I've had an interesting email, so many thanks to "robron man" who wrote it...
Robert Sugden, now played by Ryan Hawley, is one of the best characters ever in Emmerdale. And he dates from the 1980's, doesn't he? The son of Pat and Jack, back in the days when Amos and Wilks kept the Woolpack and Annie was in the old farmhouse?
Don't you think the complex storyline of Robert's affair with Aaron Livesy eclipses anything shown on Emmerdale in the 80's? And don't you think you could bring the blog out of the brick mobile phones and shoulder pads decade a bit? I think the stories back then lack the real life complexities of the stories now. In the 1980s, everybody in Emmerdale Farm was straight and it all hinged around Matt and Dolly wanting a baby then having a baby, Annie making the dinner, Amos having fads and Alan Turner turning out not to be such a swine as he originally seemed after all. It was OK, but in the 21st Century soaps are a lot more adventurous and don't "play safe" as much.
Can you honestly say that Alan Turner and Mrs Bates or Walter and Amos are more compelling than modern Emmerdale?
Hmm... well, I saw an episode of Emmerdale a few weeks ago, which is rare, and was surprised to see somebody there who was apparently Robert Sugden. After your email, which I apologise for taking such a long time to reply to, I did a little research on the "Robron" story-line and I think the bisexuality angle would be interesting enough in itself (and Hawley and Miller's acting is quite excellent at times) without the ruthless killer bit thrown in. And, as you say, Robert is a character from the 1980s - the son of Pat and Jack, grandson of Annie and great-grandson of Sam Pearson. Bisexuality is fine, but does he really have to be such an OTT nasty git?
As for the complexity of modern story-lines compared to the 1980s, well, I find many of the modern stories laughable. This "Robron" thing appears to have reached a climax with a burning car blowing up and a helicopter falling through the village hall roof. Too many killers. Too many disasters. Not enough of the trivia of life.
And to all those revisionists who try to make out that Emmerdale Farm was always a den of drama - dramatic events used to be much rarer. Even in the old days, we viewers enjoyed a good disaster, but I certainly find the current trend, with soaps trying to outdo each other with what seems like almost constant mega-horrors, rather daft.
That's why I gave up on the soaps, in fact.
As for Emmerdale Farm characters in the 1980s... well, there were some pretty darned interesting folk around back then, and it was far from being all Monk's Best Ale and Annie Sugden's pigeon pies. Harry Mowlam, for instance, was a disturbing yet fascinating baddie. and, of course, the decade introduced a certain Mr Pollard.
But people drank tea, did the ironing and chuntered on more. There was more of the essence of everyday life.
That's what I enjoyed when I used to come home from work and click the telly on. I'd put my mini-pizzas in the oven, start to scrub up for a night out, and listen to Amos and Mr Wilks.
"Robron" simply doesn't have the same appeal.
Neither does the helicopter falling through the roof.