Fave or Fail? (2-6 April 2018)

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Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! In the week that saw 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.

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Fave or Fail? (12-16 March 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! 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?

Fave or Fail? (19-23 Feb 2018)

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Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! In the week that saw Aaron and Robert finally reunite, Tracy was threatened with secrets from her past.

Faves

Make Your Dreams Come True

vlcsnap-2018-02-24-22h47m14s763If you heard the sound of happy crying on Thursday night then it was probably me. After months and months of agony and teasing, FINALLY Aaron and Robert were reunited and sought to face the future together, better than ever. It’s no secret that Danny Miller and Ryan Hawley’s chemistry has earned them thousands of fans worldwide so the pressure was on for a satisfying and romantic reunion. We got it – and then some. It had all the classic tropes of a romantic movie, with heartbroken Robert struggling to move on and Aaron realising he couldn’t live without Robert. It wasn’t just the fact they’d patched up and declared their love, it was all the special details included that made it so poignant for fans. From the fun scenes in the club, to the meaningful conversations in the garage (a location pivotal in their love story) – there wasn’t a moment wasted with all cards on the table. There wasn’t any silly misunderstandings or finger pointing, it was rooted in their intense past and entirely faithful to their characters. After so much agony and angst, it was a surreal joy to see their family happily reunited. Aaron was grinning – and you don’t see that often! It felt important and truly memorable. Moving forward, we know it can’t be plain sailing but by god, Emmerdale, don’t ruin this. You’ve got something really special.

Amazing Amy

vlcsnap-2018-02-24-22h47m51s372On any other week, Tracy’s storyline would have been top of my Faves list because if there’s anyone who deserves ALL the awards then it’s Amy Walsh. She’s been an absolute revelation this week, as Tracy was blackmailed over her prostitute past by the vile Phil. Amy conveyed Tracy’s abject fear brilliantly and her heartbreak at David’s cold shoulder was especially moving. Tracy’s scenes with Frank saw a new and improved sensitive side to his character as he was able to comfort her without judgement, until David’s treatment of her. Amy’s performances have been powerful and empathetic in this dark storyline, cementing her as one of Emmerdale’s best actors. We all wanted to rush in and rescue her this week, but I don’t think it’s going to get any easier for her as she tries to get justice. I just hope Frank and Vanessa will be there for her when David inevitably lets her down.

Squad Goals

vlcsnap-2018-02-24-22h45m35s230How great was Thursday’s episode at the bar? Fans of Robert have been crying out for him to have some actual mates for ages and Emmerdale also relished the opportunity to revisit the brilliant double act he has with Bernice, as well as giving him an ally in Vanessa. Aside from the girls’ great attempts to cheer him up, the comedy between the girls was something special. This episode was chockfull of one-liners and each character added something to the group to make it warm and funny. It’s great seeing our favourites outside of the village so it felt like we were really spoilt and even better that we got to see a group of girls having a great time and getting along. No bitchiness, no falling out over men, just bad dancing and cheesy music requests. More of this. PLEASE!

Getting Serious?

vlcsnap-2018-02-24-22h48m42s367With Charity back from her holiday this meant the Vanity hook ups could resume much to both their delights, but as the week progressed it was clear they were after a bit more than no-strings fun. While I’ve criticised Emmerdale in the past for its slow and most off-screen portrayal of Vanessa and Charity’s relationship, I was glad to see it given a little more prominence this week. I loved seeing the women have flirty fun (with drunk Vanessa being an adorable bonus) and Charity soften to the idea of something more serious. When the writing is there, Vanity is sparky and fun, bringing out new sides to both characters. There’s still room for more though, and I want to see it!

Bonus Faves

  • Gerry and Jacob’s lovely attempts to cheer up Liv (ice cream Gerry, leave out the vodka) and talk sense into Gabby. Jacob continues to be wonderful and the Liv/Gabby drama continues to be believable and well done
  • Ross’s continued struggles
  • Aaron’s lovely attempts to help Liv with her sexuality
  • Bernice’s funny but very blunt relationship advice
  • Priya and Kerry’s badgering of the DJ for 90s classics leading to them being kicked out – TV gold!
  • Robert and Liv repairing their fractured relationship. They have always been one of my favourite relationships in Emmerdale so it was touching seeing them move on and become a family again – that hug!
  • Joe’s redecorated Home Farm and it looks amazing
  • Faith using the loo when Chas was in the room – they’ve got a brilliant mother/daughter dynamic
  • Jimmy’s sycophantic “Thank you, Mr Tate!” combined with Robert’s bristling fury at Joe calling him “Richard” – this new rivalry will be amazing

