Do we take TV shows too seriously? Following the EastEnders' storyline, I'm inclined to think so.
For what felt like forever, but was actually just a few weeks, my Facebook time-line consisted of posts asking who killed Lucy Beale. My first thought was to try to explain to these people that nobody did and it's not real. My second thought was to delete everyone who continued to post this nonsense. I couldn't do that though, as almost everyone I have in my Facebook friends was caught up in this bizarre speculation over a fictional murder. Of course I have my own favourite TV shows which I love to watch. However this seemed to go beyond just watching something, enjoying it and maybe discussing it with a few friends afterwards.
I did begin to wonder if perhaps the rise in reality TV shows had led at least some of these people to in fact believe that EastEnders is another reality show. Surely not? These are people with jobs and an education and common sense, or so I thought.
Following the revelation of the murderer as the victim's brother, Bobby Beale, people actually took to Twitter to accuse an unsuspecting Bobbie Beale (notice the variation in spelling) of murder, asking the poor girl why she had killed Lucy. This would suggest that they believe EastEnders is real. As it turned out Bobbie has a dog named Lucy, so was quite confused , thinking that people were accusing her of murdering her own dog. The tweets were so convincing that the real life Bobbie Beale thought that it was a a real murder that she was being accused of. Not to be out done, American viewers had to go one step further than us in the false belief that EastEnders is supposed to be real. An American YouTuber said he was unsure about the reality of the show because he hadn't seen anything about Lucy's murder in the news.
He couldn't understand why the police weren't called, saying it was illegal and compared the soap to reality shows like The Real Housewives of Atlanta. For his sake I really hope he was joking.
To be fair, perhaps people can't be blamed for mistaking it for another reality TV show. The BBC seems to have a knack for cancelling good (fictional) TV shows, such as Atlantis, The Fades, In the Flesh, to name just a few. Instead it is quickly filling up the viewing slots with shows such as The Voice and Strictly Come Dancing and other channels seem to be doing the same thing. With this in mind, maybe people are now confused and think all TV is reality #Television. It certainly would explain a lot.