Langford on Soaps: What’s Ahead For Brendan, Ste, Doug and John Paul on “Hollyoaks?”


Coronation Street

My favorite moment of this week came when Eileen, after the truth about Maria and Marcus had been revealed, told them that they were selfish idiots who had hurt a lot of people with their deception. She spoke the truth when she predicted this would end in a lot of tears because Marcus would be unable to change who he is, a gay man. I’ve said that from the beginning of this storyline and if that was a foreshadowing moment, I have to say I agree.

As much as I find Maria and Marcus sweet together, I do think that Marcus seems to have ‘adjusted’ to his new life awfully quickly. Yes, he had a brief moment of ‘confusion’, but he got over that fast. And is it just me, or does it seem that now that Marcus is sleeping with Maria, we get to see him shirtless and in cute little boxer briefs when we never saw that when he was with Sean or Aiden? Hmm…

I also find it unrealistic that they wouldn’t address some very real issues, such as what does this mean? Is Marcus bi-sexual? What about his attraction to men? I personally think that as a couple they would talk about these things. But the show seems to glossing them over, if not ignoring them altogether when discussing them would add more depth to the story.

Marcus found out what happens when gay men steal women from their boyfriends...

I felt sorry for Jason. I haven’t been an avid viewer over the years, but Jason has always gotten screwed over when it came to romance. I didn’t like seeing him getting hurt like that. He’s a sweet, if not too bright, kind of guy. I understand him being angry, especially with Marcus foolishly telling Jason he hopes they can still be friends. Is that what you say to someone as you are stealing their girlfriend when you’re supposedly gay? I thought Marcus was smarter than that.

Of course, this past week gave me new reason to despise Sean, who made this drama about him as I predicted. I’m glad that someone told him this was none of his business and didn’t involve him. He and Marcus broke up months ago and were doner than done. Making this about himself is typical of Sean and his wanting to blab about Maria and Marcus’ relationship just shows how despicable and loathsome this character continues to be. His whining and crying about he got hurt was pathetic. What a loser.

Hotel Cæsar

I wish I had more to say about these episodes, but this show is boring me right now. To be fair, it’s never been my favorite, but I just don’t find these corporate adventures of a sixteen year old to be particularly interesting (or believable, for that matter). I did like that Juni finally convinced her son that Måne needs some parental guidance as he’s been acting out far too long. I agree with that. It was long past time that someone laid some ground rules down with Måne and perhaps Måne’s relationship with his father might be interesting. I imagine this is all leading to Måne finally coming out to his family, something that is long past due.

Winners and Losers

Uh-oh! I got a bad feeling about this past week’s episodes. With the season finale of the show coming next week, I’m hoping and praying this isn’t leading to Rhys or Jonathan or both of them leaving the show. I really like both characters and would hate to see either of them written out. Of course, the commitment-phobe in me thinks it’s maddening that Jonathan would even consider moving away with Rhys given that they haven’t been together that long, but I did find that scene to be very sweet and perfectly in Jonathan’s character to do such a thing. And I was glad that we got an update on what’s going on with Rhys and his coming out to his family, even if it consisted of the guys talking about what did or didn’t happen rather than actual scenes dealing with the issue.


I really enjoyed Hollyoaks last week and it’s been awhile since I have been thoroughly entertained by the show. Soaps rarely have big splashy events and this soap delivered. One thing I was glad about was that Ste was not conflicted about marrying Doug because of any lingering feelings about Brendan and I was also glad that Brendan didn’t interfere in Ste and Doug’s wedding.

Of course, Brendan ultimately did come between Ste and Doug, but it was because of Doug’s obsession with ridding their lives of Brendan rather than any feelings Ste might have for Brendan. I think Ste has and will always have feelings for Brendan, but at least this past week, he seemed ready to put those in the past and move on. If only Doug could.

I personally didn’t have a problem with Doug setting Brendan up. I know fans have been relentlessly attacking the character for it, but when Brendan pulled such a move, like setting Warren Fox up for Danny’s murder, I didn’t see such an uprising. And unlike Warren, Brendan is actually guilty of the crime. Sure Doug is motivated by jealousy rather than wanting to see justice done, but there’s still nothing wrong in what Doug did. On the other hand, if Doug would just let it go, then I have no doubt that Ste and Doug would be very happy despite Brendan’s presence. Brendan is often a problem for Doug and Ste because Doug keeps making him one.

Not a good wedding day for Ste…

I thought the scenes surrounding the disaster were brilliantly done. Soaps usually don’t do action scenes well, but the car accident, following by the explosion was terrific. They were well shot and suspenseful and you really were on the edge of your seat seeing who would survive — especially since the show had teased that two characters were going to die, though they actually ended up killing off four. While the show was determined to keep under-wraps who would die, we knew that Doug and Ste would survive since the actors had been spotted filming recently, but that still left a lot of questions.

