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