JACI STEPHEN’S ultimate insight into the week’s soaps
oapland is not the most religious place at the best of times. Dot is the token Christian in EastEnders, and Emily in Coronation Street. In having a vicar – and, recently, two – plus a one- time curate and a Bishop, Emmerdale wins hands down in the Christian department. Outside of Christianity, Coronation Street has its first Muslim family in the Nazirs, who celebrate their own festivals.
At Christmas, ironically, Christianity takes a back seat in soapland. We see children in nativity plays, but rarely does anyone visit a church. In EastEnders, for some never quite explained reason, everyone decides to wander into the Square to stand, underdressed, in a flurry of artificial snow, listening to the Walford Community Choir (yes, we can, er, look forward to their high notes again on Christmas Eve). There’ll be no Midnight Mass in Coronation Street, and there are stag and hen nights for Andy and Katie in Emmerdale.
Christmas in soapland has barely anything to do with the baby Jesus; it’s sex and alcohol that top the agenda, with everyone jumping into bed with their neighbours, usually after a few drinks. In this, it’s the one time of year when the soapss most reflect real life.
I am now in serious ‘Whaddever’ mode e when it comes to anything about Lucy.y. This week, DI Keeble tells Emma there e was suspicious activity on Lucy’s sociall media accounts following her death, and d asks Emma to retrieve the laptop of the e person under suspicion, who is horrified to learn it has been handed over. When the contents of the laptop come to light, suspicion points in another direction. Like I said. Whaddever.
It’s Christmas time, so that’s the key for Alfie to mess up again, and when the boiler breaks down, Kat (right, with Alfie) finds out another of his masterplans has spectacularly failed. Yer don’t say. Kat’s pleas to their landlord to let the family stay in the flat fall on deaf ears and they’re told to be out by lunchtime. Mick and Linda, however, offer them a bed for the night at the Vic. I’d call that just shifting cabins on the Titanic. They’re told the waiting list for a council il househ ini Walfordlf d isi very l long ( Really? Who’d want to move to that dump?), but there are some houses available in Hull ( I’m saying zilch). Nothing, though, prepares Kat for the moment she finally discovers the truth about Alfie. What knock- on effect will this have on their relationship? Something tells me it won’t be a very merry Christmas.
Linda tries to hide her nerves about the baby from Mick. They decide to tell the family the news, but Linda bottles it. Stacey, though, can read the fear in Linda’s eyes. That’s the first thing she ever has been able to read. Let’s just say things get messy in McCoy’s tonight. There’s an attempt of sorts at an armistice but Yvonne’s plans for revenge end in devastation for Dan and Carol and later on Yvonne is crushed by Robbie’s frank words.
Rachel decides to stay over with Niamh but Paul is taken aback to hear that Rachel wants to stay there so often. He confides in Orla that he is not happy with Rachel staying over when Michael is there because of the crush she had on him. Orla decides to tell Niamh about the crush. Niamh confronts Rachel about her feelings and can tell straight away it’s true by how upset Rachel. The teenager declares she has had enough of both Niamh and Paul.
With Pete and Dolores, it’s a week of mixed-up messages. There’s a romantic note as Jackie and Bob start to work well together, and we find Alma (Donna Anita Nikolaisen, below) spurred into giving Doug a little festive kiss.
Charlie struggles when he gets a card addressed to him and Esther. He later receives a call for Esther at the community centre. Cass tries to cheer him up but Charlie dismisses him, leaving g Cass hurt byy the abruptp behaviour.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT, ALFIE? MORE OF THE USUAL, ALAS
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Patrick and Yolande Trueman decide to make their family complete by becoming foster parents. The couple are delighted when they’re chosen to look after a girl named Katie – but it’s a wrench for them when she’s returned to her mother.
Kelly Windsor’s betrayal of her husband Roy Glover has terrible repercussions. Having slept with her stepbrother Scott while Roy was in prison for a crime that she committed, Kelly sinks into depression and starts drinking heavily. Weatherfield’s residents are thrilled that Curly Watts and Raquel Wolstenhulme are getting married, but you can have too much of a good thing – the barmaid’s non-stop wedding planning begins to grate on her workmates.