143. Soap Love

Tapehead no 143 

Sometimes the screen is on but Tapehead just can’t look.

The soap wars have been fought out in a series of hideous kisses. Kevin Webster and Natalie put Tapehead right off his dinner.

Hand-to-hand combat has gone mouth-to-mouth with Bel and Mike Dixon battling it out with Fat Tony and the peroxide blonde of negligible (not to say debatable) sexuality from the Gazette. (Tony distinguishes himself by having terrible taste in both men and women.) Then Jim Mac Donald took his parka off for a quick short-back-and-sides with his son’s true love, Fiona. 

Now in EastEnders it’s the inappropriately named Lorna and…erm, Phil Mitchell. God help us.

Poor “Lorna.” From her own series with Nicholas Lyndhurst to kissing a man with a head like a large pink potato. (Tapehead’s even seen some shoots sprouting in there somewhere.)

Watch out for the way “Lorna” keeps telling Phil his lines by saying: “I know what you’re going to say” and then saying it for him to repeat.

Poor old Kath is her usual razor-sharp self. 

“Glad to see you’re getting somefink out of the sessions,” she coos. 

“Yeah, I am,” sniffs Phil, virtually licking his lips, and taking his overalls off to go over and see her.

It’s all very dubious – and rather a rum do for any viewers who are actually going for counseling rather that Lorna’s own form of “counseling.”

This week, “Lorna” starts to take risks.

In one episode – when “Lorna” turns up at the Arches  – Tapehead was convinced he heard her say that she’d gone round “to ask for a quote for a servicing.” (It was a service).

The rest of the week is full of literally unwelcome guests (unwelcome to us): Tiffany’s dad, Michael-from-the-market’s mum, Pauline’s non-existent sister. At least Ted “Mr. Happy” Hills has gone off to depress someone else.

Fat Tony and Simple Sarah’s mum turns up too, only to discover that her daughter has become a Christian, and judging by those eyebrows, a werewolf to boot – one who’s going out with an incomprehensible schizophrenic from Bolton called Jer. 

Almost an entire episode is devoted to Tony’s mum trying to come to terms with the idea that Tony is gay and having regular wing-dings with that winging old queen, Simon.

“We’re gay, mum. I’m gay.” (Except of course when he’s not.)

The fact is, High, and Lenny are gayer that Tony.

Brookside meanwhile is strangely bereft of gay characters now that token gay character, Peter the Hairdresser, seems to have come out as a heterosexual. (Mind you, he is going out with Cher impersonator, Our Lindsay.)

Christian is the obvious candidate, judging by that haircut, although his career as a dancer seems to have waned (in inverse proportion with his waistline). As Christian’s resemblance to a rather red-faced pig’s head has grown, Tapehead is still struggling to erase the image of him in his tutu.

Tapehead has nominated the Albino Boy as the obvious candidate for the next gay character.

His track record of traumas is impeccable: he’s been in therapy (with the whole family). He’s been bullied at school. His brother and sister are still playing doctors and nurses while his mum has stopped molesting young boys at work and graduated to catching VD off the neighbours. Plus now he has to spend his nights listening to his dad rogering his solicitor.

And on top of everything, his dad is still wearing those collarless shirts.

Although it’s obviously true that in Brookside even the old grannies are on smack heroin, it hardly makes any difference that Danny could be the next character to get into drugs now that Gladys has (mercifully) gone. 

Can it be that Cassie is really played by Gary Oldman reprising his role as the deadlocked drug-dealer in True Romance ? 

Are Elaine’s daughter and Our Katie the same person ? 

Is Eleanor really turning the Trading Post into a solicitor’s? (Whoever heard of a solicitor’s called the Trading Post ?) Or is it just for soliciting ? 

Will Jacqui “I Am The Fly” Dixon recover ? 

Is Susannah going to kidnap Calvin Corkhill ?

The tension is unbearable

In Coronation Street, meanwhile, a strange Stepfords Wife-like calm has descended over Sally as she wages war with June Whitfield’s less good-looking (older) sister Natalie. Yes, two women really are fighting over Kevin Webster.

According to Audrey Roberts, Kevin’s going up in the world, when anyone can tell that all he’s interested in is going down. 

He’s even shaved his moustache off.


EastEnders, Brookside, Coronation Street: daily doses recommended