Fave or Fail? (11-15 June 2018)

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! In the week that saw Chas tell Paddy the truth about the baby, Sarah learnt she is suffering heart failure.

Faves

Mother Daughter Divide

vlcsnap-2018-06-16-17h07m30s618It was a traumatic week for Debbie and Sarah as their strained relationship broke down in the middle of Sarah’s health crisis. After joyriding, Sarah couldn’t contain her anger any further and told the police that her mother was behind Ross’s acid attack. But when the police showed up, Sarah collapsed and after tests it was found that she has heart failure. An emotional and agonising time for any family, but it was made even harder because Sarah cannot forgive Debbie and feels betrayed by her. I like the layers in this story, the stubbornness of both characters and Debbie’s vulnerability on show. The elements related to the acid attack are still a weak point, and it would be nice if someone mentioned trying to get hold of Andy (even if he’s unlikely to return) just to make this more than just about Debbie, but it’s the complicated emotions here that make it worth watching.

Where is Amelia?

Emmerdale - Friday 15 Jun 7pm - ITV HubThis week the Spencers did a TV appeal for missing Ameila, on ITV News no less (loving the meta) and the thing I’m enjoying about this story is that I genuinely don’t know what’s happened to her. This week Daz was under fire but it almost feels like he’s been set up, possibly even by Dan. Could this be an inside job? I really hope this story triggers some real and surprising twists and keeps us well away from the tedious spats between the brothers. The other shining light of this story is Kerry again, who is staying positive and supportive. Who ever thought we’d see Kerry having such a calm and mature influence?

Everyone Needs a Marlon

vlcsnap-2018-06-16-17h07m04s696If you were picking Dingles to be in your corner, you’d definitely pick Marlon, wouldn’t you? If not for the cooking then definitely his hugs. This week Marlon was caught in a difficult position between supporting his best mate and hearing Chas desperately upset. Marlon’s relationship with Paddy is one I rarely get tired of, full of warmth and humour, but it’s his empathetic side that really shone this week as he comforted Chas. He could sense something was wrong with her and tried to be there without interfering simply by asking her if she was okay and offering an ear. Marlon was exactly the loved one you’d need in hard times, sympathetic and kind without judgement. He doesn’t get nearly enough appreciation so I thought I’d start right here!

The Next Generation

vlcsnap-2018-06-16-15h38m46s418Controversially I quite enjoyed Leanna Cavanagh’s role this week as the nasty teen leading the others astray. I can see her becoming a full-on bully in the village but sometimes we need an antagonist, someone who does and says awful things and who we love to hate, to shake things up. Bunking school and joyriding seems pretty soap standard, but Emmerdale’s young actors in this group (Jacob, Noah and Sarah) are a watchable bunch and usually pretty well behaved! It was good to see them take a bigger role and alone, away from the adults. With their parents’ drama-packed lives, there’s no doubt that this generation of kids are going to cause plenty of mayhem when they grow up and this is only the start.

Fail

Scraping the Barrel

Emmerdale - Doug Kisses Brenda! - YouTubeIt was whiskey-snog o’clock again in Emmerdale this week as Brenda and Doug succumbed not to secret passion but Emmerdale’s tired clichés. With this snog (and probably more off screen) this signals another stable couple left in tatters. Doug and Diane were the only long term couple who hadn’t been given a cheating plot and now they’re just another village statistic. And what’s worse is that he’s Laurel’s dad, meaning they’ve made the whole Brenda/Bob/Laurel fallout a whole lot more complicated. Won’t anybody think of the kids?! Cheating and drunken mistakes are soap bread and butter, but every soap needs stable and enduring relationships, even if they are gentle and drama free. Emmerdale put the bullet in this by destroying Zak and Lisa in 2015 and since then it’s been break up after break up. How can we be expected to care about these families and couples when Emmerdale doesn’t seem to? Doug and Diane might not have been groundbreaking or fan favourites, but it’s important to the fabric of the village to have some stable couples. This just feels lazy.

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Fave or Fail? (21-25 May 2018)

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! Belle discovered she wasn’t pregnant after all this week and Ross learnt Debbie was the one behind the acid attack.