I wasn’t surprised to see Neil get killed. The character was ill-defined, little used and had never really amounted to much on the show. Maddie’s death was a bit of a shock, especially since she had survived the accident, only to be killed by falling debris. Of course, there are those who say she got what she deserved because she left Neil to die to save herself and I can’t say I’m upset that Maddie is gone. She was a character who was mean and nasty, but there seemed to be no reason for it. I don’t have a problem with villains and bad girls, but the show seemed to have trouble writing for her other than to be cruel to others, making her a shallow, one dimensional character.

George lost a close friend… might he get a storyline in return?

And I never understood why sweet characters like George and Tilly, who knew how cruel Maddie could be, remained her friend and supported her. I’m hoping now that with Maddie gone, those who were in her circle, especially George, who I love, get their own stories and lives. I also hope we get to see more of Callum, whom has seemed to drift since he and Maddie broke up.

Jono’s death was definitely a surprise because it came out of nowhere. One minute he was fine and the next he was dead. The show hasn’t explained why he died, but I imagine it was from internal injuries suffered in the accident. It’s too bad though, because I liked Jono and thought there was more story ahead for him on the show.

I can’t say I was shocked that Rhys was killed, but I was sorry to see him go. But I see why the show had to kill him off because they had basically written the character into a corner. Frankly, I don’t understand why the show took Rhys in the direction that they did. It never made sense to me. And if you’ve read interviews with the actor, Andrew Moss, who played Rhys, it never made sense to him either. After everything that he and Jacqui had been through with Rhys seeing her through her rape and a number of other crisis, it made no sense for Rhys to throw what had been a strong marriage away on a fling with Cindy.

Given that Rhys knows Cindy and knows what a selfish and flighty woman she can be, I never bought for a minute that he would not only have an affair with her, but fall in ‘love’ with her and want to leave Jacqui for her. It was bad writing and totally out of character.

Those scenes of Rhys sneaking around to have sex with Cindy while his wife remained clueless were appalling. I kept thinking that ‘Rhys would never do that’ during the entire storyline. And those scenes between Rhys and Jacqui when he did die made the infidelity plot even more ludicrous.

Moss and Claire Cooper (Jacqui) were beautiful and heartbreaking in those moments, reminding you of the love and connection that they had for much of their relationship. The fact that Rhys had been inexplicably cheating on Jacqui the whole time took away from how powerful those scenes could have and should have been.

Speaking of powerful scenes, we didn’t see much of Brendan this past week, but when he was on, it was damned good. I have to admit I teared up when Brendan burst into the hospital and saw the terrible condition that Ste was in. And I definitely shed a few tears when Doug, screaming to see his husband, ran through the hospital and like Brendan, was devastated to find Ste near death. It really got me when Doug broke down and Brendan, Doug’s rival for his husband, held him. Yes, I realize it was manipulative and I complain a lot in this column about manipulative writing. But sometimes it even works on me.

Days of Our Lives

I know that last week was an exciting one for a lot of fans with Will and Sonny getting an on screen love scene and I can understand that. The scene was well done and sweet and it’s nice that Days is giving the gay characters the same romantic moments that their straight characters get. Of course, I do see the complaints that the show didn’t go ‘far’ enough and that the straight folks get more explicit love scenes, but that just tells me that some folks will never be happy.

I actually think that what Days has done is progressive and equitable and shows their commitment to the characters. Days should be commended for what they’ve done, especially given that this show is considered very conservative and there were doubts about how far the show would go when this storyline began.

But to be honest, while I’m glad the scenes played out as they did, I didn’t get particularly excited about them — certainly not like I see fans squeeing and gushing all over themselves. I don’t know if I’m jaded or if I’m just bored, but for me the scenes don’t disguise the reality that despite everything, this is a still a couple that I’m not excited about and they are currently involved in a storyline that I have a feeling I’m going to wind up hating.

I’m not thrilled about this storyline for a couple of reasons. The first is that it’s so predictable. Back when Will and Gabi hooked up, a twist that still seems plot oriented to me, I wrote here that Gabi would get pregnant. There was no reason for Will and Gabi to have slept together if she weren’t going to get pregnant. It was just a matter of time waiting for the shoe to drop. And it finally did this past week.

Now the one thing that the show did do right was have the reveal happen at the same time that Will and Sonny were hooking up for the first time. That was nicely done and classic soap, even if the actual scene itself was horribly played out, mostly due to the poor acting of Schylur Yancey, who played Gabi’s doctor Cameron. For those wondering why the role has been recast, one only need to look at that scene. I actually laughed when Cameron paused dramatically before giving Gabi the ‘shocking’ news. Needless to say Camila Banus’ (Gabi) awful performances don’t help. It’s funny, but unlike a lot of fans I like Gabi and the actress is stunning. Banus can deliver some effective work, but it’s clear that heavy drama is not her forte.

