Gays of our Lives: A New Gay In The Neighborhood?

EastEnders  (U.K.)

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-7-19-59-amHarry Reid has been amazing over the past few months with Paul’s death and the aftermath of that and now his decision to donate part of his liver to his father.  Strong acting and a good storyline.  Clearly Ben will have to wait a few months to be able to donate.  I’ve heard the rumors of a big story for Ben around Christmas time and the UK soaps aways pull out the stops for the Holiday season.  I guess the operation will happen then?

Even after all the awful things he’s done, Ben still has an unwavering belief in his father.  And even Phil knows he doesn’t deserve it or deserve a son like Ben.   Unfortunately, I think when this is all over, Phil will let Ben down again.  Phil can’t help himself.  It’s who he is.

I did like Louise mouthing ‘thank you’ to Ben.  That was a sweet moment.

Emmerdale  (U.K.)

I know that this France storyline was set up to cover Danny Miller’s vacation from the show, but I think it’s ludicrous that Robert would have to stay home and give up his vacation to keep an eye on Liv.  The one thing I hate about Liv’s presence is that the attitude that she has to stay with Aaron when she doesn’t. She has a mother.

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-7-21-05-amIf she can’t behave then Aaron should send her home.  There is no real reason for to have to stay with Aaron, especially if she can’t behave. The worst part was that Robert offered.  Aaron didn’t even have to ask.  I really don’t like how this couple and their relationship has been so domesticated.  It’s not fun, romantic or interesting.  It almost makes me miss the days when Robert was tying Aaron to radiators and threatening to kill him.

Yet, it is nice that the show is letting them be happy and not fight all the time.  That’s not usual for soap couples.  I’m just not enjoying this particular kind of bliss.

So…. are we supposed to like Liv now because she let Lisa keep that money?  Nope.  Not working.  Still want her gone.

I did like that Ronnie will be sticking around for awhile.  Clearly Lawrence didn’t want him to go and Ronnie didn’t want leave.  Hopefully they’ll get a second chance.

Hollyoaks (U.K.)

Weird how Mac hates James so much and abused him but never touched any of his other kids.  There’s gotta be a reason behind it.  Can’t wait to find out what it is.

vlcsnap-2016-09-19-07h39m29s891This is a good story, and the acting is very good, but it’s all moving so fast.  Too fast.  We went from finding out that Mac had been abusing James as a child, but nobody knew (though Neeta knew he was violent, which is why she dumped him) to Marnie and Mac getting back together then Mac disowning James and James deciding to press charges against this father. And this happened all in 3 episodes.

I really wish the show would let his play out over several weeks or a month.  I think it would be much more powerful that way.  It also wouldn’t seem so plot heavy and contrived.  Because it seems like the characters reactions are more about moving the storyline along than anything organic and real.  But I am interested in James’ revenge against his dad for the abuse.  That looks to be compelling.

It would be a good time for JP to tell James about his being raped by Finn and the damage that was done by keeping silent. But I guess the show is saving that moment for the next plot turn.  I love that the show is fleshing out James and giving him some depth. He’s one of my favorite characters by far.

So how long before Ste ruins this business opportunity?  I give it a month before it ends in disaster.

Other Scenes

Hollyoaks September 16th 2016

People of the Valley  (Wales)

This storyline has veered into stupid territory because it requires Iolo to act like an idiot in order to make it work and that is never a good thing.  Beyond his believing Mel’s story, he literally turns on a dime from being afraid of this woman who beat him and put him into the hospital to hugging her and asking her to stay with him?  No, no.


I know the show is blaming Iolo’s OCD for his behavior, but I’m not buying the story.  I guess I would believe it it if it played out for awhile, but not in the span of a few minutes.  It just seems so contrived and hard to believe.   Especially his defending her and just letting Tyler walk out like that.

At least Iolo finally asked about the other attackers. That’s been a plot point hanging out there for too long. Though given that she’s manipulating Iolo into dropping the charges she’s obviously lying about that and working with her cohorts.  I’m glad Tyler called the cops.  Hopefully that’ll lead to the truth coming out and this dumb story coming to an end.

But why did Tyler lie about calling the police?  There was no reason not to tell Iolo the truth.  And these guys keep lying and keeping secrets despite promising not to.  Obviously it was done so Tyler, after leaving Iolo for lying to him, can reunite with Iolo and then Iolo can find out about that lie and walk out on Tyler.  Come on show, do better.

I thought it was weird that Mel’s partner in crime ran from Tyler.  Tyler doesn’t know what he looks like.  I know why the show did it, to let us know who the guy was.  But logically, it made no sense.  Then, this story really doesn’t either.


About the Author

I watch a lot of television, probably too much. But can you really watch too much TV? I've yet to find out. Anyway, I especially love TV when they give us positive portrayals of gays, something that has gotten better but we're still fighting for. I've written about gays in television for many years first at the much missed After Elton, then New Now Next and now at TV Source. It's kind of a passion of mine and I look forward to sharing it with you.


