elcome to our new (not entirely serious) - review of the day's visit to EastEnders, in which we analyse the complex sociological meaning of Walford's finest!
Our latest EastEnders returnee - Mandy Salter from the '90s - has bumped into ancient pop royalty David Essex (as antiques dealer Eddie Moon) in the cafe, before colliding with EastEnders royalty Phil Mitchell who, remarkably, remembers her character from the old days, despite approximately 5000 new characters having passed through since that hallowed decade.
"I weren't sure at first, y'know, there's so many tramps around here," Phil growls. "But it's Mandy Slutter, innit?" Oh, he's an old smoothy, our Phil!
"Salter," Mandy corrects him.
"Well you grew up just 'ow I imagined: dog rough," Phil hits back, like an aging drag queen (but with less hair. And make-up. And frills) before dropping various hints about Mandy being a prostitute.
"Nothing like a bit of gentle banter first thing in the morning," Eddie says of the exchange. A bit of brutal misogyny in the local eatery, more like. These things happens in life, kids.
Meanwhile, Eddie's three boys are in the gym; dumb Tyler's pounding the punch bag, whilst pretty boy Anthony looks on. "Unhinged" (BBC official description) older brother Michael looks on. There's various Plot Things happening here (Michael's the black sheep and he's trying to destroy the happy family he's been excluded from) but the key thing to focus on here is the homoerotism. All three brothers are hot. This is what we need on a Monday night.
Elsewhere, Zainab Massood, local Pakistani matriarch, pops into the surgery to see Evil Doctor Khan. Unlike Michael Moon, he's not unhinged; more cold, calculating. And evil. Got that? EVIL! This doesn't stop his new receptionist - aging bleached blonde Rose Cotton (ex-Eldorado repatriated expatriate Polly Perkins) - auditioning for Carry On Doctor. "Oh, Doctor, d'you think those stirrups can take me weight?" Okay - she doesn't say that, but you get the drift. Again, this is what we want: knackered tart trying to bed much younger, evil doctor.
Pretty Anthony is rooting around in the safe for cash. Oh dear. Turns out he's a compulsive gambler. Dad orders him to check out "that house clearance in Stratford". I love it when EastEnders references real, supposedly nearby locales. Helps me suspend my disbelief. Why, I feel like I could almost hop on the District line to Walford this very minute!
Oh oh. Beautiful Thing legend Linda Henry - aka Shirley - is arguing with boyfriend Phil about his former crack whore one night stand working in his club. "She's going to be hiding in them bogs with a crack pipe and vodka," she points out, failing to realise that said former crack whore - the fabulously named Rainie Cross - has made as remarkable a recovery from crack/alcohol addiction as Phil has done. It Gets Better, kids - really!
And now Footballers Wives legend Zoe Lucker - known in these parts as "Vanessa Gold" - is wobbling around the Square in her heels, and Stepford Wives barnet. Unhinged Michael grabs her and pulls her into someone's doorway - this troubled, gold-digging hussy is all part of his elaborate scheme to destroy his sexy brothers and pop star Dad!
"I can't do this anymore!" Vanessa sobs through inches of L'Oreal.
"Eddie's brought this on himself," Unhinged Michael spits at her, before adding - fresh from the Cliche Folder - "secrets and lies!"
"You can't make me do it," she says.
"You've no idea what I can make you do," he says. "How far I'll go."
What, like Stratford?
There's more sobbing from Vanessa, and more maniacal grinning from Michael, plus a fake phone call to Vanessa's daughter Jodie, in which Michael says Vanessa's a prostitute. Vanessa might be a gold-digger, but he truly is Unhinged - dammit, that BBC press release was right!
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