Faves

The Hope Twins

vlcsnap-2018-05-27-17h31m34s158This week has done it. I’m now a superfan of the Hope twins. If their mouthy reaction to Laurel wasn’t enough, then this week they remorselessly set fire to dad Bob’s clothes and were Team Brenda all the way. It’s what he deserves, frankly. I feel so sorry for them being dragged into this horrible mess and they deserved a cuddle, not a telling off. One thing I have enjoyed about the Bob and Laurel affair, apart from seeing a vengeful Brenda is the focus on how this is affecting the kids and the Hope twins are certainly bearing the brunt of it. It’s nice that they’ve been let out of the story cupboard too!

Remembering Gerry

vlcsnap-2018-05-27-18h31m35s706Until the end of the week I was pretty disappointed that the aftermath of Gerry’s death was really lacklustre. The main focus in the week after the tragedy seemed to be Doug’s self pity and the BnB’s insurance – hardly the emotional remembrance it should have been. However things had picked up a little on Thursday as Gerry’s relative came to town and it was a chance for the villagers to reflect on the things we knew and loved about the cheeky chap, like his interest in older ladies. Sam and Lydia brought some much needed light to the story too. It’s been nice to see Doug get a storyline but I can’t help but think it’s been a waste not to have him a bit more upset and why they aren’t using Danny Miller’s award winning tears? Surely Gerry deserves a bit more emotion!

Dangerous Decisions

vlcsnap-2018-05-27-18h34m18s040As I keep saying, I need Lachlan’s evilness to peak before this story drags any longer but in the meantime I think we all need to be wary of what might happen with Belle. With Lachlan pouring all his hopes on fatherhood saving him and Belle not keen (nice twist on the false positive), I can see this getting really nasty for her in future. If Emmerdale explores their relationship turning dark then this could be a good, dramatic way to reach a climax in the Lachlan storyline.

Fails

Damsel in Distress

vlcsnap-2018-05-27-18h26m45s757Debbie is a divisive character, especially considering she was behind Ross’s acid attack, but I think it’s fair to say she deserves more than just being the damsel between warring men. It might have been a set up to get Debbie pushed to confessed to Ross but everything felt exhaustingly familiar this week as Debbie was shot and was fought over at the hospital by Joe and Ross. I happen to quite like the Joe and Debbie relationship – at least because he manages to lighten up her dour personality – but the love triangle angst over Debbie felt far too repetitive. And it goes without saying that there was zero jeopardy considering Debbie’s like a cat with nine lives. I often like her scenes best when she’s with her family or she’s being active in a story – good or bad. But the scenes this week felt very passive and old fashioned to further man-pain rather than anything worthy of her own. Female characters should be much more than this.

Losing Heart

vlcsnap-2018-05-27-18h30m26s716Back when Ross’s harrowing acid attack story started, who would have thought we’d be here watching scenes of cardboard gangsters and toy-looking guns? Emmerdale can do informative and entertaining well, covering huge and important issues with sensitivity AND drama but unfortunately Ross’s acid attack has become a farce. Instead of sticking to a story exploring Ross’s pain and recovery, his identity and masculinity, Emmerdale have thrown the kitchen sink of clichés at it making Ross a wannabe gun-waving action hero and chucking in cartoonish guest characters. This story should have shown us Ross’s struggle, giving Mike Parr big challenges and changing Ross’s character somewhat, instead these recent scenes have shown us the worst aggressive sides of him and leaned heavily on guest characters we don’t care about. After Ross’s tiresome showdown with the caricature pimp Connor, his confrontation with Joe involved stretching believability to its breaking point (as Ross could overpower Graham) and the scenes were oddly devoid of any real tension. Even the actors seemed to struggle with the ropey material and the police raid on Home Farm was laughably bad. All these guns and pimps and outlandish showdowns have removed all heart and sensitivity from this storyline, making me wonder why they didn’t just stick to telling an emotive story about recovery.

Fave or Fail? (30 April-4 May 2018)

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 delayed round-up after a week off, this week saw Joe make a leap of faith and rekindle things with Debbie as Megan cheated with Graham.

Faves

Brotherly Bonding

vlcsnap-2018-05-07-17h01m05s653I’ve been enjoying seeing a lot more of Noah lately as he bonds with power hungry big brother Joe. Not only is the Tate brother bonding a chance to reflect on Emmerdale history but it has also allowed us to see more of Joe and explain his vicious behaviour. I can’t quite believe his self reflection will really last, especially as he works well as the village antagonist, but I always welcome scenes that allow us to see the vulnerable and honest moments of characters who often show us a front. Actors Ned Porteous and Jack Downham already have a great on screen bond and Noah’s idolisation works well as a way to humanise Joe too. I bet it won’t be long before Noah has his heart broken, but I could easily see him stepping into a more villainous role in a few years time! 

