Tuesday, May 02, 2006

It's started

A few years ago a soap star came to switch the Christmas lights on in a part of Chester. The character that actor played in the soap was having an affair with another character. So when that actor came to switch on the lights he was jeered and hissed. This was not a joke - this was for real - they meant every insult. I concluded from this that some soap watchers believe that what they see in front of them is real - for some people these faces may be the only familiar ones they can depend on seeing a few times each week. I was therefore not at all surprised to see this new confusion between reality and fiction on the BBC news website today and believe it may be the start of more to come.

I think that for some people the soap replaces real life because real life has become too painful and bleak. Perhaps that is one reason why we read novels, watch soaps, play games - unless we find something meaningful in our lives we seek an escape, reject one reality and become aborbed in one that is more enticing.

Banksy puts it like this:

"...The human race is an unfair and stupid
competition. A lot of runners don't even get
decent sneakers or clean drinking water.

Some runners are born with a massive head
start, every possible help along the way and still
the referees seem to be on their side.

It's not surprising a lot of people have given up
competing altogether and gone to sit in the
grandstand, eat junk food and shout abuse...'



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I gave up regularly watching Eastenders a long time ago because it was too bleak. How Pauline got her laughter lines I will never know.
But that is such a keen observation - some people do not see the difference between fiction and reality; the actor becomes the part. And when they've played a part for years and years, it is possible, even at arms' length to understand the phenomenon of typecasting. But it can be done! June Brown's acting in "Margery and Gladys" with Penelope Keith, proves it. Dot Cotton/Branning, she was not!

Thu May 04, 01:25:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I confess I used to watch Eastenders too -in some way misery appeals to me - I tend to go for the gritty - but yes, it got too much, even for me, and I also found myself wondering about it inbetween programmes so in the end I gave up.

And yes, June Brown is a good actor and doesn't just play herself as I think some are prone to do. I remember one episode consisted of just her and Gretchen Franklin talking in a room. It was really classy - just good drama - not soap-like at all.

Thu May 04, 10:48:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes, Clare, those were the days. I remember that episode too. Oddly, it was all before "awards" had an impact on the world of soap. Perhaps the writers and producers were more courageous then. Now we have a mixture of misery and sensationalism. The latter can inadvertently produce comic moments - I for one, find it impossible to take their forays into the land of gangsterdom at all seriously.

Fri May 05, 10:12:00 am  

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