Langford on Soaps: What’s Ahead for the Gays of “Hollyoaks”, “Neighbors” and “Days”

Sorry there was no column last week, but the big U.S. East Coast storm left me without power for several days. Thanks to all of you who wrote telling me how much you missed “Langford on Soaps.” It’s appreciated!

LANGFORDS’ PICKS AND PANS

Good Times, Bad Times

When I heard that GTBT was going to give Lucas a potential new love interest in the form of Bilal, a closeted gay Muslim, I hated the idea. And now that the story has begun to unfold, leading to the badly-played season finale in which Lucas and Bilal kissed, I hate it even more. To be blunt, this is a horrible, clichéd plot on a show that has long had problems with solid and consistent storytelling. I’d taken a hiatus from this show for most of the last season because it was unwatchable. And I’m already thinking of not returning when the new season begins because thus far, the budding relationship between Lucas and Bilal is ludicrous.

Now this whole thing started because Edwin, Lucas’ dead boyfriend, appeared to Lucas in a dream and told him that Bilal, who is due to get married, was in fact gay and that he and Lucas would fall in love. I groaned when watching the plot device and I think the writers made a big mistake in removing any mystery in who Lucas’ new love might be. And having Edwin declare this future for Lucas in a dream means like it or not, the story is going to play out, even if it’s not working. And for me it’s not.

I really didn’t like Lucas’ reaction to the whole thing, who went from not really caring for Bilal, to stalking him around town, insisting he was gay and questioning his sexuality. To me it’s just forcing the issue instead of letting any relationship grow naturally and organically. Not only that, we have Lucas dragging another boyfriend out of the closet just like he did with Edwin last year. At least the show did mention Lucas has been through this before. It would have been a nice twist if Lucas resisted getting involved with another closet case rather than following his potential new squeeze all around town.

But the biggest problem is that Lucas and Bilal have no chemistry. Their scenes together are awkward and you just don’t see the passion and the chemical heat that would draw these two together. And while the show would like us to think that final moment between them was intense and combustible, to me it was melodramatic and over the top and a hoary plot point I’ve seen more times than I care to count. This storyline was a bad idea from the moment I heard about it and seeing it play out on screen has not only changed my opinion, but reinforced it. The show could do itself and viewers a favor and drop this mess now and start the new season fresh.

Coronation Street

I was glad that the show broke up Marcus and Sean. These two are utterly incompatible and have always been. I never understood why they got back together in the first place given that they broke up because Sean was selfish and childish and that fact hadn’t changed in their years apart. And given Sean’s resistance to starting a family, the relationship was doomed from the start. You could just hear the clock ticking to its evitable end. But perhaps the show wanted to bring Marcus back and establish him before sending him off on his own storylines and a new path for his life without Sean. At least that’s how it looks. And I couldn’t be happier.

I have never, ever liked Sean and the character’s appeal continues to escape me. He’s an utterly unlikeable, unpalatable and to be honest, unneeded character. I still don’t understand why he remains a fixture on this show, but maybe British fans see something I don’t. I’m looking forward to Marcus’ upcoming stories as he such an engaging and charming character, even if it’s obvious where his storyline is going. He’s no doubt headed for a relationship with his co-worker Aiden and I fully expect Maria to offer to be a surrogate for his child at some point in the near future.

I’m usually not a fan of baby stories for gay characters because besides coming out, it’s the only story soaps want to write for gays. But I like Marcus enough to be willing to go along with it and see where it goes.

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