Saturday, February 1, 2014

Pants on Fire - Review: - 31,01.2014

We've just finished the wettest January on record - actually six weeks of wind and rain, if you realise that this tempestuous weather started on 21st December, the week of Christmas. Yet the sun is shining and it's warm enough in Walford for Zara Phillips Nancy Carter to parade around in shorts. 

Knowing that what they've filmed throughout this month will air in late February and early March, does that mean that, in the alternate universe of Walford, the weather will be windy and rainy continuously then? Do you remember snow in Walford in May a few years back?


But not as weird as discovering that someone is a ...

Liar Liar Pants on Fire ...

I wonder if that's what EastEnders' current EB (not EP, but EB for EgoBoy) feels when he realises he's spinning the viewers what amounts to a load of old codswallop, but then he shrugs his shoulders and realises that, for the most part, they'e cut him the kind of slack no other Executive Producer would never be allowed, simply because any other EP would be called out on his bullshit.

Smart of him to introduce the Carters at Christmas and use the fact that four of the show's main stars - Steve McFadden, Adam Woodyatt, Shane Richie and Samantha Womack - are off on pantomime duty. All the more time we can devote to his newest toys and to giving the odious old trout Shirley a backstory she should have had seven years ago.

Sorry, Dom, too little too late, and as much as some of your more discerning viewers might disdain the fact that pretty women who kill are allowed to run rampant in Walford, they also hate an alcoholic old trout and child abandoner like Shirley, a peripheral character who isn't iconic in the least.

Shirley is "iconic". So is Stacey. Well, according to EgoBoy, they are, but to most people who've watched the show longer than 14 years and can remember past John Yorke, they're not. Iconic characters have been non-existent since the Millennium, and it's obvious that EgoBoy is pitching his ware to the EastEnders 2.0 crowd, who started watching from 2006 and onwards.

Many of the hardcore viewers, those of us who remain, resent being told and conned into believing that someone Mr EgoBoy created is iconic, and we resent having them pushed at us.

The Carters are the Brannings again, with a smidgeon of Kevin Wicks's family horned in. Aunt Babe is a wider version of the Mitchell's Auntie Sal. And although he's doing a different slant on breast cancer, it's still breast cancer for the umpteenth time.

Been there, and done that. Stop the conning.

And as for some of the fanbois, one in particular who's trying to bring bullying back into fashion, this is for you ...

Il Castrato Mick Carter.

Mick could have performed this number at the karaoke ...

A castrato was a male who was, at puberty, basically castrated in order to keep his singing voice high and pure. Maybe that's why Mick whispers, because somewhere between his ambitious wife and his hardass sister, he's been castrated.

There you go, hardman Danny Dyer playing a man with no balls.

A man who should be looking after his wife and children, he puts his skanky sister before them. And we know how Shirley behaves when she's afforded (through association with a man) a soupcon of power. When she was living with Phil Mitchell, her standard line was ...

Do you know who I am?

In this episode, she was arrogance personified, from beginning, with her unnecessary rudeness toward Tamwar ...

Get this market cleaned up. We gotta business to run.

(Like the market is nothing to do with you, bitch).

... to the end, when Linda called time.

It's my name above the door.

I'm Team Linda in all of this. She's worked hard for most of her adult life, and if hadn't been for her mother and her family taking Mick in when he and Linda got together, Mick would never have had a profession. So now, Shirley pulls rank and is quick to insinuate that, because Linda "didn't find" the pub, she's entitled to no say therein. As I said before, this is a power play here to oust Linda, and Mick seems to be the most ineffectual male yet in the Square by not even telling Shirley to shut the fuck up - something another ineffectual bullyboi would be shameless enough to do if someone challenged his opinion.

Instead, he's all for making sarcastic quips about arranging a mud-wrestling bout for Shirley and Linda. He waxes lyrical about being in business side-by-side with his sister and ignores his wife's obvious displeasure and insecurity about the situation. And why shouldn't Linda be annoyed?

She was emotionally manipulated by Mick into allowing Shirley a share of the pub, and now it seems Shirley is taking over, which she is - undermining Linda's opinion on everything, from her children to the way she runs the pub. Because whenever Shirley doesn't get her way, she either threatens to take back the money her father gave to Mick or else she'll start to imply that since she "found the pub" for them, it should be hers.

Psssssssssssssssttt! It's Egoboy Treadwell-Collins's way of slotting his personal favourite in as star of the show.

(Repeat after Dom ... Shirley is iconic Shirley is iconic Shirley is iconic.)

Mark me, before the year is out, either Mick or Linda or both will be sleeping with someone else.

I had never before seen Annette Badland, so I was viewing the character of Aunt Babe with fresh eyes. She's a cross between Heather and Auntie Sal. What am I saying? She is the Carters' Auntie Sal. Give her some time, and we'll soon be seeing this ...

