Unnecessarily long and convoluted plotlines leading to a ludicrous denouement, with a completely unconnected massive shark jump thrown in for good measure. Nope, I'm not talking about Dr Who for once, but EastbloodyEnders (SPOILER ALERT). Overseas readers - there be a touch of the old cockernee vernacular in here too, me old shiners.
I don't normally watch EastbloodyEnders, but I have this week as it included the conclusion to the long (too bloody long) running "who killed Lucy" plotline, not that I cared particularly, but hey, it might be vaguely entertaining.
For those who don't know, or give a monkey's, Lucy Beale was an amoral, needy, self-centred, grasping little trollop with a massive sense of entitlement and a completely basis-free superiority complex, for whom death could only be a vast improvement. Come to think of it, that would apply to most of the cast, male and female. But come on...her weedy 10-year old and previously (as far as I know) totally silent little bruvver was 'im wot dun it? Really? It remains to be seen 'ow ee dun it, but my guess is he sucked her soul out through her eyes by dint of a hitherto unsuspected demonic power, causing the poor wretch to scream hideously as her life force evaporated into the ether...or summat.
And that wasn't the massive shark jump I referred to earlier, oh no. That was the return of the previously brown bread Kathy Beale, Lucy's gran, apropos of absolutely nothing at all. OK, her son was getting married for the 28th time, which is a decent reason for mum to visit from the hereafter I suppose, but up to the point Kathy stepped out of the black cab, not a dicky bird had been heard of her since she died, unsurprisingly. EastbloodyEnders Zombie Apocalypse!! Bring it on! What upped the weird city factor was that the actress who plays her now looks about 5 years younger than her "son".
Keeping track of the 703 plotlines all concluding at once last night was actually quite fun. These included the discovery of the demise of comedy bungling cockernee tea leaf and all-round bad egg "Nasty" Nick Cotton, who died from an over-indulgence of the old spark plugs under the rueful gaze of his "Ma", the ancient cigarette holder/ashtray combination Dot Cotton, who confessed her "crime" to the rozzers and was promptly arrested. "Nasty" Nick Cotton has been in and out of the soap forever, and if nothing else, "actor" John Altman is consistent and reliable, bearing a marked similarity to that heavy and battered oak dining table you inherited from your gran and can't bring yourself to chuck out: that is, utterly wooden.
Speaking of misanthropic miserablism, I can't stand The Wall by Pink Floyd, which was the most deserving of the five records nominated under the heading Worst Double Albums of All Time in The Daily Telegraph the other day...sorry, got side tracked there, back to TV...still on misanthropic miserablism, I have long suspected that JK Rowling, a woman with the countenance of an over-burdened tax inspector, is living proof of the old maxim that money cannot buy you happiness. If A Casual Vacancy gives the lie to some of the author's character traits then my musings are spot on. The book sits as yet unread on our shelf, but apparently the TV version has had the narrative changed to give a less nasty conclusion, because, according to the script editor viewers deserve some kind of redemptive ending after investing three hours of their time.Look, if we can cope with EastbloodyEnders where innocent ten year olds are turned into psychopaths capable of fratricide without so much as a by your leave, then we can cope with a bit of good old misanthropy. Make the ending as grim as the book I say, we can take it!
Although I have been forewarned of a damp squib of an ending, this still looks like being a belter of a drama, almost like EastbloodyEnders for folk with more than two brain cells. Michael Gambon is superb in it, although his presence reminds us that JKR has some way to go before she writes stuff as wonderfully bile-filled as the sadly missed Dennis Potter, who as everyone knows was Harry's grandad.