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Could it be tragic?

SADNESS! Hollyoaks, Channel 4, 6.30pm

HollyoaksEver since it was asserted on the messageboards that Mandy Richardson is the most tragic character in Hollyoaks history, it seems as though everyone else has been trying to sneak that accolade away for themselves. We'd assumed that her natural successor was poor sweet Hannah Ashworth, with her impressive skill at coping through tragedy with fabulous hair and a selection of lovely coats (more on this later), but even Mandy's former battered husband Tony is trying to get in on the act.

Arguably the most tragic thing about Tony is the fact that he's the only remaining member of the original cast, but perhaps his true misfortune lies in his attempts to start a family. Of course his first child, Grace, was inexorably tied up with Tragic Mandy when the kid became a victim of cot death, a tragic situation (we're basically being paid by the "tragic" for this writeup, fyi) from which their marriage never truly recovered. Interestingly, Tony received a letter from Mandy this week informing him that she'd just had a child with her new partner, but having now unexpectedly impregnated new ladyfriend Jacqui McQueen (who, incidentally, could do so much better), there's more tragic news in store for the couple tonight. Let's just say that we shouldn't be sending them any Mothercare vouchers right now.

Elsewhere, poor doomed Hannah is still in the throes of the debilitating eating disorder hannahrexia (that's the one where you inexplicably veer between anorexia and bulimia on a day-to-day basis) thanks to the bad influence of her almost zombified friend Melissa. Gilly, taking some time off from his day job as Cousin Itt's stunt double, has been trying to figure out what's going on (he should've taken some lessons from Russ Owen's mum, really) without much subtlety, forcing Hannah to issue him with an ultimatum. And, in a hilarious piece of meta, that ultimatum takes the form of Hannah saying she'll cry rape if he doesn't leave her alone. Be sure to distinguish between good rape and bad rape, Hannah. We all learnt the difference last year, remember?

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According to Marxist theory, cultural forms such as opera, classical music and the literary works of Shakespeare all fall under the heading of high culture. Low culture refers to a wide variety of cultural themes that are characterised by their consumption by the masses. We might not be Marxists, but we do know we loved Footballers Wives. If you do too, you'll know what this is all about.

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