Fave or Fail? (5-9 March 2018)


Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! Tracy stood up to David’s cruelty and hypocrisy this week as Ross tried to cope with his scarring.


Inner Strength

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

Cain’s Domestic Struggle

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

Tracy’s Support Network

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

Ross’s Recovery

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

Sharma Drama

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


No Going Back?

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


Fave or Fail? (5-9 Feb 2018)


Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! This week saw Ross attacked with acid in what looks to be the start of a great story.


A Huge New Story

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

Community Spirit

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

Brotherly Bonding

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

Jimmy’s Crisis

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


Stalling For Time

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

Fave or Fail? (29 Jan-2 Feb 2018)


Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! Romance was in the air this week as Charity and Vanessa kissed and made up, Rhona and Pete had some fun and there was a big reunion for Cain and Moira.


The Big Reunion

Emmerdale - Moira Gives Cain Her Answer - YouTube (1)This week was all about Cain and Moira reuniting and finally putting their ghosts to rest and it’s about time too! With Moira feeling pressured and grief stricken about Holly again, she decided to leave the village for good. We all know this rarely happens for real, but Cain was devastated at the prospect and gave her an ultimatum to meet him at the bridge – in true movie romance style. Reunions don’t come easy and it took some big conversations between Cain and Zak, and Moira and Charity to make the pair of them fight for their relationship. Emmerdale heart-to-hearts are some of my favourite moments, allowing for quiet and impressive performances and seeing Cain open and vulnerable is always welcome. Their final reunion on the bridge was perfect for their characters, full of humour and warmth and by Friday they were back kissing in the café as if they’d never been apart. An easy highlight of the week.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Emmerdale - Tuesday 30 Jan 7pm - The ITV HubHooray for besties Rhona and Vanessa this week who are definitely having fun in the dating department. After a hot and cold fling with Charity, Vanessa got her favourite pub landlady to own up to her feelings and the two shared a very nice kiss outside in the village, hopefully meaning we’ll start to see a bit more of their relationship from now on. Then there was a very unlikely but nicely sparky hook up between Pete and Rhona, giving her back the pep she’s been missing. Pete might not be future husband material but their interactions have given Rhona a big dose of fun and with a nice chemistry they’ve been a surprisingly enjoyable watch.

Darkness on the Horizon

Emmerdale - Someone From Tracy's Past Has Returned... - YouTubeThe new creepy handyman Phil is bad freaking news and I’m hating the way he’s wedged himself into the shop and buddied up with David, but what this does mean is a great big emotional story for Tracy in future. Amy Walsh plays vulnerable Tracy so well and this story looks like it could be dark and challenging – definitely something gritty for Amy to get her teeth into. I’m so worried for Tracy, especially with David being a dick, but I can’t wait to see how Amy pulls it out of the bag!


Just Grow Up

Emmerdale - Paddy Picks a Fight With Rhona's New Man Pete! - YouTubeUgh Paddy. After the whole Tess debacle, we finally regained some of the old fun Paddy we loved when he came back from Germany but with his messy feelings for Rhona and his jealousy in the mix, he was really unlikeable this week. Sure, he eventually redeemed himself by realising how selfish he’d been, but when Paddy’s childish like this it really puts me off him, especially when Rhona deserves something fun and uncomplicated. I still can’t stand the Chas and Paddy pairing, but maybe Rhona is better off without him after all? I can’t help but feel eventually he’s going to break Chas’s heart though…

Shifting the Blame

Emmerdale - Someone From Tracy's Past Has Returned... - YouTube (1)Another man for the dick list is David, once again. If the cheating and the lying wasn’t bad enough (like every other man in the Dales), it got worse as soon as Tracy confronted him about Priya’s incriminating text message. It might have been far too easy for David to fess up now (especially with Leyla not due back for ages) but lying again only served to make insecure Tracy feel a hundred times worse. Couldn’t he have thought of a way to lie without Tracy blaming herself? It’s horribly cruel of David and it feels even worse coming from someone who gives off the impression of being a nice guy and a dream husband. He better be there for her when things with Phil get dark otherwise I may end up hating him for a lot longer.

