Fave or Fail? (15-19 August 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! Another great week in Emmerdale which saw Andy go on the run as Chrissie’s revenge stepped up a gear.

Faves

Andy’s Exit

vlcsnap-2016-08-20-17h56m02s505We lost an Emmerdale stalwart this week – Andy Sugden – and I’m really sorry to see him go. Despite his long tenure on the show, his exit has left the door open (#Justice4Andy) and hopefully he might make a triumphant return one day even if it’s just to call into The Woolpack for a pint. His surprising exit storyline might not have been perfect, perhaps rushed in parts, but his prison escape and plans to run were thrilling and emotional – exactly what a good exit should be. While some have raised an eyebrow at Andy’s yo-yoing affections when it comes to the women in his life, I loved the mutual pining and unlikely, awkwardly-timed pairing that he and Bernice made, so I was glad she played a significant role right to the end. Andy and Bernice have always had an enjoyable chemistry and spark and while we all knew it wouldn’t work in the end, there’s always that desire and ‘what-if’ feeling that somehow, at some point it could (and should?). Basically, I’m a sucker for a tragic love story and Andy’s exit ticked that box for me, especially as Bernice is just one of those characters you really hope will find the happiness she deserves. With Andy leaving to the sound of Snow Patrol’s Run, it tugged at the heart strings and I hope we get to see him back in the dales one day, probably making more questionable choices in his love life.

So Far Gone Girl

vlcsnap-2016-08-20-17h58m23s957At this rate, Chrissie’s camp villain routine is going to be on my Faves list every week but once again she proved herself to be such an enjoyable character to watch. Yes, she may have fallen off the sanity bus but watching her go full on Amy Dunne, Gone Girl style, to ruin Andy’s life was a great moment of shock. Picking up straight from where Friday’s episode left us, Chrissie didn’t let Andy go quietly and slashed her own wrist before an Oscar worthy performance that left everyone wondering how Andy could behave like this. Chrissie has almost everyone fooled with her saintly routine in front of Andy’s family and seeing her duplicitous act is as fun as it is frustrating. She just suits it – the elegantly evil glide down the stairs with a glass of champagne in her hand and the acts of deception. It’s perfect. You might be against her behaviour but she sure is someone you love to hate. It’s exciting to find out just how far she’s going to go next.

Brotherly Love

vlcsnap-2016-08-20-19h22m15s008He might not have been grateful to begin with but having his brother Robert show up, knight in shining armour style with his vintage motor and sarcasm a plenty, was exactly what Andy needed to rescue him. The banter between the two brothers was on fine form with too many great lines to quote here but after the laughs, their sad goodbye was enough to melt the coldest of hearts. There’s just something really genuine and watchable about their sibling relationship which gave Andy’s escape attempt and quest for truth heart and grounding. Robert’s mission to clear Andy’s name started as a bit of a gloating pisstake (in the smug way only Robert can pull off and still be infuriatingly charming) but now he’s lost a significant loved one this has become his own vendetta of revenge and justice against the Whites. And what’s better than Robert Sugden on a mission? Nothing.

Rooting for You

Emmerdale - Carly And Marlon Tells Each Other How They Really Feel And Kiss - YouTubeWhen Emmerdale does a good romance they do it well and there’s nothing I enjoy more than watching two unlikely characters fall for each other. Carly and Marlon seem to have what it takes to be a great couple – a spark, a good sense of fun and a shared understanding of tragedy. We’ve seen the two of them miscommunicate and pine for each other which is a winning combination to make the audience root for them together and this week saw more mixed messages until finally all it took was groin strain, a frozen lasagne and a bit of honesty before they were kissing and getting serious. After the weird direction Tracy and David have taken it’ll be nice to have another cute, warm and silly couple on screen, especially as with April around they already have a ready-made family. I’m looking forward to see how their romance progresses now that they’ve both owned up to their feelings.

Fail

Familiar Ground

vlcsnap-2016-08-20-17h52m56s216Rather than singling out a particular moment or story as my solitary fail in a strong week of Emmerdale, it’s more of a general moan about repetitive storylines. I’ve already expressed my irritation at David’s persistent proposals (and yes, that’s still happening) but this week saw two of the weaker plots fall into old territory. First there’s Belle’s storyline which although has progressed now that she’s run away after her baby lies were exposed, still gives us the tiresome scenes of ‘Ellie’ talking to her and Belle’s illness getting worse and then going unnoticed by her partner and family. We saw similar scenes when she heard Gemma’s voice (to the obliviousness of her family) and it just feels like this is a rehash of old episodes with a few more twists. Was it even that good last year to warrant it being revisited? I don’t think so. Then there’s Charity trying to relive her greatest hits with Cain in the hopes of luring him back to her – again, something we’ve seen before many times. If Emmerdale are determined to try and regain some of that Cain and Charity spark and give Coira’s marriage a rest, then can’t they find something new for Chain to do than schemes and hijinks they were doing years ago? It’s like a dodgy cover version of your favourite song. Can’t Charity just forget the camp wigs and try a bit of sincerity?

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Fave or Fail? (8-12 August 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! An unmissable week in The Dales from Lisa’s heartbreak to Andy’s prison break!

