Fave or Fail? (21-25 Nov 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! Hooray – a fairly good week with some fantastic performances.

Faves

Forgive and Regret

emmerdale-emma-claims-that-james-commited-suicide-youtubeEmma is THE character to watch in Emmerdale right now, with Gillian Kearney’s captivating performances making for enthralling viewing as Emma’s convincing lies are woven with elements of truth. This week saw Emma unravelling further and steal sleeping tablets in order to make it through the inquest. Even with her boys around her Emma was a mess but she delivered cherry picked truths to weave a story about James wanting to commit suicide. Devious genius really! The best part about Emma is that she can simultaneously anger viewers wanting justice but when she’s at breaking point and destroying herself with guilt, she actually invokes sympathy. It’s incredible. Some of the best scenes of the week were when Harriet was offering Emma guidance and support at the cemetery and then later in the church where Emma almost seemed to have an epiphany and begin to turn to God and the church’s notions of forgiveness. It was an interesting twist to see Emma embracing forgiveness and perhaps follow a pious outlook. Are we going to see Emma turn to religion in a worrying way or is the fun new rivalry against Cain going to cause even more carnage?

Mission Baby Barton

emmerdale-adam-amp-victoria-22nd-november-2016-youtubeI’m not counting any chickens (we all know what happens to chickens in Emmerdale) because something’s got to make Adam take a temporary exit from The Dales with his spider-eating alter ego busy in the jungle, but loved up Victoria and Adam is exactly what we all need. When it comes to Victoria and Adam Emmerdale have it just right. They are cute together, well suited – they just work. Their rows seem to be concluded in a sensible, grown up way with talking and listening. They’re fun together and with Vic on a baby making mission, it couldn’t be cuter. Sure, I’m expecting it to get out of hand with the apps and the fertility diet but I’m hoping it’s not beyond repair because Emmerdale need happy, believable couples right now, ones that we can root for against all the sadness and drama. We all need it.

Home Truths

emmerdale-joanie-finds-out-zak-kissed-lisa-youtubeHow brilliant was Joanie this week dragging Zak for all he’s worth? And she didn’t hold back either – liar, coward, cheat, bad father. In fact, it’s almost like I gave her the list! Joanie found out all about Zak and Lisa’s illicit kiss this week and tried to be pro-active into getting Zak away from Emmerdale and its temptations. It was great to see Joanie really lay into Zak for his shitty behaviour and this is probably the first time I could ever say I enjoyed Joanie’s character – I was close to wearing a Team Joanie t-shirt tbh. Of course by the end of the week delusional Zak had convinced himself and her that moving away was what they all needed to have a proper fresh start. I mean, maybe you should have thought about that about a year ago, Zak. Just saying.

Pierce’s Problems

emmerdale-pierce-smashes-a-mirror-out-of-rage-and-anger-youtubeI still can’t get to grips with Pierce and I’m not sure exactly who he’s meant to be, but I can’t deny that Jonathan Wrather gave some great performances this week as Pierce’s past came to light. After Pierce’s over the top outburst the other day (triggered also by an over the top comment by Liv) where he scared Rhona and smashed the mirror, you’d think she’d be running for the hills. In fact, considering she lives with her young son and the level of Pierce’s volatile unpredictability is still fairly unknown to them both, she probably should still be running. However, putting those issues to one side, Pierce’s scenes with both Rhona and Paddy showcased an interesting dynamic yet still left plenty of questions. Some of those questions were picked at during the counselling session but long scenes of exposition and backstory don’t always work when you’re dealing with a slippery character such as Pierce who has had a very short history on the show. Luckily Jonathan Wrather gave it his all and Pierce’s backstory certainly carried more weight than the poor attempt given to Rakesh’s history the other week. Time will tell with what we can expect from Pierce. I’m still unsure.

Fail

Frankly Disappointing

emmerdale-bobby-punches-frank-in-the-gut-and-demands-his-money-youtubeWhen Frank’s panic eyes came out last week after bumping into old foe Bobby and we saw him get nervous it seemed like we were going to get some answers about Frank’s dark and shady past. However this week, when Bobby showed up in the village and got cosy with gullible Tracy to unnerve Frank, we learnt the real truth behind his tall-tale imprisonment story and it was pretty disappointing. Frank has had moments of real charm and edge so to learn that he’s just your bog-standard conman just seems pretty predictable and not as dark and devious as I’d hoped. Perhaps we’ll get lucky and he’ll have more deadly secrets lurking underneath his smooth charisma but so far it’s been a bit of a let down.

