Fave or Fail? (4-8 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! 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.

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Fave or Fail? (28 May-1 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! Both Chas and Charity had a difficult week as Ross confronted Debbie about the acid attack.

Faves

Charity’s Flashback Episode

vlcsnap-2018-06-03-18h49m18s668Emmerdale took another trip back in time this week with the help of flashbacks as we saw Charity relive the birth of her son. Much like the Cain and Faith special episode, young Charity was perfectly cast with Mica Procter in the role and the transitions between scenes were nicely done. Much of the episode focused on Emma Atkins giving monologues and she proved to be a captivating storyteller. I love when Emmerdale dare to get a little creative in their storytelling and this special was no exception. Of course the main reason for this episode was to reveal the fairly unsurprising twist that Charity’s son is actually alive. But it was a great end to the episode and now that Emmerdale have teased Ryan’s arrival in the show, I’m looking forward to seeing how this changes the dynamic.

Chas’s Secret Pain

vlcsnap-2018-06-03-09h59m34s500Poor Chas had to face the agony of learning that her unborn daughter may have a fatal condition this week, as Paddy took a secret trip to Scotland and crossed wires meant he missed the scan. After deciding to keep the baby, Chas and Paddy’s relationship has mostly been all comedy hi-jinx and morning sickness, so it was inevitable bad news was on the horizon. It’s the way it goes in soap! But this heartbreak meant Chas couldn’t bear to crush Paddy or anyone else and kept the secret to herself, even having to watch Paddy decorating the kid’s room. It’s painful to watch Chas go through this and try to lock up her emotions but actress Lucy Pargeter is doing a great job showing the range of emotions Chas has been through. I’m sure this is going to be a poignant story moving forward, I just hope Chas doesn’t keep everyone in the dark for too long and drag out her secret misery.

Young Talent

vlcsnap-2018-06-03-09h58m27s758I’ve been really impressed again with the young actors in Emmerdale and this week it was the turn of Daisy Campbell to shine as Amelia learnt that Daz is her biological father. Amelia’s sunny outlook on life was shattered this week when she heard the truth about her DNA from her vlog recording, devastated no one had told her upfront. With Dan and Daz at each other’s throats (again), Amelia was hurt and angry that Dan would try and kill his brother. I could do without Dan and Daz’s tedious fights and this paternity twist, but Daisy gives great heart to the role.

Fail

(Un)Missable Drama

vlcsnap-2018-06-03-18h50m02s011As we approach summer, the soaps usually end up shunted around the schedules and BBQ weather takes precedent. We’re used to the soaps, Emmerdale included, saving their best material for the colder months. But don’t say we’ve reached that point already? In between Charity and Chas’s big, emotionally involving stories it’s starting to feel a lot like filler. Part of Wednesday’s episode centred on friendless Frank and his darts game for crying out loud! Surely there’s something better for these characters to be doing? Don’t get me wrong, when Emmerdale are supported by power-house performances and emotive stories, they are unbeatable, it’s just at the moment we’re lacking that compulsive viewing feeling. With Corrie and EastEnders grabbing the headlines with their stories, it feels like Emmerdale’s been left floundering. It’s got all the right ingredients there, it just needs something gripping to keep it up there with the best.

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? (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.

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? (16-20 April 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 Liv got a four month sentence and Lisa left the village.

Faves

Arthur’s Discovery

4129b3d2-dfb0-4e7c-94fe-89cbac27efb9Just as the continuation of the unpopular Bob and Laurel storyline made us want to put our foot through the telly, Emmerdale took the story in an ingenious direction – getting Arthur involved! After the poor lad overheard an incriminating conversation between the pair, he was thrown into turmoil. With so many adultery stories in soap, we rarely get to see the damaging effect on the children but with a talented actor like Alfie Clarke at the helm this was the prime opportunity to explore that story. And let’s face it, it’s far more interesting to watch that turmoil than it is to keep watching Bob and Laurel pining! Now that Brenda knows, there’s no longer that kind of explosive energy but now a much more subtle and heartbreaking torture for lovely Arthur who is complicit and hurt by the lies and betrayal. A much better and more original direction for this story.

