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Monday, May 20, 2024

With Ash and Lola leaving, EastEnders seriously needs to address the lack of younger women in the cast

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Unavoidably, women are the lifeblood of the soap opera genre. EastEnders luminaries like Peggy Mitchell, Pat Butcher, and Dot Cotton have cemented their positions in television history.

Given the large range of viewer ages who watch, the inclusion of girls, young women, middle-aged women, and older women is crucial so that every fan feels like they have someone to relate to. Matriarchs are not the only essential characters on the show.

This is why it’s starting to cause real concern that one of the essential core character groupings on the show has virtually disappeared.

With the departures of Lola Pearce (Danielle Harold) and Ash Panesar (Gurlaine Kaur Garcha), as well as the recent departure of Dotty Cotton (Milly Zero), there will only be one woman in the age range of 18 to 29.

Only EastEnders has seen an increase in TV ratings year over year, which is impressive given the general drop in live viewings.

His new characters, such as the lovable nerd Reiss (Jonny Freeman), the rogue-like Ravi (Aaron Thiara), and the likable teenager Denzel (Jaden Ladega), liven up the screen and add a fantastic dynamic.

There is no disputing that Chris is making an impact on the show with the addition of Felix, Finlay, Nish, and Nugget.

But the Square is a beehive of testosterone because these personalities all share a significant characteristic.

There needs to be some casting of young women, and soon, with characters like Ash and Lola being written out, as well as Dana Monroe (Barbara Smith) and Jada Lennox (Kelsey Calladine-Smith), who all have tremendous promise.

This is for more reasons than merely providing supporters in that age bracket with meaningful representation. Stacey, Whitney, Chelsea, Sharon, and Sonia are just a few of the best characters now on the show, and they all appeared between the ages of 18 and 29.

Because we have watched these characters grow over time, crossing over different generations to become the personas at the center of the biggest stories at the moment, they are now so popular and successful.

Nothing else on TV or streaming can compare to soap operas for the length of characters and their plot arcs across many years.

We need young characters we can get to know because they could end up being the stars of the next decade and beyond, becoming just as legendary as the stars of today.

If we are to lose characters who the show thought won’t work for whatever reason, they need to be replaced at least somewhat in order to prevent the gaping emptiness we are now left with. Opinions on whether the characters who have been written out could accomplish this will vary.

EastEnders is suffering from an over concentration on some groups while disregarding others, along with a demographic of over 70s that is also aging.

It’s true that finding the right balance is difficult. The show sorely lacked young and middle-aged guys when Chris Clenshaw joined it.

He has perfectly addressed that while also supporting the young teen generation, who, unless the axe is sharpened once again, will eventually enter the age bracket I am referring to.

That’s not fast enough, though. The tales that the young people, including Lily, Amy, Ricky, and Denzel, have adopted, beautifully I should add, are very different from those of the older age group.

School bullying, teenage pregnancies, and negotiating first-time love are all serious issues, but what happens next is just as crucial.

The program may have some cunning plans for this, but they must act quickly to correct the imbalance.

Fans are starting to note how awkward it is for Bernie to be alone and have no one in her age group.

All generations must agree that women are the heart and soul of soap operas, and EastEnders has always been centered on them; otherwise, the program runs the danger of alienating a significant portion of its audience.

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