Faves

Super Soapbitch

Emmerdale - Chrissie Blackmails Rakesh Into Betraying Andy - YouTubeIf there was any doubt before, Chrissie White has firmly secured herself the soapbitch crown as her ruthlessness took to new heights this week and it has been fantastic to watch. Her devious schemes and cold calculations led to a thrilling sequence of events and Andy Sugden on the run. With Lachlan cracking under the pressure, Chrissie’s grip on revenge only got tighter as she used her cunning to get Rakesh onside. Nothing like a bit of money and knowledge to give you all the power you need. With a sharper haircut and heavy eye-make up, Chrissie meant business as she told Rakesh to make sure Andy pleaded guilty or she’d let slip about his arson. Louise Marwood has been playing these scenes brilliantly, ensuring that Chrissie is a villain you just love to hate. Every scene has been tense, waiting for Chrissie’s plan to crumble, but it hasn’t and she’s been winning at every turn. It’s so much fun and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Twists and Turns

Emmerdale - Andy Escapes From Jail! - YouTubeThere have been some moments of pure shock and brilliance this week in Emmerdale which is making it completely unmissable. Of course the main drama has been surrounding the Chrissie and Andy drama and as we awaited his plea, I really couldn’t call which way he was going to plead. So tense! Then the biggest surprise of all was Rakesh telling Andy to shove him and run – that this was his only chance of ever being free – and we ended up seeing Andy make a thrilling escape and go on the run. Of course it’s quite implausible (especially Andy hiding in Adam’s scrapping truck) but when it’s exciting and unexpected as this was then it’s easier just to enjoy. Outside of this story is the revelation that Tracy and Vanessa are sisters. This is something that’s been speculated about for over a year but now that their dad Frank’s been introduced it’s going to be interesting to see how they react!

Getting Frank

CpmSUIdXYAExrcZFrank Clayton had his first scenes in Emmerdale this week as David visited him in prison. Him being Tracy AND Vanessa’s dad means there are already a great number of stories waiting to happen but I’m already interested in Frank. There was something quite charming as well unnerving about the man and although he seemed to have a good sense of humour, I definitely didn’t trust his simplistic story about how he ended up behind bars. With his release date looming I’m excited to see what kind of menace he might bring to the village considering he seems smart and outwardly charming – what kind of darkness could he be hiding?!

Fails

Give Lisa a Break

Emmerdale - Lisa Watches Zak And Joanie Get Married - YouTubeI love Lisa so this being under my ‘fail’ column isn’t an indication of how I feel about her (FYI I think she’s a wonderful, good hearted woman) but more that I wish she had an easier time of it. Having been left by Zak for another woman (her friend no less) she’s held her head high and shown countless examples how she is the better person. This week was the biggest test of all as she had to repair Joanie’s dress and cope with the actual wedding. You could feel the pain radiating off the screen and the sight of her walking away from the church as they said their vows has got to be one of the cruellest and heart breaking things to happen to such a sweet character. Lisa doesn’t deserve this. Lisa shouldn’t have to help with the wedding or give her blessing or let Zak appease his guilt. She shouldn’t have to suffer over her future identity and the Dingle name. No, Lisa deserves better. Lisa deserves happiness. Stop hurting Lisa, Emmerdale. Give her happier times! (I mean it’s unlikely considering Belle’s current mental health problems, but a girl can hope).

Pushy and Irritating

CphFvbKWYAEOg56David Metcalfe welcome to the bottom of the week’s Fail selections. Sigh. I was so on board with David and Tracy at first but I’m steadily going off the idea the more David tries to force her to agree to marry him. David’s a kooky, funny guy and it’s understandable that having cancer has made him reassess his life and the future but having already had several marriage rejections from Tracy, you’d think he’d tone it down. Sadly not. He hasn’t kept it light and romantic, it’s bordering on harassment and by now it’s just creepy and irritating. While he forges ahead with the proposals, even booking sessions with wedding planners Leyla and Megan, Tracy still isn’t keen. Sure, she doesn’t seem to mind some of the preparations and there’s a certain appeal to looking at dresses and venues but David’s pushiness is grating, especially when he met with Frank knowing she wanted nothing to do with him. Want a future with Tracy, David? Start listening to her.

Fave or Fail? (1-5 August 2016)

Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! Emotions ran high and families broke down in this week’s episodes and Coira’s marriage didn’t make it out alive.

faveorfail

 Faves

Shifting Sympathies

-106  Adam  amp; Victoria 2nd August 2016 Part 3 of 3 - YouTubeThis week has been all about messy relationships and high emotions. I can’t say I enjoyed watching Gabby’s cruel behaviour, Coira’s marriage breakdown (including a rather smug and devious Charity) or Nicola’s confusing emotions which led her to kissing Dan, but good drama doesn’t necessarily mean likable actions. Feelings and relationships are far more complex than good and bad. The truth behind Holly’s addiction and Moira’s HIV lead to some intense scenes at Butlers as Moira’s loyalties were split between her loved ones. Ashley too had to make tough decisions when it came to Gabby’s behaviour and Nicola struggled with losing her identity as an independent and headstrong woman. What I like about these stories is not just the solid performances but the shifting sympathies. These are not stories of cartoon villains or motiveless behaviour done just to stir up trouble, these are stories simmering with underlying tensions and deep emotional consequences.

