Soap Cliches

And now for something completely different, something that readers outside of the UK, Ireland and possibly Australia will probably look at with mild confusion and hurtful disbelief. I watch soaps. I sometimes think I’m ill-advised to jump into soap discussion alongside mature women, but it’s something to talk about, right? The show just always goes on with soaps, and the lure of watching the mundane on television seems to be incredibly strong for humans – see Big Brother, Jersey Shore and its derivatives for other depressing examples.

Actually, is there really that much mundane about soap operas these days? Shown well before the watershed, you can expect to see arson with murderous intent, rape, adultery, prostitution, drug abuse and addiction, rampant alcoholism and at least an evens chance of a raucous pub fight. As for some of the stuff Brookside used to throw up… well actually, all I’ve got to say there is that bombs going off in nightclubs and house raids by gun-toting mad Scousers was pretty amazing viewing back then, just as it would be now.

Yes, it’s usually all happening in soaps. And since episodes of these programmes have to be cranked out for at least four slots a week, there’s an awful lot of economical direction and acting involved, giving rise to those odd little moments that you only ever see in soaps. Here are some of the most common cliches of my guiltiest pleasure that you’ll find cropping up time and time again in multiple soaps.

Obviously my attacks on soap quality below are light-hearted, because I eat them up like a mommy’s-teat-sucking ponce. Christ though, it does read pretty sexist and misogynistic at times. Sorry to all wimmen.

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Just Cause 2 (Long)


Just Cause 2 (2010)

Review, 15/11/12

The following review is based on the PlayStation 3 version of the game.


Sandbox games (or more accurately open world games) are a mixed bag for me. I can certainly understand the appeal; as games, graphics and programming have become more advanced, gamers have grown accustomed to the variety of options and the little things that the developers have made it possible to do. This type of game became vastly popular with the Grand Theft Auto series of games, particularly after it made the jump to 3D. Rockstar Games established themselves as the kings of the open world genre, and had further impressive showings with Red Dead Redemption and L.A. Noire.

These open world games have customarily garnered controversy, as they are generally pretty violent (one of my favoured Rockstar works Bully/Canis Canem Edit being an exception, but still attracting its own brand of controversy) but any game that sticks two fingers up at the soccer moms is fine by me. Here we have Just Cause 2, a game which has sold in large numbers but seems to have passed under the radar a teensy bit, at least in comparison to Rockstar games. Just Cause 2 has had all sorts of hands in it, being developed by Avalanche Studios, published by Eidos Interactive and even distributed by Square Enix (distributed? Does that mean Squeenix employees just drove truckloads of copies of the game to retailers?). What can Just Cause 2 offer that doesn’t grow tired quickly?

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