Starting Again

vlcsnap-2018-05-07-17h02m22s940There’s a fine line between love and hate which Joe and Debbie have been crossing this week as the pair gave into charged kisses. Ever since Joe revealed his nefarious ways, Debbie has struggled knowing she had fallen for him and hating herself for it. It’s not anything new or unusual for dour Debbie to angst over a bad boy but there’s a teasing boyishness in Joe that brings out something slightly more fun in Debbie. Debs probably shouldn’t be believing Joe’s insistence that he’s changed when there hasn’t been much evidence to it, especially its only a few months since he tried to destroy the Dingles, but I can’t blame the girl for giving into a bit of high life fun with him. The scene where they started again, with tongue in cheek reintroductions was a cute moment which I found immediately endearing. There’s a forbidden love/hate temptation there which is a soap trope I can’t resist. Trouble awaits!

Taking Things Seriously

vlcsnap-2018-05-07-17h06m24s836Despite being tied to a very familiar (read: repetitive) paternity retcon story, it’s been nice to see Kerry get a pivotal and more serious role. She’s grown in likeability lately and has seemed a lot more grounded and mature. Even though Laura Norton is great at comedy and Kerry is often at her best with warmth and humour, I’ve been enjoying seeing her more vulnerable and serious in these scenes with Daz. There’s obviously a nice chemistry between the actors (likely down to Laura’s off screen relationship with Mark Jordon) but I do hope things are kept strictly platonic as the last thing Dan needs is a second heartbreak if he learns Amelia isn’t his biological daughter. 

Harsh Words

vlcsnap-2018-05-07-17h00m41s183Aaron bore the brunt of Liv’s upset this week as she lashed out when confronted about her drinking problem. Although writers have made her and these prison scenes frustratingly (lazily?) similar to Aaron’s stories and personality, there was a welcome grit and reality to this moment. Liv and Aaron’s relationship is understandably a popular one, made more so by the actors likeness in performance and mannerisms but there are times I’ve felt the characters are too similar and get on too well for the relationship to be  as engaging as it should be. With Liv joining Aaron’s tempestuous life when she did, it was obvious he wasn’t in the mental space to be a guardian for someone as troubled as her. So this upset explosion from Liv seemed needed and gave an edge to their relationship that was always lacking for me. 

Fails

On Repeat

vlcsnap-2018-05-07-17h07m47s565Is it just me or has everything just got a little repetitive in Emmerdale at the moment, lacking something fresh and original? Daz revealing he might be Amelia’s bio dad (leading to another big bust up with Dan probably); Megan and Graham’s secret and rushed hook up which came from nowhere and which Tracy is now covering; Belle’s mental health struggles; Liv’s prison story which has been very similar to Aaron’s; Daz and Bernice having a brief split due to misunderstanding. Even Charity’s story which is brilliantly acted, struggles to cover new ground when it’s the third rape story Emmerdale have done in three years. Right now I’m really holding out for something fresh and engaging to grip me, and that’s something Emmerdale is lacking right now. 

Wasted Potential

vlcsnap-2018-05-07-17h03m39s720I can’t help but feel that pairing up Frank and Megan is a complete waste of both actors and characters. Megan could be ruthless and a real powerhouse; Frank has the potential for underhand darkness – but together they’re blander than bland. Why, when both actors have CVs that speak for themselves? They’ve got to be one of Emmerdale’s worst pairings. Not even a secret and a brief hook up could liven them up. This week they got engaged after a brief misunderstanding which lasted long enough to hook up with Graham – and there wasn’t much spark there either. Then Tracy found out quicker than Sherlock so now it’s only a matter of time before it comes out. All very predictable and dull but made worse because I’m not sure if anyone cares if they stay together or not. The Megan and Frank relationship is flat, lacking any real interest or investment from the writers. Isn’t it time to call it a day and give them both something better to do in the show?

Fave or Fail? (12-16 March 2018)

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! Lisa’s health suffered when Gabby and Liv’s actions backfired and Joe discovered Debbie’s dark secret.

