Ron Manager's somewhat sarcastic look at UK Soaps.

  • So I have decided to start a thread about UK Soaps, be warned I don't take any soap seriously and see them more as something to be ridiculed and poked fun at.


    I only watch Coronation Street, EastEnders and Emmerdale, I say watch in the loosest of terms as it's more a case of they happen to be on when all I want to do is relax and chill out of an evening.


    Generally speaking all soaps are not that well written or acted, most of the actors are crap and probably couldn't get work doing anything else.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • I haven't watched a Soap Opera in years. I think I stopped watching around the time Ken Barlow's first wife was electrocuted. I also watched Crossroads but found that watching the walls on the set swaying when a cast member moved to close far move interesting than the plot.


    I think one of the reasons I never really watched soaps was that I don't enjoy the feeling of being almost addicted to something so trivial when real life is so interesting.

  • I think the only one I watched for a while was Eldorado. More because I rather liked one of the actors than for the "plot" though it did have its moments. I know my mother was welded to the Australian ones and Eastenders. I seem to remember the phrase "If Eastenders was real life there wouldn't be enough lamp-posts left to hang yourself from"

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • I used to be a soap addict. I watched the lot and I mean ALL of them. Remember Falcon Crest anyone?? See, told you I used to be a serious soap fan.... ^^ My all time favourite being Dallas. Extreme painful death would be bestowed upon anyway interrupting me watching Dallas. JR was simply the best soap character ever, in my opinion.


    Like all linear tv, I don't watch channels normally now, but select specific shows from on demand services and I don't watch soaps at all.

    I see Ian Beale is still in EastEnders and I swore I saw Kathy in it too, when I was flicking through the channels last week. How did that happen? Is Emmerdale still fixated on the Sugden brothers who were getting up to "various" things? Is Roy still in Corrie? I liked Roy.


    Ron, why don't you give us a run down of what's happening in them now?

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  • I think Casualty and Holby City are soaps now, aren't they?


    A bit like The Bill which started out as a drama but then turned into a soap, Casualty and Holby City are in the same bracket I would have thought as well Doctors.

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  • Agree about Dallas and JR. Falcon Crest I remember but little at that time could match especially the early Dallas episodes. It fell apart somewhat towards the end of the series.


    I did watch House with Hugh Laurie. Does that count as a soapie or is it too cynical and now classed as something else?

    There, in a mauve light of drifted lupins,

    They hung in the cupped hands of mountains

    Made of tingling atoms.- Ted Hughes


  • All the UK soaps seem to follow the same pattern, for instance if there is a couple one of them will all ways have an affair, which if they not married is usually revealed when or just after they have got married the person who was cheated on will then plan some over the top revenge on the person who cheated on them, a wedding funeral or other family event will always include an argument, fight or police turning up to arrest someone, everyone has everyone's mobile number regardless of whether they are friends or not, almost everyone will usually work within the street, town, village or local area, no one will be out of work for more than one episode, unqualified people will be able to get jobs they have no qualifications or experience of doing and will become an expert at that job within minutes of doing the job.


    They will often try to do a story line which is considered a big issue purely and simply as a box ticking exercise.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • There is also the tendency, especially in American series, to place ordinary people in luxurious apartments or houses that would be completely out of the reach of the people portrayed in the soapie. They can also turn that round and make things look grubby beyond necessity if they're in a socialist mood. Plus absolutely everyone is continuously bonking.

    There, in a mauve light of drifted lupins,

    They hung in the cupped hands of mountains

    Made of tingling atoms.- Ted Hughes


  • I did watch House with Hugh Laurie. Does that count as a soapie or is it too cynical and now classed as something else?

    No, that's a drama, or dramedy, as the yanks call them and one of my favourites!

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  • All the UK soaps seem to follow the same pattern, for instance if there is a couple one of them will all ways have an affair, which if they not married is usually revealed when or just after they have got married the person who was cheated on will then plan some over the top revenge on the person who cheated on them, a wedding funeral or other family event will always include an argument, fight or police turning up to arrest someone, everyone has everyone's mobile number regardless of whether they are friends or not, almost everyone will usually work within the street, town, village or local area, no one will be out of work for more than one episode, unqualified people will be able to get jobs they have no qualifications or experience of doing and will become an expert at that job within minutes of doing the job.


