Fave or Fail? (4-8 June 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! This week Debbie was left reeling when her secret was exposed and we met Charity’s son Ryan for the first time.

Faves

Breath of Fresh Air

vlcsnap-2018-06-09-20h38m01s944This week saw the introduction of Charity’s lost son, Ryan and he was a complete breath of fresh air! Not only was he like his mother, smart, quick witted and full of warmth, it was a pleasure to have someone join that cast who wasn’t your predictable ‘bad boy with a secret’. Creating a prominent disabled character was a great decision by Emmerdale and actor James Moore has humour and charisma by the bucketload. It’s a welcome move to see a disabled actor in the role and Ryan injected some originality into Charity’s story, which was treading a familiar path and was relying too heavily on samey scenes between Charity and Vanessa. Alongside Ryan was his adoptive mother Irene, whose pivotal but small role was fleshed out and felt believable and I certainly wouldn’t object to seeing her again either. I really hope Ryan becomes a permanent member of the cast and he would certainly add a new dimension to Charity and the rest of the Dingles. Make it happen please!

Doug’s Daft Decisions

vlcsnap-2018-06-09-20h37m04s935I can’t say I’m really Team Doug this week as his guilt and overly trusting nature made him far too susceptible to Terry’s lies, but it’s been good to see Doug and the BnB crew actually have a story. In recent years the older cast have been relegated to bit-parts as the younger cast get all the juicy storylines, and even though we lost Gerry in the process, I’m glad this is giving Doug and Diane some much deserved screen-time, even if this means that one of Emmerdale’s most stable and long-term couples has hit the rocks.

Dawn’s Potential

vlcsnap-2018-06-09-20h42m26s944It’s well documented that actor Mike Parr is leaving the role of Ross Barton behind him this year, so naturally we’re all starting to wonder what his exit is going to be. With the acid plot becoming a bit of a flop and having tied himself up in gangster plots – is it all going to come back to bite him? In amongst this, Ross has built an interesting bond with Dawn, the vulnerable woman he found when hunting for Simon. This week they slept together and things went sour when he accused her of using him for money, but could there be potential there for a surprising side of Ross’s character to come out? I could get on board with the two of them together if it made Ross see the world in a less selfish, black and white way. Dawn seems like an interesting character with a difficult life, maybe they could have a fresh start together and add some depth to his caveman ways?

Fails

Flat Funeral

vlcsnap-2018-06-09-20h39m49s196Truthfully, I’ve been missing Gerry from the moment he died, but this week I questioned the reason for his death even more. Gerry was the perfect sunshine tonic to the doom and gloom of the village, but his death has barely been about him. Sure, Doug gave a nice eulogy and Lachlan’s getting increasingly paranoid about getting caught, but it was Gerry’s funeral this week and its soul and ceremony were non-existent. Gerry knew loads of villagers, embedded himself into the Dingles as an honorary member and was good pals with Gabby too. And yet the turn-out to say goodbye was minimal (glad Tip the Dog made it though!). Except for a few unsurprising tears from the usually emotional Aaron and Liv, Gerry’s funeral was more about Doug and the duplicitous Terry. No family, no real send off for the lad. Was that it? Surely Gerry deserved more than that. Even the Terry twist was so heavily sign-posted it came without any thrill of a twist. What a waste of a great character and actor.

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.

Scene of the Week (21-25 May 2018)

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My Scene of the Week choice is the simple one this week, as Doug expressed his guilt and remorse to Gerry’s uncle, the creatively named, Terry. It was full of the warmth and humour Emmerdale does best, as Sam and Lydia added levity to the aftermath of Gerry’s tragic death. As Sam tried to reason with Terry, he explained that Doug was like a “Great Granddad” to Gerry, making Doug’s eyes widen at the backhanded compliment. But the humour didn’t stop there, as grief counsellor Lydia stepped in to help Terry come to terms with his loss and citing Steve and her struggles. It wasn’t just Terry’s bemusement to Lydia’s straight face that was so good, but Aaron and Robert’s exasperation too. Sam also chipped in with his experience with pigs – which seemed very fitting for Emmerdale – with Aaron replying, “Well now you know why Gerry loved it here.” And we loved him too. You’re missed Gerry!

Fave or Fail? (14-18 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! We lost Gerry this week after he was brutally murdered by Lachlan White. Miss you already Gerry!

