Fave or Fail? (23-27 July 2018)

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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 Lachlan keep Rebecca hostage, Victoria got confusing butterflies spending time with Matty.

Faves

Friends to Lovers?

vlcsnap-2018-07-29-13h27m05s228Vic and Matty got closer this week and had an awkward frisson by the cricket pavilion as they discussed relationships. With Victoria having married Matty’s brother, and feeling like she has to start again with Matty and refresh that friendship she once had with him when she knew him as Hannah, it’s a confusing time. I love a slow-burn romance when it’s done well and this has the makings of one. It’s true that more friendships are needed in the village but rather than be dismayed that we might lose a platonic relationship to a romantic one, I’m glad that the pair have chemistry and this could be an interesting route to explore for both characters. Victoria hasn’t had a decent story of her own in forever and it’ll be nice to see her softer side again after sharing a sweet romance with Adam. Lately Emmerdale has rushed the most interesting parts of its stories and dragged out others, but I’m hoping they get the pacing right with this one.

Drinking Buddies

vlcsnap-2018-07-29-13h31m29s171Ross found a new friend in Ryan this week as the latter came to the pub to see Charity. I love unlikely friendships in the Dales and this was another, one that was brimming with snark and chemistry. It was great to see Ryan interacting with more of the villagers (although please get him to meet the Dingles soon) and Ross was a good choice for a new friend. These scenes gave us a chance to see Ross in a slightly different dynamic to what we’re used to with someone who challenges his pre-conceptions and takes him away from self-pity. I enjoyed seeing Dawn in this story too as she’s another guest character with a lot of potential. Can we have some more of this dynamic before Ross goes please?

The Full Descent

vlcsnap-2018-07-29-13h32m46s596Lachlan’s progressed quickly through the villain ranks going from secret lairs to serial killing, but now he can add kidnapping his aunt to the list. Even though keeping Rebecca hostage was an obvious twist to the tale, it’s Lachlan’s stone cold, blunt reactions to her that succeed the most in being so watchable. He makes heartless a calculated art rather than resorting to anything too panto. Rebecca held her own though and for someone with variable memory problems she seemed quite clued up about quizzing him and keeping him on side. She’s bound to be the one to take him down in the end, but something tells me his evil ways won’t be exposed right away, even if she makes it out alive. Here’s hoping we don’t have months of memory blanks or gaslighting just to let him get away with it a bit longer. Lachlan’s a great villain, but I’d like to see him leave on a high, not when we’ve grown too frustrated with the story.

Popping the Question

vlcsnap-2018-07-29-13h36m23s239A smiling Aaron Dingle is a rare sight, but one which is never unwelcome, and that soft smile was in action this week as he shared with Liv his plans to propose to Robert. Naturally, being soulmates, Robert had exactly the same idea (in the same romantic spot obvs) and broke the news to a delighted Chas and a rather spluttery Paddy. The layby call backs are a clear fan favourite result, though I can’t help but wish the build-up had been a bit less left-field and less Rebecca heavy, considering she’s been a constant feature of their lives since her arrival. But with next week poised for the big question, let’s hope we get to see some of that special Robron chemistry, in the place where it all began, to remind us how we fell in love with them in the first place.

Fails

Around in Circles

vlcsnap-2018-07-29-13h44m31s088Charity’s ongoing storyline benefits from a host of charismatic actors and quality performances, but the storyline has stalled in a way that makes it feel as if its going around in circles. When the story began it seemed as if it was about Charity’s journey to justice and the corruption of police. This was familiar ground for Emmerdale coming off the back of two consecutive rape trials and I was glad for the introduction of Ryan to add a new angle to the story. Since Ryan’s arrival, however the story has often felt repetitive with a whole host of excuses and obstacles preventing Ryan from bonding with Charity and meeting the rest of the Dingles. All this just felt like a laboured way to extend the storyline, rather than moving forward with the characters and exploring new ground and I can’t help but feel lately it’s been a waste of these actors who have been given repetitive scripts for weeks. Surely it’s time for new challenges and directions?

