First there was Footballers Wives. A campsy, glam-fest which took all of its storylines from the front pages of real-life tabloids, hardly needing to pump them up any further. It was all diamonique faux-opulence, long cat-nails scratching down the swollen buttocks of neanderthal footballers, their mullets newly high-lighted, while a telephoto lens peeked through a hedge. Awful, but fun in a kind of leafing through OK magazine while waiting to hear the results of your syphillis test, kind of way.
But now, the spin-off Footballer's Wives Extra Time seeks to plumb depths that even the Footballer's Wives didn't dare go. Even more fast paced, late night, shorter, uglier, more edgy (that translates to jerky camera movements and close-ups - probably so they can hide the fact that the budget is lower), and with a cast of characters from a somewhat different caste - inner-city ghetto hell to be precise. It's all a bit like a Victorian Penny Dreadful, with sterotypes galore - brassy tarts with bad hair, scarred gangstas, drug-addict toffs etc, and the dialogue is often unbearable, particularly when the gangsta refers to his girlfriend as "Little Bird". However, FWET does not shy away from tackling the "issues of the day" (or rather, the issues of last year), so we have dogging, botox, kiddies on E and rather a lot of mobile phone use. Quite sensibly, all of the original characters from Footballers Wives appear to have jumped ship, so we are left with some "People Vaguely Connected to Footballers Wives" - however, I can see why the writers thought that title wouldn't work and went with "Extra Time" instead. I hope that the franchise continues to dumb-down and devolve. So Extra Time should get its own spin-off series, which could just consist of women with large breasts making unintelligble grunting noises while a neon light flashes on and off. Or have I just descibed the contents of most digital tv channels anyway?
Meanwhile, has Gay Sean from Coronation Street finally pulled? I do hope so. When he arrived at t'Street I had high hopes. However, he has kept his legs firmly crossed and seems more happy to be "one of the girls", while flirting half-heartedly with Jason (taken sadly). Don't they have the Internet in Wetherfield? I look forward to a storyline where Sean discovers broadband and becomes a gay.com casual sex addict overnight.