Faves

Dingle Divide

vlcsnap-2018-03-18-09h51m53s334Poor Lisa Dingle faced a health scare this week after Gabby and Liv’s prank went wrong. With Gabby determined to teach Daz a lesson, Lisa got caught in the crossfire and ended up in hospital and now the family are hellbent on revenge. There is one slight issue and one big secret, however – Liv is the one that did the actual spiking. It’s a story helmed by two great young actresses that causes friction not only between the extended families but will now surely divide the Dingles too when they find out the truth. I love stories that get the whole village involved, especially when it’s someone as beloved by the community (and viewers) as Lisa. With regretful Liv sure to spiral, this will give great dramatic material for Isobel Steele and might be the big consequences that Gabby and Liv need to learn from their mistakes.

Wicked Games

vlcsnap-2018-03-18-09h52m54s476Joe Tate learnt the shocking truth about Ross’s acid attack this week and decided to play a vengeful game with Debbie in order to keep her dark secret by blackmailing her into playing his girlfriend. Twisted, much? Joe’s manipulative wickedness adds a cruel spin to the story which might otherwise just be a quite repetitive and depressing story of Ross’s suffering. Health stories by nature can be slow so I’m glad of other elements to keep it interesting while still showing enough sensitivity and education through Ross’s recovery. Joe’s turning up at the hospital and forcing Debbie to reveal their new “status” to an already hurting was an especially bastardy move. Joe’s definitely the boo-hiss villain that makes soap so entertaining. But there’s a fine line between love and hate and Joe’s feelings for Debbie seem to be walking that tightrope, will hers follow?

Happier Times

vlcsnap-2018-03-18-12h23m44s125Smiles never last long in Emmerdale, but how nice to see resident misery magnet Aaron with some happiness this week. With much of last year bogged down in an angsty hell, it’s been good that the character has been shown to have a bit more of an adult life, not just in parenting and responsibility, but with his relationship with Chas too. With Chas absent a lot of last year, the mother son scenes were thin on the ground, but I’m glad we’ve moved to a more mature, less dependent relationship between the two. It feels fresher and far more enjoyable to see him carving a life for himself too.

Through the Tough Times

vlcsnap-2018-03-18-09h54m59s362Hooray for Eric again this week as not only did he invite Faith to move into his lovely barn, but he was a great support to Tracy. With Val and Finn gone it’s sad that we’ve not seen much of the BnB lately – we really did take those days for granted. But after David’s awful behaviour and his daughter-in-law needing a break from the shop, Eric was quick to offer her a better position working for him. I think this is exactly the boost Tracy needs. Eric has faith in her (no pun intended) and I love their supportive relationship, on both sides.

Fails

Recipe for Disaster

vlcsnap-2018-03-18-12h25m55s685This week, despite all the warning signs, Chas and Paddy decided to go ahead with the pregnancy and bring a Chaddy child into this world. As nice as it was to see Chas get some focus again, the writing choices felt heavily pro-life and dated, leading us to the inevitable outcome where they chose not to terminate. Still, we all know happiness for anyone – especially Chas – is short lived so all this champagne popping seems a bit pre-emptive, particularly when you remember Paddy was torn between two women five minutes ago. This has disaster written all over it and while I’m not a fan of the ill-suited couple, I dread the likely drift back towards Paddy and Rhona. It seems clear he’s still in love with her so how long before Chas’s heart is broken and the Dingles have another enemy on their list?

Scene of the Week (12-16 March 2018)

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For me the main strengths of the acid attack storyline have been getting to see Ross in a vulnerable light and the far-reaching consequences of Debbie’s naive revenge – and this Scene of the Week showcases both. Ross was one of my picks as a character who needed a shake up last year and I’m glad that this story is allowing different material for Ross, to cut through the bravado and show him scared and sad. Armed with just a white board and pen, Ross was exposed in this moment and his dry humour landed in a much more poignant way. Debbie and Ross as a couple, or potential love story, leaves me stone cold, but there were other elements at work in this scene which made it far more compelling. It makes her feelings of guilt and betrayal more painful and Charley Webb played that conflict beautifully. Ross and Debbie can both be quite sour faced and cold characters but this storyline puts them both in a position of self-loathing rather than self-involvement and that’s an interesting change. Do I want Emmerdale to revisit Debbie and Ross as a pairing? No way. But this scene was a good tease at one hell of an emotional fall-out.