Lost its Fun

vlcsnap-2018-07-29-13h41m30s458Don’t get me wrong: I love Jessie, I love Marlon and I love the idea of them together. I loved when they were friends and Marlon’s early pining was secret and reserved and I loved April this week being confident and threatening in the way only April can. But I felt their scenes together this week, culminating in them finally getting together, were a real let down. I was really excited that Jessie had this huge reluctance and I was hoping that her past was full of difficult dark secrets, but her unresolved grief over her ex-husband seemed a weak reason after months of stalling and in the end something that was so easily surmountable. Marlon had to contend with Daphne in some mortifyingly unfunny scenes (making me miss Gerry’s genuine humour even more) and I’m not even sure, in the end, whether Jessie and Marlon’s romantic chemistry was even worth all this dragged out build up. I think I prefer them as just friends.

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6 Upcoming Emmerdale Stories to Get Excited About

As the hot weather lands and soaps are shunted around the schedule to make way for sport, we reach the half way point in the year. I thought it was about time to think about what awaits in our favourite village. We’re used to Emmerdale really stepping up in the colder months – so what are the big things I’m looking forward to? What are the hotly anticipated moments for the end of 2018?

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Matty Barton’s return to Emmerdale

Matty’s storyline kicks off in tonight’s Emmerdale as actor Ash Palmisciano steps into the role. Not only does Matty’s arrival at Butler’s give Emmerdale the chance to tell a relatable story of a young trans guy but it also gives Moira and Cain a fresh whirlwind of drama into their lives. Since the losing Adam at the start of 2018 Moira’s nest has felt a little empty and despite the juicy drama of Emma’s murder reveal and the much-loved reunion with Cain, we’ve seen far too little of them onscreen. There’s no doubt that Matty’s story is going to be an emotive and important one and I just can’t wait to see how his return to the family fold changes the dynamic.

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Robron get hitched – officially

No other upcoming Emmerdale storyline quite has the anticipation as the second (and this time legal) wedding between Robert and Aaron. Having been promised back in February 2017, it’s no wonder everyone’s getting a bit itchy in the wait. After all, when you consider what the characters (and the fans) have endured in the lead up to this momentous romantic occasion, it’s more than earned now. Original reports cited a summer wedding for the lads but with no concrete date on the horizon, might it coincide with the ill-fated, high octane drama of October’s Super Soap Week. I think it seems pretty likely. At least this way it gives us all plenty of time to buy a hat and there’s no need for the villagers to make a rush job of the decor this time. My wedding wish list is minimal this time, let’s just make it romantic and official. And lasting? Or is that too much to hope for?!

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Ryan Stocks gets a Dingle welcome?

This year we’ve been introduced to Charity’s smart mouthed son, Ryan, the baby she thought had died. It’s been a rocky start for the pair’s relationship but I can’t be the only one hoping he can become a more permanent part of the village? Ryan has already brought out a different side to Charity and it’s been great to see a disabled actor in a pivotal role rather than a predictable “secret son with a dark secret” trope. I’d love to see Ryan in the village full time, bringing something new to the Dingles and getting involved in all their mishaps and drama. Fans have already enjoyed the charisma actor James Moore has brought to the role and he’d be a welcome addition to Wishing Well cottage, adding something new to the village’s most famous family.

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Sam and Lydia’s kooky wedding

It’s not just Robron’s wedding that I’m looking forward to, it’s also the wedding of delightfully oddball Lydia and Sam! We haven’t heard much about these two getting hitched, beyond Sam’s proposal last year, but I’m really hoping it’s soon. These two seem like such a solid couple and I really buy into their love, and I reckon the wedding itself is going to be the feel-good tonic we need throughout all the tough storylines this year. With Lydia and the Dingles at the centre I’m expecting mayhem and a whole lot of dancing. Here’s hoping it happens sooner rather than later. We could do with some joy.

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Getting to know Jessie

Headteacher Jessie Grant has been with us for a while now, but despite now living in the village in one of the flats at the Mill, we know so very little about her. We know she’s very reluctant to pair up with Marlon (is there a darker story there?) and that she has a son – but apart from her beautiful voice, we know very little else. It’s about time we got to scratch the surface with Jessie and find out what her story is. It seems from the spoilers that she’s getting closer with Marlon again soon so maybe we’ll get some answers soon!

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Lachlan runs out of luck

Since killing off half his family at the start of the year and then Gerry very recently, Lachlan’s been trying to keep a low profile. Soap law says he’s bound to get caught sometime soon but between now and then I hope he doesn’t just tread water. He got closer to murder last week with no-mark Freddie, but for full impact of his psychopathic ways, he should be escalating soon in the hopes of a climatic and heart-stopping final act. Between evil acts, the story has started to drag, but with Lachlan at his best when he’s chilling and remorseless, I hope his luck runs out before the character loses his momentum.

