Fave or Fail? (22-26 August 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 bit of a strange week in Emmerdale – it all got a bit cruel and unkind!

Faves

Honesty and Vulnerability 

Emmerdale - Cain And Charity Kiss In His Garage - YouTubeThe Dingles were quick to turn their back on Charity this week having discovered she’d initially been involved in Belle’s baby lie and had encouraged her to fake a miscarriage. During this week Charity showed a much more genuine and sympathetic side to her character and this was far more enjoyable than the cartoonish adventures she’s had since her return. I loved the fun side of Charity shown when she was out on a Dingle mission with Sam and Marlon (great scenes) but it was Emma Atkins at her best when Charity was hurt and vulnerable in the garage with Cain. Perhaps Cain and Charity’s tumultuous relationship should stay in the past, (and certainly when she’s meddling and smug about it I think it should) but it’s scenes like these, when Charity is at her most honest that you can see why Chain has its supporters. It seems though that Cain is only going to break her heart so with Charity’s supporters thin on the ground in Emmerdale – is forcing a relationship with him wise?

Underused and Undervalued

em12_0005Priya must be one of Emmerdale’s most underused characters and after watching her this week I was left wondering why. She’s a smart and shrewd business woman and yet spends most of her scenes dragged down into the boring depths of Rakesh’s money troubles. Has there been a scene in the last month where she hasn’t talked about insurance? This week showed she’s so much more than that. In the factory with Laurel she left me amused as it transpired she wasn’t as pally with the business associate as she claimed and then later there was the glimpse of a feistier Priya as she laid into Chrissie. It’s unfortunate that this spark of fight and personality is over a man as uninteresting and pathetic as Rakesh, particularly when she’s being so easily fooled by him, but it has only served to make me want to see a more dynamic, exciting version of Priya. Make it happen please, Emmerdale!

Better as Friends

em12_0004Emmerdale seems full of adultery and marriage breakdowns at the moment but despite this, there’s something quite enjoyable about Dan and Nicola’s scenes together. The last thing I want is to see the end of the Kings marriage and Jimmy’s efforts at playing the doting husband are well meaning even if they’re driving Nicola barmy, but the bond between Dan and Nicola makes a nice change for both characters. I really like how supportive and encouraging they both are with each other, without the sugar-coated pity (of Jimmy) or the sharp mocking (or Kerry) and it’s been welcoming to see their softer sides. I’ve really enjoyed the stories behind their insecurities. Nicola’s vulnerability and unhappiness due to her paralysis is an interesting story to tell because we’ve known her for so long as a brash and confident woman. I like the impact this has had on her feelings of self-worth, independence and femininity without her resorting to too an overload of self-pity. Dan is going through a process of reinvention and trying to better himself in an admirable attempt to change careers, but without a lack of faith in himself and no support from Kerry it’s easy to see why he needs the cheerleading of someone like Nicola. They are a good team together right now, if only they hadn’t gone down the tiresome route of kissing and romantic feelings!

Fails

A Week of Misogyny

Emmerdale - Tracy Calls Vanessa A Bitch And Starts A Bar Fight! - YouTubeIs there something nasty in the water in the village of Emmerdale that’s causing so many of the women to tear strips off each other? If it’s not cat fights and pint throwing it’s calling each other bitches and tramps. It wasn’t even one isolated fight this week, there were a number of scenes where the claws were out – and scratching. Cat fights and possessive incidents of jealousy are not uncommon but is it really necessary for so many of the women to gang up and talk about each other in that way? Tracy was right to point it out this week, that Vanessa and Leyla were openly degrading her in front of baby Johnny and that’s not how they’d want him to treat women – so why were the women so especially vile this week? It’s not like we expect everyone to be best pals – there will be rivalry, bad-mouthing and snobbery just like real life – but the cruel name-calling whether in cliques or in bad-tempered put downs was just too much. I expect better of the characters I like than a week full of misogyny.

