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article imageOp-Ed: More soap nonsense – heroes and villains, rape and prejudice

By Alexander Baron     Sep 22, 2011 in Entertainment
At one time, soap operas were considered low grade entertainment; nowadays they are used as vehicles for social enlightenment. (Note: This article contains show spoilers)
In Coronation Street, businesswoman Carla Connor has just been raped, which would have been bad enough if the man responsible had not been her future husband (though not anymore) and the dastardly deed had not been done on the eve of their wedding. You made me do it, he tells her afterwards. The loony feminists will love that, which is probably why he said it, but it does beg the question, why didn’t he just ask her nicely, surely she wouldn’t have said no? Naturally, there is more to it than that, she has just called off the wedding at the eleventh hour telling him she doesn’t love him.
Carla you see has already been married and widowed twice. The second time to the psychotic Tony Gordon who murdered her lover and then held her prisoner in her knicker factory after being sprung from lawful custody in a most unlikely scenario. It is not though the thought of third time unlucky that has given her cold feet, rather the fact that she still has the hots for the local bookmaker, who is married to the woman who was trussed up in the boot of her first husband’s car when he had his fatal crash.
Not only has she dumped her future husband at the altar, but he has just found and arranged to buy a house for them and taken the rap for her drink driving offence. A crime of passion was obviously warranted – in soapland if not in real life – but surely not rape. Perhaps he could have strangled her with a towel?
No, he couldn’t, because this has just happened in the BBC daytime soap Doctors. There is a real twist to the plot here because the perpetrator is the local CSI. After murdering the floozy who led him on and then taunted him, he staggered out drunk, but the next day recovered enough composure to return to the crime scene and clean up. As this is a daytime soap, a certain amount of restraint was necessary, and as the two had had sex, we were left to imagine what this would entail in the manner of – well – let’s leave that to the imagination, shall we?
Intimacy aside, he appears to have done a thorough job, which is just as well because flies were already buzzing around both the body and the homemade chocolate cake she smeared on his face the previous night. Will good triumph over evil and the killer be brought to justice? Whatever happens, the police are sure to come out on top in this one.
As if that were not enough, in the same soap, a homosexual transvestite turns up at the local nick where he works and reports being raped. The interviewing detective is extremely hostile, not it appears because of his homophobia, but because as he confesses to his sergeant, the man’s story doesn’t sound plausible. And how does he know? You guessed, because it happened to him. So, as the CSI burns the incriminating evidence of his crime praying desperately he won’t be found out, the detective relates the sad tale of his own rape at the hands of two men while out running to the victim he is supposed to be interviewing. We won’t mention the unwanted teenage pregnancy in Emmerdale or the ongoing sordid shenanigans in EastEnders; one transvestite, two rapes and a murder are surely more than enough for two days in Britain’s soap fantasy land!
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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