Sunday, 5 April 2009

Eastenders - The Danielle Episode!


I've loved the whole Danielle/Ronnie storyline, but to be frank, I was getting a little bit tired of the will she tell, won't she tell dragging-it-out scenario. Yes, it was great each time she almost told Ronnie: "You're. My. Mother!" Archie lied his socks off saying he'd told Ronnie, then he hadn't, then he had. So frightened was he that Ronnie would find out that he lied about Danielle having died years ago, that he was prepared to KILL Danielle. I thought that showed the measure of our Archie, really, really well.

So, I was pleased when the biggie finally happened. I thought the dramatic writing was excellent, the acting superb, the directing wonderful. That wedding reception in a transformed Vic, was so realistic, from the background soothing music, to Billy and his attempt at a best-man speech.

I almost sobbed when Ronnie chased after Danielle, and said: "Baby." Wow. The car accident was realistic, and I found myself screeching at the screen: "NO! NO! NO!" God, I wanted that girl to live.

Or did I?

What would the aftermath have been like if she'd lived? Okay, she could have been in a coma for a while. We could have watched as Ronnie tootled along to the orspital with flowers and tears. Would that have been dragging it out again? Yes, I think so. What then? Wake from the coma? Saunter into the sunset hand in hand?

But what about the dramatic conflict?

What about Ronnie's character? She's cold, vulnerable underneath it all, damaged goods, and that's what I LIKE about her.

If she'd lived and Ronnie and Danielle had attempted some kind of relationship, it would have had to have gone wrong, or not live up to expectations, or SOMETHING, because where's the drama in that? Where's our wounded Ronnie?

Happy endings? Yes, sometimes, and there are plenty on tv, some in Eastenders too, though they tend not to remain happy for long - or they aren't without their conflicts. But that's Eastenders, and if you look at most of the other British soaps, they're exactly the same.

Take Coronation Street: We have alcoholic Peter Barlow, Steve and Becky's wedding gone wrong, dastardly David Platt who once tried to murder his mother, and much, much more. But Coronation Street is a gentler soap, for all that conflict. It just is. And there's more comedy in the Street. In Eastenders there's more dramatic tension, but there's irony there, black humour. I love it.

More on this later.

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