Woollie Weekly Emmerdale Review!

Emmerdale Review: Guest blogger The Woolie Weekly is back looking at the best and worst happenings over the past month in our monthly Emmerdale review. Here’s what they had to say about what happened in the Dales during December 2019…

Leyla and Liam in Emmerdale's Panto
Leyla and Liam in Emmerdale’s Panto

So another year in Emmerdale has come to an end with legendary returns, shock exits and the sad death of matriarch Lisa Dingle (Jane Cox). But as Christmas descended on the Dales, there was plenty of drama to be had over the turkey, so let’s take a look back over December’s highlights.

There was plenty of festive fun to be had in the village and the community spirit was at all time high as the villagers put on a panto. With Bob Hope (Tony Audenshaw) as writer and Manpreet Sharma (Rebecca Sharker) as the overzealous director, there were some really entertaining scenes, especially as the villagers became stars of the stage. Kim Tate (Claire King) taking the role of the panto villain was lots of fun, as was the always brilliant and enthusiastic costumer, Liam Cavanagh (Jonny McPherson). The jury’s still out on Leyla Harding’s sudden crush on him, though. Feels too soon after Bernice Blackstock’s exit.

Christmas Day – Wed 24 Dec 2019: Andrea and Kim Tate are fearful of what Graham might do or say.

As well as taking part in the panto, Kim had a very busy month and it feels like Emmerdale have really hit their stride with her characterisation. Now, with tangible motives and a complicated family around her, Kim feels a lot more well-rounded. It was also enjoyable to see Kim feel important in the village rather than being isolated at Home Farm, not only as she took part in the panto but also funded the Christmas lights and tried to use her landlady powers to get rid of Wendy Posner. Even her war with Graham Foster (Andrew Scarborough), that’s sometimes felt stagnant, was more watchable now that we are invested in her relationships with Jamie and Millie Tate.

The Tates were the centre of the drama on Christmas day after the surprising reveal that Graham isn’t Millie’s father. Kudos to Emmerdale for not going down the predictable route with that reveal! After Andrea’s recent miscarriage story – which was well acted it gave her relationship with Jamie more depth, but was also good material for Kim too – things were already strained at Home Farm. When Graham showed up full of rage, he was ready to shatter their lives and his bombshell drop was satisfying and classic Christmas day soapy drama. Graham’s relationship with Rhona Goskirk (Zoe Henry) on the other hand already feels a little tired due to her repeatedly breaking up with him, only to take him back a minute later. Add to that Rhona and Marlon’s fighting over Leo’s future, she’s become pretty unlikeable. As we get closer to Graham’s exit will his death soften her? Here’s hoping.

Another person having a rubbish Christmas was Noah, who was isolated after keeping Sarah’s drug secrets and took drugs himself, only to end up hospitalised. Noah spent his Christmas in the hospital, but surrounded by his family. It gave us some nice scenes between him and Charity (Emma Atkins) and Jack Downham continues to give sensitive performances as vulnerable Noah.

There were other great performances from the youngsters in the village this December as the Arthur and Archie story continued. While there are times I wish this story was taken at a slower and more nuanced pace, the acting from Alfie Clarke and Kai Assi is really tugging at the heartstrings. This month, Arthur’s bullying intensified as he encouraged Archie to run away from home. There are times where the writing seems to over-simplify the situation but scenes like the Christmas one, where Archie broke Arthur’s treasured decoration did a great job at giving us Arthur’s perspective. As Jimmy King (Nick Miles) hit the firing line again, blamed for Archie’s running away, it gave the adults some compelling and challenging material to work with and when the truth comes to light, the fallout will be doubtlessly be a great watch.

Tues 17 Dec 2019: When Cain arrives to see Nate there, he tells the Dingles to go to hell as he storms out.

Cain (Jeff Hordley) and Aaron Dingle (Danny Miller) continued to have a difficult time in December with both men struggling to cope with the end of the marriages. While Cain felt pushed out by his own family as they seemed to side with Nate Robinson (Jurell Carter) over him (what’s all that about?!), Aaron was crushed when Victoria Barton (Isabel Hodgins) received a letter from Robert (Ryan Hawley) and he didn’t. Tension had also been building with Wendy and Luke as Aaron smashed up their house and tried to get her to leave the village. While Wendy’s presence in the village doesn’t get any more bearable, particularly as she’s victimised and given unnecessary sympathy by other characters, Luke railing at her for not admitting the truth about Lee was a satisfying scene to watch. But after Aaron and Cain’s foray into crime last month, where they carelessly ignored the consequences and put Moses in danger, it was a welcome change to see them open up and be vulnerable.

Other highlights over December included Lydia Hart (Karen Blick) trying to put the past to rest with moving scenes of her scattering her son’s ashes, the shock to David Metcalfe’s household when a baby was left on their doorstep, Isobel Steele’s great performance as Liv Flaherty had another seizure and Belle (Eden Taylor-Draper) and Jamie getting flirty.

With a whole new year of Emmerdale ahead, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for our favourite villagers. 2020 – bring it on!

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Emmerdale Review: July 2019's best (and worst) bits
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More Woolie Weekly Emmerdale Reviews from The Emmerdaily:

Emmerdale Review: November 2019’s best (and worst) bits

Emmerdale Review: October 2019’s best (and worst) bits

Emmerdale Review: September 2019’s best (and worst) bits