No one watches soaps as a Covid documentary so stop picking out 'gaffes'

With Covid-19 guidance and lockdown rules changing more often than someone in Emmerdale is locked in a car boot, soaps and TV are doing an incredible job of keeping their teams safe and delivering the best drama possible while social distancing and being limited in a way they never have before.

However, as long as EastEnders and Coronation Street exist, so will the many who take every opportunity to pick fault from the comfort of their armchair.

Criticism of soaps and their storylines is part of their territory and no show should be immune from negative opinions, many of which are completely valid and many of which are divisive.

However, let’s start attibuting some fairness to these ‘epic gaffes’ we are all having so much fun picking out.

Yes we all know that with the most recent lockdown rules that the Rovers wouldn’t be allowed to open and Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) could not have travelled to India.

The first and most important response to the baffling outrage on social media for soaps ‘not doing their research’ is undoubtedly that they are fiction. Yes they are designed to reflect to reality but more people have fallen off the Queen Vic in EastEnders than people have stubbed a toe in my community.

More trams have fallen onto Coronation Street than my local settlement has seen a car receive a parking ticket.

We already have to have our beliefs suspended and none of us want to be watching Covid documentaries. We wouldn’t be entertained watching everyone sit in their houses alone, upset that they can’t go on holiday, wishing they could go for a pint and doof doofs showing Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) running out of hand sanitiser.

We are being swamped with coronavirus and the soaps already feel a bit weird when Kim Tate (Claire King) is unable to slap a face and our favourite couples can’t have love scenes.

We don’t need to see everyone wearing a mask, everything closed and everyone watching boxsets. Soaps are escapism and one of the few constants we still have in a restricted life right now.

Also, let’s not forget what goes into making a soap and therefore how much time an episode takes to make, especially right now. Therefore, Sonia visiting Bex in India would have been storylined months ago and filmed last year, before the latest lockdown.

It is impossible for anyone to predict where this is going to go so the best way for soaps to deal with the pandemic is acknowledge its existance, not be dictated by it.

What a mess of episodes we’d end up with if they had to do urgent rewrites and re-film everything each time Boris Johnson or Matt Hancock makes a speech or appears on Good Morning Britain.

And I bet it would be the same people complaining about the ‘epic fails’ that would complain about the fall in quality.

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