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I actually just started watching just a few weeks ago (heck, I'm watching so many non-US soaps right now it's not even funny) and while I am enjoying it (I think I'm in love with Jean as a character), I not feeling nearly the emotional connection to it as I already do to Corrie or Emmerdale (although I can see where Emmerdale has it's own issues). Although I'm not familiar with the Sharon character, this promo has done enough to make me interested & eager for her return.

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I think it's a cool commercial, the best they've had in a long time.

I'm not quite sure it fits Sharon's character though.

IA. It's an awesome promo, but it doesn't feel like Sharon at all. Since when has she been a hurricane type character? They're also airing 10 sec promos of the Queen Vic sign blowing in the wind, with a storm raging in the b/g, and it gives the impression the show is about to stage its first natural disaster. On the plus, this is probably the only time we'll get to see what EE looks like if it did a natural disaster storyline. LOL.

I literally feel no emotion whatsoever for those characters, especially Lola and Jay. I don't know why it's just not drawing me in at the moment. I think it might be a structural problem to the show which seems to affect a lot of the soaps at some point or another. There are no strong family units. As mentioned previously, the Mitchells are lost without Peggy, I don't think the Masoods work unless Syed interacts with them (speaking of which, has he had much to do with them recently? And have Syed and Christian featured much?)

I felt like that about Lola until a few weeks ago. Then they gave her some depth, and now I can see her potential. Her fears of becoming a mother, and being scared of the future, and how she dealt with that by getting into trouble, really rounded the character out; she had some great scenes with Billy and Shirley, and really showed what a great little family Lola and Billy make. I've always loved Jay - I think he's been developed really well. But I hate how they forget Jay and Billy's history.

I think you make a good point about the show being structurally uneven. They have a lot of randoms, and fractured family units, and then one large family that is eating the show. I'm not sure why people put so much emphasis on Peggy, b/c if she was around, the Mitchells would still be fractured and lost. Their problem is that they've never been developed outside of their allocated roles. Peggy's and Ronnie's exits should have allowed for Phil/Roxy/Billy to come together more with Jay/Ben/Lola/Amy and form a new dynamic to the Mitchell dynasty, but the writing kept them all in limbo, and they just don't gel. Ben isolating Phil has only compounded the problem. Or, highlighted the issue.

The Masoods work when there are more of them, and Syed's presence shows that, and the recent arrival of AJ really gave them a much needed comedic boost. Currently, Syed & Christian have no story. Zainab wants to take over the Argee Bhargee permanently, as Tam wants to go back to uni, but Masood wants to be a teacher, but they don't have enough money to support all of these ventures, as the AB (like every other business in Walford it seems) is having money woes (I hate this over used plot device so much!). Syed knows about Mas being excepted to be a teacher's assistant, but Mas is too scared to tell Zee, b/c it would mean Tam cannot go to uni, and we all know who Zee will support.

The Brannings are too big, and this forced dynamic about them being this pseudo Mafia family is ridiculous. Derek has been the worst thing to happen to them, IMO. They are written without any balance at all. I find Joey/Derek to be a cliché. It would have been better had Joey accepted he has similar traits to Derek, and used that to show Derek that while he's a bit of a schemer and a game player, he's also a better person than him, and used that to wind him up. Instead, we get Derek squawking: "You're just like me". Joey: "I'm nothin' like you", ten times per episode.

Then there is everyone else. The Beales have been dismantled to nothingness; not bringing back Peter when Ian went missing was a mistake. The Moons/Slaters don't interact well, and don't belong in the pub any more; Tyler and Anthony are pointless, and so is Mo; Kat has been ruined. Then there's Fat Boy, Poppy, Whitney, Andrew, that float about. And now we have Ray and his random daughter, Sasha. Not forgetting Michael, who really is a lone character, who will be even more alone when Janine leaves.

So many of the characters have become parodies of themselves and therefore no longer work as characters. I'm not sure what Phil and Kat are upto anymore but they no longer get decent writing in the day-to-day episodes and seem to only be there for their legacy.

IA about the characters you say have become parodies. Shirley can still have really great scenes, b/c she works with a lot of characters, but I'm not emotionally invested in her. The majority of the characters have become predictable and are stuck in rerun mode. Phil hasn't been doing much of anything lately, as the Ben story was on the backburner for a while; Kat is having an affair with a mystery man (how can you not know this?). The official suspects are: Ray, Derek, Max, Jack and Michael. It's a horrible story. Literally.