Lydia’s Kindness

vlcsnap-2018-04-22-16h08m34s408When Lydia Hart became a regular character in Emmerdale, she was the kooky grief counsellor-come-cleaner who loved a cockatoo (Steve, naturally). But thanks to her adorable relationship with Sam Dingle and her abundance of jobs and friends she’s integrated organically and wonderfully. This week Lydia moved into Wishing Well in the absence of Lisa. It felt like it had been ages since we’d seen her and I was grateful for the warmth and kindness she brings to the village. Her slightly unconventional ways still exist but she’s written with the empathy and compassion that’s much needed in the village and especially by Belle this week who began to suffer again with a deterioration in her mental health. Now that Lydia has moved in with the Dingles I can only hope that the wedding between her and Sam isn’t too far away! It’s going to be brilliant!

Fun Factor

vlcsnap-2018-04-22-16h06m26s897I’ve been a Jessie fan since the moment she appeared on screen and every time we edge closer to finding out more about her I get excited. We’re not quite there yet but there were more hints than ever this week as she continued to avoid Marlon’s attentions. I’m not opposed to the idea of them together but his persistence is starting to get to David levels of irritating. They do however make great friends and manage to inject a real fun factor into Emmerdale. Jessie is a bright presence at the school and making Marlon give a talk about honesty was entertaining. Emmerdale don’t always get comedy right but in Marlon and Jessie they’ve found the right balance of joy without becoming cringey. But I am even more eager to know what skeletons Jessie has in the past!

Fails

Dingle Division

vlcsnap-2018-04-22-16h07m16s997I’m massively conflicted by this Liv story right now. On the plus side, Isobel Steele is massively talented and she deserves a big story (even if elements of it are a bit too close to Aaron’s story last year and they could do with making the two of them a bit less similar). But on the other side this story has given us a huge division in the Dingles, damaging Zak and Lisa’s relationship AGAIN, and making Zak as insensitive and unlikeable as the Joanie days. I found Lisa’s actions uncharacteristic and hard to believe so her family’s ousting and anger at her seemed contrived especially knowing Lisa’s departure for the village won’t last. Poor Belle unfairly bore the brunt of Zak and Sam’s anger reintroducing her mental health struggles too. And it’s never fun to watch Zak’s woe is me attitude either. There are several aspects of this story that just don’t gel for me and I hope the fractures don’t dominate the story too long because we’ve been there done that with Zak and Lisa.

Bobbing Back and Forth

vlcsnap-2018-04-22-16h05m05s839I’ve liked Bob for a long time, enjoying his happy spirit in the café but this week might have just killed my love for him dead. Watching Bob and Laurel make eyes at each other is irritating enough but a guiltless Bob was more than ready to ditch everything for Laurel this week without any consideration for Brenda and his poor kids. This story has brought out the worst in Bob making his hundredth midlife crisis feel even more tacky and insincere than ever. I was glad that Laurel talked sense to him but even she still seemed to be holding a candle. WHY?! And his crawling back to Brenda was unbearable. Surely Brenda can’t really marry him after all this? He doesn’t deserve it.

Fave or Fail? (9-13 April 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 heartbreaking week that saw Charity open up about her past, Rhona confronted Ross about his use of painkillers.

Faves

Charity’s Crushing Past

03d41db7-f65d-4047-bb65-055aff317326Charity is one of Emmerdale’s best characters and Emma Atkins one of the best performers, but since her return in 2016 she’s been a bit wasted without a storyline of her own. I’ve grown to love Charity the landlady but she’s so much more than sharp tongued comic relief, as this week proved. With DI Bails acting as Hotten’s hero for vulnerable abused women, Charity’s past came flooding out to Vanessa before breaking down in her arms in painful and powerful scenes. We don’t often get to see Charity so exposed and open so when we do it’s all the more moving and poignant. Her backstory has been so carefully constructed that we can see ripples of it in her personality to this day and the hint at a secret son we didn’t know about offers more potential for heart-breaking stories in future too. Here’s hoping we get to keep Charity at the forefront of these big emotional stories for a while, it’s been too long.

