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article imageReview: UK Soap EastEnders — Alfie saves Christmas? Ruins it, more like Special

By Jane Reynolds     Dec 3, 2012 in Entertainment
A 'sideways' review of the latest goings-on in EastEnders, the popular British Soap Opera.
For episodes broadcast in the UK 26th-30th November 2012.
*Warning: May Contain Spoilers*
Alfie had one of his 'light bulb' moments but he only needs to go to Ikea – not Germany; there's a 'Candle in the Wind-ow' giving a signal, and is there a secret signal in the music?
After such an excellent week last week I wasn't really expecting it to have continued, but Monday's episode was pretty good too (although I didn't like the bad attitude of that policeman who was interviewing Lauren), and I especially liked the bit when Lauren told Tanya that she loved Joey because Tanya's 'micro' expressions were a joy to watch.
When you're Lauren's age (or ANY age, arguably), every love is 'the love of your life', and nothing anyone says will be able to convince you otherwise, but dear Uncle Derek blackmailed Joey and he ended it. Talk about a car crash of a relationship, aye!
Everyone's freaking out about Joey and Lauren being cousins but – talking of freaks – why is nobody reminding them of that little gay rodent Ben and Lola's indiscretion, hmm?
It's going to get worse when Max finds out too. Max plays a good part (I just wish he didn't smoke) and is really believable as the (often despairing) dad of two teenage girls. Dads always want to protect their daughters, and most boys aren't considered 'good enough' for their little princesses, but Joey being Lauren's cousin is going to send Max into caveman mode for sure.
I hope they end up together though. They make a great couple, and it might get Lauren back on the right path if she has a decent, loving boyfriend.
So … it was all going so well, and then who should pop up and spoil it all for me but Kat and Alfie.
Alfie ruins Christmas … for me
Time was that I couldn't wait for them to come on, but as soon as Alfie started talking about Christmas my heart sank as I knew it was going to mark the advent of a stupid 'Alfie saves Christmas' storyline.
I wasn't wrong, and not five minutes later we had him conveniently receiving a package full of (probably fake) cash so that he could head off to flamin' Germany of all places to get some cheap Christmas gear.
Oh, pull the other one – it's got jingle bells on it. The petrol alone would cancel out any savings he'd make, and if you want nice, reasonably priced European-stylee Christmas items, just go to Ikea, idiot. And who dreamed up that idiotic storyline anyway? It got even more stupid when Kat shoved two tickets (as well as her Christmas puddins') in front of his nose and said that she and Tommy were going with him.
He – of course – gave her a load of guff as to why it was a bad idea, but what about the money she'd spent on the tickets? Surely you'd 'sort it 'aht' BEFORE you bought the tickets Kat, as I doubt you'll be able to get a refund. Where did Alfie get all that German paraphernalia to hang around the bar at such short notice too, and find the time to organise flippin' German sausages etc?
Don't even get me started on all that candle business either. Where did Jean suddenly get a lantern from to put it in, and don't you think it's a bit irresponsible telling people that a candle in a child's bedroom might help it sleep?
I know we all moan about the constant examples of 'Elf an' Safety' gone mad in the UK, but I think this was madness, and genuinely wonder whether it will trigger a spate of house fires …
Poppy? Potty, more like
What was all that with Fats too? Why on earth did he pretend not to like Poppy and that she meant nothing to him? After complaining about being single and then all the trouble he'd been going to to get a girlfriend; when they kissed last week it looked to have marked the start of a lovely new (and serious) relationship for the pair of them, so to 'diss' her like that was just stupid and totally pointless padding.
It's such a shame that EastEnders do this, and THIS is why I get so down on them the whole time. I really thought we'd turned a corner, but it seems not.
At least we've got Bianca back. She sat in her room and cried. If I lived in Albert Square I'D CRY. Why wasn't Morgan in school though; it's term time.
Although a lot of it was slightly too quiet for me to hear, I suspect that it was all Appropriate/Inappropriate Music in the Background. As for the bits I DID hear though … well, we had some corkers.
Sixpence's 'There She Goes' was playing when Joey was sat at the bar thinking of Lauren; Tom Jones' 'There Goes My Everything' was on the radio as Alice was all packed up and ready to leave Derek's, and then we had Amy Winehouse's 'Valerie' ('Why don't you come on over' etc) as Joey was in the pub and Lauren was all angst-ridden waiting for him to go and see her.
The most significant of them all though was Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb's 'Guilty' ('We've got nothing to be guilty of, our love will climb any mountain' etc), as Derek and Tanya were talking.
Now then. Was that in reference to Joey and Lauren, OR is that a BIG, BIG clue as to something that's going to be coming up at Christmas? Tanya and Derek? Hmm
I liked Mo's line to Fatboy when she told him about her nighttime 'inspections': "Lucky girl, that Poppy", and they even managed a Grin of the Week for us!
CC: "Make it quick."
Tanya: "Right. Well, the thing is … she's still … she's— "
CC: "Make it quicker."
PS
* Bianca turned up for work at 2.00. Hardly worth bothering by that time, surely?
* CC was on about being a 'Dried up old thing; barely a woman'. Ooh, I know how she feels!
* Blimey. Kat's tats. Talk about 'in your face'!
* Who else is totally sick to death of Kat's 'looks' to the Branning brothers (who all seem to be almost permanently lodged in the Queen Vic these days)?
* Kat can't just close the pub early because she feels like it, can she? I'm sure their Licence must state that they have to remain open until 11.00?
* So, Bianca learned hairdressing in Prison, did she? Blimey. It takes years to train to be a proper hairdresser, doesn't it? I doubt that anyone would want her anywhere near their barnets!
* Where did Abi get the money from to buy all those tea lights, holders and fairy lights from (maybe she went to Ikea; it's the best value in the UK for that sort of thing), and HOW dangerous was it to have them all over the place like that? 'An accident waiting to happen', that was.
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