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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 92.0.142.240
Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - 10:17 pm:   

Yes, you read it right, Eastenders. I inadvertently watched the Christmas episode, well the last twenty minutes or so. I can't stand soaps ever since Ena Sharples left Coronation Street, and when I hear those opening drumbeats of EE usually run for cover.

What I was impressed with (despite myself) was the fact that although I had no idea whatsoever who any of the characters were, within a few minutes I understood the plot and not only what was going on at that moment but the basic back-story behind the events.

Now, like it or not, that is good storytelling!

Donít worry, I wonít be watching it again.

Cheers
Terry
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 217.35.242.218
Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - 10:54 pm:   

I was a captive audience with my wife and the in laws who never miss it. I was appalled. The snarling negativity that exudes from that show is second only to watching a group of uneducated chavs facing off down the mall. It's a half hour of relentless shouting and threatening behaviour. I refuse to let my daughter watch it.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.31.202.102
Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - 10:59 pm:   

Rather that than the 'Hollyoaks with sheepshit' that is Emmerdale.
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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 92.0.142.240
Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - 11:29 pm:   

Dear Seanmcd

I agree, it is an apic of willfull ignorance and utter self-centredness with no acknowlegement of any world that exists outside of Albert Square. What I was taken by was how a story can be conveyed and explained and made compelling in such a short time.

Compelling doesn't necessarily mean worthy or good. Heroin is compelling once you've squirted enough of it into your veins!

Soaps were not mant to be so dire. The original Coronation Street was written as an honest drama about ordinary people at a time when TV concentrated on the rich and fey.

Cheers
Terry
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - 01:15 am:   

>>The original Coronation Street was written as an honest drama about ordinary people at a time when TV concentrated on the rich and fey.<<

There was a dramatisation of how Corrie came about the other day - about Tony Warren, the creator. Saw a bit of it and it looked quite interesting, though didn't watch it all.

I confess I'm old enough to remember the original Corrie - watched it with my parents when I was a kid (mum loved it). In those days it was the kind of thing you *could* watch with kids - quite humorous in places. Nowadays soaps (not solely Corrie) are just plain horrible. Like I overheard in a hairdresser's shop conversation about soaps the other week: "Why can't they have a NICE Christmas for a change?"
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.177.245
Posted on Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - 02:01 am:   

I only see Eastenders at Christmas but was impressed by this year's main story, enough so to mention it to a number of friends. A young woman with a history of manic depression is accused of stabbing someone by another young woman with a history of lying. Whom does the community believe: a known liar who is mentally competent or someone with a diagnosed mental illness? The issue was sensibly framed and worked through, with a powerful scene between the mothers of the two young women. Fair play to Eastenders for making its audience think about something as complex as that.

However, I do rather suspect that the series' main function at Yuletide is to reassure absolutely everyone watching that some is having a worse time of it than they are.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.177.245
Posted on Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - 02:02 am:   

Someone, I mean.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.31.202.102
Posted on Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - 08:58 am:   

Frankly, I can't believe horror fans are claiming that a mainstream TV show is too grim (too real, even?). Would you prefer Richard Curtis whimsy?
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - 11:32 am:   

Happiness is comparing yourself to a social group which is worse off than you in relative terms. that's why people like Eastenders...
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.31.202.102
Posted on Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - 11:37 am:   

Bit reductionist, that. Just as many people tune in to shows about rich folk.

But I agree that happiness is a relative concept, and misery is the same. Oliver James makes the point that even the poorest person these days lives a better life than royalty 300 years ago, and yet we're all more depressed than we've ever been. A massive component of this misery is relative deprivation: austerity these days doesn't involve sharing an egg between a family; it means not keeping up with the Sky payments. (Which is not to excuse the austerity measures which will be forced upon us quite soon.)
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.31.202.102
Posted on Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - 11:47 am:   

Actually, I don't agree. If we were all in the gutter, and some of us had a better cardboard box than others, we'd all still be unhappy. The body needs a certain level of comfort before happiness becomes an issue. So it's not just a relative concept.

He said, twitting himself.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.31.202.102
Posted on Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - 11:50 am:   

I'm arguing with myself here, btw.

