As someone with ASD I have had multiple special interests over the years. During my pre-teens that special interest was Holby City.
At it’s peak my love for Holby was more of an addiction than an interest, no matter what was going on in the world, at 8pm on Tuesday night I was in the front room watching BBC One with an invisible ‘DO NOT DISTURB’ sign on the door. My obsession was so intense that, despite being adamant we all ate together nowhere other than at the kitchen table, my parents allowed me on occasion to eat mine in front of the telly to avoid unnecessary conflict.
For me hospital has always been a safe-place, somewhere I felt comfortable and safe, somewhere I could feel normal and as if I belonged. So seeing this on the TV, being able to absorb myself in the complex stories of the cast and view situations I could relate to, gave me an escape. After many tough days at school, watching this show was the thing that helped bring me back down to Earth, calm my uncontrolled emotions and give me strength to keep on going.
You may think reading this that I am over-exaggerating but I can assure you I am not. Tonight, comfortably sitting on my bed, I watched the latest episode. Seeing both Faye Morton and Joseph Byrne return to Holby City filled me with an embarrassing amount of emotion. I felt a buzz as it triggered memories of not only the characters I used to love (and also fancy) but also the salvation they used to give me.
I like many millennials have been absorbed by internet culture and now unfortunately struggle to keep up with weekly shows (let alone daily soaps). I will, however, never stop appreciating the escape they can give people and the powerful effect that soaps and continual dramas can have on one’s life.
The experience I had tonight was a weird one. It really is pathetic to get that emotional over two fake people. But, no matter how deplorable I’m telling myself it is I’m glad that I felt it. It reminded me of the person I once was and the person I used to want to be, it took me back to a time when, although things were definitely tough, they were in many ways simpler and above all else it reminded me just how great one hour of television can be.