I've watched EastEnders for years, was really into it when it first started, but I've gotta say of the current cast I don't think I actually care two hoots about any of them, with the exception being Pam Coker who until recently has always put on a smile for everyone but is now struggling with Paul's accusations.
The hallmark of a great soap is that you really care about its characters and in years gone by I can honestly say I did: Pauline and Arthur Fowler, Lofty, Angie Watts, punk Mary, Cindy Beale, David Wicks, Frank and Pat Butcher.
But these days everyone seems so unrealistically sour and bitter I just don't care about any of them. If you met any of them in real life you wouldn't give them the time of day.
I blame the superficial writing and the shambolic plot structuring, realistic human emotion and plausible psychological development being sacrificed for shallow sensationalism every time. Yet with four episodes a week you think they'd have more time to credibly explore complex character interactions and developments. But obviously not so.
The UK soaps seem to be in a dire state at the moment. Really apparent if you lived through the glory days of the late 80's/early 90's.
(As published on Digital Spy: http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showthread.php?t=2096417&highlight=)