New Eastenders family to keep mainly to themselves

Ed Williamson

24th April 2015

Eastenders today announced the arrival of new family the Lees, and confirmed that whatever big storylines are in store for them are largely irrelevant as they'll be conducted behind closed doors like most people's are.

The Lees are intended to represent the reality of modern London, in which talking to strangers is massively ill-advised because they're probably terrorists who will bomb your face in, graverobbers, white-slavers or just a bit stabby. Worse still, if they're your neighbours it might result in a social contract obliging you to talk to them again and risk uncomfortable silence. The family's interactions with other Albert Square residents will accordingly be minimal.

Upcoming storylines include:

  • Gary Lee wordlessly nodding hello to next-door neighbour Max Branning every morning as they leave their houses, until he starts to time his departure so he can avoid the awkwardness, hiding behind the front door till Max has gone
  • his wife Belinda giving Shabnam a half-smile then avoiding eye contact while waiting for her card payment to go through at the Minute Mart
  • the family not understanding why they've been invited to the wedding of someone they've only spoken to twice
  • son Alex seeing Alfie walking towards him from the end of Bridge Street and doing that thing where you catch each other's eye too early then you have to look away and pretend you've only just noticed each other when you get ten feet away
  • daughter Althea having a job that isn't on the Square, and therefore not being around much during the day
  • Gary avoiding the Queen Vic because Mick talked to him last time while pouring his drink and he feels like he'd have to have a conversation if he went in again, when all he can think of is "So, do you ... like running a pub?" He just gets cans in instead.

Meanwhile Coronation Street has announced plans for a new family that talks to you cheerily all the bloody time when you're just trying to go about your day, as if that's somehow better.

More:  Eastenders  BBC
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