What stories are you looking forward to? Comment down below!

Fave or Fail? (1-5 Jan 2018)

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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! An amazing start to 2018 for Emmerdale. Let’s hope it keeps getting better and better! 

Faves

Not Your Average Joe

vlcsnap-2018-01-07-11h54m06s632Bravo to Emmerdale for a great start to 2018. Not only did the “Tom Waterhouse” reveal give us a campy and gloriously thrilling shock, but it also manage to seamlessly integrate Emmerdale’s past and answer all the niggling issues with the Tom and Debbie plot. As Tom stepped aside, Joe brought us a wicked yet charming villain, unashamedly cruel and done so with power and confidence. He evoked all the icons from the Tate dynasty, leaving us clamouring for returns of Emmerdale legends like Kim Tate and his bitterness is one which looks to cause continuous conflict in the village. Even better than all this potential was the explanation for the criticisms made about the Tom and Debbie story – that this was all meant to look like a too-good-to-be true whirlwind romance, that the money and sex ties were totally intentional – meaning this was a twist done oh-so right. Clever and exciting. Great job.

Adios Adam!

vlcsnap-2018-01-07-11h51m13s584This week we saw the wrongly convicted Adam Barton go on the run and actor Adam Thomas leave Emmerdale after almost nine years in the show! Even though the “fleeing the country” plot is well used in Emmerdale, thankfully Adam’s last episode was full of heart as he managed to say emotional goodbyes to his loved ones. Unable to say a proper goodbye to mum Moira, Adam left her a tearful voicemail and although life on the run can’t be fun, Adam’s final scene just about managed to be uplifting. Adam probably didn’t deserve such a sad ending, but Adam Thomas really pulled on the heart strings and made the original Barton boy’s goodbyes meaningful and emotive, having shared so many of his storylines with BFF Aaron and wife Victoria. Adam’s exit also meant Cain and Aaron got to do their Dingle best in their efforts to break him and mastermind some great alibi trickery with Robert’s help. It’s going to be strange with Adam in the show and I hope that if he does decide to return one day then a bit of storyline magic will absolve him of his convictions!

The Future is Female

vlcsnap-2018-01-07-11h55m12s441With Joe’s arrival, it has thrust Debbie and Charity straight to the front and centre of the show and if this week is anything to go by then it’s a good thing. For all my criticisms of Debbie, this week saw Charley Webb give some of her best performances since her return as she battled with fury, vengeance and heartbreak. Debbie attached a lot to her relationship with Tom – stability, security and a bit of excitement too – and her crushed hopes of the future rang true at the end of the week. If Debbie struggles between lingering feelings on top of her anger then this could be really good. As for Charity, it’s about time she had a juicy plot and with such strong ties to her past and Joe’s connection to Noah then we’re going to get a lot more from Charity than just comedy hi-jinx behind the bar. I can’t wait.

Fails

Too Much

vlcsnap-2018-01-07-11h50m31s612Having spent a good proportion of 2017 off screen, keeping us less suspicious of her shock pregnancy, Moira Barton has had a horrific time of it since October. In just three short months she has had her life rocked by an unplanned baby, suffered PND, killed someone and suffered the guilt, almost turned to drugs, had her son escape jail (for a crime she committed) and now appears to be embarking on a domestic abuse story. It’s all too much. That much darkness for one character is relentless and suffocating (see: Aaron Dingle) and can at times desensitise us viewers from empathy when we’re watching a factory line of hardship with no sign of happier times. When are things going to get better for Moira? It doesn’t seem like any time soon. And was it necessary to add more violence to an already turbulent relationship like Cain and Moira’s? Scenes this week seemed to cross a line, adding more misery and more issues to an over-egged story. With the guilt, their separation and Isaac to deal with – there’s more than enough drama there. Did the characters really need another agonising issue to deal with? For such a great start to 2018 for Emmerdale and such a popular couple, this violence really feels like a misstep.

Fave or Fail? (18-22 Dec 2017)

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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! Adam was arrested for Emma’s murder and his fate looks to be sealed after his false confession.