Scene of the Week (21-25 Nov 2016)

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“We’ve just got to live the best life ever and not waste a single second of it. Not just for them, but for us.” Who’d ever thought these wise words would come from the mouth of Adam Barton? Not me that’s for sure. The Barton family collective have had a hellish year after Holly and then James’ death and through all that this was a very welcome change of pace to see two of the Barton boys reflect on life and death and the process of grieving. As a miserable Pete struggled to see the point of life, dwelling on the things his father would miss out on, Adam reflected on how he was grateful to spend time with his sister again and the importance of family. It’s not often you see these scenes of quiet contemplation, particularly with these two characters, but in what’s been a patchy aftermath to the crash, it was needed.

Fave or Fail? (14-18 Nov 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 weird week full of OTT and out of character behaviour, believe me, the highlights are thin on the ground – don’t even bother catching up!

Faves

Liv and Let Liv

emmerdale-18th-november-2016-video-dailymotion-2It seems like Emmerdale have finally got the balance right when it comes to Liv. Once it seemed like her tearaway troublemaking was only used to stir up trouble between Aaron and Robert and enable Gabby’s bad behaviour, but at last it finally feels like she has found her place in the village. Isobel Steele has been superb from day one and her likeness to onscreen brother Aaron is uncanny so it feels right that she has formed a close bond to Paddy and is trying to help him through his love woes. We’ve seen Liv get more involved in the lives of the Dingles (especially her almost mother/daughter relationship with Chas) and I love that she’s become the “go-to” girl for technology and advice for some of the villagers but still retains that snarky, sulky attitude that makes her Liv without some of the earlier brattishness that she was introduced with. I’m really looking forward to seeing Liv get a big storyline in the future!

We Need to Talk About Lachlan

684-aaron-amp-robert-16th-november-2016-part-2-of-2-youtubeDespite the continued dominance of the White family shooting saga (will it never end?!) I am still pretty interested in Chrissie and Lachlan’s dynamic. I can’t really work out if Chrissie is genuinely scared of him (she, like Lachlan can act her way out of any crisis), but the idea that she is, particularly when he seems worryingly cold and disturbed (and willing to use this to his advantage when it suits) makes for a fascinating mother and son relationship. I can’t help but feel the dynamic would be even more engaging if Chrissie was fully aware of and enabling of his disturbing behaviour in her protection, rather than believing him to be a precious victim. However, the same sticking points with the Whites that I mentioned last week (villains or victims? Remorseful or remorseless?) mean that I struggle to ever fully engage in their plots but there was something still interesting about Lachlan’s sociopathic lying and delusions that Chrissie could easily fix this for him. Thomas Atkinson’s performances under questioning and in his cell were particularly good. Ultimately though, I can’t help but feel Emmerdale are tying themselves in knots to keep the Whites in the show, when Lachlan’s sexual assault charge should have been the end of his character and this, combined with muddled motivations makes it near impossible to empathise with this family.

Other stray moments I liked:

  • DS Mudd! All Emmerdale coppers and detectives seem snarky and fun. I like him
  • Priya’s passionate defense of Kerry and ending the contract with gross sleaze George
  • The continuing tension between Pierce/Paddy/Rhona
  • Gabby’s been a fake vegan all along!
  • There’s a glimmer of promise with Frank’s dark past
  • Bob and Brenda injecting a bit of normalcy into a weird week

Fails

Kissed Off

682-aaron-amp-robert-15th-november-2016-part-2-of-2-youtubeRegular readers to this blog will already know my deep and unapologetic love for Robert Sugden and my unashamed passion for all things Robron and yet this week I was left feeling completely confused and bewildered by the bizarre twist in the #AvengeAndy plotline. After the glorious Super Soap Week, Robert’s motivations and point of view couldn’t be clearer, or so I thought. For one of the first times since Robert’s reintroduction in 2014 we finally got a peek into that messy head of his. He confirmed himself as bi, that he was fully committed to Aaron (apologies to all those girls and boys holding a candle for him) and that no one else came close. We also knew that he was hell bent on getting justice for his wronged brother Andy – okay, all good so far. Until now we’d watched him play Rebecca against her family and firmly reject her advantages so it jarred completely to see him get cosy with her and share a kiss, seemingly with his new priority to be steal back Home Farm. Huh, what?! Since when? Watching Robert this week felt like an imposter and certainly not the devoted man we’d seen most of 2016 and it didn’t make any real sense following on so close to his promises to insecure Aaron during their engagement. Not only did it leave a sour taste, rewriting Chrissie and Robert’s history and tainting Robert’s character development, but the fact it’s had no follow up since makes the whole thing even more bewildering. And memo to Emmerdale: can we give it a f*cking rest with these kissing/cheating plots? Is no couple safe?!