Pure of Heart

-106  Adam  amp; Victoria 2nd August 2016 Part 3 of 3 - YouTube (1)As Emmerdale marriages implode around us, thank god for Adam and Victoria Barton whose marriage is full of honesty, trust and respect. Having come through her ordeal last week, Vic was confronted with the realisation that losing her business and confidence was a result of Holly’s addiction. Not wanting to tear apart his family, Victoria kept the secret from her husband and then later decided she was going to get her life back on track. She wasn’t always this good natured and we were reminded of the parallels between her and Gabby’s behaviour when Victoria dealt with the police following Gabby’s break-in and she told the teen to stop being a diva, adding that she would have to pay for the damages. Victoria is as kind-hearted and forgiving as you get in Emmerdale and she doesn’t get nearly enough screen time – being nice is underrated!

Changing Opinion?

vlcsnap-2016-08-06-22h22m26s656Is it my imagination or is Jermaine Bailey becoming a much more fun character when he’s away from Belle? He’s been temping in the pub now for a while and it’s surprising how entertaining his and Charity’s interactions have been. He’s not so smart on the uptake of her snark and schemes and his out-of-place awkwardness pulling pints (instead of pulling patients) seems to work quite well. Here’s hoping we see more of him being naïve and clueless behind the bar rather than moping around after his pregnant-but-not girlfriend.

Fails

Without Ceremony 

Emmerdale - The First Helicopter Crash Anniversary - YouTubeIt’s hard to believe a whole year has passed since Emmerdale blew their budget on a big helicopter crash right at the centre of the village killing Val, Ruby and a pilot no one seems to give a damn about. I can only presume he was a bit of an arsehole and all who knew him wished he was dead anyway. But this was a huge deal for the people of Emmerdale, they lost The Valerie Pollard and the café girl who made a good latte so you’d think they’d pull out all the stops in commemorating the anniversary of their passing. You’d think Eric would be there with those wanting to remember his wife. You’d think Pete and Ross might find the whole thing a bit awkward because, well it’s the anniversary of the disastrous wedding and it’s also the anniversary of Pete thinking he’d killed Ross and giving him an impromptu burial. But no, what transpired was a half-arsed comical memorial ceremony with Finn giving a very short speech and about five villagers showing up. It didn’t have any sense of importance or rememberance, there wasn’t even the madcap humour that Val’s funeral had, just Ross and Pete dressed as camp sailors and singing. WTF?! I almost wish they hadn’t bothered.

Breaking Point

Emmerdale - Cain And Charity Kiss In The Woolpack! - YouTubeThe destruction of one of Emmerdale’s most popular marriages, Cain and Moira, hasn’t been pleasant viewing especially as so many of Emmerdale’s big couples are in tatters. We’ve all been expecting it and it’s been on the cards ever since Charity confessed she wanted him back last January, but the escalation of events this week has been intense. Keeping secrets and breaking trust is always going to be hard to get past, but Cain was very unlikeable on self-destruct mode, lurching from one bad decision to the next. After the pressure cooker of emotions, he sought a drunken snog from Charity but even if you’re a ‘Chain’ fan, seeing the two of them hook up and use each other at such a low, desperate point was pretty grim. Charity was well aware he didn’t really want her but her low self-esteem meant she didn’t care, but when Cain made up with Moira and confessed about the kiss she struggled to forgive him. Cain’s jealousy of James was more fuel to the fire and Moira called time on their marriage having seen Cain at his worst. Coira have been pushed to their breaking point and what they once loved and found attractive in each other has become things that divide them. Can they get past this? I hope so. Charity has been there done that, got the t-shirt, I think she deserves new things to set her sights on.

Fave or Fail? (18-22 July 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! It’s the fab and the funny that made the top of my list this week!

Faves

Firm Favourite

vlcsnap-2016-07-23-21h46m34s935Everyone who watches Emmerdale knows if that if there’s one villager who is the very definition of precious cinnamon roll (too good for this world, too pure) then it’s probably Finn Barton. Known for his smarts and hapless luck, we often find Finn in more of the light hearted plots. Even though I’d always be happy to see more of Finn (and don’t get me wrong, he can definitely do serious drama), he was perfectly placed in this week’s episodes for some fun moments. Joe Gill’s facial expressions just crack me up. Whether he’s trying to keep his taxi firm professional and legit (good luck with that Finny boy) or trying his hand at matchmaking he’s just a great watch. I loved him fighting with David over the radios, glum that he’d had to make do with ones from the scrapyard. I loved his awkward expression at the badly timed proposal in the pub. I loved his suspicion at Liv – that she might fancy him – and annoyance that she’d heard his love life is a disaster. The world needs more people like Finn and yes, Emmerdale just needs more of him full stop.

Bad Boys with Good Hearts

vlcsnap-2016-07-24-09h30m41s226Everyone loves a soap bad boy (well, I know I do) but what’s even better than that? A baddie with a heart. We saw a few examples of that this week as two of our resident ‘bad boys’ – Robert and Jai – showed their softer sides. It wasn’t long ago I was lamenting Emmerdale’s dodgy handling of Robert’s villainy by making him step into panto territory. This week though he was back to being the complex guy we know and love when his kidnapping of troublesome Ryan ended with a payoff and a sandwich. See? Considerate. But not only was Rob’s darker side curbed by the tearaway’s sob story, Robert actually had reason for his bad behaviour in wanting to protect his new found family. Similarly Jai, who spent much of last year playing nasty games with Rachel and on a coke-fuelled spiral, has shown a much more human side in support of Holly’s recovery. Jai is actually becoming likeable! Who’d have thought it?

