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ALL SOAPS: Best & Worst of 2010!


Ben

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Inspired by the topic created for US soaps, what does everyone think is the best & worst of 2010 from the UK and Australian soaps? (I don't think this forum has ever had one before?)

These are the categories (feel free to add your own):

BEST SHOW

WORST SHOW

MOST IMPROVED SHOW

BEST ACTOR

BEST ACTRESS

WORST ACTOR

WORST ACTRESS

BEST NEWCOMER

WORST NEWCOMER

BEST RECAST

WORST RECAST

BEST STORYLINE

WORST STORYLINE

BEST CHARACTER

WORST CHARACTER

MOST IMPROVED CHARACTER

MOST UNDERUSED CHARACTER

BEST COUPLE

WORST COUPLE

BEST VILLAIN

WORST VILLAIN

DISASTER OF THE YEAR

MESSIEST DISASTER

BEST DECISION MADE BY A SOAP

MOST OVERUSED PLOT DEVICE

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I have a terrible memory so keep that in mind ...

BEST SHOW: EastEnders

WORST SHOW: Coronation Street

MOST IMPROVED SHOW: EastEnders

BEST ACTOR: Jake Wood (Max Branning, EE)

BEST ACTRESS: Lindsay Coulson (Carol Branning, EE)

WORST ACTOR: Emmett Scanlan (Brendan Brady, HO)

WORST ACTRESS: Bronagh Waugh (Cheryl Brady, HO)

BEST NEWCOMER: Glynis Barber (Glenda Mitchell, EE)

WORST NEWCOMER: Lydia Lloyd-Henry (Amber Sharpe, HO)

BEST RECAST: ?

WORST RECAST: ?

BEST STORYLINE: Peggy's exit, EE

WORST STORYLINE: Anything revolving around Jackson & Hazel, ED

BEST CHARACTER: Chastity Dingle, ED

WORST CHARACTER: Duncan Button, HO

MOST IMPROVED CHARACTER: Theresa McQueen, HO

MOST UNDERUSED CHARACTER: Viv Hope, ED

BEST COUPLE: Eric & Val, ED

WORST COUPLE: Warren & Mandy, HO

BEST VILLAIN: Janine Butcher, EE

WORST VILLAIN: Brendan Brady, HO

DISASTER OF THE YEAR: Queen Victoria Fire, EE

MESSIEST DISASTER: IL Gnosh Fire, HO

BEST DECISION MADE BY A SOAP: Firing Emer Kenny and Devon Anderson, EE

WORST DECISION MADE BY A SOAP: Completely ruining Mandy, HO

MOST OVERUSED PLOT DEVICE: Fires/Explosions (All soaps)

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BEST SHOW

- Its a tricky one to call tbh. I will go with EASTENDERS & CORONATION STREET tieing. EE edges Out Corrie slightly , but both soaps were at the top of their game particully Corrie. Hollyoaks was also entertaining , but it started off the year poorly and really got better after Calvin's Murder was wrapped up.

WORST SHOW

- Emmerdale. 2009 was one of its best years since Katherine Beedles stepped down. 2010 was unfortunately boring. The Wylde story drifted on too long and the minor stories werent interesting or just dropped the ball. Sally Spode story was great but dropped momentum. Carl/Eve Affair has been done before on other soaps & The New Additions havent been that memorable for the show.

MOST IMPROVED SHOW

- We all know its Hollyoaks. What started off as a show on the edge of cancellation comes back with new characters , new stories & overall new logo and revamp. Paul Marquess may not be as great as Brian Kirkwood , but he is making his mark on the show. While not everything is perfect , it is going in the right direction.

