When I said last time that I would round up my feelings on various soap matters every so often, I bet you thought I didn’t have the stamina to see it through. Shows how wrong you are, doesn’t it? So what’s happened since I last took a step back and had an overall look over soapland? Peter and Rob are both gone from Corrie, Shirley has reappeared in EastEnders and Jimmy King has had the snip reversed in Emmerdale. What hasn’t happened? Alfie Moon hasn’t become likeable yet and no one has burned down that blasted Weatherfield Community Centre. Still, Corrie have announced an exciting live episode for next September, so there’s an idea on what they can do for that.
Here we are then, a handful of things off the top of my chaotic head that I’ve adored and despised in equal measure. Of course, I’m only right 95% of the time, so I’d love to hear your views on what’s nailed it and what’s missed the spot. We have a gorgeous comments box which is just aching for your opinions and you can also chat to me on Twitter HERE: https://twitter.com/Our_manPLA
What I’ve LOVED
Emmerdale: The White Clan
Home Farm needs a family with a bit of dosh, a bit of class and a whole lot of bitchiness about the place and all of the Whites, except perhaps the dog (so far) tick every one of those boxes. Lawrence, despite spending much of his time trying to get rid of his son in law and faking heart attacks, is a thoroughly likeable character, while caramel voiced Chrissie is the much needed bit of posh that Emmerdale has been lacking since the Lady Tara Oakwell days. She is fiesty, knows her own mind and wickedly sharp but also has a vulnerability to her given that she has fallen hook, line and sinker for the odious Robert. Speaking of whom, he has come come back with a new face and his wickedness cranked up by several hundred degrees and he is such a brilliantly camp villain that I love him already. His smarmy smirk, his little schemes, his manipulation of all of those around him; he has livened Emmerdale and the Sugden clan up no end. A character we will love to hate, I can’t wait to see what he gets up to next and, when Chrissy discovers his true colours, her reaction will be top claaarrrssss darling while Lawrence will have an incredibly well deserved ‘I told you so’ smile. Beautiful!
EastEnders: Stan Carter
Hasn’t Stan really come into his own of late? It’s a shame that he’s only really been given a chance to shine as part of a storyline that will end in his death. Timothy West is a sensational actor and a real coup for the show and he is proving just why at the moment. In particular, his barbed stand offs with Aunt Babe are a joy to watch; I simply can’t get enough of him telling her to shut up and I nearly choked on my pea and ham soup when he started discussing the fragrance of her perspiring nether regions. His gruff exterior masks an endearing vulnerability; he hasn’t shown many signs of fearing his impending fate and yet in his touching conversation with Tina, we could see he wasn’t as ready to go as he makes out. Excellent stuff!
In her recent scenes where she learned that Ali had slept with Dopey Dan, Alicya Eyo took the character of Ruby to new heights. I’ve always liked Alicya, how can anyone who was a fan of Bad Girls not? But Ruby is a genuinely warm character that really has become a staple of life in Emmerdale. Often she plays her part in the background; giving that nice community feel in the cafe that make those scenes authentic. Her character is amiable, strong but soft at heart too and her strength and maturity in forgiving Ali made me respect the character even more. In recent scenes we have seen Ruby fighting for the church to allow a blessing for herself and Ali and, while Harriet is reluctant right now, we know its only a matter of time before Ruby gets her own way. And, with Sean set to return for a Spencer reunion on the big day, I can’t wait to see one of the Dales’ strongest couples tie the knot and make it official. Baby next, guys?
Coronation Street: Sally and Tim
What a relationship this is; in a fairly gloomy Corrie right now, Sally and Tim, along with the third wheel that is Kevin, are an absolute tonic to watch. Tim wasn’t the most likeable character when he first joined Corrie but Joe Duttine has found a perfect balance to make his alter ego funny, interesting and loveable. He doesn’t hide what he is: he’s a bloke’s bloke, not got a great deal going on between the ears and likes a bit of beer and telly. This couldn’t be more of a contrast to Sally, who is always striving (and hilariously failing) to make it higher in the world. And yet somehow, despite their differences, they just click. Tim started off quite aloof with Sally and I didn’t see much mileage in the relationship. But there was an unmistakeable spark that clearly made producers sit up and think they have accidentally found the Street’s next legendary couple. Long may they stick together!
What I’ve LOATHED
Coronation Street: Moody Kal and Chesney
If it’s not interfering Kal playing the overprotective and embarrassing dad to his adult children, then it’s mopey Chesney bringing everyone’s mood down and ambling around the place with a face like a pale smacked bum. I have mixed feelings on the Nazirs. I really do quite like Alya and Zeedan but the perma-bore Kal just winds me up the wrong way and don’t get me started on his hammy, Shakespearean mother. Kal is dull, with a capital D but he doesn’t even make up for it by being a likeable chap like boring but amiable Ashley Peacock was. Whenever we do see Kal, he’s expressing disappointment in his children or trying to wreck their job opportunities by having ‘the talk’ with their bemused bosses or bosses to be. Cringe. Meanwhile, gone are Chesney’s cute loveable days of when he was a wee scamp, I’m all about Team Craig right now. Chesney, the mardy so and so, actually depresses me. Absolutely wrecking the return of Cilla with his petulant ways, I want to throw a brick at my screen when he slouches onto it and I would love to give the divine Sinead a gentle shake and tell her to find someone with a bit of a smile about them before he saps all of the fun out of her.
EastEnders: Selfish Sonia
I’ve never been a Sonia fan but any positive feelings I felt towards her before now completely dissipated when she made daughter Rebecca give up her dreams of music school so that Sonia ‘s marriage to Martin wouldn’t suffer. It’s pretty much the number one item in the bad parenting bible to tell a child that they are the only thing keeping their parents together but nevertheless, that didn’t stop Sullen Sonia going down that route. Just a week later, we have endured even more moaning from her about how Martin isn’t very nice to her anymore and she turned the charity calendar event into being all about her. I understand the angle of body image but I don’t dislike Sonia for any cosmetic reasons such as her looks; I just simply don’t like her because she’s irritating.
Emmerdale: Crime Capital
I love action packed storylines and it’s always great fun when a soap goes the extra mile to create a special, belief stretching plotline. For Emmerdale, that was the great showdown at the lake where Declan held Charity hostage and accidentally killed his nephew Robbie with a flare gun. But now Emmerdale are going a bit far with their crime storylines. Yet another team have gotten together to go on petty crime sprees with Charity; this time it’s Ross and Aaron who I assume we’re supposed to take as the new brooding, gorgeous double act. I can’t really be bothered with much more car stealing or any more kidnaps, armed robberies or sieges, it’s a small village, please give it a rest. And if one more person gets locked up in that bloody storage container…
Coronation Street: Dud Exits
You have four characters to write out, two of whom have been at the centre of the year’s biggest storyline; so what was going on with the departures we have had recently? A flat wedding and then an arrest for Rob Donovan was a really damp way to end the Tina murder storyline and as for Peter being shunted off in a cab, I don’t even know where to start. But there is no way that he would get up and go, abandoning Simon all over again, just like that after the only thing getting him through prison was seeing his son again. I didn’t buy it. To make things worse, they wrote out Cilla and Foghorn Fiz (hooray, my ears are relieved by this at least!) in the very same episode by, yep you guessed it, sending them away in a cab. For an episode packed with character departures, I have never felt so bored. Is this the Stuart Blackburn effect kicking in? Pull your socks up Corrie!
Written By Our Man In The North