If our own social lives were like those of soap characters, we would soon be jumping off cliffs to alleviate the boredom. Take EastEnders’ Anthony and Alice. Derek made the lad promise to treat Alice well, and she had a couple of suggestions as to where they might go. Inevitably, that old chestnut, Fargo’s, was up there, as well as ‘that new wine bar in the high street’ – have you noticed that ‘new’ places never have names? Anthony, who was trying to put Alice off him, opted for a takeaway kebab in the Square, although I suspect that was still high on his sophistication scale. There is also the Argee Bhajee, of course, although nights there generally descend into brawls involving low-flying poppadoms.
In Coronation Street, there is little social life outside the Rovers, and quite why no-one legs it into Manchester at every opportunity is anybody’s guess. The same is true of Emmerdale, where a warm, flat beer in the Woolpack is the height of excitement.
The young people of Hollyoaks enjoy more variety socially, although the downside of this is that their drinking and drug habits leave every other soap character standing.
As for Neighbours and Home & Away, people are likely to be scuttled off to rehab if they so much as ask for a second beer.