BEST ACTOR

- So many great performers to choose , so i'll do this by soap. For Eastenders Its Steve McFadden (Phil Mitchell). The crack story proves just how much McFadden can pull off any storyline and make it convincing and realistic. Coronation Street i would say Chris Gasgoyne (Peter Balow) Or Graeme Hawley (John Stape). Emmerdale i would say Jeff Hordley (Cain Dingle) but honestly there havent been many great male performances this year (Aaron & Paddy were good). Hollyoaks is tricker to choose from , but i'll pick Ashley Taylor Dawson (Darren Osborne) just because he is the only Hollyoaks Actor whose character is an icon of the show.

BEST ACTRESS

- Lacey Turner (Stacey Slater) , Katherine Kelly (Becky McDonald) (But i hate Becky) , Lucy Pargeter (Chas Dingle) & Jessica Fox (Nancy Hayton) (She needs new storylines).

WORST ACTOR

- Tough one. I would say Kevin Sacre (Jake Dean) but i did like Jake.

WORST ACTRESS

- Nathalie Emmanuel (Sasha Valentine) although now that Warren is back , it would be tempting to lure her back just for Warren.

BEST NEWCOMER

- Emer Kenny (Zsa Zsa Carter) (Eastenders) - Simple. This character could have been Eastenders next big star. She had the look , personality and the ability to do storylines that would touch her target audience. But Emer left which was a massive blow for the show. They could have had a lesbian story with Zsa Zsa & Stevie from E20 Series 2.

WORST NEWCOMER

- The Macey Family for Emmerdale. I havent warmed to them yet. Yes Father Jack is on the family but so far the characters arent that appealing to me.

BEST RECAST

- Jacqueline Jossa (Lauren Branning) - Like her so far

WORST RECAST

- None so far.

BEST STORYLINE

- A lot to choose from. For Eastenders it would be Peggy's Exit , Coronation Street would be The Stape Murders & The Tram Crash , Emmerdale i would say Aaron's sexuality & Hollyoaks would be India's murder.

WORST STORYLINE

- This wasn't the worse , but it was the one that could have been one with more potential. Calvin's murder for Hollyoaks. Firstly it was a flash forward story , so the amount of ideas that could have made this story memorable and different were flying at you at 100mph. But it was dull , confusing , made no sense and wrote the characters out of their confort zone. Plus come the episodes themselves , there were many plotholes still to fill.

BEST CHARACTER

Eastenders - Phil , Peggy Or Zsa Zsa

Coronation Street - Ken

Emmerdale - Chas Or Laurel (She had a good year)

Hollyoaks - Nancy Or Steph

WORST CHARACTER

Eastenders - Leon

Coronation Street - Becky

Emmerdale - Declan

Hollyoaks - The Sharpes

MOST IMPROVED CHARACTER

Eastenders - Surprise Surprise Abi Branning i think

Coronation Street - Tyrone (The one that my opinion has changed 100%)

Emmerdale - Scarlett

Hollyoaks - India

MOST UNDERUSED CHARACTER

Eastenders - Zsa Zsa

Coronation Street - Claire Or Katy

Emmerdale - Katie Or Scarlett

Hollyoaks - Nancy Or Mitzee

BEST COUPLE

Kat & Alfie (Eastenders)

WORST COUPLE

Jake & Loretta (Hollyoaks) - It wasnt because of chemistry or acting. it was because they WERE THE WORST Couple. Loretta & Jake started off fine , but for Loretta's exit , they turned her into a control freak who controlled Jake and turned everyone against him. Made him her little puppy dog and treated him like a child. Domineering , Manipulative , Controlled how he acted and what he wore. Never the less good transformation and good exit. Hope we see Loretta again.

BEST VILLAIN

Janine Butcher or Warren Fox

WORST VILLAIN

Danny Houston

DISASTER OF THE YEAR

Tram Crash (Coronation Street)

MESSIEST DISASTER

The Queen Vic Fire (Eastenders) - Good Stunt and was very meesy.

BEST DECISION MADE BY A SOAP

Eastenders & Coronation Street for going live for their anniversary episodes.

MOST OVERUSED PLOT DEVICE

Affairs on Eastenders & Serial Killers on Corrie & Oaks.

