Welcome everybody to a very special edition of TTWTWB, as tonight, rather than merely ranting about the state of certain Soap Operas, I’m going to show you with the first ever TTWTWB blow by blow commentary of 2 hours of Soaps provided on a Friday night. Before we get into that though, we have a theme, and once again it’s from Stargate: Universe. The Eels ‘Agony’.
Well it’s currently 17:47 on Friday, so there is about 1 hour 13 minutes until the commentary gets into full swing. I should point out the reason I’m doing this, other than to illustrate just how much rubbish Eastenders and Coronation Street are throwing in at the moment, is because in their current states I’m not sure how much more I can watch either of those two shows (Emmerdale retains my fandom, and despite the ludicrous cliches of the recent breakup of Bob and Viv has been consistently superb, above and beyond what one would expect from a Soap) and as such I may well scale back the amount I write about soaps, meaning Soap Profiles will evolve into TV Profiles, which as well as keeping me sane (well…less insane) does have the upside of giving a practically inexhaustible list of subjects, and means I can wax lyrical about other shows I love.
17:53- Watching the Cricket now, England on top, although I think they would definitely want to take more wickets before Stumps today. 1 hour 7 minutes until we get underway fully!
18:47 MMM Head Honcho Eoin just showed me a ‘hype’ video for ‘Enders. Now I want to cry at the prospect ahead of me.
18:58 2 minutes until Emmerdale. One last amusing point. Today while eating Lunch at a pub/restaurant place, I saw a woman in her pajama bottoms with her family. Is this a new trend, and if so, why?
19:00 It should be starting now, but instead we have that damn ‘We Buy Any Car.com’ advert. Never before has an ad made me actively turn against a product.
19:02 Aaron and Cain arguing about his job and being late. Cain winding up Aaron after holding up John and Moira for money. Cain turning evil again? Ryan tries to speak to Aaron, but he’s in a mood. Groundwork for something there.
19:03 Wildes and Declan talk business. They’re building to something with Nathan, but it’s being masked well. Interested to see where that goes.
19:05 Sharma factory, more talk between Nikhil and Jay about Maisie.
19:05 Cain unveils his new sign ‘Dingle Autos’. Aaron in a better mood, Charity sticks up for him in the face of mocking. Nice touch. Declan and Natasha cross Cain…explosion on the horizon.
19:07 Gennie and Chas talk relationships in the factory.Chas gives her a kick up the backside.
19:08 Nathan skulks around the closed shop then harasses David and Layla.
19:09 Declan will clearly be warring with the village. Skips cause issues in Soaps. Edna this time. Edna and Cain would be a kickass tag team.
19:10 Bob discusses what he’ll do with the twins as Viv will give him access. Bad storyline. Viv is one big cliche. Carl yearning after his kids is nice continuity though.
19:11 Aaron and Adam arrive. I think they’re telegraphing Adam coming out too.
19:12 Declan and Natasha have a joke about Edna. Maisie lusts after Declan while he leers at Declan. I feel sick. Interesting triangle though.
19:12 PAUSE! Bathroom break! Back to Adam and Aaron chatting outside the Woolpack. Adam encourages Aaron and says he’ll return to gay bars with him. Yes, this is heading towards Adam and Aaron being a couple.
19:14 Natasha and Declan again. Declan upping his pursuit. Natasha reciprocating now. The storyline is good, the visual is vile.
19:15 Nathan bursts in, he’s angry, Grrrrrr. He walks in on Declan and Natasha, guilty and accusing looks abound!
19:16 Adverts and catch up to real time on Sky+.
19:17 Why do bed companies charge more for the headboard instead of having an inclusive price?
19:18 Miss Millies…KFC from the Westcountry.
19:19 Britain’s Got Talent trailer. Really unimpressed this year.
19:19 And we’re back to the Dales! Nathan continues to be obnoxious. He misses his Dad. Why hasn’t he revealed that he was murdered yet then?
19:20 Gennie, Layla and David in the Pub. Gennie mopes about her lovelife. Layla is doing a business course. Cue unwanted advances from her classmates, or possibly a sleazy tutor.
19:20 Jump to Edna, Carl and Bob. Discussing Declan’s building work and his relationship with Natasha.
19:21 Nathan bitches at Natasha. Emotional blackmail storyline…GO!
