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Super Soap Week: Lessons for Coronation Street and Emmerdale bosses

What lessons need to be learned from Super Soap Week?

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That’s it folks – Super Soap Week is over on Coronation Street and Emmerdale for another year.

But with two deaths, three lives hanging in the balance and about 27 stunts – what did we learn from it?

And what do soap bosses need to change for Super Soap Week next year?

coronation street harvey gaskell threatens to rape leanne battersby
It will take more than Harvey Gaskell to stop Leanne Battersby in Super Soap Week (Credit: ITV)

Characters NOT spectacle

Spectacle without character isn’t going to work – and fortunately Corrie had it in spades.

In one brilliant moment Leanne Battersby remembered who she was – and she took charge of her own destiny and ripped it out of Harvey’s hands.

But while Leanne rediscovered her agency in Corrie, over in Emmerdale Andrea appeared to lose hers.

Read more: Coronation Street ‘saved’ by ‘amazing’ Roy Cropper and his coat

She was a woman who went toe to toe with Kim Tate and won – but she collapsed and ran away from Meena Jutla.

And now she’s dead.

And on that note – kill the right characters. If you’re going to kill people, then at least kill people that viewers want rid of.

And how long has Home Farm been hiding a waterfall? (Credit: ITV)

There was too much going on

It’s always good to aim high – but sometimes you can go a bit too far.

Did Emmerdale need four ambitious stunts? Did it really need a waterfall turning up in the grounds of Home Farm?

And did Coronation Street need to open both a sinkhole and an old never-before seen Victorian sewer system? Was the car crash overkill?

It’s understandable that soap bosses wanted to come back with a bang after covid practically ruined two years – but calm down!

There was so much going on, you couldn’t process one shock to the next.

Two killers running around, a gun, a sinkhole, more sinkholes, falling debris, a storm, a car crash! It’s enough to give us a migraine.

And let’s not start with Emmerdale’s never-ending peril train. Or that pointless Marlon and Paddy camping trip.

Next year let’s just have maybe the two stunts – and no waterfalls!

Super Soap Week red herrings

With everything going on there wasn’t much time for viewers to think about what was happening.

You need those moments to create excitement ahead of the next episode.

One scene that did that perfectly was the ghost figure walking towards Leanne and her family after Harvey’s disappearance.

Fans immediately went into overdrive trying to work out who it was.

Sharon? Harvey’s henchman? An undercover cop? Leanne’s long-lost brother Greg?

Well as it turns out it was none of them – it was just a clever red herring that threw everyone off the scent.

And the episodes were better for it. More of those please!

Where was Ken Barlow while the street was collapsing? (Credit: ITV)

Involve soap royalty

Leanne Battersby is one of Corrie’s biggest characters – but she’s only been in Weatherfield for a third of its life.

There are people on the street who were on their third marriages by the time Leanne arrived as a teenager.

And they need to be involved in Super Soap Week in some way.

There was Kevin Webster and Roy Cropper of course – but there was a distinct lack of soap royalty.

Where was Ken Barlow? Could Rita Tanner not appear for a quick drink in the Rovers? Is Audrey not around to tut at the holes in the cobbles?

It’s the same over on Emmerdale – where exactly was Kim Tate?

We had Marlon and Paddy’s pointless adventure but no Kim? Unacceptable!

Emmerdale Victoria and David terrified in the river
Super Soap Week meant they could touch again (Credit: ITV)

Scrap social distancing ASAP

One thing that stood out during most of the scenes was that Corrie was almost back to normal.

Characters were standing together! They could touch, hug, attack each other.

And wasn’t it wonderful?

Read more: Coronation Street: Is Jacob the ghost?

It’s true you don’t realise what you’ve got until it’s gone – and soap needs to reflect reality and have people back together again.

Corrie and Emmerdale must find a way to scrap social distancing if it wants to keep the feel of truth.

It’s not going to be the same to see people catapulting themselves away if they stray within 2m of another next week.

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