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This is a great topic but it's going to take me ages to foam at the mouth over this so I can't post until much later today or tomorrow.

Ben I hope since you started this you will tell us your own choices, as I always enjoy your posts.

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BEST SHOW - Emmerdale (I started watching this year, after years of absence, so it must be doing something right. I do enjoy most of the show, whereas EE has been plagued with issues ever since the Live episode in February)

WORST SHOW - Home & Away (this show has lost its identity. Marilyn has been carrying this show ever since she returned)

MOST IMPROVED SHOW - Neigbours (there's more drama and more risks, but it still lacks so much, like characterisation, humour, and being less plot focused)

BEST ACTOR - Lyndon Ogbourne, (ex-Nathan), ED

BEST ACTRESS - Jane Hall (Rebecca), Neighbours; Lucy Pargeter (Chas), ED (both actresses have shown that with the right material, they are pronominal - in fact, they can sell anything)

WORST ACTOR - David Jones-Roberts (Xavier), H&A (he can be very clunky and wooden in places)

WORST ACTRESS - Sophie Powles (Holly), ED

BEST NEWCOMER - Glynis Barber (Glenda), Tamrka Empson (Kim), EE; Eve Morey (Sonya), Neighbours (I couldn't pick one, as all three have had a positive impact on their respective shows)

WORST NEWCOMER - Cheryl Gray and her ex- Chris, Corrie (pointless additions)

BEST RECAST - Georgie Parker (Roo), H&A

WORST RECAST - Ben Price (Nick), Corrie; Erin Mullay (Declan), Neighbours (both have been badly miscast, who were both popular characters at one point)

BEST STORYLINE - Nathan & Natasha's Downfall, ED; Syed & Amira's Wedding, EE (I loved the climax and exposing of Nathan & Natasha's schemes; Syed & Amira's wedding was probably one of the best set of episodes for EE this year)

WORST STORYLINE - Everything that involved Sam Mitchell, Jane's revenge, EE; Molvin, Gail in Jail, Corrie

BEST CHARACTER - Marilyn, H&A (bubbly, fun, and full of personality and history, she's the best reason to watch this show)

WORST CHARACTER - Harry Gold, EE

MOST IMPROVED CHARACTER - Janine, EE

MOST UNDERUSED CHARACTER - Grace, EE; Faye Lamb, ED

BEST COUPLE - Eric & Val, ED

WORST COUPLE - Carol & Connor, EE

BEST VILLAIN - Janine, EE; Diana Marshall, Neighbours (Janine's finally being written as the complex bitch that she is, instead of the hollow cliché that DS was writing her; Jane Badler brought some much needed drama to Ramsay Street)

WORST VILLAIN - John Stape, Corrie; Penn Graham, H&A (one is involved in a farcical, messy storyline, and the other was boring who didn't do much of anything, except turn into a cliché)

DISASTER OF THE YEAR - The Tram Crash, Corrie

MESSIEST DISASTER - The Vic Fire, EE; Ringo's death, Neighbours (the fire was done well, but it was a stunt, pure and simple, which has had zero effect on the show; Ringo being mowed down by Steph's moterbike was so cheap, that Sesame Street could've done a better job - you have to wonder what they spend the budget on, as it ain't stunts)

BEST DECISION MADE BY A SOAP - H&A, for luring Emily Symons back to the Bay, and EE, for having the sense to get rid of Minty and Billie

MOST OVERUSED PLOT DEVICE - Fires and pregnancies

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BEST SHOW - Neighbours

WORST SHOW - Hollyoaks

MOST IMPROVED SHOW - Neighbours

BEST ACTOR - Scott Major (Lucas, Neighbours)

BEST ACTRESS - Lacey Turner (Stacey, EE)

WORST ACTOR - Scott Maslen (Jack, EE)

WORST ACTRESS - Jacqueline Jossa (Lauren, EE)

