Meena tried to murder her sister Manpreet - but the pub explosion stopped her (Credit: ITV)
Soaps

Christmas soaps review: Coronation Street and Emmerdale were brilliant – but EastEnders was a dud

Soaps come into their own over Christmas - but one of them didn't impress much

Soap land at Christmas is always a tricky time – and none of the big three ever get it completely perfect, but this year two of them came pretty close.

Coronation Street was the clear winner bringing back Roy Cropper after his recent exit.

Coronation Street brought back Roy Cropper for a winning Christmas Day episode (Credit: ITV)
Coronation Street brought back Roy Cropper for a winning Christmas Day episode (Credit: ITV)

Weeks off-screen after his departure to Peru, the cobbles hasn’t been the same without him.

Let’s face it – his exit didn’t make any sense.

But it did give us an emotional return for him to help niece Nina just when she needed it most.

Read more: Coronation Street fans confused as Bethany Platt is ‘forgotten’

And it was a triumph – but not the only one in the hour-long episode.

Whether it was Audrey starting drinking with her toast or Eileen Grimshaw’s reaction to getting a pre-paid from George – Corrie was on form, for the most part.

Ignoring Billy on the piano, Tyrone fighting with Phil and being slapped with a wet marigold was surprisingly enjoyable.

Coronation Street tops Christmas soap list

And then Billy kept singing – loudly – and that was a mistake. But a rare one for the soap’s festive edition.

When Billy dialled down his West End ambitions, and let everyone else take over the singing on the cobbles, it was much better.

And seeing so many beloved characters all together was a triumph in these times.

Coronation Street had a huge gathering of soap favourites (Credit: ITV)
Coronation Street had a huge gathering of soap favourites (Credit: ITV)

Even if they had to be outside in the dead of winter to make it happen.

Emmerdale managed to pull off a deft mix of comedy and drama with the Woolpack explosion, Manpreet facing off against her own sister, Kim Tate’s withering putdowns and a missing turkey hunt going awry.

A lesser soap – cough EastEnders cough – would have thrown everything at the drama and had everyone miserable and wailing.

But even watching Kim have a body moved and then expose Bernice’s crush on Will wasn’t heavy handed.

Emmerdale Meena Jutla outed herself as a killer tonight (Credit: ITV)
Emmerdale Meena Jutla outed herself as a killer tonight (Credit: ITV)

Even the dramatic reveal of Meena outing herself as a killer to her own sister and preparing to kill her wasn’t overdone.

Though less Marlon and Bob would have been welcomed.

There’s a lot to be said for a soap knowing how to pace a good serial killer storyline – and Emmerdale has done it perfectly.

Sadly the same cannot be said for EastEnders.

EastEnders drops the ball on Christmas Day

Of all the big bombshells dropped on viewers, Dotty Cotton not being Nick Cotton’s sprog was the hardest one to swallow.

Not only does it mean she isn’t Dot’s granddaughter – nor heir apparent of her millions – but it makes everything pointless.

And it leaves the door open for Rocky/Tom to stick around, and as good as Brian Conley is – why would anyone want that?

EASTENDERS MICK JANINE
Janine kissed Mick in tonight’s EastEnders (Credit: BBC)

To add to the list of things unwanted by everyone – Janine Butcher’s bizarre crush on Mick Carter.

And now we can add a Christmas kiss for those two crazy kids.

It’s just not believable that Mick would go near Janine, and it’s even less believable that Nancy or Shirley would leave them alone long enough for it to happen.

Meanwhile the Gray Atkins serial killer nonsense rumbles on.

Read more: EastEnders spoilers: Suki seduces Peter after Honey confession

Now married to Chelsea, this offensive and never-ending Gray storyline continues with no justice or end in sight.

What started as a powerful serious storyline about domestic violence has made a mockery of the soap.

The once mighty EastEnders Christmas is no more. And there doesn’t seem to be anything left that can save it.

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