But I am?

Yes.
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 217.35.242.218
Posted on Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - 12:40 pm:   

It's more the grating vocals of a few of the main characters that annoys me most.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Monday, January 10, 2011 - 12:49 pm:   

Eastenders is undeniably well acted and undeniably depressing as fuck. I, for one, can't abide watching more than about ten minutes of it before my eyes start to glaze over. Corrie at least has genuine, unforced humour - though even it is a pale and shallow imitation of its 60s-80s hey day.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.9.16.50
Posted on Monday, January 10, 2011 - 01:54 pm:   

My main fascination with soap operas is the amount of in-breeding that goes on.

I should add hastily that I'm not so much fascinated by the mechanics of this as by the outcome.

Everyone has basically shagged everyone else. Everyone's usually been married at least three times (to each other). Certain characters have changed their sexual orientation several times. Almost every character is subsequently related to all the others at some level.

I'm not sure the storylining staff are aware how much this diminishes the impact of later stories. For example, with Corrie, are we really supposed to believe it when Sally or Deadrie throw Kevin or Ken out for admitting to past affairs, when they themselves have been at it with every other bloke on the street? Is it really worth murdering someone because he or she has cheated on you, when cheating is the street's main spectator sport?

Mind you, Corrie is set in Salford, so truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Monday, January 10, 2011 - 01:59 pm:   

All soap operas tend ultimately towards the punchline of the old parody 'hillbilly' song 'I'm My Own Grandpa'.
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.71
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 12:06 am:   

Is Samantha Janus in Eastenders still? Pity her brother's not seen much on telly these days. Hugh.
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.71
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 12:11 am:   

Soap operas, though... Sheesh. What depresses me about them is their lack of ambition. Let's see some heroism, someone standing up and saying this isn't enough. Let's draw comparisons of ourselves with Homer's Greeks and Trojans, not Ken bloody Barlow.
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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 212.219.63.204
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 12:09 pm:   

Greek Soap rahter than Greek Tragedy then.

I agree Mark, clever scripting and tight storytelling aside, the content is complete self-obssession. The locations exist in their own miserable little universes, like Pleasantville. It reminds me of the schol geogaphy lesson in that film where the students have no idea of what lies beyond he borders of their small town.

Cheers
Terry
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 12:20 pm:   

"I'm not sure the storylining staff are aware how much this diminishes the impact of later stories. For example, with Corrie, are we really supposed to believe it when Sally or Deadrie throw Kevin or Ken out for admitting to past affairs, when they themselves have been at it with every other bloke on the street?"

I knew a girl in my last job. One day she was filling in one of these surveys in Cosmopolitan.

Question - would you cheat on your boyfriend? Her answer - Yes

Question - Have you cheated on him?

Her answer - yes.

Question - Would you feel betrayed if he cheated on you?

Her answer - yes.

Question - Would you dump him if he cheated on you?

Her answer... you guessed it... Yes.

Also in the survey there was a question asking the number of her sexual partners to date. I actually thought it was the box for her age before I looked closer. The only reason I looked closer was because I didn't think she was that old and I wanted to check what I'd seen...

She then wondered why, when someone asked me if I thought she was nice, my answer was "no, you don't know what you'd catch off her."
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.182.5
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 12:39 pm:   

That's a pretty unpleasant thing for you to have said, Weber, and it reflects a remarkably puritanical attitude. How do you know how careful she was or wasn't, and what business was it of yours?

Besides, if the 'girl' was over twenty and her number of past sexual partners could have been her age I wouldn't say she was promiscuous. A great many people have had dozens of sexual partners, and many have had hundreds. How many men talk about going out 'on the pull'? What do you think that means? Is it fine for them to do it but morally wrong for women to be either the 'puller' or the 'pulled'?
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 01:04 pm:   

She was under twenty and the number of partners was twice her age at least... It probably wasn't my business but she was discussing the survey in her usual loud mouthed fashion as she filled it in which was how I knew the first set of answers.

You'll have to excuse me for having a sense of morality about someone having apparently 2 partners a week and saying she'd dump her boyfriend if he tooked twice at another woman. Hypocrisy on that scale is not something I tolerate in anyone.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 01:28 pm:   

Sorry, typing too quickly - that should have been a different guy every 2 weeks rather than 2 a week.