    They will often try to do a story line which is considered a big issue purely and simply as a box ticking exercise.

    :)


    Interesting observations, especially about they always seem to have each other mobile numbers! (No one has mine, not even my family. I don't follow modern trends and don't want to be in communication with people every second of the day.)


    Of course, the fact that they all live, work and play in their immediate areas is down to budgets. But there was a lot of truth in that, say fifty years ago, but not now.


    One person who was always out of work in EastEnders who I thought was a great character and that was the Slater Dad (can't remember his name) who was always a expert in everything because he watched documentaries all day long.

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  • There is also the tendency, especially in American series, to place ordinary people in luxurious apartments or houses that would be completely out of the reach of the people portrayed in the soapie. They can also turn that round and make things look grubby beyond necessity if they're in a socialist mood. Plus absolutely everyone is continuously bonking.

    It does tend to be one extreme or another.

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  • They all seem to have magic kids who appear and disappear at will, if they are shown being a parent then the the kids are shown if they want a night down the pub then the kids disappear, also no matter how short of money any of them complain about they always find money for the pub.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • No, that's a drama, or dramedy, as the yanks call them and one of my favourites!

    Thanks for that. I wondered what these were called.

    There, in a mauve light of drifted lupins,

    They hung in the cupped hands of mountains

    Made of tingling atoms.- Ted Hughes


  • Yes ,and remember when Sky came along, ALL soap families had money for satellite tv.


    I suppose actually that is real, these types always have money for satellite/cable/Netflix, fags, booze, expensive mobiles etc.


    As for the kids, I can answer that one from the producers point of view. The UK has strict laws about children's working hours and times and additional guidelines for kids in tv shows and films. So, you will not find children under 13 in tv/films much. Those who are 13 or over, are professional actors employed by the talent agencies and go to drama/theatre school. An example being Ian Beale's kids who were never seen or heard until they got to a certain age and were replaced by professional child actors.


    Of course America is different, kids are a "product" there. To be used as required and when they grow up and are no longer pretty, they are discarded, hence the high suicide rate among many young American actors. But hey, Hollywood made a lot of money out of them, so who cares? Not many, it seems.

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  • It's probably good but I can't get my head around Laurie doing an American accent.

    Laurie is very good at it. You forget he isn't a juvenile adult with a skewed interpretation of Libertarianism after a while. He just becomes House.

    There, in a mauve light of drifted lupins,

    They hung in the cupped hands of mountains

    Made of tingling atoms.- Ted Hughes


  • Oh I get all the laws and stuff about kids working in TV/films etc and the thing about 'hard up' people finding money for unessential stuff etc, but like I explained I'm not being serious and I am poking fun at soaps mainly because they hype themselves up as trying to represent real life etc.


    One of the other things that make me smile in soaps is the way someone can be at work get news of a a family crisis or whatever usually something really trivial, just down tools and disappear off from work, or they will be at work and a friend or family member will just swan in to have a chat about something with them two prime example of that are the factories in Coronation street and Emmerdale. :D

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • When people meet for coffee, one of them always gets the hump and leaves without paying for it or drinking it.

    There, in a mauve light of drifted lupins,

    They hung in the cupped hands of mountains

    Made of tingling atoms.- Ted Hughes


  • Oh I get all the laws and stuff about kids working in TV/films etc and the thing about 'hard up' people finding money for unessential stuff etc, but like I explained I'm not being serious and I am poking fun at soaps mainly because they hype themselves up as trying to represent real life etc.


    One of the other things that make me smile in soaps is the way someone can be at work get news of a a family crisis or whatever usually something really trivial, just down tools and disappear off from work, or they will be at work and a friend or family member will just swan in to have a chat about something with them two prime example of that are the factories in Coronation street and Emmerdale. :D

    And of course they can be at home to deal with the crisis because their workplace just happens to be in exactly the same street as they live. How convenient, they've never heard of the M25 or London Tube.


