I am currently preparing to enter a Screenwriting competition and part of the process is you have to write an outline for a proposed storyline for Hollyoaks.
Now, I’ve never been a Soap Opera fan – if East Enders or Corrie ever came on the TV I would scramble for the remote and flick over as soon as possible! However I do remember when I’d come home from school I’d watch The Simpsons at 6pm and then Hollyoaks comes afterwards and if I was being lazy I wouldn’t turn it over and I did find myself getting quite into some of the storyline’s it was portraying though I wouldn’t have called myself a fan exactly – just a lazy watcher who had their interest piqued.
After leaving school and moving away from watching live TV (welcome to the age of YouTube, iPlayer and Netflix) throughout University and in the years since graduation I haven’t actually watched any Hollyoaks and I have never had a desire to, so I know absolutely NOTHING about it.
So when the opportunity to enter this competition came along I was like….shit. I have propose a storyline for Hollyoaks and I don’t even know the name of a single character. How will this be possible? The answer has come in the form of All 4 (formerly known as 4OD) the Channel 4 catch-up service. They’ve got quite a back catalogue on there dating to before Christmas now of the omnibuses for Hollyoaks but these are TWO HOURS LONG.
I sighed internally (and probably externally to if I’m being honest) and did as duty dictated and started to watch the Omnibus knowing it was for the greater good.
Two hours passed and now I’m enraptured by it. Sure the writing isn’t exactly amazing but what do you expect for a show which has 5 episodes a week – it’s as good as it’s going to be and I’m sure tight deadlines mean the writers don’t have time to be perfectionists so I can’t hold that against them.
Similarly the acting isn’t amazing but it’s certainly better than anything I can do and I’m sure a lot of them are doing what they can with the material which as I say, is good considering the time constraints the writers are under. Lime Pictures, the production company behind Hollyoaks, do a stellar job!
So if I’m being semi-critical about the writing and the acting why have I been drawn in?
The stories that have been playing out are genuinely interesting – in the two hours they have broached paedophilia, murder, drug addiction, mental scarring of a kid (who saw someone murdered), you’ve got people in comas, people who are supposedly dead not actually being dead, the list goes on. It’s like fucking Game of Thrones (except there’s a lot more death in GoT).
Strangely enough, quite a few actors and actresses in Hollyoaks seem to end up on Game of Thrones – maybe it’s the similarities that draw them to it?
So yeah – colour me impressed for the time being.