Unlikely Allies

dba954fb-7f68-4fe0-ad3a-c13830a2c3c6Emmerdale is known for its beloved pairings and partnerships but sometimes friendships and fun can be found in unlikely pairings. Take Doug, for example, who has seemingly adopted Gerry as his little gardening protégé. They’re so very different but it’s their chalk and cheese dynamic that makes them so endearing. Ross has developed two surprising friendships this week, one with reality TV loving Rebecca and the other with addiction confidant Rhona. Ross might be using Rebecca to cadge extra meds, but he makes the character seem more genuine and relaxed than she ever has done. With Rhona onto his pill reliance, it’s been nice to see Emmerdale explore characters with similar history and makes his story more meaningful because of it.

Showdown

001This week things came to a head between Laurel and Brenda when Laurel discovered it was Brenda behind the identity fraud with her bank card. After Brenda’s less than subtle hints the week before, Laurel finally put the nail in the “Bobel” coffin and told Bob it was over and that Brenda was onto them. So far she’s stuck to her word, thankfully recognising that Bob had become a crutch, just like alcohol, and that this was a horrid affair for all involved (could’ve told her that!). Both her and Brenda had a showdown, both skirting round the truth of the affair in stilted, cold words both admitting to their wrong-doings but almost in code. It was an oddly satisfying moment, especially as it was an unusual move for an affair reveal. I can only assume when Brenda confronts Bob it’s going to be explosive!

Fails

Broken Trust

edcf94ba-849f-447d-9054-d3f592712335After Charity’s vulnerable confession about her past to Vanessa, Ness did the worst possible thing she could do and broke Charity’s trust by calling the police. Vanessa’s naivety might have been well meaning, but it was classic “act first, think much later” Ness behaviour. I had hoped after she almost screwed up Rhona’s trial that she might have a bit more sense but instead she opened up a hugely traumatic experience for Charity, when it had been so raw and exposing for her. For such a significant betrayal this week’s conclusion left a lot to be desired, with Vanessa being forgiven and all being well in camp Vanity. I can’t help but feel Charity’s anger and hurt was more than earned and could have been played for longer, letting Vanessa really learn from her actions.

Short on Laughs

vlcsnap-2018-04-13-17h59m08s895There comes a point when you hear the same joke so many times that it stops becoming funny. That’s how I felt this week about the mortifyingly bad Rodney and Misty story and Paddy’s bumbling fool routine. There were laughs to be had in the Rodney story but that mostly came from the Kings and the kids reacting to hippie vegan Misty, but as for Rodney’s sex-capades it was unfunny to the point of agony. It was hard not to wince and cringe at the noises and chasing, making me question if this was the same award-winning soap. As for Paddy, who managed to be even more irritatingly stupid than normal for suffering Chas (and us), surely he’s better than just playing the idiot? His comic relief can be brilliant, but making him flap and stutter all the time has lost any sense of comedy.

Fave or Fail? (2-6 April 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 Aaron get kidnapped, Bob and Laurel just couldn’t keep their hands off each other – again, and again.

Faves

Turning Tables

vlcsnap-2018-04-07-21h14m51s876Okay sure, the kidnap was a bit flat and the confusion over contracts was a bit of a muddle, but the continually turning tables between Joe and Robert has real potential. The White family were never a match for Robert’s cunning, making it painfully easy for him in their obliviousness, but Joe’s got the cash and the ruthlessness to use Robert’s weak spot for his advantage. Seeing Robert sign a deal with the devil takes us to new territory for him – he’s used to control and victory and working for himself. Being under Joe’s thumb is going to drive him crazy, it’s a pressure cooker waiting to happen, but it could easily escalate on both sides. Neither man wants to lose but the one-upmanship has already had its moments of arrogant fun on both sides so bring it on.