Scene of the Week (29 Jan-2 Feb 2018)



It was the longed for reunion many Emmerdale fans had been waiting for and a moment that finally brought a smile to poor Moira’s face. After a hellish 18 months for Moira, it was only a matter of time before her and Cain reunited and let’s face it, they make a great couple. With Cain making one last attempt to reunite with the love of his life, he told Moira he’d be waiting at the bridge at 5pm and in true movie style there was a real will-she-won’t-she moment as she packed her bags ready for a new life away from the village. Thankfully for us all and sending excited squeals round the country (okay, just me?) Moira showed up at the bridge and Cain being Cain teasingly chided her for being late. But then it was time for some romance from Moira as she told him they had a lifetime together, before the two shared a big kiss to seal their future. The anticipation was high for this moment and in a beautiful cinematic style set up combined with Natalie J Robb and Jeff Hordley’s chemistry, Coira’s reunion was a winner.

Fave or Fail? (15-19 Jan 2018)


Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! Joe stepped up his revenge on the Dingles this week as he had Wishing Well demolished  but it was another great week for Emmerdale!


King of the Castle

vlcsnap-2018-01-20-20h58m52s817Now that the Whites have cleared out of the big house (RIP and all that), it’s been bliss to see Joe Tate take the mantel as the head of Home Farm. This week he deviously held a big house warming, including the Dingles, and ensured everyone was out of the way for the demolition crew to destroy Wishing Well. Evil genius! What’s so great about Joe’s take over, apart from him being charming and duplicitous, is that unlike the Whites he’s given new energy to the place and has integrated himself in the village already. He’s given new life to Debbie in revenge mode and it was a risky move for Emmerdale to partially demolish Wishing Well but exciting to see Joe shake things up. He’s already got under the skin of the Dingles as a real threat to their lives, made enemies and allies, and yet there’s still so much there to explore.

Mysterious Man

vlcsnap-2018-01-20-20h59m52s546The question on everyone’s lips right now has got to be: just who is Graham Foster? Part vigilante action hero helping and empathising with the Dingles and part ally and confidante to Joe. We learnt a tiny bit about how the two are linked this week, with Graham having a history of alcoholism, but there are still so many questions. Graham and Joe have a fascinating dynamic and now that Graham stepped in to secretly help the Dingle boys, we care about him as a character too. I’m very interested to see how he fits in with the rest of the village, if he has a dark side, and just how much of an influence he’ll be on Joe.

Lost Boy

vlcsnap-2018-01-20-21h02m16s288Lachlan’s remorse and recovery continued this week as he returned to spooky and desolate Home Farm. Once again Thomas Atkinson managed to make Lachlan sympathetic as he struggled to cope with seeing the last of his family’s belongings in the house and turned to Belle for support. His dark and troubled character has been compelling in the wake of the crash and now that Belle is so firmly on his side, the fallout from the truth is surely going to be devastating to her mental health. Definitely one to watch.


vlcsnap-2018-01-20-20h58m01s249Cain and Moira reunited, then broke up, again this week. I know – it’s hard to keep track! After the violence the other week, I was a bit perplexed that this was barely touched on before they shared heartfelt moments and slept together this week. Despite this confusing state of affairs there was a warm and funny morning scene and later when (having coldly dumped Harriet) Cain returned to see Moira for a new start, the chemistry between Jeff Hordley and Natalie J Robb was as intense and palpable as ever. But Moira put a stop to it. Maybe wise considering the circumstances but this on/off situation frustrating even when it sets sparks flying in their scenes and they’re clearly meant to be.