BEST NEWCOMER - Valentina Novakovic (Natasha, Neighbours)

WORST NEWCOMER - Jacqueline Jossa (Lauren, EE)

BEST RECAST - Jordy Lucas (Summer, Neighbours)

WORST RECAST - Jacqueline Jossa (Lauren, EE)

BEST STORYLINE - Who Pushed Paul Robinson? (Neighbours)

WORST STORYLINE - Who Pushed Glenda Mitchell? (EE)

BEST CHARACTER - Kym Valentine (Libby, Neighbours)

WORST CHARACTER - Lauren Branning (EE)

MOST IMPROVED CHARACTER - Natasha Williams (Neighbours)

MOST UNDERUSED CHARACTER - Denise Johnsson (EE)

BEST COUPLE - Michael and Rebecca (not really a couple, but...Neighbours)

WORST COUPLE - Kate and Mark (Neighbours)

BEST VILLAIN - Diana Marshall (Neighbours)

WORST VILLAIN - Penn Graham (Home and Away)

DISASTER OF THE YEAR - N/A

MESSIEST DISASTER N/A

BEST DECISION MADE BY A SOAP - Marilyn's Return (Home and Away)

MOST OVERUSED PLOT DEVICE - love triangles here, there and everywhere (Neighbours)

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BEST SHOW

I have to go with Eastenders. The show has many flaws, such as inability to find a strong group of younger men or women, characterization issues, amnesia about important plot points (the Vic fire investigation; the details of Archie's murder; now Janine's stabbing), too many affairs, not enough followup, and ending what should have been big stories on a whimper (Lucas and Chryed - the Lucas story was style over substance and actually got a lot better before that poor end, and Chryed was always a poorly written story, but still). However, I have been impressed with the show this year. Most of all I am impressed because I can "feel" the show again, which I have not been able to do for about ten years. Eastenders has had what is in many ways it's most chaotic year in that a popular producer and story editor left, and what was left was a shambles because of the secret of Stacey killing Archie, and all the secrets for the live episode. You also had the departure of the show's 2 most iconic characters in recent years, Peggy and Stacey.

In spite of the problems, a lot of things went right this year. A needed casting cull took place, finally ridding Walford of grating characters like Minty who seemed to be there just for the sake of it. Awkward child actors were finally replaced. Characterizations of stalwarts like Dot and Pat were sharpened, and they were further integrated into community life. Without Tanya smugging up the screen, Max became a central figure, providing many wonderful moments, laughter and tears, with every member of his family and other characters like Darren. The poor development of everything with the Golds has obscured the great effort the show made to finally find a proper role for Darren and a wonderful double act with Max. The dross of E20 was cut (even if one of them wanted to leave) and Fatboy has become a very solid character, with the potential for much more. Kim, meanwhile, is the best new character in years, and possibly the best new comic relief character on EE since I can't remember when.

The show has lost some of the suffocating gloss which characterized recent years, the comedy has become more integrated, more diverse, and every episode has something to laugh at (even if it isn't always intentional). and While the less polished approach has a downside in grubby affair stories, the toughness of some of the material and the willingness to hint at deep psychological problems beyond characters like Stacey and Jean has led to some fantastic moments. Billie's death was one of the best soap episodes I have seen in many years, and Phil's drug addiction had some unbelievably harrowing sequences which were sadly swept under the carpet. And I got to see an old friend I never expected to meet again -- the deeply vulnerable, complex, and most of all, unpredictable live wire Janine, finally free of the horrible Santer and DTC plot points that made her a laughingstock.

While the ghost of Tiffany Mitchell meant that Stacey was never going to die, I'm very happy that they didn't take the easy way out with Peggy and kill her off. Instead of a death that would have been forgotten in about a week, Peggy got to leave with her head held high, and that last look back is something I'm going to remember for a long time.