Plot Misfire 

Emmerdale - Rakesh Attacks Chrissie For Toying With Him - YouTubeThe Thursday hour-long episode is one I’d be willing to erase from the archives. If the misogynistic tirades weren’t enough, (not to mention Zak and Joanie’s badly timed shag, Kerry being unpleasant to Dan, Charity and Cain submitting to sex he doesn’t seem all that into) the Chrissie story took an unpleasant nose dive. I’ve really been enjoying her villainous behaviour, but her blackmailing of Rakesh was a real misstep. Rakesh is about as interesting as dry toast so his money problems add nothing to Chrissie’s quest for revenge, but her prostituting herself was a baffling turn of events even for someone on an unhinged mission. In seriously uncomfortable scenes, Chrissie wanted him to seduce her and mean it but when he did (and it was hard to really grasp if there was any lingering attraction between them or not) she snapped a photo of him. More blackmail, more game playing, but more worryingly – lines of consent being crossed. The scene then lurched from Chrissie saying she’d claim rape, to Rakesh strangling her. While both parties seemed disturbed by how events had spiralled, I couldn’t help but feel the whole thing was really nasty mess to watch, far removed from the campy and fun villain routine they’d successful given Chrissie earlier in the week.

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Scene of the Week (22-26 August 2016)

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Zak’s been bogged down in the betrayal of Lisa and his family for so long now it’s hard to remember a time where Steve Halliwell got to deliver a heartbreaking moment, but my Scene of the Week choice is just that. While you’ve got to question how sensible it was to put your phone on silent and bonk your new wife when your daughter is missing, it was Zak’s reaction to the voicemail that made the moment so poignant. We all know Belle’s missing and in a very bad way with her mental health struggles but the voicemail really showed the weight of torment she faced from her delusions and confusion. Belle’s breakdown hasn’t been as powerful as it could have been, having been too repetitive and similar to her story last year, but this worrying message was really affecting as it was one of the few times we’ve seen Belle’s health spiral without the gimmick of ‘Ellie’. Even though we only heard her voice, this was a great performance from Eden Taylor-Draper too.

Fave or Fail? (15-19 August 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! Another great week in Emmerdale which saw Andy go on the run as Chrissie’s revenge stepped up a gear.

Faves

Andy’s Exit

vlcsnap-2016-08-20-17h56m02s505We lost an Emmerdale stalwart this week – Andy Sugden – and I’m really sorry to see him go. Despite his long tenure on the show, his exit has left the door open (#Justice4Andy) and hopefully he might make a triumphant return one day even if it’s just to call into The Woolpack for a pint. His surprising exit storyline might not have been perfect, perhaps rushed in parts, but his prison escape and plans to run were thrilling and emotional – exactly what a good exit should be. While some have raised an eyebrow at Andy’s yo-yoing affections when it comes to the women in his life, I loved the mutual pining and unlikely, awkwardly-timed pairing that he and Bernice made, so I was glad she played a significant role right to the end. Andy and Bernice have always had an enjoyable chemistry and spark and while we all knew it wouldn’t work in the end, there’s always that desire and ‘what-if’ feeling that somehow, at some point it could (and should?). Basically, I’m a sucker for a tragic love story and Andy’s exit ticked that box for me, especially as Bernice is just one of those characters you really hope will find the happiness she deserves. With Andy leaving to the sound of Snow Patrol’s Run, it tugged at the heart strings and I hope we get to see him back in the dales one day, probably making more questionable choices in his love life.

