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article imageOp-Ed: Gay Lib v Islam; John Stape returns — more soap mayhem

By Alexander Baron     Oct 22, 2011 in Entertainment
A wronged woman tries to lure her ex-husband away from his homosexual lover, and a triple killer returns to save his wife from paying for his crimes. Welcome to Britain's soap opera madhouse.
Awhile ago, Iran's charismatic President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was famously quoted, or rather misquoted, on homosexuality. We don't have that problem here, he said, clearly referring to the gay culture rather than to homosexuality per se. Iran is a country where homosexuality is proscribed by law; Britain is one where it is mandatory, at least in its soap operas. Alas, in soapland, it is the homos rather than the ayatollahs who have the upper hand, or at worst their friends who write the scripts do, for while it appears that now every soap must have at least one butch queen and at least one lesbian, it seems there must also be a clash of cultures: gay lib v Islam, at least in EastEnders.
Syed and Amira returned from a less than blissful honeymoon only for him to make the startling revelation that he had another love, a love that dare not speak its name. This led to the not so Christian Christian being beaten up on orders from the shamed father of the bride, and to her fleeing Albert Square with her head held in her hands.
After Christian had recovered from his beating, he and Syed got together big time, and the love that dared not speak its name was shouting it from the rooftops. That might have seen a happy ending to the fairytale had Amira not returned with a delightful young daughter whom she exhibited to Syed. Look Syed, this is what we made together, isn't she beautiful? As indeed she is, and of course Syed wants to see her, even though he and Christian are hoping to adopt - yes, it gets worse.
Of course you can see her, says Amira, but not with him. This seems only reasonable, as does her pepper spraying Christian in the Queen Victoria when he tries to stick in his proboscis a bit too far. Heck, it's bad enough that a good Moslem girl should have to frequent a common public house where she has to fend off other temptations.
Syed accepts Amira's offer to see his daughter, double crossing Christian. Why are you treating me like this, he asks her? Because we came back off our honeymoon and you left me for another man? Wow, she gets all the best lines. Amira first appeared in EastEnders as the loyal virgin every Moslem man yearns to marry, now she is about to be portrayed as the scheming femme fatale luring her estranged spouse back into her charms using their baby daughter as bait. How sick is that? Or could it be that deep down she senses Syed would rather bow down to Allah than bend over for Peter Tatchell? Whether or not she is trying to save her former lover and rekindled their marriage, or exact a bitter revenge remains to be seen, but only a BBC scriptwriter could portray her as the villain of the piece.
Meanwhile, Christian could be having problems of his own, as Ben Mitchell decides on the strength of a kiss or two with a good looking youth of about his own age that he too bats for the opposition. Ben though is about to be seduced by the wanton blonde hussy Lola, and guess who he is going to blame for luring him temporarily off the straight and narrow? Yep, Christian, in whom he has confided, and who has leant him a sympathetic ear - AND NOTHING MORE. Ain't karma a bitch?
Meanwhile, in the bucolic setting of Emmerdale village, a lesbian mother and her lover have just moved in, but it is heterosexual if illicit sex that is about to crank up the plot here. While vicar's wife Laurel has so far managed to resist temptation by not sleeping with the widowed and divorced chef at the local boozer, farmer's wife Moira is about to give in to bad boy Cain for entirely different reasons. And there she was thinking it was her daughter he was chasing. Cain Dingle is a one-off soap villain, a lowlife with class. Although he is not the sort of man Moira or anyone should want as an enemy, he can be a good friend in a tight spot, as Ryan Lamb found out, alas, Moira has left it too late for that, unless like Ryan she too is framed for murder at some point.
Which brings us neatly to Coronation Street, and an explosive plot featuring the return of the tragic John Stape. The last we saw of him, he was falling backwards off a hospital roof with a serene smile on his face. The camera focused on him lying in a pool of blood, then suddenly he had got up and gone. Now, apparently uninjured, he is back for a reprise with a bizarre plan to save his wife from being convicted of the three murders for which he has left her to face the music. Actually, only one of them could properly be described as a murder, and even that was a spur of the moment crime, whacking an obsessive lady schoolteacher over the back of her head with a hammer.
Although there has just been a surprise lesbian kiss in this series, the latest twist in the saga of soapland's most tragic accidental villain must surely trump it. John is set to kidnap Dozy Rosie for a second time in some lunatic scheme to convince the court of his wife's innocence as she is standing trial. Alas, it can only have a tragic ending, but while John cannot be saved, the big question is can his wife, the hapless Fiz? We won't know for sure until Friday at the earliest.
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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