Faves

Gerry’s Tragic Ending

vlcsnap-2018-05-19-20h52m07s849Oh Gerry, sweet Gerry! I’m sure I speak for most people when I say: I miss you already! What a cruel and horrible way to go, especially when he seemed to have such a big heart and a happy-go-lucky personality. His final scenes, despite a build up that was a bit too heavy handed and obvious, were unbearably tense and uncomfortable to watch. Both actors did an incredible job in creating a huge feeling of dread throughout in scenes which were claustrophobic to watch. It was a memorable and heart-breaking moment which gave Emmerdale the bit of ‘oompf’ that it’s been missing since the start of the year and it gave Lachlan’s story sudden momentum, making the desire for justice more significant. Was one good moment and a boost for the soap’s resident villain enough to warrant losing such a popular and versatile character though?

Killer Performance

vlcsnap-2018-05-19-20h54m44s545Once again I’m so impressed by Thomas Atkinson’s performances as the psychopathic Lachlan White, easily making this a highlight of the week. Not only does he manage to be cold and remorseless, he’s so compelling to watch that you’re almost willing him to get away with his crimes just to see him commit more! He’s at his best when he’s in this heightened state of dark and conflicted but I can’t help but feel if they let this story rumble on too long, he’ll lose his edge and that would be a real waste. He shouldn’t fade into the background, this should be the start of his descent.

Ain’t No Party Like a Woolpack Party

vlcsnap-2018-05-19-20h50m45s490In between Lachlan’s murderous deeds this week, in true light and shade soap balance, Chas and Paddy threw an engagement party. Sure the whole “curse” thing was a bit stupid but it did provide a setting for a huge gathering of cast and that’s always fun. From Faith and Lydia starting the karaoke (nice lungs from the Kings too), to Paddy’s awkward attempts to separate Brenda from Bob n’ Laurel, to his and Robert funny yet badly communicated cover story for Aaron’s absence. I loved that this one setting managed to have so many story cross-overs all happening at once and added to that awful sense of dread knowing it wouldn’t be long before someone discovered Gerry. More parties and community cross-overs please!

Put a Ring on it

vlcsnap-2018-05-19-20h57m05s897It’s been three months since the romantic Cain and Moira reunion and I really feel like we haven’t seen enough of them lately – even more surprising considering Moira outed herself as Emma’s killer and they now have baby Isaac to look after! So it was enjoyable to see a bit of fun and romance this week from Coira as they celebrated their wedding anniversary. It’s always good to see Cain get a bit soft and misty eyed around Moira and the sparks were firing as ever when they exchanged their rings. But cute scenes like this often indicate hard times are approaching – does this mean there’s heartache headed their way? I hope not!

Bonus Faves:

  • Doug getting an actual story – even though he’s actually innocent!
  • Pearl vs Vanessa in the vets – love a good comedic class
  • Brenda’s brutal café signage and decision to milk Bob for all he’s worth
  • The Hope kids (hilariously) unleashing their anger on Laurel by shouting at her in the street
  • Gerry’s flirty phone call to a customer (which sadly ended up sealing his fate)
  • The fleeting and flirty Robron moment just to prove they can have happiness, only if it precedes tragedy ofc

Fails

Predictable Paternity

vlcsnap-2018-05-19-20h55m22s167Ugh retconned paternity twists – who cares? Dan and Daz’s brotherly rivalry flared up again for Round 400 meaning more tedious shouting and hastily fleshed out backstory that we don’t care about. Whoever thought this story, one that’s been told countless times more successfully, needed telling again? Can we skip to the part where Amelia finds out so we can be done with this and get the Spencers back doing what they do best with some light hearted easy drama?

A Big Mistake

vlcsnap-2018-05-19-20h54m14s599It seems clear that Emmerdale needed Lachlan to kill someone we all really cared about so that we become engaged in his rather meandering descent into true villainy, but did it really have to be Gerry? This feature from Digital Spy summed up the travesty in killing such a likeable, funny guy and I’m already feeling the loss of Gerry (and Shaun Thomas from the show). Comedy can be so hit and miss but with Gerry Emmerdale had a natural. He was cheeky and endearing, fitting in seamlessly with so many stories and characters. We knew so little about him too, meaning there were years of untapped stories just waiting for Emmerdale to explore there. Not only does this seem like a really short sighted decision, but when Lachlan’s story climaxes – is it really going to be worth losing such a beloved character like Gerry? Gerry was the obvious and predictable target and if this story is going to drag onto the point of apathy it’ll feel like even more of a waste. Gerry could have been saved with a more original approach to this story and I bet the powers that be will come to regret this move in months to come.

Fave or Fail? (7-11 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! Brenda and Bob’s wedding day ended with a break-up and Charity exposed DI Bails during a press conference.