Too Good for this World

vlcsnap-2016-07-23-21h49m39s380Oh Lisa, another villager who is far too nice to be living in such a dramatic and woe-filled village! While Belle suffered from hallucinations and fake-baby associated breakdowns, Lisa indulged herself in a bit of pampering. While the ticklish foot rub wasn’t to her liking (think of that poor masseure’s balls) she gave me a good giggle at her guacamole and cucumber mistakes. As ever Lisa is so admirable too, when it comes to matters of the heart, as she managed to keep a brave face on as Zak and Joanie (ugh) loudly announced they’d booked a date for the wedding. I was reminded again what a loss it is that Zak and Lisa have split when they shared touching scenes together, but a part of me reckons now that actually Lisa could do better!

Fails

Bulldozing

vlcsnap-2016-07-23-21h50m44s908David and Tracy’s romance was right up there in my faves last week but this week it came crashing down thanks to David’s bulldozer behaviour. Having reunited at the start of the week David thought the sensible thing to do would be to propose and when Tracy agreed, only later changing her mind they decided a disengagement was in order. Tracy gave a heartfelt and wise speech saying she thought it was too soon and that they barely knew each other. You don’t normally get that kind of sense in soap! However, a day later David had booked a date for the wedding and vowed to ask her every day until she agreed to marry him. David being ill and impulsive doesn’t give him the right to steamroller over Tracy’s wants and needs and his selfishness seemed pretty unfair on her. Tracy may well decide to marry him at some point but that’s up to her – she shouldn’t be made to feel guilty. Wise up, David!

More of the Same

vlcsnap-2016-07-23-21h46m50s603Maybe I should be careful with what I wish for because the Belle fake-baby plot took a twist this week, only it wasn’t anything new. Having spent most of the week in a terrible state fretting about whether to fake a miscarriage or fess up to the truth, Belle began hallucinating a woman she met in prison. If the baby plot felt repetitive then this only made it worse as it wasn’t that long ago Belle was hallucinating dead Gemma’s voice. Perhaps this story might have worked if the vision was Gemma, but making it a random woman we’ve never heard of just left the scenes flat and unengaging. There’s nothing new yet in this story and rehashing Belle’s past breakdowns feels tired. Seeing the impact of this affair on Belle’s mental health is an interesting angle to go down and one I’d have welcomed but instead the clichéd plot has made her whiney and the visions feel gimmicky rather than making her empathetic. Surely her strange behaviour won’t go unnoticed by her family, again?

Fave or Fail? (11-15 July 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! I had lots of Faves in a week of love, friendship, community and brilliant performances.

Faves

Tragic Love Story

vlcsnap-2016-07-16-21h57m40s524The Lawrence and Ronnie saga came to a head this week as Lawrence was outed right in the middle of the pub. Is Chrissie getting déjà vu here or what? The week began with Lawrence fainting thanks to his “gentleman’s helpers” tablets in a bid to make his marriage work once and for all. But after meddling Andy had whispered in Bernice’s ear, she orchestrated for Lawrence and Ronnie to be alone in a hotel room together to force her husband to come to some sort of decision. “You’re gay!/Are you gay?” must have been the most used phrase of the week. But what followed were a series of completely heartbreaking scenes as Ronnie tried to get Lawrence to admit who he is and what they were to each other. Ronnie has fast cemented himself as a lovable and empathetic character in the village and his anguish was played beautifully by John McArdle. I don’t know about you but I was absolutely rooting for Lawrence to be able to give Ronnie the affection they’ve both had stolen from them. While the melodrama of the pub outing and Lawrence’s gun-toting breakdown was a brilliant watch, nothing could quite live up to the stunning tragedy of the hotel room scenes where we learnt about Lawrence’s past and saw the glint of hope in Ronnie’s eyes – as if his love for Lawrence had been frozen for decades. This storyline manages to intertwine with the plots of others (more on this community feel later) and create moments of empathy for all the key players involved. Emmerdale at its best.

Love and Happiness

vlcsnap-2016-07-16-21h59m33s933In amongst the angst and misery that some of the villagers were suffering with, thankfully there were happier times for others. In rare and welcome scenes, Aaron Dingle had a smile on his face as he and Robert indulged in some (interrupted) couple time and he plucked up the courage to ask Robert if he fancied getting a place together. It wouldn’t be Emmerdale if they didn’t give Aaron a few obstacles to jump cry over (and with Robert dithering, the police and Ryan showing up at the wrong moment –  there’s going to be a rocky patch ahead), but his cute hopeful smiles were a nice change. Then there was Tracy and David indulging in a low key but carefully curated romantic date at the Woolpack after Diane had locked them in a room together and David had had a good ogle at Tracy’s bum. Like Aaron and Robert, David and Tracy’s romance faced obstacles and miscommunication by the end of the week, but just like Robron they’re a couple with chemistry that you can’t help but root for. And hey, don’t these couples deserve a bit of happiness?

Friendship

vlcsnap-2016-07-16-22h16m17s259There was a strong sense of friendship this week and that was another burst of positivity through the more emotionally taxing storylines. There was Dan rescuing Nicola and giving her a bit of tough love (although let me reserve judgement on that if it’s going down the dreaded affair route!); the surprising and yet lovely new friendship between Lisa and Ronnie who deserve each other’s warmth and company; Tracy and Carly – the latter who was encouraging and supportive; Priya and David; and the humour of long term BFFs Adam and Aaron. Not only did these scenes of friendship and support bring a great deal of warmth to the show, they gave a greater sense of community rather than jumping from one plot point to the next. More of this please, Emmerdale!

