EastEnders – September ’08


On Friday night, a new story-thread began in Eastenders. Bianca’s other half – Tony – was released from prison after doing a 12-month lump of bird.

We’ve been hearing that he was locked up for a beat down on a young man who was trying it on with Whitney – Bianca’s 15 year old, ironically-named daughter. The news was always delivered suspiciously when discussed, paving the way for the big-eared lunk to make himself known as one of the dodgiest characters ever to tread the hallowed paving of the Square.

I watched on catch up, and as a result had already read an article in the Guardian’s Weekend magazine about discussions the Eastenders bosses had implemented to ensure the story is handled with sensitivity. The actor who plays Tony came across very well in interview – well aware of the danger such a part might mean for him. Whitney’s parents, the article pointed out, asked that she isn’t required to do any publicity for the plot line. A wise move. The overall impression was that this was all being handled with kid gloves (if you’ll pardon the pun) and with a depth of psychological precision that would ensure the topical subject matter wasn’t treated lightly.

Yet again, it’s a case of not believing everything you read.

I’ve seen Friday, Monday and Tuesdays’ episodes now and, if I’m not mistaken, Eastenders appears to have turned into the imaginary paedo-sitcom someone dreamed up in our comments section last week (with tongue firmly in cheek, I ought to add).

Chris Coghill is a good actor – there’s no disputing that. He carries off the persona of a grown man stuck with the maturity and inclinations of a 14 year old boy with something approaching aplomb. Shona McGartney as Whitney is also pulling out all the stops – believably experiencing those rushes of love and resentment that are pretty much on tap when you’re that age. But despite the skill displayed by the staff, there are some real problems going on here.

Whitney looks (at the very least) 16 years of age – like a young adult. After a bit of googling, I find that the actress will be celebrating her 18th birthday next month. She doesn’t look like a child. In a cursory (and disturbing) piece of dialogue, Tony said ‘you don’t look like the 12 year old girl I fell in love with’ before asking her to remove her make up. Fair enough, there’s something interesting going on with the story here, in terms of Tony not being able to bear his prey growing up. But really, it feels like we’re dealing with a Woody Allen here, rather than an Ian Huntley. It renders the really taboo scenes as slightly less powerful. These scenes now look sick, but not illegal or utterly depraved. Because Whitney is evidently a young adult.

The aspect that really lets the whole thing down is the plotting. This being Eastenders, narrative devices are worn proudly on the sleeve – and the ‘Romeo and Julie’ school play issue arose at a suspiciously inconvenient time for Tony. He’s flustered as a result of Whitney participating (and probably having to kiss one of Ian Beale’s hideous offspring), so it’s been pure panto round at Pat’s gaff. Whitney’s literally chased around the house by Tony, who increasingly resembles Frank Spencer to the point he might he might, at some point, turn to the camera and gurn when Bianca tells him Whitney’s at rehearsals.

The inclusion of Sid ‘RICKY’ Owen in this mess just increases the sense we’re watching a sitcom from another dimension. If this were a film, the tagline would be ‘Ricky loves Bianca, but Bianca loves Tony and Tony loves…. Bianca’s daughter!’ Surely there’s a better way to handle this than by making the twisted man/child relationship part of some freakish love quadrangle? Why not go the whole hog and bring back Wellard – get him involved?

Fair play – there is the defence that it’s a topic nobody ever talks about and it needs to be discussed sensibly. But the problem with that argument is that it IS a topic people talk about – all the time! It’s a subject that’s constantly in the news. It’s a political hot potato. It’s a point of anxiety for many, many people.

So maybe trivialising it even further – via the lightweight medium of Eastenders – really isn’t going to help matters much.


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161 Responses to “EastEnders – September ’08”

  1. Davesthermalpants Says:

    ‘Chris Coghill is a good actor – there’s no disputing that. He carries off the persona of a of a 14 year old boy with something approaching aplomb.’

    Don’t scan read!

  2. Swineshead Says:

    You made me question what I’d written then…

    So have you seen Some Mothers Do ‘Ave Eastenders over the last few nights?

  3. Davesthermalpants Says:

    I’m a Manchester lad, SH. It would be a disloyalty.

  4. Mikey Says:

    Is a soap opera really the right vehicle for matters of social concern? Is there any evidence of addressing these issues, in this manner, does any real good? Is it family viewing? It causes debate and boosts ratings maybe, also might go some way in fulfilling the BBC remit and subsequent justification of the license fee. Is there a telephone number to ring after the program as is usually the case in these storylines that tackle social issues?
    I do not watch Eastenders, but would Bianca have not noticed something strange going on?

  5. Swineshead Says:

    There is a telephone number, and Bianca is being portrayed as being blinded by love for her Frank Spencer boyfriend.

  6. Swineshead Says:

    Dave – I think Tony is meant to be a Manc. These Northerners… coming down South and messing with our schoolkids.


