By Isabella @TheWandCarver
The last time I recall “global warming” mentioned on a television soap or any other kind of programme was in the late 80’s and very early 90’s. Global warming was mentioned at least twice on the northern soap, Coronation Street [once it was mentioned in the Rover’s Return [pub]… where most folk would go just to have a crafty pint and forget all else], and then I remember it being mentioned on As Time Goes By, the lovely and funny comedy with Dame Judy Dench in the leading role of a woman whom, after 38 years, is reunited with her lover from 1953. It would seem I can’t recall if it was ever mentioned again after that, but the thing is, I do remember how it stood out to me then. As it still does now. And the lack of it being mentioned on soaps and other programmes these days. I could just be watching the wrong things, possibly? Stay with me here, I have a point to make.
Another thing I have been noticing is that there are plastic straws everywhere on the soaps. In cups on the bar [Hollyoaks], in some character’s drinks cups [Coronation Street, Gemma], and everybody in each soap I watch has a takeaway coffee in a plastic-lined paper cup with a plastic top over it at some point on every programme [EastEnders, Hollyoaks, and Coronation Street]. And not one mention of global warming, full stop. I think by now you might have cottoned on to where I’m going with this…
Soaps don’t always get every detail included about issues which affect our lives, however, they do, in the short amount of time they have to work with, do absolutely get points across and pull at your heartstrings at the same time…whether it is to do with a young man stabbed to death just steps from his home [Shakil, EastEnders], a young girl dying from infection she got from self-harming [Lily, Hollyoaks], or when a young man whom appeared to have everything, including an ex-girlfriend carrying his child and a new business decided it was time to give everything away and take his own life without a word [Aidan, Coronation Street]. It is what soaps have always done and still do, better and better every year, and that is to bring to national attention what is going on and how this particular village and its people got through it, yes, even if it is only a make-believe village. If you paid attention, there were many good lessons to be learned from them and of course, always a number to call if these issues were affecting you or someone you know. I am sure that “Aidan” did not die in vain but most likely saved a number of lives by his untimely demise. I hope so.
So, why not global warming? If you can touch on issues such as self-harm, stabbings, suicides, racism, LGBT rights and a plethora of other issues , why not climate change? Or at the very least, get rid of all the single-use plastics everyone carries on using on each episode. Hey, I do have to mention with pride, however, that a few days ago as I watched EastEnders, Kat Slater Moon walked into Stacy’s kitchen with a hessian shopping bag instead of a plastic carrier bag! I wanted to jump through the screen and give her a high-5!! Of course, that would have ended my telly, so I didn’t. Still, I thought, it is a start!
Some might say I am asking television producers and soap writers to “brainwash” their viewers. I don’t think so. What I do think is that in time, others like myself are going to get a bit disjointed over seeing our actors in our soaps toting around plastic like it’s still 1980 and even then, we knew better. Still, we had more time back then than we do now and maybe if our television programmes and soaps had reflected what we should be doing to get on the right track we woudn’t be in the desparation we’re in now. Let’s see some changes. Setting a good example is something every one of us can do, even the soaps.
I hope you enjoyed my article. If you see the merit in it, please feel free to share via the social media buttons below and give it a like. I also love comments so feel free to write. I try to answer in a timely manner. Many thanks for your time in reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x