Fave or Fail? (10-14 Sep 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! Bails got sent down this week and Emmerdale revealed what happened to Rebecca.

Faves

Worthy Winner

vlcsnap-2018-09-16-14h17m41s438It was perfect timing for Emma Atkins to win an award for Best Soap Actress (at the TV Choice awards) the same week as she gave a string of outstanding performances during Bails’ trial. She’s without question one of Emmerdale’s finest performers and she really got to show that off, and prove her worthy win, as Charity stood for questioning and then had to deal with the emotional aftermath of the guilty verdict. I’ve had issues with the pacing of this story (from the dragged out Ryan reveal, repetitive conversations and then a very rushed trial) and felt that the narrative has been far too similar to Rhona and Aaron’s stories, taking place very recently for this story to feel fresh. But despite the story’s weaknesses, Emma’s been fantastic. Even when Charity is saying nothing, when she’s brooding, Emma performs the moment with a storm brewing inside of Charity so powerful that viewers can feel it too. With Charity really struggling and putting on an act, I’m sure this is just the start of impressive moments from Emma.

Support System

vlcsnap-2018-09-16-14h16m51s043Despite some of the AWOL Dingles, I was glad to see Charity had a group of people surrounding her and giving her love this week, even faces like Tracy and Harriet who have been there from the start. Noah and Ryan’s bonding was great to see, and it was a powerful and moving moment to see them arrive in court, and give Charity that boost she needed. Although at times her loved ones have struggled with the right words and knowing how to best support her, the unflinching support from Vanessa this week was touching, even when Charity tried to push her away and bottle up her real feelings. It’s a long road ahead for Charity and I’m glad Emmerdale haven’t shown that a guilty verdict feels gratifying or like a relief for everyone, but hopefully the right people will be there for her when she needs it.

Three’s a Crowd

vlcsnap-2018-09-16-14h14m45s599It wasn’t a big story this week but I’ve been really entertained by the trio of Rodney, Eric and Faith as Eric realised he was enjoying having Rodney around, just as Faith was getting more and more fed up. As Eric and Rodders bonded over love for the same auction telly show, Faith was asked by Brenda if their set-up was polyamorous like she’d read in the magazines. But Faith’s hope for an end in sight seemed unlikely as Eric turned down the generous offer on his statue and pretended to want rid of Rodney. This story might not have the must-see tension of a trial or soapy disaster of a serial killer, but it’s everyday fun and we could do with more of that.

Tracy Unleashed

vlcsnap-2018-09-16-14h15m22s475I’m definitely not here for a Ross and Tracy romance, and Ross’s wild-eyed cocaine ravings aren’t a pleasure to watch either, but I loved the cathartic scenes of Tracy smashing up a car on Friday. Tracy’s become one of my absolute favourite characters and after her emotional and mature reaction to her split with David it was fun to see her let loose and have a bit of fun, releasing all that pent up anger. There was something childlike about Tracy’s joy in the scene that I loved and I hope there’s something brighter on the horizon for her.

Fails

Dingle No-Show

vlcsnap-2018-09-16-14h19m09s969They’re the first family to talk codes and rules, but when it comes to support, the Dingles can be flaky at best. Perhaps the lack of consistent family support for Charity can be blamed on real world production issues considering many of the main players in the Dingle family are involved in big stories of their own (be it Chas’s pregnancy, Sarah’s heart transplant or Lachlan’s chaos) but it feels like a massive oversight to not have them there by her side, especially when they’ve been missing in most of the story. Charity’s relationship with Chas has all but disappeared, Debs was too busy to be there for the trial and Aaron, who had been through similar himself two years ago, barely gave more than a passing comment. I don’t buy it. The idea that Charity is a strong woman who doesn’t need support might seem a believable perspective for them to take at times, but I didn’t believe that her loved ones would really behave in such an uninterested, nonplussed way knowing what she’d been through. It felt a contrived way to isolate Charity and exacerbate the aftermath of the trial. Take Marlon, for example, who is known for his huge heart, but spent the time he could’ve been with Charity, bonding with Ellis. It might be an actor availability issue but it didn’t ring true, not in this context.

