Fave or Fail? (11-15 June 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 Chas tell Paddy the truth about the baby, Sarah learnt she is suffering heart failure.

Faves

Mother Daughter Divide

vlcsnap-2018-06-16-17h07m30s618It was a traumatic week for Debbie and Sarah as their strained relationship broke down in the middle of Sarah’s health crisis. After joyriding, Sarah couldn’t contain her anger any further and told the police that her mother was behind Ross’s acid attack. But when the police showed up, Sarah collapsed and after tests it was found that she has heart failure. An emotional and agonising time for any family, but it was made even harder because Sarah cannot forgive Debbie and feels betrayed by her. I like the layers in this story, the stubbornness of both characters and Debbie’s vulnerability on show. The elements related to the acid attack are still a weak point, and it would be nice if someone mentioned trying to get hold of Andy (even if he’s unlikely to return) just to make this more than just about Debbie, but it’s the complicated emotions here that make it worth watching.

Where is Amelia?

Emmerdale - Friday 15 Jun 7pm - ITV HubThis week the Spencers did a TV appeal for missing Ameila, on ITV News no less (loving the meta) and the thing I’m enjoying about this story is that I genuinely don’t know what’s happened to her. This week Daz was under fire but it almost feels like he’s been set up, possibly even by Dan. Could this be an inside job? I really hope this story triggers some real and surprising twists and keeps us well away from the tedious spats between the brothers. The other shining light of this story is Kerry again, who is staying positive and supportive. Who ever thought we’d see Kerry having such a calm and mature influence?

Everyone Needs a Marlon

vlcsnap-2018-06-16-17h07m04s696If you were picking Dingles to be in your corner, you’d definitely pick Marlon, wouldn’t you? If not for the cooking then definitely his hugs. This week Marlon was caught in a difficult position between supporting his best mate and hearing Chas desperately upset. Marlon’s relationship with Paddy is one I rarely get tired of, full of warmth and humour, but it’s his empathetic side that really shone this week as he comforted Chas. He could sense something was wrong with her and tried to be there without interfering simply by asking her if she was okay and offering an ear. Marlon was exactly the loved one you’d need in hard times, sympathetic and kind without judgement. He doesn’t get nearly enough appreciation so I thought I’d start right here!

The Next Generation

vlcsnap-2018-06-16-15h38m46s418Controversially I quite enjoyed Leanna Cavanagh’s role this week as the nasty teen leading the others astray. I can see her becoming a full-on bully in the village but sometimes we need an antagonist, someone who does and says awful things and who we love to hate, to shake things up. Bunking school and joyriding seems pretty soap standard, but Emmerdale’s young actors in this group (Jacob, Noah and Sarah) are a watchable bunch and usually pretty well behaved! It was good to see them take a bigger role and alone, away from the adults. With their parents’ drama-packed lives, there’s no doubt that this generation of kids are going to cause plenty of mayhem when they grow up and this is only the start.

Fail

Scraping the Barrel

Emmerdale - Doug Kisses Brenda! - YouTubeIt was whiskey-snog o’clock again in Emmerdale this week as Brenda and Doug succumbed not to secret passion but Emmerdale’s tired clichés. With this snog (and probably more off screen) this signals another stable couple left in tatters. Doug and Diane were the only long term couple who hadn’t been given a cheating plot and now they’re just another village statistic. And what’s worse is that he’s Laurel’s dad, meaning they’ve made the whole Brenda/Bob/Laurel fallout a whole lot more complicated. Won’t anybody think of the kids?! Cheating and drunken mistakes are soap bread and butter, but every soap needs stable and enduring relationships, even if they are gentle and drama free. Emmerdale put the bullet in this by destroying Zak and Lisa in 2015 and since then it’s been break up after break up. How can we be expected to care about these families and couples when Emmerdale doesn’t seem to? Doug and Diane might not have been groundbreaking or fan favourites, but it’s important to the fabric of the village to have some stable couples. This just feels lazy.

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Scene of the Week (11-15 June 2018)

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My Scene of the Week choice is this really tender moment between Paddy and Chas in Thursday’s two-parter, just after she had broken the heart-wrenching news about the baby. I much prefer Paddy and Chas’s relationship as a platonic, almost brother-sister rather than romantic, but there was something warming about this quiet, comforting moment between them which I liked. It’s a difficult, emotive story that draws opinions on both sides but the performances by Dominic Brunt and Lucy Pargeter rang true for their characters and their relationship. Chas was almost childlike herself in this moment, feeling guilty for not telling Paddy sooner but not wanting to crush his excitement like hers had been, which was nicely done.

Fave or Fail? (4-8 June 2018)

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Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! This week Debbie was left reeling when her secret was exposed and we met Charity’s son Ryan for the first time.

