Fave or Fail? (25-29 July 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! So many great moments in a thrilling week of Emmerdale.

Faves

Badass Revenge

vlcsnap-2016-07-31-17h32m54s836We all knew she had it in her but wow Chrissie White (and hell yes ditch the Sugden name which has caused you such grief, girl!) has turned into one hell of a badass this week and love or loathe her you’ve got to admit it’s already a brilliant watch. For too long we’ve seen Chrissie as the simpering victim or the spoilt snob and none of these have really worked. Her brief spell of vengeance last year had disastrous results (RIP Ruby, Val and unnamed helicopter pilot) but there’s always been that winning potential there for her to be officially crowned as a classic soap bitch. Chrissie has always worked best with an eye on payback and darkness and she fully, fantastically embraced that this week in her attempts to protect Lachlan and screw over Andy. This feels like the scorned woman we should have seen last year and while it’s possible to argue that this revenge seems a little extreme compared to her muted reaction to Robert’s betrayal last year, this Machiavellian plot is compelling enough to overlook the leap. Chrissie masterfully went into protection mode but on discovering Andy’s dalliance and his further lies, something inside her snapped and her plan came into action. One moment she’s scheming with that classic evil smile and the next she’s playing the perfect girlfriend. It’s genius and I love it.

Carlon Cuteness

vlcsnap-2016-07-31-17h28m48s273As David and Tracy’s relationship has soured a little (with his ridiculous insistence they marry) it was lovely to see a similarly cute and funny relationship in Carly and Marlon this week. They’ve been close and good friends for a while so as she suffered with grief over what would have been her son’s birthday, Carly turned to her confidant Marlon for comfort. They’d already been flirting around the issue for a while so even though you wouldn’t necessarily put them together they just seem to work. With mix-messages and advice given to both parties, Carly and Marlon both came to the unsatisfactory and unwelcome conclusion that their hook-up was a one-time thing and they’re better as friends. But with everyone knowing there’s more to it, and their natural chemistry, they’re bound to realise they’re meant to be. With their warmth and affection, and the will-they-won’t-they, they’ve got all the makings of a good couple. Who isn’t rooting for Carlon?!

Lovable Character

vlcsnap-2016-07-31-17h33m18s807I think I need an intervention because I’ve fallen even more hopelessly in love with Ronnie Hale. What a lovable, well-rounded character he’s become in such a short space of time. If it hasn’t been obvious already, his tragic love story with Lawrence has been one of my favourite plots of 2016 and he continues to be an empathetic and charismatic addition to Emmerdale. His friendship with Lisa is a real highlight of the show and I loved their frank and honest conversation when she invited him for dinner as he confessed to loving Lawrence. Besotted Ronnie wasn’t even put off by Lawrence trying to shoot him the other week and still kept a vigil by his bedside, but now that he’s tried telling Lawrence how he feels and faced more rejection – what’s next? Although he doesn’t seem to have many ties to the village, I’d hate to see him leave already. Maybe one day Lawrence might be able to love him back but if not, can he not just stay and be BFFs with Lisa forever?

Interwoven Plots

vlcsnap-2016-07-31-17h36m49s734The other week I praised the community feel of episodes as one set of characters walked past another set in the middle of the scene but this week the sense of community worked even better with plots gelling in clever interwoven ways. Having discovered Andy plotted to have Robert shot, Chrissie confronted Ross and her anger at the betrayal caused the temporary split, leading Andy to sleep with Bernice. Bernice leaving the village triggered more of Gabby’s bad behaviour (which had knock on effects with Lachlan, her dad Ashley and later Victoria – which in itself had ties to the Holly and Moira story). Lachlan, feeling humiliated by Gabby and Lawrence, shot his grandad, kicking off Chrissie’s revenge plot and Rakesh – with his money woes – was hired by Chrissie. What with the Sugdens, the Whites and other connected characters involved it really played to all the strengths of a soap and domino effects. The more stories are interconnected, the better!

