Fave or Fail? (19-24 June 2016)

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Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! A bumper week of episodes and lots of drama for the young women of Emmerdale!

Faves

The End of the Affair

em10_0004The biggest and most engaging plot of the week was the fallout of Belle and Dr Bailey’s affair. I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of the story per se but the fallout of an affair and its ramifications are usually a good watch and this was no exception. As slimy Jermaine tried to save face for his marriage and career (which led to him pitifully binning his qualifications) he was left with little else but the naivety of doting Belle. Standout scenes had to be Angie wiping her hands clean of him and reporting him to the practice manager, the disdaining Dr Cavanagh. Dr C reported him to the GMC immediately so perhaps he better start getting used to plain old “Mr Bailey”. He felt the sting of getting involved with the Dingles too as Cain let his fists do the talking and left hapless Jermaine in a bloody mess. Spineless as he is, he’s let Belle believe he loves her over and above all this and she has seemingly chose him over her family. The Dingles are smothering and have a habit of bad decisions but Belle won’t come out of this unscathed either way. I hope Belle recovers some of her own agency when the dust has settled.

Underused and Underappreciated

em10_0003If you’re only a casual viewer of Emmerdale you might have wondered – who is this young couple getting involved in Holly Barton’s storyline?  The answer is, of course, two of Emmerdale’s most underused characters. Adam and Vic haven’t had much to do since babygate with Vanessa and Kirin and it was then that really cemented them as real assets to the show. Generally they’re the nicer, happier, friendlier characters on the show meaning they barely get a look in. Sure, they might have only played a side role in Holly’s drugs spiral this week but they make my Faves list simply because it reminded me how much I love them as characters and as a couple and it’s about time they had some decent material. Vic’s growing business (though we’ve hardly seen it) was doing so well she handed her notice in at the pub (the worry being we’d see her even less) and Adam was proud and supportive. Exactly the kind of “niceness” that can be lacking when a soap has to pump out full throttle drama. Of course Vic ended up attacked so the bright and positive energy from the pair took a dent. With the focus again being on Holly, I can only hope the soap gods realise it’s about time they had a story of their own.

Taxi Drivers

em10_0005Ross Barton is someone never short of a storyline or two but this week he teamed up with brothers Pete and Finn (yes, miracles can happen) as they attempted to set up their new cab firm. What a fun change it made to have them involved in something a little more comical and to see them actually working together. They lose a few points from me by Ross’s act of sabotage to the minibus in order to win Harriet’s business (although no one can say it’s out of character for Ross to do something like that) and Pete telling the lie about Emma’s health problems, which I found unbelievable coming from someone who is usually a bit holier than thou. Saying this, it was nice to see Finn getting a bit more screentime and his brothers’ attempts at supporting him just to see him buzzing and happy made a good change. It’s not a plot that’s going to win any awards and I can’t believe the taxi business will actually last but it brought some funny scenes and a change of pace for the Barton brothers.

Fails

Storyline Struggle

em10_0001Lucky Belle, eh? In one corner you have a spineless and manipulative doctor and the other, a convicted sex offender professing his love. I’m not sure what Emmerdale have been doing with Lachlan the last year but it’s a bit of a struggle to watch him spout his love for Belle and try and defend and protect her, when there’s the rather colossal matter of him being a sex offender hanging over him. The powers that be wrote Lachlan into a corner showing no remorse for assaulting Alicia Metcalfe. There were a few vague attempts to give him regret but the aftermath was sketchy and shambolic to say the least. Despite the odd mention of him attending counselling there’s been no effort to do anything with the character that ever edges towards remorse. He can’t just be portrayed as a creep and an unnerving teen and be forgiven for this because he’s willing to look out for Belle. He’s a sex offender. It’s never really been resolved, he hasn’t learnt from his mistakes and Alicia being gone doesn’t wipe the slate clean. It’s just not that simple. It seems the intentions for his character and the storyline became very muddled, particularly in the aftermath, but with his actions unacknowledged, watching him act as Belle’s protector just doesn’t work for me.

