The show has major families so I'm breaking down the stories in that fashion. Some characters don't have families on screen anymore, so they'll be with the characters that they share the most story with at the present time.
Fraser Black was murdered and had been a mob boss. He had only two surviving daughters at the time of his death: Grace and infant Rose. Fraser was married to Sandy, though he was wooing Rose's mother Tegan Lomax. Grace is one of the most unsympathetic female characters I've seen on a soap, and reminds me somewhat of GH's Faith Roscoe as played by Cynthia Preston. Grace is involved with Trevor, who actually went to prison for a time for killing Fraser though he was proven not guilty.
Patrick and Maxine are a couple, though he is a lot older than her and abusive. He in charge of a school and is a monster to her. She's pregnant with a Downs Syndrome baby and he has continued to beat and humiliate her. If anyone is rooting for this duo, I'd be curious as to why. Maxine has had feelings for Dodger, (Patrick's son), but she didn't run off with Dodger as he slept with teenaged Holly. Holly cried rape because she felt guilty for cheating on her boyfriend Jason. In late July, Patrick and Maxine were married as all of Maxine's attempts to leave Patrick were thwarted. Patrick followed her after she went into a woman's shelter with Dennis's help and later put a knife in her luggage so she couldn't fly to America. After Patrick and Maxine's amazingly awful wedding, the couple had a reception to remember. Maxine wanted to leave and Patrick ripped her dress revealing that he had been abusing her. She finally got to leave Hollyoaks to visit her family in California. Patrick caused problems for his daughter Sienna and Sienna's child Nico. Sienna has extreme emotional issues and was abused by Patrick. He kept Sienna away from Nico, who like her mother and grandfather seems to be troubled. Hopefully Nico will break the curse of the Blake family.
Cindy is bipolar (though on screen she has yet to be diagnosed) and is Holly's mother. Holly seems to be more stable than her mother and tries to be there for her half-brother Hilton. Cindy has been involved with Dirk, who is a good man though a bit boring. As part of her mental issues, Cindy has been hallucinating Rhys, her former love and stole the lottery money from the McQueens and Blessing. Rhys died and during the BBC America run in 2006 was a character I liked, but I digress. Dirk is also Dodger's adoptive father and Dennis's Uncle. Dennis is involved with Blessing, who is mid-transition. Blessing was born male, but is saving up for surgery. They are also friends with George who hasn't had much story since his boyfriend left Hollyoaks.
Sam and Danny Lomax have three daughters Leela, Tegan and Peri. Sam is a policewoman, while Danny is a drama teacher. Danny is bisexual and hooked up with John Paul McQueen, and also nearly had an affair with his own biological son Ste. Sam knew about her husband's sexuality, though the girls had no idea until it was revealed during an event at Peri's school. (Danny actually took advantage of Peri having a brain tumor to continue to lie about his feelings for John Paul.) After Sam and Danny separated and Sienna thought Peri was her daughter, Leela shared that she was Peri's biological mother. Tegan was dealing with cancer, so she had no idea about the family secret. Sam sent Cameron to prison on trumped up charges, though since Leela was only 13 when she got pregnant, I'm surprised that Cameron wasn't in trouble for having sex with such a young girl even if he was also underage. Tegan had an affair with the much older Fraser Black and had a daughter named Rose with him. Sam and Danny died in a hit-and-run car crash in early August after they tried to take Peri out of the country. The girls and Ste are having to deal with the emotional fall out and not knowing who killed them.
They are the "white trash" family on Hollyoaks, though I don't know what the UK equivalent term is to white trash. None of them seem to work and all of them have interesting social lives. Nana (the great grandma) hits on much younger guys. Mercedes occasionally has a job, but it seems she gets work by manipulation. John Paul, the only male in the family, is gay and actually emotionally stable or at least he was until he was raped by his student Finn. John Paul freaked out after being attacked and lashed out at Robbie Roscoe. He went to prison and now is trying to find his way back as he never fully dealt with his emotions about the rape. Carmel is involved with policeman Sonny, who is less than honest in his profession. Phoebe was taken in by the McQueens and is a student who is in a pseudo triangle with Finn and Robbie.