Rebecca’s Fate

vlcsnap-2018-09-16-14h18m15s415In case you hadn’t already guessed the surprise twist, Emmerdale revealed that Rebecca is alive and well (ish) this week. Despite the fact Lachlan has no reason to keep her alive, especially considering he killed both his mother, grandfather and best mate and Rebecca knew all his secrets and conspired to lock him up in the first place, Rebecca’s been spared. This week we learnt that she’s been transferred from ramshackle shack to a bed in an unknown location where a creepy nurse is keeping her drugged and her hair well-conditioned. Yes, it’s as ludicrous as it sounds, like something from a horror B movie or American soap and while there’s always a level of outlandish soap stories, this exceeds that to stupidity. This latest development just feels like another way to extend the already stretched Lachlan plot, leaving viewers with more questions than answers. Who is the creepy nurse? Where did Lachlan find her? Why did she agreed to drug this distressed woman? Where is this random room located? How did Lachlan get her there? And so on. When Lachlan’s story should be hurtling towards a conclusion after last week’s climax, this just felt like filler. What makes the story even more tedious is that like the rest of her family, Rebecca was an isolated character with few meaningful connections in the village, meaning that when Rhona was mourning her this week, or Rishi talked about the girls in the factory being upset (characters she’s never interacted with) it just rings hollow.

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Fave or Fail? (20-24 Aug 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 Gabby and Liv got their GCSEs, Pete moved in with Rhona and Lachlan had Priya spooked.

Faves

Complicated Crush

vlcsnap-2018-08-25-19h58m36s643Vic might be confused by her sudden rush of feelings towards Matty, but I’m absolutely smitten by the pair of them. She’s known him for years and her complicated jealousy is now starting to make her get flustered and frustrated. Crushes are painful consuming things and watching this play out feels so perfectly true to life. I like that there are lots of layers to the setbacks, their tumultuous friendship, Adam and I’m sure Matty’s confidence and identity about being trans will come into play too. Marlon was an angel this week, offering Vic advice even when she’d hurt Matty in a big way by outing him. Emmerdale isn’t rushing this, it’s taking weeks for the feelings to unfurl and I’m so glad about that. I love seeing characters pine, getting their heartbroken and eventually mended and I’m so looking forward to Vic and Matty’s future.

New Beginnings

vlcsnap-2018-08-25-19h56m33s691When the concept of a Rhona and Pete romance was suggested I spoilers I baulked at the idea. Really?! But it’s been one of those strange partnerships in soap that just works. They have a fun, sexy kind of chemistry that’s done wonders for both characters, lifting Pete from his overly macho, aggressive rut and it’s given Rhona a break from being either sad or middle-aged housewife-esque tied to bumbling Paddy. Pete and Rhona is a flirty and cute pairing, but it also comes with a lot of humour and warmth. I don’t want to rush ahead or anything but when they talked about Leo and the future I suddenly got the urge to see them settled with a whole brood of gorgeous kids in tow. Here’s hoping that Pete moving is the beginning of a long relationship.

Worries About the Future

vlcsnap-2018-08-25-19h54m03s807We learnt more about Lydia’s past this week, with Karen Blick proving once again she’s as good at the emotionally dramatic as she is at quirky, as she bumped into a woman at the doctor’s surgery. Turns out Lydia’s beloved Steve (husband not cockatoo) had an affair with this woman and things were never the same after that. As poor Lydia opened up to Sam she admitted trying to put on a brave front and took Steve back even though she could never really forgive him. Sam, with his massive heart, wanted to prove he would never hurt her by setting a date for their wedding but Lydia didn’t want that. I’m pretty gutted that Lydia turned him down, but I hope this doesn’t mean a wedding is ruled out completely because these two are one of the loveliest couples in the Dales. Together they are adorable with actors James Hooton and Karen Blick making it seem like Sam and Lydia are truly made for each other. Long live Sam and Lydia!

Fails

Can’t Catch a Break

Tvlcsnap-2018-08-25-19h54m50s305here must be a rain cloud following Liv Flaherty whenever she goes as this week it was revealed her bad luck continued and she failed all her GCSEs. She has had a pretty difficult year following her issues with alcohol and her stint inside – not to mention her confrontations with Lachlan and Gerry’s death (which almost everyone has forgotten). But is it just me or are all these stories just floating like lose threads without ever being resolved or given the care they need? Liv’s issues with alcohol surely haven’t been “fixed” but we’ve not seen her get any real help, and her difficulties inside young offenders had no wider impact, will her exam results be the same? I can’t help but feel they should either give her a break or give her a well-written mental health story with all these miserable times piling on top of her and leading to recovery. Right now all these bad things are happening in a disconnected, meaningless way. It just seems like they want to make Liv sullen and miserable for the sake of it and that’s a real waste of Isobel’s’ talent.