Sh*t Schemes

em10_0002I’ll admit it, when it comes to comedy, toilet humour just isn’t for me. Farting, pooping, vomiting. I just don’t find it that funny and the last thing I want to watch at 7pm when I’m tucking into my McCain chips (!) are episodes centred on constipation and laxatives. Marlon had the genius idea to lace Pierce’s gravy with laxatives after an all too vocal discussion of April’s bowels in the middle of The Woolpack. As plans go it wasn’t one of his finest and of course the gravy was consumed by Carly and Eric in their pies. D’oh! Guess who ended up with the shits? Not Pierce, that’s for sure. Far too much time was spent on this pretty stupid plot and I really didn’t need to think about Eric running back and forth to the toilet. Luckily for Marlon, Pierce forgave him after finding out and even offered to cover for him, legally, if Eric sued, so they’re all pals now. But wasn’t there a better way for Marlon and Pierce’s relationship to change than to involve a pooping plot?

Scene of the Week (19-24 June 2016)

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Dr Bailey’s house of cards came tumbling this week as his wife Angie realised the truth. Everyone underestimated smart and strong Angie Bailey so when she saw Belle’s anguish for herself, alongside her husband’s sweaty-palmed babbling, she knew what the real story was. Things hadn’t added up for a while and when she questioned what was it about Jermaine that made Belle delude herself, there was no straight answer. Angie remained silent through most of the scene as Dr Bailey stuttered. The tension! Belle floundered, spinning the lies they’d planned but Angie had figured it out and stated it, unquestionably, that Jermaine was sleeping with Belle. Nina Toussaint-White (familiar to both Doctor Who and EastEnders viewers) delivers great performances in all of her few scenes, making Angie a sympathetic and interesting character even though we haven’t seen a huge amount of her. I loved her outburst at Belle’s naivety during this scene, when she realised she’d wasted her life on Jermaine and didn’t want an impressionable Belle to do the same. I hope we see more of Angie, especially as this story looks like it’s far from over.

Fave or Fail? (12-17 June 2016)

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Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! The Euros meant only three episodes of Emmerdale this week – boo!

Faves

A Shoulder to Cry On

vlcsnap-2016-06-19-18h41m20s813It’s probably no surprise that Bernice’s ongoing life crisis gets my top spot again. With her digger meltdown rolling onto into this week, Rakesh wanted answers. Let’s be honest, it probably didn’t help her case that she was stumbling round the village with mascara down her face! But once the finger had been pointed at Ronnie he had his suspicions elsewhere. Luckily for the heartbroken Bernice, knight-in-shining-armour Andy stepped in and took responsibility for the damage at the flats. Later he comforted Bernice (with everything from a friendly ear, to his muscly arms and – oops-  his smoochy lips) and listened, confused in the way Andy Sugden does best, about the breakdown of her marriage. Of course, unlucky in love Bernice was left lonelier than ever post-snog (more about that down the page) and I’m left begging TPTB at Emmerdale just to give Bernice the love she deserves!

Worth Watching

vlcsnap-2016-06-19-18h41m59s789I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Holly or the drug addiction plot, however there’s a certain “shake your fist at the TV” enjoyment to be had when you can see an escalating situation ready to explode. Naturally having the reluctant trust of Cain and the unconditional support of Moira meant that Holly going off the rails was inevitable. This week saw her score drugs and after a short moment of resistance, be pulled straight back into a dark path of addiction. One big problem – she was babysitting Kyle and then got locked out the house! There’s equal parts frustration and nail biting during this plot, especially with Holly faking her urine test by using Kyle. Desperate times and desperate measures. The worst part is, the cracks in Coira’s marriage are only going to get bigger and Moira’s misplaced trust is going to leave her heartbroken. It’s got tragedy written all over it but it’s a plot worth watching.

Heartbreak Ritual

vlcsnap-2016-06-19-18h41m37s291I enjoyed the fun and friendship scenes this week where Tracy, Lisa and Belle teamed up to burn the belongings of their ex’s in some sort of ritual to rid themselves of any lingering feelings. Sure it was a little sitcom-y but at the same time more of these types of scenes that involve unusual character pairings bonding get a thumbs up from me. I have my doubts that this ceremony will actually work in helping them get over their men but Tracy’s panic that she’d left her scratch cards in the bag she set fire to was pretty amusing!