MOST DISAPPOINTING SHOW

For years I was annoyed that Emmerdale was looked on as the third soap, as the soap deserving less attention, but this year that paid off for them. They managed to quietly build on their ratings momentum of 2009, while the press did not focus on the endless output of bleak storylines.

The lambasting Anita Turner received for her comedy stories (Gennie killing animals, Doug Potts and his bout of crabs) seems to have left permanent scars with Emmerdale. Not only are there no longer any comedy stories - at the most there are some sly one-liners - but the mood of the village now steps on comedy's throat. One by one, characters who sometimes had a laugh or a smile have been drained of most of their purpose. Betty and Pearl and Edna are trotted out for a few scenes here and there but tend to look lost. Viv was sucked dry and is leaving the show completely broken. Marlon and Paddy have a few labored comedy scenes but they just come across like 3 year olds, which is very offputting when they're in the middle of an open-a-vein story about a Down's baby. Gennie, Zak, Diane, Val, Brenda, Terry, Eric, Victoria, the list goes on and on. For me the definitive symbol for this is Maisie, who came into the show as a ball of fire, leaving as an emotional wreck who wanders around the Sharma house in her shapeless cardie, snapping at shadows.

What really annoys me is when people who would be much better suited to anything besides misery guts are constantly labored with this material. David and Leyla are gorgeous and have some chemistry and can be funny. So what do they get? Never-ending lies and agony and woe and more lies, complete with yet another pointless soap child and a shrewish sister YELLING HER LINES and competing with Leyla over how many different ways you can say "J-Cup".

Then there's Aaron. This was a superb story up to this spring, and then suddenly, they refuse to even have Aaron and Jackson touch, or discuss their relationship, or even indicate if they have a relationship. Then when this is almost resolved, Jackson is suddenly paralyzed from the neck down. Why? Why? Why? Does anything good come out of this agony? Aaron just weeps and is moody, which he already was anyway. Jackson, a character who could have had some humor and spirit and edge, is cruelly exposed as nothing more than a plot point for Aaron, such a blatant one that even his being permanently debilitated is barely about him! And Hazel, who still sticks out like a sore thumb for me in the village and who seems to be on there for little reason other than the latest version of "look at a comedian do serious acting."

You still have Home Farm, which could be a place for crazy, fun stories, yet Emmerdale is the one soap that seems to not want to cash in on the Dynasty knockoffs, even though it might suit Emmerdale more than the others. Home Farm is a tomb, a few rickety sets full of sourpusses. The latest "fun" is Declan's insta-family -- a smug, smarmy ex with a fake grin, a boring daughter with a badly dated haircut, and a father whose acting is so terrible I am still surprised every time I remember he has been in major shows for years and years.

I thought the Bartons might be a great family for the future, what the Sugdens once were, but they have been eaten alive by the never-ending Holly drugs story. I don't care about Holly, and now I don't care about any of them either. The buildup to her drug use was poor and there was no contrast - while it might be realistic that someone is moody and sour both before and after drug addiction, it isn't very dramatic.

Will the Sharmas EVER have a story of their own? Will Faye ever have a purpose? Why has Ryan been on the show for a year and a half and still not had any successful storyline or pairing?

But then that's the biggest question I have with these stories -- what is the purpose, and where is the drama? There's a lot of hand-wringing over Jackson, over High Holly, over J-cup, but nothing ever changes. I think of all that about Shadrach drinking himself to death and how he has now basically been forgotten by Chas, Aaron, Zak, and Gennie. What happened to the wonderful plotting and pacing of the first half of 2010? Stuff like Diane and Charlie, which I thought was just starting out the year, turned out to be the highlight.

