According to the Broadcasters Audience Research Board, 9.52 Million people watched Eastenders last Monday.
In a 2008 poll by the Performing Right Society, the EastEnders theme was the most recognisable piece of music in the UK, beating the national anthem “God Save the Queen” – Wikipeadia
Let’s look at the themes of this programme.
Eastenders: homophobia, Heroin addiction, and murder, cot death, rape, unemployment, racial prejudice, prostitution, mixed-race relationships, shoplifting, sexism, divorce, domestic violence and mugging.
EastEnders programme makers took the decision that the show was to be about “everyday life” in the inner city “today” and regarded it as a “slice of life”. Creator/producer Julia Smith declared that “We don’t make life, we reflect it”. – Wikipedia
What a great way to side-step social responsibility, but when you are directly influencing the lives of ten million people, you are creating society, not reflecting it.
At this time of year. we eagerly expect the traditional (it’s been going for over three years in British terms) christmas day punch-up/rape/explosion/whatever in the Queen Vic.
What this program has done is to parallel the excesses and stupidity of modern day Britain and portray them as acceptable, i.e. “if it’s on telly it’s awright innit?”
Bloody hell, even Scooby Doo made an attempt at moral responsibility on each episode.
No, I don’t want anything banned, just the realisation that Eastenders ISN’T REAL. It is a compressed version of a non-existent reality. It doesn’t even qualify as escapism. Just because it happens on Eastenders DOESN’T MAKE IT OK.
I see a direct connection between the shit I put up with in everyday life, (which if this is the best we can do is quite frankly “E- see me after class”), and Eastenders.
I propose a warning that flashes up from time in red at the bottom of the screen that says:
“THIS OF COURSE NEVER HAPPENS” or “DRAMATIC PORTRAYAL OF FICTIONAL EVENTS – DO NOT EMULATE”
Funny how the news (reality of a sort) gives out a warning before unpleasant scenes, but the fiction doesn’t.