Sunday, May 16, 2004

Tanya Turner represents everything that is good and bad about our Brave New Britain - with a personality as superficial as icing sugar, she's a blonde, taloned harpie - motivated by greed, sex and revenge. Her Brummie accent is barely disguised as she plays top bitch in the soap Footballers Wives. When things go right Tanya sinks her claws into the arse of her latest top tottie while sniffing up a line of coke into her rather interestingly-shaped nose in some mirrored bathroom. When things go wrong she screams into a mirror, shakes uncontrollably and makes her eyes do a weird left-right-left-right thing. However, the writers of Footballers Wives have realised that her star potential is becoming huger than the soap itself. Tanya is simply too good to remain in one soap and so for three nights this week she is being transferred to Bad Girls - a prison drama by the same writers - so that she can be shown to equisitively suffer and pay for her crimes. It's going to be huge and more trash than I can take.

Some things I love about Footballers Wives and Bad Girls:

1) The writers aren't allowed to use the word fuck so they have instead invented new swear words that nobody else uses. My favourite is "shitting" as in "Shitting hell!"

2) The fact that it is always sunny in Footballers Wives - just like Britain isn't.

3) That homophobia and racism are routinely exploited and are easy ways to spot the difference between true villains and everyone else. The new sassy governess of Bad Girls tells Sylvia, the casually racist old lump of a prison warder "You're a bigoted old cow and I'm going to send you on a course!" In Footballers Wives the Death-Mask Bitch Hazel makes it her mission to emasculate all the Old White Men on the board as well as making life hell for the homophobic coach.

4) That men's bottoms are gratuitously shown as much as possible.

5) That Alma from Coronation Street is now the heroin addict room-mate of Stephanie Beechman (not a comedown for either of them) and gets to use phrases like "piss test" all the time.

6) That despite everything, Footballers Wives and Bad Girls are probably the most moralistic, moralising, judgemental programmes on television - a point that the Archbishop of Canterbury didn't realise when he decided to criticise FW for being a corrupting force.

7) That these programmes unite both working-class and middle-class audiences.

8) That Footballers Wives has absolutely nothing to do with football at all.

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