I’ve just watched an episode of Mile High, which is the epitome of tawdry British Soap at its best – or worst.
To date, you have Janice, who has stood by Nigel, for better or worse – so to speak – who is beyond definition when it comes to being a self-entitled jerk. He’s cheated his way through two failed marriages, always with Janice at his side, ready to be the Ultimate One. No matter how much he screws around this Plain Jane, she stays by his side.
Right until she works out that the Plain Jane can do better – even if it’s being by herself.
Which is what she works out. After screwing her over the umpteenth time, she calls it quits. She tells him something like, “I thought anyone was better then being alone. But now I know ‘screw you’.”
Better to be thirtysomething and alone then being with something like Nigel.
One of the things I loved about this storyline was that their was no hint of positively about this particular relationship. There was nothing to “ship” for – they were miserable people who were with each other because they were afraid to face the world – in Nigel’s case, that the world hated men such as he, in Janice’s, that she could do better, if only she believed in herself.
Eventually, Janice realises what a jerk he is, and throws him out. She may not be as beautiful as his first two wives, but damnit, she’s got more dignity then to stick around waiting. She’d rather be alone then be with him.
After Janice dumps him, Nigel makes several attempts to reconcile – mainly because he knows no-one else will put up with him. And, much to my delight, Janice told him where to go. Janice had better things to do, and Nigel could spew in his own juices.
Ultimately, this is what I love about British soaps (And Australian soaps, before Blue Heelers got cancelled and All Saints went all season nine on us): that women and men were created equal. And ultimately, they equally learned from their mistakes or died alone (and most likely with syphilis, too).