David’s Dalliance

vlcsnap-2018-01-20-21h00m24s396Just when you think Emmerdale won’t go down the predictable route…they did. Insert Tyra “we were all rooting for you” Banks GIF. After such a great start to 2018 for Emmerdale, did they really need to do this to poor Tracy. Sure, their marriage has been light on drama, but after all that insecurity, David did the thing she most feared and slept with ex Leyla (sound familiar anyone?). I’m not hugely invested in David and Tracy as a couple and I do like David and Leyla’s friendship a lot – but why ruin it? Tracy’s heartbreak is going to be horrible to watch – especially as Amy Walsh does vulnerability so well – but why put her through this lazy plot? What’s worse is that Leyla just experienced the betrayal of cheating first hand (would she really do that to Tracy so soon?!) and actress Roxy Shahidi is on maternity leave so won’t be able to resolve this plot for months! With the infidelity happening off screen we didn’t even get to see any build up so David cheating has come from nowhere and makes him look like a dick. Please no surprise baby when Leyla returns!

Killer Confrontation

vlcsnap-2018-01-20-21h03m14s684This week, pushed again to the brink (this is becoming a bit of a habit), tortured Moira confessed to Ross that she was the one to kill Emma. What followed was a really uncomfortable confrontation between the hyper-aggressive Ross and Pete versus the vulnerable Moira. I suppose herein lies the difficult of making someone like Moira, the everyday woman, into a killer – how do you believably move on from that? Despite everything Emma did, Ross and Pete were never going to calmly learn the truth but the violent outburst and snarly words really tipped the power balance when Moira’s guilt has made her into a wreck. It wasn’t nice to watch. By the next day the lads had almost had a change of heart after being so vehement towards her. It was a hard leap in the space of a few episodes and not one I think really worked. However, this story and Moira’s misery has felt a bit of a drag so if this means we can move on so be it.

Fave or Fail? (8-12 Jan 2018)


Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! Another great week for Emmerdale as Chrissie and Lawrence met their maker and Joe took over Home Farm.


Stealing the Show

vlcsnap-2018-01-14-14h05m14s412Hats off to Thomas Atkinson this week as he totally stole the show. Let’s face it, the Whites haven’t exactly become fan favourites, but the intensity and complexity of Lachlan’s dark and twisted psyche made his part in the exits particularly compelling. His delivery of “Make all the monsters disappear”, just before he forced their car into the lorry’s path, was a memorable and bone chilling moment. The best thing about Thomas’s performances this week is that even at his most warped, there were moments where you could actually begin to empathise with Lachlan. Watching his scenes with Chrissie made me wish they’d spent longer periods of the Whites’ tenure exploring the impact of the family’s destructive and enabling behaviour, instead of whitewashing Lachlan’s past and absolving him of responsibility. Thankfully now we’ve seen and they are embracing the true extent of his dark state of mind.

When the Dust Settles

vlcsnap-2018-01-14-14h08m46s046The intense build up to the Whites’ car crash and the gripping aftermath was a definite highlight of the week. Dispatching of Chrissie and Lawrence like this did make me feel like the characters had never lived up to their potential, however the impact on Lachlan and the repercussions of his actions will be one to watch. Chrissie’s death scenes were surprisingly moving and Lachlan’s dawning realisation of the aftermath was compulsive viewing. With the accidental voicemail and Rebecca’s recall being critical factors in Lachlan’s future, I’m looking forward to seeing how this pans out – I just hope it doesn’t drag on!

Like Mother Like Daughter

vlcsnap-2018-01-14-14h10m59s740I loved that this week’s episodes saw Sarah showing she’s more like her mother than ever before as she confronted Joe Tate about his treatment of their family by storming Waterhouse HQ and unleashing her anger at him. Brave stuff from a young girl and some of Katie Hill’s best work so far! I love the mother-daughter bond they’ve forged now that Sarah’s grown up and it also gives us both the harder and softer sides of Debbie’s personality as she still reels from Joe’s reveal. Debbie’s at her best when she’s ruthlessly protecting her children, but I also enjoy seeing this hardness disappear when she allows herself the time to be vulnerable and cry. This is the most I’ve enjoyed Debbie’s character in ages. Hooray!

