Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Hollyoaks Later needs to be racier otherwise it's a wasted opportunity with pert bare buttocks

This week, early evening teen soap and all-round general hormone cauldron Hollyoaks has applied for, and been granted, a special license from the makers of "tv for grown ups" for a run of five hour-long episodes under the name of Hollyoaks Later.

And as befits all "tv for grown ups" the programme must, by dint of law, include bare bottoms, "scenes of a sexual nature", drugs, and swearing - and Hollyoaks Later has not, so far, disappointed on any of those.

Even if the only swearing so far is a relatively tame "gobshite".

Although to be fair it is only Monday - so it's fingers crossed for a "bugger" by Wednesday.

But like an adolescent given free reign of the family home when their parents go on holiday for the first time without them, Hollyoaks Later has the slightly awkward air of a programme that feels slightly lost at 10pm, away from its regular time-slot of 6.30pm.

It feels a bit like the kind of old-fashioned Christmas episode or movie spin off of a 1970s sitcom you used to get, where familiar characters go to a new, unfamiliar place, and all sorts of larks and japes ensue - possibly with hilarious consequences, possibly not.

So - and ignoring semi-tedious plot lines about a fit-camp, and a young girl possibly being stalked by an older guy (whereby we hear clunky "evil" music every time he appears, which means he is Bad) - the main plot involves soon-to-be-married couple Mercedes and Riley.

They go off on their hen and stag parties respectively, the former to Ibiza, and the latter to, er, a paint balling game in the country.

But naturally it all kicks off doesn't it - for there are Secrets, and, as in any soap, Secrets do not stay secret for long.

Throw in some surprise characters who shouldn't be there (to add "dramatic tension" yeah?), a few bare bottom shots, some really quite appalling acting from someone who probably isn't an actor at all (rival paintballing team leader, that's meant for you), and, of course, a tetchy virgin called Seth who appears to murder a prostitute as she "de-flowers" him after she gives him drugs.

Which, if you think about it, is actually quite a conservative and moralistic message.

Don't have sex, don't take drugs - or else you'll end up a murderer and having to walk around naked with an addled mind and in a blood-stained dormitory.

It seems the main difference with the later timeslot for this is they can show things that otherwise they'd have to only mention, but Hollyoaks Later needs to get a bit racier and swearier and more adult sharpish - otherwise it's a bit of a wasted opportunity, however fun it might all be.

Unless of course there are more bare bottoms, that is.

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