19:23 Adam helps Declan. Works on getting Jackson, Aaron’s last partner back to the village. Interesting diversion.
1923: Nathan continues to get at Natasha.
19:24 Nikhil sets up another date with Maisie, with Jay throwing spanners in the works for a laugh.
19:25 Aaron, Cain and Ryan in the bar, Adam takes Aaron to one side and starts to reconsider his actions. That was a fast rug pulling.
19:26 Nathan and Natasha. Natasha calls Nathan’s bluff! Now we’re cooking, take that Posh Weasel Boy!
19:27 Credits roll. Unremarkable episode, but one totally free of histrionics and over the top crap, even with a murder storyline ongoing, which gets it a thumbs up from me. Corrie is next…oh joy!
19:30 Fairy catchphrase- ‘Cleans up what your food messes up’…Worst. Catchphrase. Ever.
19:31 Who buys tents from Argos?
19:33 David, Nick and Audrey discussing Gail’s trial and the false confession that Tracey made up. Utter BS.
19:34 In Underworld. That was a nothing segment, unless they were trying to show how desperate they are to complete a job. Even then, vague.
19:34 Ken and Deidre. Deidre is worrying about her job at the Bookies. More talk about the trial. Yawn.
19:36 Audrey flits around…and that was it…odd.
19:36 Back to the factory. Carla and Boyd. Boyd would be Tony’s ‘inside man’ so he knows the lay of the land when he escapes. Sigh.
19:37 In the Salon. David, Audrey and Natasha. David and Audrey discuss the trial AGAIN! I’m already sick of this. At least we get why Audrey was flitting earlier. Discussing the false witness paid by David and Nick…oh for the love of…
19:39 Tina and Jason chat about the trial. Tina had a foreboding dream. Twin Peaks this isn’t. Jason is good comic relief though “Shouldn’t have said Buzz Lightyear”.
19:40 Boyd looks unhappy with the order after a chat with Kirk…presumably the factory is in more trouble. David and Nick worry about Audrey’s reaction to the false witness.
19:41 Lloyd’s lovelife is discussed in the pub. Keiran throws in zinger.
19:42 David and Nick, more trial worries.
19:43 Prison church. The Priest gives Tony a Sim Card in place of a Communion Wafer, because that’s realistic.
19:44 Adverts, mercifully.
19:46 Not sure what Sofa company, but I’m pretty sure they misspelled the name of the location of one of their stores. ‘Tauton’ instead of ‘Taunton’. That’s shoddy.
19:47 Adrian Chiles plugs England’s friendly with Japan. He’s nothing without the BBC.
19:48 Boyd is furious at a mistake in the Underworld factory, and withdraws his business. Tony is name dropped. Boyd may not be the ‘insider’. That could just be to further the factory peril.
19:49 Ken, Deidre and Audrey argue about the trial. Jeez.
19:50 Hugo from The Vicar of Dibley is Tony’s cellmate Robbie, who is in fact the real insider. He still plays a village idiot though. They joke about their deception as Tony gets the handset from Robbie and has a working mobile.
19:51 Lloyd is pursuing his pole dancer friend.
19:52 Hayley breaks down as she and Roy have split for no clear reason, despite them being one of the best things in the show. That’s two abysmal storylines featured.
19:53 More factory woes. They’re in the schtuck. Julie needs to leave or be made more bearable, instead of making ‘humourous’ offensive remarks constantly.
19:56 Back to the Rovers. Lloyd still pursuing the pole dancer.
19:56 Back to the factory. Nick and Carla argue about who is to blame. Two weeks is the apparent deadline to find some work, or the factory is dead. So now we have three storylines thrown into melodrama.
19:58 Lloyd tries to kiss Cheryl, she declines. This story is the one with any decent grounding.
19:58 Tony and Robbie say goodbye. Tony looks evil. Fin.
19:59 Over to Eastenders in double time. Double scene, Libbie and Lucas discuss Ben attacking Jordan, Phil, Minty and Shirley discuss argue about it. Phil seems more concerned about Louise.
20:00 Ben is in the Police Station.
20:01 Shirley sounds like she’s about to walk out on Phil. GOOD! Nobody could stand that kind of crap in real life. Minty talks about his dreams of being with someone, presumably with Sam Mitchell. The beginning of his leaving storyline. Pity he’s going.
