Our Rating: ★★★★☆
L Factor: Minor lesbian character
Short Take: Lives of fictional professional soccer players and their wives from Earls Park, England. One of the big agents is a lesbian.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 2002
Duration: 49 min
Language: UK/English
MPAA: Not Rated
Writer: Paul Marquess
Starring: Gillian Taylforth, Zoe Lucker, Alison Newman, Chad Shepherd, Gary Lucy, Jesse Birdsall, Sarah Barrand, Laila Rouass, John Forgeham, Peter Ash, Ben Price, Susie Amy, Ben Richards, Helen Latham, Cristian Solimeno, Jamie Davis, Daniel Schutzmann, Philip Bretherton

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Footballers Wives

Infidelities, wild spending, attempted murder, tabloid headlines – these are all part of the lives of the fictional professional soccer players from Earls Park, with wives who rival their husbands as they lie and cheat. ‘Footballers Wives’ is a UK nighttime soap (also playing on BBC America) with sensational and outrageous storylines.

At the center of this trashy, campy world is captain Jason Turner (Cristian Solimeno), a bully who drinks too much and has a new ‘tart’ every week. His wife Tanya (Zoe Lucker) will stop at nothing to protect her marriage and the lavish lifestyle it affords her.

In the last two episodes of season one, Jason takes on a new agent, lesbian Hazel Bailey (Alison Newman, ‘Bad Girls,’ ‘Hex’). Hazel and Tanya, both most often with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other, become good friends in season two.

Hazel’s sexual orientation is well known. At one point Freddie (Jessica Brooks), the manager’s daughter, goes in for a kiss and invites her to have a threesome with Sal Biagi (Daniel Schutzmann), the team’s Italian star. Hazel wisely declines. One night Hazel does get Tanya into bed, but only after Tanya indulges in a little cocaine.

Hazel’s influence on the players and management of Earl’s Park continues to grow. In seasons three and four, she will take over control of the club, only leaving when she falls in love with a tennis player. Also of note in season two is the discovery that Jason’s illegitimate son Paddy is intersexed, with a good deal of discussion about the issues to be faced.

It’s an addictive, over the top show, made by the people who brought us ‘Bad Girls.’ The two series actually crossover when Tanya is briefly sent to Larkhall for cocaine possession in ‘Bad Girls’ season six. (AB)