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 how the Dales kicked off the new year during January 2020…

Graham is shockingly murdered by an unknown assailant. With no shortage of suspects keen to see him off him, who could be pushed to kill him?

January might have felt like the longest month ever, but Emmerdale didn’t ease us into a new year quietly. January in Emmerdale had everything – a birth, a huge death whodunnit and a big new arrival. Here’s a reminder..

As Moira Dingle’s life hit the skids, she just couldn’t help but hit the self-destruct button and January found her falling into a ditch, drunk, and rescued by a mystery saviour. When Moira (Natalie J Robb) got to the hospital, Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley) and Nate Robinson’s arrival prompted a big outburst as soon Moira’s rescuer identified herself as the famous Cara, Nate’s mum!

Cara Robinson arrives in Emmerdale
Cara Robinson arrives in Emmerdale

This was a nice surprise introduction and Cara could be exactly the kind of charismatic character Nate (Jurell Carter) needs to make him more interesting. Cara made the ongoing Nate saga far more engaging and her distinct personality was welcome after the few bland newbies we’ve had lately.

Perhaps Cara’s biggest potential is her history with Cain as Carryl Thomas’ performances made their characters’ backstories believable and intriguing – there’s chemistry there. Since Cara’s arrival we haven’t seen her again but she made a big first impression and Emmerdale could be onto a winner with her.

Most of January was build up to Graham Foster’s death and the big whodunnit had plenty of suspects. As often is the case for whodunnit stories, this plot lead to a few clunky contrivances and some out of character reactions to give them a motive. However the big week itself was gripping viewing full of stand-out performances. Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock) and Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins) had particularly emotional motives as it concerned their children, meanwhile it was Andrea and Jamie Tate who felt most believable in their reasons for wanting Graham (Andrew Scarborough) dead.

Even though some viewers were disappointed that none of the advertised suspects were Graham’s killer, the mysterious nature of the week left each episode with a great cliff-hanger and individual secrets continued to unravel long after Graham’s demise. While Graham’s death week had gimmicks and the repetitive same day structure made it feel a bit style over substance at times, the performances at the heart of the week made for some great TV.

Some viewers had guessed it, but Graham’s killer was revealed to be evil Pierce, out of prison and looking to reunite with Rhona Goskirk (Zoe Henry). Jonathan Wrather returned to play Pierce Harris as charismatic and as unhinged as ever and it was great to have a real, chilling villain back in the villain. Although Pierce’s return raises questions again about Emmerdale’s treatment of rape survivors (see also the much criticised Victoria Barton and Wendy Posner story), Pierce is an out and out monster and treated as such. The good thing about Pierce’s return is that he hasn’t be overused and the anticipation of his reveal as Graham’s murderer is high.

Despite the flaws of the Who Killed Graham week, the aftermath has been outstanding, connecting stories and characters in a really engaging way. Perhaps most of all it’s been seeing underused and underrated characters and actors like Mark Charnock’s Marlon and Zoe Henry’s’ Rhona getting some meaty and gripping material as Marlon faces life in prison and Rhona plays detective.

Other highlights in January included the reveal of Jamie and Belle’s secret hook up hinting hopefully there’s a future there for the pair of them, despite their warring families and complicated existing relationships. These two have chemistry so it would be a shame to waste it – slow burn romance please!

Tues 21 Jan 2020: With his family and relationship in tatters, Jai decides it’s all Graham’s fault and he’s going to make him pay…

Then there’s Jai Sharma (Chris Bisson), whose drug relapse felt a little rushed, but prompted some lovely character lead moments between him and Laurel Thomas (Charlotte Bellamy) which were nicely performed. The aftermath to his drug-fuelled behaviour and attack of Jimmy King (Nick Miles) were handled without sensationalism and he was sensibly packed off to rehab.

Other characters making good decisions this month were Sarah Sugden (Katy Hill), who ditched her drug-selling love interest Danny and after realising he was using her, shopped him to the police. Aaron Dingle (Danny Miller) also realised he needed some time away from the village to get his head around losing Robert Sugden (Ryan Hawley); and it was nice to see a happier Victoria find support from her friends raising Harry, and acknowledging she needed to see a counsellor to help deal with her trauma.

A strong start to Emmerdale in 2020 and another big award win. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store!

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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: December 2019’s best (and worst) bits

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

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