Even the most ardent of fans will admit 2016 wasn't exactly a vintage year for 'Easties', with both 'Emmerdale' and 'Coronation Street' outshining it in terms of ratings and quality of stories. But while next week's actioned-packed episodes will give the show a boost in the short term, there's some much larger problems that need fixing if it is to regain its rightful crown as the nation's favourite soap.
I've always thought of 'The Voice UK' as the runt of the reality family (yes, I even found 'Dancing On Ice' marginally more entertaining). Its desperation to be taken seriously, coupled with its holier-than-thou approach to the talent show format, made it a complete turn off for me. But come Saturday night, I decided to give it a chance, mainly to see if it had finally shed its nicey-nicey BBC image.
I don't want you to feel bad or ashamed or anything like that. This isn't even really about you, or Jeremy Clarkson, or ice cream, or gay people, or 'The Grand Tour'. This is about recognising that your words -- and all of our words - have weight and consequence.
This has been a strange year. We've seen one or two demonstrations of people power triumphing over experience, expertise, credibility - would it be a stretch to say that, even in the sunlit world of reality TV, viewers decided it was time to secure victory for, not the most popular person, but the right one?
Don't tell me the BBC wanted to stay true to the books with this love triangle - they'd already adapted the scene from the rape of the books to the 'consensual' one we saw. They could easily have omitted it altogether and approached it in an entirely different way.
Following his tens from the judges, Ore Oduba is challenging Danny Mac for viewers' affections as we enter the show's fifth weekend, the latest YouGov Strictly tracker reveals. The BBC Sport presenter is now the contestant viewers are rooting for, with almost a third (32%) of those with an opinion saying he is the dancer they most want to win.
On Thursday's episode of 'The Apprentice', candidate Jessica Cunningham found that out the hard way when her fellow candidates, the media and hundreds of people on Twitter questioned her professionalism, all because she cried... But showing emotion at work shouldn't be seen as a sign that you're incapable of doing your job.
To be unable to compete in the dance off because of something that has perhaps defined the last few years of her life, must have been devastating. The last thing she'll have needed was trolls from the dark corners of the internet (not to mention former pro dancers James and Ola Jordan) trying to bring her down. Her injury should be a reminder to people of why she signed up for the show in the first place, not a reason to attack her.
While there are a number of charities working to educate young people, no set place on the curriculum means education on consent is often patchy, at best. For many, this storyline could be one of the first times the topic is properly introduced, and it's fantastic that Hollyoaks are shining a light on it with their episode.
I am very much in favour of transparency. If all broadcasters had to declare how much they are paying their biggest stars, I would have no complaints... But I should be clear about why I am in favour of transparency: it enables those who are paid less than their peers to demand an increase. It means wage bills go up, not down. As an ex-employee, I am a strong believer in equal pay for equal work - but I suspect that is not quite what the culture secretary Karen Bradley, who in her former life was a tax consultant, had in mind.
The Republican candidate, Donald Trump, launched his campaign in a blaze of migrant condemnation, accusing Mexico of sending drug-dealers and rapists into the United States. His rhetoric might have got a bit more sophisticated but he still keeps pushing his proposal to build an 'impenetrable physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall' 2,000 miles along the Mexican border... In May I went with the Extreme World team to the US/Mexican border to investigate the attitudes, views and motivations of the people involved in the issue, from those spending thousands of dollars and risking their lives to cross the border, to the smugglers and traffickers making millions from this massive business to the men and women who are paid to try and stop them.
What of Love Productions' apparent greed? Well, an independent business, with salaries to pay, overheads to cover, other creative ideas to support, can surely be forgiven for wanting to make hay while the sun shines. And it could easily have gone the other way for them. What if, after six hardworking years, the BBC had said, "Thanks, but no thanks to any more".
In a poll held by BuzzFeed, 91 per cent of voters claimed they would never appear on the show. So, comedy value and shock factor? Yes. Educational and romantic television show promoting body confidence? Not so much. It will take a considerable amount more than this particular show to convince me that the best way to look for a partner is by examining their scrotum.
Although we've seen an increase in soap couples that stray from the traditional cis-hetero narrative taking a prominent place in the four main British soaps, parenthood for these characters remains a topic that's yet to be explored fully. I want to know why this is, particularly given how many gay couples we've now seen get together, often played by gay and trans actors who are actually parents themselves.
If you're one of the few people on this island left resolutely unimpressed by the velour of our athletes over in Rio, you might find yourself sorely under-served by the box this week... Should you remain one of the steely-hearted few not moved by this lot, here are a few slim but pedigree pickings of the week ahead...
Marnie's behaviour was a clear attempt to embarrass, humiliate and intimidate Saira, and smacked of her attempting to show Saira she was not part of her cool little gang. Given it also took place after the pair had a confrontation, it's also hard to interpret Marnie's actions in any other way than as aggressive. To me, if you are using your sexuality in an confrontational or unsolicited way, that boils down to sexual harassment.