I hate Aaron’s current storyline on Emmerdale! If, so far, from the title and opening sentence you have no clue what I’m going on about, allow me to quickly fill you in. Emmerdale is a long-running British soap opera and Aaron Livesy (Danny Miller) is arguably my favourite character on the show.
I found out about Emmerdale about two years ago when, by chance, I happened on a YouTube video highlighting “Aarson”, Emmerdale’s resident gay couple at the time, Aaron and Jackson (Marc Silcock). Directly after seeing that video, I binged-watched the entire Aarson storyline, and they quickly became one of my favourite gay tv couples.
The beauty of the Aarson storyline was that the relationship was a tumultuous, yet deeply loving, one. The writers were able to portray Aaron and Jackson as both best friends, and boyfriends. Though they went through a lot of the typical issues of gay characters on television (coming out, self-hatred etc), they ultimately ended up with a storyline so intense and out of the ordinary, that it completely transcended their sexual orientation, and you had no choice but to set their relationship as a measure of how much two people could love each other, gay or straight.
Every few months, I go back and rewatch the Aarson story from beginning to end but, like clockwork, I always end up in a crippling depression at the end. This isn’t an exaggeration, either. For two or three days after, I always get this sadness that I cannot shake off. That’s how powerful their story was.
Now, after Aarons’s departure and return to the show, the Emmerdale writers have decided to pair him up with another character, Robert, who is not only incredibly obnoxious and unlikeable, but engaged to a woman! It’s just… I mean, how many times are we going to get this same cliché storyline? After the lengths that this show went to in order to get Aaron to finally love and accept himself, they set him right back up with someone who is in the closet and, therefore, unable to ever match the sort of connection that he had with Jackson.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m very aware that this is just a television show – a soap opera, no less – and the more drama that can be included, the greater the viewership and ratings will be. Television shows, however, do have huge impacts on those who view them, and do a great deal in influencing thoughts. Even if this new storyline has no other real effects on viewers, or society at large, it is still a sharp indication that there will never be another Aarson.