A Sense of Community

vlcsnap-2016-07-16-22h01m50s186Community is something that should be at the heart of Emmerdale and you often see it when a funeral or a wedding is involved but sometimes, understandably due to filming issues, the show lacks that community spirit. Plot crossovers, characters getting involved in each other’s stories, gossip, lurking about in the background of the pub – it’s the little things. But if you’re a nerdy viewer like me you might have noticed there seemed to be a good amount of that during this week. In one scene, Rodney and the King kids conversation walked by Adam and Aaron mid-convo, who crossed the road in front of Chrissie, looking at Ronnie, as Tracy ran past back to the shop. We all know it’s a fictional little village but these little touches make it feel more real and bring the stories out of their little bubble.

Surprising and Stand-out Performances

vlcsnap-2016-07-16-22h02m24s299Another fave of mine this week is going to some stand out performances. I’ve already mentioned John Bowe and John McArdle but at the start of the week Natalie J Robb stole the show as Moira, as she coped with looking after a screaming Holly going through withdrawal. Tough scenes and difficult to portray as Moira took a solid stance to try and get her daughter through her addiction. At the end of the week it was Amy Walsh leaving me in bits as she heard what she believed to be David slagging her off – running out before he expressed his real feelings for her – and broke down in tears to Carly. Until then we’d not seen Tracy be given anything as upsetting to play but seeing her so vulnerable and hurting definitely had me choked. What a talented bunch of actors there are in The Dales!

Fail

Rinse and Repeat

Emmerdale - Belle Admits To Faking Her Pregnancy - YouTubeOnly one ‘fail’ this week and that’s the Belle “I’m pregnant so that he won’t leave me” plot. It just feels like we’ve seen this story a hundred times before, doesn’t it? With Charity in the know, she’s convinced they need to cook up a fake miscarriage plot – which is just as repetitive as the age old fake baby scan – and I’m just eager for this part of the story to be over. Producer Iain MacLeod has promised twists ahead and things that are different to what we’ve seen before so I’m holding out hope that these are coming soon because frankly, fake baby plots never work and they’re not all that original anymore, are they?

Fave or Fail? (4-8 July 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! It was a week of very questionable behaviour and some hard-hitting viewing as Laurel and Holly battled addiction.

Faves

Self-destruct

Emmerdale - Laurel Tries To Seduce Marlon Out Of Desperation - YouTubeLaurel was a walking car crash at the start of the week as she suffered not only with a hangover but the reality of having relapsed with her drinking when she needed to be a caregiver to her ill husband. Marlon saw the warning signs and after confronting her, Laurel showed the nastiest flashes of life taking its toll. It was ugly and raw and painful to watch. Laurel laughed bitterly and tried it on with Marlon in complete self-destruct mode, desperate for another drink, and once again Charlotte Bellamy showed the cruellest, heart breaking sides to Laurel. While I was never a fan of the Marlon and Laurel relationship, their scenes were excellently played as he tried coping with her breakdown. But as Laurel battled with her need for booze and decided she couldn’t stay sober and care for Ashley, it was Doug who brought them back together again in touching scenes where they spoke new vows. It’s still unclear whether Laurel will be strong enough to cope with Ashley’s dementia in the long term, but they’re both making efforts to survive and the sad truth is – that’s all they can do.

Laughter in the Back

Emmerdale 5th July 2016 Part 2 - Video DailymotionSometimes it’s all about the background, light relief characters stealing the show and this week it was Pearl and Rishi’s turn. Rishi usually has the ability to win me over in his diva hangover shades or with a cheeky widening of the eyes – although the less said about his interest in exercise videos the better – but this week he went one step better. Donning a wig, an 80s power suit and sunglasses, Rishi had all the George Michael dance moves at Priya’s birthday party and I’ll go as far to say he was the only thing keeping that party alive! But blessing us with countless gigglesome moments was the wonderful Pearl as she got the wrong end of the stick about Rhona’s love life. In between moaning about the lack of cream buns at the vets since Paddy left, Pearl had her suspicions that Vanessa and Rhona were, in her words, ‘canoodling’ again. After a bit of digging she discovered Rhona’s mystery lover was Pierce and gave her seal of approval, telling them she thought he was hot and just wanted Rhona to be happy. Aww. And good on ya Pearl for trying to get a snog out of him and getting a little flustered at their very public PDA.

Unlikely Friendships

Emmerdale 7th July 2016 Part 2 - Video DailymotionIt’s often the unlikely partnerships and friendly conversations that offer an interesting dynamic in Emmerdale and provide good scenes. This week it was Holly and Jai meeting at their narcotics anonymous meeting (not so anonymous) and David and Diane discussing cancer treatment. Jai and Holly’s scenes were surprisingly enjoyable (and these two are way down my list of loved Emmerdale characters) especially as we got to see a new and slightly more human side to Jai. He’s surprised me lately being genuine and kind-hearted in wanting to be a father to Eliza, and don’t judge me too much – but he’s actually growing on me! David and Diane is another pairing we don’t see often but tying up these story connections in a way that makes links to the past and shared experiences adds to the reality and makes these characters’ challenges far more believable. It would be great to see more of this!

