon, Fatboy will repair there, himself, when he remembers the sex bomb the writers want us to think Joey is. And Dot will come home to a pile of bills, a drunk who's feeling sorry for herself, a young girl she doesn't know, a grandson she's never met and Fatboy.

I would love to see Dot channel one of the Bible stories she loves so much and, like Jesus drivig the moneylenders from the Temple, cast all these scroungers out from the realms of Castle Cotton. Dot's too good to be associated with a family of losers like the Brannings.

Bianca Is Not Lucille Ball

This is not Bianca. This is genuinely funny redhead:-

With the return of Bianca, TPTB are asking two things of us: our sympathy for the poor, poverty-stricken Butchers, who - for some reason - haven't heard of the benefits system and who live, virtually rent-free in a house purchased by a relative to keep them off the streets; and laughter at Bianca's noble attempts to carve out a career for herself as a hairdresser.

OK, she's a klutz at this, with her "stificates" (which probably mean little or nothing), but we just know that within three months, TPTB will have turned her into a dynamic and successful businesswoman.

Whilst the highlights of the Bianca scenes tonight were, undoubtably, the wonderful Lindsey Coulson as Carol and - surprisingly - Whitney, Bianca still stank. And she's still stupid.

Common sense would have told her that, with Lauren's accident and the police crawling all about, Tanya just might be distracted. Leaving Bianca to train under the guidance of Poppy was like leaving Dumb with Dumber. The scene where she's shouting in the face of the old lady customer, assuming she was deaf  - and later learning that she'd ruined the woman's wispy hair - wasn't funny at all. As for Carol suggesting that Bianca get businesscards printed and become a mobile hairdresser, she's forgetting that (a) Bianca has no money, (b) Bianca has no transport by which she can ferry essentials needed for this trade and (c) even if she did, Bianca doesn't drive.

I despair of these writers. Still, there we have plucky Bianca, and we should all be on her side.

I'm not. She's just one of a trio of iconic female characters who's been fucked up - as much by the writers as by the various producers accommodating Palmer's laissez-faire attitude towards her role. It's clearly there as a cash cow, which she could take or leave. With that in mind, I wouldn't be averse to TPTB finding some balls and terminating the character of Bianca. She and her kids can bugger off and bother Ricky. I haven't missed that Tiff the Mouth isn't about - but then, neither is Damien Den, and I'll bet Lorraine Newman is planning a veritable cutefest for Christmas featuring Tiffany and Denny in order to see who can out-cute the other one. Please. Throw in Simon from Corrie visiting, and you'll have a triumvirate of devil's spawn.

I say I was surprised by Whitney tonight, and I was. Whitney works well with Bianca and also with Janine - older women who mentor her and support her psychologically and emotionally. She doesn't work with Tyler (less seen, soonest mended) or with the awful girlfriends who share boyfriends but don't seem to share STD's. More of this Whitney, please.

Katshit Is Not Sweet Charity but Derek Is Probably a Big Spender

Do these ladies remind you of anyone on EastEnders?

I mean, without the talent of these professionals.

OK, let's state the bleeding obvious: did anyone notice tonight how much like a whore Kat looked? The leather gear, the tits hanging out, the garish, overly-made-up and hard face? More secrets and lies. They abound in EastEnders these days.

The only "sweet" thing about this sordid Shaggerman tale is, in my opinion, Alfie now doesn't trust Kat one inch. You caught the look of mistrust fleet across Alfie's face when Kat started whingeing about Alfie's German market plans. Alfie may act stupid, but I don't think he's half as stupid as some people think he is. Certainly, he's more intelligent than Kat gives him credit for.

I think he's spent the past few weeks, since her half-hearted and only half-truthful confession, "playing possum" (as we say in the South), going through the motions, trying to humour her, yet trying to convince himself that he still loves her. No one can still love a partner who is regularly unfaithful.

