Hollyoaks: The Movie

Monday, December 11, 2000 by

As an occasional viewer I don’t really follow Chester’s beautiful people too closely, yet as other writers here have noted it has had its moments of superb drama. So what of tonight’s after-hours episode?

Frankly I found it an enormous disappointment. I wasn’t expecting much to be honest, perhaps some amusing high jinx and some pretty views of Barcelona, but the storyline was practically lifted from Grange Hill‘s back-catalogue; chases with the local lads, not being able to convert to the local currency and trying to chat up girls. The worst part was the tagged in plotline regarding Lorraine’s estranged son and his father who won’t allow her access to the child. It just stretched credibility and was handled absolutely ham fistedly. So unrealistic was it, that one almost expected the Prince of Moldovia to waft by.

The problem was not the storyline itself, but as far as I can recall there had been no build up or indication that she had a child. Lorraine has always been the manipulative bitch, using whoever or whatever to get her way – now she’s a caring mother, wronged by her ex-husband. The switch to show a different side of a personality is a difficult to achieve, especially one as clearly defined as Lorraine’s, but here it was dumped on us without a by-your-leave and without any sort of subtlety. After setting up Lewis for blackmail, to let on about her situation so quickly was not true to her character or even necessary to the plot, just a quick gimmick, a token demonstration that she has a soft side, and one I would expect to be quickly forgotten when normal service resumes. In fact I would expect the fact she has a son to be dropped as soon as possible to allow the evil witch act to be brought once more to the forefront.

Another thing that puzzled me about the programme is that nobody actually seems to like each other much. A large bunch of lads in Spain yet none of them seem to know each other particularly well or get on. Within Chester it’s fair enough; friends of friends who know enough to talk to each other in the pub, but to go to someone’s stag party abroad shows the limitations of this kind of venture as Tony and Sol stood out like sore thumbs, outsiders to the group, whilst the younger Max and OB could ( and perhaps should ) have been somewhere else altogether. Although their antics were amusing, they aren’t really friends of Finn because in the regular episodes Finn doesn’t really have friends.

Indicative of these late night excursion was the inclusion of more earthy and, some would argue, realistic speech. Yet this rang just hollow, as swearing was clumsily crow-barred into the dialogue. It contributed nothing to the programme. For me it would have been refreshing to live without it, most adults use of swear words are so mundane that any surprise or shock value is lost by the sheer repetition of them in a normal conversation.

All in all this episode was a bit of a waste, with so much happening that just didn’t work or contribute to the overall themes of the programme. I felt that the writers were trying too hard to make something of this special edition, a contrast to the rape storyline. The problem is that the characters floundered around in unfamiliar surroundings with a weak plot that over-dramatised events. It simply highlighted for me that the programme is too variable; when on form it’s the best soap around, but all too often it falls short.


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