I like being called an expert about most things, but that doesn’t
include such twaddle as teenage soap Hollyoaks’ first foray into
Talk about gratuitous. Luke, the football-playing boyfriend of the
raped-by-her-father Mandy, is the victim of a male rape. We are also
exposed to scenes of him strutting around in his tight underpants.
The saintly Ruth is filmed doing some raunchy and very un-Ruth-like
This leads to some raunchier outdoor sex and later some indoor sex with
her saintly boyfriend Lewis. The latter was to music by Boyzone, so they
were unable to shake the goodie-goodie image entirely.
The third racy storyline has a responsible message for any stray
children that have been allowed to stay up past the watershed. Boy
inadvertently on date with a ’fat bird’.
He’s annoyed until he realises that actually there’s a person
They both retreat to his sofa to lose their virginity. The fact that
they are 17 (over the legal age of consent) is stressed, as is the fact
that they use a condom.
Well, will it work? Can Hollyoaks, the jewel in Channel 4’s early
evening crown, be extended to cater for an audience that has already had
its braces out? I don’t think so.
It’s not that I don’t like Hollyoaks, I watch it occasionally. It has
the kind of unchallenging content that enables me to wind down. Teens
like it because it’s about relationships and young people. But it is
simply not rich or deep enough to capture adult audiences on a regular
basis - even if it does show bums.
Looking at the advertisers, the first break had some quite cool
youth-oriented brands: Bacardi, Red Bull and Levi’s. Perhaps they were
counting on the leftovers from the ER double-bill extravaganza which
immediately preceded it. By the second break the advertisers were more
mainstream: Glade Natural Breezes, Ford Focus and Sensodyne.
A lot of people tuned in to watch the programme. It’s amazing what a few
raunchy trailers can do. But my prediction is that it couldn’t keep it
up for long.
Channel: Channel 4
Broadcast time: 10.55pm, 15 March
Audience viewing figures: Average television rating over two breaks was
15.3 women, aged 16-24 (TVRs)
Advertisers include: KFC, Red Bull, Levi’s, Bacardi.