My mum suffers from alcoholism, and anyone who has a family member with this selfish, cruel disease (yes, it is a disease), knows how difficult it can be to live with. Usually teamed with depression or anxiety, it is a nasty illness which takes away a person's confidence, money and in the worse cases, health.
Which is why, when I returned home on Friday night to stay with my mum, I was annoyed when I tuned in with her to the soaps. Over the weekend, I caught up with the lives and drama of Eastenders, Emmerdale and Coronation Street - not to my choice mind, but Mum can't miss an episode.
Whilst watching these, I noticed something quite upsetting. All the drama in these soaps take place in the pub. The pub is the ultimate backdrop for Eastenders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale.
When Gail is visiting her son in hospital, it is Stella who suggests bringing a 'bottle' over the following day. When Chesney is feeling "a bit down", Tyrone pops is head in with 8 cans of lager. Now I don't mean to sound like a miserable sod, but how many of us are guzzling back 7 nights a week? If you are, please get help. If you aren't, then why are these soaps showing us to be full time boozers and can we ask them to stop?
Are the soaps a mirror on society or is society following the soaps? Either way, can we get it out of the pub? I for one can't see how it helps to have an entire nation tuning into a soap where 12 hours a day, 7 days a week the entire street are sat in a pub. I believe kids become what they think, and if our Nations little'uns are watching the characters they love on TV sat in a pub at lunchtime on a Tuesday ordering there third scotch on the rocks (SUCH an Eastenders drink) then what the hell do we expect them to become later in life?
I don't think it would be a bad thing to introduce some characters with ambition and some locations other than a pub in the soaps. How about a gym? And how about some characters who have made it rich without being crack heads, murderers or serial cheaters?
I mean, call me crazy... but I 'kinda' think TV can have an impact in a child's life.