Fave or Fail? (5-9 March 2018)

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! Tracy stood up to David’s cruelty and hypocrisy this week as Ross tried to cope with his scarring.

Faves

Inner Strength

vlcsnap-2018-03-09-22h11m09s581Tracy was amazing this week and has fast become one of my favourite characters in Emmerdale. Buoyed by the knowledge that Phil had changed his plea to guilty thanks to another complaint and the piece in the local paper, Tracy was feeling much more positive about life. Until she discovered husband David was ashamed by her past and was trying to cover it up. Feeling hurt and betrayed, Tracy was helped by those around her to find the courage to stand up to David and confront his cruel and unempathetic treatment of her, as well as his hypocrisy for supporting other women in his life but not her. So far Tracy has stayed strong and resilient, telling him she can’t un-see the parts of him she doesn’t like, but I just hope she doesn’t backtrack because she deserves far better.

Cain’s Domestic Struggle

vlcsnap-2018-03-09-22h09m30s817Who’d have thought that Cain attempting to cook a meal and clean the house would have been such a huge hit this week? With Faith cramping his style, Cain wanted her out and attempted to impress Moira with his domestication. Of course, Cain being Cain it was a disaster and he roped in both Marlon and Lydia to help him out. Cain rarely gets the comedy scenes (see also: Robron’s scenes with Faith this week) but that’s why it was such an unexpected joy. From a great silly set up, to the clash of personalities and funny lines – it was a brilliantly cheerful and genuinely amusing set of scenes. And despite his uncovered deception, it clearly worked a treat on Moira too as she let him move back home.

Tracy’s Support Network

vlcsnap-2018-03-09-22h15m24s919How nice it was this week to see so many characters rally round in their support of Tracy. Even characters like Rhona who don’t know her as well, offered their empathy and the women of the Dales were able to use their previous negative experiences with men to help her find her strength. As mentioned in my Scene of the Week choice Charity’s speech was a particular highlight, even if Vanessa’s approach was far too forgiving of David’s attitude. Family members like Jacob and Eric were rightly horrified at David’s reaction and made up for his failings by saying the things he ought to have. All these scenes have made a welcome change from the usual way women in soapland turn against each other in action or judgement and I’m thankful that it’s only David who is this caveman anomaly.

Ross’s Recovery

Emmerdale - Cain Helps Ross to Finally Reconnect With Moses - YouTubeRoss’s road to acceptance and recovery had its ups and downs this week and it took some tough love and reverse psychology from Cain to help him move forward. After Ross’s violent outburst at Debbie at the start of the week (which was unfortunately horribly aggressive to watch and detracted a bit from the empathy I had towards Ross) Cain wanted words. But knowing Debbie’s role in the acid attack made Cain cautious and less vengeful and instead tried to help Ross bond again with son Moses. This is story is at its best when it lets Ross be vulnerable and scared and considering Moses might just be the cutest kid in Emmerdale, their scenes were especially touching and a real highlight of the week.

Sharma Drama

vlcsnap-2018-03-09-22h13m10s113I’ve had my ups and downs with the Sharmas over the years and think the family have suffered from dull factory stories or too much panto villainy from Jai. Thankfully those days are behind us and this week saw Priya come under suspicion for hurting Eliza after her breakdown last week. Despite initial finger pointing and doubt, what I liked about this story was its lack of sensationalism. Priya wasn’t kicked out of the family home and Jai didn’t refuse to speak to her – Priya took the decision herself to move out and even though the suspicion caused a rift in the family, there wasn’t any shouting and screaming, destroying that sibling bond. I like Jai and Priya’s relationship a lot so I hope this story doesn’t escalate into a war.

Fail

No Going Back?

vlcsnap-2018-03-09-22h10m23s643It’s hard to imagine how David will go back to being a likeable silly chap in the shop again after his continually awful behaviour towards Tracy. She’s always felt looked down on by him but this week proved he really does think less of her and is ashamed to be with her. Viewing his attitude towards her past, his mortification and the way he dismissed her struggle was uncomfortable to watch and made me hope she never takes him back. As if him cheating on her for no reason wasn’t bad enough, this disgusting treatment of the woman who’s meant to be his wife shows no obvious route of redemption. He’s been tactless and insensitive in the past but has this taken him too far?

Fave or Fail? (12-16 Feb 2018)

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 both Ross and Debbie struggled in the wake of the acid attack and Sandy waved goodbye to the village.