Faves

Breath of Fresh Air

vlcsnap-2018-06-09-20h38m01s944This week saw the introduction of Charity’s lost son, Ryan and he was a complete breath of fresh air! Not only was he like his mother, smart, quick witted and full of warmth, it was a pleasure to have someone join that cast who wasn’t your predictable ‘bad boy with a secret’. Creating a prominent disabled character was a great decision by Emmerdale and actor James Moore has humour and charisma by the bucketload. It’s a welcome move to see a disabled actor in the role and Ryan injected some originality into Charity’s story, which was treading a familiar path and was relying too heavily on samey scenes between Charity and Vanessa. Alongside Ryan was his adoptive mother Irene, whose pivotal but small role was fleshed out and felt believable and I certainly wouldn’t object to seeing her again either. I really hope Ryan becomes a permanent member of the cast and he would certainly add a new dimension to Charity and the rest of the Dingles. Make it happen please!

Doug’s Daft Decisions

vlcsnap-2018-06-09-20h37m04s935I can’t say I’m really Team Doug this week as his guilt and overly trusting nature made him far too susceptible to Terry’s lies, but it’s been good to see Doug and the BnB crew actually have a story. In recent years the older cast have been relegated to bit-parts as the younger cast get all the juicy storylines, and even though we lost Gerry in the process, I’m glad this is giving Doug and Diane some much deserved screen-time, even if this means that one of Emmerdale’s most stable and long-term couples has hit the rocks.

Dawn’s Potential

vlcsnap-2018-06-09-20h42m26s944It’s well documented that actor Mike Parr is leaving the role of Ross Barton behind him this year, so naturally we’re all starting to wonder what his exit is going to be. With the acid plot becoming a bit of a flop and having tied himself up in gangster plots – is it all going to come back to bite him? In amongst this, Ross has built an interesting bond with Dawn, the vulnerable woman he found when hunting for Simon. This week they slept together and things went sour when he accused her of using him for money, but could there be potential there for a surprising side of Ross’s character to come out? I could get on board with the two of them together if it made Ross see the world in a less selfish, black and white way. Dawn seems like an interesting character with a difficult life, maybe they could have a fresh start together and add some depth to his caveman ways?

Fails

Flat Funeral

vlcsnap-2018-06-09-20h39m49s196Truthfully, I’ve been missing Gerry from the moment he died, but this week I questioned the reason for his death even more. Gerry was the perfect sunshine tonic to the doom and gloom of the village, but his death has barely been about him. Sure, Doug gave a nice eulogy and Lachlan’s getting increasingly paranoid about getting caught, but it was Gerry’s funeral this week and its soul and ceremony were non-existent. Gerry knew loads of villagers, embedded himself into the Dingles as an honorary member and was good pals with Gabby too. And yet the turn-out to say goodbye was minimal (glad Tip the Dog made it though!). Except for a few unsurprising tears from the usually emotional Aaron and Liv, Gerry’s funeral was more about Doug and the duplicitous Terry. No family, no real send off for the lad. Was that it? Surely Gerry deserved more than that. Even the Terry twist was so heavily sign-posted it came without any thrill of a twist. What a waste of a great character and actor.

Scene of the Week (4-8 June 2018)

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Charity made the brave decision to meet up with her estranged son this week to confront her past and see if she could get evidence against Bails. Having arranged to meet him in the park, Charity was moved and surprised to learn about Ryan’s disability, greeting him with her characteristic sharp-tongued rudeness. It was refreshing to Emmerdale deal with this meeting in a realistic way, to see Ryan talk so positively about his life while Charity dealt with her shock and guilt. As Charity battled to tell Ryan the truth about Bails and how he was born, we were introduced to her sarcastic and big-hearted son who still had compassion and forgiveness for her, even in his confusion about Bails. These scenes were wonderfully acted by Emma Atkins and newcomer James Moore, who already had a palpable connection on-screen. Here’s hoping we see a lot more of them together!

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

Faves

Charity’s Flashback Episode

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

Chas’s Secret Pain

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

Young Talent

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

Fail

(Un)Missable Drama

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

Scene of the Week (28 May-1 June 2018)

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This gut wrenching scene was a powerful moment at the end of Thursday’s episode. While Marlon, Paddy and Faith celebrated the baby girl news in the pub, complete with Marlon’s enthusiastic dancing, Chas broke down alone. Given the heart-breaking news about the baby’s condition at the appointment without Paddy, Chas was unable to tell him when she got home. This scene was one of those moments of brutal contrast Emmerdale does so well – the happy obliviousness juxtaposed with tragedy – making all our hearts break for Chas’s situation. Lucy Pargeter’s performance in this moment, said so much about Chas’s state of mind and I’m sure she’ll continue to impress as this story continues.