Lord of the Manor

vlcsnap-2018-01-14-14h09m24s366Joe Tate claimed his rightful place as head of Home Farm this week and I’d be lying if I said those scenes of him surveying his new property – his family’s previous home – weren’t slightly thrilling. Joe continues to be the cold campy bastard Home Farm needs, but with Graham grounding him and trying to be the angel on his shoulder things are definitely intriguing. There’s a lot more going on under the surface than Joe would like everyone to believe, including if he really did have some feelings for Debbie. I’m already excited about his future in the village!

Tip’s Return!

vlcsnap-2018-01-14-14h12m38s098It might not be the Emmerdale romantic reunion we were waiting for, but this week Tip and Jai reunited and hearts were melted all over again. Not only is Tip an adorable little pup, but she brings warmth and a bit of humour back into Jai’s storylines. It’s hard to believe how villainous and hated he was just a few years ago! It also made Priya lighten up, giving her bickering sibling scenes with Jai and gave endearing cheeky chappy Gerry another thing to do in the village as he took up dog walking. Jai and Tip are the cutest – can we keep them together please?!


Lost Her Mojo?

vlcsnap-2018-01-14-14h03m57s583Resident vicar Harriet Finch seems to be having a wobble over her faith, but I think it’s a bigger problem than that. There was something a bit feisty and different about Harriet not so long ago but playing second fiddle in Cain’s affections and sticking with him hasn’t done her character any favours. She’s lost all her guts and fire to moon around behind Cain. Sure it might be to prolong a Cain and Moira reunion, but anyone can see Cain’s heart isn’t really in it – even Harriet can see it. Now that she knows Moira killed Emma and that Cain will protect her and the child they share, it really makes you wonder why a once confident and headstrong Harriet still bothers with him. And she might be having a crisis of faith right now, but it’s been a drain to watch her become so interfering.

Fave or Fail? (1-5 Jan 2018)


Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! An amazing start to 2018 for Emmerdale. Let’s hope it keeps getting better and better! 


Not Your Average Joe

vlcsnap-2018-01-07-11h54m06s632Bravo to Emmerdale for a great start to 2018. Not only did the “Tom Waterhouse” reveal give us a campy and gloriously thrilling shock, but it also manage to seamlessly integrate Emmerdale’s past and answer all the niggling issues with the Tom and Debbie plot. As Tom stepped aside, Joe brought us a wicked yet charming villain, unashamedly cruel and done so with power and confidence. He evoked all the icons from the Tate dynasty, leaving us clamouring for returns of Emmerdale legends like Kim Tate and his bitterness is one which looks to cause continuous conflict in the village. Even better than all this potential was the explanation for the criticisms made about the Tom and Debbie story – that this was all meant to look like a too-good-to-be true whirlwind romance, that the money and sex ties were totally intentional – meaning this was a twist done oh-so right. Clever and exciting. Great job.

Adios Adam!

vlcsnap-2018-01-07-11h51m13s584This week we saw the wrongly convicted Adam Barton go on the run and actor Adam Thomas leave Emmerdale after almost nine years in the show! Even though the “fleeing the country” plot is well used in Emmerdale, thankfully Adam’s last episode was full of heart as he managed to say emotional goodbyes to his loved ones. Unable to say a proper goodbye to mum Moira, Adam left her a tearful voicemail and although life on the run can’t be fun, Adam’s final scene just about managed to be uplifting. Adam probably didn’t deserve such a sad ending, but Adam Thomas really pulled on the heart strings and made the original Barton boy’s goodbyes meaningful and emotive, having shared so many of his storylines with BFF Aaron and wife Victoria. Adam’s exit also meant Cain and Aaron got to do their Dingle best in their efforts to break him and mastermind some great alibi trickery with Robert’s help. It’s going to be strange with Adam in the show and I hope that if he does decide to return one day then a bit of storyline magic will absolve him of his convictions!

