Week in TV Soaps (w/e 19/08)
Lois' sanity was saved this week as stuff finally happened in EastEnders! And it also proved to be an eventful week for the residents of Weatherfield and Emmerdale too...
Coronation Street (written by Jacob Martin)
Katy and Chesney once again demonstrated that they truly are Soap’s Youngest Old Married Couple. They’re always bickering (usually about bills, or where the next meal’s coming from, or how she’s going to afford her next blue rinse), they plan to go out to the coast but then decide to stay local and just spend some quality time together, and they’re now also facing one of the most common problems in kitchen-sink life: should Katy become a surrogate for her sister? No, was the instant response, but Izzy and Gary, having just been told they would be unlikely to be able to adopt, were soon persuaded.
As for everyone else, well, in true Weatherfield style, they found out on the day of Joseph’s christening (it just wouldn’t have had the same impact if it had come out in the front room!). This resulted in Chesney feeling betrayed, and also required him to do something other than look gormless or cling onto post boxes, while Owen well and truly kicked off; that was hardly surprising, though, seeing as he’d kick off if he found out his watch was running ten seconds slow.
Elsewhere, it was a near-miss for my Mary, coming very close to leaving before Hayley talked her out of it, allowing her very sweet friendship (and nothing more!) with Roy to recommence. Meanwhile, Karl was employed as Kirk’s glamorous assistant in the Underworld packing department; sadly Eva put paid to their partnership before Kirk had the chance to saw Karl in half, playing the old swap-the-labels-on-the-boxes trick to get him fired.
Finally, it was a rather mixed week for Steve. While he, at last, rekindled his relationship with Michelle, they’ve since fallen out about six times. And why? Tracy. Gutted that Steve doesn’t really love her, she’s now intent on having her revenge, but I wouldn’t worry; she spends so much time in hospital that she probably won’t be out long enough to even bash him over the head with a statuette. And she’d never do a thing like that anyway, right?
EastEnders (written by Lois Cameron)
Thank goodness for Sharon. Is it sheer coincidence that the week she sweeps back into Albert Square, all fake tan and general fabulousity, things finally start to happen? Well, yes, actually, it is a little bit coincidence.
She may not have played much of a role in the reveal of Heather’s murderer, but the fact that one of Phil’s most famous exes was floating around while it happened made his new life falling apart even sadder (/better) to watch. After months of stringing it out, months of Ben looking guilty and Jay looking guilty and Shirley looking sad and Phil looking like he was about to have a heart attack, the truth finally came to light. Even then, it took about four episodes too long for all the facts to come out; we got a couple of episodes of Shirley and Denise playing Poirot and Hastings, and then another where Shirley still had the wrong end of the stick, blaming Phil instead of Ben. Even after Ben had handed himself in, we were treated to Shirley’s “I’ll hide the evidence, wait does that mean he’ll get off? OK, it’s in the washing machine” moment. Still, let’s not be churlish: Ben’s confessed and we no longer have to watch him try and look guilty.
But really, who cares about all that when we have Sharon to watch? After weeks of stagnation and boredom, it was a thrill to see so much happen to one character in a week. Not only did she run away from her wedding to film critic extraordinaire Mark Kermode, she then stopped him and his sister from the sexist Boots ads from kidnapping her son, returned to the Square, flirted with Jack, got Lucy to take Ian home, had a reunion with Billy and Tracey and then spent the night with Jack. That’s right, such is the power of Sharon, she can even make Tracey talk.
In other news, Kat let it slip to Janine that Michael wasn’t sure on their wedding day if he could love his future wife and child. Oops.
Emmerdale (written by Catherine Munn)
With all that excitement over at the haulage firm last week, attention now returns to the village’s more successful business venture, the B&B .In particular, Eric Pollard was the centre of female attention, as Val continued to fight for her husband, waging war on anyone who got in her way. Poor Brenda never stood a chance. Val is thrilled when Brenda finally leaves Eric, but Emmerdale’s Most Desirable Man has other problems, with Kerry caught in the act of stealing from the B&B piggy bank. I really like Kerry and her reversed mother-daughter dynamic with Amy, although I wouldn’t trust her cooking; a family lunch went awry when her special ‘Bunga Bunga’ curry (so called because she “just bungs everything in”) kept the Pollard family glued to the toilet the next day. Not so desirable now, Eric, eh?
The battle to keep Baby Leo in the village also continues, with the Marlon/Paddy bromance lying in tatters. Marlon refuses to back down over his court order, but it’s not long before Paddy and Rhona discover the real reason that Marlon’s staying behind: a certain vicar’s wife, perhaps? Paddy tries his hand at blackmail, threatening to reveal their affair to Ashley unless the court order is dropped, but it’s a halfhearted attempt. This is Paddy, after all. He couldn’t blackmail a guinea pig.
There was happier news for Dan when he successfully wooed pub landlady Chastity, boosting his self-confidence and free pint intake no end. Dan’s a good bloke, but there’s a chance Chastity’s trying to make Cameron (not a good bloke) jealous, and it’s working.
I’m also glad to see the return of Zak’s storyline, which hasn’t been hugely prominent in recent weeks, but shows he is struggling in the aftermath of his breakdown. Instead of turning to Lisa, the Dingle prefers to talk to his boss, and new best friend, Megan. She tries to reassure him that things will get better, but the unpredictable nature of mental health problems may mean that’s it’s not so simple.