TF Archives

Underside - What I Have Learnt From Daytime Television

Author: Jenny Robertson
Wednesday, September 24, 2008

• Young, upwardly-mobile bogans (YUMBs) like to participate in daytime cooking shows. The girls have blonde streaks, work in childcare and enjoy going to the gym. Peter Everett will then call down their dull-witted fiancées, who will inevitably be wearing distressed Diesel jeans and work as personal trainers.
• The professional chefs on the show will do a good job of not looking dismayed when the YUMBs pull out some Desiree potatoes, Kraft cheese slices and chicken fillets to cook with. No haloumi, rhubarb, fresh coriander or salmon (my personal fantasy bag) for these culinary cul-de-sacs. The gourmet shopping bag never makes an appearance on Ready, Steady Cook.
• Peter Everett will always yell out “Lilydale Chicken!” when the chicken fillets emerge from the shopping bag. As if we haven’t figured out by now they’re a sponsor of the show, Pete.
• Chef Damien looks hurt when he doesn’t win.
• Chef Alastair becomes manic when he’s nervous.
• Women’s Weekly chef Janelle microwaves everything.
• A visually spectacular dessert always wins over the audience. Put some chocolate sauce and ice-cream on it and the audience of fat retirees, office girls and food technology students will vote for it.
• Whichever chef doesn’t win the first round the audience will take pity on and vote for in the ‘Quickie Bag’ section. 
• When a character quickly switches from a child actor to an adult actor on a daytime soap opera, it’s a sign that they want to create a romantic interest that would otherwise be sick and illegal.
• Paternity can always be called into doubt so a brother and sister can get together when all other possible sexual matches have been exhausted on the show.
• A mysterious fire, bullet wounds, cancer and comas – no one ever really dies in Soap Opera Land. Just wait a year or so, till they’ve had some more Botox, and they’ll be back from the dead with a miraculous medical recovery. Hello Taylor!
• If some mysterious kid from the wrong side of the tracks turns up, lady with bejewelled handbag you better watch out! It is definitely the illegitimate child she gave birth to when she was fifteen and then gave up for adoption. Mysterious kid will extort money from his birth-mom so her rich, high-powered fiancée will never know about her tarnished past.
• The fiancées always do find out their current squeeze’s guilty secret but by that point six months have past and you’ve switched viewing allegiances to Days of Our Lives.
• In The Bold and the Beautiful, peripheral characters such as doctors, lawyers and police officers should always be played by black, Asian and Hispanic actors. Everyone knows minority groups are represented in Soap Opera Land, they just never get more than two lines.
• An abortion is never an option for soap opera characters. Hiding the pregnancy and then pretending the baby is your sister’s so that your fiancée will never find out you had one night of passion with his estranged brother when you thought your fiancée had been killed in a freak boating accident is, however, a totally reasonable option.
• Contraception is non-existent in Soap Opera Land.
• Contraception is also non-existent in the litigious world of Judge Judy.
• Baby Daddies are bastards by nature.
• Honey, never co-sign for a car loan or a credit card with him. He ain’t never gonna pay you back! Don’t you know you know he’s a no-good moocher!
• Selling stuff on EBay, “fashion modelling” and collecting disability pensions are popular career moves with the Judge Judy set.
• When will the ladies learn- When a man sleeps with you and borrows money off you but refuses to call you his girlfriend that means he’s just fucking you till he can find someone more physically attractive.
• Seventeen year-old fiancées should not sign rental agreements together.
• There are a lot of fiancées on daytime television.
• Dr Phil never makes a break-through. Viewers just enjoy listening to compulsive liars describe how they fooled their entire acquaintance into thinking they needed a kidney transplant. That’s some good television!
• The Ab-Roller is all-powerful and can be yours with three easy payments!
• 2pm is a good time to sit down and have lunch with the TV. You might catch the end of Oprah, you can flick between Ready, Steady Cook and E! News and if you’re feeling really depressed about your life, stick around for 3pm when Judge Judy starts busting balls.
• Daytime advertisements suggest that I am the only non-obese person, without credit card debt who is watching this shit.
• I need to get a job.