Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
13 September, 2019

Everyone has their guilty pleasures. For many people that guilty pleasure is a cheesy melodramatic soap opera.

While most people indulge in daytime drama’s Shortland Street and Coronation Street, the Initiative’s Chief Exec, Oliver Hartwich, loves watching Brexit.

Formally known as 10 Downing Street in the pilot episode, Brexit has all the hallmarks of a good soap opera.

Typically defined as an ongoing serial drama, Brexit has no shortage of never-ending theatrics, surprising plot twists and concurrent storylines.

Early seasons focused on the referendum to leave the European Union, while the middle seasons focused on failing negotiations and party politics. Today, the focus is on a failed general election and an upcoming tomato crisis.

If these plotlines make no sense, that’s the point. Confusion and chaos are part of the current Prime Minister’s master plan.

Like any good soap opera, Brexit wouldn’t be complete without cliff-hangers.

First, it was former PM David Cameron’s resignation.

Two years later, it was PM Theresa May’s turn. May and loyal fans shed many tears.

Today, viewers are awaiting the current PM Boris Johnson’s resignation.

Brexit, like many other popular soap operas, has a raft of main and supporting characters that come and go through the seasons.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, Jeremy Corbyn and Angela Merkel are Brexit regulars, though I hear Corbyn is vying for a role in the main cast.

Famous cameos also make an appearance, US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are just two examples.

I’m still waiting for the one-hour special with the Queen and Duchess, Meghan Markle.

Unlike many popular soap operas, the characters in Brexit are neither young nor beautiful; however, they are remarkably bold and restless.

Brexit wouldn’t be a soap opera without extramarital affairs and crazy hairdos. Thankfully, Boris Johnson pulls double duty.

With all that said, soap operas eventually come to an end when the ratings start to dip.

On 31 October fans and critics will get to witness the shocking season finale of Brexit.

Not to disappoint, however, there is always a plot twist at the last minute.

No, Boris Johnson isn’t Theresa May’s long lost evil twin.

The twist is Brexit won’t ever be over even if it is ever delivered.

For some protagonists, Brexit won’t be enough. Conversely, some antagonists will be asking for ‘Brenter’ in the immediate aftermath.  

Whether Brenter becomes a spin-off soap opera or material for another season is yet to be decided.

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