While it may seem this article is out of place among other articles, I would like to stress that writing (on which I am commenting in following paragraphs) is a visual art not dissimilar to graphic design. It does, of course, also relate closely to the world of advertising in which words often come first, followed by art direction.

I was a fan of EastEnders for a long time, especially after my move to South-East London in 2002.

Since that point, plots have become ludicrously absurd (I recall there were two murders in one episode) and the quality of dialogue has been reduced to drivel similar to that found in GCSE drama students’ scripts.

On watching the omnibus for the first time in many months, I saw the producers trying to be ‘clever’ by including an episode that featured four pairs of female characters learning to get along. Unfortunately, the script writers decided not to write the episode, but instead reel off a previously unsurpassed number of cliches. Every scene started with a character saying something similar to “You know what they say…”. Dot and Pat’s dialogue was easy: read the Bible once and re-write parts of it in ‘modern-talk’. Groundbreaking.

Just to top it off, the style of writing throughout the 4-episode omnibus did not lend itself well to the screen at all. Details included character Danny Moon explaining that he’s ‘skint’, then (rather theatrically) turning the empty bottle of beer he is holding up-side down to visually reiterate the dialogue. In case I didn’t know what the words ‘Pat, I’m skint, can you buy me a drink’ meant.

Maybe the producers, writers and directors forgot they were making a television show and have been seeing too many West-End plays recently. Here’s a pun: it’s meant to be EastEnders, not WestEnders. Somebody give me a medal.

I shall continue watching Eastenders to get some more prime examples as its downfall within the television format.

Pictured: Character Danny Moon played by Jake Maskall (sadly plagued by poor dialogue). Image courtesy: BBC

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