Monday, May 8, 2017

Extreme Frustration - Review:- Monday 08,05.2017

Do you want to know my immediate reaction to this episode?


The Carters have moved onto having a new kitchen, Whitney flirting with Woody (who didn't see that forest for the trees?), Johnny being wooden, Whitney flirting with Woody, getting super excited about Ollie's birthday, Linda being reduced to a voice and a shriek at the endofthe phone, Whitney flirting with Woody, Woody being MickLite and wearing Linda's pink dressing gown, Woody and Whitney turning Ollie's second birthday into a "community" event, Whitney flirting with Woody, Johnny being wooden and sulking.

The rest was round-and-round the garden. Louise just about almost is ready to believe that Sniggle and Snaggle are untrustworthy, when Sniggle and Snaggle come around, twist events and within five minutes, manage to convince her that they're even more trustworthy than members of her family. Not only does she believe them over Travis, who reeks of honesty, she actually believes that they care more about her than her own stepmother. This girl is seriously thick.

Lauren goes to work, makes a remark about "chicken shops" - chicken shops? Seriously? How about fast food places - and Josh thinks she's the most intelligent being on the face of the earth. She hides Steven's picture, returns home and lies to Steven, who doesn't believe her. 

And so it goes.

The most interesting storyline concerns Max's manipulation of both Jack and Charlie, but Jack is too much of a prick to realise that Charlie has all the rights in the world to Matthew and Jack has jack shit.

And the star of the show suffers for her burning desire to learn. The big surprise there was Kim spoke some good common sense. Whoda thunk that?

When will Sean O'Connor twig that what interests him just isn't twigging it for the viewing public? When Emmerdale walk away with the BAFTA? When EastEnders bags a big fat zero at the BSAs? When? Or is this really the end of a once great soap?

Who's Da Daddy? I really love seeing Charlie Cotton back, simply because I really loved Charlie as a character. The bleeding obvious was the fact that Max had enabled Dot to get in touch with Charlie. I would imagine that he'd either ditched his old phone and got a new one in Ireland, but it seemed he didn't receive any of Dot's messages sent out at the time of Ronnie's death.

We know Dot was trying to get in touch, because during that period, she said so many times, and we saw how constantly she kept watching the church door at the Blisters' funeral. Yet Max waves the Weyland & Co magic wand and - hey presto! - Charlie's suddenly contactable.

He's got a steady job, and he's married again- in fact, he married as soon as his rotten divorce from rotten Ronnie came through. And I believe that he hasn't gone a day without thinking about Matthew because most of the time, even with Her Majesty hale and hearty, it was Charlie who did the bulk of childcare for Matthew. All Ronnie did was act bored.

Jack, on the other hand, is acting like a first class spoiled child Trumpian prat. As soon as he knew Charlie was in town, his first reaction is to grab all three kids, including chicken pox-stricken Amy, and whisk them off to Glenda's, a woman whom he hates. Jack's always done that sort of thing. When someone threatens something Jack wants, Jack takes the object of desire and cuts and runs. Remember how he and the fragrant Tanya were planning on absconding to France with Max's kids?

What pissed me off entirely during this segment is Jack's obtuse and willful inability to understand why Charlie was there. It wasn't rocket science. He'd only just learned of Ronnie's death, but more importantly, he's there because he has a right to be there. He's Matthew's father. His name is on Matthew's birth certificate. He has every right. In fact, he has more rights than Jack to Matthew, because Jack has none.

I knew from the beginning that Max had orchestrated all of this, and he does his part brilliantly - pointing out to Jack that all Charlie would really need to do to mean business is have a solicitor write to Jack. The best part of this segment occurred in the one-on-one scene between Jack and Charlie, when Jack tried to take the moral high ground about having been there for Matthew and how Matthew doesn't even know Charlie, when Charlie shot back how he'd been warned off returning to Walford - by Ronnie and the then-gangsta Vincent, with whom she'd been sleeping at the time.

Charlie should pay a little visit to Vincent whilst he's in town. He wouldn't even recognise him - Vincent in the kitchen, Vincent changing nappies, Vincent pushing a pram around the Square, Vincent cleaning house, Vincent under Kim's thumb. Maybe Charlie could help Vincent find the balls that Ronnie ate.