Fails

From Bad to Worse

Emmerdale - Holly Tells Moira She's Still Using Heroin - YouTube (1)Poor Tracy – what a week! She might not be the most beloved character in Emmerdale but I’ve long been a fan of her sensitive side and her appetite for fun. With her heart slightly crushed from a rather cruel rejection from David, Tracy took to the sofa and a box of chocolates to ease her pain. Her flatmates tried their best to cheer her up but Vanessa didn’t seem in a particularly forgiving mood when Tracy slobbed out feeling sorry for herself. Things got worse after a one night stand when Tracy woke to find the house robbed. Oops. If she wasn’t feeling low enough, everyone else kept making her feel even worse – not only a judgemental David but even Carly ganged up with Ness and told Tracy to move out of the girls’ pad. Sure you’d be pissed off and betrayed but can’t they see the poor girl is well meaning and was suffering? Here’s hoping things get better for Tracy!

Desperate Decisions

Emmerdale - Rakesh Tries To Bribe Neville The Insurance Inspector - YouTubeNever has the phrase “You idiot!!!” been shouted at the screen more than this week! With Belle clinging onto Bailey like she’s dangling over a fifty foot drop and Rakesh struggling to keep his cool and cover up his insurance fraud, it was the week of desperate behaviour and dodgy decisions. Belle hasn’t heard of the phrase “He’s just not that into you” so when Bailey tried to leg it to Romania to escape his stupidity, she tried every tactic in the book to hold onto him including the soap classic – a fake pregnancy. Of course the Dingles rallied round, but Charity’s smelled a rat already and it won’t be long before Bailey realises there is no bun. Brace for the fall out! And then there’s Mr Desperate himself, Rakesh. Priya is being taken for an absolute fool as Rakesh sweats through his every lie and with the insurance company on his back the lies are only going to have to get bigger. How long will Belle and Rakesh be able to keep up their poker face?

 

Fave or Fail? (19-24 June 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 bumper week of episodes and lots of drama for the young women of Emmerdale!

Faves

The End of the Affair

em10_0004The biggest and most engaging plot of the week was the fallout of Belle and Dr Bailey’s affair. I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of the story per se but the fallout of an affair and its ramifications are usually a good watch and this was no exception. As slimy Jermaine tried to save face for his marriage and career (which led to him pitifully binning his qualifications) he was left with little else but the naivety of doting Belle. Standout scenes had to be Angie wiping her hands clean of him and reporting him to the practice manager, the disdaining Dr Cavanagh. Dr C reported him to the GMC immediately so perhaps he better start getting used to plain old “Mr Bailey”. He felt the sting of getting involved with the Dingles too as Cain let his fists do the talking and left hapless Jermaine in a bloody mess. Spineless as he is, he’s let Belle believe he loves her over and above all this and she has seemingly chose him over her family. The Dingles are smothering and have a habit of bad decisions but Belle won’t come out of this unscathed either way. I hope Belle recovers some of her own agency when the dust has settled.

Underused and Underappreciated

em10_0003If you’re only a casual viewer of Emmerdale you might have wondered – who is this young couple getting involved in Holly Barton’s storyline?  The answer is, of course, two of Emmerdale’s most underused characters. Adam and Vic haven’t had much to do since babygate with Vanessa and Kirin and it was then that really cemented them as real assets to the show. Generally they’re the nicer, happier, friendlier characters on the show meaning they barely get a look in. Sure, they might have only played a side role in Holly’s drugs spiral this week but they make my Faves list simply because it reminded me how much I love them as characters and as a couple and it’s about time they had some decent material. Vic’s growing business (though we’ve hardly seen it) was doing so well she handed her notice in at the pub (the worry being we’d see her even less) and Adam was proud and supportive. Exactly the kind of “niceness” that can be lacking when a soap has to pump out full throttle drama. Of course Vic ended up attacked so the bright and positive energy from the pair took a dent. With the focus again being on Holly, I can only hope the soap gods realise it’s about time they had a story of their own.

Taxi Drivers

em10_0005Ross Barton is someone never short of a storyline or two but this week he teamed up with brothers Pete and Finn (yes, miracles can happen) as they attempted to set up their new cab firm. What a fun change it made to have them involved in something a little more comical and to see them actually working together. They lose a few points from me by Ross’s act of sabotage to the minibus in order to win Harriet’s business (although no one can say it’s out of character for Ross to do something like that) and Pete telling the lie about Emma’s health problems, which I found unbelievable coming from someone who is usually a bit holier than thou. Saying this, it was nice to see Finn getting a bit more screentime and his brothers’ attempts at supporting him just to see him buzzing and happy made a good change. It’s not a plot that’s going to win any awards and I can’t believe the taxi business will actually last but it brought some funny scenes and a change of pace for the Barton brothers.

Fails

Storyline Struggle

em10_0001Lucky Belle, eh? In one corner you have a spineless and manipulative doctor and the other, a convicted sex offender professing his love. I’m not sure what Emmerdale have been doing with Lachlan the last year but it’s a bit of a struggle to watch him spout his love for Belle and try and defend and protect her, when there’s the rather colossal matter of him being a sex offender hanging over him. The powers that be wrote Lachlan into a corner showing no remorse for assaulting Alicia Metcalfe. There were a few vague attempts to give him regret but the aftermath was sketchy and shambolic to say the least. Despite the odd mention of him attending counselling there’s been no effort to do anything with the character that ever edges towards remorse. He can’t just be portrayed as a creep and an unnerving teen and be forgiven for this because he’s willing to look out for Belle. He’s a sex offender. It’s never really been resolved, he hasn’t learnt from his mistakes and Alicia being gone doesn’t wipe the slate clean. It’s just not that simple. It seems the intentions for his character and the storyline became very muddled, particularly in the aftermath, but with his actions unacknowledged, watching him act as Belle’s protector just doesn’t work for me.

