Welcome to a review of the most recent episodes of EastEnders: the popular British Soap Opera.
For episodes broadcast in the UK 23rd-27th April 2012
*Warning: May Contain Spoilers*
Bianca's off to prison; Ben should be in prison; Derek bullying Jean's a crime; Shirley's chasing criminals, and there was some criminally bad acting this week in Albert Square.
Bianca's descent into poverty didn't half happen fast. It's always amazed me how this family's managed to live the way they do and go off on holidays etc, but it sure came crashing down around Bianca's ears this week (almost literally with that ceiling!).
It's no wonder she was fed up: her Hiya magazine was ruined!
Seriously though; Bianca's acting was faultless and hearbreaking this week, and we gingers don't need a lot of makeup to make us look as if we've been crying. That red-faced – yet pale – blotchy look comes completely naturally, and our eyes will stay bloodshot and puffy for hours!
It's ironic that Bianca's leaving her Soap family in order to spend more time with her own children, and she had me in tears on Friday as she knew the net was closing in on her. I just wish they'd all looked a bit more distessed to see her go though. If I'd found out that my mother was being taken to prison and I didn't know when I'd see her again (maybe never in Bianca's case?), I think I'd look a bit more upset about it …
I was upset at how Derek talked to Jean: virtually accusing her of being soley responsible for the fact that we aren't allowed to celebrate St George's Day in the UK. It makes me sick the way these bully boys think they can just talk to people how they like. Don't they realise how much it hurts?
Derek's suddenly got a sensitive side though (giving kittens to children), and he also took a drunken Shirley in, then tried to convince her they'd slept together. "Oh, don't tell me you've forgotten already? I was up at the crack of dawn composing a sonnet," he teased gently.
'All very sweet and noble', you'd think, but – as usual – Derek had an ulterior motive, which was simply to wind Phil up and … guess what? It worked, and Phil belted him. Oh, it's just another happy day down in Albert Square.
I see that Max and Tanya have won Best On-Screen Partnership at the British Soap Awards. They've got great chemistry (even though she still won't let him 'near' her!), and he's a very lucky man – being partner to the wonderful Tanya.
That woman could even act well while she's sleeping, and was in wonderful form this week as she tried to explain how the cancer had left her too frightened to feel she could properly move on. As she spoke, she wiped a little tear from her eye. A tiny gesture, but it's those tiny, almost imperceptible little expressions or movements that make her such a wonderful actress.
Following in her mother's footsteps is daughter Abi (who's come of age in more ways than one over the last year), and won Best Young Performance at the BSA.
She looks SO much like Max and Tanya that you could easily be forgiven for thinking she actually was their daughter, and how sweet to see Jay smile this week too. Rarer than hens' teeth, that is.
Speaking of Jay: we're still no nearer to locking that little creep Ben up. Shirley's taking action by handing flyers out everywhere, but the cops didn't like it.
"I take it you're responsible for these Miss Carter?" DS Crisp asked her.
"Yeah. What of it?" she replied
"You didn't think to check it with us first?" he continued (er, why would she need his permission?).
"Hah. I thought you might be busy – out investigating a missing Police cone," she retorted wryly.
Honestly. All they'd have to do is go and stand in the Square and they'd soon spot Ben taking the murder weapon out for its daily constitutional.
For some reason, she's actually missing the little stoat. "Those boys: I brought them up like they were my own and they turned their back on me. How do you think that feels?" she asked Phil. (I know just how that feels … ) To be honest Shirl: Ben's a murderer and Jay's keeping his dirty little secret. You're better off out of it, love. Trust me: you're only hurting yourself.
Dot tried to get Arthur a job. He could have done that Recruitment Consultant's job, as she was a classic candidate for a Bad Acting from a Bit-Part Actor Award, and really should have been considering an alternative source of employment herself!
Tyler should go and have a couple of lessons on 'how to at least look as if you're taking a swallow', so gets a VERY Bad Drinking From a Mug Award, and we had a few bits of Appropriate/Inappropriate Music in the Background this week too.
'It Must be Love' by Madness was playing in Derek's kitchen while he was talking to Shirley about their night of passion; Squeeze's 'Tempted' was playing when Bianca was about to take the cash out of the open till, and we had Everything But The Girl's 'And I Miss You' as Alfie looked sadly at the video of little Tommy on his phone.
Oh, so much doom and gloom that there weren't many candidates for my Grins of the Week:
Ray: "I've got a 5k run tomorrow. You can join me if you like?"
Kim: "I'm like a supermodel: I don't get out of bed for less than 10k!"
Cora: "This sandwich smells fishy."
Bianca: "Well, it would. It's prawn."
Andrew (about Janine): "Where is she?"
Shirley: "Probably off drowning a kitten somewhere."
Dot: "You really must learn to put a little something aside for a rainy day."
Bianca: "Oh, yeah, yeah. Why didn't I think of that? Thanks a lot Dot; you're a lifesaver (!)"
PS What is it with Dot's ever-more ridiculous attempts at pronouncing Mr Papadopoulos's name? It used to be mildly amusing, but now it's just silly.
PS2 There's NO WAY could Max have afforded to have gone out and bought all those Christmas lights AND a glitterball (?) in April; fixed them up; got them all working and then have managed to make everyone else disappear so that they could have a little dance. It's just not credible. Sweet, but totally unrealistic – sorry.
PS3 And how many people would have decorated their Square (and their pub), like that for St George's Day? Must have cost a fortune, and it wasn't a Bank Holiday, so how come everyone was there? Shouldn't they have been at work or school?
PS4 Did Derek forget to boil his egg? I've heard of soft-boiled, but that was just ridiculous!
PS5 Masood must be a good postman. Derek's letters were on his mat even before his raw egg was ready.
PS6 How can Whiney and Tyler's relationship be in trouble already? They only declared undying love for each other five minutes ago?