Faves

Brenda’s Big Moment

vlcsnap-2018-05-13-11h30m24s875If you’re anything like me you’ll have wanted to put your arms around Brenda after her devastating week. I was hoping that she might go at Bob with a chainsaw but what transpired was something much more subtle and heartbreaking as their marriage ended less than an hour after their doomed wedding. Brenda crumbled when she realised how unhappy Bob was and how forced their contentment had been, eventually sending him packing. It was such a painful moment for her, still wearing her wedding dress, but the worst came on Friday when Bob admitted he and Laurel were an item. What a dick! I’m truly hoping everyone is going to be Team Brenda on this one – especially as she was left consoling his poor children. It’s been tough to watch Brenda go through this, but it’s given the character a gutsy lease of life and actress Lesley Dunlop has delivered hugely empathetic scenes. She’s shone.

Time’s Running Out

vlcsnap-2018-05-13-11h28m50s336It’s no secret that there’s going to be a death in Emmerdale next week and at the moment all eyes are on Gerry as the ill-fated victim. This week fans started tweeting #SaveGerry as it looks increasingly likely he’ll be Lachlan’s next target now that he’s listened to the incriminating voicemail. Everyone knows the most dangerous thing in soapland is knowing too much about your murderous neighbours so sadly it seems like only a matter of time. Lachlan’s a great villain and Gerry’s a loveable idiot so the tension is already high in this storyline. But I don’t want to lose him! Is it too late for a quick rewrite?!

All Out in the Open

vlcsnap-2018-05-13-11h29m18s238Charity’s storyline took a surprising turn this week as she exposed her own secret right in the middle of a press conference Bails was heading. After an emotionally raw conversation with Harriet, Charity revealed that the only evidence she had against Bails was a baby boy, who died. I’m expecting a twist in the tail with that element of the story as secret children have a habit of showing up, but it was Charity and Noah’s scenes I liked best this week. I’d have liked to have seen a bigger and more empathetic reaction from Debbie, Cain and the rest of Charity’s family, but Noah’s distrustful and harsh outburst felt right for the character and was another great performance from Jack Downham. This storyline isn’t quite firing on every cylinder for me, but the vulnerable performances from Emma Atkins help to make Charity’s agony worth exploring.

The Kids Are(n’t) All Right

vlcsnap-2018-05-13-11h32m21s555Arthur Thomas was what the kids call “A Mood” this week as he locked Bob in the pirate ship and then stroppily told his mother that he did it and didn’t care. Arthur you little legend. Who can blame the lad? He seems to hate this ridiculous love affair as much as the rest of us. Through his anger you can tell it’s deeply painful for him too and I hope Emmerdale continues to explore that story, especially as losing his dad is still so raw. I’m all for more scenes of Arthur huffing and puffing and even teaming up with Brenda to destroy Bobel from within. You go on son!

Fails

Love Fools

vlcsnap-2018-05-13-11h31m14s547After Bob was kicked to the curb after the wedding, and Laurel didn’t crash it and instead went to Ashley’s grave – I had hope. Since the Bob and Laurel affair started (some seven months ago!!) it’s been unpopular with many viewers – not just because of poor Brenda but because Ashley’s not been dead long either. But if this was all a long term story of grief, of its confusing and lonely state, then I could just about buy it and Laurel’s speech to Ashley seemed to confirm just that. It was a good moment, one that felt real and believable. Then Friday happened and suddenly Laurel and Bob believe themselves to be the players in a love story and fell back into each other’s arms. Ugh. All of Thursday’s good Laurel moments seemed wasted. I feel desperately sorry for the children and Brenda, and can only hope the big Bobel “love story” implodes soon. With any luck they’ll be miserable together and Emmerdale will end the pairing for good.

Scene of the Week (7-11 May 2018)

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“You’re a fine lad, Gerry. And don’t let anybody tell you any different.” Excuse me, there’s something in my eye! Amongst all the Bob ‘n Brenda drama, Thursday’s second episode offered us a surprising and touching scene between two unlikely pals: Doug and Gerry. Even though the lovely scene did seem to be another nail in the coffin for Gerry (who is probably going to croak it now that he knows Lachlan’s secret) it was a sweet moment between the two. Not only does Gerry mellow and make Doug lighten up, but it showed us a bit of Gerry backstory about his dad rather than him simply being a waif and stray comedy character. Sure the scene was the usual type I love (two character sat down having a heart-to-heart), and was an obvious set up for next week, but it was a sure fire way to make me extra fond of the Doug and Gerry friendship. I’m steeled ready and dreading next week’s episodes!