Fail

Plot Convenience

vlcsnap-2016-07-31-17h27m18s362There’s only one Fail this week (two if you count the silly and OTT moment Lawrence walked in on Lachlan with the gun, with classical music soaring) and it’s so minor in a week so strong but it’s a bug bear that needs to be mentioned. About a fortnight ago Holly and the Bartons started discussing her photography hobby. It was so shoe-horned you just knew there was a looming plot purpose. Low and behold this week, after standing around with a camera all week (why?!) the photography had its plot purpose – a convenient way to expose Andy’s infidelity. But with Andy and Bernice a blur in the photo it’s a miracle Rodney spotted it and just way too convenient. Sometimes stories need a little bit of force to make them work but this was very clunky and was a bit of a blip in an intense and dramatic week.

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Scene of the Week (25-29 July 2016)

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This is not the face of a happy man. This is not the face of a very smart man either (oh, Andy…) as he has absolutely no idea what his questionable decisions might have cost him. In what was a week where I’ve been spoilt for choice for stand-out scenes, this one gave me that “Ooooh!” moment. Having been questioned by police over Lawrence’s shooting, Andy was pretty smug as he was let out of his cell. I mean, what was there to worry about? Lawrence was awake and would clear his name, right? It’s not like Andy was involved in the shooting or had betrayed the Whites – once by letting Lawrence reside in prison for a spell last year and then by a spot of afternoon delight with Bernice. It’s not like Chrissie found this out and wanted to protect her gun-toting son whilst exacting revenge on her good-for-nothing boyfriend, was it? Well Andy, I’ve got news for you…! All this played out behind clueless Andy’s back so when the charge was made, a disbelieving Andy was dumbfounded (more than usual) and it made for fantastic viewing as his panic and claims of it being a set-up sounded like the ravings of a desperate man. So good! I feel this plot is only going to get better as time goes on!

Six Shocks that Rocked the Whites at Home Farm

As we all know, life’s never dull at the big house on the hill. Over the years we’ve seen murder, mayhem and a whole long history of deep, dark secrets. Anyone would think the place was cursed. Current owners of Home Farm, the Whites, have seen their fair share of drama in the time they’ve lived there. I mean, what do you expect when you’re surrounded by money and shotguns? Here are a look at six memorable Home Farm moments that have shaken the White family since their arrival in October 2014.

Lawrence Faces Abuse from Robert

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When The Whites moved into Home Farm back in October 2014 there was one thing very clear – the last person Lawrence wanted to marry his precious daughter Chrissie, was Robert Sugden. Back then we knew Lawrence was imprisoned for being gay, but it wasn’t exactly common knowledge. Robert decided to change all that. Having felt undermined and belittled by Lawrence, he outed him to friends and family. After that he really decided to continue his power games and cornered Lawrence in his office when he should have been apologising. Lawrence was shaken as Robert taunted him about his past and verbally abused him with homophobic slurs. These charged and tense scenes were only the beginning of Robert’s one-upmanship with Lawrence but they were probably the best to watch!

Chrissie Shops Lachlan to the Police

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We knew from the moment we met Lachlan White that he’d left a troublesome path in his wake. It soon emerged he had a very warped and disturbing view on women and relationships which lead to the traumatic scenes of him sexually assaulting Alicia Metcalfe. First, mum Chrissie was in full support of her son and believed his stories about Alicia, but as she uncovered more and more of his lies, she decided to go to the police and reveal everything. Despite Lachlan being horrified that his mother could turn against him, he got away lightly with his crimes and since then his family have done very little but enable his dangerous behaviour…

Chrissie Discovers the Truth about the Home Farm Raid

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Last year there were all manner of of ticking-time bombs waiting to explode in Home Farm but one major one was the truth behind the raid. In another bid to secure his place in Home Farm, Robert orchestrated a fake raid, hoping to swoop in and rescue Lawrence and play the hero son-in-law. Unfortunately for Robert, Chrissie arrived home early and he was forced into doing a little play acting among his hired thugs, Ross and Aaron. Of course, six months later when Chrissie learnt the real story from Ross she was furious with Robert and threw him out, leading to a cracking showdown between husband and wife. Crafty Rob managed to manipulate his way back into her good books but it was only a matter of time before she found out the even bigger secret…

Aaron Reveals his Affair with Robert to Chrissie

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As truth bombs go, this one was almighty. After a tumultuous seven month affair Aaron dropped by Home Farm’s kitchen and devastated Chrissie by revealing he’d been sleeping with her husband since before they’d even been married. Kaboom! Chrissie shook as she realised the warning signs had been there all along and Robert was silent in the face of the unravelling truth. His luxury lifestyle might have been over but her world had ended and she screamed for him to get out. Of course, we all know what came next…and it really did get explosive!

