Eastenders’ cougar toyboy storylines are still bubbling away, keeping Carol and Connor on a rolling boil. This week, Connor mentions the ‘L’ word, which refreshingly shows the toyboy as the keener partner. This sends Carol running scared, despite her being hot for him. Who wouldn’t be, with that buff body and come-to-bed deep brown eyes? ‘Faaaamily’ issues are stopping her from going public not because of age shame, but because Connor is a crafty piece of work who was partly responsible for her brother’s shooting!
I’m still a bit disappointed that this storyline is hinting at Carol trying to replace her dead son – she makes a corker of a Freudian slip by using Billy’s name instead of Connor’s in the last episode. Why can’t it simply be about an older woman being liberated enough to take, and savour, what’s on offer in joyful sexual abandon? Although the situation between the two characters has enticing twists, Eastenders seem determined that cougars are mostly lonely older women with mothering issues. And we know that’s not always the case, don’t we?
They also show Glenda, glamourpuss granny and other Eastenders cougar, to be slightly damaged. She’s trying to overcome her love woes with a self-help book. This is mainly because Phil, abusive Neanderthal womaniser, has dumped her. Never mind that he happens to be her nephew! Only in soap-land, perhaps…
Still, it’s great that TV soaps make an effort to stay bang up-to-date by portraying age-gap dating. And, I like the fact that Glenda and Carol are flat-sharing, footloose and fancy-free cougar grannies! But Eastenders scriptwriters don’t treat their cougar toyboy pairings as credible relationships.