Fails

David is the Worst

vlcsnap-2018-02-24-22h49m11s488There is always stiff competition when it comes to “worst man in Emmerdale” but surely David Metcalfe wins this one hands down? As if his cheating on insecure Tracy wasn’t bad enough this week he behaved so hideously that I’m firmly Team Tracy Deserves Better. With predatory and disgusting Phil blackmailing Tracy, David caught them in a compromising position and then learnt the truth about Tracy’s past. Instead of being warm, loving and supportive of his wife he was cold and accusatory, unable to even look at her in the same way when he found out about her history. While it would understandably be a shock, David’s attitude towards her prostitution (and his selfish attitude in general) has soured my view of him completely and that’s without considering his recent lying and cheating. With Tracy’s other family members showing compassion and understanding, David is a far cry from the type of man Tracy needs. It’s going to take a lot for me to warm to him again.

Fave or Fail? (12-16 Feb 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 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.

Scene of the Week (12-16 Feb 2018)

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Scenes of teen bullying in soap can go one of two ways. Either they have that ‘after-school special’ cringey quality or are so effective they are excruciating to watch. Gabby’s betrayal of Liv was the latter and a very painful moment to witness. Having confided in her best friend about her asexuality, Liv’s birthday was shattered by Gabby’s jealous misunderstanding over Liv sharing a hug with Jacob. The tension leading to the horrible moment left me on edge, well aware that Gabby was about to do something awful and held all the cards to Liv’s most private feelings. The fact the scene played out in a very real, brutal way made it so effective. Isobel Steele is a true talent and her subtle, heart-breaking performance was incredibly emotive. I’m sure the fall-out is going to be just as emotional.

Emmerdale’s Top 20 Moments of 2017 – Part Two (#10-1)

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Here it is, my Top 10 of the Best Moments in Emmerdale in 2017. You can read numbers 11-20 here, but below are the things I enjoyed most about Emmerdale and the reason I think it’s been so successful in 2017.

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10. Lydia Hart

Kooky Lydia made several appearances in 2016 and I was quickly taken with actress Karen Blick and her great grasp of comedy, so it was a complete joy to see her become a show regular in 2017. Lydia quickly established herself in the village, living with and bringing laughter back to Laurel’s house, becoming a cleaner for the factory and the Whites and pairing up with Sam. Lydia feels right at home in the village and although her oddball humour hasn’t disappeared, Emmerdale managed to make her more human by exploring the long term impact of losing her husband. I can’t wait to see Lydia and Sam get married in 2018!

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9. Creativity and Risks

Soaps are such a long running staple in British households that sometimes it feels like so many stories have already been told. What I’ve enjoyed about Emmerdale recently is its attempts to take risks and be creative within the realms of soap. Whether it’s taking the time to explore on story in depth and dedicate a whole episode to that tale, to arrange stories in non-linear ways to keep viewers guessing, or use flashbacks and different storytelling devices to explore a character in depth. Emmerdale have used all of these effectively in the year to take a closer look and examine the characters with love and I hope they continue to make original choices in future.

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8. Super Soap Week 2.0

Little was going to top 2016’s Super Soap Week – an impressive, visually stunning treat – but 2017’s Barton centric week was full of thrills, shocks and centred on the fantastic Gillian Kearney. From barn explosions, killer confessions, a shock birth, a shooting, hallucinations, a kidnap and a murder – they packed a great deal into one week, perhaps a bit too much at times!

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7. The Thomas Kids

Emmerdale’s cast is fantastic, but even more impressive is its cast of child actors. In 2017 actors Rosie Bentham and Alfie Clarke impressed everyone with their ability to give such touching and heartfelt performances through the Ashley’s dementia storyline. The Thomas family scenes resonated deeply with so many viewers and much of this was down to the moving portrayals of grief by Ashley’s children, Gabby and Arthur. Even after Ashley was gone, the two didn’t take a backseat and played a key role in Emma’s storyline too, with Gabby even a suspect in her murder. Both Rosie and Alfie are talented individuals and I really look forward to what 2018 will bring!