Bittersweet Memories

vlcsnap-2018-04-07-21h15m40s451It was Ashley’s memorial this week and I can hardly believe a whole year has passed since he died. In between all of the Bob and Laurel grief shagging, we did get to see a touching service on a very wintery looking day. These scenes were another chance to see the Thomas kids shine with both Gabby and Arthur reminding us of how impressive their performances were and continue to be in relation to Ashley’s story. I particularly liked the parallel to Ashley’s funeral, only this time it was Arthur stepping up to read the speech when Gabby’s emotions got the better of her. These two are the big stars in the Emmerdale future.

King and Queen

vlcsnap-2018-04-07-21h17m14s426For all the chaos and upset Joe Tate has brought to the village, he’s done one good thing and that’s allowed us to see more of Jimmy and Nicola King. This week they got to be smug and smart as they stood up to Joe and helped Robert sort of get back on track. They’re absolutely two of my favourite characters in the village and it’s been great to see them keep their kookiness but still get a small victory. More please!

Dark Brenda

vlcsnap-2018-04-07-21h11m26s627The Bob and Laurel affair story has reached almost unbearable levels of snogging and teenage frolicking, however if there’s one shining light in this plot then it’s been the rise of Dark Brenda. I think by this point, with sympathy very much on Team Brenda, we’d all be cheering her on to fire up a chainsaw in the direction of Bob’s balls. Her menacing and pointed asides are comically unsubtle, but her little acts of revenge and copious wine drinking is a real Mood (as the kids say). By this point I’m all for Brenda to embrace the dark side fully and start dressing as a goth.

Puppet Master

vlcsnap-2018-04-07-21h17m59s523Granted Emmerdale’s delaying tactics when it comes to the Lachlan car crash reveal are getting almost as frustrating as the dragging out of the Emma saga, but there’s no question that Lachlan is at his most engaging when he’s playing puppet master. This week he managed to convince Rebecca that she encouraged Chrissie to drive faster so was therefore responsible for the crash. A particularly clever and wicked move considering her brain damage but a role that actor Thomas Atkinson seems to relish.

Fails

Hair Raising

vlcsnap-2018-04-07-21h18m46s675For a silly comedy plot, Daz’s unicorn hair got a lot of screentime this Thursday as multiple crossed wires and misunderstandings meant his relationship with Bernice was briefly on the rocks. Followers of this blog will know that Bernice is one of my absolute favourite characters from her brilliant comic timing to her surprisingly emotional moments too, but even she struggles to lift Daz from the doldrums. I’ve nothing really against the man, he just seems a bit of a drip, especially when Bernice is such a lively, scene stealing character. She deserves a better story than this? And if they can’t find someone with enough spark to pair her off with then I’d happily watch more of her in the salon or being a pretty dodgy mother to Gabby.

No Real Danger

vlcsnap-2018-04-07-21h18m16s866Perhaps one of the problems with this week’s lacklustre kidnap plot was that barely a week goes by without someone being tossed into a car boot. Considering it’s usually Cain doing the kidnapping, it seemed ironic that he was on the opposite side this week trying to rescue Aaron from the clutches of panto villain, Syd. Robert and Aaron have faced so much angst in their quest to be together that even their reactions to Aaron’s life being at stake felt a bit muted in comparison to their usual emotionally-intense peril. But it wasn’t just Syd springing up from nowhere and disappearing almost as quick that was the problem, it was that the stakes didn’t seem very high or very real when it was all done and dusted in about ten minutes on screen. When the story was sprinkled between Daz’s unicorn hair and Bob and Laurel sucking face for the hundredth time it lost all sense of urgency. Still, getting Cain and Moira involved in a Robron story was a great move – fingers crossed for more of that.