MOST VACUOUS SHOW

Coronation Street is like an empty Christmas present with shiny new wrapping, but you can still see a few shreds of the old wrapping peeking out. After Corrie shrugged its way through years of malaise, Phil Collinson had a golden opportunity to make real changes on the show. Instead, the only change he seems to have made is to turn the women further towards being pathetic jokes and to carry the Deidrick Santer torch of bad camp. Actually that's not fair to Santer -- even Sam Mitchell dancing on tables and giving teenage boys her underwear doesn't compare to the horror of Tracy's return. Again I hear people say well it's all Kate Ford's fault because she can't act, or oh it's all Kim Crowther, Kim brought her back, but Kim Crowther and Kate Ford did not write the atrocious scenes upon Tracy's return. Tracy spitting out some of the worst written dialogue in memory. Tracy immediately seeing and knowing all about Becky and Steve buying Max. Tracy throwing a drink over her child and her family barely raising their voices. Tracy insulting Ashley's memory, and the Barlows say nothing, even though Ashley died saving Peter's life! Tracy "seducing" David Platt with his Mirror Universe facial hair and laughable reactions. Is this supposed to be a joke? Is it some sort of meta John Waters parody?

It's easy to blame Tracy's return for the momentum killer that the last few weeks of Corrie have been, but she's just a more glaring example because she's so terrible. All of the stories are hollow, none of the characters bother to act in a way that ever remembers history or continuity. Everything with the Kevin affair reveal was generic and silly. The show somehow managed to make Sally, a woman who learned her husband stayed with her only because she had cancer, into the heavy, and a monstrous hypocrite. They have not only managed to force Leanne, Peter, and Carla into a depressing, go-nowhere storyline with reactions that change by the episode, they've managed to destroy any chemistry Leanne and Peter ever had, trash Leanne, drain the life out of her and out of Peter, and further isolate Carla. "Love square" indeed.

There's also the constant dead weight hanging around -- if you're going to have a big TRAM CRASH1!!1! that changes everything, then why not get rid of some of these people? Dev, Sunita, Kirk, Michelle, Julie, Ciaran, Sean, Maria, among many characters who never carry stories and probably never will, and in some cases, like Sean or Michelle, can barely manage to get through a scene. Instead, the show kills one or two people who ultimately have little impact on the canvas, and do a clumsy fakeout with Peter - I actually wish he'd died rather than return to that turd of a storyline - and some man in a car we never saw. Then they only have one funeral in spite of promoting four funerals, and the one funeral they do show becomes a very clumsy ripoff of Den Watts' funeral/Ab Fab funeral/various 1986 primetime soap funerals I have forgotten. And ultimately what has the tram crash changed? Even after not even a month, everything is close to being the same.

Then there's the half-hearted decision to try to tackle stories like PSTD with little buildup and even less airtime. There was plenty of time to watch the same characters like Becky repeat the same scenes they have already repeated 5000000000000 times, but very little time to actually develop Gary's struggle.

While Kim Crowther made many mistakes and probably deserved to go, I do feel a little sad that Collinson has damaged or seems to have little regard for most of the few things she did well (he seems to hate Peter/Leanne; he doesn't seem to get Mary; Graeme is ruined; Carla is just a generic "superbitch").

These last few weeks haven't been a great harbinger for Corrie's 2011.

WORST SHOW

Paul Marquess has been lucky in that he replaced a loathed producer and he is good at creating hype, but hype doesn't translate to ratings. Hollyoaks has hit ratings lows in his tenure and it's not that hard for me to see why. Hollyoaks has become one of the most confusing shows around. How many different times have major moments come out of nowhere because something was edited out? An entire family was written out after a few months, with many viewers still assuming they will be back. A huge fire is hyped for weeks, and then most of the scenes are tossed out.

You hear a lot of praise based on shocking teasers like GAY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, but what does that actually mean? In no time at all that story became yet another installment of the sexually confused closet case and his beard, as things seemed to be clumsily rewritten because the show didn't want to lose their breakout star, Brendan. So now the message is...abuse is love? If a gay man beats up his boyfriend it's hot? Who cares about things like domestic violence when Brendan is this cool gangster who speaks like a sedated Terminator and makes funny faces?