One person who is glad to see Charlie is Amy, and with Dot refereeing, Charlie spends a day with Amy and his son. Max even convinces Jack to allow Charlie to keep Matthew for the night, and ultimately, we see Max tell Charlie how he gave Dot the means by which to contact Charlie and how Jack's just not coping ...

And on face value of it, as any Court would see it (or even Social Services), Jack isn't coping. The house is a tip. Dot or Stacey or sometimes Lauren is roped in to babysit or clean. He's an on-call landlord, who has to arrange on-the-spot babysitting services for his kids if he's called out in the evening. He's still openly grieving and hasn't moved on from losing his wife.

Charlie, on the other hand, is married, settled and has a steady job and, presumably, a home in Ireland.

It's a no-brainer.

Max is playing them both. I think he's sticking it to Jack as payback for all the times throughout the years Jack's upended Max, especially the time he tried to run off with scurvy Tanya and the kids, and especially since Jack did jack shit about believing Max's innocence when Max was in prison.

It's a shame Declan Bennett isn't sticking around. More Charlie and less Jack, please.

Sucked into the Vortex.

That's how I feel now whenever the show brings up the subject of the cartoon bullies. In fact, why not re-name the show The Adventures of Sniggle and Snaggle and How The Go Large.

It really is like sucking squeaky water down a drain.

Memo to Sean O'Connor: Please stop giving these two women close-ups. We know that they are women in their mid-twenties, badly attempting to play adolescents aged fifteen, but either stop the close-ups or refer them to one of the fortysomething actresses on your show who sport unlined faces, and maybe they can advise them where to go for discount botox treatments. Snaggle has crows' feet, laugh lines around her mouth (in fact, she's got the bare beginnings of a Fu Manchu) and her forehead is deeply creased. Sniggle is simply a very offensive racial stereotype, the female equivalent of Dex-TAAAAH, innit?

And Louise is seriously stupid, which isn't at all surprising, because the Mitchells manage to shit out one extremely stupid blonde with one brain cell every generation. In fact, the preivious generation gave us two -Sam and Roxy- and now we have Louise, who's too shallow and still incredibly naive enough not to be able to discern honesty from from the callowest of lies.

Deep down, she knows something isn't right. In fact, she's known it from the beginning. She also knows that Rebecca is as straight as die, when she vouches for the fact that Travis is a sincerely nice person. When she was speaking with Sharon, why didn't Rebecca tell Sharon that it was Travis who alerted Rebecca to the fact that something was wrong with Louise and that she needed looking-after or that it was Travis, who accompanied Rebecca to the hospital with Louise. Sharon would have taken that on board. She also knows that Rebecca doesn't lie, and more importantly, she knows from Sonia's recent visit that Sniggle, Snaggle - and to some extent, their fearful acolyte, Louise - were the people responsible for bullying Rebecca. A couple of weeks ago, Sharon was disparaging this burgeoning friendship, herself, yet the writing for Sharon is so inconsistent by these clowns in the writing room, I've given up caring. She says and does all that, and then the next thing you know, she's allowing them in her house for a sleep-over, standing by gormlessly as the ursine Sniggle gives her cheek, laps up an insincere compliment from Snaggle and ultimately believes their lies about Travis.

Yet Sniggle and Snaggle invariably show up like putrid jacks-in-the-box, just when you think progress has been made with Louise and that she's about to see the light. 

DTC's downfall was allowing Alex Lamb leave to twist a plotline until people tired of it. Well, people are tiring of this piece of shit too.

These kids - Sniggle, Snaggle and Keegan - are seriously cruel. They don't appear to be deprived. They have all the relevant,expensive accoutrements necessary to be part of whatever cool crowd they comprise. In fact, Louise has intimated that if she didn't hang out with them, her social life would suffer. Yet this trio are incapable of showing any kind of empathy or compassion; in fact, Sniggle can even appear to be nice when she wants, which leads me to think there's an epidemic of psychopathy rampant at Walford High. The only time they lose their cool is when one of their "jokes" goes horribly wrong and it looks as though things are going to backfire on them.