Faves

Adam’s Agony

_347 Adam amp; Victoria 21st December 2017 Part 4 - YouTubeHats off to actor Adam Thomas this week as Adam Barton was faced with the most agonising of decisions and ended up confessing to a murder he didn’t commit. With the knowledge his struggling mum was the real killer and pressurised with the thought that she’d never cope in prison, Adam did the unthinkable and spun a web of lies for the police, knowing it fed into their theories about him. Adam is already the obvious suspect and his fate was already sealed, but seeing Adam realise this and write his own prison sentence was unimaginably horrible. Throughout his last few years on Emmerdale, Adam’s acting talents have been wasted but he truly gave some crushing performances this week proving what an underrated talent he is. It seems like a pretty cruel exit for Adam Barton, but one that has already given us so many great moments to watch.

Brenda’s Bad Week

Emmerdale - Brenda Figures Out Bob's Dirty Little Secret - YouTubeMy heart broke for poor Brenda this week as she discovered Bob had cheated on her. After Bob and Brenda’s adorable slow burn romance which developed during her brain tumour illness, they’ve been one of the most stable couples in the village. Sure, they’ve also been a little dull and light on the drama – but with all the other ups and downs in The Dales, we need a bit of stability. But after Bob and Laurel’s one night stand, it was only a matter of time before Brenda found out the truth. We haven’t seen Lesley Dunlop have any big storylines to get her teeth into for a while, but she really delivered on Brenda’s absolute devastation and her heart-wrenching humiliation right before Christmas had Love Actually vibes. How could you, Bob? How could you?!

Twas the Night Before Christmas

vlcsnap-2017-12-24-17h32m56s942Emmerdale’s highly anticipated weird and wonderful Christmas special airs tomorrow, with Robert “Scrooge” Sugden taking centre stage for A Christmas Carol inspired treat. Friday’s episode saw the lead up to that with the lonely and miserable man overdoing it on whiskey (cos that worked out so well before) and almost getting kicked out of the pub. From Rob’s cringey boozed up sing-song with Doug and Gerry, to his defeated and foolish attempts to win back Aaron, it was hard not to feel for the bloke. Ryan Hawley does heartbreak so well. Despite my totally, totally unbiased and unashamed love for Robert, his drunken behaviour had disaster written all over it and the episode ended with him being hit by a car. Cue Monday’s special episode! It was a great lead up to the main event, with the irresistible Robron pull still there, simmering under the surface. I can’t wait for the main event!

Fail

Bob’s Betrayal

Emmerdale - Bob Is Floored by Brenda's Decision - YouTubeBob’s on my shit list. There’s no two ways about it. And I am a card carrying Bob Hope fan! If his betrayal of Brenda wasn’t bad enough, he lied about it to Brenda’s face with the lamest excuses you’ve ever heard and was pretty shitty to Laurel too. It isn’t just Bob that gets stuck on the Fail list this week though, it’s also the fact that the lead up to the reveal ticked every cliché in the book. All the misdirection with Brenda almost discovering it was Laurel; Bob and Laurel having an awkward Xmas gathering; those wink-wink-nudge-nudge lines of dialogue. It was all a bit tacky. It’s going to be even harder for Brenda when she finds out the full story – so is it too much to ask that there are no more clichés, like – dare I say it – a pregnancy scare?

Scene of the Week (18-22 Dec 2017)

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What a scene this was! Both thrilling and devastating, the fates of mother and son, Moira and Adam Barton, lay in the hands of Hotten’s finest after the two of them confessed to killing Emma. I loved the way this was shot, juxtaposing both characters being lead to their futures, Moira to Cain and the outside world and Adam back to a cell. There was a cold, resigned horror on Adam’s face – played perfectly by Adam Thomas – whereas Moira’s dazed sense of calm shattered into screams when she realised her confession hadn’t worked to free her son. Poor Adam was left to slump to the floor as reality set in and Adam Thomas really piled on the heartbreak. Great moment in this hard to watch story.

Fave or Fail? (11-15 Dec 2017)

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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! This week we learnt the shocking truth about Emma’s death!