Fave or Fail? (26-30 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! This week Ross’s recovery took a setback as Jimmy tried to get one over on Joe.

Faves

Graham’s Past

5dbb676d-df3d-4ad6-b11f-945ca76099acActor Andrew Scarborough delivered a show stealing monologue this week as we finally learnt more about Graham’s tragic past. There was a lot of pressure for the mysterious Graham to have an interesting backstory and it be linked with his dedication to Joe, but Emmerdale really delivered. It’s difficult to make an exposition heavy scene work and to make us truly care about a past we had no part in seeing or experiencing, but Andrew made Graham’s painful reflection come to life and truly made me eager to see a lot more from him in future.

Surprisingly Sweet

vlcsnap-2018-03-30-21h56m21s236If you’d told me six months ago that my new favourite couple in the village would be Pete and Rhona, I’d have never believed you. Even when their out of the blue date was in all the magazines I was sceptical, but seeing them on screen they’ve been surprisingly sweet to watch. There’s an easy and adorable chemistry between the too which has softened Pete and made Rhona much happier – that’s a winner in my eyes. Pete seems to have grown up a bit as their relationship has progressed and it looks like some real feelings are developing between them. Is it too much to hope for that their budding romance could go the distance?

Softer Side

vlcsnap-2018-03-30-21h56m42s533Another couple who have been a hit with fans is Charity and Vanessa, who finally seem to be getting a bit more depth to their relationship. This week saw Vanessa’s work mistake catch up with her and it was enjoyable to see Charity step up and support her girlfriend in a way that felt entirely true to her character – comedy tash and all. This relationship is bringing out a softer, warmer side in the usually cynical Charity and it was nice to see Debbie show her support too. I hope their relationship continues to get focus particularly as we move closer to Charity getting a big storyline of her own.

Nobody’s Fool

vlcsnap-2018-03-30-21h57m20s815There were plenty of times this week where we were all willing Jimmy King to open his eyes and be less oblivious to Joe Tate’s plotting, but thankfully by Friday he proved he’s a lot smarter than he seemed. Kidding us all that he was a gullible fool, Jimmy teamed up with scheme supreme Robert in a bid to take down Joe. Thank goodness Jimmy’s backbone wasn’t entirely removed, but keeping us in the dark to their clever plan right until the last minute made the reveal a lot more fun. Even better was bringing back Robert’s kooky actress pal Kath, to help screw over Joe. Now that the rivalry is heating up, it looks like the twisted games are going to get a lot more messy – and fun to watch.

Challenges and Setbacks

vlcsnap-2018-03-30-21h59m03s236Ross had another tough week after returning home from his skin graft op. Pete, who I’m growing more fond of in this supportive role, tried to get Ross back to his old self and out in public, but a humiliation saw his progress shattered. The progression of this story has worked really well so far, showing Ross grow in confidence only to meet defeat and cause his acceptance to suffer. His spiralling and struggle follows a believable trajectory of good moments and bad, and those quiet and sad moments between the two brothers where their openness battles against a masculine front are the strongest elements of this difficult story.

Fail

Easy Ride?

vlcsnap-2018-04-01-12h18m08s777Did anyone else think David got a bit of an easy ride this week after his cheating came to light? I wasn’t expecting flogging in the streets and sure Tracy’s epic speech told him exactly what we’d all been thinking but by the end of the week I hoped he’d get a bit more of a cold shoulder from those around him. He had a few choice words from Jacob who was understandably hurt and upset, but by the end of the week even Tracy had softened a bit as David and Jacob jetted off on holiday. It’s a good thing he’s out of Tracy’s face for a bit, but even Eric – who is usually good at giving David a good talking to – didn’t seem as angry and disappointed as I expected him too, especially knowing how David reacted to Tracy’s past. Will David return from his holidays hoping it’s all forgotten?