Eastenders is back in the news this week after their newest gay storyline hit the screens.
If you haven’t seen the episodes yet and don’t want to be spoiled you’d better turn back now. This is your only warning.
Newcomer to Albert Square, Johnny Carter is the nephew of long time regular in the Square Shirley Carter and arrived along with his parents at Christmas when his parents took over the Queen Vic.
Johnny is the latest homosexual character in the soap and when he arrived in at Christmas he was firmly in the closet.
My first thought was actually, bloody hell how long are they going to drag on the being in the closet theme before I get thoroughly irritated with it. As any Eastenders viewers will know, the writers do have a tendency to drag things on for way longer than they should until viewers are completely irritated with the story completely. The whole Carl storyline was one such story. By the climax of that this week I had lost interest in it entirely.
My second thought was that Johnny could do a lot better than Danny, who so far has done precious little to endear himself to this viewer. I don’t have any issue with the fact that Danny is bisexual, but his habit of sleeping with anyone who can further his career makes me want to slap him upside the head most of the time.
The kiss between Johnny and Danny apparently generated complaints to the BBC. Honestly. Complaints. The writers at Eastenders are shocked over the complaints and they aren’t the only ones.
My only complaint, apart from the whole Danny not being good enough for Johnny, who seems like a sweet young man, is that it wasn’t long enough. 😉
The fact that people thought the episode had been moved to the 9pm time slot because of the kiss absolutely astounded me. Did it escape their notice that it was the holidays, and that every holiday season the BBC prat about with the schedule and Eastenders is always a casualty of being shifted about? There were extra episodes being aired as well as extended episodes. This is the same every single year. One kiss between two men does not need shoving past the watershed.
Rant over and let’s take a look at the second phase of this storyline. Johnny coming out to his family.
Unfortunately for poor Johnny, though good for viewers like myself who, as already mentioned, don’t like things dragging on too long, his sister Nancy decided to out him to their parents in the middle of a row she was having with them. Her shooting her mouth off in such a manner made me dislike her character, who has been in the Square even less time than the rest. Back peddling and telling her parents she had lied and her apology to her brother afterwards was too little too late.
I just wanted to hug the poor boy and give his sister a good slap. Yeah, I do get rather involved with my soaps.
Although Nancy didn’t get slapped, Johnny did get the hug he needed, from the father he was so scared of telling he was gay. Mick Carter, a father who isn’t blind or stupid, took the decision to give his son the opportunity to come out with the assurance that it would be okay and he would still love him.
In one of the most moving scenes the soap has aired in a long time, Johnny came out of the closet and broke down in his father’s arms.
Mick was understanding, loving and everything a good father should be, assuring his son that he knew it was “not a choice” and “it’s who you are”.
Of course, there is likely to be trouble ahead from Johnny’s mother, who was listening outside the door in floods of tears, but with a bit of luck she and her daughter will get put in their places soon enough and told to get over their issues and support Johnny as he takes his first steps out of that closet.
Kudos to Eastenders for doing this one right.
Now I was hoping to include a link to a clip of that wonderful scene here, but I can’t find one online. The whole episode is available on both the BBC iPlayer and YouTube though if anyone wants to go take a look.