Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Downward Spiral - Review:- Friday 02.06.2017

It's Sunday, and I've only just now watched EastEnders. I simply couldn't be bothered watching on Friday night. Neither could a lot of people, judging from the poor - nay, piss poor - showing at the BSA's. 

For those who don't know, Emmerdale is now officially the best soap in the UK. It swept the boards - best soap, best actor, best actress, best pairing, best storyline, best episode. They got it all. EastEnders, on the other hand, had to content themselves with sitting stolidly in their seats all evening with rictus smiles plastered on their faces. Jacqueline Jossa can big up next year all she wants. Lauren, whose post-partum thunder thighs seem to be rivaling Abi's and Tanya's of late, is a spent force, played by an actress who, at best, looks bored and, at worst, gurns. People don't give a rat's arse about Max's revenge because people are tired of this show.

The Millennium hasn't been kind to EastEnders. John Yorke set in motion a series of events and decisions which started the downward spiral, which has now devolved into rampant freefall.

This episode only highlighted the worst of the show at the moment.

The Big Stinker: Denise Still Continues to Stink Up the Screen. If the PopBitch article is true, and Sean O'Connor's job really is on the line, I hope one of the first actions of the new producer is to hand Diane Parish her P45. And to everyone who used to moan and groan about wanting Denise to have "more screen time"... shut up. Just shut the fuck up. You got your wish, and the worship this producer paid to this mediocre actress has helped put the soap on the ropes (pun intended).

Not only are we seeing yet another opening for a storyline for this endlessly tiresome character, ingrate of the ingrates, who - for some unknown reason - has everyone coddling and cosseting her for a situation of her own making, we're seeing a reversion to another unended and summarily dropped storyline which began under the aegis of Dominic Treadwell-Collins.

Pardon me, but when Denise was sacked on the spot for stealing (and drinking) booze from The Minute Mart, didn't Kim offer her a job as Pearl's nanny? And didn't this position last for about two episodes before it was just quietly dropped? So, tonight, the answer to all of Denise's prayers is ... Kim offering her a job as Pearl's nanny. Except that Pearl is now a beautiful but rambunctious two year-old, who tires both her parents. Kim even offered her a room in her house in which to live.

In the meantime, Patrick is visiting Dot (and ogling Abi's bustier on display on the drying rack), lamenting the fact that he wasn't around for Denise's crisis (of her own making), whining about his being gone and thinking she could cope on her own. At least Dot's reply was laden in good common sense - Denise is an adult.


She is an adult, who didn't have common sense enough to realise that, after she wantonly burned her bridges with The Minute Mart, she simply carried on in her entitlement, just as before. She never once thought of looking for a job until she was down to her last couple of quid and almost no food. I guess she got sidelined by fucking Kush and elbowing Carmel out of her life.

Yet there she was in this episode, once again, looking po-faced and sullen about accepting a meal in the pub, paid for by Kim. And she was even more affronted by the offer of a job. But, like Dot, Kim spoke sense. What was she going to do? In the end, she used psychology and appealed to this monster's ginormous ego - by telling her the nanny job was only temporary ... until her single GCSE alerts authorities to her incredible intellectuality and she's offered a place at university. Oh, and as a sop, she also gives Denise a bit of bling - a diamond-encrusted version of that appalling D necklace she used to wear. "D" for "diva" or "D" for "dickwad?" I wonder.

I gather the storylines don't end there, because next week, she's running after Kush to tell him she loves him, now that she's got some food in her stomach and her ego's back on track.

I just want my line of vision free of this miserable coot.

Jack Pratt. Yet another overgrown spoiled brat. He's too obtuse and too caught up in what he wants to recognise the needs of his own children. Amy and Ricky notice his behaviour. The reason they're acting out is for some much-needed attention. This is less about Jack wanting to keep his family together and more about him wanting Matthew, and specifically Matthew, as the last embodiment of Ronnie (and more than just a little bit to do with James as well).

Funny, that after all this kerfuffle about fighting Jack's corner over that of her own grandson, Dot has finally come full circle and realises now that Matthew does, actually, indeed belong with his real father. And she finally confesses, in a roundabout way, that her crossing over to support Jack came when she realised that Charlie wasn't coming back to settle in Walford and live with her - so that reaction was, indeed, all about Dot's selfishness in wanting a blood relation on her doorstep. Now she recognises Jack's awkward behaviour and his obsessiveness about Matthew. 

Most of her dialogue with Patrick serves as a voice-over montage about how badly Jack is coping and how his two actual children are acting out their frustrations for his lack of attention. Amy points out, openly, that he's always shouting. But it takes a public service announcement and dialogue gleaned from a sociology textbook and rendered into dialogue for Abi to spout, informing Jack about the abnormal behaviour of Amy and Ricky at the swimming pool - a precocious Ricky pulling down Abi's bikini top and Amy attacking him with food, all in the uninterested presence of Lauren, who has problems of her own.

The surprise highlight of the episode came in the appearance of Mrs Charlie, a fresh-faced Irish lass who informs Jack that not only is Charlie upset by the entire proceeding, he was also suicidal when she first met him. It hurt Charlie losing Ronnie? I don't think so. By the time Charlie left Walford, he'd discovered Ronnie's true colours. What was it he called her in Dot's kitchen? A "full-blown psychopath", if I recall correctly. So I'd say the pain he felt more was missing Matthew instead of losing Ronnie.

However, Mrs Charlie described a perfect idyll of a life in Ireland - she, working part-time with disadvantaged children, Charlie working shifts at his hotel, a mortgage-less house with a paddock and a horse, and a family in the village nearby. As if that isn't enough, Mrs Charlie gives Jack a lesson in what family really means and a reality check on Matthew's real relationship with Amy and Ricky - cousins are as good as siblings, and Amy and Ricky would always be welcome to visit.

The end of the ordeal saw Jack in a bromanced conversation with the show's other spoiled brat of a babyman, Mick, bonding over blended whiskey and both commiserating about the other's plight of living away from someone they loved.

Charlie's getting Matthew. Hooray!

The Two Most Useless Female Characters in the Show. Abi and Lauren. Is Abi really so obtuse in her conceit that she thinks someone like Josh is interested in her - based on his polite grace in walking her home and adding her to his Facebook friends' list?

This is what I mean about Abi. She's about to turn 21, and she has the brain capacity of a 14 year-old of the lowest common denominator. She's still astute enough to notice that something isn't quite right with an out-of-sorts Lauren. 

Lauren's got problems enough. She's pregnant, and she doesn't want a child, but Abi interprets Lauren's behaviour as good old-fashioned jealousy. The only thing interesting in this representation of the Branning sisters under this producer is the open dislike Abi now feels for Lauren, something which, presumably, has been festering all her life and is now brought out into the open. She did, however, manage to infer a couple of strong home truths in Lauren's way, especially pointedly asking her if she were, indeed, in a committed relationship and also implying that Lauren became a mother too soon.

And all of this was played out against a backdrop of Honey and Jane whingeing about how useless both Ian and Billy were.

The men on this soap have never been depicted in such a low manner.

The Carters.Mick charmed Fi, after taking Johnny's advice and pretending to like her. I do think Fi has more nous than that. Does he really think that Whitney can come back and work and live in the pub? Really, Mick?

This show is shite.

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