Dontcha just miss Peggy?

Still, I have to say, I liked Babe, trifle and all, but I'd like it even more if she were a recurrent character like Sal, instead of adding to the growing number of Carters and their satellites in the Square.

  • Mick
  • Linda
  • Tina
  • Johnnie
  • Nancy
  • Lee
  • Stan
  • Babe
  • Dean
And now it seems that Sylvie, Ma Carter, is about to arrive imminently. No mention is made of who's going to portray her, so I'm betting it's another one of EgoBoy's sausage surprises. Uh-huh-uh-huh-uh-huh ... maybe it will be Judy Dench,,, Not to mention the worst-kept secret on Twitter that Lady Zsa Zsa of the Blue Hair will be returning, and we'll probably have Carly someplace down the line.

That's ten characters created on a whim and for the benefit of Shirley, who - until EgoBoy returned to the fold, was a peripheral character who'd really reached the end of her natural tether.

What amazes me is that people who've spent the past year bemoaning the Branning take-over of the show are so bamboozled by someone who was part of the Santer watch (beloved by fanbois and EastEnders 2.0 viewers), that they cannot see that, in less than a month, the Carters have become the new Brannings. That's what the inability to think critically does to someone.

Now we're beginning to learn more about Shirley's backstory, which should have been done in 2008. And this backstory is done in a way that EgoBoy hopes the viewers will root endlessly for Shirley.

Her mother was abusive. She was abusive to Stan and screamed and spat at Shirley. After she left, and judging by the fact that she left 37 years ago, Mick would have been one year old and Tina two. Shirley would have been thirteen. Stan started to drink and farmed the youngest ones out to care. Sound familiar? Well, here's another story, with variations:-

Frank and June Butcher had four children - Clare, and after ten years or so, Ricky and Diane. Then they had an unexpected menopausal baby, Janine. June died when Janine was four years old. Frank couldn't cope, kept the young teens and farmed Janine out to be raised by the adult Clare.

So Shirley, like Janine, has trust and abandonment issues; but Shirley's backstory will be presented more sympathetically than Janine's ever was. From what Babe said, it looks as though Shirley de-bunked the family as soon as Babe came on the scene to care for the younger children and married Kevin. Then she abandoned her own three children, just like Sylvie did.

But we still haven't fathomed why, apart from Shirley's oblique moan to Carly last time about James being "so needy" in his disability. Until that's confronted, honestly, we'll never know. And whilst everyone else seemed happy to see Aunt Babe, Shirley wasn't. I suspect Shirley's fear is that she's just like her mother, as Babe was quick to tell her, before leaving, that she resembled her. Did Shirley scream and spit at James and Carly? Who knows? But whatever it is, we're all supposed to bow from the waist to Queen Shirley of Walford, because I'm sure she'll be exonerated.

Emotional Blackmail Part II: The Beales

The only glimpse of Ian we get is the sound of a slamming door, because Adam Woodyatt is away on panto break, just so Lucy can find the letter left by Poppy, which reveals that Denise has been cheating on Ian with Arthur.

I can't believe Denise is as unapologetic as she is. Or that she ultimately resorts to emotionally blackmailing Lucy. She's already scared shitless at the prospect of Cora knowing, and now she has to contend with Lucy. 

Denise so doesn't love Ian, and I'm baffled why she's deluding herself into staying with him. Is it because she's lonely? Wanting companionship? Because that sort of arrangement would never work with a woman like Denise and it would only be a matter of time before she would cheat on Ian.

Or is she hooked on the idea of being Mrs Beale Number Five?

Note how quickly she turns her fear into a negotiating piece ...

He'll dump me ... Lucy, you know what'appened to your dad the last time a woman he was engaged to dumped him ...

Even Arthur isn't convinced she's solid with Ian. Anyone who has to tell someone else openly as many times as Denise did in this episode isn't in love with her fiancé at all. Lucy's knowledge is a ticking time bomb, as is her open-ended threat ...

If you ever hurt him ..

Watch this space.

The Family Man. Not.

First observation is that the unlikeable side of Sonia is once again prevalent ...

If Martin can't last one night wivout me ...

Bitch, he could.

So now we know that EgoBoy is approaching this breast cancer story via a genetic line, testing whether Carol has the genetically inherited BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, which increases her chances of contracting breast or ovarian cancer and increases Max's chances of having prostate or pancreatic cancer.

She's going to be tested for the mutation,and we know that she tests positive. We also know that one of her daughters will also test positive, but who will it be? This means we're in for The Year of the Mastectomy as either Sonia or Bianca will have both her baps whacked off - and before any asshat troll comes attacking me for my attitude, I'll have you know that I'm a breast cancer survivor.