  7. Davesthermalpants Says:

    The rule up here is if they wear a cap and Rockports they’re old enough for the sex. We’re a progressive people, like the Romans.

  8. ugeine Says:

    Good article. It’s one of the things I can’t fathom, how shit like this gets peak time yet the BBFC tried to ban Manhunt 2.

  9. Swineshead Says:

    Is Manhunt 2 still banned? What a load of shit.

    The first one still ranks as the best game I’ve ever played.

  10. wally bazoom Says:

    Soap operas aways deal with ‘issues’, don’t they? I thought that was their MO. Hollyoaks justifies it’s existence by constantly highlighting the issues that reportadly affect it’s target demographic. The fact that it deals with them so poorly, like a made for tv dirty film, is entirely moot, but it’s there anyway.

    I miss the heyday of mid-90s Brookside when they were crashing planes and holding seances and burying bodies in the close, merely for larks. No attempt at being worthy whatsoever.

  11. Who Says:

    They already tried the child abuse angle with one of the Slaters and Michael Elphick – who in ‘real’ life was then publicly vilified and died a few months later – a broken man. So instead of being forever fondly remembered as the magnificent Boon, he leaves a legacy of dirty ol’ Uncle ‘arry the paedo.

    And why another Manc – hasn’t one just been done in for being a thief and all round bally scoundrel? Where’s all the cockney villains, eh? Eastenders = RACISTS.


  12. Davesthermalpants Says:

    If you watched quality, not rubbish, and tuned into The Children you’ll have realised this issue can be dealt with very well. Yes, a good ITV Drama. It happened.

  13. Swineshead Says:

    Bring back Nick Cotton? From the dead?
    An Eastend zombie – it’s an intriguing notion.

  14. jasespace Says:

    Great piece SH – I agree with what you’ve said. It was a good opportunity to tackle a really taboo subject but they’ve wasted it. When I was at school I knew 15 year old girls who were going out with 30 year old blokes and nobody called the blokes paedos.

    I think they have bottled it basically, though I couldn’t see Ofcom letting them get away with a proper paedo storyline, so they have gone for a watered down version.

    Tony is creepy – all that “You’re not the 12 year old girl I fell in love with”. But when the character of Whitney was introduced, they wrote her as a capable, grown-up young adult, almost acting as a substitute mother for all the kids. Like I said, it’s lost a lot of impact and isn’t as shocking as we were lead to believe.

    Plus Corrie had a stoyline with Sarah-Lou being groomed by an internet peado years ago that was pretty close to the bone and much better handled.

    Anyway – WWM has gone from strength to strength since I last commented. It’s a veritable post-fest. I never know where to start…

  15. Badger Madge Says:

    Yup, we watched it t’other night and Tupper goes, “But she’s not a kid!” after I’d filled him in on the storyline.

    Plus it’s not exactly rape is it (I suppose technically it’s statiatory rape, but my point being that it’s more of an affair than a forced abuse)? I know he’s meant to have groomed her (and the family) before his jail sentence, but it would have been more interesting to see this aspect of it and then have the rest of the story, than just to jump in here.

  16. Badger Madge Says:

    Oh and please someone answer me this:
    How is it possible that Patsy Palmer has got worse in the acting stakes???

  17. Mikey Says:

    Soap operas aways deal with ‘issues’, don’t they? I thought that was their MO. Wally Bazoom

    Certainly that is what they have become, but that was not their original raison d’etre. They were sponsored in America by the soap companies and were intended to be wholesome viewing.

  18. Swineshead Says:

    Another wanderer returns! JaseSpaced – now we’ve seen your grinning, dribbling face today I’ll not be impressed if you go missing again.

    Badger – totally with you on that. The grooming would be the part that would really show the writers’ colours. Incredibly hard to write – so they’ve avoided it and jumped right in.

  19. wally bazoom Says:

    Badger M: It’s stationary rape, I think.

  20. Swineshead Says:

    I once raped a pencil sharpener and ended up with a pointy nub.

    *pulls pants down*


  21. Who Says:

    Didn’t PP go off and give up acting to re-invent herself as a fake tan guru? Only to turn up back in the Square in the same silver puffa jacket thing ten years later?

    Add Reg Cox and Ethel Skinner to the most zombie list. That would be good, I reckon.

  22. Swineshead Says:

    Patsy Palmer’s not actually that bad an actress, I don’t think. Sid Owen – now there’s someone who doesn’t actually know what acting is… his default facial expression is bafflement.

    Tony’s ears are massive, by the way – no wonder he wore his hair ovr his ears in that early BBC3 series, Burn It


  23. Swineshead Says:

    Ok – Eastender zombies so far:

    Reg (wasn’t he dead from the moment it started?)

    I vote Den and Frank to join the ranks of the undead.

