EastEnders, BBC1 - TV review


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The Independent Culture

All good things must come to an end. Except for EastEnders, that is, which goes on and on, piling misery upon misery on to Walford's residents, until it reaches its Christmastime crescendo.

This year, much of the misery has been caused directly by Scrooge of the Square, Janine. It's only 20 December and she's already framed Alice for murder, turfed Alfie and Kat out of their beloved Queen Vic, and treated half her staff to a surprise sacking.

So it's fair to say she might be a bit short on friends. "Let's leave her alone, because that's how she's gonna end up: old and alone," said Danny to Lucy as they stormed out of the estate agent office. "And rich," Janine called after them, as she returned to counting her money.

At this rate, she'll soon be due a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past – aka her half-brother David Wicks.

Meanwhile, both Carol and Dot were having separate George Bailey-esque crises of faith. Carol had the shadow of a cancer diagnosis hanging over her and Dot had been conned out of the Church's charity donations. Neither can quite see how it's a wonderful life.

How lucky for everyone, then, that a saviour is due to arrive on Christmas Day. Possibly, comparing Danny Dyer to the baby Jesus is a bit much, but you get the idea.