  1. Oh, I agree. For once Todd could have been more than just “the bad guy”. It infuriates me that this brilliant character is reduced to just a boring soap baddie. It’s especially annoying considering how much he had improved over the last few months. He was getting less selfish and he actually cared about other people, like Billy, Sean, Eileen, Jason, even Tracy. It was nice seeing that softer side. I think viewers really warmed up to him. Making him go bad again is repetitive and boring. It’s like the progress he made was all for nothing. I don’t agree with this direction at all. I could have accepted him using his manipulative streak for good, but to have him actually call the bishop under a fake name to make a complaint? That is low, even for Todd. Actually I’d say it’s the worst Todd has even done because Jason and Eileen deserved what Todd did to them. Billy did nothing wrong, and is a victim in all of this.

  2. Anthony, you’re wrong when you say “There was no reason to tell Billy about what Sean almost did.” He DID in fact cancel their hotel room. It was Eva who made him rebook it.

  3. I was conflicted about Robert possibly getting caught. On one hand, it was at least his fourth attempt at murder since he came back. At some point, he needs to pay a price for those crimes. On the other hand, Chrissie has been so over the top in response to Andy cheating on her that for the first time I wouldn’t be sorry if one of Robert’s attempts succeeded.

    With Ste’s track record, I’m surprised he made it to his own opening event. His last two first days involved getting sick because he was taking drugs and sending his boyfriend to fill in for him. I’m also annoyed about the talk of Leah having multiple parents. I don’t recall if they have said how long Amy and Ryan have been together, but Ste has had so many partners in the past few years that he shouldn’t be having his kids treat them like parents when they will probably be broken up a year from now based on his history.

  4. None of Robert’s stories during Ryan’s time in the role have ever been his own. He’s always a plot device for other characters. For all the criticism his current material gets here, it’s the closest they’ve managed to come to any balance for him. Last year just became a bad joke and the abuse story made me queasy in how they romanticized him.

  5. But the thing with “domesticated” Robert taking care of Liv is…he didn’t actually take care of Liv at all, unless you mean one scene where he asked her to do her homework? What else was there? He was busy plotting, with Adam and Chas doing the poor attempts to supervise her. I get confused when I hear that the relationship has led to too much of a tame Robert, because Robert is more involved in his usual dumb schemes now than he has been since last year, when he was so OTT that he couldn’t stay on the show unless they made real changes. Surely this is preferable to the icky treacly offensive writing during Aaron’s abuse story, where Robert gushed about “my everything” when he wasn’t doubting that Aaron had even been abused?

    I get why people don’t like Liv, but in terms of what she is supposed to do to the “Robron” relationship, I don’t really see it. They are just an awkward couple because for the most part that’s all Emmerdale ever does with m/m relationships. The actors also seem unsure of how to play an affectionate Aaron and Robert. It’s gotten somewhat better recently, but I don’t think it’s ever going to be what it was during the affair. That disappoints me, but then when I think of how horribly written and dispiriting the m/m couples on Corrie and Hollyoaks and Eastenders are, I realize I don’t even care that much. Equality in kissing doesn’t really add up to anything when it always goes straight to the toilet.

    Corrie seem determined to show us why we shouldn’t care about the Todd/Billy relationship and should only see Todd as a destructive loser. I’m reminded of why I so often avoid watching the show in recent years. Rinse and repeat.

  6. I do think I read that Sabrina’s exit will mean not seeing Felix for awhile (if ever) again. No surprise.

  7. I get the same impression about Marnie. I’m looking forward to Linda Gray joining the cast. So many times, British soaps add actors who are only well-known in the UK, but I’m American and don’t get to appreciate their work the same way.

  8. I wouldn’t be shocked if Marnie knew about the abuse and looked the other way so she wouldn’t lose the man she’s obsessed with. It also might explain why James is her favorite, far more than her other children. She gives him more love and attention as she felt he needed it because of the abuse. I wonder if it’ll all come out when her mom (played by Dallas’ Linda Gray) comes for a visit?

  9. It’s rare that I get to say this about a soap character, but I would have done exactly what Tyler did in that situation – except I would not have hidden the fact that I called the police. This story might be salvaged if the point is that Iolo’s OCD is manageable when it involves arranging the silverware in the drawer, but now he’s letting it put him in danger. Anyone who cares about him would want to stop him. Mel’s partner in crime is Tom, the guy that Iolo met on Volcano. Tyler could recognize him because he was checking out Tom’s profile before Iolo went out with him.

    James is the most interesting character in any of these shows at the moment. I was relieved that the abuse story will be about physical abuse and not sexual abuse. Those stories tend to ruin characters, but this one has me interested in seeing more. Something tells me Marnie won’t come out of this smelling like roses. James and JP are a good match for each other and make a really handsome couple.

    Robert is more interesting (Liv notwithstanding) when Aaron is away. It reminds us that he actually had a life and his own stories before Aaron’s abuse story changed his direction. I’m anxious to see what happens this week when he tries to sabotage Chrissie.

  10. Meanwhile, on “General Hospital”, the hospital serial killer storyline is heating up and Julian’s trial has begun and Lucas and Brad…are nowhere to be seen! Ugh. And since his only on-screen reason to exist is dead, I assume Felix will mosey on out of town soon.

  11. Oh, but Mel’s now claiming to be a closeted lesbian to really work Iolo. And even if she is, I don’t care. Iolo is just being an idiot in service to a dramatic storyline that will keep him and Tyler at odds just because.

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