Monday, January 28, 2013

The Rocky Horror Branning Show: Same Shit Different Day - Review 28.01.2013

This just about sums it up ...

Teenybopper is the newborn king, uh-huh ... or so Lorraine Newman would have us believe, because she's pandering with all her feverish might to this demographic. The stories are simplistic crap and the dialogue is puerile.

Once again, we are subjected to Branning-centric-mania, as if there be no other family worth considering on the Square.

Only two Brannings are worth their mettle - Carol and Max. Pare the lot right back to these two,  and the show might have some life injected into it once again.

Yo-yo couples, co-dependency couples, characters you thought you knew, whom you watched grow up and psychologically develop on the show return with no semblance of recognition.

And the beat goes on ... drums keep pounding rhythm to the brain ... but the brain doesn't feel it, because it's sharing one collective braincell - with the shippers of the world, who'd watch this muck even if it were the BBC test signal ...

... and still find a means to heap misspelled, ungrammatical praise on it. Like this:-

I loved tonite's show ... hyuck hyuck hyuck ... espeshally that new girl with the doll. LOL ... she was hot. Not as hot as Lauren ... hyuck hyuck hyuck ... lovin Cora too. LOL. EE can't get any better cos its the best. Hyuck hyuck hyuck LOL.

Remind you of anyone on Digital Spy Soaps' forum? Because that's the bloody demographic to whom this show is being pitched - the braindead youth of today who don't give a rat's arse about anything that happened either before they were born or before they acquired memory (around 2010 because Stacey Slater was still in the show and she was "hot hyuck hyuck hyuck") because anything that happened before then just doesn't fucking matter.

Because the writers can just kiss it better with some retcon.

Wouldn't it be nice if life were like that.

Tonight, we visited BranningVille again, where the people run the gamut from being obnoxious to unlikeable. 

For example:-

The Blowsy Bimbo Bitch. Who is this ageing woman with the hair of a third-rate country singer, the quivering lips of Suellen Ewing and the fashon sense of Mr Peanut?

This judgemental bitch of a woman who isn't above sleeping with a stranger she's only known a couple of hours rather than slum it in a B and B, ne'mind her young son being present? This woman who throws her lot in with a lot of scrubbed-up white trash and judges people and situations before knowing both sides of the equation?

Sharon. Or so TPTB would have us believe. 

I thought Kat was a monumental fail, and I still do, but Simon Ashdown and the figurehead Executive Producer Lorraine Newman, both veterans of the 1990s era on the show, definitely have got Sharon's character wrong wrong wrong.

I think a lot of the problem, with her and with Phil, is that Ashdown is putting all his material in one basket and concentrating on his Branning "babes" (used only once tonight), maybe with a smidgeon left over for Katshit (because Madam wants to repair her own creation at the expense of the programme), and instead, allowing the junior staff to write for the likes of Sharon and Phil.

Who are they, anyway? To the demographic they are hoping to attract, Sharon is just some woman who looks like Miss Piggy, and Phil's a thug. Ne'mind who they were before, that's before this generation had been weaned off Tanya's tit, so it blatantly doesn't matter.

Now, they're playing up the fact that the Blowsy Bimbo Bitch has been paying far, far too much attention to Lexi, and not enough to DamienDen ... well, she hasn't bothered getting him a haircut lately, and he's much in need of that. How do we know she's been paying so much attention to Lexi, especially since Phil's avoided her like the plague (to the point of blanking her) since New Year's Day?

Well, because Jack the Peg says so, and since he's a Branning and a male and rules the roost in his household, we know it's true. (It appears Sharon's pique at Jack teaching DamienDen boxing moves has either been forgiven or forgotten - by the writer - because she's back under Jack's roof.) The other reason is because DamienDen is drawing pictures of his "family" for a school project, and his pictures seem to include babydaddy Jack (who conveniently forgets his oldest child, whom his criminal activities crippled, and his youngest child, whose mother happens to be Sharon's ex-sister-in-law and who also happens to be Phil Mitchell's nephew) and - for some extremely strange reason - a tiny blonde figure in pink, who, presumably, is Amy. Well, maybe Jack's pointed Amy out to DamienDen from afar, or maybe he's talked about her a little bit, when he can remember her name; but I haven't seen Amy spend anytime with Jack or him with her. He's too interested in getting into the Blowsy Bimbo Bitch's dirty knickers to think of Amy at all, and DamienDen is now his priority.

