EastEnders: Thirty Minutes to Make Magic

I was thinking about the effort it takes to blend storylines in soaps as I was catching up on a week’s worth of Corrie and Emmerdale. The producers and writers only have about 30 minutes to tell characters’ stories and to keep us entertained. Coronation Street, Emmerdale, and Hollyoaks have managed to do that consistently. However, my favorite, EastEnders, is still trying to find that “30-Minute Magic”.

Although I’m enjoying the “Stuart Highway’s Revenge” storyline (Ricky Champ has made tormenting the Carter family so enjoyable!), John Yorke hasn’t been effective at blending in the other characters’ storylines.

His diehard fans have referred to him as the “The Storyteller.” So far, Yorke has shown me occasional bursts of brilliant drama. However, they too few compared to his regular plot holes and forgotten storylines.

Some of those storylines may not be forgotten. It’s just taken so long between scenes that I’ve forgotten them.

He lost the momentum of the “Knife Storyline” by including so many weeks in between scenes and leaving out key characters like Denise Fox (Dianne Parish). Yorke said his goal was to highlight strong women. However, it’s only been certain strong women that he’s focused on since he took over.

Hopefully that will change in a few weeks when Kate Oates arrives. She has a reputation for involving all of her characters in storylines. I’ve seen her work on Corrie. I also think she can bring back the “community interaction” to Albert Square.

If anyone can get EastEnders close to that “30-Minute Magic,” it would be Oates. The show can only go up from here.

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