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Thursday, 24 April 2014

A thing I never expected to see...

...Phil Mitchell giving mouth-to-mouth to a newborn puppy, while Shirley looks on with desire in her eyes. 

EastEnders offered the above scene as part of their recent package of clunking contrasts, structured around the death of Lucy Beale. 

While Ian was receiving news of the discovery of his daughter's body on Walford Common (by a little girl wearing a very nice yellow cardigan; I think she was on an Easter Egg hunt), the rest of the Square was gathered in the pub, ringing the bell with wild abandon and doing shots to celebrate the birth of Lady Di's puppies. A classic soap birth/death episode.

Earlier we had also heard Ian's voice saying vaguely positive things to Peter, mixed over images of crime scene investigators dressed in paper suits passing in and out of Lucy's corpse marquee. I like it when EastEnders goes a bit freeform; such montage and voiceover scenes are enjoyably Hollyoaks via Home&Away in style, and something of which I approve. Though Coronation Street did a Christmas carol happy/sad montage in its Xmas day episode last year I think, which left me a bit displeased. Corrie should not be experimenting with its classic form as far as I'm concerned. 

Talking of Corrie, I am really enjoying it at the moment. The scripts and performances are on top form; it's very pacey and engaging and funny and dramatic and brilliant. Of particular brilliance lately (and for various reasons) are Carla, Eva, and Steve. 

Carla's attempts to appeal to the life-addled (and highly irksome) Simon are very endearing, especially as she keeps kicking off at him every five minutes. I'm glad Peter's done one to rehab, I hope he stays there a while. 

Eva has some great lines and good comedy timing. She seems to be thriving now she's out from the shadow of recently-departed Stella and Gloria (who were both great, it has to be said).

Steve's a long-term favourite of mine, but has been even more brilliant recently as he struggles to keep his temper around Tina, alongside doing his usual comedy japes like making a surprisingly good cake for Michelle's birthday (which was a much better scene than I just made it sound).

I'm absolutely ready for Tina to drop dead now. I wish her death storyline had been fast-tracked like Lucy Beale's. I'm also bored of Maria, though I enjoyed the scene where David confronted her about the texts she's been sending to Tyrone. I quite like David now; that scene a few weeks ago where he and Kylie went to a hotel and pretended to be French was incredible. 

So hopefully Tina will pop off soon enough, and we can do a compare/contrast of her and Lucy Beale's funerals. I haven't been a regular EastEnders viewer for quite a while, but I've been drawn back in by the Lucy storyline and might stick around to see how it pans out. I think Ian did it. He kept saying "She died!"... almost as if he wanted to say "She died when I hit her over the head with a framed photo of my nan!" but thought it best not to mention the second part. 

Edit: I forgot to mention Denise's day trip to Oxford to see her daughter whose name I can't remember but who is basically Saffy from Absolutely Fabulous. Denise did some pondering by a big tree, took a selfie near Saffy's office door, had a small cry and then vowed to dump Ian. But now she can't dump him because Lucy's dead. I liked how they did needless but nice on-location shooting in Oxford for this (or was it just an Oxfordian-looking part of London?).

Oh and deep-voiced Peter's amazing roar on being told of his sister's death. Cue classic EE crane shot. I love soaps. 

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