Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Eastenders Need to Use David's Wit(t)s

Having just watched David Witts's interview on Daybreak and witnessed his acceptance speech after his (undeserved) win as Best Newcomer at the NTA Awards, like many other viewers, I was left totally gobsmacked (pun intended) at how well-spoken he is and how clearly he enuciates.

Put succinctly, Witts is posh. Not only is he posh, he comes across in his interviews as pleasant, modest, self-deprecating, well-spoken and a generally nice young man.

Here's the bafflement: I hate Joey Branning, and so do many other viewers who aren't inveterate shippers and teenaged hormonally-charged girls. The character is badly written, badly acted and in character Witts is totally unintelligible. 

When he first arrived, he spoke in a Beppe di Marco whisper because he couldn't accommodate a Cockney accent. Now, he's channelling Jake Wood and trying to sound like him. And failing.

My point is this: Why did TPTB reckon Joey had to be the Cockney son of a Cockney spiv? It does happen sometimes that a child is better spoken than the parent. Alice is certainly well-spoken. Bradley was well-spoken as opposed to Max; and like Bradley, Joey and Alice were raised by their mother, so maybe she could have sought to give them a better educational background than Derek got.

I'm saying that, since Newman has articulated that the characters now are moulded to fit the personality of the actor who plays them, why didn't they base Joey's character on David Witts, himself? I think Witts would have been more comfortable with that and would appear to be more natural and intelligible in his delivery. Also, I think more of the viewing public might be more amenable to the character.

David Witts the person is much more along the lines of the male ingenues who have been successful in the show up until this point: he's likeable.

Joey Branning is not.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so pleased you've said that - I thought exactly the same. What a well-spoken, polite and gallant young man he proved himself to be last night. He rightly called out the booing for the rudeness it was and defended his girlfriend.

    I don't know about you, but I also got more 'genuinely together' about David and his (anonymous) girlfriend, simply because of how spontaneously and warmly he spoke of her last night - even though we've never seen them together and don't know anything about them! But there was something about the way David spoke, the way he defended her, and the genuine warmth and self-deprecation in his voice that came over as a much stronger, more together relationship than any of the others between other young actors on the show that have been thrust under our noses. Who knows how long they've been together, but for now I'd say it's the real deal far more than some of the others are.

    Why on earth did they make him use that cockney accent when he can speak so well? Maybe that's also part of the strange physical mannerisms he brings to Joey - it's simply because he's uncomfortable at the basic level of the voice, so tries to cover it up with what he does with his head and mouth.

    Just goes to show that you can't always mix up character and person, though - although he'll still be painful to watch on EE he's clearly very different off of it. And I for one like have that distinction in my head now.