From astonishing performances from Emmerdales Dominic Brunt and EastEnders Zack Morris to a very familiar story of a double proposal in Coronation Street, its been another busy couple of weeks in soap complete with wonderful makeovers, inspiring ideas and the most bonkers yet fitting career choice in a long time.
Welcome to Metro.co.uks every-so-often sideways look at the action going on in soapland. Are EastEnders and Coronation Street nailing it? Are Emmerdale and Hollyoaks on the up or plummeting down? Who is on top form, which stories are too baffling for words and what are the most burning questions?
Our soaps editor examines whats happening in our soaps right now and gives his (expert? Who knows?) views.
Praise for Paddy
Often seen as a hapless and bumbling comedy character, Paddy Kirks name is unlikely to be at the top of the list when you discuss the hardest hitting TV actors. But that deserves to change following some absolutely astonishing performances from Dominic Brunt.
He told us recently that he was never really bothered about winning awards – he had succeeded in a job for two decades without needing to win one – and in my humble (and correct, lets face it) opinion, that attitude just makes him all the more deserving.
I have always fought the corner of Paddy as being one of Emmerdales best characters. The unique nuances to the character in even his everyday scenes which involve double takes with precision timing and some excellent comedy spluttering when he is in another awkward situation are award worthy enough in my view.
And yet, it often escapes our attention that when it comes to raw drama, Dominic is up there with some of the TV greats when it comes to delivering the goods. We cried for Paddy when he declared his love for Mandy Dingle and then later got his heart broken. We cheered for him when he stepped up as a father figure for Aaron Dingle when he came out as gay. We even managed to somehow grab some sympathy for him in his love rat phase when his lover Tess was killed in a car accident and he had to grieve in secret.
Dominic is a key comedy character and his relationships with the likes of Marlon, Chas and Paddy are a joy to behold and bring necessary warmth, laughter and familiarity to the show. But in the harrowing scenes that have seen Paddy and Chas lose their newborn baby, Dominic has delivered the performances of his career.
Paddys grief has been perfectly delivered with sensitivity and subtlety. There has been no melodrama or phoned in performances that are clearly meant for award fodder. Dominic, along with the equally fantastic Lucy Pargeter, have taken this painful journey with their beloved characters and a storyline that read like it might go through the motions of another hard to watch baby loss storyline became something else.
An absolute triumph of a story both in pain and even hope, Dominic has shone throughout and proven that he is more than a sidekick to Marlon or a bumbling vet who is unlucky in love.
Dominic isnt exactly the poster boy for soap awards ceremonies but he is up there with some of the biggest TV greats – Emmerdale have an absolute asset who can deliver both the most difficult timings in comedy and the most hard to go to places in drama with unmistakable expertise.
Its no wonder that Dominic hasnt needed awards to keep him in the show for 20 odd years – his work speaks for itself. But if ever there was a time for him to finally be recognised with a trophy or ten, it would be now.
Valuable lessons that Sienna the teacher could bring to your kids
Pitching Sienna as a teacher – yes, a stable educator of the children of the future – is an inspired move by the Hollyoaks team which acts both as a tongue in cheek you wont believe this but also as a kind of inspirational anyone can change message.
Okay, we need to seriously suspend our beliefs here. In reality, no school would risk a regular child kidnapper on their workforce and were pretty certain that her enhanced DBS certificate would need its own filing cabinet.
However, theres something to be said for having Sienna as your teacher. For a kick off, you wouldnt piss about in her classroom, would you? This is a woman who has survived the demonic Nico Blake so any attitude from any other teenager would be small fry. And you wouldnt want to risk getting on her wrong side.
On top of that, her life experience surely trumps any other teacher in the country. If youve got a problem, Sienna will have a solution. Just dont take Miss Blake too seriously when her suggestion is kidnap or a murderous revenge.
Stuart Highway is an X Files super soldier.
No vase, gunshot, frenzied attack or garage tool can finish this guy and his noggin of steel off.
Keegan it real
Back in the day, the teen cast of soaps like EastEnders were seen as the C-list of the show – there for the quieter stories and the good looks to attract the younger audiences in and the actors were better known for being late and being pictured out partying than any major acting accolade.
Times have changed and they bring their A-game to the table every much as bit as the veterans and the magazine cover staples. Tilly Keeper is a constant revelation as Louise, Jasmine Armfield played a blinder in a particularly nasty stand off between Bex and dad Martin and we have all of the time in the world for the friendship between Tiffany Butcher and Bernie Taylor.
But I have to highlight one guy in particular for praise after another solid week of heavy drama – Zack Morris is surely a star of the future. Ever since the knife crime story, new layers to Keegan have been beautifully exposed by Zack and his explosion of angst in the wake of his fear he had killed someone was not just powerful but a really important performance given the spate of knife crime attacks in London.
Given Zacks age and experience, the fact he can already steal the show in one of the UKs top dramas is all the more reason to keep a very close eye on him.
I truly appreciate you breaking up Bob and Laurel, really. It never worked and it just seemed so icky.
But did it have to be done while Bob was standing in his boxers, oiled up in greasy fake tan and panting from exertion after a strip show?
Still, its fitting to end it in a similar way to how we imagine it began…
Now, Im not saying that Kate and Rana must be Robron fans but they do seem to be following a very similar journey – no sooner have the Dales lads decided to get hitched in a double proposal than the Weatherfield ladies are both popping open engagement ring boxes simultaneously.
But then, on the very same say, both Robert and Ranas faces were a picture of dismay when their other halves enthusiastically got the ball rolling on having a baby. Have Kana and Robron been trading notes?
Wed suggest to Johnny that he stays away from any grain pits when Rana is around. You never know…
…they dont get more banging than this.
She's been through a lot…
…so it stands to reason that Corrie are lining up a Liz becomes a goth storyline.
- Another week, another reason to heap praise on the wonderful Hollyoaks. Just days after they announce a disability diversity episode, it is also revealed that their bulimia storyline has increased calls to eating disorder charity Beat. Serious kudos.
- Its nice that Tracy Barlow is finally developing a conscience for her crimes. Although its come a little bit too late for Maddie Heath, Kal Nazir and Charlie Stubbs.
- I kind of think it would make some of Emmerdales best scenes for a court case over baby Seb – just for the look on a judges face when the lawyers have to explain the back stories of Robert, Ross, Aaron and Rebecca.
- Sinead and the Barlows standalone Coronation Street episode was an utter triumph and further proof that the Barlows remain as much of a centrepiece of the show as ever.
- The most subtle and least publicised storylines currently going on in Coronation Street is also one of its most moving. Jacks journey to walking again is one of real hope, heartache and some great performances.
- When Liam Donovan has finished dishing out threats and poisoned cocktails, can someone direct him to Glenns Hollyoaks Wiki page and remind him exactly why he should be buying the WAGs a drink without the added karma?
- Shirley wont stand for this, Tina warned Linda as she waged World War Three on her own family. As Tina reminded Linda that Shirley would be back soon, I just had one thought: Cant f***ing wait.
- We love Maureen Lipman as an actress and when Evelyn is toned down a bit she might well be a Corrie great. But she will never be Blanche. No-one will. Lets stop trying to replace Blanche and just continue to watch the AA meeting scenes on YouTube instead.