The Future is Female

vlcsnap-2018-01-07-11h55m12s441With Joe’s arrival, it has thrust Debbie and Charity straight to the front and centre of the show and if this week is anything to go by then it’s a good thing. For all my criticisms of Debbie, this week saw Charley Webb give some of her best performances since her return as she battled with fury, vengeance and heartbreak. Debbie attached a lot to her relationship with Tom – stability, security and a bit of excitement too – and her crushed hopes of the future rang true at the end of the week. If Debbie struggles between lingering feelings on top of her anger then this could be really good. As for Charity, it’s about time she had a juicy plot and with such strong ties to her past and Joe’s connection to Noah then we’re going to get a lot more from Charity than just comedy hi-jinx behind the bar. I can’t wait.


Too Much

vlcsnap-2018-01-07-11h50m31s612Having spent a good proportion of 2017 off screen, keeping us less suspicious of her shock pregnancy, Moira Barton has had a horrific time of it since October. In just three short months she has had her life rocked by an unplanned baby, suffered PND, killed someone and suffered the guilt, almost turned to drugs, had her son escape jail (for a crime she committed) and now appears to be embarking on a domestic abuse story. It’s all too much. That much darkness for one character is relentless and suffocating (see: Aaron Dingle) and can at times desensitise us viewers from empathy when we’re watching a factory line of hardship with no sign of happier times. When are things going to get better for Moira? It doesn’t seem like any time soon. And was it necessary to add more violence to an already turbulent relationship like Cain and Moira’s? Scenes this week seemed to cross a line, adding more misery and more issues to an over-egged story. With the guilt, their separation and Isaac to deal with – there’s more than enough drama there. Did the characters really need another agonising issue to deal with? For such a great start to 2018 for Emmerdale and such a popular couple, this violence really feels like a misstep.

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


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.


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!


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.


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!


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!


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.


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.


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!


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!


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!


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.

Emmerdale’s Worst Moments of 2017


Emmerdale had another huge year full of great storylines and incredible performances, but it wasn’t all perfect. Here’s my look at where it went wrong in 2017.

Make sure you read my Top 10 Best Bits of 2017 later today!


5. Anti Climaxes and Dragging Storylines

One of the biggest issues of 2017 was the pacing of storylines. Huge and long running stories that ended on a whimper, or stories that dragged on and on forever. There were notable exceptions of course, but sometimes stories ran on way past their sell by date. Even some of the best stories, like Emma’s downfall, could have benefitted from a faster, punchier conclusion. Smaller subplots like Tracy’s erotic novel ran for months, squeezing out every last second of humour until nothing was funny anymore; Rakesh took months to leave after his lies were exposed; I felt jaded by Vic and Adam’s lovely marriage ending several times in repetitive ways; similarly fatigued by Robron’s nine-month relationship breakdown (and Robert’s never ending revenge); Dan and the teen gang/Josh story lasted weeks and went nowhere having no impact on any of the families it involved; much like Jai’s drawn out relationship with Nell (which did benefit from some brilliant final moments) it’s had no long term effect on the characters, making any investment in the story pointless. So here’s hoping for 2018 that the fat is trimmed and stories aren’t stalled to delay shocks and twists, before they become anti-climatic.



4. Sizzle Free Love Affairs

My biggest wish for 2017 was less cheating after the adultery-fest of 2016 and while that didn’t really happen, 2017 saw the rise of something just as disheartening: the sizzle free love affair. We had Cain and Harriet getting jiggy in the vestry – a combo of good and evil that should have been sinfully seductive viewing but fell flat in Cain and Moira’s shadow, especially when Harriet seems to be selling herself short. We had Megan and Frank – a dry and boring relationship which even Frank’s fling with Charity couldn’t liven up. Then there was Chas and Paddy – a strange and incompatible mismatch which requires strong cringe glands. And finally, the plot that soured our summers, Pete and Priya. Tipped as this big sexy affair for the summer, both characters suffered from horrible personalities and sub-zero chemistry levels. All the bum grabbing and clothes tearing in the world couldn’t save them.


