Fave or Fail? (26 Feb-2 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! This week Brenda made the heart-breaking discovery about Bob and Brenda while Joe decided to make more enemies.


Joe VS the World

vlcsnap-2018-03-04-12h09m44s606He’s only been in the village a few months but after his swanky redecoration of Home Farm Joe’s busy making a long list of enemies. Not satisfied by his war with the Dingles, he’s now roped poor gullible Jimmy into his schemes, and plans to screw over Robert. Having watched Robert easily swindle the Whites it’s about time he had a decent enemy to face up to and Joe might just be it. Their confrontations drag up a whole heap of Emmerdale history between the Sugdens and Tates and that makes it far more engaging and enjoyable to watch. Their rivalry seems like it might be well matched and explosive, so here’s hoping Joe has more tricks up his sleeve than just spying.

Priya’s Breaking Point

Emmerdale - Priya Loses Her Temper With Amba - YouTubeFiona Wade proved this week what a great actress she is as Priya’s loneliness and stress finally took its toll and we saw her crumble. It’s been subtly in the background for a while but it all became too much for Priya. We saw last week that she’s pretty lonely and isolated and after some awkward encounters she saw that Pete’s moved on too. Then there was Jai pushing more work onto her, those nightmarish twins at the factory and finally the kids refusing food. She snapped. After escaping the shackles of her dull marriage to Rakesh and becoming unlikeable in the Pete affair debacle, Priya’s become a lot more watchable and empathetic. Character focused and family orientated plots seem to suit the Sharmas best so this big story building shows real promise.

All the Best Lines

vlcsnap-2018-03-04-12h07m03s727Shout out to Charity Dingle this week who seemed to have almost all the best lines. If it’s not a verbal take down with Joe, it’s supporting Chas and giving Paddy a wake-up call. Charity was one of the few characters talking sense when it came to Chas’s pregnancy debate this week, and at least trying to put her cousin’s wishes first. She might be wary of letting Noah hang out with Joe, but their fiery confrontations are lingering with years of Tate tension and it’s fun to see them go head to head. Rumour has it that Charity’s going to get a decent storyline of her own soon and I can’t wait, she’s too good to stay on the sidelines.


Emotional Affair

vlcsnap-2018-03-04-12h22m32s028The best aspect of the big mess Bob and Laurel have got themselves into is that I care and empathise with all three characters – even if Bob and Laurel aren’t very likeable at the moment – but there’s still something not clicking. I can’t help but think that the story would have worked better had it stayed an emotional affair from the off, rather than throwing in a shock flashback moment during the Emma murder reveal, making Bob and Laurel’s feelings and betrayal spring up from nowhere. All that forbidden longing and tension might’ve worked, but their guilt now feels a bit half hearted considering they’ve already done the dirty.

Chas’s Decision

vlcsnap-2018-03-04-12h07m32s193Chas and Paddy’s pregnancy dilemma already feels as if it’s been going on long enough for them to have had a grown child by now. Granted it doesn’t help that I don’t like them as a couple, but I can’t think of much worse than them having a child. Let’s face it, Chas and Paddy aren’t built to last. What’s worse is the pressure put on Chas to keep the baby this week with almost every Dingle sticking their nose in and forcing her to make a decision and no one really listening to her. Chas is a strong character and she of all people knows her own mind – why shouldn’t she have an abortion? The story focus seemed to be so heavily weighted on Paddy’s feelings too with the same manipulative sad face ending every scene, trying to guilt her into keeping the baby for his own selfish reasons. The only positive here is that with any luck, one way or another, this pregnancy might break them.


Fave or Fail? (19-23 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! In the week that saw Aaron and Robert finally reunite, Tracy was threatened with secrets from her past.


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


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.

Scene of the Week (19-23 Feb 2018)



As if my Scene of the Week choice was ever going to be anything else! In one of the most hotly anticipated moments in months, Aaron and Robert reunited in this romantic and hugely emotional scene in the street. With Thursday’s focus dedicated to getting Robron back together, both characters went on a fraught journey and were forced to confront their past and their strong feelings for each other. With Robert convinced he was a disaster and tearfully turning Aaron down after their split last year was too painful to handle, it was Aaron who stormed over there in a bid to convince him that their future was together. It was movie style epic romance at its finest as Aaron delivered a killer speech at Robert’s door with Danny Miller giving the perfect choked-up performance. Robert’s initial and comedic response (in reference to his dodgy dancing) was a beautiful moment of levity and they sealed the deal with a desperate kiss. Ever the romantic, and played with a fragility by Ryan Hawley, Robert made a call-back to their wedding dance by playing Adele and swapping surnames again and the pair walked hand in hand home. It was everything fans have been dying for – romantic, emotional, heartfelt, meaningful – and the deserved moment of happiness the couple have been crying out for. This is a scene that’s going to be treasured for a long time.

