Written on: 06/04/2009 by laraandamber (1 review written)
Family conflicts; knock-about humour. Dealing with difficult subjects like Aids, domestic violence, adoption etc
overlong stories that feel too day-to-day. The introduction of the four-day episodes has aided this I think. The transparency of building a story to its crescendo to tie-in with Christmas etc
Eastenders lives or dies by the families. It is at its best when the stories get to the heart of intense familial relationships eg the Mitchells, or the many strands of the Slater-clan (the hight point of the series in the last decade was undoubtedly the Kat-Zoe storyline and the Mo-Trevor domestic violence period). The series relies upon long-standing established characters and the emotional develpoment of those characters. People who are untroubled and happy rarely make interesting drama catalists so to those who complain that Eastenders is too miserable I wholeheartedly disagree. There are plently of farcical storylines (that can of course be hit-and-miss) that offset the apprent ongoing misery of the characters. I do agree however that Eastenders suffers on occasion, like any other mult-stranded soap, from poor scripts and dodgy acting but on the whole I think the acting is very very good, and frequently unappreciated.
The recent Ronnie-Danielle-Archie storyline had me conflicted: beautifully laid out premise but occasionaly misjudged in the timing. I don't think there were problems with the scriptwriting, I just think a story which drip feeds information to the viewer that is unknown to the characters relies heavily on the reveal coming at the right moment and for many it felt as if the story went on too long. Actually we knew who Danielle was for far less time than we knew that Kat was really Zoe's mother, the difference was that Danielle wasn't given any other storylines other than her concern for her mother: we were never allowed to forget that she is 'Ronnie's-long-lost-daughter'. The acting on the reveal, however, was fantastic and throughout Ithe storyline I was always convinced of Danielle's inner torture and the irrationality of her actions; Larry Lamb is superb as the controlling Archie and Samantha Janus now has the spotlight on her.