Dress like your fave: Leyla

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Welcome to my brand new feature for The Woolie Weekly where I take inspiration from all our Emmerdale favourites and their dress sense.

First up is the gorge and glam Leyla Harding. Leyla is known for being bright and bold in her colour choices, with a mixture of pant suits and wet-look leggings. To pull off the Leyla look you could go for a statement blazer like this hot pink one from Topshop, maybe coordinating it with matching trousers or shoes. You could try wearing bold primary colours like this yellow playsuit from Boohoo or the red flares from River Island. Leyla often wears striking prints, like these cigarette trousers from Topshop, paired with a simple black or white top. When it comes to accessories and make up, Leyla often opts for silver jewellery, a smokey eye and nudey-pink lips. Overall, like Leyla you’ve got to be bright, bold and wear it with confidence!

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Fave or Fail? (19 – 23 Sep 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! In the week that saw David and Tracy get hitched, the best drama came from some unexpected romances.

Faves

Sparks Fly

emmerdale-holly-tells-jai-shes-leaving-youtubeThere might have been love chemicals in the water this week as three potential romances started brewing. First up and perhaps somewhat controversially it was Jai and Holly. It’s still jarring to see Jai so nice after last year (but let’s be real, lots of characters had an iffy 2015 on the villainous front) but if you can overlook the age gap between him and Holly, then their flirtation at David and Tracy’s wedding was well done. Neither of these two characters are favourites of mine but it was a welcome change to see them both smiling and sharing rather sparky conversation. However, with both of them having difficult times in the past with drugs, them hooking up might not be for the best. Then there was the brief tease of Pete and Leyla, whose terrible attempts at flirting came with sparkly eyes and hair flicking, but fizzled out by the end of the week. I still think there’s potential there! Finally, a pairing that looks to continue next week is Megan and Frank. It’s easy to see why she’d be charmed by him and it’s great to see Megan, an underappreciated character and a great actress, have more screentime!

Team Sugden

vlcsnap-2016-09-25-09h44m26s079I’ve often lamented Emmerdale’s lack of a proper story for Victoria Barton (nee Sugden) and this week we saw her get feistier as she learnt the truth about Chrissie White’s plot to frame her brother Andy. I love when Vic and Robert share scenes as they make a great sibling duo and her being able to juggle her catering business as she rescued him was an amusing watch. Even better was when she heard of Chrissie’s true colours and delivered a winning impression of Chrissie’s snooty flattery, before vowing revenge on the Whites. She’s smarter than Bernice and less reckless than Robert, so with any luck she’d be able to do a better job at taking down the Whites! If anything, this week confirmed that we need to see more of Victoria in action rather than being kept in the dark or standing on the sidelines.

Paddy Power

vlcsnap-2016-09-25-09h45m02s185Paddy’s possessive behaviour this week continued but again it was played for laughs. From rowing with Pearl about coasters to dressing up in a crown and throwing water at Chas to protect his castle – it was laugh out loud funny. But as Chas got through to him he broke down, gutted that he really had lost his chance and it was all over with Rhona. We saw his true vulnerability too as he was upset about potentially being cut out of Leo’s life too and the scenes of his realisation that he needed to move on were touching. A far cry from his behaviour at the start of 2016! As Chas offered her support it really made me cherish their friendship, my only hope is that they don’t turn this great friendship into an unnecessary romance.

Jimmy’s Sticky Situation

vlcsnap-2016-09-25-09h45m23s977It was a silly and bizarre little plot in this week’s Emmerdale but Jimmy King’s comedic expressions always gives me a good giggle. As Nicola and Jimmy tried to get their marriage back on track, he decided to attend a toddler club with Carl for a bit of peace. Only, unfortunately for Jimmy, it was at the same time as a meeting for coping with grief and a case of mistaken identity lead to Jimmy pouring his heart out about his “dead” wife as well as fitting in a good moan about Nicola. Nearly getting caught lying the next day by Bob, Jimmy had to think quickly on his feet and pretend his “late” wife was a pastry chef and sweet treats like that brought back too many memories. Sometimes it’s these small and silly stories with Jimmy that deliver the best awkward laughs and this is certainly one of them!