The only reason they are keeping a tight rein on Louise at the moment is because they know that if she ever starts to remember what happened that night, they are fucking done for. They've committed a serious crime. The clue to all of this is Keegan's filming of it. Shakil wasn't at that party, but I'm betting he's going to show something to Shakil about what he filmed - footage that shows the bullies egging Louise on in drinking, propping her up and pushing her into the camera and taking part in the mob who chased her into the Square, where she collapsed.

It's inconceivable how Louise always manages to believe these two, especially since the character of Travis is so openly sincere that he reeks of honesty, yet she believes their garbage that he intended to spike her drink in order to sleep with her; what's even more unfathomable is that she doesn't even believe Rebecca. Louise knows that what she did to Rebecca in the company of Sniggle and Snaggle was wrong - she's even apologised for it; and she knows Rebecca far better than she knows these girls, well enough to know that Rebecca wouldn't lie about a person's character.

On the one hand, they're desperately trying to cover their arses, and at the same time, they think nothing of throwing an innocent person under the proverbial bus, most likely because the boy isn't interested in the grisly Snaggle.

Their silly little clique is now ostracising Travis, for what he allegedly did. What's so hilariously incongruous is the skewed morality these two idiots show. They rag a girl for losing her virginity, yet if one boy showed the slightest interest in them, they'd have their legs spread and their knickers down around their ankles in a New York Minute.

But worst of the worst is that simpleton Louise actually believes that these two think more of her welfare and well-being than Sharon, her own step-mother. 

Sharon cares more about the spots on her carpet.

Girlfriend, if Sharon wanted to, she could pack your skanky arse back to your mother and let her deal with you. And you could do nothing about it.

I just wish this interminable storyline would end now and end quickly. I don't want any backstories on the bullies, I don't want any sob stories or recriminations and no rehabilitations. I just want them found out, Louise to be made to look a fool, and the end game near.

Come Into the Garden, Maud. Lauren goes to her first day at Weyland & Co, dressed like the stripper who comes to a stag party, pretending to be a school marm.

She's dropped "in the deep end," which is nothing more than listening to creepy Josh with his creepy voice give a mundanely simple talk to a couple of potential investors, who appear to be thicker than Lauren.

It's obvious that as property developers, they go into what appears to be a rundown neighbourhood or community and buy up properties to redevelop. In fact, the area they described sounds curiously like Walford, and herein lies Sean O'Connor's BIG MESSAGE.

Walford is perceived to be a weakened community, symbolised by such obvious elements as a launderette, a betting shop, charity shops ... and what Lauren so perceptively called a "chicken" shop. She prissily points out that trendy wendies would be less likely to live in an area where there was some fast food chicken joint than they would be to live in an area where they could get a skinny macchiato, which Lauren probably thinks is clever because of the little designs that are made in the frothy cream on top. Ian would probably have the café doing that in no time. It's not rocket science.

Josh & Co are the predators who move in like scavengers and pick the pieces of what appears to be a dying community, whose lifeblood is symbolised by the Vic. This is the beginning of a culture war.

But to Josh, who's equally as shallow if not hornier, that marks Lauren out as some sort of genius, someone who has her ear to the ground, and even though she told him she'd read something about chicken shops on her way into work, all we saw of her brief travelling time was her standing looking gormlessly smug on the Tube.

Josh is on the pursuit, and silly Lauren is interested, even though she turns down his celebration. Instead, she goes home and lies to Steven. But I think Steven is onto her deception. The first clue was him having to remind her of the picture he gave her of himself and Louis, watching as she reluctantly put it in her bag (and which now lies,hidden, in her desk. He knows she's lying from the way she carefully hesitated before answering his question about Josh.

Lauren is not only Josh's potential sex toy, she's also another one of his useful idiots.

Sidney Carton.

... or The Never-Ending Story of the Trials and Tribulations of Denise, a woman who orchestrated her own unemployment and then, instead of looking for gainful work, she either buried herself in books, elevating the achievement of a single GCSE to sainthood status, or buried herself in bed, fucking Kush, a manchid in the Oedipal promised land.

Or rather, this could be Fifty Different Versions of Po-Face, because by now, we're getting this ...