Lawrence Marries Bernice After Offering her an Open Relationship

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Lawrence’s mysterious private life has been a long running storyline that’s been nothing short of compelling but it was his surprising wedding to Bernice that changed things at Home Farm. Having begun a chaste relationship in the summer, in the lead up to their wedding, Bernice realised she couldn’t cope with the lack of intimacy with Lawrence. Cue: Andy Sugden in the buff. Once Lawrence discovered Bernice’s pre-wedding dalliance he shocked her by suggesting she could have sex with other men, because he was unable to offer her that kind of closeness. Deciding she loved Lawrence and didn’t want to be alone, Bernice went through with the wedding but those issues just never really went away. This was only the beginning and the Lawrence, Bernice, Andy and Chrissie saga saw a new and even more shocking era at Home Farm that we’ve seen in recent months…

Lachlan Shoots Lawrence

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Everything is crumbling into ruins at Home Farm and this week has seen things get a whole lot worse. Lawrence’s world has changed beyond recognition now that his former lover, Ronnie, is back on the scene. He’s kicked out Chrissie, Andy and Lachlan and has spent the past fortnight with a gun, drunk and tormented by the demons of his past. Having revealed Chrissie can’t be his biological daughter and belittling unhinged Lachlan, Lawrence was faced with his hysterical adoptive-grandson and a shot-gun showdown.

Could it get worse than this for the Whites? Probably! With Lawrence shot and bleeding, and Chrissie determined to protect her son whatever the cost, she’s already begun planning the perfect cover-up. One things for sure, you wouldn’t want to be a member of the White family! What’s been your most shocking Home Farm moment for the Whites?

Fave or Fail? (18-22 July 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! It’s the fab and the funny that made the top of my list this week!

Faves

Firm Favourite

vlcsnap-2016-07-23-21h46m34s935Everyone who watches Emmerdale knows if that if there’s one villager who is the very definition of precious cinnamon roll (too good for this world, too pure) then it’s probably Finn Barton. Known for his smarts and hapless luck, we often find Finn in more of the light hearted plots. Even though I’d always be happy to see more of Finn (and don’t get me wrong, he can definitely do serious drama), he was perfectly placed in this week’s episodes for some fun moments. Joe Gill’s facial expressions just crack me up. Whether he’s trying to keep his taxi firm professional and legit (good luck with that Finny boy) or trying his hand at matchmaking he’s just a great watch. I loved him fighting with David over the radios, glum that he’d had to make do with ones from the scrapyard. I loved his awkward expression at the badly timed proposal in the pub. I loved his suspicion at Liv – that she might fancy him – and annoyance that she’d heard his love life is a disaster. The world needs more people like Finn and yes, Emmerdale just needs more of him full stop.

Bad Boys with Good Hearts

vlcsnap-2016-07-24-09h30m41s226Everyone loves a soap bad boy (well, I know I do) but what’s even better than that? A baddie with a heart. We saw a few examples of that this week as two of our resident ‘bad boys’ – Robert and Jai – showed their softer sides. It wasn’t long ago I was lamenting Emmerdale’s dodgy handling of Robert’s villainy by making him step into panto territory. This week though he was back to being the complex guy we know and love when his kidnapping of troublesome Ryan ended with a payoff and a sandwich. See? Considerate. But not only was Rob’s darker side curbed by the tearaway’s sob story, Robert actually had reason for his bad behaviour in wanting to protect his new found family. Similarly Jai, who spent much of last year playing nasty games with Rachel and on a coke-fuelled spiral, has shown a much more human side in support of Holly’s recovery. Jai is actually becoming likeable! Who’d have thought it?