The Jasmine/Jason story has its moments, but even this is all over the place. Why does the show think that a woman being a man = styling her like Laurie Metcalf in the last few years of Roseanne? Where did all that awful boy band stuff come from? Why was the Lisa Hunter self-harm storyline tacked onto what was already a dramatic enough storyline?

Why were so many characters dumped from the show at such poor times and in such poor ways? You bring in an American drug dealer for a week and also write out promising new characters Charlotte and Dave, yet the character who stayed (Jamile) is never seen anyway? Why was Jake written out as an afterthought instead of letting him stay long enough to be at Steph's funeral?

Is the serial killer story supposed to be suspenseful, or frightening? If so, then why reveal the killer so early and have him aimlessly following people around, practically holding up a "KILLER HERE" sign? The scenes where he clung to Nancy were ludicrous -- she would never trust this creepy man, and there was zero suspense that she would be killed.

Why did Mandy come back at all? Is it so we can laugh every time she talks about how she's going to take Tony's money, since Tony is flat broke and has two children to support?

The Steph cancer story was a disgrace. One of the worst stories I've ever seen on a soap. There was a strange lack of emotion for most of the storyline. The only time she seemed to be bothered was when she said goodbye to Cindy! Having her die in the fire was a copout, and again key scenes were edited out that might have made this more tolerable. Her funeral was turned into a bad joke for Lee, and none of her family were brought back or even mentioned. The aftermath of her death has also been poor. Yet again the show seems to struggle with the tone -- that cardboard cutout of Steph turns it into a bad joke. Gilly's drunken rages are also a bad joke. Tom has become a parody, and Ellis Hollins is no longer able to deliver convincing emotions -- a few times he surprises me but usually he either has really fake line readings or he talks in a monotone.

Why is an 18 year old the lead detective, and why does he look younger than the show's teenagers? Why are the horrible Duncan, the dead-eyed, boring, worthless Ricky, and the worthless Cheryl - who in spite of being pushed as the heart of the show still has no chemistry with ANYONE - still around?

It's not all bad - I'm certainly thrilled that they kept Jacqui around and have moved her on from the baby nightmare, and Myra is used a lot more than she was under Lucy Allan - but most of it is a big mess.

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I've been putting it off for days because I've already said a lot of it anyway but since it's the last day of the year I figured why not. And I have a lot more to say too. :o I don't blame you for not responding but if you have anything to say about any of my bleating I'd like to read it.

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BEST ACTOR - Jake Wood; he can play anything, he has chemistry with everyone, he's vulnerable, angry, sensual, cold, everything. He carried Eastenders for most of 2010 and he still doesn't get enough recognition. Biggest points go to his heartbreaking performances after Bradley died, his forgotten father/son buddy relationship with Darren, and his sizzling, tragic chemistry with Stacey. That scene where he and Stacey danced at the Ronnie/Jack wedding is a moment I still remember.

BEST ACTRESS - Lindsey Coulson. It's so easy for people to just say she's miserable but I love Lindsey for never holding back on Carol's pain. You also never get the sense that she is lowering herself, even though she was away for years. Her work in Billie's death episode was incomparable and her current performances with Connor are underrated, as so many are put off by the story.

WORST ACTOR - Ben Price. He fails on every level. He's unattractive (that short haircut just emphasizes the jug ears and wizened expressions - he looks like something from Deliverance), he has little acting ability beyond constiptation, and he has NO chemistry with anyone he comes into contact with. He always seems like a stranger and he actively kills storylines.

WORST ACTRESS - Nathalie Emmanuel/HO Sasha, for old time's sake! Beyond that, Kate Ford, and Bronagh Wagh or whatever her name is, and Emer Kenny, and Amber from Hollyoaks.