This is noble, suffering Denise, valiant and strong-but-hungry Denise, looking wan and leaning on any wall, counter or whatever apparatus is on hand to denote that she's hungry and weak and worried about her GCSE.

From this segment, however comes the two brilliant lines of the night, the first one from Honey, about her impending move into Pam's and Les's old flat:-

Just never felt right, you know, an undertaker living underground.

(Ne'mind the fact that not that long ago, Honey was balking at the idea of living in a flat with dead people in rooms beneath them).

And a rare amount of common sense coming from Kim:-

Denise, you ain't got a job. You need to find a job.

This entire circular segment centred around Denise desperately awaiting Patrick's return, because with Patrick, returns some sort of income, exemplified by the final notive on some utility bill she's holding in her expensively manicured hand. Patrick's return means money and a slap-up meal around Kim's, which she's not too proud to accept now; and when it wasn't centred on Denise spending her last bits of change for an overpriced milk in the Minute Mart, it was centred on the fact that Carmel had bullied from Kush his admission that he and Denise had split.

Kush is such a mommy man. He weakly protests Carmel's indignation at Denise dumping him, although he knows that she'll fight his battles for him. She always has. This all stems from yet another "community" remark about the Community Centre closing - just where were all these mothers-and-toddlers going to go? Carmel's instant instinct is to "get Denise onto it", which is laughable. All she did was bitch at a visiting dignitary, and the Walford yokels think she's manna from heaven - she's doing a GCSE which is far more complicated and difficult than Johnny Carter's law degree; she shouts and council officials listen.

Carmel takes her indignation all over the place, even getting Kathy to join in on the gossip, to the extent that Kathy's incongruous and objectifying remark about Kush's biceps made this 67 year-old great-grandmother sound like a dirty old woman.

Throughout all of this, we have Kim making overtly typical remarks about Denise having suddenly found "culture" (when all Denise has found is arrogant pedantry), leading to a confrontation between the pair of them when Kim comes around to say she's burned the dinner and that Patrick had got drunk the previous evening, missed his flight and decided to stay on for a few more weeks. That State Pension must go a long way. It's peak time for holiday flights, and when you forfeit a return flight, you have to pay more for that leg of the journey. I don't think travel insurance covers drinking too much and missing your flight. IIRC, when Patrick was shipped off on Rudolph Walker's annual lengthy hiatus just a couple of years back, it was Vincent who'd paid for him to leave, after he thought he'd killed Claudette.

During this confrontation, we get a veritable Shakespearian soliloquy from Denise - no, wait ... it wasn't Shakespearian, it was Sean O'Connor's take on Marlon Brando's "contender" speech from On the Waterfront:-

She coulda been a contendahhhhh ... with just one GCSE. She envies Lauren, off to work at Canary Wharf - with no GCSEs to her name and, unbeknownst to her, being hired as a 25k sex toy - and Michelle, who converted a third class plly degree to some sort of English degree and had a professional career, except for one "mistake" (as Denise terms it), never realising that that "mistake" was actually a serious crime, sleeping with an underaged student, or was the mistake plowing into the chippy and nearly killing Denise's toyboy.

Denise wants the achievement of seeing her name on some sort of qualification certificate. That was her answer to Kim's very sensical remark that Denise hasn't got a job and really should get a job, as well the equally nonsensical remark that, as well as being without a job, Denise was now without a boyfriend as well, which is more important in Kim's vision of the world.

In the end, she's left alone, again, willfully penniless and left with only milk in the house. Suffering for art, I ask you. This storyline is a complete embarrassment and an insult to truly poor people, people who are genuinely poor through no willful machinations of their own.

Sigh. And Finally ... Linda has been reduced to a voice screeching on the end of the phone, and still the time-honoured tradition of the Carters planning special events has spilled over into Woody and Whitney (how alliterative) planning a Square-wide celebration of baby Ollie's birthday. I gather Ollie's returning, but Linda isn't, in this situation, creating a situation where Whitney and Woody can pretend to be Mick and Linda. Woody's halfway there already - he's walking around the flat upstairs, decked out in Linda's pink dressing gown, a la Mick.

Poor episode - or in other words, normal service has resumed.

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