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Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Fourth Wall

I'm a huge believer in television. Moreso than fairies, ghosts and whether Sandra Bullock can pull her career back from the precipice with shoddy rom-coms. But one thing my belief falls down on is on soap operas.

I know. And me a pillow-biting, disco-dancing homothexual and everything.

I've never got soap operas. Why, if you want a bit of escapism, do you want to go to a grubby launderette in Walford when the stars await? Although thanks to my mother (that peddler of multiple camp ills thoughout my life) I was been there for some of soaps seminal moments: the climax of 'The Colbys', Bobby in the shower in 'Dallas'. And the one where Todd from 'Neighbours' dropped his jockey shorts and we got to see his arse was nigh-on a literal seminal moment in my youth, and I had to run upstairs with a pillow over my crotch. And I remember being similarly facinated by Sue Ellen's shoulder pads and wondering if she kept two bottles of Jack Daniels in there as they were the same size and shape.

And the only things I have learned from all this is that you get more attention from men if you look like you're on prozac, the only way to cross into another series is to be captured by a UFO, and that America does soap operas better; take 'One Tree OC' and '24' for examples.

I think the subliminal reason why I just don't get soaps is they were the first thing that made me see that television wasn't real. I was a four year old (abet a precocious four-year-old who already wanted to be a doctor, or a nurse, or a ballerina. Or if I got low marks, a spunky yet go-getting housewife called 'Whilamina') watching 'Crossroads', the cheapest soap imaginable that was clearly written in a lunch hour on the back of a fag packet and made on someone's Super 8 in their back shed.

And there was a specific moment I'm thinking of when I went 'haaaang on...' - Miss Diane had just had some terrible news, and so dialled someone in the US on her trim-phone. Not only did she remember the whole fourteen-digit number off the top of her head like it was her bank card pin number, she then went 'Hello, is that America..?'

And that's when figured out television wasn't real, and I've never forgiven it for it.

* * * * * *

Oh, someone's just told me 'The OC' and 'One Tree Hill' are two seperate shows.

Hmm. Not from my airplane seat they weren't.


mainja said...

the US version of Queer As Folk was a wonderful soap opera, and highly addictive. it was the first time i understood about soap operas...

Qenny said...

You go to a grubby launderette in Walford so that you can content yourself that however shit your life may become, at least you're not Dot Cotton. or Pauline. (Shame her losing that job as a nanny and slipping down the socioeconomic ladder, but that was what happened in Thatcher's Britain, innit?)

First Nations said...

see, now, next you'll be telling us that the little guy inside the radio who does the announcements isn't real either.
so bummed.

CyberPete said...

I lived soaps. How can you not like soaps. I am outraged. Dynasty was fabulous. I used to run around the house playing Sable when my parents were out. Unfortunately I have never watched The Colbys.

These are classics, I don't get the OC and One Tree Hill either.

czechOUT said...

I have a hazy recollectionn about Diane having a child that was kidnapped and she had to go pay a ransome, and the kid had been hidden in a fridge on some waste ground, for some time? Was I dreaming or am I kind of heading in that direction.

Wherear Ameila Turtolova *was* without doubt a stroke of genius.

Nate The Great said...

I never got soaps either, you are not alone. Sadly I have found plenty of crappy tv to rot my brain on..

Tim said...

Lee - you're just going to have to watch every episode of The OC back-to-back; it's, like, the best thing *EVAH*.

One Tree Hill ain't bad - we can wean you onto that later though.

Chris C said...

I remember the Crossroads motel burning down on November 5th while all the staff were at a bonfire night party. All the staff EXCEPT! the dashing Adam Chance whose lovely wife Diane watched in terror as the flames licked the cardboard holiday hostel.

High drama!

Spike said...

Does Oz count?

Qenny said...

Spike - I always thought Oz was soft porn of a gay variety.

czechOUT said...

Ah, thanks again for the memories of Crossroads. 24 years wasn't bad for something meant to last 6 weeks!

czechOUT: Finest Soapy Moments - "Crossroads Motel. Can I help you?"

Spike said...

Definitely, Quenny. All them cell doors banging shut and showers scenes and so on. Pass the lube!