Click to download as a PDF


For more on this topic, check our Sessions > TV Culture session.

Kelly has to speak in a ridiculous kind of ‘Essex girl’ accent (or generally sound not too bright).

(I’m not suggesting everyone from Essex isn’t bright!)


Kelly – I just saw Westsiders on TV. What an episode. Double length, double the plot.

Liz – Oh yeh and what was so good?

Kelly – Well. Where do I start. Dee found out about Will and Claire. And Helen found out that John has a secret life as a trainspotter. And the New Lick Of Paint Pub had an arson attack and Lucy the barmaid broke one of her nails. Nat found out that Josh was seeing Jade behind her back. Jade found out that Bill was seeing Gemma even though he said he liked Pauline. And then little Brooklyn tripped over an onion in the kitchen and bashed his head into a cabbage

Liz – Right. Sounds, er, different.. But what was good about it?

Kelly – What was good? What do you mean?

Liz – Well, all this bad stuff happened so what happened that was good?

Kelly – It’s got good acting..

Liz – Good acting? What you mean the cabbage? Listen, Mary Poppins has got good acting in, doesn’t mean to say I’m gonna go watch it!

Kelly – Well, it’s real life ain’t it? It’s gritty urban realism.

Liz – Gritty urban realism? I live in gritty urban realism. It’s called inner-city Birmingham! (Apologies to Brummies but I’m a Brummie so I can say this!)

Kelly – You know what I mean. It reflects real life.

Liz – It doesn’t reflect my life. But even if you’re right, where are the churches? How many cool Christian role models are there? Where is the good stuff?

Kelly – Well there is some..

Liz – Listen girl, Westsiders offers you a diet that’s worse tasting than slimfast – of sin – greed, violence, lust, sex, hatred, drunkenness and dodgy stuff. Whatcha want to fill your head with that for?? And what does it offer as the solution to all this? Nothing. Diddly. Squat. No hope. No escape. No freedom. Nothing.

Kelly – So what am I supposed to do? Put on a robe, shave my head and go and live in a cave on Dartmoor?

Liz – Er, no, not unless you are hoping for a monastic future. How often do you talk about Westsiders?

Kelly – Me and the girls always talk about it.

Liz – The Bible says fill your head with Jesus. Solid. Fill your mind with what God wants you to do, with everything that is true, right, pure. How much of Westsiders does this?

Kelly – Well, not much. But everyone watches it. I don’t like being left out and that..

Liz – Yeh I understand but listen up, God says we’ve got to be different. Just cos you don’t watch Westsiders don’t mean you’re not cool. You’ve got loads to offer people. Maybe you can help other people stop watching this stuff and help them see there’s more to life. Get out more! What would Jesus do?

Kelly – I suppose he’d be out there you know..

Liz – Ai. Well put it dis way, Jesus wouldn’t be out watching Westsiders, Little Brother and all this wack stuff. If you want real life, full life, get mad for Jesus not mad for Westsiders. Do what Jesus wants.

Kelly – But being a Christian can be so boring..

Liz – Yeh right.. let me tell you what’s going on in my church – people divorced and hurting, others with family who are dying, others who have gone off as missionaries to foreign lands that need our prayer, money and time, other young people strugglin with family breakdown, troubles and a hard life. Now that’s urban realism.. I’ll tell you what else. You don’t see Westsiders helping people with their lives do ya? Nah mate they just giving it all this and that just to make you waste your time. 

Kelly – But it offers people hope, an escape..

Liz – The only thing that’s boring is sitting in watching Westsiders – if you watch Westsiders twice a week all your life that’s like 52 hours a year times 80 years – that’s 4160 hours or 174 days! That’s not what I’d call getting a life.