Fails

Playing Hard-Done-By

Emmerdale - Andy And Benice Fall Out After Their Kiss - YouTubeAndy, don’t make me hate you! You were doing so well at the start of the week! You listened to Bernice, you looked out for her, you protected her. I mean, yeah you snogged her too, but it’s hard to resist that chemistry. I get it. But what’s put you on the Fail list? Acting like a jerk. Snubbing and blaming Bernice, acting like you’re the hard-done-by one when you quite clearly were into the mouth-on-mouth action. I’m not even a fan of the Chrissie and Andy slobber fest but what a shitty way to treat her too, all in the name of covering your own back. Sort out what you want Andy and stop being so selfish!

 

Mutiny on Deck

vlcsnap-2016-06-19-18h41m46s443I love the kids of Emmerdale and I’m all in favour of a slightly comedic men’s club but this haunted pirate ship plot just isn’t doing it for me. If anything, the plot stands out even more as pure filler because we’ve some really strong weeks of character-led storylines in Emmerdale lately. Yeah it’s a bit of silly summer fun but it’s just not all that exciting, despite the odd moment that raises a smile. Arthur’s lone paranoid and under-cover iPad searches about ghost busting was sweet but a war between the slacking blokes and the kids just fell flat. Dare I say it? The men in Emmerdale just aren’t as funny without the women!

Scene of the Week (12-17 June 2016)

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Bernice’s grief turned into an almighty snog this week as her loneliness and her repressed passion for Andy took hold. Ever since Bernice got hitched to Lawrence and she and Andy got close and pined for each other, I’ve been a fan of the pairing. They’re one of the most unlikely couples of the Dales but Samantha Giles and Kelvin Fletcher possess a pretty electric chemistry every time Bernice and Andy’s feelings get out of control. Andy, when he’s being a big hearted softie towards Bernice, is at his most likeable and genuine and it’s times like this when you could really see them as a plausible couple. His fond way of making Bernice feel loved and special gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. When he told her she was “amazing”? HEART MELTING stuff. If Andy’s the good guy Bern wants then I damn well thinks she deserves him. I mean, awkward for Chrissie to be cheated on yet again but the tension in Home Farm was delicious as she walked in post-kiss – it has to be Scene of the Week!

Fave or Fail? (6-10 June 2016)

faveorfail

Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! A fantastic week on Emmerdale – I loved pretty much everything! The ladies especially were outstanding.

Faves

Queen of the Dales

vlcsnap-2016-06-12-13h55m07s360She’s my GIF of the week, my Scene of the Week choice – she was even almost my Quote of the Week choice. This week (and maybe every week, let’s be honest) Bernice was queen of the Dales. I’m pretty sure everyone’s heart broke for her as she collapsed in tears in Friday’s episode when the impact of Ronnie’s revelations, gin + wine all became too much. Plus, she had to hear Chrissie and Andy going at it next door (bleurgh guys, get a room) when she was at her loneliest. She’s a wonderful woman and she deserves better. She deserves love. Samantha Giles makes Bernice funny and heartbreaking all in the space of one episode (loved drunk Bernice on a digger) and if she wasn’t my favourite already she would be now.

Emma’s Edge

em9_0004Emmerdale is finally giving Gillian Kearney the chance to show viewers what she’s really capable of and maybe, just maybe we’re getting to scratch the surface of Emma Barton. AT LAST! Emma might be a divisive character but now that we’re seeing more to her than some lowkey meddling and playing second fiddle to her sons, she’s really exciting and fascinating. There’s so much more to her than the unhinged and volatile woman we’ve seen and while you might not want to trust her, maybe you can’t commit to liking her – Gillian gives Emma such a vulnerable edge that you do feel sorry for her at times! While many of us could have guessed she was behind the trashing of the pub, it made the revelation no less shocking, particularly when her support of Chas led to James and the boys welcoming her back home. Emma has a lot of issues, but her unpredictability and extreme emotions have definitely cemented her as a winning character in my eyes!