So Far Gone Girl

vlcsnap-2016-08-20-17h58m23s957At this rate, Chrissie’s camp villain routine is going to be on my Faves list every week but once again she proved herself to be such an enjoyable character to watch. Yes, she may have fallen off the sanity bus but watching her go full on Amy Dunne, Gone Girl style, to ruin Andy’s life was a great moment of shock. Picking up straight from where Friday’s episode left us, Chrissie didn’t let Andy go quietly and slashed her own wrist before an Oscar worthy performance that left everyone wondering how Andy could behave like this. Chrissie has almost everyone fooled with her saintly routine in front of Andy’s family and seeing her duplicitous act is as fun as it is frustrating. She just suits it – the elegantly evil glide down the stairs with a glass of champagne in her hand and the acts of deception. It’s perfect. You might be against her behaviour but she sure is someone you love to hate. It’s exciting to find out just how far she’s going to go next.

Brotherly Love

vlcsnap-2016-08-20-19h22m15s008He might not have been grateful to begin with but having his brother Robert show up, knight in shining armour style with his vintage motor and sarcasm a plenty, was exactly what Andy needed to rescue him. The banter between the two brothers was on fine form with too many great lines to quote here but after the laughs, their sad goodbye was enough to melt the coldest of hearts. There’s just something really genuine and watchable about their sibling relationship which gave Andy’s escape attempt and quest for truth heart and grounding. Robert’s mission to clear Andy’s name started as a bit of a gloating pisstake (in the smug way only Robert can pull off and still be infuriatingly charming) but now he’s lost a significant loved one this has become his own vendetta of revenge and justice against the Whites. And what’s better than Robert Sugden on a mission? Nothing.

Rooting for You

Emmerdale - Carly And Marlon Tells Each Other How They Really Feel And Kiss - YouTubeWhen Emmerdale does a good romance they do it well and there’s nothing I enjoy more than watching two unlikely characters fall for each other. Carly and Marlon seem to have what it takes to be a great couple – a spark, a good sense of fun and a shared understanding of tragedy. We’ve seen the two of them miscommunicate and pine for each other which is a winning combination to make the audience root for them together and this week saw more mixed messages until finally all it took was groin strain, a frozen lasagne and a bit of honesty before they were kissing and getting serious. After the weird direction Tracy and David have taken it’ll be nice to have another cute, warm and silly couple on screen, especially as with April around they already have a ready-made family. I’m looking forward to see how their romance progresses now that they’ve both owned up to their feelings.

Fail

Familiar Ground

vlcsnap-2016-08-20-17h52m56s216Rather than singling out a particular moment or story as my solitary fail in a strong week of Emmerdale, it’s more of a general moan about repetitive storylines. I’ve already expressed my irritation at David’s persistent proposals (and yes, that’s still happening) but this week saw two of the weaker plots fall into old territory. First there’s Belle’s storyline which although has progressed now that she’s run away after her baby lies were exposed, still gives us the tiresome scenes of ‘Ellie’ talking to her and Belle’s illness getting worse and then going unnoticed by her partner and family. We saw similar scenes when she heard Gemma’s voice (to the obliviousness of her family) and it just feels like this is a rehash of old episodes with a few more twists. Was it even that good last year to warrant it being revisited? I don’t think so. Then there’s Charity trying to relive her greatest hits with Cain in the hopes of luring him back to her – again, something we’ve seen before many times. If Emmerdale are determined to try and regain some of that Cain and Charity spark and give Coira’s marriage a rest, then can’t they find something new for Chain to do than schemes and hijinks they were doing years ago? It’s like a dodgy cover version of your favourite song. Can’t Charity just forget the camp wigs and try a bit of sincerity?

Scene of the Week (15-19 August 2016)

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Did you cry at this scene? I’m not ashamed to say that the goodbye scenes between the Sugden brothers made me have a little Tuesday night blub when the scenes aired, so for this reason alone I’m making it my Scene of the Week. You could tell the emotional gut-punch was coming when the brothers spent most of the episode quipping and sparing in the way brothers do best (bants about d*ck size, prowess in bed – you know the sort) but when the time came to say their last goodbyes they fell silent. Having caused each other endless grief over the years, it’s not surprising that the brothers spoke about their rocky relationship before Robert told Andy he loved him. Lump in the throat right there. In the time they’ve spent playing brothers Kelvin Fletcher and Ryan Hawley built a great rapport so to see their characters say farewell was really touching and I was sorry to see this onscreen relationship end. As they shook hands I think everyone was screaming “JUST HUG EACH OTHER!” until they finally did, both getting teary and the rest of us just saying “F*ck it,” and having a little cry into our tissues. This was a really poignant moment in Andy’s big exit and I’m seriously hoping we get to see the brothers reunite one day.

