TV Times - Complain and simple

IT is very interesting just exactly what people will complain about in the media.

When people get offended enough, they will take the time to write, email or telephone a channel or production company to give them a piece of their mind.

Some of their causes of complaint are frankly ridiculous – the Russell Brand / Jonathan Ross / Andrew Sachs saga springs immediately to mind – with people quick to use situations to further their own agenda.

And moaning about perceived manipulations on The X Factor is fruitless, if equal numbers of people tune in the following week.

Over the last couple of weeks, the two biggest telly soaps in this country have sparked respective barrages of complaints. Viewers began complaining about EastEnders’ highly controversial cot death / baby swap storyline before the ink had dried on the script.

In the days that followed the airing of the main scenes of this plot, complaints surged into the thousands.

And a recent kissing scene featuring young lesbian couple Sophie and Sian raised the ire of a number of Coronation Street viewers.

Moans about that incident certainly fall into the ridiculous category – revealing more about the bigotry of the complaining viewers than raising concern over what we are presented with.

Though it may seem like a cheap sensationalist storyline on the surface, the relationship between the two teenagers has been handled brilliantly by Corrie writers.

If people can’t handle the fact soap has moved with the times then that’s their problem and they aren’t worth listening to.

The emotionally intense nature of the EastEnders storyline takes it into a grey area.

I can fully understand the feelings of families that have experienced the tragic death of a baby, who feel the horrific situation has been trivialised.

Controversy would have perhaps been avoided had the plot not involved the baby swap aspect – which does sound far more ridiculous on paper than it actually was on screen.

I praised these scenes last week, largely based on the brilliant acting displayed by main protagonists Samantha Womack, Jessie Wallace and even Shane Richie.

But I understand the run of events from Ronnie discovering her baby had died to her returning to her flat with Kat’s son could have caused a few problems.

This required an awful lot of faith from the audience to believe Ronnie was so emotionally fraught by what had happened that she was not in her right mind when she swapped the babies.

Soap will never shy away from issues such as this and EastEnders producers have stood by their decision to air these scenes.

When it comes to complaints I have always wondered why people do not simply avoid what they do not like.

If you believe it is your right to complain, then surely – under the same democratic reasoning – channels have a right to show programmes that all members of the audience are not going to agree with.

Switching channels is a big enough slight... as viewing figures matter more than anything else.