Hello and welcome to A Slice Of Soap. I’d like to live in Albert Square or t’cobbles of Coronation Street. If only because youth violence only seems to happen there once a year.
Remember EastEnders’ ‘E20 gang’? The group of idiots Jay fell in with that terrorised Dot? They were about as realistic as a Sharon Osbourne threat to quit The X Factor. Did the wannabe gangsters walk off the set of Grange Hill by accident? Talk about mega-rubbish! I bet real thugs were laughing into their 2L bottles of cheap knock-off cider when they saw that. Clearly, the EastEnders writers are as useless writing convincingly about youth culture as they are writing convincingly about ethnic minority characters.
Anyway, I couldn’t help suppressing an inward groan when I read that Coronation Street are about to have a go.
Possible spoiler ahead:
Teenage gangs are reportedly set to hit the streets of Weatherfield, according to the Sun. Norris (played by Malcolm Hebden) and the Kabin will be targeted as the gang go on their crime spree (in a little back street?). A source told the paper: "The writers want to reflect the growing problem of gang crime in our cities." The Kabin isn’t the only Weatherfield business on the gang’s radar; Roy’s Rolls is also hit and that sparks a dramatic chain of events that sees Sinbad/Jerry (actor Michael Starke) hospitalised. He chases the gang but suffers a heart attack during the pursuit (well that I can believe). The insider apparently added: "The storyline will bring the Mortons back into the frame." Yawn. What’s the point when we all know that they’re going? This all sounds like desperate, desperate stuff.
Years ago, Coronation Street was character-driven, not plot-driven. Circumstances came out of the lives of the characters and that’s what made it all so good and believable. Now the soap is going to extremes and getting it all wrong; remember when they announced the terrible baby swap storyline? We all said it wouldn’t work and that’s what this feels like. EastEnders went wrong by jumping on the bandwagon, contriving a storyline of convenience, rushing it, hiring the most unconvincing gangsters ever and then making them do things you just know no real gang would do (Dandy Dan’s gang in Bugsy Malone had more menace). I hope Coronation Street doesn’t make the same mistake but I won’t hold my breath. However, I do think new London Mayor Boris Johnson should ask EastEnders writers for advice about dealing with gangs cos the E20 gang ain’t been seen since.
That’s it for now. Join me on Friday for more soap news and gossip. Got a comment about your favourite soap, this blog or anything else? Share it with me.
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