  24. Wenchy Says:

    Did anyone watch Fiona’s Story on BBC One awhile ago – with Gina McKee in? I get the impression it handled the paedophile/family aspect with a slightly more serious tone. I actually only caught a few minutes of it, I keep meaning to watch it on iPlayer. Not exactly chirpy viewing, but McKee is brilliant in whatever she does, in my humble opinion, which will help immensely.

    I saw the gent (Chris Coghill) being interviewed on GMTV this week, he seemed an intelligent, rounded and rather aware of what he was doing – quite refreshing in soap actors of late. It’s a shame they seem to have wasted a powerful opportunity.

  25. ugeine Says:

    SH: it was appealed back in January and was due to be released in June, but for some reason it keeps getting pushed back. Latest release date is end of October, though that’s unlikely. I agree it’s great, I can’t remember a game scaring me so much since Resident Evil 2.

  26. Mikey Says:

    Talking of Den..didn’t he get Michelle up the spout whilst she was at school!

  27. Who Says:

    I’ve said it before, Eastenders lost its appeal for me the day Ozcabs went out of business.

    *lights candle*

  28. Badger Madge Says:

    Nah PP is terrible. Watch her eyes when she’s ‘acting’. She doesn’t believe a word of what she’s saying. That scene before he came back at the party when she was going on about how ugly she is. Didn’t believe a word of it…

    She. Not me.

  29. Mikey Says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but the Queen Vic does not have widescreen TV for satelite TV football coverage does it?

  30. piqued Says:

    Mikey has a point -but that was back in the 80’s when it was okay to fiddle with nippers and no one really gave a hoot

  31. Mikey Says:

    Also it must be the only pub in London that does not have Australian or South African barstaff.

  32. Quincy Phd Says:

    Well written article SH, and I wish I had more to add – however I don’t as I’ve never watched a full episode of Eastenders in my life and never plan to. I’ve seen bits and bobs here and there and never thought it was anything more than badly written and badly acted guff.

    I’m sure it doesn’t seem that way to those who watch it regularly and care about the characters, but from the outside looking in it’s hilariously rubbish television. Not as bad as Coronation Street, mind you – Christ, I had to watch two episodes of that whilst staying at my girlfriends parents house the other week. Fucking hell, that’s a piece of utter shit if ever I saw one – how stupid and entertainment malnourished to you have to be to follow that bollocks?

  33. Swineshead Says:

    They don’t, Mikey. It’s a joke. Covered here:


    Wench: Gina McKee IS fantastic. In Mike Leigh’s Naked she was the best female actress. And she’s really, really pretty, which doesn’t hurt.

    Who: I miss those crazy Turks too.

    Badger: Fair enough. But for some reason I’m defensive of Bianca – probably because she was best friend’s with the beautiful Tiffany Mitchell.

  34. Swineshead Says:

    Please excuse my punctuation in that last comment.

  35. Swineshead Says:

    how stupid and entertainment malnourished to you have to be to follow that bollocks?

    I’m not a fan of Corrie but, even watching only one episode, it’s easy to see why people grow affectionate for the cast and the fact that they do is a tribute to the writers.

    People don’t tune in expecting anything of substance. And that doesn’t make them stupid…

  36. Mikey Says:

    how stupid and entertainment malnourished to you have to be to follow that bollocks?

    I actually quite like Coronation Street. Oh well.

  37. Swineshead Says:

    I’ve just proved conclusively that you’re not stupid Mikey, don’t despair at Quincy’s unthinking, scattershot barbs.

  38. piqued Says:

    ‘Wench: Gina McKee IS fantastic. In Mike Leigh’s Naked she was the best female actress’

    I though Katrine Cartlidge gave her a run for her money

  39. Davesthermalpants Says:

    Corrie is like comfort food. Fuckface.

  40. Who Says:

    Aw, thanks SH. The fact that none of them were ever seen again on the telly makes me wonder if they didn’t all go off and run their own real caff/mini cab firm under the arches somewhere.

    In fact, substitue ‘wonder’ for ‘hope’…

  41. Quincy Phd Says:

    “it’s easy to see why people grow affectionate for the cast and the fact that they do is a tribute to the writers.”

    Christ, really? I thought it was fucking dreadful – simplistic, patronising, bad dialogue, lousy overacting and horrible horrible horrible cliched characters. If you’re the sort of person who comes in after a day of work and voluntarily chooses to waste away another half an hour of a precious life by following the story arc of a teenage boy and whether or not he’ll get a snooker table for his birthday then good luck to you.

    I should have known better than to question those who like soap operas. Fine, I take back the word stupid as maybe that was a tad unfair but I stand by my phrase ‘entertainment malnourished’.