Sh*t Schemes

em10_0002I’ll admit it, when it comes to comedy, toilet humour just isn’t for me. Farting, pooping, vomiting. I just don’t find it that funny and the last thing I want to watch at 7pm when I’m tucking into my McCain chips (!) are episodes centred on constipation and laxatives. Marlon had the genius idea to lace Pierce’s gravy with laxatives after an all too vocal discussion of April’s bowels in the middle of The Woolpack. As plans go it wasn’t one of his finest and of course the gravy was consumed by Carly and Eric in their pies. D’oh! Guess who ended up with the shits? Not Pierce, that’s for sure. Far too much time was spent on this pretty stupid plot and I really didn’t need to think about Eric running back and forth to the toilet. Luckily for Marlon, Pierce forgave him after finding out and even offered to cover for him, legally, if Eric sued, so they’re all pals now. But wasn’t there a better way for Marlon and Pierce’s relationship to change than to involve a pooping plot?

Scene of the Week (19-24 June 2016)

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Dr Bailey’s house of cards came tumbling this week as his wife Angie realised the truth. Everyone underestimated smart and strong Angie Bailey so when she saw Belle’s anguish for herself, alongside her husband’s sweaty-palmed babbling, she knew what the real story was. Things hadn’t added up for a while and when she questioned what was it about Jermaine that made Belle delude herself, there was no straight answer. Angie remained silent through most of the scene as Dr Bailey stuttered. The tension! Belle floundered, spinning the lies they’d planned but Angie had figured it out and stated it, unquestionably, that Jermaine was sleeping with Belle. Nina Toussaint-White (familiar to both Doctor Who and EastEnders viewers) delivers great performances in all of her few scenes, making Angie a sympathetic and interesting character even though we haven’t seen a huge amount of her. I loved her outburst at Belle’s naivety during this scene, when she realised she’d wasted her life on Jermaine and didn’t want an impressionable Belle to do the same. I hope we see more of Angie, especially as this story looks like it’s far from over.

Fave or Fail? (12-17 June 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! The Euros meant only three episodes of Emmerdale this week – boo!

Faves

A Shoulder to Cry On

vlcsnap-2016-06-19-18h41m20s813It’s probably no surprise that Bernice’s ongoing life crisis gets my top spot again. With her digger meltdown rolling onto into this week, Rakesh wanted answers. Let’s be honest, it probably didn’t help her case that she was stumbling round the village with mascara down her face! But once the finger had been pointed at Ronnie he had his suspicions elsewhere. Luckily for the heartbroken Bernice, knight-in-shining-armour Andy stepped in and took responsibility for the damage at the flats. Later he comforted Bernice (with everything from a friendly ear, to his muscly arms and – oops-  his smoochy lips) and listened, confused in the way Andy Sugden does best, about the breakdown of her marriage. Of course, unlucky in love Bernice was left lonelier than ever post-snog (more about that down the page) and I’m left begging TPTB at Emmerdale just to give Bernice the love she deserves!

Worth Watching

vlcsnap-2016-06-19-18h41m59s789I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Holly or the drug addiction plot, however there’s a certain “shake your fist at the TV” enjoyment to be had when you can see an escalating situation ready to explode. Naturally having the reluctant trust of Cain and the unconditional support of Moira meant that Holly going off the rails was inevitable. This week saw her score drugs and after a short moment of resistance, be pulled straight back into a dark path of addiction. One big problem – she was babysitting Kyle and then got locked out the house! There’s equal parts frustration and nail biting during this plot, especially with Holly faking her urine test by using Kyle. Desperate times and desperate measures. The worst part is, the cracks in Coira’s marriage are only going to get bigger and Moira’s misplaced trust is going to leave her heartbroken. It’s got tragedy written all over it but it’s a plot worth watching.

Heartbreak Ritual

vlcsnap-2016-06-19-18h41m37s291I enjoyed the fun and friendship scenes this week where Tracy, Lisa and Belle teamed up to burn the belongings of their ex’s in some sort of ritual to rid themselves of any lingering feelings. Sure it was a little sitcom-y but at the same time more of these types of scenes that involve unusual character pairings bonding get a thumbs up from me. I have my doubts that this ceremony will actually work in helping them get over their men but Tracy’s panic that she’d left her scratch cards in the bag she set fire to was pretty amusing!

Fails

Playing Hard-Done-By

Emmerdale - Andy And Benice Fall Out After Their Kiss - YouTubeAndy, don’t make me hate you! You were doing so well at the start of the week! You listened to Bernice, you looked out for her, you protected her. I mean, yeah you snogged her too, but it’s hard to resist that chemistry. I get it. But what’s put you on the Fail list? Acting like a jerk. Snubbing and blaming Bernice, acting like you’re the hard-done-by one when you quite clearly were into the mouth-on-mouth action. I’m not even a fan of the Chrissie and Andy slobber fest but what a shitty way to treat her too, all in the name of covering your own back. Sort out what you want Andy and stop being so selfish!