Too Good for this World

vlcsnap-2016-07-23-21h49m39s380Oh Lisa, another villager who is far too nice to be living in such a dramatic and woe-filled village! While Belle suffered from hallucinations and fake-baby associated breakdowns, Lisa indulged herself in a bit of pampering. While the ticklish foot rub wasn’t to her liking (think of that poor masseure’s balls) she gave me a good giggle at her guacamole and cucumber mistakes. As ever Lisa is so admirable too, when it comes to matters of the heart, as she managed to keep a brave face on as Zak and Joanie (ugh) loudly announced they’d booked a date for the wedding. I was reminded again what a loss it is that Zak and Lisa have split when they shared touching scenes together, but a part of me reckons now that actually Lisa could do better!

Fails

Bulldozing

vlcsnap-2016-07-23-21h50m44s908David and Tracy’s romance was right up there in my faves last week but this week it came crashing down thanks to David’s bulldozer behaviour. Having reunited at the start of the week David thought the sensible thing to do would be to propose and when Tracy agreed, only later changing her mind they decided a disengagement was in order. Tracy gave a heartfelt and wise speech saying she thought it was too soon and that they barely knew each other. You don’t normally get that kind of sense in soap! However, a day later David had booked a date for the wedding and vowed to ask her every day until she agreed to marry him. David being ill and impulsive doesn’t give him the right to steamroller over Tracy’s wants and needs and his selfishness seemed pretty unfair on her. Tracy may well decide to marry him at some point but that’s up to her – she shouldn’t be made to feel guilty. Wise up, David!

More of the Same

vlcsnap-2016-07-23-21h46m50s603Maybe I should be careful with what I wish for because the Belle fake-baby plot took a twist this week, only it wasn’t anything new. Having spent most of the week in a terrible state fretting about whether to fake a miscarriage or fess up to the truth, Belle began hallucinating a woman she met in prison. If the baby plot felt repetitive then this only made it worse as it wasn’t that long ago Belle was hallucinating dead Gemma’s voice. Perhaps this story might have worked if the vision was Gemma, but making it a random woman we’ve never heard of just left the scenes flat and unengaging. There’s nothing new yet in this story and rehashing Belle’s past breakdowns feels tired. Seeing the impact of this affair on Belle’s mental health is an interesting angle to go down and one I’d have welcomed but instead the clichéd plot has made her whiney and the visions feel gimmicky rather than making her empathetic. Surely her strange behaviour won’t go unnoticed by her family, again?

Scene of the Week (18-22 July 2016)

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My usual pick for Scene of the Week is something emotional or dramatic but I’ve gone for something completely different this time around and chosen the funny scene of David trying to tell Tracy how he felt via the Bartons’ cab firm radios! Having felt humiliated by David’s comments last week (walking out before he got to the slushy bit) Tracy decided to go to Ibiza for good. What followed was your classic rom-com sitcom style rush to the airport – only with an Emmerdale twist. Having discovered Tracy used the Barton boys’ taxi firm, David demanded answers from Finn and they tried to get in touch with Ross via the dodgy radios. Luckily for David, Ross’s cab broke down and Tracy’s departure was delayed. With Ross rolling his eyes and Finn unhelpfully interrupting as David tried to declare his love for Tracy, it was the perfect mix of comedy and romance.

Fave or Fail? (11-15 July 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! I had lots of Faves in a week of love, friendship, community and brilliant performances.

Faves

Tragic Love Story

vlcsnap-2016-07-16-21h57m40s524The Lawrence and Ronnie saga came to a head this week as Lawrence was outed right in the middle of the pub. Is Chrissie getting déjà vu here or what? The week began with Lawrence fainting thanks to his “gentleman’s helpers” tablets in a bid to make his marriage work once and for all. But after meddling Andy had whispered in Bernice’s ear, she orchestrated for Lawrence and Ronnie to be alone in a hotel room together to force her husband to come to some sort of decision. “You’re gay!/Are you gay?” must have been the most used phrase of the week. But what followed were a series of completely heartbreaking scenes as Ronnie tried to get Lawrence to admit who he is and what they were to each other. Ronnie has fast cemented himself as a lovable and empathetic character in the village and his anguish was played beautifully by John McArdle. I don’t know about you but I was absolutely rooting for Lawrence to be able to give Ronnie the affection they’ve both had stolen from them. While the melodrama of the pub outing and Lawrence’s gun-toting breakdown was a brilliant watch, nothing could quite live up to the stunning tragedy of the hotel room scenes where we learnt about Lawrence’s past and saw the glint of hope in Ronnie’s eyes – as if his love for Lawrence had been frozen for decades. This storyline manages to intertwine with the plots of others (more on this community feel later) and create moments of empathy for all the key players involved. Emmerdale at its best.

