TV soap Eastenders shocked viewers last night with an episode that appeared to have been written with something approaching skill and knowledge of the real world.
The BBC received a record number of complaints about the episode, which detailed the character Shabnam’s loss of her unborn baby.
“It’s ridiculous,” said one complainant. “Previously, Shabnam had no personality at all beyond shouting at people and giving sarcastic looks. Now she’s reacting in complex emotional ways to traumatic events that actually happen in real life, and dealing with them the way people in the real world would. It’s just not on.”
Other complainants agreed:
“She had the same personality the whole way through the episode. Not once did it change for the benefit of some arbitrary plot twist. It felt all realistic as a result. We were really unnerved. And before the watershed, too!”
“We watched the whole thing, and not once did Phil Mitchell enter a room and threaten to kill someone. No-one even returned from the dead. This isn’t the Eastenders we’ve come to know and be confused by.”
The BBC responded with an apology:
“We would like to apologise unreservedly for the unexpected quality of last night’s Eastenders. Due to government budget cuts, we can no longer afford expensive seasoned writers who will write anything for money. We had to use new scriptwriters who still felt they had something to prove by conveying reality convincingly. This is only temporary. Once the despair sets in, they will become drones like the rest.”