20:03 Libbie is tutoring Lucy Beale, Lucy is full of it.
20:03 Leon, Fatboi and Whitney in the Launderette. Normal cliched teenage arguing. Leon is showing he can act just before he gets written out.
20:04 Ben in the Police Station with Ian. Ben can’t act. That is all.
20:05 Lucas is losing it in the church. He’s good in his performance, but they’ve dragged this too long. Libbie can’t act either. The way they use religion and warp it for storylines is criminal.
20:07 Back to Minty and Shirley. They’re probably the best tandem in this episode.
20:08 Fatboi talking to Zsa Zsa in the Cafe. He’s trying to set up Leon and Zsa Zsa. That was actually really nice, and shows a better side of Fatboi.
20:09 Bianca and Whitney, Whitney cries about Billy and the fact she kissed Leon. Bianca says ‘dinkle’ in reference to a penis. I die a little inside.
20:10 Ben continues to not act in the Police interview. They have at least used his backstory well in this.
20:10 Shirley and Minty. Actually quite impressive together. Realistic. Nice continuity. Shirley is great at comedy too.
20:12 Libbie remonstrates with Lucas who was a bit of a soggy mess but now is being a religious hypocrite again. He’s good, the story isn’t.
20:13 Bianca and Whitney again “What if Billy finds out?”
20:13 Libbie chases Lucas who is driving to the hospital now.
20:14 Lucy stirs with Billy. Adam is there, being obnoxious. Another poor actor, glad he’s off.
20:15 Back to the Police Station. Ben recants his apologies when he hears Phil outside. He’s still devoid of talent.
20:16 Billy and Whitney eating. Billy is upset about the situation with Leon.
20:17 Lucas at the hospital. Jordan isn’t in his bed.
20:17 Libbie and Adam, Adam manages to insult both Libbie and Minty, and not in a good, building tension way.
20:18 Back to the hospital, Jordan is awake and well.
20:19 Billy and Whitney, Billy leaves, well acted by both. Last we see of Billy? Bianca consoles Whitney.
20:20 Phil bitches out Ben, Ian grows a set and stands up for Ben. Ben impresses me for the first ever time with “Have you been drinking, Phil?” That’s one line in what? Five years? This storyline has gone off the edge though, beyond melodrama, beyond crap.
20:21 Fatboi chews out Leon and Zsa Zsa. Nice humour and touching seen.
20:23 Libbie tells Chelsea and Denise about Lucas, but they disbelieve her. For crying out loud, that scene was BAD.
20:24 Back to the Cafe. Fatboi plays mediator. Nice scene. Whitney comes in to blast Leon, ruining the moment.
20:25 At the Police Station, Phil is an irrational git. Best acting I’ve seen from Ian in a while.
20:26 Credits roll. Short episode. Mercifully for the most part, Minty and Shirley and Fatboi were highlights. Ben acted for once. Clearly the world is ending.
20:29 Back to Corrie. At the Women’s Prison, Gail and Audrey. Audrey suspects the new (false) witness. Possibly because she’s false.
20:30 Kirk and Izzy get taunted by Janice. Not sure what the hell that was…
20:32 Lloyd and Steve have great comic chemistry. They’re building this story with Cheryl well too.
20:32 Back to the Women’s Prison. Audrey and Gail may as well be wailing and tearing their garments it’s that hackneyed and overacted.
20:33 Carla walks, watched by Robbie.
20:33 Carla arrives at the Rovers, Trev and she chat about the factory woes. Once again, Trev has shown he can do a bit more just as he’s due to leave.
20:34 Roy and Anna in Roy’s Cafe. Robbie walks in, he’s on a fact finding mission. He’s unmistakably Hugo no matter what.
20:35 Eileen and Lloyd in the Cab Office. Cheryl doesn’t want Lloyd to pick her up. He goes anyway.
20:36 Back to the Cafe. Roy and Robbie, Robbie uses the info he’s been given by Tony presumably to get on Roy’s good side.
20:37 Lloyd collects Cheryl with her young son. Frosty.
20:37 Nick and David roleplay the false witness and the police. I’m close to breaking point. Actually not bad acting, but the premise is ludicrous.
20:40 Adverts and a chance for me to cry into my coffee.