  42. piqued Says:

    Quincy, don’t be so glib. I don’t watch soaps anymore but when I did I found it a fucking good way of coping with aspects ‘life’

    At worse they hold up a mirror to day to day existance, and for that reason I think they contribute a lot to society as a whole

  43. Mikey Says:

    If you’re the sort of person who comes in after a day of work and voluntarily chooses to waste away another half an hour of a precious life by following the story arc of a teenage boy and whether or not he’ll get a snooker table for his birthday then good luck to you.

    I usually catch the Omnibus edition. In the episode you watched, did you not see either Maria or Carla? Phoaa!

  44. Davesthermalpants Says:

    I second Piqued and add that it injects a false sense of community into a cruel, cold world for a lot of people. How can you attack that?

  45. Swineshead Says:

    I stand by my phrase ‘entertainment malnourished’.

    You sound like a 12-year old troll.

    I’m someone who watches a soap, yet I have an English degree and a film studies ‘A’ level. Not to blow my own trumpet – I’m not particularly proud of these wishy washy qualifications – but I’m definitely not ‘entertainment malnourished’.

    Oh – and Bill Hicks was an opinionated yank (never a good thing) with a fucking mullett.

  46. Quincy Phd Says:

    I’m not being glib, nor am I demeening the point of comfort television – lots of programmes hold up the mirror to day-to-day existence, and do it much better and with more purpose and thought than Coronation Street.

    As I said in my first comment, I’m sure it’s a great and thrilling episode when a cafe owner gets his favourite sort of bag back and if that’s your thing then good luck to you. As a guy who’s never paid attention to soaps and only sees excerpts once in a while it still looks like fucking awful television.

  47. Quincy Phd Says:

    Oh right I see. It’s immune from criticism because some people use it as an emotional crutch. Good to know. I’ll be sure not to mock any other programmes in the future.

    For fucks sake.

  48. Swineshead Says:

    As someone who likes to project themselves as being deeply aware of how the media works, maybe it might do you well to understand what soap operas are all about, rather than blindly laying into them?

    Sometimes soap writers get it absolutely right. It’s rare, but it does happen.

  49. Swineshead Says:

    I’d prefer someone using a soap as an emotional crutch to someone using hatred of soaps as an intellectual crutch. Any day of the week.

  50. Wenchy Says:

    I don’t watch Corrie or Eastenders anymore – simply got out of the habit when I moved away from home – but Corrie does have a genuine warmth and humour about it, and you do have an affection for the characters. Which is a credit to the writing, I always thought.

    No soap is groundbreaking, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its place in the schedules.

  51. wally bazoom Says:

    You’re always saying this about Bill Hicks. He did not have a mullet at any point. No mullet. And he was a comedic genius, a revolutionary force if you will.

    So that’s settled then.

    No mullet.

  52. piqued Says:

    I’m a big Bill Hicks fan SH

    Opinionated yes, (he was a stand-up, that’s the job) but in a good way I feel

    He was, in my opinion, unique.

  53. Davesthermalpants Says:

    SH – Why is it okay to use the term Yank? Hmm?

  54. Mikey Says:

    Coronation Street is not that parochial. As I said I do not mind Coronation St. too much, but Eastenders in my mind is appalling.
    I do not watch soaps for comfort food or for a window on life, but rather watch the soaps (only really Corrie) because I have following the plot and want to see what happens. That’s their basic design criteria.

  55. Swineshead Says:

    The Hicks thing was flippant, I thought that was obvious… I was counter-trolling Peter Quince.

    He did have a mullet though, I have video evidence.

    Please ignore the Hicks comment, then, in favour of this, which was quite clever

    I’d prefer someone using a soap as an emotional crutch to someone using hatred of soaps as an intellectual crutch

  56. piqued Says:

    Mikey, of course you watch it for comfort. You don’t watch it because it hurts/upsets you do you?

  57. Davesthermalpants Says:

    SH- It’s fun to attack you for throwaway comments, and soul destroying to praise you for writing a clever witicism.

  58. Swineshead Says:

    Fair enough.

  59. Quincy Phd Says:

    Oh fuck this. I’m sick of arguing my point and have work to do. I said in my very first comment that I’m sure it’s all very good if you’re into it but for me, who isn’t, it’s rubbish TV – like many people feel about Lost, or Dragons Den, or anything else on television.

    And SH picks on Bill Hicks because it’s one of the few things he knows I like and it’s a knee-jerk recation when I criticise something he likes.

    I’m glad you all like your soaps, and I’m glad they exist because watercooler programming is important, and I’m glad that people take solace or comfort from it. Happy all the way. I just think they’re shit and I don’t watch them.

    Quincy out.

  60. wally bazoom Says:

    “As a guy who’s never paid attention to soaps and only sees excerpts…” you’re hardly qualified to comment, are you? Nor are you even remotely qualified to make sweeping judgements regarding the lives and mores of folk you’ve never met and clearly make no effort in understanding.