Faves

Friendship and Identity

vlcsnap-2018-02-18-10h02m55s276Emmerdale have really lucked out in their teenage performers as this week’s story with Liv, Gabby and Jacob proved, giving us a heartfelt, original and emotionally raw storyline. Liv tried to explore her feelings on Valentine’s Day, explaining to Gabby that she doesn’t feel attracted to anyone and kissed her in order to discover how she felt. It was sensitively done, introducing an interesting and important storyline which was supported by honest performances. Refreshingly Gabby’s reaction was touching and supportive, as was Jacob the next day when Liv tried to talk to him about her asexuality too. Things had turned sour by the end of the week with Gabby misinterpreting a hug and seeking revenge on Liv by outing her at her birthday party, but this cruel development feels acutely true to teenage life. Sometimes stories with younger characters get dismissed or lost among “grown up” plots, but Liv’s journey here is already emotional and engaging. Fantastic work by all involved.

Three’s a Crowd

vlcsnap-2018-02-18-10h03m17s884Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll know that next week sees the reunion between Aaron and Robert so this week’s episodes were all about the thrill of anticipation. This week saw Aaron spend a lot more time with Rob, even helping look after Seb in favour of seeing Alex, and this lead to the pair sharing an almost-kiss on Valentine’s Day. With Robron both in a better place these days and the old feelings resurfacing, it’s now only Alex and Aaron’s stubborn too-big heart that’s getting in the way. This week was the perfect mix of chemistry, rom-com style miscommunication and that third wheel you just want out the way. Soz Alex. It’s made excitement for next week all the more powerful, and with tense scenes like the breathless telephone call that ended Valentine’s Day – I can hardly wait!

Struggling to Cope

vlcsnap-2018-02-18-10h03m43s962After the life-changing events of last week, Ross struggled to cope with the fall-out in hospital as the extent of his injuries sunk in. It’s been unusual to see Ross so down and distant when he’s usually so full of snark and bravado and it’s giving actor Mike Parr a chance to show off his acting. A welcome change of direction for Ross. There were a number of emotionally charged and difficult to watch moments this week, especially in the scenes that saw Ross come face to face with a frightened Moses and confronting his own changed reflection. I hope going forward we get to see his battle to restore his confidence and sense of self, rather than too much focus on revenge.

Breaking Point

vlcsnap-2018-02-18-10h04m33s368Debbie is a divisive character at the best of times, but none more so than now as she battles with her guilt over Ross’s attack. The best part about this storyline is how messy and far reaching the consequences are. This week even saw Cain go to extremes to scare off Ross’s attacker so that Debbie would be protected, but this situation feels very precarious! And we all know soap secrets don’t stay secret for long! Whether you feel any sympathy for Debbie or not, Charley Webb gave some outstanding performances this week in a visceral mix of emotions. She could never have imagined that her revenge would have such devastating consequences. Here’s hoping that Debbie does the right thing and own up to her part in the attack and not hide behind her family.

Midlife Crisis

vlcsnap-2018-02-18-10h04m48s842Bob Hope is still on my shit list but I can’t help but enjoy this midlife crisis style storyline. It’s never popular to break up a marriage, especially one that is rather normal and mundane for a soap, but Bob’s gone all Zak Dingle on us and weirdly I’m quite enjoying it. It’s a complicated muddle of emotions and muddled by Laurel’s grief and Bob’s indecisive middle-aged meltdown, but I like how horrible and messy the whole thing is for all involved. Inappropriate feelings are flying all over the place, not helped by a heap of denial. My heart breaks for Brenda, but there’s no easy resolution to this story and the discovery is going to be intense. I can’t wait.

Fails

Fleeting Farewell

vlcsnap-2018-02-18-10h04m12s341The last thing I want to do is make Emmerdale legend Sandy Thomas a “fail” but I’m just so disappointed to see him leave the village like this! It’s always much harder to give villagers a happy ending to their time in Emmerdale, but Sandy’s goodbye came out of nowhere and so fast. He didn’t even get to do a big goodbye to everyone – not even granddaughter Gabby. Still, what we did see of Sandy’s exit was warm and sweet, it’s just a shame it felt so random and rushed. I think he deserved better.

Fave or Fail? (5-9 Feb 2018)

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 saw Ross attacked with acid in what looks to be the start of a great story.

