Are some soap characters too unbelievable?

Last night while I was watching Corrie, it occurred to me that of all the characters in the Street, the pops-up-occasionally character of Jackie Dobbs is one of the most OTT and unbelievable of them all.

I know soaps, dramas and well, pretty much any telly programme needs extravagant characters or it would be just plain dull, but are our soap writers and casting departments going a tad overboard with characters like her? I think so and I find it kind of annoying…

I mean really, who is a) that gobby, that eccentric and that much of a hard faced moo that she’d turn up after ripping her son off and b) why would Tyrone and Molly not just slam the door in her face?

Ditto with Nick Cotton really, just in a slightly less obvious way, but the latest storyline in which he sells his daughter… seriously, really??

Soaps work for me because they have some basis in reality; ok, it’s magnified and intensely dramatic reality but some storylines and characters just go beyond what I have as a mental boundary and stray into territory labelled You’re Taking The P*** Surely?

Gennie in Emmerdale is a good example too. Who dresses like that other than maybe Aunt Sally and Worzel Gummidge?

Kelly Crabtree in Corrie also has this enormously OTT persona and ludicrous outfits that I can see overall is meant to be funny but just isn’t. I can’t buy into her at all.

I felt the same about Cilla Battersby and I think the Windass parents are going to have the same effect on me. Nobody’s that thick skinned, thick and shambolic surely?

Viv in Emmerdale ended up being totally ridiculous by the time she got banged up too. Who would go meet a Private Investigator alone – with only your babies in a big unwieldy buggy – in high heels, at a remote spot to collect THE only copy of the evidence against a man who set her up? Nobody, that’s who.

In EastEnders, most of the time I can live with Heather and her naivety/stupidity but when she starts on the ‘Mummy’ stuff, and is generally so bumbling and hapless that I suspect she may in fact be mental, she loses all credibility for me.

So what do you think?

Are some of the characters so unbelievable that they make you lose interest in them or do you think that soap needs big, OTT characters?

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.