    I find this distasteful, like a dinner of bad pennies.

  61. Swineshead Says:

    I’d like to point out that I’ve never had a knee-jerk recation in my life. I’ll sue if anyone mentions that again.

    I retracted the Hicks thing – only said for sport. Think of it as a professional foul.

    I’m glad you’re happy that people are allowed to like soaps – I’m not so glad that you said those that do are stupid and malnourished.

    For my part, they’re not an emotional crutch, they’re just an interesting and sustained form of storytelling that are occasionally successful and often disastrously inadequate when attempting to make their point.

  62. piqued Says:

    I don’t watch them either Q, but I understand they serve a purpose that doesn’t do any harm, on the contrary, as said, I think they serve a purpose


  63. Mikey Says:

    I watch it because I am interested in the plot and the characters. A good soap will not give you comfort, though some characters are symapathetic, but rather keep you interested in what is going on..that’s their point especially “cliff hanging endings”. We all have at one time another watched an episode of a soap and thought…”oh no, gotta wait until…to find out what happens”, whether it be about a missing bag or whatever.

    What does Quincy make of the Archers? Whilst I am not a listener I can appreciate the fact that for some, this is an esential program.

  64. wally bazoom Says:

    I love The Archers – I started to listen to it regularly and realised that it’s actually not about anything. It doesn’t appear to have any kind of plot. It’s just people discussing minutiae over mundane tasks with lusty accents.

    Acctually, that’s all soaps isn’t it?

  65. Mikey Says:

    The Archers does have some racy storylines.

  66. Swineshead Says:

    Seabiscuit has a racy storyline.

  67. Nick T Says:

    Eastenders is dreadful.
    It’s crutchless as far as I’m concerned.

    Piers Morgan with Jim “Hitler” Davidson was great, anyone see it?

    The Archers, now there’s a show…..

  68. Davesthermalpants Says:

    I’m sure people say they like the Archers only to prove they listen to radio 4. Although, Tennant did a great version of Dixon of Dock Green (that got me through a lot of admin).

  69. AndrewD6 Says:

    I seem to remember that when David Wicks first turned up on Eastenders years ago, when Bianca was still a teeenager a storyline began that he really fancied her even though she was underage and he was her biological father.

    My memory of it is that they suddenly just dropped it and pretended it never happened, a bit like Vicki Fowler’s American accent.

    Am I dreaming this? If I am I’m quite worried what that means….

  70. piqued Says:

    Soaps, serials, movies etc., all a good way of ducking out of existance for a while. Entertainment provides comfort. Period

  71. Davesthermalpants Says:

    Escapism, Piqued.

  72. piqued Says:

    ‘a good way of ducking out of existance for a while’


  73. Swineshead Says:

    Christ Andrew – quite the memory you’ve got there… but you’re right about David Wickes…

    Glad they dropped it as he was one of my all time favourite characters… he once emplyed the immortal line:


  74. Clarry Says:

    I haven’t been watching ‘Stenders for ages – I think I will pick it up for a bit and let you know what I think. I’m sure you’ll all be awaiting my comments with baited breath!

    P.S Don’t worry about me or anything guys, but I had really horrendous, vivid nightmares for ALL of last night. The main one involved me walking down Boston Road and discovering a crash scene (at first I thought it was a bus but after further investigation discovered it was actually a plane). I spent the whole dream looking at the injured victims and their mangled bodies. I didn’t know my brain had that much information on mangled bodies and how people might look ater falling from several thousand feet. It really was extremely detailed….


  75. charliemingles Says:

    If anyone is interested, my latest review is here:


  76. charliemingles Says:

    well, all the interesting and insightful comments have already been made above, so I’ll side with all of these. I havent watched eastenders for more than 5-6 years, but may tune in out of curiosity. it sounds like cynical opportunism though, I agree.

  77. charliemingles Says:

    Clarry: I think it was maybe me that gave you those nightmares

    *doesnt mention steps*

  78. Clarry Says:

    *sighs with relief*

  79. Clarry Says:

    P.S Lisa Scott-Lee is on that awful Celeb-Air nonsense. Bet you’ve taped every episode….

  80. Swineshead Says:

    Has that started? I might put myself through that – I bet they’ve got some right high profile superstars on there.

    I see Heather’s Smalls are on Strictly Come Dancing.

    Back on topic – a very good point is raised here regarding Eastenders…


    19 year old Ollie had been trying to sleep with Lucy for ages but all he got was a mild ticking off from old man Woodyatt. Hardly fair.

  81. charliemingles Says:

    Clarry – I didnt even know that was on.

    I dont really fancy her anymore. I heard her talking once and she was such a mince-headed fuckwit, my nads refused to respond forever afterwards. I hate it when that happens. Its called ‘growing up’ apparantly. Bah!