I find Cora to be a cliche as well.

I liked Cora when she first arrived. A friend and I thought she reminded us of B&B's Sally Spectre - big hair, bold, loud, and kinda campy, who had presence in every scene she was in. Then they just started writing her as an annoying old woman, who popped up in random scenarios; all that was great has been lost. She doesn't work any more.

Sigh. It's a good job I'm enjoying Home and Away at the moment cos Neighbours ain't great either, but not as bad as EE atm IMO.

How can you not be enjoying Neighbours? Are you watching at Oz or UK pace. I think the show is awesome at the moment. The Troy stuff with him trapping Jade and Sonya, and the aftermath have been brilliant; Gemma Pranita has taken this material and run with it, she's been incredible. I'm loving Tash & Ed, too (AKA Beauty and the Geek). Also, Zoe is a really strong character, and I wish she was sticking around. H&A - that show is unrecognisable.

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I think Sharon could be a little aggressive at times, like when she took down Chrissie or when she returned in 1995 for her revenge against Grant. Not really sure about now though.

I've never understood what this Billy/Jay relationship is supposed to be. Billy took Jay in out of guilt because he helped cause Jase's death. Then Jay barely appeared for a year. Yes, he said Billy was like a father to him, but I never really understood how, or why.

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IA. It's an awesome promo, but it doesn't feel like Sharon at all. Since when has she been a hurricane type character?

This makes me worried that they're going to ruin Sharon now, too. I really hope they remember the connection between Kat and Sharon but I doubt they will. It might give Kat some depth once again.

I felt like that about Lola until a few weeks ago. Then they gave her some depth, and now I can see her potential. Her fears of becoming a mother, and being scared of the future, and how she dealt with that by getting into trouble, really rounded the character out; she had some great scenes with Billy and Shirley, and really showed what a great little family Lola and Billy make. I've always loved Jay - I think he's been developed really well. But I hate how they forget Jay and Billy's history.

I think I might watch a few old eps to see what's been going on. I think it doesn't help in termf of me liking Lola that I really dislike Billy too. He, along with Jack, are the two characters I hate most in soap land. I've never ever been able to see the point in him. I guess Lola has finally given him a point but I don't have any interest in this pairing. Maybe if I was watching I would change my mind.

I think you make a good point about the show being structurally uneven. They have a lot of randoms, and fractured family units, and then one large family that is eating the show. I'm not sure why people put so much emphasis on Peggy, b/c if she was around, the Mitchells would still be fractured and lost. Their problem is that they've never been developed outside of their allocated roles. Peggy's and Ronnie's exits should have allowed for Phil/Roxy/Billy to come together more with Jay/Ben/Lola/Amy and form a new dynamic to the Mitchell dynasty, but the writing kept them all in limbo, and they just don't gel. Ben isolating Phil has only compounded the problem. Or, highlighted the issue.

I personally think that if Peggy was still there the Mitchells wouldn't be such a problem. A lot of the time she was the person who could get Phil to stop acting like an idiot and now he has noone to control his tempers and he just comes off as an [email protected]#$%^&*]. If she was still there they'd still be in the Vic too. I think it would be worthwhile to let the relationship between Phil and Roxy develop instead of making him resent her all the time. I still think they should bring Kim Medcalf's Sam back.

Thanks for the description of the Masood story. I agree with everything else that you've said, but what has Lauren been upto? Has she recovered from her alcohol abuse? I really love this character and I can't wait to see what they've got in store for her in the future.

As for Neighbours, I don't know if this is the appropriate palce but nevermind. I am enjoying it, but not as much as Home and Away. My major problem with it at the moment is the forced interaction between certain characters, which I think I've mentioned before. I don't like the fact that Karl is living with Tash and Summer, the Susan/Summer relationship annoys me as does the Susan/Paul relationship. There don't seem to be any natural interactions. Neighbours problem at the moment seems to be the opposite of Home and Away's - only the older characters in Neighbours seem to work (I'm thinking Lucas, Rhys, Vanessa, Paul etc) Summer, Chris, Andrew and Tash fail miserably. In contrast, Ruby, Indi, Romeo, Dex, April etc work extremely well in Home and Away, but the adults have become extremely vacuous which is a shame (Alf, Roo, Irene, Marilyn).

