Adam Bloomfield

Check out what the Most Depressing Soap this Christmas is

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It isn’t Christmas in Soap Land without a yearly helping of death, despair, misery and revelations, so let’s compare the three main soaps and see which one gets the title of ‘Most Depressing Soap’.

Emmerdale – 18:45pm – 19:45pm – ITV 1

Normally Emmerdale has its fair share of doom and gloom around Christmas time but it always manages to keep a lighter side to things – especially this year.

This Christmas, it seems to be the Dingle family who are the centre of attention as tensions start to boil between the family over secrets and lies. The drama seemed to be boiling over faster than the roasties. However, the other villagers seemed to be keeping in touch with the Christmas spirit, providing that bit of warm feeling that Coronation Street and Eastenders seem to lack.

While the attention seems to be on one family, the other villagers seem to be enjoying the holidays as well at the Woolpack and the B&B, as they remember lost friends and loved ones.

One character who had been going through a tough time got to experience his own version of A Christmas Carol, adding a bit of surrealism to the show which is an oddity around this time, but at least it takes a break from all the drama.

That being said, at least we were treated to a Christmas time secret explosion over the turkey in the Dingle household and there we have it – jolly tidings, the tear jerking memories of a broken hearted man, the reconnecting of relationships and a fall-out between one of the most tight-knit families in Soap Land. But Emmerdale was nothing in comparison to what was to come later on that night.

Yes my friends, the real doom and misery is just beginning.

Coronation Street – 19:45pm – 20:45pm – ITV 1

The second helping in our three course soap listing, so we’re heading to Weatherfield.

In the first few moments, the residents of Coronation Street still keep the holly-jolly tone, as we see the characters waking up on Christmas morning, opening their presents and chucking snowballs at each other, walking in the artificial snow on set. How come they get snow and the rest of us don’t?

I have to admit I was expecting a certain amount of darkness in Weatherfield right off the bat, but I was pleasantly surprised at how serene the whole setting was. However, there has to be some tension bubbling under the surface somewhere – it can’t be all smiles, snow and sunshine.

Then we get to the Platt family. After all the secrets that have been revealed over the past couple of weeks, it is no wonder half of them are snipping and bickering with each other, as the struggle to contain the dark secrets from each other. There is also some awkwardness between certain couples after false engagements and money woes.

There is tinge of sadness in some households as the thought of those who had departed and those who couldn’t be with them over the holidays. The only moment of drama came towards the end of the episode, but apart from that, there was nothing else to offer for the last few moments except for a few teary moments.

Overall it is a very fluffy, lighthearted Christmas episode which is what I really wasn’t expecting from Coronation Street – no deaths, no births, nothing, so I’m sorely disappointed with Coronation Street this year.

Eastenders – 20:45pm – 21:45pm – BBC1

After being thoroughly disappointed by Coronation Street, I can always rely on Eastenders to provide a slice of misery and potential death, so let’s head to Walford.

A cold opening begins the episode and a bit of a tease too to what is coming ahead, which is an interesting point, but it is revealed to a dream from a person who has a very guilty conscience. At least there is some Christmas cheer around at the start and the return of surprise characters that haven’t been seen for a while.

The emotions around some of the characters seems sombre, as they struggle to come to terms with recent events, which perfectly ties in with the dark themes that normally occur around Christmas time. I mean it’s not Christmas in Walford, if someone doesn’t die or give birth or have a bombshell dropped on them.

The Beale and the Mitchell families are at it again and this time there will be fatal consequences as one resident of Eastenders will lose their life – just a typical Christmas to bum everyone out for the night. Ah, well, compared to the disappointment of Coronation Street, at least now I know it is a Christmas in Soap Land.

The characters continue to be tortured and haunted by the darkness in their lives which continues to torment them through the episode and to top it all off, we have a car crash.

Normally, it is just cold-blooded murder that occurs, so at least it is a change from the norm. There are some sweet moments between the different Walford clans but not enough to break the darkness.

At the end of the episode, there are two potential deaths of the Square, which is more than usual – so not bad.

There we have it, I hearby crown Eastenders ‘Most Depressing Christmas Soap 2015’. Emmerdale had some potential, while Coronation Street was too sugary-sweet for my tastes, so Eastenders gets the prize. Nothing like, maybe, death and secrets on a soap to make it Christmas time.

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