Stalling for Time

vlcsnap-2018-08-25-19h59m46s315Don’t get me wrong – there are moments about the Lachlan story that I still enjoy. I think Thomas Atkinson is fantastic and when he gives us a display of Lachlan’s chilling and defiant smile, I love the thrill of it. His stand-offs with Priya this week have been tension filled and brilliant. But lately these moments don’t make up for the stop/start nature of the story that seems to take us one step forward and seven steps back. This week when Priya discovered the message Rebecca left about Lachlan being a killer, Lucky burnt down the shack, evaded police suspicion and buggered off on holiday with Belle leaving Priya suspicious but looking mad. There’s no real sense of momentum or jeopardy and every time we seem to creep nearer to a climax, the characters disappear off screen. With everyone stupidly believing Rebecca’s gone to Wales for good and Lachlan becoming the Dingles’ new BFF, it’s stretching the resolution far beyond the point of excitement to tedium. Lets hope things escalate and conclude soon!

Scene of the Week (6-10 Aug 2018)

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Lachlan’s story might be going round in familiar circles, but Rebecca’s escape attempt and chase this week had all the thrills and tension of a horror movie. There was something pretty exciting about this scene and the way it was shot meant you were never quite sure just how close to freedom Rebecca was. With both her and Lucky tripping and falling, it was a perilous mission, one with a frustrating ending of course, with Lachlan capturing and dragging Rebecca off to meet her fate. Whether that’s a new cabin in the woods or a shallow grave (my money’s on the former) we’ll have to see, but I’m expecting more horror tropes before this story is out.

Fave or Fail? (30 July-3 Aug 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 Ross turn to drugs, Aaron and Robert got re-engaged.

Faves

Lydia’s Cancer Scare

Emmerdale - Lydia Asks Sam to Keep Her Biopsy a Secret - YouTubeBy far my favourite story of the week was Lydia and Sam’s story about their little family and Lydia’s cancer worries. It’s been great to see more of Lydia lately especially as she’s moved from kooky side character to someone far more serious and pivotal. This week saw Sam open up to Lydia and Samson about Alice’s death, but it wasn’t long before he was terrified about history repeating when Lydia’s mole needed investigation. Scared what the future might bring, Lydia distanced herself and Sam was torn and devastated by the thought of Samson losing another mother figure to cancer. These were emotive and touching scenes played beautifully between Karen Blick and James Hooton, with both of them relishing these sad and serious scenes compared to the comedy they usually play. In the end it was sensitive, compassionate Samson who reunited their little family and thank goodness, because they’re a heart-warming trio and I’d hate to see them parted. This week confirmed to me that Sam and Lydia are perfect together and need to be protected at all costs!

They Said Yes

vlcsnap-2018-08-03-20h46m20s041Robron fans have been promised a second and legal wedding ever since they tied the knot almost 18 months ago and this week the thrilled couple finally got re-engaged much to everyone’s delight, meaning that much anticipated wedding is around the corner. (Right in time for Lachlan to cause absolute destruction, surely?) Wanting to cement their family, Robert and Aaron took things right back to the beginning by proposing (in sync) at the very layby where they first kissed and their coy smiles at breaking down at this fateful spot were worth the wait. It was satisfying this time around to see their families celebrating the happy event, with the lads even picking their sisters as their “best people”. With Rebecca AWOL, talk also turned to Seb’s future and it was good to see Aaron voice his feelings about becoming his parent as discussions on that front, in light of last year’s emotional trauma, were severely lacking. But with this much heart-eyed bliss to enjoy, there’s bound to be carnage on the big day…

Rebecca Fights Back

vlcsnap-2018-08-03-20h48m35s137Since her arrival, Rebecca’s personality and characterisation has been changeable to say the least, but this week, with her still held hostage by Lachlan, it felt as if Emmerdale have finally settled on something that works – someone with a bit of fight! Even though Rebecca’s memory issues seem to fall by the wayside when the story needs it, they gave her enough power to try and outsmart Lachlan with emotional blackmail and reason. A for a little while it almost worked. But it was her tragic goodbye to Seb that was the most effective moment in its cruelty and really made the concept of her imprisonment feel more real.

