A 'sideways' review of the latest goings-on in EastEnders, the popular British Soap Opera.
For episodes broadcast in the UK 21st-25th May 2012
*Warning: May Contain Spoilers*
Derek's giving cookery lessons; Ian's going cuckoo; Tyler doesn't know about 'cuckoos in nests', and nesting's the last thing on Janine's mind.
Derek and his baked beans felt like a new low for EastEnders this week, and as I watched, I wondered why I still was? If I wasn't doing this blog I'd have switched off at the exact moment he was scraping the beans off Whitney's plate, but I'm just doing my (unpaid) job writing my Soapy Corners so I carried on, like the trooper I am!
I gritted my teeth through yet-more of old 'ferret features' Ben running to Phil to tell him that so-and-so's giving him funny looks, and Phil going round and 'Avin' a word wiv 'em,' and 'sortin' it'. Please Phil: don't sort it. Just put us all out of our misery and send Shirley into his bedroom to clean under his bed.
When Lucy threw the ring down the drain, I thought, "Why are people so horrid in Soaps?" and then I remembered: it's Soaps; they're meant to be!
We knew Ian was heading for a breakdown. He's certainly not right in the head if he thinks he can put his East End house up for sale on a Monday and have it sold by a Friday, and even more gaga to suddenly have an offer but turn it down.
"No. I'm not accepting Forty below. Look. This is London, right? The prices go up; it's simple economics," he ranted down the phone to his Agent.
Turns out the offer was from Janine. I hope she's going to give the money back to Jean that Michael's had off her? No, I don't suppose she will!
Janine wants Whiney to move in to look after Baby Butcher so that she can get on with her life, but was having trouble tracking her down. "Have you been avoiding my minions – as it's tantamount to avoiding me," she reminded her (great line!), but she should be far more worried about what Michael's up to.
If it's not Janine and Michael feathering their own nests at other people's expense, it's Derek, but – to be fair – he did actually redeem himself over the beans thing by helping Tyler out with his meal. Tyler's so dense these days, it's a wonder he even managed to open a can of beans, let-alone produce something as complicated as that soup-like substance he had floating around in his pan.
Are you telling me he'd never heard the term 'Top Dog' before? I'm sure if you went back over old episodes you'd hear Eddie or Michael telling Tyler that they were Top Dog.
Anyway, I thought it was rather sweet how Derek reminded Tyler that Whitney was, "A beautiful young woman, not a rugby prop forward," and that she needed something better than chilli for dinner. Even then, Tyler stupidly set the table for three (ever heard the term, 'Two's company', mate?), and Whitney politely invited Derek to sit with them, but he gallantly declined.
Notice how at the EXACT moment Derek said he didn't want his dinner and walked out of the kitchen, the line: "I'll go hungry," from Adele's 'Make You Feel My Love' was playing, and we also had Take That's, "I just want you back for good," singing out the second Lucy says to Ian that he only goes for women that remind him of his dead wife (and love of his life), Cindy.
Coincidence? Of course not. How much work must it take the person whose job it is to keep getting all this Appropriate/Inappropriate Music in the Background in the exact right spot each week? It's so very corny, but I do have a sneaking admiration for their efforts!
What is it with this 'panda eyes' makeup that young girls wear, by the way? It just makes them look 'ard, and if you compared Lauren's fresh-faced, make-up free look to Whitney's caked face, I know which I'd prefer. Less is more with makeup, surely, or am I just old? Ok, I'm old.
I doubt anyone was looking at Lucy's face when she walked in having had a 'getting dressed' crisis. Her top half was ready for a night out at a smart drinks party or something, whereas her bottom half looked as if she was about to go for a games lesson at school. Is this the fashion? I don't know: I'm old!
The week ended with Ian falling to pieces completely. When Mandy said she didn't want to marry him because she didn't feel the same, he said, "Was it something I said? Was it something I did?"
To me, he should have said, "Is it something I said? Is it something I did?"
By saying 'was', it implied that he'd already accepted it was finished. Ian's whole life spiralling out of control this week has been well-written – except that I can't bear how Phil thinks he can tell him what to do, "You ain't going on that cruise; you ain't selling your house: you ain't going anywhere," he threatened on Thursday. I hate bullies.
I do hope that Ian's last scene – walking down the road in his jim-jams – isn't the last one before he leaves for his 'break', as – again – it's a credibility issue. Where's his wallet? What about clothes? What about the mess he's left behind? What about Bobby? (How sweet did Bobby look, by the way? Bless.)
Not a lot of Grins of the Week again:
Alfie: "Where's the fire?"
Roxy: "Up Mo's backside if she's not careful."
Max: "You give him (Ian) your credit card; next thing you know, he's flying her off to Disneyland in a Minnie Mouse helicopter or something."
Kim: "Thanks Maria."
Marie: "It's Marie."
Mandy: "I'm not sure I'd even know how to dance to that."
Lucy: "Not without a pole."
Kim: "Does my face say 'laugh'? No. It says 'run for cover'."
PS Why isn't Michael already living with Janine? I must have missed that bit.
PS2 Mandy didn't have a wedding dress this week. She's already had about six, hasn't she? What happened to them?
PS3 Tyler had the food on the table before Whitney arrived. How did he know the exact moment she was coming? Wouldn't it be cold by the time she sat down? Wouldn't they have had a drink first? Same with Ian's curry. It was all set out in bowls on the table and there was nobody there to eat it …
PS4 Whitney walked into the Gym and Michael opened his mouth and said to her, "I've seen 'Million Dollar Baby': the answer's 'No'."
"What?" she replied in confusion. What indeed. I didn't know what he meant, but I looked it up, and it's a film about a woman who asks a guy to train her to become a boxer, apparently!
They say 'Life imitates Art', and what a case in point, as Joshua Pascoe (Ben) is arrested for sexual assault (24th May). As I write this, the papers aren't saying much about it, but maybe this is why Ben has always made me (for one), feel so uncomfortable: he's always seemed TOO realistic in his portrayal of this deeply-flawed (and often sinister), character.
I've said before that I wouldn't like to be out at night and see him coming towards me, and I wonder now, whether Ben WILL end up being charged with Heather's murder and carted off to prison to serve a 'life' sentence. If the allegations turn out to be true, then it'll be a very expedient way of being able to write the character out, I guess?