Thursday, March 01, 2007

Waterloo Road

Tripe masquerading as entertainment!


I compulsively watch Waterloo Road. There, I've confessed. Perhaps I'll now feel better.


It all started by accident. I was vaguely aware that this programme had something to do with schools and I had nothing much else to do, so I turned it on. I watched for a bit, puzzled. It clearly had something to do with schools, but I couldn't really figure out what that something was.


Eventually the penny dropped. It's a soap opera masquerading as a drama about school. I was so pleased with myself for figuring this out I forgot to switch it off. I don't “do” soaps. Never have. Never will. But, the sheer grotesqueness of the characters and the idiotic story had me mesmerised. Never have I seen such tripe paraded before prime time audiences.


The characters are completely unbelievable. That's just the teachers – the pupils are worse. The plots make the machinations of a hundred hashish-smoking Bedouin horse-buggerers seem pale by comparison.


This programme should be banned. Many parents and (worse) pupils probably think that Waterloo Road is a kind of documentary dealing with contemporary issues in education; for, occasionally, the writers attempt to introduce some topical educational issue, like Academy funding, as a sop to the viewers. This is disastrous! The unsuspecting viewer will only have their prejudices reinforced. According to Waterloo Road, Academies are all funded by dodgy blokes who make a killing selling porn and then return to their Alma Mater to make things better by ensuring that the present generation get a worse education than they did.


I'm not kidding. That's as good a pr├ęcis as you might get of a recent plot.


The producers imagine that the teachers spend all day either bickering or bonking – or possibly both at the same time. The children swagger around in various states of scruffy dress or possibly undress. The administrators' plots to undermine each other rival any plan personally stamped by Machiavelli himself. The unwholesomeness of the relationships between staff and pupils is a disgrace and a travesty of real life. Need any more reasons for a ban?


Waterloo Road is so bad that it has become compulsive viewing in my house.


Here's an episode “taster”: “. . . a student teacher struggles to learn the ropes when he takes on the Waterloo Road kids ( yeah, Guv, better not send any weedy student teacher to Waterloo Road – we'll 'av 'em for breakfast! )– Steph ( a grown woman and, supposedly a responsible teacher ) continues to help Maxine ( a teenage girl with a drug habit and abusive step-father who hates school but has been dragooned back by the aforementioned Steph ) by trying to find her a new home – Lorna finds comfort in Tom ( who up until last week was living with and expecting a child with one of the other teachers ) as she gradually comes to terms with her illness, ad nauseaum, ad infinitum, ad circulum !


That's it Sweeties, please pass the hemlock, I think I might need it.



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