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 all the goings-on in the Dales this May…
May’s been a tough old month to watch, as is usually the case when the soaps build up the drama ready for the British Soap Awards! Emmerdale was no exception. This month saw Gerry Roberts (Shaun Thomas) get murdered by Lachlan White (still not over it!), Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins) learn the son she believed to be dead is in fact alive and Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter) received the heart-breaking news that her unborn child won’t survive.
It goes without saying that killing off Gerry Roberts is a huge loss to Emmerdale. Beloved cheeky chappie Gerry just knew too much about Lucky’s killer secrets, so his death came as no surprise despite all the hype about a ‘shock’ death in the Dales!
Gerry had some lovely moments bonding with Doug Potts prior to this, meaning that Doug’s now suffering with guilt in a bad way but their strange little partnership is a shame to lose. The final scenes between Gerry and Lachlan were grim and upsetting but the drawn-out tension and Gerry’s desperate attempts to plead with Lachlan were brilliantly acted by Shaun Thomas and Thomas Atkinson. Theirs is another partnership that I’ll miss.
But was losing Gerry to extend Lachlan’s story (which is already dragging) worth it? Fans loved Gerry’s humour and personality and when Emmerdale gets dark and upsetting it’s good to have that balance, especially with a character like Gerry who fits in with multiple stories and characters. The fact the aftermath to Gerry’s death has been lacklustre makes me think that in hindsight this death will go down as one of Emmerdale’s biggest mistakes.
Charity’s past continues to be at the forefront of her mind and this gave Emmerdale a chance to explore her adolescence in a special episode in May. Much like the creative flashbacks used in Cain and Faith Dingle’s episode, Emmerdale cast a young Charity (Mica Proctor) as we got to see how she lost her son.
The episode was beautifully acted by Emma Atkins who delivered most of Charity’s history in monologue and the transitions between past and present were cleverly done. I think everyone saw the twist coming and much like Gerry’s death, I’m puzzled why the press is overhyping ‘surprises’ when most viewers have guessed them already, however I’m interested to meet Charity’s son Ryan and find out how this impacts upon her life moving forward.
It wasn’t only Charity who faced baby heartache this month, as after a comical build-up about Chas and Paddy’s “cursed” relationship, Chas learnt the devastating news that her unborn child has a fatal condition. Lucy Pargeter gave a breath-taking performance in the immediate aftermath when she came home and was unable to tell anyone. There was a great contrast in the scenes where her loved ones celebrated that they’re having a baby girl, and Chas reeled with grief in the backroom. Please let everyone find out soon so poor Chas doesn’t have to suffer alone.
It was Brenda and Bob’s big wedding day in May and as I’m sure you can imagine it went without a hitch…! Yeah right. Everything came crashing down for poor Brenda (Lesley Dunlop) as their doomed wedding signalled the end rather than the beginning as she realised how unhappy Bob (Tony Audenshaw) really was. But if that wasn’t bad enough, Bob and Laurel (Charlotte Bellamy) were already coupled up the day after, leaving Brenda devastated. I didn’t quite get the chainsaw-wielding Brenda I was hoping for, but it felt very real and painful. Surely everyone is Team Brenda now?
As the Bob and Laurel love affair rolls on for another tedious month at least we’ve got the kids giving us all the reactions we’ve been craving. Rude, stroppy and upset, it feels right that they are sharing the fallout of this family breakdown. Bed-hopping is so frequent in soaps that sometimes the children get forgotten about but the fact they haven’t in this story and we’re getting their genuine struggles is a bonus.
When Emmerdale does a big, relevant and important storyline it’s normally a sure-fire hit. We’re used to a formula of great performances, dramatic as well as being eye-opening, and stories that are sensitively handled. Think Ashley’s dementia or Rhona’s rape. Unfortunately Ross’s acid attack storyline has not been the story it should be and this month it spiralled into showdowns with guns and gangsters. Hardly a character-led heartfelt study about how an acid attack can change someone’s life! As soon as we started having cartoonish guest characters and OTT set-pieces in Home Farm the story lost all it’s heart and just lead to Debbie becoming the damsel in distress again. What a shame Ross’s exit story has fallen so flat.
We’re approaching the summer months, when Emmerdale is shunted around the schedules for sport (boo!) and this is usually a weaker time for storylines. Is it going to be the same this year or will the big emotive stories with Chas and Charity change that? I hope there are a few surprises and some originality in store. See you in June!
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