Thursday 20 July 2017

Fair City: 'Katy was in that box longer than The Weatherfield One aka Deirdre Rachid was in Old Chokey'

Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

In its 28 year history on air, no Fair City storyline has got the people of Ireland as het up as Katy and her bleedin’ box.

Even if you pretend not to know who Bela or Paul Brennan are, you’ll have heard about Katy, the box and Ciaran’s mysterious back pack.

Kidnap is a popular soap story line.

It’s up there with all the other hot favourites including; burying bodies under patios, becoming addicted to painkillers, driving off piers, beating up your partner, having affairs with your next door neighbour, and the arrival of a long lost identical twin/ an absentee father/ or the ‘But I thought they died in that factory explosion’ spouse.

But even within the realms of ‘soap land’ Katy’s kidnap (ringing in at 379 days) has been dragging on.

Katy was in that box longer than The Weatherfield One aka Deirdre Rachid was in Old Chokey.

That Coronation Street story line caused so much uproar that the then Prime Minister Tony Blair asked Jack Sraw to look into it.

Jim Jim Nugent on Fair City: 'Just like that one flute after a party... they just won't get the hint to clear off' 

Unfortunately, Enda Kenny did not do the same for our Katy. Instead, online petitions were launched asking for writers to free her.   

After close to 13 months, they conceded and tonight Katy finally ventures out into the world with her captor Ciaran by her side.

The two of them tear around bleak looking cityscapes (the back of the RTE canteen) while detectives tried to make headway on the case.

The Gardai have lost some public confidence of late - and that's no surprise if the Carrigstown cops are anything to go by. By any

standards, they seem to be an incredibly ineffectual bunch.

As Farrah points out in tonight’s episode it’s taken them a year to figure out Katy was still in Carrigstown.

“What have you been doing? Why did it take so long?” she asks incredulously.

She has a point. She might also ask why it takes the gardai so long to find Ciaran and Katy in tonight's episode.

Ciaran is literally bleeding to death and can barely walk, while Katy is wearing one of the worst ‘I’m in disguise’ wigs I’ve ever seen. They’re not exactly an inconspicuous couple.

Clearly, incompetent gardai make for more interesting, or at least, more drawn out plot lines.

The episode is filled with slaps, threats, screams and arrests. Some of the acting is a little OTT and the dialogue [“When will this end?”] seems to be echoing viewers thought rather than driving the action.

It's not the end - kidnapped Katy goes on the run with injured Ciaran in tonight's Fair City cliffhanger 

But none of this really matters. This is soap - we don’t want realism - we want convoluted storylines, hammy acting, and stock characters.

Sure the kidnap went on for too long, and became tedious, but it got us all talking - and more importantly pretending not to watch - Fair City.

That’s some serious achievement - UK soap ratings have been falling relentlessly for years.

The fact that Katy and her box has been such a talking point proves that this soap‘s bubble hasn’t burst just yet.

Its popularity definitely wasn't harmed by Katy's captivity - let's see if it is by her freedom.

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