Fail

Sitcom Overload

emmerdale-tracy-is-covered-in-mud-on-her-wedding-day-youtubeMy interest in David and Tracy has waned since his refusal to take no for an answer and the increasingly irritating proposal schemes but thankfully with them getting wed this week it might quieten down. While I loved the gathering of characters for the “Hag” party and the wedding, there seemed to be one too many farcical scenes which leaned more on the sitcom than it did on the soap. While it’s fun seeing parties and costumes now and again, David and Tracey keep making a habit of it and it loses its comedy factor – maybe it’s time the fancy dress box had a rest? Then there was Frank’s kidnap of Tracy on her wedding day, a car crashing into a lake, a trek through a field, a mud-splashed dress, topped off by a performance of Steps as the final proposal effort. All things that might have been funny on their own (and the Steps routine did raise a smile, granted) but together it was all a bit too much. Besides, the Tracy/Frank/Vanessa story deserves more than having these silly slapstick adventures.

Scene of the Week (19 – 23 Sep 2016)

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Victoria Barton to the rescue! Just when you thought Robert Sugden’s plots couldn’t be anymore ill-conceived, he returns with another stinker. This week, impersonating everything from Bob the Builder (nice hard-hat, Rob) to George of the Jungle, Robert tried to sabotage Chrissie White’s Treetop Adventure World with a little tinkering and ended up dangling in mid air with only his resourceful sister for help. Victoria hilariously told him to “hang on!” while she roped in stepmother Diane to do a little distraction and waylay the grand opening. It’s not often we see the fragmented Sugden family partake in a little comedy but it was a fun scene, even more so when an upside-down Robert tried to deny any involvement in the sabotage. So believable, Robert! Not only did Robert’s fall raise the giggles, but it was nice to see Victoria raising her eyebrows and rolling her eyes in despair before giving her brother some help.

Fave or Fail? (12 – 16 Sep 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 good week where we had a proper introduction to Frank and learnt about what gives Ross Barton nightmares!

Faves

Talking Frank

vlcsnap-2016-09-18-14h12m38s514He’s the new, smooth and charming silver fox in Emmerdale and I think I’m in love. It seems very clear there’s a lot more to Tracy and Vanessa’s dad Frank than meets the eye – he’s definitely going to get up to some very bad things, but right now he’s got charisma by the bucketload. Frank’s already won over one of his daughters and has got Charity swooning (Frank and Charity would be an incredible partnership btw) but we saw a glimpse of his darker side too. Frank’s immediately intriguing and his well-spoken manner is a great guise for concealing his true nature and schmoozing everyone onto his side. So far Frank seems like a great addition to Emmerdale and I’m really excited to see what impact he’s going to have long term.

French Fancy

vlcsnap-2016-09-18-14h11m36s888In times of break ups and shake ups when it comes to Emmerdale’s couples, it made a nice change to see a romantic pairing who isn’t going through a rough patch and watch them indulge in a little bit of light-hearted flirting. Before Aaron headed to France on a slightly random bit of scrap trade training (is that a thing?) he made time to tease Robert about his age and have a smooch in the hallway. Everyone knows Robron have earned one hell of a fanbase since their affair almost two years ago, but the chemistry between the actors still burns strong now that they’re more settled. We’re used to seeing Aaron and Robert in relentless emotional drama or cooking up revenge plots, so it was a welcome bit of levity to see them happy together, even with Aaron’s dubious command of the language of love.

