What Is “Hollyoaks’” Shocking New Gay Storyline?

LANGFORD’S PICKS AND PANS

Hollyoaks

I liked the idea of the guys getting together for Riley’s memorial service, even if Doug and Riley’s friendship was very contrived and never really utilized that often. If I recall correctly, Riley was close friends with Ethan and Noah and Doug was the drug dealing lowlife who moved into Noah’s apartment. Doug and Riley’s close bond was an off camera creation of the writer, so their supposed friendship never rang true to me. Still I enjoyed the scenes, even if they were bad manipulations of the plot at best.

But even more contrived was Ally being invited to the memorial. Ally and Riley were not friends and I don’t think they ever had much to do with each other. There was no reason for him to be there other than to stir things up with Ste, when there were other ways to accomplish that. And naturally, I didn’t like what followed either.

Doug calling Ste’s mom makes little sense to me. Not since Ste doesn’t get along with his mother because in Doug’s defense, he didn’t know that so I don’t blame him for trying to help. The problem is that I would think Doug would call Amy and the kids first. They are why Ste is so upset and bothered so they would be who Doug would notify. They’re not that far away so getting them up for a quick visit would be the logical thing to do.

Of course, this was all a ridiculous setup for the show to let us know that Ste is still, in part, the violent thug he used to be, complete with shoving his boyfriend around.

I don’t like this story arc at all. If the show wants to tell us Ste hasn’t changed and destroy what’s left of the character they’ve worked so hard to ruin over the past few months, then okay. But how about some build up? Ste’s going off the rails literally happened overnight, making it totally and utterly implausible.

At least Ste felt bad about what he did, but him questioning why he did what he did and so on and so forth ignores the fact that Ste dealt with his past long ago. Or did the show forget that Ste went to counseling and anger management in dealing with his issues? Personally, why Ste did it actually matters little. I think Doug needs to pack his things and walk. I guess I’m just one of those people who believes there are no second chances when it comes to physical abuse.

Of course, this was all done for the same reason most things are done on this show these days, to boost Brendan’s character. And I tell you, I want off Brendan’s misery train. Everything is about how he suffers, how he hurts, how he can’t forgive himself for the past. The question is, what exactly is Brendan unable to forgive himself for? The drug dealing, beating up all his previous boyfriends, murdering Danny, murdering his grandmother, his role in Riley’s death? I know one thing for sure, a few chats with a wise priest does not make up for all that, no matter how much the show wants me to tell it does.

And I don’t like Doug going to the police about Brendan. It’s not that Brendan doesn’t deserve jail time for what he’s done, it’s the “why” behind the show doing it. They want to vilify Doug and make Brendan the sympathetic figure. We’re supposed to feel sorry for Brendan, even if he might be guilty of whatever Doug gets evidence of. And well, someone has to be the bad guy in this story to reunite Brendan and Ste, rather than show Brendan actually going through true growth and change and repenting over his numerous sins.

One last thing, and this might be an odd thing for me to say, but I thought the scene between Ste and Brendan where they discussed their past was absolutely terrific. The writing was spot on and there were things that needed to be said between this couple that finally were. And the chemistry between Emmett Scanlan and Keiron Richardson was electric as always. As much as I like Doug and I think PJ Brennan and Richardson are sweet together and Ste and Doug mesh very well, it simply can’t compare to what Ste and Brendan have. They are quite frankly, magic.

But I cannot and will not ever endorse someone going back to their abuser. It’s as simple as that. It’s a bad message to send to viewers. And I’m appalled and disappointed that this show clearly has every intention of doing just that.

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