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No Ender to misery.

Byline: Kevin O'Sullivan

FULL of festive cheer, Albert Square's Cockney rabble gathered around the Queen Vic piano... and mad Manda cried: "This calls for a song!"

Yes, the atmosphere was bursting with seasonal joy.

Evil Archie was busy making the Mitchells homeless and throwing a succession of women on to the street, Ronnie suffered a miscarriage, traumatised Tanya dumped bankrupt Max for good - and Stacey thrilled blushing Bradley by revealing she was pregnant after being raped.

Ho ho ho! It was Christmas... everybody wasn't having fun.

Apart from crazed Archie who marched triumphantly into the Vic, beat his daughter up and snarled: "Now's the time to make it as painful as possible."

He certainly did. For Peggy, Phil, Ronnie, Ian, Janine, Bradley... to name but six ludicrous losers.

All of whom vowed to exact violent revenge on a cartoon villain whose pointless scheming was always unbelievable. Literally.

Another delirious December 25 as depressing EastEnders trudged through its traditionally dark agenda of doom, gloom and disaster.

Especially the chilling news that following decades of protracted indecision, horror couple Rickaaay and Bianca are to marry.

Talking of gruesome twosomes; dragooned into starring in Mo's poxy panto, Darren looked confused when huge Heather showed him their lovechild and announced: "He is to become king of the Jews." Better than working at the car lot, I suppose.

Back to caricature baddie Archie... and, OMG, he got his comeuppance. An unseen mystery murderer smashed that hideous Queen Victoria bust on to his head and left him to choke his last words. The impossibly D U S down the Holmes jokes... Fattest Man In Britain. by Caroline Aherne "comedian" Tommy strange ITV drama by a remarkable from Timothy poignant: "I'm sorry." So you should be mate. Whodunit? The long list of potential suspects is intriguingly endless. Sadly, they'll string this one out until we've stopped caring.

But the real tragedy was that Archie 's deserved demise failed to deliver much more than a plodding hour of mediocre melodrama.

But at least the BBC tried. Which is more than can be said of Coronation Street, where pintsized adulterers Kevin Webster and Molly Dobbs's illicit affair remained a sordid secret.

What a load of cobblestones! When sobbing Sally's breast cancer revelation forced caring Kev to abandon his Yuletide mission to leave her, it amounted to a dereliction of duty. We wanted families destroyed... not saved with seconds to spare.

Mean -while, in TV's village of the damned, Emmerdale dweeb Debbie incinerated millions of pounds as her psychotic parents Cain and Charity made implausible plans to tie the knot. Because they hate each other.

The soaps at Xmas eh? Dreadful decorations, nauseating nativity plays and catastrophic karaoke. All a bit rubbish.

And yet still we watch...

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

You can let me know at the email address above

A shapeless mess with no format played almost entirely for the exclusive enjoyment of the cast and the studio audience. Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway? No. c p s s ITV's similarly self-indulgent Ant and Dec's Christmas Show.

DUST down the Eamonn Holmes jokes... it's The Fattest Man In Britain. Written by Caroline Aherne and starring "comedian" Tommy Ball, this strange ITV drama was saved by a remarkable performance from Timothy Spall.

WHAT fun it wasn't to endure Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special. Just days after the final between two men we've forgotten. When will the BBC realise that millions of us are bored by bloody ballroom?

CAPTION(S):

Going bye-byes... Janine & Archie
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 27, 2009
Words:585
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