And it was quite easy to judge how careful she was. In another of her "Private" conversations held at full volume accross the office so everyone knew far more about her than we wanted to, she announced she was going for another abortion - when pushed by her similarly loud-mouthed friend - her fourth. This was very soon after her 18th birthday.

Call me puritanical if you like but I have standards and her behaviour fell a long way below those standards.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 01:29 pm:   

And no, I don't think that bedhopping on that sort of scale is acceptable for either gender... to answer the last of your questions.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 01:47 pm:   

Is this the "Victorian Britain" thread?
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 129.11.76.215
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 02:17 pm:   

I think you need a shag, Weber. :-)
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 02:30 pm:   

That's sorted. i'm with a very lovely lady at the moment and enjoying evry minute of it.

Even though it's apparently a victorian attitude I won't be shagging around with anyone I fancy and will remain monogamous while I'm with her.

Excuse me for having standards.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 129.11.76.215
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 02:35 pm:   

I think what needles folk is the way you express your standards - eg:

>>>"you don't know what you'd catch off her."

So don't come the morally superior soldier with us, young man. :-)
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 02:43 pm:   

This was a girl who, by age 18 had had nearly 40 partners, 4 abortions so she clearly wasn't taking any kind of precautions and was a complete hypocrite about the standards she expected her boyfriend to keep...

I think there are definite cases where someone's standards are clearly scraping the bottom of the barrel and she was certainly one of them.

I wouldn't have gone near her with someone elses.

You don't know what you'd catch... is quite mild considering.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 129.11.76.215
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 02:49 pm:   

>>>wouldn't have gone near her with someone elses.

There you go again! You're missing the point. You're claiming high standards with a very low standard of expression.

You're like Gareth Keenan in The Office saying he accepts gays and, to prove it, asking folk to come round and look at his record collection: "there you'll find Queen, Elton John - they're all bummers."

:-)
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.185.182
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 03:20 pm:   

Point taken, Weber, but I concur with Gary in saying that you don't set high standards of behaviour by having low standards of politeness. And in addition, you've contradicted your own claim that you initially thought the number your colleague had written down was her age.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 03:23 pm:   

I met Weber over Christmas and can attest to the fact that he didn't judge me at all for shagging all round me at every opportunity I get - although always in a linear fashion, one woman at a time lol.

I'm really glad to hear you're still getting on well with your latest man! Look forward to our next happy waffle over a few stiff drinks...
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 03:32 pm:   

"I'm really glad to hear you're still getting on well with your latest man! "

Is there supposed to be a comma in that sentence before the last word?

Where have I contradicted myself? I saw her magazine lying open on the table, saw the number 38 and thought "There's no way she's that old, I'm sure she's younger than that" and looked more closely at the magazine at which point I pinpointed her age as 17 from the previous quion and 38 as the number of partners in the next question. I can't see anything I've said that contradicts that.

I suppose it says something for her that she was keeping score at least.

"It probably wasn't my business but she was discussing the survey in her usual loud mouthed fashion as she filled it in which was how I knew the first set of answers."

Note that it was the string of Yes answers I knew from her discussions (also the number of abortions). The number of partners was read from the magazine.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 03:35 pm:   

Erm... sorry about that lol.

I hereby attest that Weber's latest is most definitely a woman!

You realise people are gonna start talking about us after this!!
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 03:40 pm:   

But the one before that...
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.185.182
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 03:42 pm:   

Sorry, Weber, I was getting muddled. Shouldn't be posting Ė my head's not too clear. And whereas Steve's mistake was hilarious mine was merely dozey.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 03:47 pm:   

Don't worry about it Joel. I've done worse.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 05:11 pm:   

To slightly return to the original topic, has anyone noticed how, in soaps, if a woman cheats on her husband it's because he's not treating her right, stifling her etc and she's always justified in cheating but when a guy cheats on his wife, it's because he's a bastard and is basically unable to keep it in his pants?

It's a horrible double standard that's been there as long as I can remember and has never changed.

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