Diane is the stepmother of Sinead and Finn, and married to Tony who has been a part of Hollyoaks since the beginning. Diane isn't a good mother if Sinead and Finn's behavior is taken into account. While I love Sinead, I never saw when she bullied Esther. Finn is a bully and a rapist, faked Freddie's witness statement, beat up Blessing and drugged Patrick. The only one of those actions I didn't hate was drugging Patrick, but he's also evil. Sinead fell apart after daughter Katy died due to medical malpractice, and vowed revenge on everyone including her former husband Freddie, Diane and especially Lindsey. Sinead got back at Freddie and Lindsey, by making Lindsey believe that she could have become HIV positive (though Sinead is negative) and made them admit to their affair. She started to go after Diane, but Tony stopped her with his kindness. Tony and Sinead are sleeping together behind Diane's back and this development thrills me as she got revenge even if she didn't plan it.
This family owns "The Dog in the Pond", which is the local bar. Darren and his on-and-off wife Nancy own the place. Darren's father Jack and stepmother Frankie, Tom (their nearly adoptive son), and Esther (Frankie's granddaughter) all live together, and also look after Darren and Nancy's kids. Darren has a bad heart, Nancy took John Paul's job teaching at the school. They also had to deal with Sienna, who tried to destroy Nancy and Darren's relationship. As part of her evil deeds, she even kidnapped Tom. More recently Nancy had an affair with Rick, though Darren has no idea that she cheated. Jack and Frankie work at the pub, while Tom and Esther are students. Jack had major issues dealing with Frankie's infidelity with Ziggy, but they got through it. (He took illegal viagra and was hospitalized.) Tom is a younger teen and the actor who plays the role has had his voice deepen in the short time that Hollyoaks has been on Hulu. Esther is a lesbian, but her last love interest left town with another woman early in the Hulu run.
Sandy and her boys make up the Roscoe clan. There is Joe, currently in prison for killing Fraser though not the culprit even if he was nearly killed by the mob. Freddie, who is the killer, but lying to protect himself. Ziggy, who is dating Leela, and seems like a nice guy other than his unfortunate relationship with Frankie. He seems to be easily manipulated as Sam was able to convince him to break into the Lomax home. The twins are Robbie and Jason, and Rick is their father who abandoned them until Jason found him running a bar, while on the run with Holly. Robbie was a bully and trying to get better, but we have no idea if he will ever be. Jason is nice, but has issues about his body image. He loves Holly, but she isn't content with him. Lindsey goes back and forth between Freddie and Joe and seems to be always pregnant. Lindsey also worked as a doctor, but seemed extremely incompetent.
- It is strange that the program has a family called the Blakes and a family called the Blacks.
- Unlike American soaps many of the characters are just plain unlikeable, and it seems like we shouldn't be rooting for them.
- The cast on Hollyoaks is huge, and sometimes people do disappear for a long time. This can be confusing, as at first I was confused when people appeared after being away. That being said if the "right" characters aren't on your first few days of watching it may take time to become interested.
- Hollyoaks doesn't have the greatest effects or budget, but sometimes the way things are done amuses me.
- The Lomax clan must be fans of Doctor Who if the naming of the girls is to be considered. Leela, Tegan and Peri were all companions on the classic show, while Rose was in the first in the 21st century. That said Hollyoaks is on Channel 4 in the UK not BBC, so perhaps someone was just trying to be funny.
- It took me a long time to not get confused with the Roscoes boys, and didn't even realize Robbie and Jason were twins until Rick was introduced. Robbie and Jason were seldom in scenes together and didn't interact at school, so I had no idea.
So those were my thoughts on Hollyoaks through early August. I hope to do semi-regular posts on the program as I see fit.