An active audience – “I hate Eastenders, do you?”

This week, as part of our active and passive audience task, we had to come up with a provocative statement on the lines of “I hate , do you?”.

We chose Eastenders as the media object we wanted to discuss.

So to begin, we sat up a Facebook group with a small 8 question survey that we were going to get people to complete. We decided to link our friends and family to the group and they could answer the questions. Some people chose to message members in the group who then relaid the messages in the comments section. We also printed off several of the questionaires and passed them round.

The questions were as follows:

  • Do you hate Eastenders?
  • Do you watch Eastenders?
  • If yes, what is it you don’t like?
  • What changes would you make?
  • Any new characters you would add?
  • Would you bring any past characters back?
  • Would you change the time slot, and if so what time?
  • What format do you watch it in? (iPlayer, TV, On Demand, Games console, Mobile phone etc.)

To show the answers, I have made some graphs and summarised the main points of what people were saying.

  • Do you hate Eastenders?

In regards to this question, a lot of people said they didn’t “hate” it as such, it’s just that it wasn’t their cup of tea.

The next question was in relation to the first.

  • If yes, what is it you dont like about the program?

The responses that got here were that the show is too depressing, it’s not funny, it’s unrealistic and predictable. What we can see from these answers is that the consensus of people who “hate” Eastenders are after something more entertaining which will make you laugh and feel in good spirits. We could place these people in the NRS classing system as C1,C2,D,E.

  • Do you watch Eastenders?

Over half of the people we had fill in the surveys said that they watched the program. Some did say that they only watched it because it was the only thing watchable. We categorised these people in the yes section.

The next question was aimed at everyone who filled in the survey.

  • What changes would you make to the program?

This question is good so we can get the views from both sides of the coin. People who like the show, still might want to make changes to like it further, and people who don’t like it at all can make changes to fuel their enjoyment. The views we got from the responses were that the show needs to be more light-hearted, have no annoying characters (Jean Slater) who you can’t relate to and link more into real life issues such as stress, illnesses and new jobs etc. I think that what these responses show is that the show is very bland in some peoples eyes. I may also add that somebody who likes the show says that these changes (mostly highlighted by people who don’t like the show) would make the show more enjoyable and possibly relate more to the real world.

  • Any new characters you would add?

According to the data we recorded, the show needs good looking male characters, less wannabe gangsters (The Mitchells) and more stereotypical londoner characters. The final bit of that response may link into the need of the show being more funny as typically, Londoners tend to be very happy go lucky people who like a laugh.

  • Would you bring any past characters back?

The interviewee’s would like to see various characters back or even just mentioned in the program. These are people like Martin and Sonia Jackson, Nana Moon, Dotty, The Di-Marco’s and Dawn and Garry. Some people got carried away as some of the characters they mentioned are actually dead and can’t return. Again, mentioning these characters would make the show more real in people’s opinion as in the real world, people still talk about family or friends who have passed away or moved away.

  • Would you change the time slot, and if so what time?

Most of the responses showed that they like the time slot as it is easier for them to watch it in the evening’s when they are home from work or university. They also pointed out that the evenings show is also replayed on BBC Three at 10pm and on Sunday’s in a omnibus so the time slots they used don’t need to be changed. However, from the people who responded ‘Yes’, they said that the show’s time slot get’s in the way of other programs they enjoy more and would rather see it on earlier in the evening. They also said that a change in time slot may allow them to watch the program if they didn’t previously.

  • What format do you watch it in? (iPlayer, TV, On Demand, Games console, Mobile phone etc)

This graph shows the different ways the respondents typically watch the program. Most people watch it on the TV which is the norm and lots of the students who responded said they watch it either their games console or on the iPlayer. This could possibly be down to them not having a TV licence or not being around at the time it is on and they have to catch up. One respondent said they watch it on both the TV and the iPlayer so it shows people are not just limited to watching it on one stage.


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