Kat is just a cold-hearted bitch, an abuse victim who's happily become an abuser. She uses sex as a retreat when she feels she's being unwittingly ignored by Alfie or when he does something of which she doesn't approve. She fully intended to do the deed when she swanned off from the Vic tonight to go back to the same bedbug-ridden doss house she fucked around in before, except this time, she got a case of cowardice.

This is no love story. If it is, it's not something in which the viewer has been allowed to invest any emotion. We know the Shaggerman is a Branning, and the constant camera play on the laughing Brannings tonight, with the red herring being the red hairless one, was pukeworthily amateur. Who are these writers entertaining? Retards? Seriously.

First, the Brannings forgetting all their current kerfuffles to encourage Alfie to go to Cologne and buy marketware, then - with Tyler in attendance - making light of his efforts by making totally ignorant, jingoistic remarks about Germans, in general. Kat was even worse, undermining Alfie by goading him that everyone was laughing at him, then backtracking to say this was all about money they didn't have.

Shaggerman is so obviously Derek, and because we haven't been allowed to see this affair develop, the viewers can only see it as a sexfest, because Alfie has given Kat no need to be unfaithful, and he isn't buying the dirty girl shit she's dishing up again. She wants her cake and wants to eat it too. She wants Derek's dick, but she also wants the safety of Alfie the Dependable Bloke and the status of being the landlady of the Vic.

I hope karma bites her ass soon, but what dismays me is the fact that Newman as good as intimated that the entire 2013 is going to be kabuki theatre of, first, Alfie with Roxy, then Kat miserable, then Alfie and Kat dancing around each other before an eventual reunion next Christmas. It would have been nice if Newman could have put her "creative ego" on hold and put an end to someone who has become a most unpopular character: Kat.

The scenes with the Moons were the most painful to watch - not only because of the surreal aspect of, out of the blue and within minutes of suggesting a trip to Cologne, "someone" sends a recorded delivery letter with money and a ferry ticket for Alfie, but also because we know how badly Alfie is going to be hurt by this.

Surprisingly, those scenes gave us a genuinely and unintentionally funny and very brief scene of humour. When Derek Branning enters the pub, Jean's dancing around with hors-d'oeurves and asks Derek if he'd like one. When she approaches him, he jumps back and shakes his head with a weird look on his face, saying, "No, thank you." That was a natural reaction from Jamie Foreman.

Fatboy and Tamwar ... just go. Along with many others.


  1. This was an embrassingly poor episode.I see ZERO evidence of Lorraine Newman having ANY positive effect.I cant see her being there this time last year.
    Great Blog and great observations on Jacqueline Jossa.Shes become a fame whore amongst other things.She follows the features editor of The Star on Sunday and the features editor follows her.This paper often gets Jossa exclusives,titbits and positive coverage?Coincendence?I doubt it-especially as this newspaper printed a picture of Jossa at a bootcamp in Kent earlier this yerar.A photo they could ONLY have obtained with Jossas cooperation.Definitely she has an understanding with parts of the media.Very odd how the newspapergroups shes given interviews and photoshoots too NEVER reported about her Dad being jailed for fraud and the only paper that published was the Daily Mail despite the story being 100% tabloid material.
    A very embrassing episode tonight-the shows turning into a laughing stock.

  2. Clearly i meant to say I cant see Lorraine Newman being there this time next year not last year! I think the dire quality of this episode is in part a sign of the cumulative damaging effects of the BBC needlessly becoming obessed with the Christmas day big story and Christmas day ratings.They really should be capable of better than terminal intelligence insulting crap for months just to save anything "good" for Christmas week.

  3. This episode beaten by Emmerdale in the ratings.A very poor 7.1 million on first showing on a very cold late November night.What happened to all the predictions on DS in the summer that things would pick up ratings wise in Autumn/Winter -regularly hitting 8million?We were even desperately told things would hot up after the Lauren joey car crash with a corresponding boost in ratings?Oh Dear...Do i see a sinking ship in the distance?