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!

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Fave or Fail? (14-18 Nov 2016)

  1. “And memo to Emmerdale: can we give it a f*cking rest with these kissing/cheating plots? Is no couple safe?!” – Yes, please! It’s getting really out of hand. Don’t they know another reason to give problems to couples without turning to this? I’ve said it once and I’m gonna say it again: it’s cheap drama!
    They’ve already broken up enough power couples for stupid reasons: Zak/Lisa and Coira.
    The good thing about the OOCness of this week is that it makes me forget what happen a lot more easily, if that makes any sense. It’s like ‘well, this is crap, now show me the good stuff’. Because in the SSW we saw what Emmerdale does best, the characters, the plots, every single episode was excellent and now they are showing us whatever this is.

    The whole White plot is boring, a lot of characters acting and doing stupid things, the plot itself doesn’t make much sense. They brought a character they didn’t need to and hasn’t shown the audience nothing interesting or worth watching. Robert was so poorly written this week… Who was that guy? I like him as much as I like Aaron (a lot), but I couln’t even watch his scenes without rolling my eyes. And what was the need to retcon his and Chrissie’s relationship? Whatever, what a mess!
    But I was thinking about this, I watch emmerdale with my robron googles on, so obviously I did not enjoy this week episodes (or this whole story), but what does the general audience think? Do they like this story/plot? Because for me, and this is my opinion, it feels like the characters are being treated as plots, not actually real people, if you know what I mean?

    The other storylines were a bit of a snooze fest and some a bit annoying (Kerry…). And you’re right, the only saving grace was Liv. I’ve always liked her, but I thought she was being badly used in the past. Now I want more scenes with her and her ‘dads’ and also a storyline envolving mainly her :p

    This week now will be placed in the trash can and I hope Emmerdale does better these following weeks, because yikes, this was sooo bad. And also, please end the White Storyline as soon as possible. Couldn’t care less about that 😀

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    • “The good thing about the OOCness of this week is that it makes me forget what happen a lot more easily, if that makes any sense. It’s like ‘well, this is crap, now show me the good stuff’. Because in the SSW we saw what Emmerdale does best, the characters, the plots, every single episode was excellent and now they are showing us whatever this is.”

      SSW was also when they had Aaron randomly shove Lachlan into a car boot only for it to be forgotten almost immediately thereafter.

      I can see why people thought the Robert and Rebecca stuff this week sucked, because I think Robert’s role in the White story has always kind of sucked (he’s better off elsewhere and they’re better off in their own dramas), but to me Emmerdale has always been wildly uneven, sometimes scene to scene, episode to episode. I don’t think there’s a huge leap of quality from that week and this one. It may be brilliant again soon and then terrible five minutes later. It’s just part of the sad way of life that is this show for whatever reason. Probably modern soaps in general.

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      • I think Aaron’s actions were perfectly explainable and not at all ‘random’ whether they were just a reason to inject a little bit more peril into their romantic plot or not. I think we could pick holes in every plot every week, but most of the time when the quality is there we overlook it. Not this week.

        And you’re right, Emmerdale is uneven but this week its two lead plots were especially poor which is why it felt especially bad and why I’ve been more critical than usual. For me Emmerdale is by far the best soap and one I love. I very rarely have real criticisms which is why I watch and spend so much energy blogging about it in the first place!

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      • I think Aaron threatening Lachlan was reasonable, even shoving his head underwater. The car boot stuff was…well it was bizarre to me, although it was good comic relief I suppose (especially the scene with the cop). It just wasn’t something I got in the long-term, unless it’s still going to pop up again.

        I guess if I had a strong negative opinion of the Rebecca/Robert story (which I agree is stupid and dull – it’s also very sexist – I just don’t really have much of a reaction to it), I’d condemn the scenes further. As I don’t I just saw it as a means to an end, or a way to get people talking, like Lachlan and the car boot. I do think that it proved just how poor the writing is when Robert is with the Whites – their scenes from Diane and Chrissie to the end of the week were much stronger.

        The Kerry story was definitely a lousy story to have as the only real plot going on the rest of the week. It was just an embarrassment.

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  2. “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? ”

    I’m still confused as to why people keep saying this is what Robert actually wants. He was saying that to Rebecca, someone he was trying to keep in line. He’s never told anyone else he wants Home Farm.

    Personally, I never believed he just cared about getting justice for Andy. He hates the Whites. And besides, there’s nothing they can do for Andy now anyway, as Diane mentioned last week. I don’t believe he wants Home Farm, and he’s never said he does outside of one scene with Rebecca that was (unless it’s made more explicit later on) a lie. It’s about payback, not the mansion.

    I thought it was a stupid idea to have the scene before the wedding, as it makes a mockery of the whole idea of it (and is another reason I don’t understand why the show is doing the wedding so quickly), but I don’t think it’s out of character for Robert to have a moment of weakness. He didn’t exactly hump Rebecca on the couch. He stopped himself. I think many forget just how dirty and sordid his affair with Aaron was until the queasy retcons earlier this year that essentially painted him (and his abusive treatment of Aaron) as a hero because Gordon’s abuse was worse. I do believe that Robert loves Aaron and wants to be with him, but he’s never going to be 100% loyal and devoted to the point of never, ever being tempted. If people expect that of Robert they’re going to be in for a lot of nasty surprises.

