Time to bin TattyCockneys and go Latin. 

18 December 2005 tbs.pm/315

Bleak House Finale Tops Ratings

I wasn’t suprised by the success of Bleak House. The fact that Brazilian style soap would be successful in the UK is something I’ve been thinking for years.

In common with Bleak House, South-American soap operas are self contained stories. They run for a year and then finish. This has several advantages over the approach of Coronation Street and EastEnders.

Characters have more plausible character development, as they are undergoing one-off crises rather than being one-man Greek tradgedies in the Ken Barlow mould. These series are also immune to characters suddenly being forced to suddenly change their entire personality (that may have been established over many years) to improve ratings or please a new producer – remember what Yorkshire Television tried to do with Dolly Skilbeck? You also don’t need to know what happened to the character umpteen years ago.

The narrative is much more focused as story has a beginning, a middle and a definite end which is being worked up to, so and the story telling much more compelling. The story doesn’t sag or loose its way, as long running soap operas do on a regular basis.

It also avoids the problem of actor turnover – you don’t end up with most of the characters on their fifth marriage with implausibly adopted children by the time they are thirty.

And the soaps are fresh because they finish before we’ve all got bored of them. The writers and actors have a new challenge each year. It must be souls destroying to write for something as established as EastEnders – like eating someone else’s half chewed food.

Maybe it’s time the BBC was brave enough to kill off EastEnders for good and go Latin…

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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