 

Mutiny on Deck

vlcsnap-2016-06-19-18h41m46s443I love the kids of Emmerdale and I’m all in favour of a slightly comedic men’s club but this haunted pirate ship plot just isn’t doing it for me. If anything, the plot stands out even more as pure filler because we’ve some really strong weeks of character-led storylines in Emmerdale lately. Yeah it’s a bit of silly summer fun but it’s just not all that exciting, despite the odd moment that raises a smile. Arthur’s lone paranoid and under-cover iPad searches about ghost busting was sweet but a war between the slacking blokes and the kids just fell flat. Dare I say it? The men in Emmerdale just aren’t as funny without the women!

Fave or Fail? (30 May-3 June 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! It’s a bumper selection of faves in a great week in Emmerdale which saw both Robron and Coira being tested by family and loyalty.

Faves

Happy Families?

vlcsnap-2016-06-05-11h00m28s428In another difficult week for Aaron, there might just be something good on the horizon as his new little makeshift family came together as one. What a welcome change it made to see Aaron and Robert happy and affectionate towards each other – even if it was for all of five minutes. I’ve already mentioned how much I enjoyed Liv and Robert bonding and the drama that came with the two of them trying to get along, albeit warmly begrudging. Danny Miller gave another powerful performance at Gordon’s funeral and despite his wayward sis trying to get his boyfriend banged up (and the subsequent rift that caused) they were all happy to have dinner together at the end of the week. Sometimes it’s the most unexpected family units that work and this one just does. Fingers crossed Aaron can find a little peace with these two by his side before something else comes along to put him through the wringer!

Testing Times

vlcsnap-2016-06-05-11h03m29s649The aftermath of Holly’s overdose continued this week giving the Bartons and Cain and Moira’s marriage a huge challenge and featured amazing scenes between Coira. It’s the type of story with issues of trust and loyalty and love and dilemmas big enough to rock any family with two big characters at its heart. Luckily for us viewers, Cain and Moira both brought their own histories to the story making their divide believable and painful. Cain, while unforgiving and cruel when it came to dealing with Holly’s addiction, was projecting his own childhood issues onto matters as well as having a desire to protect Moira. Moira, who I love for her fiery and determined personality, struggled at the heart of the family and wanting to stop her daughter falling into another drug spiral. Thankfully Cain realised that they had to support Holly together and the two made up. Hopefully this is not the first crack in the marriage and the pair of them can stay strong.

Whole Lotta History

vlcsnap-2016-06-05-11h01m19s821Cain had a pity party for one in The Woolpack and later in the garage in the wake of his big bust up with Moira. There’s no one that does brooding quite like Cain, but it was other villagers confronting him that I really enjoyed. In amongst Charity’s stirring, Adam rocked up to the pub ready to defend his family and called Cain out on his hypocrisy. And he was right – think of all the times he’s blindly defended Debbie! Okay, it was a hugely complex situation for the Bartons but seeing Adam take him on was a great scene. Later on, a really well written and performed scene Laurel confronted Cain too. This scene leant heavily on the history of the characters and their pasts – Laurel’s alcohol addiction and Cain’s childhood suffering– which meant Cain’s change of heart believable and consistent. There wasn’t an OOC twists or plot developments – it was soap at its best: character driven.

Hitting the Fan

vlcsnap-2016-06-05-11h01m56s407There’s something super satisfying about secrets being revealed in soap and even better when it’s been brewing under the surface for a while. You’re tense with the feeling that THINGS ARE KICKING OFF. Well, this week Belle’s secret affair with Dr Jermaine Bailey that was revealed. Once stalky pervert Lachlan (sans beanie hat) got himself involved, Belle might as well have given up because it wasn’t long before Cain had hold of incriminating photos. And who do you not want to find out about your illicit affair? Scary and overprotective big brother Cain Dingle – that’s who! Cain blowing the affair to Bailey and his wife at the doctor’s surgery was a fun scene, especially the way Cain dropped the revelation so casually and even better was the shocking way Dr Bailey managed to twist it back round on Belle. What a bastard. The scene had fist-clenching, screaming, pitchfork-waving viewers at the ready but what a great moment of telly. Dr Bailey – we want your blood!

Other faves: Arthur and April’s terror about the ‘ghost’ ship and Sandy making things so much worse, the dishy DS Wise being a sweetheart on his date with Chas, Robert scaring the wits out of Noah to punish him, April snubbing Chrissie, Leyla, Jacob and David’s selfie moment.

Fails

Blackmail and Exploitation
em8_0005Even though the reveal of Belle’s affair was an interesting twist that was hard to see coming, what happened next is pretty grim viewing. If being blackmailed by creep Lachlan all week (who by the way has learnt nothing about how to treat women) wasn’t bad enough for Belle, she’s now being thrown under a bus by Dr Bailey. The whole affair was a seriously wrong move on Jermaine’s part and he knew that – professionally and morally – but exploiting her vulnerability and mental health to save his own skin was a new low, even for him. It was horrible to see Belle’s family doubt her, to see Dr B’s wife blindly defend her scummy husband, but worse was watching Belle admit to the lie and be persuaded to agree that she was stalking Jermaine just because she didn’t want to lose him. Praying to the soap gods that when the truth comes out Belle isn’t isolated and gets the support she needs and Dr Bailey seriously, seriously suffers.