6 Things Andy Sugden Could Do Next

Yesterday saw the sad departure of Emmerdale legend Andy Sugden and while he might have hung up his overalls for now, the door has been left open for his return. Andy had so many memorable moments in his 20 years on Emmerdale but I thought I’d look at his options for life after Emmerdale. So what could Andy do now that he’s on the run?

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Stick to his roots

Andy’s wanted to follow in his father Jack’s footsteps from the very beginning and he’s been a farmer pretty much as soon as he smelt that Emmerdale air, so what better than to carry on that tradition on new soils? Sure he might have to learn a few new techniques if he’s farming in warmer climes but manual work might be the best way to keep a low profile. Besides, what else is he really qualified for?

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Open a Daddy Day-care Centre

Andy’s always been a family man at heart and his kids are his second favourite topic of conversation after tractors (according to his brother Robert) so if he can’t see his actual kids (sob) then how about becoming a professional babysitter? He’s got those big arms to carry them in and the perfect IQ to be down on their level. Great career move I think. The criminal record check might be a bit dodgy but I’m sure he could flex his muscles at his employer and hope they overlook it.

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Become a stripper-o-gram

Easy money for Andy. He’s been fond of whipping his top off when the moment takes him and I think I’ve seen more of Andy’s naked flesh than the rest of the cast combined, so why not make some cash out of it? We’ve already seen him in leopard print undies, as Geri Halliwell and a butler-in-the-buff costume and he looked hot in them all so it would only take a few more moves and costumes to make the career move. As long as he looks after his bod and gets someone to give him a good spray tan he’ll be grand.

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Start a detective agency

Look, we all know Andy isn’t the smartest tool in the shed, but we don’t love him for his brains, do we? But one talent Andy does seem to have is a miraculous skill at solving pretty unsolvable crimes. Want proof? Just look at the way he solved the mystery behind Katie’s death – all it took was discovering Aaron’s phone number on an old bill and BAM! Case solved. Lawrence’s shooting cover-up? A whiff of suspicious behaviour from Chrissie and BAM! Case solved (about a fortnight later and way too late). I’m not saying he’s Sherlock but give him time and someone to work out all the hard stuff and he’d be great. Plus, what better way of covering up his new fake identity?

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Run a dating agency

Andy’s never been short on the women front so he must have some sort of magic with the ladies and it’s about time he poured those skills into helping the single and needy. By now you’d think he’d need a rest from all the smooching but he’s bound to have some guaranteed chat-up lines stored away that he could charge for while he’s having a break from shagging. Although come on, let’s be realistic, Andy would probably just end up working his way through all the female clientele.

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Come home, back to Emmerdale!

He hasn’t been gone longer than 24 hours yet but I just want him back in the Dales. Emmerdale without Andy just seems wrong. It’d almost be like Emmerdale without The Woolpack. So here’s hoping that one day, in the not too distant future, that Andy can find a way to return and get some justice and his family back. I’m gonna miss him!

Fave or Fail? (8-12 August 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! An unmissable week in The Dales from Lisa’s heartbreak to Andy’s prison break!