    “Lawrence joking about attractive men seemed jarringly out of character considering his sexuality struggles”

    He wasn’t joking about attractive men. Rebecca made the comments, and he smirked a bit. At this point I think it is more in character for where he is now than if he’d had a tantrum like he would have done earlier on.

    I feel like “out of character” with some characters can just mean, “They aren’t doing what I want.” That’s how I felt about most of the reactions to Robert this week. I don’t believe anything he did or said was out of character. Then again I have never believed that the Robert this year was ever fully in character – this noble white knight who was content to live in a pub with Aaron and 500 other people and to have to deal with his bratty kid sister. I think Robert is generally a plot device, not a character, and has been since Ryan Hawley’s arrival in the role, so maybe I just can’t feel that he’s been damaged, especially not after what he did last year, which was a million times worse. I think that the show has done a poor job of establishing who Robert is and as a result a lot of fanon about his virtues and goodness has popped up in place of actual characterization. When he has moments where he isn’t a living saint destined to always watch over Aaron’s bedside, there’s backlash. I’d say there may not have been if the scenes had been better written and timed, but I imagine there still would be.

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    • Got to say, I’d rather keep this blog a pleasant place to read – for all fans of Emmerdale – and not one which discusses “their” reactions in a way they can’t respond or defend. We take these characters into our hearts and fans should be allowed to explain their irritation or dismay about the writing without it being dismissed as toys being thrown. There are plenty of places that already slag off and berate Robron fans and Robert Sugden and as I’ve already said – I’m a huge fan – so this is not the blog to do so, whether you agree with my comments on the week or not ;). Perhaps we can leave the “queasy” comments for elsewhere. My criticisms were of the way Robert was written this week in comparison to the writing the rest of the year, regardless of whether you believe his characterisation the past year, for me it did not fit. And if his lies and gameplaying are the reason for this then I think it could have been signposted a lot more clearly.

      As for Lawrence, I didn’t expect a tantrum but I didn’t expect something so blase from a man who’s biggest plot this year has had him sobbing and firing shot guns because of his sexuality – and denying it at every turn. It was far too casual a moment for me and jarred.

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      • “Perhaps we can leave the “queasy” comments for elsewhere. ”

        Sorry if I made it seem confusing in the first post, but I wasn’t saying fan reactions are queasy. I was saying the show’s writing was – I’m never really going to fully get past the show’s choice to connect Aaron’s years-long abuse by his father with a romantic reconciliation with Robert, especially when Robert didn’t even fully believe that he was abused. There are many times that I still care about the Aaron and Robert relationship and I can understand why the show decided to put them back together, but it’s always going to be in the back of my head. What the kiss scene with Robert and Rebecca was to some, Robert’s role in the Gordon story and his doubting Aaron (which was, inexplicably, never even mentioned again) was to me. I can’t ever see that version of Robert or the message of that story or what it led to as what Robert should have been, although I respect that the abuse story and Robert’s support of Aaron was important to many. Just personally, I’d prefer seeing a flawed and self-destructive man who does love Aaron but is his own worst enemy, and although the writing was poor and it makes no sense to have this before their wedding, it’s more believable to me than a lot of what they’ve done with the character this year.

        “Got to say, I’d rather keep this blog a pleasant place to read – for all fans of Emmerdale – and not one which discusses “their” reactions in a way they can’t respond or defend. We take these characters into our hearts and fans should be allowed to explain their irritation or dismay about the writing without it being dismissed as toys being thrown. ”

        I didn’t mean to suggest they were throwing toys, I just feel like “out of character” is generally thrown around a lot, and I think it’s a double-edged sword, because there are so many things in this story one could say are out of character, like Chas ever accepting Aaron’s relationship with Robert, or Robert ever wanting to live in a tatty pub with assorted Dingles. Ultimately I feel characters are sacrificed for plot, and sometimes it’s in a way that gets a positive reaction, sometimes a negative reaction.

        I won’t talk about fans anymore. My apologies.

        “As for Lawrence, I didn’t expect a tantrum but I didn’t expect something so blase from a man who’s biggest plot this year has had him sobbing and firing shot guns because of his sexuality – and denying it at every turn. It was far too casual a moment for me and jarred.”

        I see what you mean, but if he was still in such a heavy state of denial he’d never let Ronnie around him. I think he is like some people in that a part of him can accept who he is (whatever the show sees him as – I still don’t really know), in small moments, but if someone asks him, he’d likely blow up.

        I do think it was a clumsy scene.

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  3. I agree with everything you said about Kerry. The idea of her imploding because of her cheating (and I don’t believe it’s about the abortion, as some claim) is not a bad one, but it’s just gone on and on, and the “comedy” material with the Sharmas this week was just abysmal. It reminded me of something from a cheesy old sitcom like the Brady Bunch. The scene where Jai tried to tip her out of her wheelchair is tied with that awful Kim Tate knockoff of Robert leaving Lawrence for dead as my worst Emmerdale scene of 2016. I would like to assume that showing her gorging on so much food and boozing it up will lead to serious complications with her diabetes, but that has always been treated so frivolously, I can’t hold my breath.

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