    By the way, I turned on Corrie the other night and there was a ginger headed fellow who by the end of the episode was bleeding everywhere, not quite sure what happened to him. The last time I turned on Corrie, that fellow was a little kid called Chesney, now he's a bleeding bloke, excuse the pun. Life is short in soap land...;)


    Now, I don't know about you, but if one must bleed all over the carpet, can they do when I'm not eating my dinner please?:)


    Do all soap characters end up getting killed/raped/staked/tuned into lunatics, or do some characters actually still love "normal" lives?

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  • When people meet for coffee, one of them always gets the hump and leaves without paying for it or drinking it.

    Actually one of my neighbours and distant relatives is like that. Almost as if they pre-think a situation to cause a argument, so that they can walk out and not ever pay. Obviously, I don't have a coffee with them now.... :)


    Actually, it was a ice cream last time it happened to me, several years ago now. It wasn't a argument either, but a "urgent" need to check that a car was locked, one minute before leaving the cafe and having to pay.

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  • Whenever people leave in a hurry they leap into cars that are never locked.

    There, in a mauve light of drifted lupins,

    They hung in the cupped hands of mountains

    Made of tingling atoms.- Ted Hughes


  • I noticed that. And they never go to petrol stations in soap land, the cars are always filled up with fuel as if by magic.

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  • Mr Wing's favourite complaint is that they often get into physical fights and the hero comes out without a mark on him. Looks like Adonis when he should have swellings and brushes and cuts.

    There, in a mauve light of drifted lupins,

    They hung in the cupped hands of mountains

    Made of tingling atoms.- Ted Hughes


  • I can never understand why new families would ever move into an area that was rife with families in dispute, violence, mayhem and murders. Not to forget the yearly major incident, train wreck, plane crash or explosion. No one ever moans about the high car/home/ business insurance that be crippling to local residents in such an area.

  • How about the endless murders in Midsomer? How there is anyone left in the place after a weekly purge is a mystery.

    There, in a mauve light of drifted lupins,

    They hung in the cupped hands of mountains

    Made of tingling atoms.- Ted Hughes


  • I can never understand why new families would ever move into an area that was rife with families in dispute, violence, mayhem and murders. Not to forget the yearly major incident, train wreck, plane crash or explosion. No one ever moans about the high car/home/ business insurance that be crippling to local residents in such an area.

    Yeah soap locations must have the highest crime rates in the world ^^

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • I can never understand why new families would ever move into an area that was rife with families in dispute, violence, mayhem and murders. Not to forget the yearly major incident, train wreck, plane crash or explosion. No one ever moans about the high car/home/ business insurance that be crippling to local residents in such an area.

    I think the yearly incident with the train crash, car accident etc is something that happened only after I stopped watching soaps, so it's not something I noticed when I used to watch them. I think the writing just go so poor, that the producers needed to invent more and more extreme events to create storylines, rather than have good writers to begin with.


    But as you say Jo, these areas are dangerous, yet people in soap land do flock to them. And like cars which are always magically filled up with petrol, as you say, they never have insurance problems with anything. Do they even have burglar alarms? I don't recall ever hearing one, when I used to watch the soaps. Good job there are no break ins, in soap land.:P

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  • Sleeping with the Enemy star Patrick Bergin - the man who turned towel-straightening into a sign of malevolent intent - is joining EastEnders.


    The Robin Hood actor will play Aidan Maguire, a prison friend of Phil Mitchell's who is described as a "charismatic old-school villain".

    BBC article

    ====


    I might have to rekindle my past love with soaps at this rate!;)


    Firstly, there was the picture of Phil dying on all various news articles, did he? And now this news that Patrick Bergin, a "proper" actor, is joining Albert Square.


    I'm missing out!! There has been such a void in my life since I stopped watching soaps, I might have to rectify this very soon.


    Now, where's those old Dallas episodes?:)

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  • Now, where's those old Dallas episodes?:)

    Yeah who can forget Dallas they did a whole series of episode where one of the characters had died, Bobby I think it was, to suddenly decide to resurrect him in the next series, making out that it had happened in a dream or something. :D

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

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