Faves

A Huge New Story

Emmerdale - Ross' Acid Burns Prognosis Brings Him to Tears - YouTubeThe best drama in soap is complicated and often dealing with big, societal issues. Emmerdale has it all in the start of a huge new story for Ross as he was attacked with acid this week. In a case of mistaken identity, Ross was attacked instead of Joe as Debbie’s naïve desire for revenge got out of hand. The scenes with the attack were haunting and traumatically played. Now that there’s just two Barton brothers left it’s a good story to soften their rather aggressive edges and gives Mike Parr more emotional performances to come – a welcome change from his usual stories. It might be the making of Pete too, as he steps into a supportive role. Naturally Debbie’s guilt is already tearing her apart and it’s going to have huge reaching consequences when they discover who was behind it. There are so many threads to this story and that’s what is so great – such as, now that Cain knows, how will this affect his recently repaired relationship with Moira; how will Ross feel considering his past love for Debbie? So many questions lie ahead, but for now a great start to what I’m sure will be an engaging and sensitive story for Ross.

Community Spirit

Emmerdale - Jimmy Makes Amends With the Dingles - YouTubeThere’s nothing I enjoy more in Emmerdale than when the village all come together. Whether it’s a community project, a choir, a quiz or a big old party in the pub I love when we get a big mix of characters making it feel like a real village! This week saw the café hosting the inaugural KHAV (Keep Harriet As Vicar) meeting with various church-going villagers trying to give Harriet’s self esteem a boost and reject the bishop’s attempts to replace her. I’m not Harriet’s biggest fan but it was a nice chance to see others rallying in her corner and truth be told I’ve been missing Pearl lately. Then there was the Dingle Wishing Well rebuild which saw an unlikely host of characters offering to help Zak and Lisa rebuild their home from rubble. Who thought we’d see Kerry, the Sharmas and Jimmy all pitching in? This was fun, warm and heartwarming stuff. More of it please!

Brotherly Bonding

Emmerdale - Monday 5 Feb 7pm - The ITV Hub (1)Joe’s arrival in Emmerdale has meant we’ve got to see a lot more of Noah and I’m pleased about that. Despite a rather rocky upbringing, Noah maintains a dry sense of humour and a grin and he’s showing us new sides to Joe too. Eager to bond with his big (and rich) bro, Noah kept sneaking over to Home Farm this week for peanut butter sandwiches and marshmallow loaded hot chocolate and the two have become buddies already. Joe’s genuine and caring for Noah in a way we haven’t seen yet and I’ll be interested to see where that goes – or if Joe starts to use him as a bit of a pawn against the Dingles. As for Noah, after his holiday with Charity, the question is will he still want to connect to his Tate roots?

Jimmy’s Crisis

Emmerdale - Monday 5 Feb 7pm - The ITV HubI think Jimmy and Nicola are one of Emmerdale’s biggest assets. They’re big and fun characters with a great family dynamic and thankfully we’re starting to see a bit more of them lately. With Jimmy involved with Home Farm and Nicola eager for that prestige and status again, she’s gone very gung-ho about Jimmy’s involvement, despite the fact Joe’s been using him as a lacky. Jimmy plays the loveable buffoon well, but now he’s starting to cover up his health concerns. Even though the couple play the nag/fool dynamic well, they’re really great at the softer intricacies of a marriage too and I hope that if Jimmy’s health worsens we get to see more from the Kings in a serious and emotional plot. Isn’t it about time they both had something a bit more serious to do again?

Fails

Stalling For Time

Emmerdale 8th February 2018 Part 2 - Video DailymotionStories take time to play out and sometimes that waiting, that frustration for a mystery to be solved, a killer to be found or a love to be rekindled is part of the fun. But other times the dragging of a story feels like just that: a drag. Having just watched Emma’s story roll on for longer than it should, perhaps lessening its impact – it would be a shame if comeuppance for Lachlan stretched beyond its dramatic potential too. Rebecca waking up with memory problems seemed like a way to stall for time and delay the discovery of Lachlan’s actions rather than an exploration of the impact of amnesia on Rebecca’s life. I don’t fancy repetitive scenes of her waking up every episode with no memory but for a character as undeveloped as Rebecca, they could make more of her rehabilitation. Lachlan’s part in this story is by far the most interesting aspect and it’ll be a shame to lose Thomas Atkinson but I hope the story doesn’t lose its momentum as we keep nearing then swerve the truth.