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IA. It's an awesome promo, but it doesn't feel like Sharon at all. Since when has she been a hurricane type character? They're also airing 10 sec promos of the Queen Vic sign blowing in the wind, with a storm raging in the b/g, and it gives the impression the show is about to stage its first natural disaster. On the plus, this is probably the only time we'll get to see what EE looks like if it did a natural disaster storyline. LOL.

I felt like that about Lola until a few weeks ago. Then they gave her some depth, and now I can see her potential. Her fears of becoming a mother, and being scared of the future, and how she dealt with that by getting into trouble, really rounded the character out; she had some great scenes with Billy and Shirley, and really showed what a great little family Lola and Billy make. I've always loved Jay - I think he's been developed really well. But I hate how they forget Jay and Billy's history.

I think you make a good point about the show being structurally uneven. They have a lot of randoms, and fractured family units, and then one large family that is eating the show. I'm not sure why people put so much emphasis on Peggy, b/c if she was around, the Mitchells would still be fractured and lost. Their problem is that they've never been developed outside of their allocated roles. Peggy's and Ronnie's exits should have allowed for Phil/Roxy/Billy to come together more with Jay/Ben/Lola/Amy and form a new dynamic to the Mitchell dynasty, but the writing kept them all in limbo, and they just don't gel. Ben isolating Phil has only compounded the problem. Or, highlighted the issue.

The Masoods work when there are more of them, and Syed's presence shows that, and the recent arrival of AJ really gave them a much needed comedic boost. Currently, Syed & Christian have no story. Zainab wants to take over the Argee Bhargee permanently, as Tam wants to go back to uni, but Masood wants to be a teacher, but they don't have enough money to support all of these ventures, as the AB (like every other business in Walford it seems) is having money woes (I hate this over used plot device so much!). Syed knows about Mas being excepted to be a teacher's assistant, but Mas is too scared to tell Zee, b/c it would mean Tam cannot go to uni, and we all know who Zee will support.

The Brannings are too big, and this forced dynamic about them being this pseudo Mafia family is ridiculous. Derek has been the worst thing to happen to them, IMO. They are written without any balance at all. I find Joey/Derek to be a cliché. It would have been better had Joey accepted he has similar traits to Derek, and used that to show Derek that while he's a bit of a schemer and a game player, he's also a better person than him, and used that to wind him up. Instead, we get Derek squawking: "You're just like me". Joey: "I'm nothin' like you", ten times per episode.

Then there is everyone else. The Beales have been dismantled to nothingness; not bringing back Peter when Ian went missing was a mistake. The Moons/Slaters don't interact well, and don't belong in the pub any more; Tyler and Anthony are pointless, and so is Mo; Kat has been ruined. Then there's Fat Boy, Poppy, Whitney, Andrew, that float about. And now we have Ray and his random daughter, Sasha. Not forgetting Michael, who really is a lone character, who will be even more alone when Janine leaves.

IA about the characters you say have become parodies. Shirley can still have really great scenes, b/c she works with a lot of characters, but I'm not emotionally invested in her. The majority of the characters have become predictable and are stuck in rerun mode. Phil hasn't been doing much of anything lately, as the Ben story was on the backburner for a while; Kat is having an affair with a mystery man (how can you not know this?). The official suspects are: Ray, Derek, Max, Jack and Michael. It's a horrible story. Literally.

I liked Cora when she first arrived. A friend and I thought she reminded us of B&B's Sally Spectre - big hair, bold, loud, and kinda campy, who had presence in every scene she was in. Then they just started writing her as an annoying old woman, who popped up in random scenarios; all that was great has been lost. She doesn't work any more.

How can you not be enjoying Neighbours? Are you watching at Oz or UK pace. I think the show is awesome at the moment. The Troy stuff with him trapping Jade and Sonya, and the aftermath have been brilliant; Gemma Pranita has taken this material and run with it, she's been incredible. I'm loving Tash & Ed, too (AKA Beauty and the Geek). Also, Zoe is a really strong character, and I wish she was sticking around. H&A - that show is unrecognisable.

Its been a while since I've posted on these blogs. But as An EastEnders fan and seeing this post, I felt I needed to respond.

