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!
Honesty and Vulnerability
The 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
Priya 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
Emmerdale 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!
A Week of Misogyny
Is 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.
The 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.