HOLLYOAKS – HOW long has this been goin’ on???

New research suggests despite the escalating costs Phil Redmond may have perfected a formula first aired in 1986 that keeps students stupider for longer!

Whilst waiting patiently for the credits of a certain long-running soap to roll before strapping on some solid daily newsfeltch last night I heard the voiceover “If you or your family are affected by issues similar to those in Hollyoaks then please call…”

Presumably they mean those OTHER than excessive make-up and GCSE-light apathetic prose in a post-Logan’s Run cattle market biosphere of Perspex bars & gyms. I think if I became trapped in a vaguely localised suburb of Chester that feels too anonymous to even be fictitious where the only careers seem to consist of seedy magician with porno tashe (see pic below), hairdresser assistant’s assistant and gym instructor for mentally damaged drama students named after brand model cars and with only locals who can’t decide who to sleep with in what order for company then I’d quickly become every composite character in one as a alcoholic murdering pimp entering a loveless marriage myself. These appeared to be the ‘serious issues’ around which the majority of narrative strands revolve.

“Would you trust this man to guard your sewer? Which, ironically is where your TV programmes also come from”

Don’t get me wrong, its not that those life choices aren’t serious. It’s just that they’re delivered with such an absolute lack of weighty forethought and conviction as to seem almost like a satirical soap with less sharpened sub-par dialogue waiting to walk in on itself in bed with a superior script – “Oh Emmerdale, how could you!?”.

Hollyoaks is systematically designed to make Channel 4 News (which follows immediately after) feel like the freeverse of Plato even when Jon Snow fumbles his lines or some kind of cascading fountain of knowledge droplets in a picturesque market village square (presumably not Chester) that was only minutes earlier under the bombardment of scattershot manure from a backfiring silo-spreader.

No amount of horrendous acting following some equally appalling GCSE results will allow you to go here

According to the Independent’s John Walsh (09/02/2008);

The new soap’s young cast (late teens, early twentysomethings) do little actual studying, but hurl themselves with abandon into a maelstrom of emotional entanglements. When it comes to addressing taboo subjects and social “issues”, Hollyoaks outstrips even its grim predecessors in the Redmond CV. Young persons home from school, watching TV at 6.30 in the interval between The Simpsons and homework, can absorb storylines about drug abuse, cot death, child abuse, anorexia, gambling addiction, CO2 poisoning, surrogacy, self-harming, racism, homophobia and – most notoriously – male rape. The programme often closes by giving viewers a telephone helpline number to call if they’ve been affected”.


Crumbs! Sounds like I got off lightly.