That trailer they keep playing to advertise this week’s instalments of Eastenders is really spooking me out. I’m not sure if the music is worse than the images or vice-versa but either way I’ll
be glad when the week is over.
Mr B and I weaned ourselves off Eastenders several years ago. Up until then, we had been avid followers of the fate and fortunes
of the inhabitants of Albert Square but realisation slowly dawned that our acquaintance with them was not bringing us any happiness. Rather the reverse, in fact. I mean, was there ever a more miserable lot? I am sure we have been much happier since we
stopped watching their goings-on.
I blame the fact that they spend all their time either in the launderette or the pub. I can’t remember the last time
I set foot in a launderette though I do recall the early days of my marriage when, in the absence of a washing machine, I would push the pram to what was called (I think) the Washeteria with my first-born tucked in her pram and the week’s washing tucked
into the helpful shopping tray hidden among the pram wheels. Presumably it was called the Washeteria to make it sound a bit like Cafeteria – a place of enjoyment? If so, it didn’t work. I also remember the plight of the young chap from RAF
Uxbridge who washed his white uniform belt and gloves in the doubtful company of a pair of bright red socks. He was as miserable as anyone in Eastenders, I can tell you. To be honest, he should have stayed out of the launderette.
Pubs, of course, are supposed to be places of merriment and mirth but how could the Queen Vic live up to its billing with that ever-present bust of Queen “We are not amused” Victoria presiding
over the snug? Occasionally I seem to remember a sing-along around a piano – but generally, in true Eastenders style, there would be someone crying into their beer while everyone else was singing “My Old Man Said Follow the Band.”
I think the Eastenders would be a great deal happier if they spent more time supping decaffeinated skinny lattes in Costa Coffee. Or watching their kids on the swings
at the park. Or even, maybe, in the cinema watching Frozen. Taking the children to school and chatting with other parents at the school gates, watching the littl’uns line up when the bell rings and waving at them as they march into their classrooms.
You know, doing the kind of things that the rest of us do. But no, it’s the launderette or the pub, that’s where all the action takes place.
Christmas, have you ever known the residents of Albert Square to enjoy a happy, peaceful season, full of tidings of comfort and joy? Oh, dear me, no. Christmas is the signal for the script-writers to delve into the deepest depths of dilemmas, disasters and
despair which they will serve up like a malevolent Christmas pudding, ready to explode and spoil everyone’s festive dinner.
When I was a Working Gal, not so very long ago (though it is getting
longer all the time) it was much harder living in an Eastender Free Zone because everyone else would be talking in coffee breaks and lunchtimes about the latest happenings in the launderette or the pub and I didn’t know what they were on about. Though
as most of the story-lines tend to be regurgitated at regular (or irregular) intervals, and as most of the characters either (i) don’t change or (ii) return as a reformed person or (iii) return as just as horrible a person as they were when they left,
I could generally follow the gist of it. That’s another thing, had you ever noticed how many people leave on a bus, or a train (the 10.15 from Walford East) or a taxi? Those who leave in one piece, that is.
Of course it is perfectly possible that everything has changed since I stopped watching. Perhaps couples now fall in love, get married and live happily ever after. That would be a first. Maybe there are lots of jokes in every
episode and laugh-out-loud moments punctuate each half an hour’s viewing. Judging by the current trailer, this doesn’t seem too likely.
there is a murderer in their midst. Not for the first time, it has to be said. Like Morse’s Oxford, is this a place anyone would want to live? I can’t begin to hazard a guess at the identity of the murderer or the type of murder weapon he
or she will wield.
But if you’re asking me then my educated guess is that it will happen in the launderette...