In the absence of religion, I have my soaps. I'm just slightly older than EastEnders, and Coronation Street's history stretches back to 1960s. I've watched both my whole life.
There's also Emmerdale, a series I never took to. Likewise Hollyoaks, the young upstart: loud, brash and shallow. It won't enjoy the sort of history EastEnders or Coronation Street do (as a child, Coronation Street's Steve McDonald was a devastatingly handsome teen; I now watch him as a middle-aged wreck) because its cast is an ever-changing parade of pretty young things cast solely for their looks. It's totally disposable.
|Brendan teaches Ste a lesson in lurve.|
All four soaps boast a variety of ongoing GBLT storylines: EastEnders has Christian and Syed, an inter-generational, inter-cultural, interracial relationship that could have been so interesting, yet is saddled with clumsy writing and cringe-inducing performances (particularly John Partridge's deeply embarrassing prima donna Christian). Coronation Street has its lipstick lesbian teens, and dreary asexual frumps Sean and Marcus. Emmerdale has a cute "lad" struggling with his sexuality.
Then there's Hollyoaks, a show I don't follow. I recorded the omnibus from a weekend or two ago, fast-forwarded through the tedious hetero shenanigans, and discovered a thrilling, red hot, super-sexual gay interracial love/lust triangle.
|Brendan: "I am your father." Noah: "Love in the club."|
Brendan Brady is a dangerous, nightclub-owning Irish thug, with an excellent line in menace. His psychosis is palpable. He became embroiled in a secret, abusive relationship with cute twink Ste, beating, bullying and manipulating him within an inch of his life. Enter nice guy Noah, a grounded personal trainer who takes Ste under his wing. Ste and Noah become love's young dream - but Brendan isn't about to let Ste escape his clutches, and embarks upon a campaign to destroy the couple, mainly by tempting Noah over to the dark side.
|This can't end well.|
The scenes between uber-psycho Brendan, and grounded nice guy Noah (who's fighting a losing battle to hold onto Ste whilst overcoming his lust for Brendan) are some of the most sexually charged scenes I've seen on TV in a long time. There's danger and sexual tension and lust.
EastEnders and Coronation Street, which command huge audiences, aren't doing the GBLT community any favours with their tepid, cringe-worthy gay storylines (both are currently fixated on gay parenthood, a massive turnoff for anyone with a pulse). Hollyoaks - lightweight teen soap, and underdog - is telling it like is, and giving us a helluva ride to boot.