Clowning Around

vlcsnap-2016-09-18-14h12m07s921We learnt something new about local hard-man Ross Barton this week – he’s terrified of clowns. It was such a small joke within the week’s episodes but so fantastically played by Mike Parr that I had to add it to my favourite moments of the week. Ross could barely look at the clown-come-stripper, flinching and using a beer mat to hide him from view. He was even less amused when Dan decided to scare him the next day by jumping out in a clown mask. So that’s clowns and needles now – I wonder what else Ross is afraid of? When they don’t overplay Ross’s comedy, he’s a really entertaining character and it’s far more enjoyable to see his light and shade like this, reluctantly stuck between Kerry and Dan’s issues, than the way the spent most of last year pining for Debbie and having aggro with Pete.

Paddy’s Bad Week

616-aaron-amp-robert-15th-september-2016-part-3-of-3-robert-only-youtubeI’m reluctant to completely commit to the idea of “poor Paddy” considering he was the one to cheat on Rhona and leave her heartbroken but Paddy seemed to be prime target for bad luck this week. He walked in on Vanessa slagging him off, he didn’t feel especially welcome staying with a loved up Carly and Marlon, he got splattered in muck and he got sprayed with a hose. By the end of the week, having staged a sit-in at his old home and feeling homeless and sorry for himself, he seemed to have a moment of realisation that he’d majorly effed up his life (about time too). But the enjoyment of these scenes have mainly been because it feels like we have the old Paddy back. I think we were all fed up with him during his affair but to see him as the hapless, soft-hearted klutz again is exactly what we’d been missing and as long as he doesn’t keep up his misjudged plot to “win” Rhona back, then I’m happy to have the old Paddy back again.

Fail

Beg Borrow Steal

614-aaron-amp-robert-15th-september-2016-part-1-of-3-robert-only-youtubeLisa was on a mad mission to keep Belle up north this week as the hospital wanted to move her to a specialist mental health ward in Surrey. Surrey! Not Surrey! From the way the Dingles reacted you’d have thought the hospital was in Sydney, and while Lisa’s reluctance to keep Belle close was because of greater fears about losing her daughter for good the Dingles’ reactions seemed completely OTT. Lisa’s anguish seemed even more pointless considering by the end of the week she had resolved that Surrey was the right place for Belle and she could still visit her, perhaps proving that the plot’s real purpose was to bond Lisa and Zak closer, to integrate Liv into the family and to let Lisa joyride! Unfortunately, Lisa’s short sighted stubbornness dominated the week’s plots and was grating when her heartbreak had been so poignant previously. And even though the Dingles aren’t always everyone’s friends in the village, it makes you wonder why they didn’t try doing a fundraiser or tapping some of their richer pals, rather than hoping the selfish Whites might help!

Scene of the Week (12 – 16 Sep 2016)

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For a while now I’ve bemoaned a lack of a quality story for Priya and with Rakesh away, it finally looks like Emmerdale are giving Priya some decent material. Lately all her stories seemed to be bogged down in Rakesh’s deathly dull financial woes and the word ‘insurance’ but this week saw the continuation of stress and low self-esteem materialise in the relapse of her eating disorder. Thankfully for Priya, friend Leyla was on hand to give her some support. Leyla too hasn’t had a good story in a while so it was a blessing to see these two characters come to the front of a storyline. After Priya’s collapse, Leyla was quick to work out that this wasn’t just a ‘blip’ as Priya dismissed it as, but a return of her bulimia. There was no panic or judgement in Leyla’s reaction, only understanding and support. She tried to raise Priya’s energy levels and help her eat something, as well as trying to get her to open up and seek professional help. This scene of empathetic female friendship is the type of moment Emmerdale has been sorely lacking lately so it’s an easy choice for Scene of the Week. More of this type of friendship, please!

Fave or Fail? (5 – 9 Sep 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 week where everyone snogged the wrong person and a donkey was the hero of the hour.

Faves

Party Envy

em13_0005Easily one of my favourite things this week was Tracy’s 90s themed party. Being around her age I live in a constant state of Buzzfeed-nutured 90s nostalgia. Ponytails, S Club 7 and Steps, bad lipstick – it all brought back good memories. What was even lovelier is that newly discovered sisters Tracy and Vanessa even managed to share a hug and Vanessa went to a lot of effort to put it all together. Of course resentments about their father Frank got in the way of true bonding but while it lasted the girls shared some touching scenes. I love when Emmerdale throws a good party especially when they feature some inspired costume choices – Leyla as Britney was smoking hot!