Faves

Emma’s Final Stand

vlcsnap-2017-12-17-15h51m29s050What a joy it was to see Emma Barton again this week, if only in flashback form! Gillian Kearney helped create such a captivating character in Emma and every performance during the reveal was stellar. The scenes which stood out to me were the ones that took place on the now iconic viaduct as Emma had showdowns with both Ross and Moira. The scenes with Ross showcased their complicated history but was charged and intense, keeping the exchange gripping throughout.  Despite all of Emma’s bad and misguided deeds, it was hard not to feel a slight twinge of sympathy for her at times but her twisted nature was in full force right until the end as she goaded Moira to push her, so that she wouldn’t have to kill herself. In the end it seems fairly fitting that Emma’s death was as complex and interesting as the woman herself, it’s just a shame we had to lose the brilliant Gillian Kearney in the process!

Killer Reveal

vlcsnap-2017-12-17-15h51m15s366Moira killed Emma – now that was a shocker and a half! My money was pretty firmly on Pete as Emma’s’ killer and I was surprised at the reveal, something which doesn’t usually happen when you’re a soap addict! First I was unsure how I felt about feisty farmer Moira being responsible for pushing Emma, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked how unexpected it was. It’s a brand new direction for Moira, who is worth a lot more than just being stuck at Butler’s. This new path has already reignited her deep bond with Cain (Coira fans rejoice!) and let’s face it, no one really blames Moira for what she did. The psychological effect of this one reckless action has already plagued Moira enough to consider drugs and abandon her son and with Emma’s words still haunting her, it’ll be interesting to see how she deals with the guilt and with Adam as prime suspect – how will this pan out in light of his upcoming exit from the show?

Unbreakable Bond

vlcsnap-2017-12-17-15h48m28s520With a protective and observant Cain on the case, it wasn’t long before Moira was forced to reveal she was the one behind Emma’s fall from the viaduct and even though their bond has been slowly repairing (albeit strained) since Isaac’s birth, this week really saw the return of Coira. Granted they’re not back together yet, and Harriet’s presence feels ever more frustrating, but there’s no one that quite shares the relationship that Cain and Moira do. Earlier in the week, with Isaac ill, Cain was the only one able to offer her any real comfort and support and now with her killer secret out in the open, Cain is on hand like never before, unflinching in his love for her. My favourite soap relationships are built on tempestuous love and shared secrets and Coira have both of these, tied together with unbreakable chemistry. Long may it live – the love, the support, the darkness and the rows. They just work.

Style and Substance

vlcsnap-2017-12-17-15h52m52s665You’ve got to had it to Emmerdale again that they really know how to pull out all the stops on their special episodes. Not only did the Emma reveal episodes manage to weave present day and flashback sequence (with a nice noir colouring) but the split narrative maintained the intrigue and tension throughout. It’s been a bit of an unengaging storyline on the whole but these episodes changed that and managed to set up gripping consequences for all the main players.

Fails

Down With This Sort Of Thing

_1050 Aaron amp; Robert 12th December 2017 Aaron Only - YouTubeI’m all for stories of the little people fighting The Man and the Dingles are such a bright and bold family that their moment to fight the good fight should be something for us all to enjoy. I can’t help but feel however that this whole protest plot is a little bit pointless and it feels very unlikely that the Dingles would ever lose Wishing Well cottage. The building is the heart of the Dingles and has been their home for so long it would be like them trying to pretend they needed to demolish the Woolpack – never going to happen. So while we kill time with various members of the family and their placards, alongside Zak and his cough – but I wonder where they’re going with all this. With the demolition not feeling like a real threat, the conflict and the drama is pretty empty and hasn’t been a very engaging watch.

Shouty and Grouchy

Emmerdale - Adam's Own Wife Suspects He's a Murderer! - YouTube (1)It doesn’t seem like that long ago that Adam and Vic were one of the cutest couples in the Dales. They were sweet and chilled once, but now I can’t remember a recent scene where they aren’t shouting at each other. It’s common knowledge now that actor Adam Thomas is leaving Emmerdale which means it’s been hard to really care about Vic and Adam’s make ups and break ups when it won’t be long until they’re separated forever. Lately all their material has been centred around the fact Adam is the lead suspect for Emma’s murder so most of the scenes involve Adam getting smug and unpleasant with the police, panicked Victoria doubting his innocence and the pair of them sniping and shouting at each other. The whole atmosphere between them has become a bit of a drag and honestly after the to-ing and fro-ing and split earlier in the year, it has soured the former sweetness of their coupling. Shame!