Tragic Romance

em9_0005I’ve already praised the Ronnie/Lawrence/Bernice plot but it deserves its own place on my Faves list as it’s a captivating story. We learnt more about Ronnie and Lawrence’s romantic history this week and it’s not often that a story told mostly through exposition and backstory could be so touching and tragic but it is. The love letters! The cufflinks! The watch! The house renovation romantic beginnings! It’s because there’s so much left unsaid and we’re seeing it through Lawrence’s clammed up denial that it makes it ever more intriguing. All three key players are left feeling unsatisfied and pining and confused by the whole situation, but me – I’m just excited to watch the whole story play out and get some answers.

Chas’s Ongoing Trauma

vlcsnap-2016-06-12-13h51m41s295In troubling times for the ladies of Emmerdale, Chas had a hellish week as the last few months of trauma caught up with her. Having decided she wasn’t ready for a new relationship, she sadly turned down dishy DS Jason Wise. Before I go any further let me say this: DS Wise was a complete SWEETHEART and gentleman and if Emmerdale don’t bring him back to help Chas “keep smiling” then I’ll just have to start a petition. He is lovely. #BringBackDSWise. Anyway, after that disappointment, Chas took to the bottle and privately worried she could be pregnant with Gordon’s baby. Thankfully she wasn’t but Lucy Pargeter again proved what a strong actress she is as Chas struggled with her PTSD. While the pub trashing wasn’t down to another sleep-walking session like she feared, getting some therapy is a good move and here’s hoping for a happier Chas when she returns!

Other faves this week: Finn’s reaction to drunk Chas, Tracy supporting Jacob, Lisa befriending Ronnie, Dr Bailey’s comedic unprofessional-ism

Fails

Martial Strife

vlcsnap-2016-06-12-13h54m44s213Cain and Moira are one of Emmerdale’s strongest couples and biggest assets. After the drama of Holly they managed to struggle through I had half hoped we might see them pull together a little bit before the cracks showed again. But no. Maybe I’m like a child standing between two warring parents but I hate seeing Coira get terse and argue with each other. But deep down, maybe this martial tension makes my Fail list because I’m worried that these cracks in their marriage might just mean more trouble and I don’t think I’m ready. Let them row and argue and press at each other’s vulnerabilities, Emmerdale. Just please don’t split them up for good.

Flat Character

em9_0003Hmmm James Barton. He’s just sort of there half the time. Uninteresting, irrelevant. If he was, to say, move to another farm – would anyone really notice he was gone? He was heavily involved in two big storylines this week and while Bill Ward is a good actor, (he was great as Charlie Stubbs in Corrie) he rarely gets the chance to show it. This week changed that but was it too little too late? The scenes, while showcasing Emma’s potential, just made James feel pretty flat. I don’t really care about his relationship to Emma, nor a friendship with Chas and most of the time he, like Emma, is in the shadow of his sons. And after the whole Adam and Moira revelation we hardly see them together. Maybe if Emmerdale continue to use Emma to her full, erratic potential she might just spark some life into James!

Scene of the Week (6-10 June 2016)

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You might be forgiven for thinking this blog is a Bernice Appreciation page rather than The Woolie Weekly but she absolutely stole the show this week and if you don’t love Bernice then I don’t think we could ever be friends, sorry. The penny dropped for Bernice when she realised that the big tension in the room was not that Ronnie Hale is Chrissie’s real father but that he’d had a relationship with Lawrence. In the scene which I’ve chosen as Scene of the Week Bernice calmly and with a level head tried to get to the truth over her husband’s past. It’s not the first time Bern’s been through this of course (a quick visit to Wikipedia tells you that she’s had two lovers leave her for men) but Lawrence’s troubled history is shrouded in guilt, secret and denial. Does Lawrence even know who he is, what he feels? Bernice wasn’t outrageous or angry. She didn’t start tearing into him for his lies – no – she challenged him over his denials and claims that Ronnie’s feelings were one sided. Lawrence, stuttering and unable to deny loving Ronnie, was pitied by Bernice who held her head high above her own pain, feeling sorry for him that even now he couldn’t face up to his sexuality and past. With brilliant performances by Samantha Giles and John Bowe, this is one of Emmerdale’s most interesting and complex stories of the moment.