Fails

A Life of Crime

Emmerdale - Ross Meets With His Drug Dealer - YouTubeAfter last week’s great scenes with Ryan, it was a shame to see Ross return to his role as a low-rent Cain, trying to swerve the police with the stolen cars. I’ve got no problem with Ross as a bad boy in the village, but regressing to a cocky thug is surely a waste of his development after the acid attack? If that wasn’t a step back enough, he then bought and used coke, seemingly having forgotten all about lovely little Mozza. Is this Emmerdale’s way of setting up an exit for Ross? If so, getting Ross involved in drugs and dodgy deals would be a really weak and superficial exit for his character and I hope there’s more to it than that.

Graham’s Ghost

vlcsnap-2018-08-03-20h49m53s995Emmerdale got experimental again this week, bringing in ghostly apparitions for Graham and flashbacks on the anniversary of his wife and daughter’s crash, the one he drunkenly caused. You’ll know if you’re a regular reader of this blog that I love Emmerdale’s recent spell of creativity and their interest in stretching the soap genre as we know it, however Graham’s special episode was a real let down. I’m a firm believer that these special episodes are best when used sparingly only when they serve to offer some new insight into the characters. We know very little about the guarded Graham, so this should have been a great opportunity to learn more about his backstory and perhaps plunge us straight into a gripping new story. But all the special episode did was rehash what Graham had told Debbie months ago and with unnecessarily cartoonish ghost scenes. Graham’s retelling of events to Debbie was powerful and simple – these flashbacks just weren’t needed. We’ve spent months with Graham and Joe now and I still feel none the wiser about their history and background together. Rather than being enigmatic it’s starting to feel a bit empty. If anything, a flashback about how they became so entwined might have been helpful. As it stands, Graham’s cold and stoic nature is making it hard for me to really connect, especially when he’s such a distant figure, separate part of the village.

Fave or Fail? (23-27 July 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 Lachlan keep Rebecca hostage, Victoria got confusing butterflies spending time with Matty.

Faves

Friends to Lovers?

vlcsnap-2018-07-29-13h27m05s228Vic and Matty got closer this week and had an awkward frisson by the cricket pavilion as they discussed relationships. With Victoria having married Matty’s brother, and feeling like she has to start again with Matty and refresh that friendship she once had with him when she knew him as Hannah, it’s a confusing time. I love a slow-burn romance when it’s done well and this has the makings of one. It’s true that more friendships are needed in the village but rather than be dismayed that we might lose a platonic relationship to a romantic one, I’m glad that the pair have chemistry and this could be an interesting route to explore for both characters. Victoria hasn’t had a decent story of her own in forever and it’ll be nice to see her softer side again after sharing a sweet romance with Adam. Lately Emmerdale has rushed the most interesting parts of its stories and dragged out others, but I’m hoping they get the pacing right with this one.

Drinking Buddies

vlcsnap-2018-07-29-13h31m29s171Ross found a new friend in Ryan this week as the latter came to the pub to see Charity. I love unlikely friendships in the Dales and this was another, one that was brimming with snark and chemistry. It was great to see Ryan interacting with more of the villagers (although please get him to meet the Dingles soon) and Ross was a good choice for a new friend. These scenes gave us a chance to see Ross in a slightly different dynamic to what we’re used to with someone who challenges his pre-conceptions and takes him away from self-pity. I enjoyed seeing Dawn in this story too as she’s another guest character with a lot of potential. Can we have some more of this dynamic before Ross goes please?

