I grew up watching and absolutely loving the soaps before they were recognised as big ratings winners, being addicted to Aussie soaps Neighbours and Home & Away and enjoying EastEnders in its early years.
And in my late teens/early twenties I became completely enthralled by Brookside and its body under the patio saga, which to me continues to be the best soap storyline I have ever seen.
Having lived through what was clearly the golden age of TV soaps, it's agonizing to see the churned out pulp they've now become. Only Neighbours currently has any connection with reality, and is by far the most character driven soap which is what these shows should be. EastEnders in comparison is just utter drivel with its shallow crass writing and its structural mess.
When you've experienced brilliance its hard to accept dross. But this is what we're clearly expected to consume these days.
Younger viewers don't know what they've missed out on, and this is how current producers get away with such low standards.
I sense a huge change is coming in the soap landscape. And it will be coming via the Internet, not TV.
(As published on Digital Spy: http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showthread.php?t=2097696&highlight=)