Why Soap Weddings Rarely Work

Hello Soapsters! Welcome to A Slice Of Soap.

We’re at the time of year when soap writers pull out all the stops for ratings. True to form, the writers of Coronation Street are penning a wedding between blowsy Liz McDonald and lazy Vernon Tomlin. But should they even bother?  ITV’s press release advises: "Make sure you have your glad rags at the ready come New Year’s Eve, as Corrie’s residents will be gathering for the wedding of Liz and Vernon. The pair, played by Beverley Callard and Ian Reddington, plan to tie the knot on the big night – but will everything go without a hitch?" Probably not. More to the point, will they last the course?.

Soap weddings have a lousy track record as far as ’till death us do part’ is concerned. In fact, only Britney can probably boast a less successful record in the matrimony stakes. There have been exceptions and we viewers have enjoyed the ups and downs of a few longstanding marriages: Corrie’s Jack and Vera Duckworth and Stan and Hilda Ogden instantly spring to mind. EastEnders’ Pauline and Ar’Fer Fowler can be added to that list too. But these are a rarity and that’s a pity.

More often than not, the majority of soap weddings turn out to be a flash-in-the-pan. So why don’t they work out? Well, if you ask me, some of them are non-starters to begin with. Take Hollyoaks’ Sarah and Craig. She catches her fiancé  in a compromising embrace with another bloke (Craig is struggling with his sexuality) and yet, refuses to give up on him. Wouldn’t you think twice before walking down the aisle? Most sensible people would – but not Sarah. She begs for another chance. If they tie the knot, I’d give them about as long as it takes to dance to Outside by George Michael. 
Some marriages featured on soaps are destined not to work out due to the fact that one or both actors are moving on. Take the ‘Shannis’ stuff on EastEnders a while back. Dennis and Sharon Watts are a perfect example of taking a storyline and stretching it beyond the point where it is absolutely ridiculous. Yes I refer to that incestuous marriage – alright it was his adopted sister, but it was still sickening to watch. Anyway, Dennis and Sharon’s happiness was short-lived as Dennis met with a tragic end. A dramatic conclusion courtesy of the fact that both Nigel Harman and Letitia Dean had decided to leave the show (so glad they did because watching those two together regularly put me off my TV dinners).

Another example of a marriage not working out due to an actor exiting stage left can be found on’t cobbles of Coronation Street. Shobna Gulati, who played Sunita Parekh/Alahan, was axed from the show shortly after the Street’s first Hindu wedding between her character and shop owner Dev Alahan. The marriage was gloriously short – Hollywood eat your heart out.        
One of the biggest reasons soap weddings generally don’t work out in the long run is down to ratings and dramatic effect. Writers take a couple and  mess up every aspect of their lives – even if it doesn’t ring true. Take  Coronation Street’s resident bores Claire and Ashley Peacock. Somebody writing for Corrie has spent way too much time with their Fatal Attraction DVD: next thing you know, Ashley’s bit on the side Casey has become obsessed with him, kidnapped his son and wrecked his marriage. A more unconvincing storyline you couldn’t hope to find. What on earth would anyone see in Ashley, a man whose voice is more high-pitched than the average woman? However unlikely, he’s had an affair and it’s cost him his marriage.

In the final analysis, I suppose a very strong reason why we don’t blink an eye when soap weddings crash and burn is because soaps try to reflect what’s going on in society. We have a high divorce rate in this country ergo, the forthcoming Corrie wedding between Bev and Vernon might be doomed before Vernon even thinks about hiring The Rovers for his reception.
Gus Watch
Walford Borough Council have hired a private detective to track down one of their employees because he hasn’t been seen much around Albert Square in the past couple of weeks. The private detective reports that the man in question, who goes by the name of Gus Smith, has been putting his poetry writing abilities to use moonlighting as a greetings card writer…Poor Gus. Still not doing much of use on EastEnders.
That’s it for now. Join me on Friday for more news and gossip from the world of soaps. Got a comment about your favourite soap, this blog or anything else? Share it with me.
Ms Bubbles
MSN’s Eye On Soaps

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10 Responses to Why Soap Weddings Rarely Work

  1. Soap Blogger says:

    Jack and Vera are my favourite couple on Coronation Street. I\’m going to miss them both when Vera goes. I never liked Pauline and Arthur Fowler – they were so depressing. 

  2. Unknown says:

    It\’s true they don\’t last long, but a wedding is alwasy worth tuning in for. My favourite was Kat and Alfie\’s. I\’m looking foward to Bev and Vernon as it\’ll be a laugh. 

  3. Liam says:

    Speaking of off putting things… Thinking about Hayley and Roy and their boudoir shenanigans is enough to put anyone off their dinner. "You told me you were a virgin" etc. Deary me!
    In addition to this… I concur about the poor, sensationalist story-writing:
    I was speaking to a Canadian friend and she asked about our soaps.
    I told her the main story in the most-watched UK soap is… "Hayley, who used to be called Harold, has just found out that she fathered a son when she was a man". Need I say anymore?

  4. M. says:

    not really much to do with the article – more of an after thought based on your after though …. what is the purpose of gus on enders? he serves no real purpose at all – best they just get rid now – after all nobody would realise he\’d gone any way. same can also be said for mickey and keith miller – again total wastes of space.

  5. peter says:

     What happens in your street take 100 houses not a lot maybe a ambulance turns up to take a pregnant woman to hospital to have a baby,maybe people off to the airport to go on holiday maybe every few years a death or even a divorce,so if a soap portrayed real life how interesting would that be?, i always regarded soaps as slightly incestious soon as they split with one partner they are going out with the other ones brother or sister or neighbour, you have only so many actors and you have to make up plots all the time so of course some of them are far fetched, take david platt in coronation street if he was a real person i don\’t think there would be one woman in england who wouldn\’t be in prison if they were his mother after killing the little swine,all they talk about in soaps is how little money they have or earn so where are they mostly in the pub every minute they are not working not only that the first thing they say as soon as someone they know walks in is what are you drinking mate,but at the end of the day i say good luck to them at least they fill in while you are waiting for the good programes to start

  6. Unknown says:

    i think Gus is an awesome charecter!
    he brings the tiniest bit of reality to the show because of his normalness
    anyway he had a couple of good storylines like the Sonia proposal? 

  7. Coops - says:

    How long ago was the Sonia proposal? Ages. I keep imagining Mohammed George searching through the scripts every week and finding that he\’s not in that week\’s show or that he\’s only got 1 line. Truth is there\’s no point to Gus. Maybe they should marry him off and let him and his wife start a new life in Hackney. 

  8. Shadia says:

    I feel sorry for sarah because she was goin 2 get married 2 craig then she finds out that he is gay.That is disgusting because craig is sleeping with he best friend John-paul.Now craig has dicided that he wants 2 go 2 Dublin with j-p and have a fresh start with him. Now sarah is upset.I can\’t belive that craig chose j-p over sarah. Mabey j-p and craig will get married!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Salma says:

     That bit about Gus, I totally agree he must be the worlds laziest street cleaner ohh come on the extra that walks around the market stalls have more air time then poor Gus… :P.. that is crazyyyy!!!

  10. Jackie says:

    I think it\’s about time Gus had a good story line. Maybe he could get it together with Roxy or maybe Chelsea, thats if she stays, better she goes I can\’t stand her!. Gus is a good guy & deserves to have a romance or something. What has happened to Dawn, Keith & Mickey? they don\’t seem to be in it much lately. I hope Preeti eventually gets together with Mickey. That last girlfriend Mickey had was dreadful!! 

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