All soaps go through patches where it’s not at its best and while 6 months from now Emmerdale could be great, I personally can’t see it happening, not without some major changes behind the scenes.
Let’s go back to enforced shutdown of production during COVID-19 in March 2020. While I completely understood why this happened ITV rushed to get the show back on the air and we as viewers were told how ‘we wouldn’t notice social distancing,’ this was quite frankly laughable.
EastEnders, however, went on their hiatus, and came back much stronger in many ways, even finding ways to negate the 2 meters needed between cast members with techniques such as the use of perspex screens.
I don’t feel Emmerdale has ever truly picked back up to be really honest. Sure, there have been some stand out stories but the show feels very much like it’s limping to a very slow, and painful, demise.
Prior to the infamous Emmerdale plane crash in 1993, the show was ‘read the riot act’ by the powers that be and said, ‘You’re going to have to do something to boost the viewing figures.’
Fast forward 30 years and it feels like something really needs to be done because no amount of storms, explosions, deaths and misery will save something when even the loyalist of fans have grown tired.
There is little to no sign of anything remotely happy about Emmerdale right now – not even Jai and Laurel’s upcoming wedding is enough to be happy about when this whole Rishi/daddy plot will probably play into it, predictable much.
Tracy’s return was welcome except if you aren’t a regular viewer it’s easy to feel like you missed 6 months of episodes with them suddenly getting married – seriously, fucking slow down. The pacing of your stories feels all over the place.
Also want to mention holier-than-thou Gabby who pushed and pushed Nicky who did turn her down originally. Has Gabby forgot she actually shot Will?
A point I’ve said on more than one occasion is no matter how good your LGBT+ representation is, when you screw it up that is what people will remember. Next week is no different we have Mary who after her con artist girlfriend Faye ran off a few months ago, reappears. Not content with already causing misery for Mary the first time around she now wants Mary to retract her police statement or she’ll leak nude photos to everyone in the village – what’s wrong with writing someone that isn’t a complete scumbag? are Emmerdale pushing to see how far they can take accepetance in a storyline before we completely switch off?
Vinny and Liv were a great pairing but I still don’t think Emmerdale knew how to write for Liv. After Liv and Vinny got married that was basically the end of them. They vanished for ages only reappearing shortly to the character getting killed off we had trouble and angst when her mother appeared to did her best to try and cause trouble – then they went and dropped a caravan on her.
Meanwhile, down in Walford things are much better – at I feel they are – we have Chris Clenshaw at the helm, a man who you get a sense that he actually enjoys the stories and characters and this isn’t simply a 9-5 day job for him. The stories flow better with there being a mixture of drama and humor, we have lots to look forward that actually seems exciting.
One of the best things about EastEnders at the present times is their ability to draw on their own history and it not be complete trash. Cindy, Ian, Peter, Lauren all returning or appearing. We have Lisa back for a story while and EastEnders played this brilliantly by having her turn up at the start of the episode and not just the closing moments. We have the wonderful Angela Wynter back as Yolande which is fantastic news as it gives Patrick (Rudolph Walker) screen time. That’s something else Emmerdale is really lacking – a well used cast of older characters.
EastEnders is making pairings that are loved on social media with Ben and Callum, Suki and Eve. Even Ian and Cindy have been reunited as a couple again.
We’ve got this whole Christmas death mystery to look forward to which is actually exciting when you consider some of the best characters are invovled and each of them with mutiple different reasons for wanting someone dead…roll on Christmas 2023.
EastEnders played a blinder with Lola’s storyline and credit where it is due Danielle Harold and Jamie Borthwick deserve all the awards for this. Much like Faith’s death in Emmerdale this goes to show that you don’t need stunts and stampeding cows to tell a good story.
EastEnders is going from strength to strength and is saddens me I don’t feel that same from Emmerdale. If there is passion for the show behind the camera it certainly doesn’t come across that way in the episodes.
With both Classic Emmerdale and EastEnders airing daily ITV should dive into their own history, what works, and characters they could build upon – they have 50 years to look at.
EastEnders airs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on BBC One at 7.30pm
Emmerdale airs on weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV1