If you’ve read this site before you’ll know I have only utter contempt for the BBC’s flagship soap opera EastEnders.
There was a time when, in broad terms, it depicted something close to the truth of London – working class people trying to provide for their families, people trying to integrate into communities and deep-rooted prejudices being confronted head on.
It’s now a nasty, violent, cynical programme with indentikit characters snarling at and trying to double-cross one another.
The London EastEnders portrays is one in which working class people don’t work or want to, where community cohesion is an unheard of concept, a London where violence, threat and bullying are preferred over hard work, family obligations and aspiration.
It is the London of the looters.
Nothing better illustrates this than the exceptionally aggressive trailer currently airing for the show, replete with street fights, shouting and snarling.
What it, and the show, fails to portray is the London which showed itself the morning after the rioting.
EastEnders has no use for a London where volunteers organise clean ups, well wishers help burnt out householders and communities denounce violence and robbery.
Depicting the true nature of London apparently holds no interest for the EastEnders production team weighed down by a lazy obsession with melodrama.
The tragedy is, the show has been MUCH better. It used to be the home of some exceptional writing, tense and memorable acting and genuine obvious talent on both sides of the camera.
How is it that successive production teams have so utterly misunderstood both the reason for the show’s initial success and the city it’s based in?