Keep Calm and Corrie: What’s the unluckiest family in soap? | serial

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In the weekly magazine of the Resolute Guide! chronicle, we’re taking a look at a crucial pop culture question you’ve been dying to know the answer to – and we’re fixing it

All TV soap operas are driven by tragedy: It is a well-known fact that if the British general public does not have at least one brutal death every Christmas day, they will take to the streets and riot. But which family of soaps is less fortunate? Looking at the statistics, you would think it was a family of Hollyoaks, given that the village has seen 96 gruesome murders in just 25 years, which officially makes it more dangerous to have a pint in the Dog in the Pond than to live in Tijuana. In reality, you would just move to a safer place.

However, consider the Dingle family from Emmerdale: The 11 (yes, 11) generations of Dingles have seen 13 family members die – in car crashes, bus crashes, by suicide, and falls from multi-story parking lots. And if you can find an Emmerdale fan who didn’t cry when Lisa died of amyloidosis on her wedding day, I’ll show you a monster.

You might consider the McQueens of Hollyoaks to be cursed as well. Over the years, family members have died in increasingly bizarre ways: Tina blew up in a church, while Carmel died in a train crash, and Lily contracted sepsis. Poor Mercedes was hunted down by a serial killer, strangled and shot – but she still survived.

The Platt family of Coronation Street is particularly unhappy. They survived Richard Hillman’s murder-suicide attempt (he drove the family car into the canal); con man Lewis Archer stole Gail’s life savings just a few years after she was falsely jailed for the death of her husband Joe; another ex, Brian, was stabbed to death; and David’s wife, Kylie, died in his arms after being stabbed in the street. In addition, poor Sarah was suffering from postpartum psychosis; baby Bethany accidentally swallowed an ecstasy tablet; and Audrey was defrauded of £ 80,000 by her grandson Nick. After all this, a chasm opened up under their house. You couldn’t invent yourself! Only, of course, the writers did it.

Despite such horrors, surely the most unlucky soap clan is the Beale family of EastEnders. Sharing a last name with Ian Beale is signing your own death certificate. He was married six times to five women and three of them are now deceased: Mel found herself in the path of a high speed truck; Cindy died in prison while giving birth; while Laura tripped over a child’s toy and broke her neck. Only his third wife Jane – after being “accidentally” shot and then trapped in a fire – managed to escape Albert Square with her life.

Ian’s mother, Kathy, suffered two sexual assaults, an abusive marriage to Phil Mitchell, her daughter’s drug overdose, and “died” in a car crash in 2006, to return in 2015. The one stroke of luck Kathy had – ever – convinced the residents of Albert Square that it’s okay to charge £ 6 for a coffee and a bacon bun in the cafe. Ian’s children are not doing much better: his daughter, Lucy, was killed by her own brother, Bobby; and Ian’s adopted son, Steven, was murdered by Max Branning.

But isn’t the most unlucky part of it all to do with the most miserable, whining, sneaky weasel in soap? Ian is a coward who would double as his own mother on the last cookie in the package. There is no worse chance for a soap opera character than to be related or, even worse, to have sex with Ian Beale. Honestly, you’d rather move to Hollyoaks and try your luck.


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