  82. Clarry Says:

    Had a quick look at that link SH and I thought it was a good point someone made about the cringe factor for the actor playing Ollie – snogging a child actor (15) on telly. When I watched ‘This is England’, I thought the same when watching Shaun and Smell round and rounding with one another.

  83. Davesthermalpants Says:

    Step One was a good album. Perhaps they could use it as some sick plot device on ‘stenders.

  84. ugeine Says:

    I get where the soap fans are coming from. I get the same thing with sitcoms. Watching everyones loves raymond, friends, etc, people telling me that liking these things makes me stupid. It doesn’t, the toilet bleach i swig nightly makes me stupid. The fact I watch sit coms is a happy co-incidence.

  85. Swineshead Says:

    Mingles – the This Is England thing is different, as the younger was a boy and the older was a girl. He just got lucky. If some older woman had chosen to pop my cherry when I was 14, I’d not have said a word against her (except to all my mates).

  86. Swineshead Says:

    Ugeine – we all have mindless pleasures. Quincy slips up by thinking he’s superior for not naming his. I have no qualms whatsoever about declaring the fact I like mind-rot like the Apprentice, Dragons’ Den and Eastenders. There’s nowt wrong with it.

  87. charliemingles Says:

    I think that this is england thing was for Clarry sh. superb film though.

  88. charliemingles Says:

    Id agree with SH about guilty pleasures. remember I like stevie wonder and have even confessed to as much in public.

    Luckily, everyone is far too polite to mention it. its like having an ugly wife.

  89. Mikey Says:

    Yes, This is England is a thought provoking film, and was on Film 4 that got a battering on this site.

  90. ugeine Says:

    SH: Good to know. I used to get a lot of stick in my TV studies class for it, god, there was a lot of snobs in there. Which was kind of ironic if you consider the subject matter.

  91. Swineshead Says:

    I love Stevie Wonder. I was listening to Innervisions whilst washing up last night. There’s no shame in admiring a funk / soul legend.

  92. Swineshead Says:

    Having said that, Ugeine, watching Friends is inexcusable.

  93. Clarry Says:

    ” the This Is England thing is different, as the younger was a boy and the older was a girl. He just got lucky. If some older woman had chosen to pop my cherry when I was 14, I’d not have said a word against her (except to all my mates).”

    SH – I didn’t say that either one was or wasn’t acceptable – I was just talking of the cringe factor for the older actor having to pash in public with a minor.

  94. wally bazoom Says:

    Whereabouts on Boston Road? It’s quite long. In the dream, I mean.

    The only road longer I know is the road to Tipperary. It’s a long and winding road, isn’t it?

  95. Davesthermalpants Says:

    I love the suff he did with that voicebox machine thingy. Not as good as Kanye West (the bloke who did it before Daft Punk) though.

  96. ugeine Says:

    ‘Having said that, Ugeine, watching Friends is inexcusable.’

    I thought you’d done a prertty good job in the comments section so far.

  97. Davesthermalpants Says:

    Was Friends a syllabus of TV studies?

  98. charliemingles Says:

    as in many things swineshead, you show your great taste and vast intelligence in agreeing with me. eastenders aside.

  99. ugeine Says:

    ‘Was Friends a syllabus of TV studies?’ Yes. We had to watch six episodes of friends for a grade B or above. Most couldn’t make it past a D grade.

  100. Swineshead Says:

    Sorry Clarry…

    Sorry Ugeine…

    I used to live on the Boston Road. And I first got drunk on the Boston Road, as Clarry will attest.

    My favourite Wonder song is without a doubt Living For the City – the spoken word bit is amazing…

    ‘so, here it is… just like they said. Skyscrapers… and everything…’

  101. Clarry Says:

    Wally – Well, because it was my dream I found that it wasn’t quite ‘Boston Road’ in the strictest sense. I was walking along Boston Road with the rec to my right, and I knew it was Boston Road because I was looking at the houses on the left and thinking ‘gosh what are all those policemen doing on Boston Road?’. I soon realised that they were on ladders informing the residents of the unfolding tragedy, through the top windows, and telling them not to look. As I walked along, Boston Road seemed to morph with the far end of East Road and the new roundabout, but from the other direction. It was in the middle of that roundabout that I faced the horrors! What I saw was like that weird bit at the end of ‘Society’….

  102. ugeine Says:

    I’m having superstition played at my funeral. Phenomenal song. I’m even going to have the coffin rigged so my body jigs up at the trumpet bit. Why go out without style?

    When you believe in things, you don’t understand, and you suffer, woahoh, superstition aint the way.

  103. charliemingles Says:

    can I take this opportunity then, to cynically plug my wonder review here:


  104. Swineshead Says:

    Society – amazing film. Horrifically dirty, too.

  105. charliemingles Says:

    the whole of that 1995 concert is on youtube. excellent.