Tonight, the Blowsy Bimbo runs to Phil at his beck and call, because Lexi is teething. So off she runs, and in a brief exchange with Phil Mitchell, just the briefest of exchanges, for a fleeting moment, she just might be Sharon again. Ach ... that moment is gone. But before it does, the briefly resurrected Sharon manages to work her magic and get Phil to let Billy and poor pitiful Lola spend a brief hour with Lexi. Yet when Phil wants her to stop by and say good-bye to Lexi (for a trip that's going to last three weeks), "Sharon" reminds him that she has a club to manage, his club, as a matter of fact.

Funny, she didn't seem bothered about showing up for a day's work at said club last week, when she was boozing it up all day with her BFF Tanya and company.

Later on, she proves she's learning the art of BranningDom when she looks down her nose and issues pithy criticism of poor pitiful Bianca, who's not only still poor ...

 ... but also is now a scrubber. The Blowsy Bimbo Barfly isn't too good to remind poor pitiful Bianca that she failed to clean under the basins in the toilet and makes her do it again. Twice. Which prompts an eruption of the walking ginger mouth with pointed criticism of Sharon's parenting ability. Pot and kettle come to mind here, but it's enough to make the Blowsy Bimbo remind Bianca of her power and sack her.

Yes, according to Jack the Peg, that veritable expert on children and parenting, widdle DamienDen is jealous of all the time Sharon's been spending with Lexi. WTF? I know screentime for Sharon is severely limited. After all, she's merely the Branning Satellite of Lurrve, and not a fully fledged Branning as yet; but have we seen Bimbo Sharon spending all this time with Phil and Lexi? Since New Year's Day ... no. And really, if we're talking about Sharon ignoring her son to the point that he leaves her out of "family" drawings, that's as much down to the time she spends drinking and partying with her new friend Tanya and dumping him on Uncle Ian for a night out with Jack as it's down to any time spent with Phil, Lola or Lexi.

One of the worst scenes I've yet to see on the show was the awful pub scene at the end of their vignette as they helped Denny with his drawings. Jack as a stick man with a big head. Pretty apt.

I'm rapidly going from indifferent disappointment in the failure that is Sharon to actively wanting her to leave.

The Drunken Old Bitch and the Dumbass Attempted Murderer Bitch, Her Daughter.

Tanya is so damned stupid. She cannot walk down the street and chew gum at the same time without a man, specifically Max, in her life. Ne'mind, she's got the old grey drunken bitch to give her moral support. Now, normally, a mother would naturally support her daughter if she felt she'd been hard done by a partner she trusted; but Cora doesn't give a rat's arse. Max out of Tanya's life simply means the old bitch grifter now has a roof over her head, instead of being homeless.

I hated her smirky smiles tonight, thinking she's keeping Max at bay from the vestal self-perpetuating virgin that her daughter likes to think she is. In case she hasn't realised, Jack owns the house in which they live. And it might behoove Dot to have had a quiet word in someone's shell-like about leaving Cora in charge of any rented accommodation whilst going away.

I would think, considering Tanya's obviously absconded (leaving only Poppy to run the salon) and considering the amount of time she didn't spend working there, it would seem that probably Max was responsible for paying the rent and most of the bills. It would be nice to think that, whilst Tanya is away from the scene (and running away from a situation is really a coward's way out), if Cora the Bora doesn't pay the bills, that Jack cheerfully has her evicted and Max moved in with his children.

Such a matriarch, giving such good advice, and obviously bullying Abi and Lauren, who appear to share one braincell, into supporting her. It never ceases to amaze me how these two idiots always, always, always never fail to support Tanya when she's been as bad a parent, if not worse, than Max.

As for Tanya, she's still acting like a spoiled child, especially in her initial scene, where she tears up correspondence which has come for Max. That's such a puerile action. Does she not realise that that correspondence could have something to do with the gas or the electric, which might be cut off it isn't paid? Does she think about maybe having the utilities put into her name, if they aren't already? Nope. She's just simply reacting the way a slighted child would react, with the old gray man in drag standing in the background smiling. Obviously, she's acting on Cora's advice, because, you know, as a matriarch, she gives  such good advice.

It's also obvious that Tanya still loves Max - well, she loves what she thinks is love, which is sex, mostly. Has anyone ever noticed how, when Tanya was on her high horse and out with her friends, all she ever wanted to know about was their sex lives? Because she honestly believes that if you have a good sex life, that's all that matters. You don't have to talk, and the night Max actually wants to spend an evening just talking about the events that have happened and talking calmly about them, as opposed to the fraught circumstances surrounding the last conversation they had - the one where she asked for the truth and couldn't take it - Tanya scarpers, again, probably on the advice of the old grifting man in drag ...