The Full Descent

vlcsnap-2018-07-29-13h32m46s596Lachlan’s progressed quickly through the villain ranks going from secret lairs to serial killing, but now he can add kidnapping his aunt to the list. Even though keeping Rebecca hostage was an obvious twist to the tale, it’s Lachlan’s stone cold, blunt reactions to her that succeed the most in being so watchable. He makes heartless a calculated art rather than resorting to anything too panto. Rebecca held her own though and for someone with variable memory problems she seemed quite clued up about quizzing him and keeping him on side. She’s bound to be the one to take him down in the end, but something tells me his evil ways won’t be exposed right away, even if she makes it out alive. Here’s hoping we don’t have months of memory blanks or gaslighting just to let him get away with it a bit longer. Lachlan’s a great villain, but I’d like to see him leave on a high, not when we’ve grown too frustrated with the story.

Popping the Question

vlcsnap-2018-07-29-13h36m23s239A smiling Aaron Dingle is a rare sight, but one which is never unwelcome, and that soft smile was in action this week as he shared with Liv his plans to propose to Robert. Naturally, being soulmates, Robert had exactly the same idea (in the same romantic spot obvs) and broke the news to a delighted Chas and a rather spluttery Paddy. The layby call backs are a clear fan favourite result, though I can’t help but wish the build-up had been a bit less left-field and less Rebecca heavy, considering she’s been a constant feature of their lives since her arrival. But with next week poised for the big question, let’s hope we get to see some of that special Robron chemistry, in the place where it all began, to remind us how we fell in love with them in the first place.

Fails

Around in Circles

vlcsnap-2018-07-29-13h44m31s088Charity’s ongoing storyline benefits from a host of charismatic actors and quality performances, but the storyline has stalled in a way that makes it feel as if its going around in circles. When the story began it seemed as if it was about Charity’s journey to justice and the corruption of police. This was familiar ground for Emmerdale coming off the back of two consecutive rape trials and I was glad for the introduction of Ryan to add a new angle to the story. Since Ryan’s arrival, however the story has often felt repetitive with a whole host of excuses and obstacles preventing Ryan from bonding with Charity and meeting the rest of the Dingles. All this just felt like a laboured way to extend the storyline, rather than moving forward with the characters and exploring new ground and I can’t help but feel lately it’s been a waste of these actors who have been given repetitive scripts for weeks. Surely it’s time for new challenges and directions?

Lost its Fun

vlcsnap-2018-07-29-13h41m30s458Don’t get me wrong: I love Jessie, I love Marlon and I love the idea of them together. I loved when they were friends and Marlon’s early pining was secret and reserved and I loved April this week being confident and threatening in the way only April can. But I felt their scenes together this week, culminating in them finally getting together, were a real let down. I was really excited that Jessie had this huge reluctance and I was hoping that her past was full of difficult dark secrets, but her unresolved grief over her ex-husband seemed a weak reason after months of stalling and in the end something that was so easily surmountable. Marlon had to contend with Daphne in some mortifyingly unfunny scenes (making me miss Gerry’s genuine humour even more) and I’m not even sure, in the end, whether Jessie and Marlon’s romantic chemistry was even worth all this dragged out build up. I think I prefer them as just friends.

Scene of the Week (23-27 July 2018)

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It’s the classic moment where the panicking hostage tries to get the villain on side and he ends up confessing all his darkest deeds – and Lachlan did just that in my Scene of the Week choice. In this grim, darkly lit cabin in the woods, Lachlan managed to be both chilling and remorseful as his secrets poured out. After giving starving Rebecca an apple (how thoughtful!!) Lachlan opened up after she suggested they talk, so that she could understand what he was going through. As Lachlan talked about Chrissie, that maybe she’d have been better off not having him, his guilt resurfaced and he revealed the shocking truth that he caused the crash, killing Chrissie and Lawrence. He didn’t stop there either, telling her that he killed Gerry too and burying his face in his arm as he spoke. It’s difficult for any actor to handle long stretches of dialogue but it was a rewarding scene to see Thomas Atkinson’s performance shift between cold and unfeeling kidnapper, to making Lachlan’s lost-boy breakdown almost tragic, as he focused in on the catastrophic domino affect of his actions.

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)

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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.

Fave or Fail? (5-9 Feb 2018)

faveorfail

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

Faves

A Huge New Story

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

Community Spirit

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

Brotherly Bonding

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

Jimmy’s Crisis

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

Fails

Stalling For Time

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

Fave or Fail? (8-12 Jan 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! Another great week for Emmerdale as Chrissie and Lawrence met their maker and Joe took over Home Farm.

Faves

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?!

Fail

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.