  106. Quincy Phd Says:

    Hello. I popped back. Lunch break n’all.

    “we all have mindless pleasures. Quincy slips up by thinking he’s superior for not naming his.”

    I’ve vouched repeatedly for shows that I love and received earfuls (should that commentfuls?) of bile and abuse for my pleasure – a certain debate about Lost still rings in my ears (should that be eyes?) where the argument was obstenstibly the same; I like the show, am criticised for liking it, debate follows, conclusion is that show is good if you follow it but rubbish if you don’t.

    It’s the same discussion here, except you didn’t call me stupid for liking Lost but since I retracted that about Corrie I don’t think it counts.

  107. piqued Says:

    Q, let it go

  108. Swineshead Says:

    Fair enough, Quincy. It was all light-hearted banter, please don’t take offence.

    Do you like The Wire?

  109. ugeine Says:

    *muffled sounds*

  110. Wenchy Says:

    Ugeine and I are always in agreement about this – I love Friends. I’ve seen every episode more times than I care to count, but yet, I cannot resist it’s colourful, happy lure. It’s like toast – nothing groundbreaking, but fucking lovely.

    Now there’s a review.

  111. ugeine Says:

    I watched the Kent Adams episode the other day wenchy! God, I nearly bust a lung.

  112. Quincy Phd Says:

    Oh I wasn’t offended… just bantering as well. I’m not as hyper-sensitive as I may seem – I am, however, as argumentative and stubborn as I seem. And proud. You got a fucking problem with that?

    The Wire – haven’t seen it but have every plan in the world to do so. That’s lined up next after we finish Buffy the Vampire Slayer which was my girlfriends choice, and it actually very good indeed.

    (sits back and prepares for the comments about watching Buffy)

  113. Swineshead Says:

    My other half is in the process of talking me into buying a Buffy boxset so I can sample it… I’m tempted.

  114. Wenchy Says:

    “I watched the Kent Adams episode the other day wenchy! God, I nearly bust a lung.”

    Good work! I watched one of the “what could have happened” ones last night, where Monica’s still fat 30 and ends up shagging Chandler. Mint!

    We better stop now, they might get cross….

  115. piqued Says:

    ‘My other half is in the process of talking me into buying a Buffy boxset’

    Ooooh, you dirty bastard. I couldn’t sit down for weeks

  116. charliemingles Says:

    Quincy, Buffy is great. Its a while since I watched it, but the one-liners are excellent and they all have good comedy timing. the fact that its full of sexy cheerleaders doing karate is merely a bonus.

  117. Swineshead Says:

    *sexy cheerleaders doing karate*

    If only Eastenders ditched the kiddie-fiddling in favour of this.

  118. Quincy Phd Says:

    Buffy is indeed great – funny and refreshingly bullshit free, plus some great characters and story arcs. Plus, and the best thing about it, when it goes dark it actually goes dark – the sight of Buffy fucking vampires behind the back of a burger bar when she’s on her lunch break is genuinely shocking…

  119. Davesthermalpants Says:

    I won a Buffy poster at a fair….I did things to it.

  120. charliemingles Says:

    ‘sexy cherleaders doing karate’ was both the title of my ill-feted solo album and the five-line pitch for a sitcom I gave to BBC3 very recently. Im still waiting for a response, but hopeful.

  121. Wenchy Says:

    Have you all seen the musical episode? Bizarre, but brilliant.

  122. The Tombstone Says:

    “But really, it feels like we’re dealing with a Woody Allen here, rather than an Ian Huntley.”

    Well I’m glad The Tombstone’s gone, now we can live in a world without people using child killers as a reference to get their points across.

    In all seriousness I’ve read a lot of crap about this Eastenders business and this is the smartest one so far. So well done for that. *Ow my tooth*

  123. charliemingles Says:

    will I need to seek medical advice if I admit I had a bit of a crush on dawn?

    *curls into a foetal ball to absorb the beatings*

  124. charliemingles Says:


  125. Quincy Phd Says:

    Musical episode is excellent… one thing Buffy does very well is subvert itself whenever it’s in danger of becoming a joke. They did a great one in series 2 where it’s all seen from Xanders point of view and the structure of the show is dissected, equally when they introduce the sister character they manage to justify jumping the shark in a very clever manner.

    They’re also very good at using the audiences knowledge of TV shows against them, particularly in the opening credits and the everchanging cast members. I kind of dismissed it in advance when my girlfriend suggested it but I’ve been very pleasantly surprised.

    It’s also really entertaining, which helps with all the cleverness.

    You should give in to your ladies advice, SH, I think you’d like it.

  126. Quincy Phd Says:

    “will I need to seek medical advice if I admit I had a bit of a crush on dawn?”

    No, but we’re back to the same topic as the article, which is nicely done…

  127. Swineshead Says:

    Heard about the musical one – and another where there’s no speech – only thought. Or something.