Switching Sympathies

em13_0004I’m glad that Dan and Nicola’s emotional affair stopped before it went any further than a kiss. Their bonding, friendship and subsequent messy feelings has actually been believable and an interesting watch, rather than just another extra-marital affair plot. The good thing about the episodes this week is the grey area of all four players’ feelings. All four of them were hurt – Jimmy and Kerry because of the betrayal, Dan and Nicola because of the guilt and the pre-existing difficulties they had with their partners. Emmerdale did a good job at showing all sides to the fallout – Jimmy’s anger and frustration (he only wanted Nicola to communicate with him); Kerry’s quest for drunken revenge; Dan’s explanation for his comfort seeking and finally Nicola’s feelings of inadequacy. I enjoyed how my sympathies switched and were with all characters rather than pointing the blame at any individual and villainising them. Ultimately I’m just glad the Kings seem to be on slightly better ground now because Jimmy and Nicola are made for each other. Kerry and Dan on the other hand…it’s only a matter of time before Dan finds out about Ross!

Gripping Performances

emmerdale-lisa-has-given-up-on-a-now-homeless-belle-youtubeTwo big emotional moments in the week centred on Belle’s breakdown and Tracy’s upset about her father Frank’s neglect of her as a child, in favour of his other family. While I can’t say either plot is my favourite, the success of them lies heavily in the performances of the leading actresses. Eden Taylor Draper and Amy Walsh can’t fail to break hearts with their acting, particularly in those scenes of distress and upset. Tracy instantly becomes more sympathetic and likeable when we get to see her in a state of sadness and stripped of her brash defences and away from his tiresome proposals, David offered her the support she needed. Similarly Belle’s storyline is much stronger without the gimmick of Ellie’s presence and Eden’s performances are powerful enough alone without needing to see her delusions in an (irritating) physical form.

Fails

Double Standards

emmerdale-ross-shouts-at-ross-for-cheating-on-emma-with-moira-youtubeIt’s all very well for Ross to be upset and angry about his father’s betrayal of the emotionally unstable Emma, but did anyone else think it smacked of hypocrisy? Ross spent most of last year betraying his brother and ruining his life by getting it on with Debbie but now he feels like he has the authority to rage at James’s behaviour? Pfft. That’s not to mention the day before he was happy to take advantage of Kerry (who was upset and vulnerable) when he berated his dad for doing the same with Auntie Moira. Not content with having a pop at his dad, he accused Moira “whoring” it about near his dad, which was a bit rich coming from the guy who was competing with his brother about how many women he could bed. Ross is no saint and it would be more believable if his upset came from worries about his mother rather than from his judgemental soapbox.

Desperate Declaration

emmerdale-james-and-moira-get-close-and-kiss-youtubeThere’s not a single character in Emmerdale who is more pointless than James Barton. He’s a useless partner to Emma and a dreary influence in Moira’s life, more than happy to interfere in her private life as Mr Nice Guy, and now we know why. He loves Moira! Oh come on now. This desperate bombshell was an embarrassing and unbelievable revelation to convince Moira to stay at Butler’s. It came out of nowhere. We all know he’s Adam’s father (terrible retcon alert), so we know there’s history between them but there’s never a sizzle between them – not a single spark. So to see them start sucking face by the side of the road and the backseat of the taxi (sans knickers and bra) was totally implausible. Thank god for the donkey. Obviously Moira was trying to get one over on Cain, but surely even she’s not that desperate to turn to someone with all the personality of a fence post?! And as for James’s sudden surge of feelings for Moira, well that seems conveniently timed to send unstable Emma over the edge – in which case, bring it on. Team Emma all the way! It’s no loss.