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 the goings on in the Dales including the lockdown episodes during July 2020…
July saw a full return to a new normal of Emmerdale episodes as stories and filming adjusted to socially distanced measures. Emmerdale’s efforts to keep filming, airing three nights a week, has been no mean feat, especially watching the video of the strict measures in place behind the scenes. For viewers it’s been a bit of a strange experience to watch, but aside from a little timeline confusion, so far the social distancing hasn’t seemed like too much of an issue.
Returning to the familiar comforts of the village and its stories was a real pleasure after all the real-world stressors. Someone who’s already had an eventful month is Moira Dingle (Natalie J Robb), who I very much enjoyed seeing her with a spark back on the farm. Admittedly this didn’t last long when she was caught up with a hit and run, with Jamie Tate (Alexander Lincoln) leaving her for dead. Nevertheless this has helped soften things with Cain (Jeff Hordley) (hooray!) and even with social distancing in place, these two have real palpable chemistry. If the Emmerdale powers at be do revisit the #Coira powerhouse – seems pretty likely – then here’s hoping it happens when filming is a bit more normal so they don’t have to reunite at a distance!
The hit and run story brought a bit of life to the Jamie and Andrea Tate saga too. This plot has been divisive with viewers, fans either loving or loathing Andrea’s step into villainy as she clings onto Jamie. It’s a bit of a mixed bag. Villainous Andrea (Anna Nightingale) is fun, a bit of a campy soap classic, particularly now she holds all the cards.
But on the other hand drippy Jamie is hard to feel sorry for being that he’s completely spineless. It’s hard to believe he’s really a Tate with a personality as bland as his! Jamie’s cowardly act did manage to bring a lot of the month’s stories together and shifted the power balance at Home Farm, but with Jamie such a bland character, it’s not the most exciting storyline Emmerdale has to offer, even if Andrea is enjoyable to watch.
When we left the characters before lockdown, things were incredibly strained between Leanna Cavanagh (Mimi Slinger) and Leyla Harding (Roxy Shahidi) as Leanna’s efforts to split up Leyla and her dad Dr Liam (Jonny McPherson) seemed to pay off. This month however, Leanna had a very sudden change of heart and even helped to match-make Liam and Leyla. This was a surprising direction and one that seemed to contradict what came before, but Leanna is a very watchable character and her budding relationship with Jacob Gallagher (Joe-Warren Plant) has potential. The older teen group at the moment is a strong one and I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing more of them.
Another change is the café on Main Street with the Kings looking to take it over. We had the hint of Nicola King (Nicola Wheeler) being unsatisfied with her life in the lockdown episode and that seems to have laid the groundwork for her and Jimmy (Nick Miles) buying into the café. It seems like a surprisingly backwards move for ambitious Nicola but I’m all for it if it means a revamp and seeing more of the Kings. Having them at the centre of the village can only be a good thing!
Lydia Dingle (Karen Blick) is another character whose story from lockdown filtered through into the regular episodes as her Huntington’s story resurfaced. With Vanessa Woodfield’s cancer story now happening off screen as actress Michelle Hardwick shields during pregnancy, Emmerdale are crying out for a big, emotional story done well, one which raises awareness, and hopefully Lydia’s story might be the one. Lydia’s changes in personality and her worry over them did feel a little rushed, but I’m all for seeing more of her and Sam (James Hooton) dealing with this together as a strong couple.
With stories picking up where they left off, our screens are still dominated by the dull and implausible DI Malone plot. Even as it looked like we might be rid of him, Will Taylor (Dean Andrews) couldn’t even get that right! The heart of the story’s problem has to be Malone’s affair with Harriet Finch (Katherine Dow Blyton), which not only feels unbelievable – a lack of chemistry means she barely seems to like him, let alone fancy him – it means she’s willing to overlook all her principles and forgive his deep-rooted corruption. Even Malone (Mark Womack) claiming he loved her rang untrue. Fingers crossed this ends soon! Social distancing thankfully means we were spared more tedious scenes of the two of them getting it on in the vestry, but also Wendy Posner and Bob Hope’s romance has been glossed over too – thankfully.
Another story not quite hitting the mark is Dan Spencer (Liam Fox) struggling to cope with his new situation, now that he needs a wheelchair. Dan and Amelia Spencer (Daisy Campbell) work much better in lighter plots so this story feels a bit of a drag already, too serious and miserable. Understandably it’ll take time for him to come to terms with things, but this already feels like a story we’ve seen before and one that’ll probably have some quick-fix ending. If Emmerdale wants to tell a story about disability, maybe it’s time to do something new.
As we move into August and COVID mentions are already filtering into scripts it’ll be interesting to see how this will impact upcoming stories and if they will take unexpected turns. Whatever happens, it’s good to be back in the village!
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