Compo Kerry

emmerdale-kerry-breaks-into-and-ransacks-the-factory-youtubeI’ve had a love/hate relationship with Kerry for a good while but this week’s plot might just be the final straw. Since her meltdown last week and inappropriate behaviour at work, things got worse when she decided to break into the factory at night. Farcical doesn’t even cover it. If this was Emmerdale’s attempt at comedy capers it failed, making Kerry’s fake injuries and embarrassing excuses just horrible to watch. At times I was even siding with Jai, JAI!!! The other week, when Kerry’s self-pity had a semblance of reality, I empathised. Now, her bad attitude and unprofessional behaviour makes me question why she wasn’t just fired last week. She’s not sympathetic and she’s not funny right now either. If this is all an attempt to make her reach breaking point and have an epiphany, then it might be too late – is there anything likeable about Kerry left?

Other Fails this week:

  • I know Bernice is lonely but for the love of GOD don’t let her fall for Jimmy. Please, I beg of you
  • The Chrissie and Diane scenes would have been a whole lot better without Diane’s ridiculous gun grabbing. OOC cringe! Is it really believable that Diane would actually sympathise with her when her vicious lies have left Andy on the run? I don’t buy it
  • Lawrence joking about attractive men seemed jarringly out of character considering his sexuality struggles
  • Once again Emmerdale diabetes confusion strikes again!

 

 

Scene of the Week (14-18 Nov 2016)

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In a week where almost every character was a walking plot device, my Scene of the Week had to go to something quieter, character based and less melodramatic. Paddy and Rhona attended a divorce mediation in a bid to put the past behind them and come to a civil agreement which in normal circumstances is probably quite difficult considering they work together and live within spitting distance. But luckily for Rhona, Paddy wasn’t drinking the same water as the rest of the village this week (he had his fill of out of character moments in The Great Tess Affair earlier in the year if you remember) and he decided to act like an adult about it. Having spent a while acting out and wanting his house back, he’s acknowledged his mistakes and was willing to give Rhona the house while he has the business (letting Rhona keep her job and Vanessa keep her share). It meant an easy life for everyone and stability for Leo. Rhona was chuffed and so was I. A touching scene, nicely acted by Dominic Brunt and Zoe Henry and not a shotgun in sight. Lovely.

Fave or Fail? (7-11 Nov 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! There were fireworks this week – literal and metaphorical – and Diane took her campaign against the Whites very seriously. With placards.

Faves

Gaydar Games

aaron-amp-robert-10th-november-2016-part-4-youtubeWe all needed a laugh this week. Thankfully it came curtesy of Aaron and Finn’s hilarious hospital scenes and these two gave us some very welcome smiles. As far as personality goes, you can’t get much more different than Aaron and Finn and it was this contrast that made for such brilliant moments as they waited for Victoria. While Finn was nervously trying to determine whether the coma patient he’d been visiting was gay, he turned to Aaron (out of sheer desperation I’m guessing) and his apparently stellar gaydar. Aaron was a mixture of bemused and weirded out by Finn’s attachment to unconscious Kasim and even more so with Finn’s proposed theory that an interest in Kylie is a litmus test akin to the Kinsey scale. Aaron, it transpires, is not a Kylie fan and Finn’s theory took a bit of a kicking. It was a combination of deadpan delivery, facial expressions and the writing that made this unlikely friendship work so well. And as ever it combined two of my favourite things – Finn getting screentime and Aaron having some happier material.

