Who Killed Lucy? EE Live Week – Part 1

EastEnders’ live week kicked off with Sharon tottering down Bridge Street, and frankly the fact that she didn’t fall over was one of the most impressive bits of the episode – and that’s saying something!

The episode rocketed along, with most of the audience just waiting for the next live scene (cue lots of explaining on Twitter to the uninitiated that it wasn’t all live)

I did think our second live scene had come when Peggy burst into Dot’s, but no, that’s just Barbara Windsor’s normal acting style.

After 25 minutes of pre-recorded material, we got two more live scenes. Jane discovering the card that Lauren wrote. And Max telling Abi that Lauren knows that Abi killed Lucy.

Although, Jake Wood mumbled slightly so it almost could have been anyone he was putting in the frame – but no, subtitles say that his last line was ‘That you killed Lucy.’

So did she?

This is a big week for EastEnders – there’s five episodes and six hours worth of material to get through, this is just the bread roll to get us interested before the main meal, they ain’t going to have shot their load this early in the week.

(That’s a disturbing mix of metaphors)

No, I think this is an early red herring, designed to get anyone who wasn’t watching interested enough to tune in tomorrow night.

What we do know is that Max is under the impression that Abi killed Lucy. Why does he think that? Did he see her attack her? Did someone else tell him? Did he check out the latest odds at William Hill?

More importantly – did Max know that Lucy was dead before Ian found out?

That I’m unsure of – but I do think we’re in for an “I’m Spartacus kind of a week” with various false endings before we really find out who – and why.

Other things to note:

Lauren’s card revealed to Jane (not to Ian and Jane) that she knows Lucy died at home. Why just tell Jane that and nothing more? If she’s revealing what happened, then she’s only some of it. It feels more like a threat. So why did Lauren run?

Jane looked confused at first, then as if she’d realised something when she read the card. Might I have been wrong, and it’s actually Jane who rumbled the whole damn thing? I still don’t think Ian did it…

Phil is back to confess something to Ian – but what? There’s something he needs to know. Is this to do with Lucy – or is it something else? And just what was Phil ransacking the house looking for? His passport, presumably. Is he scapering the country with Peggy – and will they take Dot with them?

Peggy and Mick in the pub was delicious self-indulgent. A good job that scene wasn’t live or else Danny Dyer may have just cracked up laughing it.

CGI was used in the episode twice – the production team are really going all out.

A couple of new storylines starting to appear as well:

Richard Blackwood has turned up, looking for Ronnie. He knows Phil, but not Billy. What’s going on there?

Martin Fowler and Stacey Branning had an interesting, brief scene. Watch this space.

One final thought: I quite liked Peggy being back. I ADORED Christian being back.

Someone call the waiter, I’m ready for the main meal now.

BEDM14: What’s The Problem?

Yesterday I posted a rather flippant post comparing Facebook and Twitter to having kids. The reason for avoiding the prompt ‘Facebook or Twitter?’ was because I feared the resulting blog would end in a diatribe not against Facebook, but more the people that use it.

I’m still not going to go into it, I don’t want to upset anyone just to make an interesting blog. There’s plenty about what people do on Facebook that annoys me, but to be honest it probably says more about me, than it does about them. I could go on and on and on about some of the things that people do and their response would most likely be: What’s the problem?

That’s what this blog is about. It’s my ‘What’s the Problem?’ to something that I recently read in the latest issue of Attitude magazine.

It was an opinion piece by Iain Dale, there isn’t an online version that I can find, so you’ll have to buy a copy of the magazine to read his full article (But why wouldn’t you? There’s a lovely picture of Ben Hardy aka Peter Beale off of EastEnders on the cover).

It is an opinion piece, and I can’t stress that enough, because if it’s his opinion, then that’s fine. He’s entitled to it, but I’m entitled to disagree. It was subtitled Where are the ‘normal’ gay people on TV?

Dale makes a lot of really good points. The article in itself is questioning why sexuality is used as an adjective, as if it’s something that defines a person. He notes that he was described in The Observer as ‘Iain Dale, the gay Conservative candidate’.

Conservative candidate should be a suitable enough label for him – unless the article in itself (Dale doesn’t mention what the article was about) was specifically around gay issues, in which case the label of gay would add context to the article.

There are two sections of his piece that I object to.

Even EastEnders, the show which broke new ground in the late 1980s by screening the first fay kiss fell for the gay stereotype ‘Muscle Mary’ character, Christian

And then later:

One of the few places on TV where you find completely ordinary gay people is in the news. I say ordinary – they are generally extraordinary people, but the thing they have in common is that most people wouldn’t even know they are gay

There are many kinds of homophobia in this world, and the one we all object to is heterosexuals discriminating against homosexuals simply for the fact that they are homosexual.

What troubles me is when homosexuals discriminate against other homosexuals.

If I was a young gay boy reading a copy of Attitude Magazine for the first time, I would be troubled by Dale’s opinion piece. His unconsidered us of the word ‘normal’ is troubling.

What he is linking normal to is people not being able to tell that they are gay. What he is linking normal, whether he intends to or not, is being able to pass as straight.

What he’s actually saying is that these people – and he lists several examples – are not camp.

The people he lists, among them are Clare Balding, Evan Davis and Paddy O’Connell are people that don’t make you ‘automatically think ‘gay’’ but then he goes onto qualify that in O’Connell’s case he would ‘make an exception but only when he’s presenting the Eurovision semis’

Dale wants less camp people on TV. And that’s ok. But it’s not ok to infer that these people are not normal, or that they don’t exist.

Christian Clarke from EastEnders may well be a Muscle Mary stereotype. But these people exist. They deserve a place on our television screens.

I’m not exactly butch – I have a slight wiggle when I walk, and I know my way around a well-timed eyebrow raise – so Iain Dale’s article hits home slightly.

I recently was speaking to a chap on Grindr. Lovely guy, liked him quite a lot, but he told me he didn’t like camp guys. This led to a discussion in my office among a couple of them, where we agreed that on the scale, I’m probably a six – that means I’m not whole row of tents, but I’m more than just a one person pop-up.

I worried over meeting him, I thought he would immediately take offence if I spoke with a slightly higher voice than he, or if I ordered vodka tonic instead of a beer.

I probably shouldn’t have been worried, he was camper than me, not by much, but if I’m a six, then he was a seven – that doesn’t bother me. What does bother me is that I did get worried about it. I worried about changing who I am.

It’s 2014. We shouldn’t have to worry about hiding ourselves away and trying to be ‘ordinary’ so that people don’t know we’re gay.

It’s fine to campaign for a wider representation of gay men and women in our media, but we need to stop using the word normal when we mean non-camp.

Prompt: What’s the Problem