    As for you, Tombstone – can you find another rock to crawl under? Seriously, I can’t be arsed to moderate you.

  128. Swineshead Says:

    Dawn is now in Gossip Girl, and street-legal (to use an NC phrase)

  129. Wenchy Says:

    I love trash TV, but just didn’t “get” Gossip Girl. And I have no barometer when it comes to taste, so goodness know who does actually like it.

  130. Mikey Says:

    They just do not pay attention these people who make comments!
    It was piqued’s girlfriend who recommends Buffy!

  131. Quincy Phd Says:

    “and another where there’s no speech – only thought.”

    That’s one of best episodes, where everyone has their voices stolen – Buffy is rarely scary as it’s still for the teen audience but that one was utterly terrifying.

    There’s also a great one when a major character dies (I won’t reveal who in case you chose to watch it) and they only use diagetic sound, that’s really affecting and beautifully done.

    Speaking of affecting, watched the end of Summer Heights High last night and I won’t deny I didn’t have a tear in my eye as Jonah was pulled from the classroom. Brilliant show, well recommended SH.

  132. Swineshead Says:

    Mikey… eh?

    Wenchy… my missus likes it. No idea why.

  133. Swineshead Says:

    It was quite moving.

    Fuck you, Miss.

  134. Mikey Says:

    Well actually he says “other half” but presime he is refering to his girlfriend. (I hope do go on a list for this presumption!).

  135. wally bazoom Says:

    “It was in the middle of that roundabout that I faced the horrors! What I saw was like that weird bit at the end of ‘Society’….”

    I was going to make some ‘that’s Sleaford EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT’ style joke, but that’s actually pretty horrific.

  136. piqued Says:

    Summer Heights High is fucking shit, right.

    That Ja’ime thinks she’s really cute and she looks like a bloke.

  137. Quincy Phd Says:

    Well I’m glad people like Buffy. I was going to write a 7 season review for it but decided not to as I assumed I’d be shouted down, but I might have a crack at it now.

    I’m working in WordPress today and all this jumping between usernames is complicated so I’ll be bowing out again. Good debate. Good points. Perhaps we can do it again sometime?

    Quincy out (again).

  138. Mikey Says:

    Actually I have gone mad! I cannot write/think or make any sense whatsoever this afternoon. Please ignore previous comments. I misread the dialogue. It was Swines other half (who I presume is his girlfriend) and hopefully all is cleared up now.

  139. Davesthermalpants Says:

    Buffy was a special achievement. You could tell a lot of love went into it and teenagers aren’t daft, they notice these things. I watched some pretender to the throne the otherday about the son of the devil that worked in the equivilant of B&Q. It doesn’t work. Charmed’s crap as well (apart from The Smiths bit).

  140. ugeine Says:

    I look forward to hearing from you. Buffy is great. I used to love that librarian.

  141. charliemingles Says:

    the sad thing about Buffy is that people who have never seen it think guys are just watching it for the good looking women. when in actual fact, I was, in all seriousness watching it for the quality of the script and the excellent comedy timing of the cast.

    It annoyed me that people thought I was just sitting there watching it with my cock out …

    Okay, I was. But I had my notebook in the other hand, honest.

  142. ugeine Says:

    Sorry, last bit was copied out of the work document I pretend I’m working on.

  143. Clarry Says:

    Wally – It really was! I woke feeling really emotionally drained. It’s not very often that I can remember a dream upon waking, but this one has haunted me all day. Maybe it’s a portent…

  144. Who Says:

    Don’t apoligise ugeine – that made perfect sense.

  145. Clarry Says:

    Ugeine – I suppose it’s better than accidentally pasting a comment you wrote for here in your work document. Or worst still one of NC’s. Then you’d be in trouble and no mistake.

  146. Who Says:

    Unlike apoligise, which doesn’t.


  147. ugeine Says:

    Clarry: I’ve nearly done that before! I was about to forward something to my team leader when I realized I’d tacked on half of the comments from watch with mothers. I think that was on one of the more surreal days as well.

  148. charliemingles Says:

    I will try that cream you recommended doctor. it is red raw and very swollen though – is this normal?

    I look forward to hearing from you

    Charles Mingles esq

    … yes I agree about that tv show above whatever it was …

  149. charliemingles Says:


  150. ugeine Says:


  151. Clarry Says:

    Speaking of which, I really had better get on…


  152. Dan Says:

    I think EE are actually handling this storyline really well. The scripts and the actors have been great. I’m glad they’ve gone with Whitney as being the victim. It’s not so expected and little people realise the psychological impact people like Tony can have on their victims. Afterall Whitney is an orphan, with no real mother of father she’s vulnerable and Tony’s able to take advantage of that – she’s got so much to lose and he can always use that.


    Shona will be turning 17 next month.


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