Family Fears

emmerdale-adam-and-victoria-agree-to-have-a-baby-youtubeVictoria and Adam are one of my favourite couples in The Dales – they just work. Their scenes are full of genuine love for each other and it was a pleasure to see them get more focus towards the end of the week. After run ins with Ross (more on that below), Vic and Adam faced new drama as they discussed the possibility of having kids. As Vic worried she might be pregnant it seemed like they were torn over becoming parents with Vic more keen than Adam. Even though Adam more than proved with Johnny that he’s dad material, he was understandably anxious after what happened with his “son” last time. For now they both seem to be on a similar page, but for how long? There’s something so warm about their marriage that any tense arguments (or when Vic cries) are affecting to watch and I can’t help but feel (with Adam Thomas doing a stint in the jungle on TV’s I’m A Celeb) that this baby making isn’t going to end well.

Team Diane

vlcsnap-2016-11-12-21h21m39s353There’s been one shining light as this #Justice4Andy plot rumbles on (and on) and this week it’s been Diane Sugden. Despite having the best intentions of keeping it from her, Diane was fuming at Robert for keeping Chrissie’s twisted smear campaign from her and vowed revenge on the White family. I loved seeing Diane’s fiery determination in a passion that reminded me of dearly departed Val, but I also loved her very misguided and poorly thought out attempts at sabotage. The week didn’t end so well, what with her getting arrested, but it was great to see Diane front and centre again considering how missed she is behind the bar.

Fails

Wishy Washy Whites

emmerdale-chrissie-knocks-rebecca-out-cold-youtubePerhaps this week’s biggest but most boring plot was all the drama surrounding the Whites. I’m really struggling to care about the whole family at the moment and this war between them and the Sugdens is dragging with no end in sight, especially as it doesn’t seem like Andy is returning any time soon. Currently it all seems like a bit of a muddle. Their motivations and personalities seem inconsistent and often I’m left wondering how we’re meant to see them – villains or victims? Even newbie Rebecca hasn’t been given enough of a personality for us to understand why she has such a problem with her big sis. They’re isolated in the village and their continued protection of disturbed and convicted sex offender Lachlan means they struggle to be an engaging set of characters and can’t just be the camp toffs they’d be better suited as. Chrissie can be entertaining at times as the unashamed soap bitch and Lawrence’s tragic past with Ronnie was a real highlight, but outside this the characters seem too vaguely sketched and it’s all a bit soulless.

Too Unpleasant

emmerdale-adam-and-rosss-fighting-injures-victoria-youtubeThe Barton brothers were at loggerheads (AGAIN) this week so it was another opportunity to turn down the volume on your telly and prepare for some chest-thumping caveman shouting from all sides. But who’s the real Fail of the week? Ross. Once again Ross is out to prove that just because you’re good looking, it doesn’t stop you from being a Grade A dick. The only person who gave Ross a friendly ear was Victoria proving that she truly has a heart of gold, because who else could stomach his immaturity and nastiness? Sadly, in his bid to piss off Adam, Ross made two unwanted attempts to kiss Vic, ruining any sympathy and earning him a deserved slap from her. Ross’s attitude to women is deplorable at the best of times but that scene was particularly unpleasant to watch. Lately, aside from the obviously cute scenes with Moses, it’s hard to remember why anyone ever liked Ross, with any softness and warm heartedness lost to this relentless aggression and misogyny instead. We might know the reasons behind his bad behaviour, but his issues with James and “middle child syndrome” – as Finn called it – have never fully worked to make him empathetic. Emmerdale could and can write Ross empathetically, but right now his character has become almost consistently unpleasant to watch and I’m hoping we see something new for his character soon.

 

Scene of the Week (7-11 Nov 2016)

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In a week full of the Whites’ melodrama it might have been easy to overlook or forget this fantastic scene at the start of the week where Laurel’s’ bravery crumbled and she was left sobbing against Sandy’s chest. Having visited a care home, albeit reluctantly, Laurel was faced with the struggle that her years with Ashley might soon be meaningless. The beauty of this scene wasn’t only Charlotte Bellamy’s incredible and understated performance, but the writing. Laurel’s struggles with being Ashley’s wife and, increasingly, his carer aren’t easy, they aren’t pretty. At times she’s selfish, unlikeable even. But that’s the strength of it, it just seems so real. Laurel’s bad day was one of Ashley’s good days – he was happy and she couldn’t be. Laurel feels like she’s losing her husband and a huge part of her life and history and it’s impossible not to feel this pain with her. This was another stand-out scene in a painful story which affects so many.