A year ago, in the months leading up to Lucy Beale's Good Friday death, chatter about Walford would have been met with a sigh, and probably an eye roll... Fast-forward to this week's anniversary celebrations and things couldn't be more different. But how have the BBC done it?
Eastenders promised an action packed festive offering and they didn't disappoint and as Mick Carter found out that his sister is actually his mother, he reels from the news that his prospective wife-to-be had been raped by the person that turns out is his brother.
If you choose to watch the soap with your child, you should be willing and able to discuss any issues the programme brings up, including that of sexual violence. If your child is old enough to understand that the implied rape scenes depict a rape, then she is old enough to be taught that rape does not just happen on an unlit path at night.
With exception of Sonia who earned a nursing degree, there's a dearth of higher education, which is odd considering all the universities in real London, including the East End. Sure, in the early years, Michelle went to college, as did her well-schooled roommate Rachel.
Despite the snobbery, soaps attract dedicated followings. A full cross-section of society, who will watch any story with which they are presented, no matter how uncomfortable. On a daily basis, topics like euthanasia, gender identification, murder, rape and domestic abuse are brought directly into homes around the country.
NEW YORK - At a recent meet and greet held at midtown Britpub Churchill's here for Shane Richie, the actor schmoozed a few dozen stateside fans, some who traveled several hundred miles to speak with EastEnders' Alfie Moon, arguably the Queen Vic's favourite manager of all time.
Eastenders is supposed to be a show highlighting the highs and lows of real life. Is this really what real life has become? I don't think it is.
A week later, I am still coming to grips with Pam St Clement permanently hanging up her earrings, or more accurately, the infamous, diverse collection of jewellry that hung from the ear lobes of her character Pat for 25 years on EastEnders.