JACI STEPHEN’S ul­ti­mate in­sight into the week’s soaps

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - SOAP WATCH -

Ex­tended fam­i­lies are the lifeblood of soa­p­land. When pro­duc­ers want to add more in­ter­est to a flag­ging fam­ily, lo and be­hold, they drop an­other brother/sis­ter/cousin/il­le­git­i­mate off­spring into the mix in the hope of them caus­ing fire­works.

It doesn’t al­ways work. In EastEn­ders, there are so many Carters, the show feels more like a case of throw­ing an en­tire cat­tery among the pigeons. CartEn­ders has an endless sup­ply of these dullards (apart from Shirley – Linda Henry’s comic tim­ing is sub­lime) and there are doubt­less more hor­rors in the wings, await­ing re­lease. Em­merdale has such an endless sup­ply of Din­gles, some­times even they ap­pear to have for­got­ten who be­gat whom. Coro­na­tion Street has re­cently gone heavy on the Bar­lows, with all of Ken’s chil­dren (or at least, those he knows about) be­ing wheeled out to fight among them­selves (and don’t for­get the grand­chil­dren, too). It looks as if they’re start­ing to pare the clan down, though, now Adam’s gone to Canada (Boo! We liked Hot Adam) and Daniel is con­sid­er­ing his of­fer at Ox­ford (Un­be­liev­able, but hooray!). More Tracy again, please!

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