Scene of the Week (11-15 Dec 2017)

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The mystery of Who Killed Emma was told in such a fragmented way that at times it felt hard to really content with the drama of the whodunnit, however with this week’s reveal happening on Thursday’s episode, they really stepped up the tension. The end of Wendesday’s episode saw a desaturated montage of all the main suspects looking mean and moody and shot mostly in the shadows. It was a really cool, spine tingling moment that set up the Thursday shocker pretty nicely. In particular the flickering, lightning-esque shots of Pete and Ross, and Moira’s shot with a illusion of light mimicking a cross worked to ramp up the anticipation as we heard Harriet practice her sermon for the funeral. I like when Emmerdale tries something different now and again – and even more so when it pays off!

Fave or Fail? (13-17 Nov 2017)

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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! Isaac’s christening lead to a lot of heartache and soul searching this week.

Faves

Taking Risks

vlcsnap-2017-11-19-18h33m20s220Lately Emmerdale hasn’t been afraid to push the boundaries of the soap genre and the success of its efforts to tell stories in different and creative ways only confirm why it’s picking up awards regularly. Friday’s episode saw a tight focus on the story thread of Moira and Cain’s role in Isaac’s life and took us back in time to see the struggles Cain and Chas faced with their own parents, Faith and Shadrach. Like the Ashley special episode last year, the Emmerdale casting team were spectacular in their choice of perfect actors for the younger versions of Faith, Shadrach, Cain and Chas with the adults in particular bearing a striking and uncanny resemblance to their counterparts. Reflecting on Cain’s childhood, Jeff Hordley gave a hugely emotional performance, with Cain’s heartbreaking past helping to explain how much of a struggle he’s facing in the present day as a father to Isaac and Sally Dexter continues to be a brilliant on-screen presence, in both comedy and tragedy. Together they make a believable mother and son duo which made the scenes all the more poignant. Far from being gimmicky, the flashbacks helped to flesh out the backstories of characters we’ve known for a long time and gave more weight to the struggles they’ve suffered, which before now we’ve only known through being told rather than seeing it first-hand. When Emmerdale takes creative risks like this the quality feels heightened, like we’re watching something beyond the tag of ‘soap’ and makes the drama feel fresh and novel, showing that these new approaches really pay off.

Compassionate Love

vlcsnap-2017-11-19-18h35m54s669Eric and Faith’s relationship really became something special this week. For all their to-ing and fro-ing, with miscommunication and Rodney’s interference, the pair finally expressed the strength of their feelings for each other and slept together in some moving and beautiful scenes. The joy of Eric and Faith is that their connection feels real and their own private struggles – whether it’s a shared grief or Faith’s insecurities about her body – were told sensitively and poignantly. It feels like ages since we’ve seen a love story played out between an older couple, but the touching way Eric and Faith’s story has been told, it’s been almost impossible not to fall in love with them too. My heart melted with Faith said Eric made her feel special, and his calling her beautiful and saying she brought colour back to his existence was wonderful. Here’s hoping they go the distance – they deserve it.

Perfect Performance

vlcsnap-2017-11-19-18h33m39s784Almost every week I want to heap praise onto Natalie J Robb’s acting. As Moira continues to struggle with her post-natal depression Natalie plays the scenes with such an effective dazed disconnect. This week Moira’s difficulties became more apparent to her family as she even went as far as giving Isaac to Adam and Vic, telling them that she couldn’t keep him and couldn’t deal with being a mother again. Moira’s grief and guilt over Holly is tied so intensely to Isaac that Moira’s been unable to bond for fear that she might lose him too. Moira’s breakdown this week was a wake up call to her loved ones who’d been oblivious and almost dismissive of her distant behaviour and Natalie made that inner battle of Moira’s so vivid and raw. I’m glad they’re continuing to show the impact of Holly’s death on Moira’s life and that Isaac hasn’t been a quick fix to that grief or to her estranged marriage with Cain. It’s a difficult watch, but one Natalie sells so well.

Fails

Rhona’s Heartbreak

vlcsnap-2017-11-19-18h34m34s543It’s a testament to Zoe Henry’s acting that Rhona’s heartbreak was so effective this week, as she discovered Paddy had moved on and was with Chas. As if their slobbering PDAs weren’t bad enough! Granted, it was Rhona’s choice not to reunite with Paddy after the trial, but his and Chas’s sudden teenage fixation with each other does seem a little on the hasty side and is a bit of a hard watch – even more so for Rhona. So why the “Fail” category this week? Simply because it hurts to see Rhona crushed like that when she’s had a really tough year. Plus, it seems inevitable that the great Chas and Paddy love affair will crash and burn at some point (like it always does) so it seems even more unnecessary to put Rhona through this.