Firstly, EE doing a natural disaster storyline will likely never happen again. The fairground one in 2004 was poorly received and the onyl soap who did one to strong effect was Emmerdale. Rumour is they are planning another one for the 40th Anniversay. Also, I am looking forward to Sharon's return as I feel the lack of vets on the show is making the programme shrink in ratings here in The UK despite the quality of the stories.

Lola has gotten better and because I think The Mitchells are to me the greatest family of all time in soaps, I hope she sticks around and we see her story and character continue. An idea would be to introduce a love interest from her care home or life in care, or reveal that her father isn't dead and introduce him into the soap and see how he interacts. Never the less, The Olympic episode was great and really showcased that Danielle has plenty to offer that we haven't seen yet. After The Heather's murder story, it will be interesting to see where Jay goes next.

Your right about the structure and families on the programme. Its all over the shop. I for one think The Mitchells are a mess at the moment, and if not Peggy coming back, then introduce a matriarch/patriarch Mitchell into the show as well as some new Mitchells to help bring the family solid again. They are a fantastic family on screen and seeing them not in The Vic upsets me greatly because truth be told, The Vic is their home. The Masoods need Shabnam back and Syed more intergrated within the family. They've featured so little this year in comparison to last year.

The Brannings need cutting. I reckon Derek won't stick around long enough. Joey & Alice would go if Derek goes, so that's three on borrowed time already unless one of them makes a huge splash with viewers. Jack feels like a spare part at the moment. The only ones really that have longtivity are Max, Abi & Lauren. Tanya's leaving in 2013 for a break, but who knows if she'll come back or not. The Jacksons are a mess too and should be scrapped completely and have a new family entering the show to move into Pat's house.

The Beales need Peter back and maybe introduce some new Beales. They're the longest family and they feel like nothing despite owning a wide part of the square. The Moons are ok, but The Slaters should have been left in the past. Charlie should never have been axed. Tyler & Anthony should be axed. It should be Alfie, Michael & Re introduce Jake too. Mo I would keep seeing as she's a good side character. Just bring back Charlie though. Andrew will be gone next year after The Ben story concludes, trust me. Whitney is a character that needs retooled quickly. She is hated in UK because of lazy writing. Fatboy & Poppy I'd keep and maybe pair them together. It could be interesting. I like Ray at the moment and think he will be interesting as he stays on. I love Michael and with Janine gone, It will make for some interesting material with him and Scarlett.

IA about The Kat story. Its dreadful.

I've never liked Cora personally. She's OK but not a legend like everyone I know says she is.

I'm still loving Neighbours at the moment. I don't engage with H&A much, but I dig Neighbours and hope BBC One buys it back.

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I don't think the Mitchells have been a family in about ten years. I never bought Ronnie/Roxy as close to anyone else in the family, and the show ruined all of Phil and Grant's kids. Billy has never fit in.

I would have done more with Glenda/Ronnie/Roxy.

As it is now I wish they'd just write the Mitchells out.

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I don't think the Mitchells have been a family in about ten years. I never bought Ronnie/Roxy as close to anyone else in the family, and the show ruined all of Phil and Grant's kids. Billy has never fit in.

I would have done more with Glenda/Ronnie/Roxy.

As it is now I wish they'd just write the Mitchells out.

If they write The Mitchells out, the show is finished. Deny it or argue it if you want, but If you get rid of them in whatever state they're in, and fans will protest, viewership will drop and EastEnders will be dead. The Mitchells are too integrated in the programme that getting them out would be career and show suicide.

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If they write The Mitchells out, the show is finished. Deny it or argue it if you want, but If you get rid of them in whatever state they're in, and fans will protest, viewership will drop and EastEnders will be dead. The Mitchells are too integrated in the programme that getting them out would be career and show suicide.

I'm not sure if the Mitchells are that important at this point. Maybe Phil, but that's about it.

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I know he's pretty much universally hated on here but I'm gonna be really sad when Ben goes. There's so much they can still do with the character but I understand that he has to go - he hasn't worked for the majority of viewers. I just wanted to see him fall in love but I gues there's always potential for that in years to come. :)

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I don't think he'll die. I like Ben too especially the tragic arc he has been on has been very good. I wonder what will happen with Phil now. Lisa return ? Courtney visiting the square with Grant ? Sam ? Peggy ? New Mitchells ? That and Sharon returning.

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