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6. Big Performances

Above all else, Emmerdale in 2017 was the year of fantastic performances. What I loved about the year’s stories is that it gave so many of the actors a chance to shine in some stand-out moments, rather that a small handful of actors dominating. 2017 saw big emotional and dramatic roles for lots of the cast, earning acting awards for a variety of the cast and giving everyone a juicy role. You just have to scroll through my Scene of the Week choices to witness the range of performances throughout year – almost everyone had their chance to shine in the spotlight in 2017 and I hope that continues in 2018.

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5. Rhona’s Rape

Emmerdale told a very powerful story of control, abuse and rape in 2017 as Rhona was raped by Pierce on their wedding day. The effectiveness of this storyline came from the slow burn nature of Pierce’s control and darkness, and the positive way Rhona took control of her life in the aftermath. Jonathan Wrather was chilling and compelling, playing Pierce as remorseless and dangerous in his inferiority complex. Zoe Henry was breathtakingly good, from Rhona’s traumatised state all the way through to her bravery during the trial and I appreciated the way Emmerdale didn’t let this story drag or fall into cliché by having people not believe her, or by letting Pierce back into her life.

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4. The Robron Wedding

Despite what transpired in the rest of 2017 for the fan-favourite couple, the Robron wedding was still a huge highlight of the year. It had everything: warmth, humour, family and romance. In true Emmerdale style, Dingle mania took over and the boys escaped to the garage to exchange their vows in private which was a glorious throwback to the origins of their relationship. These episodes, even with their bittersweet tinge, showed exactly why the pairing are so beloved and why the onscreen chemistry between Danny Miller and Ryan Hawley withstands the most trying of storylines. Here’s hoping 2018 focuses on happier times for Robron!

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3. Emma’s Unravelling

Emma Barton was by far one of my favourite soap characters of 2017 and despite her needing a climatic end, I already miss her. Gillian Kearney played all her complexities perfectly and made her so compelling to watch. Having taken up Christianity after James’s death to absolve herself, Emma’s inner conflict continued to struggle as she compartmentalised her desperate behaviour against her newfound religion. She could be reckless as well as being fragile and her obsessive nature made her unpredictable too, meaning even little Arthur became a victim of hers. Her downfall did come a little too slowly, but with Gillian’s captivating and often sympathetic performances, I didn’t mind that we got to see as much of Emma as possible in 2017!

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2. Faith Dingle

It’s hard to believe that Faith Dingle has been on our screens less than a year because truly I can’t imagine Emmerdale without her. Bold, brash, larger than life, with a wicked tongue and a huge heart, Faith has breathed new life into Emmerdale. From the troubled relationships with her children, to her own heartbreaking breast cancer secret, Faith isn’t just about the big laughs and outrageous comments. Faith is the kind of character Emmerdale does best, delivering barbed comments and saucy winks, as well as revealing someone with a dark history and deep insecurities. Sally Dexter has made Faith into such a memorable character, even managing to nab all the best lines. Bring on 2018 and more of Faith!

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1. Ashley’s Demise

Without a doubt, Emmerdale best story of 2017 and the one that will be heralded for years to come is Ashley’s death. This long running story is one that touches the hearts of many families struggling with the same illness and was told with honesty and warmth. Actors John Middleton and Charlotte Bellamy gave exceptional performances as the couple separated by this tragedy, with the acting and writing exceeding itself week on week. It was painful at every turn, and yet Emmerdale managed to keep moments of humour to balance the strain on viewers. This family and these characters felt more like people we knew rather than figures on TV and our hearts broke over and over as the situation worsened and Ashley finally died. It’s also been good to see that Ashley is never forgotten – his presence and the impact of his death is still something that features in the storylines and the behaviours of those who loved him and I’m sure that will continue in 2018.

Scene of the Week (11-15 Dec 2017)

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

Fave or Fail? (30 Oct-3 Nov 2017)

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Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! This week Pete was busy accusing and Laurel returned with more secrets!

Faves

Murder Mysteries

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

Quirky Friends

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

It’s War

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

Fails

The Cringe Factor

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

Fave or Fail? (25-29 Sep 2017)

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Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! Big stories for Emma and the Thomas kids and a week of no ‘Fails’ from me! 

Faves

Exposing Emma

vlcsnap-2017-10-01-12h38m43s348Thankfully with his sister Gabby back, little Arthur Thomas had someone else on his side this week and Gabby made it her mission to get payback. She began the week trying to “haunt” Emma with signs from above, wanting revenge on her cruelty to the family, but when she recovered the memory card and saw firsthand how Emma treated Ashley she wanted to expose Emma for her vile behaviour. I loved Gabby taking such a central role in this story alongside Arthur and the pair of them aren’t only adorable siblings but made gripping viewing as they attempted to take Emma down. Both Rosie and Alfie’s performances make us viewers want to reach into the TV and protect them as well as cheer them on for getting the evidence they needed to uncover Emma’s behaviour. They’ve done an amazing job with this story, putting everything in place for next week’s big showdown and Emma’s complete unravelling.

