COUCH POTATO: Things are breaking bad in Albert Square
2:59pm Friday 4th July 2014 in News
IN the hit US drama Breaking Bad, a chemistry teacher stricken with cancer turns to crime, selling drugs to provide for his family.
So it’s a complete mystery where the bozos behind EastEnders came up with their latest whacko storyline.
Only instead of Walter White, it’s cafe waitress Carol Jackson considering desperate measures to protect her kids from the bailiffs.
And rather than crystal meth, it’s cannabis, with Tina, the lesbian, in the role of Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman.
When I say this was the most convincing plot of the week in Walford, you’ll have some idea how stir-fry loopy this soap has become.
Not that it hasn’t enjoyed a mini resurgence under new showrunner Dominic Treadwell-Collins.
He’s introduced Danny Dyer’s Mick Carter and his Timothy West father Stan, both among my top 10 characters to have emerged from E20.
Sadly, though, at the expense of Shane Richie’s Alfie Moon who’s been shunted, like Wayne Rooney to England’s left wing, to cover Fatboy’s alleged “comedy” role during actor Ricky Norwood’s two-month suspension for a dodgy video.
EastEnders may have its plaudits but you can pull apart its make-no-sense plots for fun.
The Jackson household got its first final-demand letter four days after financially flash patriarch David Wicks departed.
In June, Ronnie upped and left, Johnny upped and left (then returned), Honey returned then upped and left, and for all I care, Bonnie, Connie, Donny and Yasmin Le Bonny upped and left, too.
And for every Mick and Stan there’s an Aleks (the man of a thousand accents, none of them Latvian), Tamwar the IT genius who’s settled for assistant market inspector, Martin the no-show poltergeist, Max who’s irresistible to women (latterly the Beales’ police family liaison officer) and some spectacular overacting by Dean(o).
It’s the World Cup, though, that’s catapulted this show out of reality’s orbit.
England’s final group match wasn’t shown in the Vic because of Linda’s karaoke night, with not a squeak of complaint in a pub that, for the BBC’s all-embracing politically correct mantra, has every country’s flag as bar bunting.
Then on Monday Tina/Jesse Pinkman asked landlord Mick: “Are there some spare shifts going? There must be some, what with the football.”
Yes, Tina. It’s crammed in the Vic. That Greece v Costa Rica game, so dull even the ref started booking subs sat on the bench, really pulled in the punters.
As if that failure to acknowledge England’s premature exit wasn’t laughable enough, the track playing on the jukebox at that moment was Another Star by Stevie Wonder – the BBC’s World Cup theme.
Now, it could be that the entire Songs in the Key of Life double album is on the playlist.
Personally, I’d lean towards another possible explanation.
The producers actually thought Danny Welbeck would lead England to World Cup glory and, even more astonishingly, everyone would be la-la-la’ing Stevie Wonder instead of ITV’s vastly superior title song.
That’s EastEnders, though. In la-la land.
This week’s Couch Potato Spudulikes...
BBC2’s epic The Honourable Woman.
Belgium’s enthralling World Cup victory over USA.
Aussie kid Nick Kyrgios’s through-the-legs winner in dumping Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon.
C5’s publicity material for The Trial of Gillian Taylforth re-enactment: “Newspapers were printing blow-by-blow accounts.”
Big Brother’s Mark on being up for eviction: “I’ve been made an escape goat.”
The Jeremy Kyle Show host telling a waste-of-oxygen guest: “When the lie-detector test was being taken in your hotel room you actually wrestled with the examiner.”
John Barrowman revealing on The One Show husband Scott’s reaction to his MBE: “Yeah, Massively Big Ego.”
This week’s Couch Potato Spuduhates...
TV adverts failing to ditch England’s football flops.
The BBC treating Sherlock’s next series as “breaking news”.
Auntie’s army of 300 Glastonbury staff achieving the pitiful return of 2.6 million peak viewers.
John Barrowman telling This Morning: “There are lots of things I do for charity that I don’t talk about,” before talking about the lots of things he does for charity.
And Celebrity MasterChef’s Biggins: “As my friend Joan Collins said, it’s best to have three or four dinner parties in a row because you save on flowers.” Though in Biggins’ case, I prefer her later work. “Zip it, shrimpy.”