The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - SEVEN DAYS -

For the most part, peo­ple from dif­fer­ent so­cial, eth­nic and age groups in so­ci­ety min­gle well in soap. Rich and poor, black and white – it is an arena in which only one thing (for the most part) mat­ters: who is sleep­ing with whom. If some­one breaks out of their group, ei­ther to pur­sue a re­la­tion­ship or to dis­play greater as­pi­ra­tions, they are ei­ther abused or sneered at. Eastenders’ Chris­tian and Syed had to over­come huge ob­sta­cles from the Ma­soods when they de­clared their love; like­wise, Coro­na­tion Street’s So­phie and Sian, who were ini­tially os­tracised by the for­mer’s par­ents Sally and Kevin.

Sally’s is­sue has al­ways been snob­bery, and the char­ac­ter is never bet­ter than when she gets ideas above her sta­tion. Hav­ing been fired up over the fac­tory, be­liev­ing that she would be co- owner with Carla, she was quickly dis­ap­pointed; but this week she threw her­self into the Weather­field in Bloom com­pe­ti­tion with a dis­play that, as Mary pointed out, would not have looked out of place at Kew Gar­dens. These mo­ments that dis­play who the per­son is (as against who they want to be) are the bril­liance be­hind many Street char­ac­ters. At their best, the other soaps man­age it, too. Our as­pi­ra­tions are, af­ter all, what sep­a­rates us from the an­i­mals.

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