As this years freshers settle into their new accommodation, and await the moment of discovering who will soon become reliable faces, the start of a new year at University College Falmouth is not the only thing that is kicking off this September. A huge reform in the teen serial drama Hollyoaks, has become the biggest cull in the shows history. With Paul Marquess stepping into the role of Producer, the soap as we have all loved to watch for years on end, seems to be at its lowest in many years. Hollyoaks has seen changes a plenty in the shows fifteen year run, may it be revamped opening titles, a change in the recognisable theme tune, or the introduction to a new family clan, Hollyoaks has always managed to please younger audiences for thirty minutes every night, displaying acts of teen pregnancies, eating disorders and sexuality in ways that can easily be related to.
However tuning into the show for the first time in many months last week, it appeared that what I had left behind a couple of months before, had turned into a programme that was pretty much unrecognisable. The theme seemed to be ‘freshers’, and freshers it certainly was! Watching pointless events unfold involving a bunch of fresh-faced 18 year olds around student life, the duration of the show seemed pointless from the very beginning.
What once including important storylines with a meaning, and realism to life, had turned into something which was on the lines of a ‘child friendly’ Skins. A set of cheesy, amateur young ‘talent’s’ parading around Hollyoaks village in obvious River Island and TopShop outfits, is certainly not the way to fill up a thirty minute time slot on Channel 4. As acts of hormonal annoyance seem to overshadow the more hard-hitting Cancer storyline, it seems Hollyoaks is out with the old and in with the new. Axing the majority of its characters this year alone, with the exception of a few regular faces that now seem out-of-place and somewhat unmatched in the regenerated image Hollyoaks is trying to portray, it looks set to be only a matter of time before the reliable ones will wonder further than the concrete paths of the Chester village.
Hollyoaks is renown for acts of teen pregnancies, high-school affairs, sex and drug scandals and multiple killings, having us all gripped weeks on end just to gain one step further to the conclusion of it all. It was impossible to miss an episode without loosing your way. Today, I could easily tune off for a few weeks and return to find their has been a break up, a secret kiss, and perhaps a black eye on a character of two.
Continuing to watch further on into the week, it was clear that this show was NOT going anywhere. Plans to sabotage a wedding a couple of greedy, spoilt girls arrange, and the ‘shock’ discovery of an ex-wife turning up at the student accommodation of what looks like an 18-year-old?!, were the only ‘major’ happenings in a show, which tally up a total of two hours and thirty minutes, Monday to Friday. Life experience and depth is what the characters in this show need, and with this new bunch of young stars only now moving in to what is going to be a slow years in Hollyoaks, it could only be a matter of time before the show moves off our screens for good. It’s a shame, but the quality just is not there anymore.