LANGFORD’S PICKS AND PANS
People of the Valley
Will Iolo ever have a storyline?
I really don’t have a clip to present about this show as this is more of a commentary regarding why I haven’t had any coverage on this Welsh drama in months. I get a lot of requests and questions about it so I thought I’d address the issue. Regular readers know that I was a big fan of this soap. Iolo, their gay character has always been written well and the actor, Dyfan Rees, is terrific in the role. But Iolo hasn’t had a storyline since his relationship with Alun last year.
Yes, he appears regularly, but only in support of other storylines such as when his brother Macs was raped (a great storyline that the show inexplicably dropped with no resolution). I wouldn’t say he’s a ‘barely there’ gay, but he’s so little used and has no life of his own that he may as well be. I can only watch so many scenes of Iolo telling his family and friends that they’ll pull through their latest crisis. Oddly enough, the show’s lesbian couple are in a front burner ongoing storyline and pretty much have been for years. So the show isn’t lacking in gay storytelling.
Sure, I could present the clips that he’s featured in on a weekly basis, but there are so many other shows using their gay characters in actual story, and I’d rather spend my time and effort covering those. When and if Iolo gets a storyline, even if it’s not a romantic one, I’ll be sure to cover it. I hope this answers this oft asked question.
Good Times, Bad Times
Anyone who thinks Lucas is going to spend months and months grieving over Edwin hasn’t been paying attention to how this show operates. This soap doesn’t linger over storylines, and they certainly don’t drag things out. Also, like Nina pointed out, Lucas doesn’t like being sad, and he doesn’t like lingering over things so it won’t be too long before he’s on to the next guy. Besides, Edwin was a boyfriend of a few months, not a life partner or even someone Lucas had spent years with. It would be out of character for him to dwell on it for too long. It’s time to put that in perspective and get on with things. I think this episode demonstrates that.
No soap handles gay characters as well as Hollyoaks does. I may not always love the storyline, but at least this show continually gives its gays meaty storylines and treats them just like its straight characters, including romantic plots. Not only that, the show can have multiple gays involved in separate and different stories while other shows can’t even write for the one or two gays they have on the canvas. Last week was a good example of what Hollyoaks does well as Brendan, Ste and George were each involved in different and for the most part interesting storylines.
Let’s start with Brendan. Last week I griped about the show’s ridiculous plot of making pipsqueak Joel a competitor for Brendan, but now the show has completely turned the story around by having Joel become Brendan’s protégé. And the main reason why I’m intrigued by this plot twist is because I’m wondering where it’s going. Brendan’s decision to keep Joel around and take him under his wing makes little sense since Brendan was about to get everything he wanted. And I’m not sure why Joel would stay either as he was in line for a big payday.
What is Brendan really planning to teach Joel?
There is a sexual tension to Joel and Brendan’s scenes and with Brendan’s history and taste in men it makes you wonder if there is going to be a romantic relationship between the two of them. After all, Joel is just Brendan’s type. He’s young, pretty and in need of a father figure just like Ste, Macca and Vinnie. And the show made a point of mentioning that Joel looked a lot like Ste. So is Brendan out to seduce Joel just like every other twink that he’s taken a fancy to? Is this a sick attempt to revisit his lost relationship with Ste? I can’t imagine there being any other reason, especially since Brendan previously had no use for Joel.