BEST NEWCOMER - Charlotte from Corrie. She was a big reason why the Fishwick stuff worked -- and even in death, the lovely touches like the CD she recorded, and her mother saying she wishes Charlotte had been reincarnated as a cat. I miss her :(

WORST NEWCOMER - Runners up would be Leon from Eastenders, a laughable "teenager" and not all that talented or great looking either (although he's parlayed it into a gig on Dancing on Ice, so who is he to listen to my bitching?). Seth from Hollyoaks, who sounds like a Muppet and seems completely superfluous to everything on the show and in the Costello family.

But the real prize has to go to any new character created this year on Corrie who was not related to Charlotte! Wow, they actually bothered to create or cast the coma-inducing Owen Armstrong, a very, very, very, very poor man's Charlie Stubbs? And Lloyd's stripper girlfriend and her ex, who are so dull that the show forgets about them for long stretches of time? How about Kylie, who exists solely to try to generate sympathy for the ruined Becky?

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Leon IS that great looking. I guess I'll forever be alone with that opinion. Le sigh.

I laughed at you including expressionless Sasha. I totally forgot about that wet drip. Getting rid of the Valentine's was a great move on Marquess' part. One of the few good things he's done behind the scenes.

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BEST RECAST - Suzanne Shaw/Eve Emmerdale. While I don't care about the affair with sociopath Carl (I think the story with John Barton was much more interesting), Suzanne is a surprisingly capable actress and she manages to convey sympathy in what could be a very unpleasant role. She also doesn't strut around onscreen playing herself, as many do if they think they are "names" before being cast in a role.

WORST RECAST - This was late 2009, but I'll list it anyway - Ben Price

BEST STORYLINE - I don't think there were any stories this year which were strong all the way through, so I will list stories that had strong moments more often than not - Phil's drug addiction, Eastenders; Aaron's gay self-loathing, (I HATE that phrase but what else is there to say), Emmerdale; Charlie wooing Diane only to con her out of her life savings, Emmerdale; Natasha's increasingly out of control coverup of Mark's murder, Emmerdale

WORST STORYLINE - The Nick/Leanne/Peter/Carla "love squalor," Corrie; Steph's cancer and death, Hollyoaks; anything with Spencer, Hollyoaks; Jackson's paralysis and endless Aaron weeping, Emmerdale;

the slow-moving disaster that is the destruction of the Beale and Masood families on Eastenders, with bad stories such as Masood/Jane and Masood almost abandoning his family and Zainab wishing Syed dead and Lucy's abortion and Jane's revenge and Ian's affair all zombies slowly trundling towards the viewer. Is there any more blatant way to say "We don't know how to end this story" than to GO BACK TO Jane being the loving wife left in the dark by shiftless Ian?

This story is the Myrka and I am Ingrid Pitt.

BEST CHARACTER - Max Branning

WORST CHARACTER - Nick Tilsley, Tracy Barlow, any new character created on Corrie this year who was not named or related to Charlotte, Danny Mitchell Eastenders, Adam Best Eastenders (awful!), Jordan Johnson Eastenders, Amber Sharpe, Hollyoaks, Heidi Costello, Hollyoaks, Jem Costello, Hollyoaks, Riley Costello, Hollyoaks, Seth Costello, Hollyoaks, Kevin the alien who vanished offcamera because no one on the show gave a care, Hollyoaks

MOST IMPROVED CHARACTER - Darren Miller, even if this abruptly ended sometime around September...

#1 would have to be Jacqui McQueen. While I could complain about the bizarre relationship with whiny, petulant Rhys, who is not good enough for Jacqui and whom she would likely break in half, I will instead say how happy I am that Jacqui was allowed a lot of tough and tender scenes, which the phenomenal Clare Cooper excels at, and how she great she was in the scenes where she covered up Teresa's role in Calvin's murder

MOST UNDERUSED CHARACTER - Eileen from Corrie. I forget she's on the show half the time...and I'm guessing they do too. Eileen is Janice Battersby on a bad day. If only Sue Cleaver couldn't act -- she'd been on display 5 episodes a week.

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