Baby Fever

vlcsnap-2017-11-19-18h37m09s905Victoria was right this week when she talked about cute baby overload in the village. But it’s not the squidgy little faces that are a problem, it’s that there feels like there are too many baby plots all at once. Moira’s post-natal depression has been wonderfully told so far, but it’s not just the parenting stories with Isaac we are watching – it’s Rebecca and Robert with Sebastian, Adam and Vic wanting to adopt too. Last week Robert had his moment of being a reluctant father and then this time it was Cain’s turn. And this heavy baby focus is without mentioning Jai and Megan’s concerns over Eliza. All the baby plots serve a purpose when it comes to explore issues with their parents, but did we really need so many baby plots all at once?

Fave or Fail? (6-10 Nov 2017)

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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! This week Robert became a father and did some soul searching and Adam was arrested for Emma’s murder.

Faves

Classic Emmerdale

vlcsnap-2017-11-12-18h26m07s636With Eric Pollard at the front of the show this week, getting involved in local council schemes, it really felt like classic Emmerdale and I loved it. I really enjoyed getting to see some of the older characters in the village getting material and there was a nostalgic vibe to it all. Rodney and Eric were back wheeling and dealing with dodgy antiques and Faith continues to be the object of their affections. Even the little moments like her belittling Diane’s relationship with Doug had a classic and humorous feeling to it. Eric’s focus especially was a welcome return to the feel of older storylines and even though he has softened over the years it was fun to see his ruthless side up against the Dingles. With all the insular drama between families, it was a nice change to have a storyline about the wider community and council that Emmerdale is part of and I hope we get similar stories in future.

Robert’s Redemption?

vlcsnap-2017-11-12-18h30m59s259After months of scheming, schmoozing, smirking and sneaking, we might have seen the end of panto villain Robert Sugden as his more human side returned. At last! Well, for now at least. It’s been a bit of a chore the last few months to watch Robert stuck up at Home Farm, complexities diluted and a caricature in his place. This week gave us a chance to see again what was driving him and fully explained why he’d gone so far to ruin the Whites. His self-loathing at Jack’s graveside and to Aaron was a return to the multi-faceted character we know and love, the selfish and vengeful alongside the remorseful and lonely man. Along with the ridiculous comedy of the hotel scenes, Ryan Hawley took on every side of Robert’s personality this week with gusto and his performances help edge Robert back onto a redemptive path following his fast fatherhood epiphanies. Despite me having hated almost every part of this story since Robert’s one night stand with Rebecca, we’re now at least getting to explore Robert’s psyche a bit more and it seems like this will continue into the new year too.

Waif and Stray

vlcsnap-2017-11-12-18h34m37s993I feel like every week Gerry appears in Emmerdale it becomes an automatic highlight. Whether its riling up Doug or grating on Aaron, Gerry offers something weirdly endearing to existing dynamics in the show. He’s already managed to make a lot of connections in the village, showing us a softer side to Liv and even managing to make Aaron smile (which is no mean feat!). This week he sneaked back into the B&B, stole Doug’s cooked breakfast and then wandered away like a little lost puppy until Aaron was cornered and Gerry found himself with a place to stay and work. Now he’s at the scrapyard, I can’t help but think he’d be great value there permanently, or if he gets forgiveness from Doug, then someone he can take under his wing.

Saved By the Bell

vlcsnap-2017-11-12-18h29m12s151I can’t ever remember watching scenes as excruciating and hilariously cringeworthy as the ones this week as Lawrence took Robert to a hotel. Despite Robert’s manipulation of Lawrence’s feelings being a really cruel and cold hearted move, the story has been so outlandish and comedic that it was impossible not to find the hotel scenes hysterical. You have to commend Ryan Hawley for his facial expressions alone and wonder how Lawrence didn’t pick up on Rob’s sheer terror and horror at the thought of having to get intimate with Lawrence. They even worked their way through a whole plate of finger sandwiches! It was hide-behind-a-cushion viewing and the deed was thankfully thwarted by a phonecall about the baby’s arrival, but surely Robert’s discomfort, in his array of expressions, will live on in our memories for a long time.