3. Finn the Stalker

It feels like forever ago now, particularly as poor Finn is now six feet under, but one of the worst plots of 2017 had to be Finn the stalker. Finn had been a fairly loveable, sweet geeky guy until this story saw him become clingy and crazy in his attempts to be with his boyfriend Kasim. Despite the unhinged behaviour being explained as Finn trying to cope with his dad’s death, Finn grew desperate and unlikeable in extreme ways (graffitiing the word “Yestergay” on Kasim’s wall for one) which made little sense and ruined what people loved about the character. Thankfully after a short trip to Australia, Finn’s personality went back to normal and we could all just forget about the bad plot. It’s just unfortunate that after all that, he ended up dead. Finn deserved better.


2. The White Family

The White family were featured as one of my worst parts of 2016 and here they are again! Things didn’t improve from the previous year, as throughout 2017 the Whites continued to be isolated from the rest of the village and relied on exposition-heavy backstories to provide depth and create more inner-family conflict. Their entitled attitudes and unlikeable personalities meant their circular and tired arguments didn’t make for engaging viewing. Even Robert’s tedious and endless revenge panto plot didn’t improve things as it lobotomised the family making them look more gullible than ever before. Ultimately it felt like the confusion about what to do with the family ran on for another year as their limbo between victims and villains never settled. Another year of wasted potential. Their bad deeds (erm Andy, Alicia to name a few) were barely mentioned and their real points of interest (Lawrence’s sexuality, the family’s nastiness) ignored. If only they’d embraced the Whites as true, self-righteous villains (like they’ve just started to with Lachlan) then we might have seen something good.


1. Robron Smashed to Bits

Oh boy. Where to begin.

After Aaron’s traumatic child abuse story of 2016, he was owed some happiness in 2017, right? Wrong. After a romantic and heartfelt wedding, Aaron was packed off to prison where he was tortured and abused in well-acted but nasty scenes that felt like a cruel step too far. At the time I questioned the darkness of these scenes after the hopeful future that was earned after Gordon’s trial. Once again throughout the year, Aaron might as well have been used as a voodoo doll. If people weren’t desensitised and sick of Aaron’s misery then 2017 might have pushed them over the edge.

On the outside, Robert was in bits and after learning that Aaron was taking Spice (a well meaning and educational drugs plot this wasn’t), Robert imploded their relationship by sleeping with continual thorn-in-Robron’s-side Rebecca. This was never going to be a popular move just three weeks after the wedding, but at every step the story became more wearing, more frustrating and more miserable. The handling of Robert’s bisexuality had already been praised in the LGBT community but the clumsy way his sexual identity had been inexplicably and repeatedly linked to being faithful in the dialogue meant his cheating was hard to not see as a huge backwards step and a muddled, dated message to the audience. Having spent so long redeeming Robert in the eyes of the viewers, Aaron and his loved ones it was depressing to see that destroyed.

It didn’t stop there, of course. We had the inevitable pregnancy, more drugs, more self harm, more arguments and finally a big split. Rebecca’s personality shifted when the story required, having been introduced as a flighty vixen in 2016 eager to get Robert for herself, Rebecca became the eternal martyr lurching through multiple personalities when the story required it. Rebecca’s point of view was barely featured, meaning her flip-flopping decisions never showed much more of a purpose than to cause more grief between the already fractured couple. Beyond frustrating.

Having once had soap’s hottest property in the palm of their hand, even the most ardent Robron fan was exhausted and despondent. So after all that and promises behind the scenes for a reunion in 2018, is it too much to hope for a less torturous 2018?