Langford on Soaps: Wedding Bells and Murder Confessions on “Eastenders”

LANGFORD’S PICKS AND PANS

River City

I’m sorry, but Deek needs to give it a rest where Will is concerned. If he wants to be Robbie’s friend, then he needs to be his friend which doesn’t mean trashing Will every chance he gets. And attacking Will for not getting involved with the business is unfair simply because from what I understood, Will was just giving Robbie the money to buy the salon, he had no intention of actually being involved in running the place.

Yes, Will was preoccupied with his investigation, but his telling Robbie to go to Deek, who has business experience, seems the proper thing to do to me. More and more, Deek comes off as petty and jealous. No, Will isn’t perfect, but he’s not the monster Deek makes him out to be —at least not yet. But then the writing for this storyline has been much more balanced and nuanced than I thought it would be. So I think that this story is going to take a few unexpected twists and turns. It already has and for the better.

As for the previews for next week, I suspect that it’s not going to go well for Robbie. His actions are the sort that ruin relationships, IMO.

Hollyoaks

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. The chemistry between Brendan and Ste is absolutely terrific. Their scenes crackle with intensity and it’s pretty clear that they still care deeply for one another. The actors, Emmett Scanlan and Keiron Richardson are magical together. Yes, Richardson is good with PJ Brennan, who plays Ste’s boyfriend Doug, but it doesn’t compare to what Scanlan and Richardson have on screen. Sorry Doug and Ste fans. And it’s moments like this that have Brendan and Ste fans begging for a reunion. But I’m not one of them. One of the other things I’ve said repeatedly is that I don’t want them together again. Ever.

Yes, they have chemistry and heat and intensity, but I can never get past the black eyes, bloodied noses and broken ribs inflicted upon Ste by Brendan. To me, all the chemistry in the word doesn’t negate that and in my mind Brendan and Ste are simply not a viable couple. The writers can write whatever they want, but at the end of the day putting them back together validates and gives domestic abuse a pass. And that is not a message to send to viewers. I have no doubt people will write to me and say I don’t believe in second chances and forgiveness, and in this case they’re right. I don’t.

Watching Ste backtrack on the strong person he’s become is not pretty…

And beyond endorsing domestic violence, which misguided fans of this couple are doing by continuing to support them, Ste returning to Brendan after all the abuse and manipulation destroys the growth and maturation Ste has experienced since leaving Brendan. Because while Ste and Brendan do have combustible heat, their scenes together also remind me of how pathetic Ste behaved last year, going back to a man who hurt him time and time again. Yes, I know it’s only a soap, but if you are going to tackle important social issues, you have an obligation to be responsible. Ste returning to his abuser is utterly irresponsible.

But given the trajectory of the writing, it seems to me the show might reunite them at one point or at least attempt to. And for me, it’ll be a sad day when the show does that because they’ll have to downplay Brendan’s brutality towards Ste or (as many of the couple’s fans do) try and pretend it never happened. I don’t know which is worse.

Regarding other elements of this story, it was sad to see Amy leave. I’ve always liked the character and the actress is quite lovely. But the stories for Amy have been quite boring for awhile and it’s obvious the writers have lost interest in her. So maybe it was time for her to go. Meanwhile, I am loving the dysfunctional affair between Mercedes and the bad Dr. Browning. Their scenes are hot and they are so suited for each other. The games they play with each other are a hoot. I pray he’s not Lynsey’s killer.

As for Doug, I find his inability to come out to his family to be quite believable. He’s only come to deal with his sexuality himself and this life is new to him. It’s not hard to buy that he’d have problems being honest with his family, though his claiming to having a pregnant girlfriend is a bit much. To his credit, however, he did try and tell his parents the truth before things got totally out of hand.

Meanwhile, Brendan’s ongoing battle with Sampson is interesting, but it could be even more so if we actually saw Brendan’s nemesis rather than merely hearing about him. However finding out that Joel was behind much of the threats against Brendan was a nice and unexpected twist. Frankly, however, I don’t think Joel is going to be around for too long once Brendan finds out what he’s done. But overall this story arc doesn’t work for me because Joel shouldn’t be involved with the club in the first place. The Brendan I know would have gotten rid of Joel when he had the chance months ago, not kept him around to buzz around like a gnat waiting to be squashed.

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