Posted by: docdenbow | March 23, 2014

What Do You Use To Wash Away Soap?

Gordon Ramsay signing his book, Gordon Ramsay ...

I love television. I love television with all its foibles, inconsistencies and the way it lurches from the banal to thought provoking and from inconsequential rubbish to programmes of true profundity. I love television from America, I love television from the British Isles, Canada and a lot of other places I suppose. The country of origin isn’t important but the relevance of the programme to this little ol’ Doc Denbow most certainly is.

When it comes to books I’m the same. I read what I know to be low brow and sometimes poorly written novels for the simple reason that they entertain me. They are good stories if you like, or are murder mysteries. I suppose that this illustrates that I’m essentially shallow and am really nothing more than a poseur when it comes to my literary ambitions and aspirations.

I used to feel that I was a cut above wide eyed and narrowed viewers of the Soaps. I would be wondering how people

English: Titlecard for Law and Order: Special ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

can watch Eastenders, Coronation Street and so on. I could see that the storylines were endlessly repetitive tales of domestic violence, adultery and broken relationships. Me? Never watch the soaps. I dine out on a seemingly endless diet of Finding Bigfoot, Pawn Stars and Storage Wars. Those cerebral masterpieces are supplemented by US cop type shows like CSI Wherever, Without A Trace, Law and Order SVU. Of course I also watch any decent cop shows from Britain like Case Histories, By Any Means, that one with Dr Who in it – erm Broadchurch, Luther and others whose names escape me right now.

Whilst it’s true that these shows are essentially formulaic they were proof to me that I am better than the mere Soap addict. True, yes? Well sort of. Notice anything about the programmes that I’ve listed? No? I’ll tell you. They have different titles and, get this, they’re different programmes. But does watching that cluster of detective shows make me any more discerning than those who live on a diet of Emmerdale Farm? Well, I think it does due to the simple fact that these shows especially the ones that for a “proper series” or spread over two hours or more have a definite beginning, middle and end. Soaps on the other hand have a middle, a middle and a middle. Thereby hangs the problem.

The shitty reality shows are repetitive, same ol’ same ol’ for every episode, but I can live with that – I’m interested in the stuff that turns up in the pawn shops in the lock ups. I love the way they never find Bigfoot but I’m aware that I’m watching a formula, a format and contrived reality show. I know that essentially, well no not essentially they are actually, crap. People who watch soaps seem to think that a TV Times award lends them some gravitas, turns them somehow into “kitchen sink dramas,” pieces of social commentary.

Sorry, they’re just soaps – that’s all.

If television is indeed the opium of the masses then what is the methadone programme to wean the self same masses away? To break the addiction the first step and the desire to be free must come from the addict him/her self. The problem is that the addict here doesn’t realize that they are addicted and see nothing wrong with being psychologically dependent on some cheap clichéd repetitive bilge to fill their shallow and meaningless lives. Even the “self improvement” reality shows miss the mark with the blank generation. As chef after chef show us their culinary skills step by step we only watch to deride the Hairy Bikers as long haired weirdos, the Two Fat Ladies as just that and only watch Gordon Ramsay to listen to him swear., we sit slurping Coca Cola and eating microwave meals spluttering that we would eat that muck and we should stick to proper English food like fish and chips and Chicken Madras.

The British populace never see anything that provokes them into any type of action. The national characteristic of inertia remains deeply entrenched in the national psyche and there is bugger all that anyone can do to change it.

Ciao for Now


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  1. Luther rocks!

    I used to watch Eastenders and Corrie (plus, embarrassingly, Hollyoaks *cringe*), but kicked the habit years ago. Once I stopped watching them I realised I no longer spent a chunk of the week waiting for something interesting to happen, which is usually only about twice a year, per soap. At least with the other shows you mentioned, stuff happens! Time invested in mindless goggle boxing deserves regular payoffs but soaps kinda fail on the regular part, in my very humble opinion.

  2. […] What Do You Use To Wash Away Soap? […]

  3. […] What Do You Use To Wash Away Soap? […]

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