Faves

Super Soapbitch

Emmerdale - Chrissie Blackmails Rakesh Into Betraying Andy - YouTubeIf there was any doubt before, Chrissie White has firmly secured herself the soapbitch crown as her ruthlessness took to new heights this week and it has been fantastic to watch. Her devious schemes and cold calculations led to a thrilling sequence of events and Andy Sugden on the run. With Lachlan cracking under the pressure, Chrissie’s grip on revenge only got tighter as she used her cunning to get Rakesh onside. Nothing like a bit of money and knowledge to give you all the power you need. With a sharper haircut and heavy eye-make up, Chrissie meant business as she told Rakesh to make sure Andy pleaded guilty or she’d let slip about his arson. Louise Marwood has been playing these scenes brilliantly, ensuring that Chrissie is a villain you just love to hate. Every scene has been tense, waiting for Chrissie’s plan to crumble, but it hasn’t and she’s been winning at every turn. It’s so much fun and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Twists and Turns

Emmerdale - Andy Escapes From Jail! - YouTubeThere have been some moments of pure shock and brilliance this week in Emmerdale which is making it completely unmissable. Of course the main drama has been surrounding the Chrissie and Andy drama and as we awaited his plea, I really couldn’t call which way he was going to plead. So tense! Then the biggest surprise of all was Rakesh telling Andy to shove him and run – that this was his only chance of ever being free – and we ended up seeing Andy make a thrilling escape and go on the run. Of course it’s quite implausible (especially Andy hiding in Adam’s scrapping truck) but when it’s exciting and unexpected as this was then it’s easier just to enjoy. Outside of this story is the revelation that Tracy and Vanessa are sisters. This is something that’s been speculated about for over a year but now that their dad Frank’s been introduced it’s going to be interesting to see how they react!

Getting Frank

CpmSUIdXYAExrcZFrank Clayton had his first scenes in Emmerdale this week as David visited him in prison. Him being Tracy AND Vanessa’s dad means there are already a great number of stories waiting to happen but I’m already interested in Frank. There was something quite charming as well unnerving about the man and although he seemed to have a good sense of humour, I definitely didn’t trust his simplistic story about how he ended up behind bars. With his release date looming I’m excited to see what kind of menace he might bring to the village considering he seems smart and outwardly charming – what kind of darkness could he be hiding?!

Fails

Give Lisa a Break

Emmerdale - Lisa Watches Zak And Joanie Get Married - YouTubeI love Lisa so this being under my ‘fail’ column isn’t an indication of how I feel about her (FYI I think she’s a wonderful, good hearted woman) but more that I wish she had an easier time of it. Having been left by Zak for another woman (her friend no less) she’s held her head high and shown countless examples how she is the better person. This week was the biggest test of all as she had to repair Joanie’s dress and cope with the actual wedding. You could feel the pain radiating off the screen and the sight of her walking away from the church as they said their vows has got to be one of the cruellest and heart breaking things to happen to such a sweet character. Lisa doesn’t deserve this. Lisa shouldn’t have to help with the wedding or give her blessing or let Zak appease his guilt. She shouldn’t have to suffer over her future identity and the Dingle name. No, Lisa deserves better. Lisa deserves happiness. Stop hurting Lisa, Emmerdale. Give her happier times! (I mean it’s unlikely considering Belle’s current mental health problems, but a girl can hope).

Pushy and Irritating

CphFvbKWYAEOg56David Metcalfe welcome to the bottom of the week’s Fail selections. Sigh. I was so on board with David and Tracy at first but I’m steadily going off the idea the more David tries to force her to agree to marry him. David’s a kooky, funny guy and it’s understandable that having cancer has made him reassess his life and the future but having already had several marriage rejections from Tracy, you’d think he’d tone it down. Sadly not. He hasn’t kept it light and romantic, it’s bordering on harassment and by now it’s just creepy and irritating. While he forges ahead with the proposals, even booking sessions with wedding planners Leyla and Megan, Tracy still isn’t keen. Sure, she doesn’t seem to mind some of the preparations and there’s a certain appeal to looking at dresses and venues but David’s pushiness is grating, especially when he met with Frank knowing she wanted nothing to do with him. Want a future with Tracy, David? Start listening to her.