Match Three Enders is my true blue tip top number one favourite of the Big 3 UK soaps. It's so full of misery and bleakness and people unable to outrun their pasts that I just love it. (It's also a lot funnier than people give it credit for. Ethel, Lofty, Dot, Frank Butcher, Jim Branning, Jean Slater, Michael Moon, Tamwar Masood, Ricky and Bianca, Aunt Sal and Aunt Babe, Danny Dyer on a good day? Hilarious!) I started watching the whole darned thing - that's 34 years worth of eps - from scratch a few years ago and now know an unhealthy amount about it. (For instance, I reckon I'm the only person in the world who remembers that Denise has another sister.) Sons and Daughters was a freakishly exciting discovery back in the 80s -- a daytime Australian soap, cheap as chips, but with some truly compelling characters, and thrillingly exciting twists and turns. My memories of the later years are dim but I vaguely remember some horribly unfunny comedy plots that rendered it all but unwatchable. (I'm fast reaching the conclusion that "horribly unfunny comedy" is the worst crime a soap can commit.) Logic says I should vote for Enders, but I'm currently immersed in a re-watch of S&D which has just reached the amazing string of episodes leading up to A***** and R**'s wedding, which has secrets pouring out of the woodwork, and blistering confrontations round every corner. It's so well-structured I can practically smell the post-it notes stuck to the white board in the writers' room. So, logic be damned. I may regret this in a few months' time (or whenever Sandra the comedy spinster with the thick glasses moves in with Fiona) but, for now, I'm pressing my button for Sons and Daughters. Match Four I have a chequered past with Emmerdale. I have dim memories of seeing it as a kid when I was off school and it was an afternoon soap called Emmerdale Farm in which Alan Turner was a proper posh villain and not the loveable old man he later became. I've since watched the really early episodes on DVD and they are truly fascinating -- hardly anything happens (there's a whole episode which revolves around giving Old Mrs Thing a lift to the train station), but it is genuinely hypnotic. I watched it regularly in the evenings in the 80s for a while when it was a nice normal country soap full of adultery and poachers, but when they started dropping planes out of the sky in the 90s I kind of lost interest. I got back into it quite a few years ago now when a very patient forum member started sending me links to current-ish episodes. I'm still about five years behind but I really enjoy it. It has probably the coolest bad guy in British soap in Cain Dingle, and the most fun bad girl in his ex-wife/cousin Charity. I reckon it's the most effortlessly funny of all the UK soaps, and it certainly doesn't feel like they're churning out six episodes a week. F'lingo Road is a fascinating companion piece to the more famous American primetime soaps of the '80s. It's full of really interestingly flawed characters. Nobody's all good (apart from maybe Skipper, but he's so boring no-one even remembers him.) The voodoo episodes with Michael Tyrone/Richard Channing are like nothing else ever. Fun as it was, though, two seasons can't really measure up to Emmerdale's forty-summat years. So Emmerdale it is for me.