Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments!
Living for Liv
It’s always slightly risky to introduce a new relative of an established character in a soap but the casting for Liv, Aaron’s sister is SO good that it’s actually hard to believe they’re not related. She even manages the whole ‘single tear escaping down the cheek’ thing that Danny Miller has perfected. Actress Isobel Steele had a tough job on her hands to come into the show on such a harrowing storyline but she’s delivered a killer performance every time, making her inclusion in the Gordon storyline even more tear-jerking. She realised the true extent of her father’s manipulation this week and that could be the key to getting him locked up for good.
There were some touching scenes this week with Ashley and Gabby bonding. Since Gabby’s head swap she’s had a lot more to do onscreen and it’s been great. Like Liv, Gabby’s another teen with real potential. Despite being easily led astray, her relationship with her dad was enjoyable to watch as she listened to and cringed about his record collection and his brief musical ambitions. But when the truth came out about her cruel lies, she was full of apologies and then when that didn’t work – got drunk (and snogged) Jacob. The week ended with Ashley and Gabby hugging it out. Will it be that easy for the two of them to cope with his illness? Probably not. But it seems to be a worthwhile storyline to show how teenagers struggle with their family members becoming ill, just as much as the adults.
Welcome to the Family
We saw Lawrence’s dark side again this week when he suspected Andy had been at it with Bernice. Of course his face fell when he realised it was Chrissie who’d be enjoying Andy’s biceps. Oops. The Andy/Chrissie love affair isn’t really setting the screen alight, but Lawrence is far more interesting making shady phone calls than he is just being Mr Moneybags. The highlight though had to be Lawrence and Andy’s simmering tension (not the sexual kind, unfortunately for Lawrence) at the hospital when Lawrence was forced to flatter Andy and welcome him into the family. Topped off by Andy calling him Dad. So awkward it was genius.
Oh No He Isn’t
One of the many beauties of Emmerdale is its morally grey characters – villains who are more than just bad. So just WTF was that scene with Robert Sugden? Devious, manipulative and sometimes downright cruel – that’s the Robert we know and love. But he’s human too and we’ve seen it. Lately he’s shown his more compassionate side when supporting Aaron, but just in case viewers forgot Rob was a bad ‘un, Emmerdale thought they’d treat us to a bit of early panto season. Characters are best when they feel real, have well drawn motivations, but the campy scene where Robert checked his teeth in the mirror, leaving Lawrence to die, was straight out of a cartoon. It might have been an attempt to mimic Kim Tate’s infamous lippie scene, but for Robert it was a misstep. Don’t flatten our favourites into 2D characters, please Emmerdale!
UGH Zak Dingle! That pretty much sums up the reaction to Zak’s behaviour this week. If ruining Zak and Lisa’s marriage wasn’t bad enough (they should be like The Woolpack is to the village, inseparable) he only went and bloody PROPOSED to Joanie this week. Having spent the week growing more and more jealous of Joanie and Rishi, Zak behaved like a real Neanderthal as he suggested Joanie’s head might be turned again. As if the caveman attitude wasn’t bad enough he went and dropped the bombshell on poor Lisa that he was going to propose to Joanie. As Chas pointed out to him this week, if he’d treated Lisa to a few more days out then maybe their marriage would have survived. Then (if he couldn’t sink any lower) he proposed in a packed pub. Okay he wasn’t to know Lisa round the back, but you’d think he’d be a bit more sensitive considering! This story is a horrible watch and the sooner it’s over the better.