Who would want to live in Coronation Street, Albert Square or Emmerdale at Christmas time? Soaps at Christmas are a must see with millions of viewers for they always bring shocks, surprises and misery. This year seemed to be no exception with the soaps battling it out for viewers on Christmas Day, each one bringing their own unique, although perhaps slightly dull, storyline to the turkey filled table.
Arguably the worst soap on TV during this Christmas, Albert Square was beaten in the TV ratings by none other than Mrs Brown’s Boys and it isn’t difficult to see why. This year Eastenders provided us with the removal of Alfie and Kat from the Vic and Janine finally being arrested for the murder of Michael Moon. Danny Dyer was finally introduced as Shirely’s brother Mick and the new landlord of the Queen Vic. With Alfie discovering that he may have another child on the way the joy was short lived when he realised that he was unemployed and homeless. But it seemed that love was in the air for Lola Mitchell and Peter Beale, yet it can never be when you note their surnames. A Beale and a Mitchell in love? Romeo and Juliet had it easier. Eastenders brought the usual tantrum from Bianca, a cancer bombshell for Bianca’s mother, and a doomed relationship. It was the usual misery from a soap which is slowly losing out to its ITV rivals.
Without a doubt, Coronation Street was the best show of the evening and that is with thanks to two characters: Roy and Hayley Cropper. With Hayley slowly dying from cancer, the couple’s story is heartbreaking and heart-warming at the same time. They spent their final Christmas together surrounded by loved ones who wanted nothing more than to make the couple happy, whilst Roy wanted them to leave so that he could spend time with his dying wife. His devotion to Hayley is apparent and is enough to bring viewers to tears. The best scene came after Mary had made an ill fated comment about Hayley not seeing another Christmas, when the Croppers took to the street and sat beside each other on a bus stop bench. Queue a snowball fight and Roy Cropper lobbing snow at anyone who declared war against him. Hayley’s laughter at the sight was enough to make any viewer shed a small tear at the mere thought of what will happen to her in the coming few weeks.
Meanwhile Nick continues to suffer from brain damage when he slapped wife Leanne for mocking him at the Christmas table. The after effects were a fallout for the family, with Gail defending her saintly son for being unable to control his actions and Gloria making snide comments about how Leanne will soon end up a battered wife. It does seem that Kylie just can’t stay out of prison after an argument with David about her affair drove her to the pub where she quickly got into a scrap with barmaid Tina. A conveniently timed police car arrived and she soon found herself spending the night in the cells. How shocking.
But it was the end scene which made the show worth watching as Roy Cropper peered out of his window to the sight of a snowwoman and snowman dressed as him and Hayley. It was that sight which made you realise how well loved these two characters are in the Street to everyone.
Emmerdale is another soap which did quite well during the Christmas period with its dysfunctional wedding, an ex-vicar having his hand stuck in a post-box, and Cain and Moira proving that they are one of the couples who should be left alone to happiness.
However, it wasn’t all fun, especially once Declan decided that Home Farm was cursed and therefore needed to be burnt down. He torched the place with malice, Charity Dingle standing by and yelling at him not to do it before turning into his alibi and claiming that he had been with her the entire time of the fire drinking at her house. His lie seemed to become insignificant once Sam and Rachel arrived at the scene of the fire, Sam thinking he had started the fire after he had gone back to Home Farm to return the Christmas presents they’d stolen from Declan. Another plot twist in the episode: Megan was in the burning building. Trained fire-fighters couldn’t get her from the blaze, yet once Declan jumped in to save his sister he got her out in record time. Perhaps that part was slightly unrealistic, but the fallout from the fire is going to be the driving storyline now.
Meanwhile, Alicia and David finally got married after a year of ‘will they, won’t they?’ Their happy day was short lived when Alicia’s sister Leyla returned to the Dales and was swiftly locked in a cupboard by Val to stop her from running Alicia’s wedding. Val had already done some sabotage after accidentally spilling red wine on Alicia’s gown. Regardless, she looked very fetching in her white tracksuit as she arrived to the church earlier than David. The sight of David and his dad Eric walking down the aisle towards her was a sight which brought some light relief to proceedings. However, it wasn’t long until the wedding the fallout began. Alicia’s nephew-turned-son, Jake, spoke to Leyla about how she’s his real mum and not his aunty. It’s all quite confusing for Christmas Day, but also heartbreaking to see a little boy so confused.
Emmerdale was most certainly worth a watch, and with the fallout from Christmas coming up, there will be plenty more shocks to come.