Do you remember Tolka Row?
That was RTE’s first “soap.”
And it was about the Nolans, an ordinary Dublin family.
To be honest, not much happened. But that was probably a fair reflection of life for ordinary Dublin families at the time.
You may remember the Riordans though.
(I remember all these things. I’m 66 which means I remember television programmes from half a century ago but not where I left my ‘phone or why I’m looking into the fridge.)
The Riordans plodded along to. Entertaining but, well, there weren’t too many murders and there was certainly no sex.
And then we had Bracken and Glenroe. And we watched them all though the moments that caused your heart to beat fast were few and far between.
This is all by the way of introducing you to Eastenders if you’re not already familiar with it.
I’m not that familiar with it. I know it’s not comedy. I know it very often ends with the announcer letting you know that ‘if you’ve been affected by any of the issues…” there’s help available. And that to me sounds like a television programme that urged you to drive a nail into your foot and then, at the end, advises you to go to the doctor.
I did my research.
And this is what’s going on right now.
Mick’s wife Linda is a chronic alcoholic ruining her family. Her young son is distressed, her husband who, conveniently for her runs the Queen Vic, is at his wits end.
Linda recently wet herself while drunkenly addressing customers in the Queen Vic.
Sharon is pregnant by her partners daughter’s boyfriend Keanu.
That daughter, Louise, set Keanu up to be killed over his betrayal.
That murder was to be carried out by Martin – who also knocked down an injured a man in a hit and run
That man is blackmailing Martins best friend Sonia.
To pay the blackmailer Sonia robbed elderly Dot’s life savings.
Tiffany is the victim of a stalker.
Chantelle’s husband is a wife beater.
Phil and his son Ben are plotting violence against just about everybody.
Daniel and Jean are both dying and practicing funerals.
Kat and Kush are fighting
Honey has abandoned her family over her bulimia/anorexia.
Now all I can say is something like Holy God Almighty, why would anyone watch anything as depressing as that?
And if that’s reflecting real life in Britain today, thank God they’re leaving the EU.
Mind you when I was watching the real news later, I realised that it’s often twice as depressing as EastEnders.
So I still want RTE to revive Tolka Row…