Whilst this is an informative and innovative line to take in approaching a breast cancer issue story, the fact is that only 1.4 per cent of the population, in general, carries this gene, so Sonia was right in her perception that this finding is rare. Of course, in Carol's case, it won't be, so we'll have one of the girls undergoing the sensationalist aspect of a double mastectomy, before she's forty. My guess is that it will be Sonia, which will give TPTB an opportunity to shallow up the unseen Martin, who'll reject Sonia and give her the opportunity to return to the Square and become a lesbian again with Tina. (Lesbo Sonia was one of the most unlikeable versions of Sonia there was.)

Is Sonia a nurse or a nursing assistant? I'm asking because Bianca's assessment of Sonia's nursing duties meant she spent most of her time wiping old ladies' bums.

I also wonder if Tina Carter isn't mentally challenged.

And David is attracted to Nikki. We know that because of two reasons - Max, who's been there and does that in the cheating game. David tells Max he's going to take Carol out for a romantic meal and a shag (something Carol lives for) before she begins her chemo.

Max:- When Tanya was sick, she didn't want that kind of fuss. (You know something? Max is right. When you're fighting cancer, the last thing you want is what David was proposing).

David: - Well, when women say one thing, they usually mean the other. (Yes, David. Like in date rape, "Yes" means "no?" And men can say one thing and mean another too).

Max:- When a man wants to do something nice for a  woman, it usually means he's got something to hide.

And Max should know.

The second reason we all know he'll stray with Nikki is because after an entire evening of fending her flirting off, she sought her outside. Nikki had the line of the night:-

If you ain't interested, what are you doing out here?

I still can't invest in Carol's pity party, because Carol is such a self-centred, sourpuss of a human being. If Shirley wants to understand unconditional love children have for feckless parents, she needs to study and question why Bianca and Sonia pussyfoot around Carol aas if she were the Queen of Sheba.

Yes, I know Bianca behaved badly big time when she slept with Carol's forty-seventh fiancé, Dan Sullivan, by whom she was pregnant, but when Bianca left Walford at that storyline's conclusion, the two had reached an uneasy truce. Still, rather than offer any sort of help to Bianca when she and her children were homeless, Carol put the phone down on her and implied she'd reather her grandchildren be taken into care.

As for Sonia, she was consigned to the emotional wilderness by Carol when she decided to give Chloe-Rebecca up for adoption. There was no contact there until Bianca's wedding.

For all Carol effected that she didn't want to tell her daughters she was being genetically tested, you can see her secretly smiling and breastless in the future watching Sonia and Bianca getting their boobs lobbed off. Misery loves company, and when Carol's down, the whole world suffers with her.

Oh, and David's proposal? That's an invitation to cheat.

Remember this?

And finally this?

Ah-ha! Granny Carol wasn't the first person David left crying in the rain,and he owed a lot more to his son than he did to Granny Carol. Note also, the line David uses when explaining to his ex-wife Lorraine (he'd left her too) why he scarpers. He's said it even this time around.

It's what I do.

David, like his brother Ian, is yet another weak man. Like Mick. They think they are men, but they're really all castrati.

Deluded Masood.

Masood deserves better than Carol. His religion would have condemned him forever from his association with a woman who would be all but a pariah in his culture. I would venture to say his behaviour at present is a culmination of everything that's happened to him in the past year - his relationship with Zainab ended in a welter of home truths, he fell in love with a much younger woman and was prepared to leave Walford to be with her, but was stopped by Tamwar, his brother left, his racist daughter returned spouting religious invective, and Carol callously dumped him.

This is a mid-life crisis, exacerbated by his having stolen and gambled away Tamwar's university fund. Once again Arthur rose to the occasion, when Masood tried to take the moral high ground. I agree with Arthur. I don't know how Mas can look Tamwar in the face, although to his credit, he's tried to tell him, but chickened out. Now he's tempted into stealing the market's rent profits in an effort to repay his son, but in the end, it will be Tamwar who will suffer as he'll probably get the blame for stealing the dosh.

Like the new market inspector, however.

Average episode. Can we stop with the Carter overkill, however? Who am I kidding? EgoBoy rules the roost.

1 comment:

  1. What made me laugh was Shirley's reasoning as to why it should be her name above the door..

    "I've put money into this pub an all, why shouldn't I get sumfin to show for it ?"

    What money did she put in exactly ? The 10k was given to Shirley to give to Mick and Linda for the pub. [A crafty move by the old man - divide & conquer - Shirley clearly took the bait].

    So even if that was 10k that actually came from Shirley's bank account - that pales into insignificance compared to the £1.2 million that Mick and Linda stumped up.