Fails

Stop Start Suspense

Emmerdale - Adam's Interrogation Becomes a Shouting Match - YouTubeOn paper the Emma Whodunnit should be great, and when the story progresses – with flashbacks and mysteries like last week – it’s an engaging and intriguing storyline. But weeks like this, when it seems sluggish and stalled, and knowing we have another month or so before discovering the truth, it feels a bit of a drag. This week Adam was arrested (and if you’ve ever watched a murder mystery you’ll know the first few arrested are usually innocent) and it was a bit flat. Does he really have much of a motive compared to others? Most of the Whodunnit this week was Adam shouting, Victoria shouting back and plenty of the suspects openly chatting about alibis and motives right in the middle of the pub! Ross left town which stalls the story again and besides the odd exciting flashback, the story mostly consists of Pete accusing anyone he decides is guilty that week! Let’s hope it picks up again soon.

Fave or Fail? (30 Oct-3 Nov 2017)

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! This week Pete was busy accusing and Laurel returned with more secrets!

Faves

Murder Mysteries

Emmerdale - What Is Laurel and Bob's Secret - YouTubeWhodunnit plots in soapland aren’t often my favourite but the “Who Killed Emma?” story definitely became more interesting this week. With Gabby a prime suspect it gave Rosie Bentham a great chance to show off her talents under police questioning against the great DS Benton. I was also glad to see Laurel return to the village and bring with it new questions and mysteries such as – what’s going on with Bob? While the storyline does have his weak moments (namely fairly repetitive scenes of the brothers arguing and Pete accusing anyone he can) it’s gathered a good ensemble of cast and I’m genuinely clueless as to who the culprit is – it really could be any one of them! The final flashback scene lined up all the suspects nicely and it was made even more intriguing by the extra videos released on YouTube exploring motives!

Quirky Friends

Emmerdale - Friday 3 Nov 7pm - The ITV Hub (1)Sometimes it’s the strangest groups of characters that make some of the best scenes and that was the case this week at the B&B. We’ve already seen ex-con and cheeky trouble maker Gerry form an unlikely but kind of sweet friendship with Liv but having them work at the B&B with straight-laced Doug was a work of genius. It might be a very short lived working partnership – what with Gerry’s dangerous fireworks causing Doug to burn his hands – but their opposite natures worked well in giving us a fun and surprising group of characters. Doug’s serious and humourless personality clashes with Gerry’s slapdash troublesome ways but their shared enthusiasm for niche interests meant their strange relationship was a believable one.

It’s War

-995 Aaron amp; Robert 30th October 2017 Robert Only Part 3 of 3 - YouTubeRobert’s revenge might have dragged on for half a century but going up against Lachlan might be his dangerous and most interesting move yet. While Robert’s attempts to scheme, schmooze and seduce his way through the family to gain their wealth and status has been going well so far, Lachlan proved he’s Rob’s biggest threat this week. Thankfully for this endless story, Lachlan offers a more believable threat and a more worthy opponent than the other family members who seem to be hanging off Robert’s every word. It was enjoyable this week to see the conflict front and centre with Lucky being the only one to see straight through Rob and manage to unnerve him too. Lachlan has a history of being cold and twisted and is perhaps a bigger worry than Robert anticipated. Thomas Atkinson has proved himself a great little actor and his antagonistic relationship and chemistry with Ryan Hawley is the most watchable this storyline has been.

Fails

The Cringe Factor

Emmerdale - Lawrence Wants to Reveal His Fling With Robert! - YouTubeIt was Halloween this week but there were other reasons to hide behind a cushion when watching. If it wasn’t the sound of Lawrence gasping with lust as Robert played him again (oh Larry you poor fool) then it was Chas and Paddy playing doctor and patient. It’s not that both stories aren’t silly enough to be mildly entertaining it’s just that watching both pairings together in an episode is a bit much for my poor cringe glands. I’m going to go as far as to say Chas and Paddy is actually a bit worse as their OTT role play (which seems to have them gagging for it every five minutes) is the very opposite of sexy. At least with Lawrence and Robert, the carnage after his lies are exposed will be worth it, as for Chas and Paddy I’m not convinced they’re funny enough together and they certainly don’t seem like a great love match.