The End is Nigh

vlcsnap-2017-10-01-12h14m28s098If you haven’t seen the promotion of next week’s “Emmadale” then this week was the perfect build up for a huge week for Emma Barton. Gillian Kearney excelled once again as Emma lost her grip and ended up hallucinating James by the end of the week! With Gabby and Arthur on her case, Emma clung to her religious convictions to keep her feelings of guilt at bay but with the memory card uncovered, Finn saw through his mother’s earlier explanations for James’s death and warned her he’d have to tell Pete and Ross if she didn’t. It seems pretty likely that we haven’t got long left of Emma, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the way she can be really wicked one minute and still sympathetic at times too. Her moments of shocking behaviour hold even more impact when her motherly and pious front shatters, but she’s never been pantomime and her desperate behaviour feels like it comes from a place of unhinged heartbreak rather than pure villainy. I can’t wait for it all to explode next week!

Loner Laughs

vlcsnap-2017-10-01-11h56m01s353The exploits of Paddy Kirk are often laugh out loud funny and this week it was a particular highlight for me. Having been a bit of a loser in love, Paddy began the week on a surprise date – set up by Marlon – and with Bernice of all people. With their wires crossed, these two comedy heroes made for a winning scene, before eventually having a go at Marlon for his deception in getting them there. Paddy’s week picked up when he nicked Marlon’s internet date, though considering he ended up cuffed to a cage in the vets, making do with licking water from a bottle, it wasn’t a roaring success! Dominic Brunt is fantastic in the physical and bumbling comedy scenes and this got even better by the end of the week as he misunderstood Marlon’s hints about buying a puppy and ended up with Paddy as a houseguest instead. Even though Marlon might not be keen I think getting these two co-habiting will be a hilarious watch!

Cheeky Return

vlcsnap-2017-10-01-12h08m02s189This week saw the welcome return of Gerry Roberts, aka Lachlan’s grinning sidekick from young offenders. You have to commend actor Shaun Thomas for bringing so much cheeky-chappy charm to the role and making Gerry a fun character in amongst the fairly unlikeable Whites. Gerry’s puppy dog enthusiasm when it comes to flirting with Chrissie and trying to make a few hundred quid out of Robert means his oddball personality makes for entertaining viewing. Once the White family goes I’m not sure what place he’d have in the village, but I wouldn’t mind still seeing him every now and again!

Worthy Opponents

vlcsnap-2017-10-01-12h05m12s772Robert’s revenge against the Whites rumbled on for another week but the one silver lining is that finally his plans have faced real opposition, in the face of Lachlan and Chrissie. So far we’ve watched Robert make fools of embarrassingly easy targets Rebecca and Lawrence, but it’s Lachlan and Chrissie who are much wiser to his true colours and they’ve started to uncover his schemes. This week with the help of Gerry and a secret camera, Robert was able to blackmail Lachlan with his prostitute secret and it was fun to watch the two of them try and out-do each other. Let’s face it, Robert’s had it far too easy and it wasn’t just unbelievable but also a bit boring. And then there’s the return of Chrissie to the business, perhaps Robert’s biggest adversary and maybe the only member of that family to really unravel him. If mother and son work together that might be the only way to stop Robert from obtaining the keys to Home Farm.

Scene of the Week (25-29 Sep 2017)

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Superstar young actors Rosie Bentham and Alfie Clarke are in the centre of Emmerdale’s biggest storyline at the moment, having already given huge performances during Ashley’s dementia storyline. This week as the tension mounted for Emma and having retrieved the stolen memory card, Gabby finally saw the video that broke her little brother’s heart. In the scene prior to this one Gabby and Arthur were laughing and reminiscing along with their father’s image, but it was this scene, as the emotional youngsters saw again what Emma had done to their father, that earns my Scene of the Week. I was spoilt for choice for great moments as the drama ramps up for a huge week for Emmerdale, but as Gabby vowed for revenge in spite of Arthur’s fears I was impressed at how both young actors managed to handle such big material and carry scenes on their own. Fingers crossed these two will be duly recognised with awards.