But my main reason for not liking this storyline is because it says to me that shows still don’t know how to write for gay characters. Soaps still can’t write stories for gays that don’t involve them sleeping with/marrying women or having babies. As The World Turnsmarried Noah to Ameera, One Life To Livehad the whole baby saga with Oliver and Stacy and now this. And none of these stories were successful and wound up damaging the characters in the end. There are tons and tons of stories for gay characters that are real and relatable that don’t involve hooking up with women and getting them pregnant. Yes, soaps have progressed when it comes to gays in many ways, but oddly enough, in some ways they haven’t progressed at all.


Will and Gabi make the ultimate decision about their baby…

Days of Our Lives — Will is stunned when Gabi reveals she’s decided she wants to get an abortion, feeling that’s the solution to their problem. Will is uncertain, but tells Gabi he’ll support whatever decision she makes. Gabi fears that she and Will would lose their respective lovers if they decided to have a baby together and Will can’t argue with that. Gabi makes an appointment for at the clinic and Will, realizing he’ll need some money to pay for the procedure, asks Sonny for the cash, but doesn’t tell him why. Sonny, apparently having lost all his brain cells, hands over the money. But he’s smart enough to at least be worried that there’s something going on with his boyfriend.

Meanwhile, Sami has blabbed to Rafe about Gabi’s pregnancy and he’s upset about his sister’s plight. Both of them assume that Nick is the father and have no idea that it’s Will. Sami and Rafe begin to look for Gabi, but will they find her before she’s had the abortion?

Elsewhere, Lucas drops by to see Sonny and apologizes for his recent behavior. Sonny accepts Lucas’ apologies and assures Lucas that he’d never do anything to hurt Will because he’s in love with him. Lucas realizes that Will and Sonny’s relationship is the real thing and the two of them make a truce.

Neighbours — Aidan and Chris hit their first problem since getting back together. Georgia starts to put the hospital files in order and she stumbles across records for some blood work for a patient that doesn’t seem to exist. Of course, those are the records that Aidan falsified so Andrew could get his blood tests done and not have his father find out about his epilepsy.

It isn’t long before Aidan’s behavior is exposed and he is suspended from the hospital. Chris is stunned to find out what his boyfriend has done, especially since Aidan dumped Chris because Chris was keeping secrets. Things get worse when Aidan deals with his crisis by hitting the clubs and doing some serious partying. Aidan faces losing his career… and his boyfriend.


What does Bryan Kirkwood have in mind for Hollyoaks gays?

As we previously reported, Bryan Kirkwood, who was executive producer of Hollyoaks at the height of the show’s popularity has returned to the soap and is back at the helm once more. The show currently has four gay characters on the canvas: Brendan Brady, Doug Carter, Ste Hay and George Smith, with a fifth, John Paul McQueen due to return in mid-December. Kirkwood did a recent interview with Inside Soapwhere he discussed a bit of what’s ahead for these very popular characters.

Kirkwood is a big fan of Brendan, played by Emmett Scanlan and feels he’s one of the best characters the show has ever had.

“Brendan has been so good for Hollyoaks for the past couple of years and his stories will feature strongly over the next few months.” Kirkwood said.

And might this story be a reunion with his ex-lover Ste Hay, played by Kieron Richardson? Kirkwood said the triangle between Ste, Doug and Brendan is headed for a resolution.

Will Brendan and Ste be close again?

“We’ll reach a big fork in the road for Ste as he forced to choose between a loving future with Doug and an unpredictable future with Brendan.” Kirkwood said. “It’s going to be a tough choice for him to make.”

And what about John Paul McQueen, played by James Sutton? Fans have been very vocal about being unhappy that John Paul is returning without his boyfriend Craig Dean as John Paul and Craig’s love story was one of the most popular romances ever on the soap. But Kirkwood hopes the audience will give the stories they have for John Paul a chance.

John Paul is single, but for how long?

“… we were just as big of fans of Craig and John Paul’s story as viewers were, but the fact is James wanted to return, and Guy Burnett [who played Craig] didn’t.” Kirkwood explained. “I hope the audience gives us the chance to prove that it’s the right decision. Just because it’s the end for Craig and John Paul for now doesn’t mean there aren’t great stories we can tell about John Paul as a single man.”

Kirkwood didn’t tease any story about George, but did say that the character was a favorite of his, so hopefully there’s something in the works for the show’s gay teen fashionista.

Kirkwood added that several of the show’s characters will be leaving in the next several months and it’s been widely reported that Scanlan’s time with the show is coming to a close in the near future. Will Brendan be the only gay character the show loses?

Stay tuned.

With this being a holiday week, the column is cut a bit short, so that’s a wrap for this edition of Langford on Soaps. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and see you next time!