Eighteen months ago, All Saints aired a storyline where a male doctor, Jack, in his mid-twenties and a lesbian in her mid-thirties get dumped by their girlfriends on the same day, have drunken sex and she falls pregnant. She soul-searches and decides to keep the baby; he can do what he wants about it. He can deny all knowledge, he can be secretly involved, he can step up to the bat and get fully involved. Eventually, he does the latter, and is devastated when she miscarries. It was a brave, forward-thinking storyline, and I expected when the actress Tammy McIntosh fell pregnant recently and it became obvious they were writing in her pregnancy, they would include some small story arc about Jack’s feelings towards it. Nothing big – a scene or two in private where he struggles to reconcile his happiness for a friend with his relived grief, that was all I wanted. Just something that said “˜we haven’t forgotten this man went through hell and was mostly ignored because he was a man and no-one cares about men in a miscarriage situation’.
They started off well. When he is first told (in a group scenario) there’s a brief expression on his face which could have been pain or regret. On second thought, it may have been Wil Traval switching on for the camera half a second too late, because I haven’t seen it tackled at all since.
It’s as if nothing happened. The existence of the original storyline just gone, like they think the fans are dumb enough not to notice it. And we have noticed it.
I’m really disappointed in the current season of All Saints. Yeah, it was always a soap, never a sterling example of brilliant writing and characterisations. But even within that, they had characters which were as fleshed out as each other – gender was immaterial – and constant references to ongoing storylines and character developments. But what’s being written now is embarrassing to me both as a writer and an Australian. Stereotyped characters, inconsistent characterisations, abandoned story and character arcs.
I think I might go join Germaine Greer in cultural exile”¦