Woollie Weekly Emmerdale Review!
Emmerdale Review: Guest blogger The Woolie Weekly is back with a run down of the best and worst happenings in the past month in our monthly Emmerdale review. Here’s what they had to say about what happened in the Dales during June 2019…
As the UK embraced summer, June in Emmerdale saw the end of Maya and a new era of the Tate family as Jamie revealed a surprise wife and child he had stashed away. In case you need a recap, here’s what happened in June.
The beginning of the month saw the moving and oddball send-off for the beloved Lisa Dingle (Jane Cox). Much like her death episodes, her funeral (and the pig race!) felt like classic Emmerdale. The Dingle family all received a personalised letter from the woman herself, giving us a beautiful montage as each family member heard what they needed to hear and it even helped the rift between Cain (Jeff Hordley) and Debbie (Charley Webb). This was a powerful moment within the episodes but it was the weird and wonderful pig race which seemed fitting too. At Lisa’s request the community gathered to race pigs with suitably punny names. Emmerdale need to do more country-fied village events like this!
As one door closes, marking the end of an era for the Dingles, a new one opens and June saw the arrival of Jamie Tate’s surprise family. Considering he’d never mentioned them, Jamie’s wife Andrea (Anna Nightingale) and daughter Millie (Willow Bell) were a shock to everyone but there’s great potential there.
Their arrival riled Kim Tate (Claire King) and although Jamie and Andrea make a bit of an odd couple, Andrea has a great personality and is enjoyably antagonistic with Kim. The reveal that she had an unusual connection to Graham Foster (Andrew Scarborough) was a bit of an anti-climax, because even after learning Graham had paid her to spy on Jamie and report back and the basis of their marriage was a lie, Jamie seemed to get over it pretty quickly. Nevertheless the introduction of Jamie’s family was a good way to expand Home Farm and rejuvenate the Tates.
Victoria Barton’s nightmare continued this month as she and Robert Sugden (Ryan Hawley) returned from their respite from the village. While away Vic (Isabel Hodgins) had come to the decision to keep the baby and this put her relationship with Robert under intense strain as he struggled to support her choice. Vic also took the brave decision to start telling others what had happened on that awful night and the scenes where she received comfort from Marlon (Mark Charnock) and Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins) were particularly impactful. The performances between brother and sister have been impressive, dealing with difficult subjects and opposing views with acting that feels raw and vulnerable and while things on screen are still fraught, it’s been a welcome change to see them using the Sugden family as a unit.
As this story progressed, Robert turned his frustration into revenge against rapist Lee Posner (Kris Mochrie) and the tense and volatile scenes where Robert confronted the man who raped his sister were gripping and well done. Now that we’ve learnt actor Ryan Hawley is tipped to be leaving, it makes his clashes with Lee even more nerve wracking.
One of the most surprising hits this month was Jai and Laurel’s budding romance. We’ve seen the two share coy looks and edge around each other in the factory but this month finally saw them give into their attraction and get together properly. After Nicola King’s insistence Laurel Thomas (Charlotte Bellamy) get back into dating, Laurel faced a disastrous practice date (first and hilariously with Jimmy King (Nick Miles) and then with a right sleaze).
In typical romcom style, miscommunication and misunderstanding, Laurel and Jai (Chris Bisson) were kept briefly apart until a satisfying and joyous kiss in the factory. Since then it’s been all secret smiles and cuteness as they’ve tried to keep it lowkey. Here’s hoping they manage to go the distance because a feel-good romance is exactly what we need!
June’s central moment was the long-awaited trial for Maya Stepney (Louisa Clein). Was it worth the wait? While the performances in this story have been very good, near the end the story has fallen a little off course. After the Big Night Out momentum was high but since scenes have felt repetitive and frustrating, throwing in distracting and unlikeable twists like David Metcalfe (Matthew Wolfenden) and Leyla Harding (Roxy Shahidi) and their secret tryst.
It’s obvious Emmerdale are trying to show how abuse can shatter a family but the main players have struggled to keep our empathy during moments of real unlikability. Maya’s sentencing was realistic, but because she was never tried for grooming, the court case fell flat and unsatisfying. We knew she deserved a harsher sentence so story-wise the punishment didn’t fit. For their biggest story of 2019, the ending needed more impact and it might have benefited from more focus on the criminal procedure and social services trying to help the family, rather than a restricted concentration on a few key players. Even characters like Jessie Dingle, Liam and Leanna Cavanagh were either absent or used minimally and that was a shame.
June suffered from a bit too much of unlikeable newbie Nate Robinson (Jurrell Carter) whose appeal remains a mystery but looks, disappointingly, set to wreck the marriage of Cain (Jeff Hordley) and Moira Dingle (Natalie J Robb). Emmerdale also leaned too much on divisive Bear Wolf (Joshua Richards) who similarly has helped ruin the lovely Faith Dingle (Sally Dexter) and Eric Pollard (Chris Chittell) partnership.
This month also saw the end of the Billy and Max rivalry and despite a brilliant performance from little Amelia Flanagan, the gun showdown with one-dimensional Max was devoid of any real excitement.
Other good moments in June also saw Dawn Taylor (Olivia Bromley) visiting Lucas and forging an interesting friendship with Amy Wyatt (Natalie Ann Jamieson), Ellis struggling with PTSD and trouble for Liam and Bernice, proving they can do more than just carry-on comedy. There are also big plots on the horizon for underused Priya Kotecha (Fiona Wade) and Lydia Hart (Karen Blick) which can only be a good thing. Looking forward to what July will bring!
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