20:42 Leekes: Design, Plan, Install. Also pay through the nose for the rest of the foreseeable.
20:44 And we’re back to Lloyd and Cheryl. She’s married, but separated, which is why she was reluctant. They do like each other, and it’s a tidy story. Interesting to see what happens next.
20:45 Tina and Jason in the flat. Jason doesn’t believe Gail did it.
20:46 Trev and Carla in the pub. Trev regales her with stories of the bin round. Janice causes tension.
20:47 Kirk asks HIS GIRLFRIEND how she became disabled. Kirk tells her about Liam and Tony killing him.
20:48 Lloyd is outside the cab office listening to Marvin Gaye heartbreak songs. Eileen comforts him. Really well produced scene.
20:49 Ken and Deidre discuss Tracey’s conniving. I LOATHE this storyline.
20:50 David, Audrey and Nick discuss the false witness AGAIN. She will be allowed to give evidence and Audrey apologises for disbelieving.
20:52 Carla wants a kebab. How interesting.
20:52 Deidre and Eileen gossip.
20:53 Robbie rings Tony in the prison, with his phone hidden under the mattress. Very cunning…Robbie updates him in a fully convincingly real way.
20:55 Gail lies in bed. She looks a lot like a character from Planet of the Apes.
20:55 Credits roll. I need to shower in bleach. BRB.
Well I wouldn’t call that fun, but it is interesting to see it all written down like that. It pretty much sums up the situation at the moment. Emmerdale is good, Eastenders is descending from it’s former solid ground into vapid goo, hence the poor ratio of good scenes and Coronation Street has two of the worst storylines in Soap history. Leading to a jailbreak and Tracey’s plea bargain are the sort of thing that give a sober man pause. They’re really that laughable. I’m giving both shows another week, and then if what I see is not improving then I’ll go back to dipping in and out as I have done in the past when the quality drops this low. Let me know if you enjoyed this feature though, as I reckon as a once a month deal this could have a lot of potential across various spots in the weekly schedule!
The third series of Damages ended this week, and with the status of the show up in the air in the US I would just like to say what an outstanding show it has been. Gripping, intense and impossible to predict, it’s kept me on the edge of my seat through every series, and if it’s not picked up for another series (101 Network and FX are in talks to share the costs currently) it will be a MASSIVE loss.
But enough of that, we got us a week to preview!
Last week I asked for a live music show free from daft gimmicks like Hollyoaks affiliations, and Channel 4 have granted my wish! The CTRL Student Tour has different hosts each week who select the acts that will play. It’s a nice idea that will give us an enjoyable variation of bands and artists with a personal touch due to the fact the host will have an emotional investment in the acts. Great stuff from Channel 4 that almost makes up for the abomination that we’ll get to momentarily.
An African Adventure with Jonathan Dimbleby is our second highlight of the week. Dimbleby travels across continental Africa looking at how things are changing everywhere with rapid modernisation juxtaposing with the traditional. This looks to keep up the high standards of BBC documentary travelogues, and should really illustrate where ITV went wrong with Joanna Lumley on the Nile and Billy Connolly in Alaska.
Our last two highlights of the week come again from the BBC, with the 2010 edition of Springwatch and the first series of a new Sister show Springwatch Unsprung. Informative enough to be interesting but still very accessible without sacrificing anything, since Chris Packham replaced Bill Oddie, Springwatch has become a great addition to schedules. The new show, where the presenters Kate Humble, Chris Packham and Simon King answer audience questions and discuss current environmental issues seems a good addition, and gives a more interactive feel to the franchise. Good job, BBC!
However all that good is offset with one hideous blotch this week, and shockingly it’s not from ITV.
The 5 O’Clock Show with Peter Andre. I’m not making it up. I’ll say it again, The 5 O’Clock Show with Peter Andre. Just let that sink in for a while. A man who is famous with no discernable talent, being given an hour long show in what has been a massively successful slot in recent years. I mean, really? REALLY!? What the hell, I’m not even going to debate the merits of this, I’m just giving it over to keyboard cat.
Play them off…
That’s me for the week Ladies and Gents, I hope you enjoyed the commentary! As always send any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments below. Keep an eye out for another Game Show Garbage from Robert Seidelman as well as One Word Comic Reviews. My second M*A*S*H column is coming soon, I promise! Until next time, remember to stay safe!