Love and Happiness

vlcsnap-2016-07-16-21h59m33s933In amongst the angst and misery that some of the villagers were suffering with, thankfully there were happier times for others. In rare and welcome scenes, Aaron Dingle had a smile on his face as he and Robert indulged in some (interrupted) couple time and he plucked up the courage to ask Robert if he fancied getting a place together. It wouldn’t be Emmerdale if they didn’t give Aaron a few obstacles to jump cry over (and with Robert dithering, the police and Ryan showing up at the wrong moment –  there’s going to be a rocky patch ahead), but his cute hopeful smiles were a nice change. Then there was Tracy and David indulging in a low key but carefully curated romantic date at the Woolpack after Diane had locked them in a room together and David had had a good ogle at Tracy’s bum. Like Aaron and Robert, David and Tracy’s romance faced obstacles and miscommunication by the end of the week, but just like Robron they’re a couple with chemistry that you can’t help but root for. And hey, don’t these couples deserve a bit of happiness?

Friendship

vlcsnap-2016-07-16-22h16m17s259There was a strong sense of friendship this week and that was another burst of positivity through the more emotionally taxing storylines. There was Dan rescuing Nicola and giving her a bit of tough love (although let me reserve judgement on that if it’s going down the dreaded affair route!); the surprising and yet lovely new friendship between Lisa and Ronnie who deserve each other’s warmth and company; Tracy and Carly – the latter who was encouraging and supportive; Priya and David; and the humour of long term BFFs Adam and Aaron. Not only did these scenes of friendship and support bring a great deal of warmth to the show, they gave a greater sense of community rather than jumping from one plot point to the next. More of this please, Emmerdale!

A Sense of Community

vlcsnap-2016-07-16-22h01m50s186Community is something that should be at the heart of Emmerdale and you often see it when a funeral or a wedding is involved but sometimes, understandably due to filming issues, the show lacks that community spirit. Plot crossovers, characters getting involved in each other’s stories, gossip, lurking about in the background of the pub – it’s the little things. But if you’re a nerdy viewer like me you might have noticed there seemed to be a good amount of that during this week. In one scene, Rodney and the King kids conversation walked by Adam and Aaron mid-convo, who crossed the road in front of Chrissie, looking at Ronnie, as Tracy ran past back to the shop. We all know it’s a fictional little village but these little touches make it feel more real and bring the stories out of their little bubble.

Surprising and Stand-out Performances

vlcsnap-2016-07-16-22h02m24s299Another fave of mine this week is going to some stand out performances. I’ve already mentioned John Bowe and John McArdle but at the start of the week Natalie J Robb stole the show as Moira, as she coped with looking after a screaming Holly going through withdrawal. Tough scenes and difficult to portray as Moira took a solid stance to try and get her daughter through her addiction. At the end of the week it was Amy Walsh leaving me in bits as she heard what she believed to be David slagging her off – running out before he expressed his real feelings for her – and broke down in tears to Carly. Until then we’d not seen Tracy be given anything as upsetting to play but seeing her so vulnerable and hurting definitely had me choked. What a talented bunch of actors there are in The Dales!

Fail

Rinse and Repeat

Emmerdale - Belle Admits To Faking Her Pregnancy - YouTubeOnly one ‘fail’ this week and that’s the Belle “I’m pregnant so that he won’t leave me” plot. It just feels like we’ve seen this story a hundred times before, doesn’t it? With Charity in the know, she’s convinced they need to cook up a fake miscarriage plot – which is just as repetitive as the age old fake baby scan – and I’m just eager for this part of the story to be over. Producer Iain MacLeod has promised twists ahead and things that are different to what we’ve seen before so I’m holding out hope that these are coming soon because frankly, fake baby plots never work and they’re not all that original anymore, are they?