This guy looks more lik eTanya's mother than Cora.

Why? Well, because Max has the gift of the gab. After all, he's an ex-insurance salesman-cum-used car salesman. In the calm of the evening, with the lights low, Max could probably come up with a thousand reasons why he should return to his comfort zone, and Silly Knickers would listen. Kirsty's gone. Out of sight, out of mind. She won't be back, and Max is ever ever so sorry. (He knows better than to bring up the one about him being divorced at the time and Tanya leading him to believe she was finished with him forever; she doesn't really like to hear the truth.)

So the solution to everything is just to leave your business to an airhead junior stylist and a some-time apprentice, leave your house in the care of a drunken old lag who managed to get your husband's stepmother into thousands of pounds worth of debt with the local authority and the utilities, and just ... go away for a bit.

Pity Tanya hasn't left already. I'm sick as pigshit of the sight of her. And she can take both of her daughters with her when she goes. And her putrid mother.

But nooooo ... as the late John Belushi would say ... we've got to suffer her fate for another six months. I hope when she leaves, she's got the leeches of karma sticking to her arse.

The Totally Regressive Really Departing Bitch.

That would be Zainab, and this is getting really stupid - Ajay and the post-it apologies - something very thirteen year oldish; but then, Ajay is forty going on fourteen, so it doesn't surprise me. Ajay Innit, from the days of Goodness Gracious Me. Thank heaven, that Regional Manager shit got nipped in the bud tonight. The only remotely enjoyable parts of this painful interlude were the interaction between Denise and Ian (albeit slightly romcomish) and Denise's brief conversation with Kim. And when I find Kim more entertaining than Zainab, then something is very wrong.

Nina Wadia is a true professional, however, because she must realise, in her heart of hearts, that these scripts stink. The low point was the ridiculous scramble for the telephone in the Minute Mart between Zainab and Denise. That wasn't even funny.

One wonders if TPTB are annoyed that Nina Wadia chose to leave, because they certainly are doing one helluva character assassination on her at the moment, and - by extension - her family. Mas being stalked by the Geordie idiot, who makes doe-eyes at him until he lies to the man who's trying to court her, looking suddenly uncomfortable over Zainab's shoulder at Ayesha jealously watching him hug her. This was like a scene from a bad 1930s movie - curses, foiled again and such tripe!

You know, the rest of the Masoods should just go with Zainab. They're being slowly killed already. We no longer see Kamil, because the only thing Tamwar seems to do these days is babysit him.

Observation: Although I normally like Carol, how rich was it to see her moaning about Janine as a landlord tonight, reckoning the council would have looked after that property better. Carol is fucking lucky Janine bought Pat's house and allowed them to live there for a peppercorn rent. Otherwise, as Carol, herself, pointed out, they'd be rotting on some sink estate in a high rise. Oh, this all is beginning to set the stage for the return of Evil Janine. Why not? In the past two years, they've managed to fuck up Kat, Bianca and Sharon. One of the few things Bryan Kirkwood got right was moving Janine's character from a welter of chasing sugar daddies, grifting, sleeping with Ian Beale and blackmailing him onto an new and better level. That was, finally, character development; but, hey, let's let Lorraine, Emer, Simon and co regress her to the evil bitch the numptie teens enjoy hating and slating.

Tonight was the beginning of that.

The Poor Pitiful Pity-Me Little Chav Single Mother Bitch.

Boo-hoo, Lola ... this is for you.

Boo-hoo ... seems like ever since Lola's had Lexi, she's always saying good-bye to her. Boo-hoo ... this is just another exercise by the less-than-profficient writers in convincing the viewers to expunge all blame on poor pitiful Lola previously - her propensity to steal, her overt rudeness to people, he attitude of entitlement and her anger issues and the fact that she actually is just a gobby little chav, and we've had one too many of those on this show - and love her to bits because she's had a byyyy-beee.

Because, ya know ... Phil's a thug. Phil's philth. Always a bad'un that one. Well, Luddites, cop this ... a scene from the 90s which shows Phil as pretty normal ...

Phil, now, only reflects the sorry shadow of itself EastEnders has become - none moreso than when it is subjugated to the cancer that is BranningVille.

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