Fave or Fail? (12-16 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 both Ross and Debbie struggled in the wake of the acid attack and Sandy waved goodbye to the village.


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.


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.

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?

Fave or Fail? (25-29 Dec 2017)


Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! From Monday’s Christmas special to Lachlan’s dark side being exposed – the last week of 2017 was an eventful one!


Christmas Extravaganza

vlcsnap-2017-12-31-18h01m29s087Emmerdale’s Christmas special was a mad hour of nightmares, festivities and emotion and you can read my breakdown of everything I loved in this post here. There was little else that could make my top spot this week. Perhaps the thing I loved most about this episode is that despite the creative and risky storytelling choices, at the heart of it was a concentration on emotion and character. Not only did the special episode give them a chance to do something a little bit weird and stylistic, but it also gave the audience greater insight into one of their best and most complex characters in Robert. It was an episode full of everything Emmerdale does best, full of heart and humour and I loved it!

The Dark Side

vlcsnap-2017-12-31-18h01m56s966One of the few saving graces of the White family drama this week came from Lachlan. Thanks to chilling and unnerving performances from Thomas Atkinson, he took Lachlan to new dark levels as he threatened Chrissie and blackmailed her into getting him a flat. This was one of the first times we really saw Lachlan’s unfiltered psychotic behaviour in display in front of his mother and the first time Chrissie was really alarmed. Seeing Lachlan like this finally made that twisted mother/son dynamic interesting and begs the question why they didn’t go down this route sooner. There was so much potential there for Chrissie to enable her son’s out of control behaviour while he terrorised her but that now seems like a missed opportunity.

Nan Knows Best

_1074 Aaron amp; Robert 26th December 2017 Part 3 of 3 - YouTubeWhen it comes to her grandkids we usually see Faith Dingle supporting Debbie’s corner, but this week it was Aaron’s turn as she was able to over him a boost to his self-esteem. Insecure and anxious about his self-harm scars, Faith was able to relate, after her mastectomy surgery gave her confidence a knock and made it difficult for her to get intimate. Despite them being family it made a welcome change for these two characters to have a meaningful scene together and although it was emotional, Faith is the right kind of loud and supportive nan figure Aaron needs in his life. Here’s hoping they share more screentime in 2018!

A New Reign?

vlcsnap-2017-12-31-18h03m26s311Apart from wandering around the village in his furs, we haven’t seen a great deal of Jimmy towards the end half of the year but 2018 looks like we might see a bit more of him. This week more of the community got involved in the golf course debacle, making the story a lot more interesting than just a Dingle protest and Jimmy was approached by councillor Morris in the hopes he would fight the developers corner. Jimmy’s family history was played on, reminding us all that Jimmy’s legacy is a lot more than just a haulage business and Tom King got a mention too. As much as I love Jimmy the fool and his relationship with Nicola, it’s about time the King family history was remembered and we started seeing a more ruthless return.


Just Leave

vlcsnap-2017-12-31-18h04m26s230When it comes to the White family it’s always the same old story and with their exits teased about 9 months ago, I’m bored rigid of them. There only seems to be two types of drama whenever they’re about – either it’s internal conflict, family members at war, or it’s something Robert’s done and this week was more of the same tired story.  With Rebecca yo-yoing for the 600th time between Emmerdale and elsewhere, having done a u-turn on her opinion of Robert twice in a week and the rest of the family (Lachlan not withstanding) whiplashing between forgiveness and condemnation of Rob again – they decided they would leave the village. About time too! But really, with all their weak-willed, wishy-washy behaviour you wonder why they didn’t do it years ago. Who cares anymore? They add nothing to the village or the programme. Just leave already.

Scene of the Week (25-29 Dec 2017)



This week was full of individually strong scenes but my choice for Scene of the Week had to come from the surreal Christmas special, and naturally had to feature Valerie Pollard. I’ve already praised the Christmas episode as a whole, but this strange and nightmarish sequence had a gorgeous gothic feel, as well as bringing back an Emmerdale icon in the shape of a ghostly Val. Almost every line from her mouth was comedy gold and alongside her, Robert’s horror at the chilling events were played with gusto by Ryan Hawley. Down in the grave, Val gave Robert his moral takeaway from his hallucinations as his greyed out corpse jerked into reality via shocks given in the hospital. This scene had everything – a ghoulish aesthetic, great performances, wicked one liners and a spectacular return from the dead! What more could you ask for on Christmas day?