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Saturday 24th August 2019

OPINION: Are soaps too violent?

Sometimes violence is necessary

Following Phil Mitchell's dramatic fight with Martin Fowler in EastEnders last night, some fans have complained about violence in soaps.

It wasn't just EastEnders that had a vicious showdown on Tuesday night (July 30) as over in Emmerdale Robert Sugden hit Victoria Sugden's rapist Lee with a shovel. 

Things got very graphic (Credit: BBC)

Read more: EastEnders reveals Phil Mitchell's attacker and fans don't think he'll die

And in Coronation Street things haven't been much better.

New villain Gary Windass was beaten to a pulp by Rick Neelan back in May, before murdering Rick in a violent clash last month, as well as shoving his ex-girlfriend Sarah Platt.

He's also set to attack Ryan Connor in upcoming scenes.

Rick and Gary's fight ended in death (Credit: ITV)

Has the violence gone too far?

One fan on a Digital Spy forum pointed out: "I've never seen anyone slap another person in the face but it's a regular occurrence in soaps, and no one seems to care much."

Arguably, soaps are drama, and whilst they are a fictional representations of real life, they also have to keep viewers enticed and wanting more.

Characters are larger than life, they are over-emphasised representations of everyday folk, so while perhaps we would quietly simmer and avoid confrontation, there has to be a showdown in Walford or Weatherfield to drive the plot forward.

But does it always have to be quite so explicit?

Did Phil have to be so violent with Martin? Does Gary have to be quite so aggressive with his fists? And did Robert need to whack Lee over the head with a shovel?

Robert hit Lee (Credit: ITV)

It's a tough one. There are arguments for both sides - Lee, for example, is a rapist, who made it quite clear he was going to rape someone else.

The police had failed to act because there wasn't enough evidence to convict him, so arguably, Robert was doing everyone a favour by silencing him.

Phil and Martin on the other hand seemed to come from nowhere. Both were having reasonably bad days and got a bit worked up, but the violence was a little over the top.

Chantelle's abuse is important to be told (Credit: BBC)

Position this against the brilliance of the Chantelle and Gray domestic violence storyline and we see a story that needs to be told, and one that could be considered as being told for ratings.

Over in Corrie, we know Gary has gone bad. He caused the factory roof collapse, he murdered Rick, and while we haven't seen him attack Ryan yet, we know it's going to be brutal.

Do we need to be told in so many ways that Gary is now bad? Could we not have stopped with him killing Rick?

Next week also sees Seb beaten up by people traffickers after he threatens their business.

Seb will be beaten as he tries to save Alina (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Coronation Street's Abi makes rude gesture to Rachel

In this case, this probably is a true representation of real life - these types of gangsters and villains probably would dish out a violent warning.

Violence definitely has a place in soap stories when it's for the good of the plot and when we need to see it happen.

When it's gratutitous and put in for shock value, perhaps show bosses need to rethink their tactics and play things out a little differently.

Do you think soaps are too violent? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!