Holby City: Not your average WAG

(Series 19, ep. 42 ‘Baggage’ by Patrick Homes 25.7.17) Since Donna’s return there’s been a bit of mystery surrounding her. Why isn’t she relishing her WAG status and swanning about getting spa treatments and buying over-priced luxury goods for her swanky mansion, rather than mopping up pee, pus and sick in AAU? Why does she look sad when she thinks nobody is looking? And why has her credit card been declined?

We discovered the answers to all these questions when her niece/adopted daughter Mia (Briana Shann) turned up at Holby. One thing I especially loved was that Hanssen remembered Mia. I remember them having a sweet little scene together when he found her alone in the corridor in her first incarnation. Hanssen also very sweetly paid Donna’s bill when Pulses declined her credit card. He was very busy being Enigmatic and Delightful all over the hospital this week.  Continue reading

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Casualty: The one before the one-shot

(Series 31, ep. 43 ‘Somewhere Between Silences Part 2’ by Jeff Povey) Okay Casualty, you’ve lured me back with your gimmicky promise of an exciting “one shot” episode next week. Which means I needed a bit of context. You can’t just turn up cold for a one-shot, you know.

First thing to say about this week’s episode is – George Rainsford. Blimey. Acting on a Shakespearean level there, all suppressed grief and rage and ethical conflict. Pitched against this was the dwindling family of racist thugs, the Ellissons. Papa Ellisson has expired previously. One of his sons (the nasty one, Scott) spent this week’s episode in a “will he ever walk again?” situation after falling from the Casualty mezzanine, which should surely have had some kind of mesh fitted after lovely nurse Sam Colloby tumbled off it years ago. The good news (for Scott) was there was no reason why he wouldn’t walk again, but the bad news (for Scott) was that now he almost certainly won’t walk again, because he’s dead.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Life lessons learned

(Series 19, ep. 41 ‘Going the Distance’ by Chris Murray 18.7.17) Essie is a mass of thwarted maternal instinct, isn’t she? She’s currently directing it all at Parker (whom she inherited from a former patient). He’s a perfectly nice lad, but Essie is constantly worrying that she’s not looking after him properly, or he’s going off the rails or whatever. A template for mother/son perfection presented itself this week in the form of patient Roma (Maria Miles) and her utterly devoted son Lewis (Jack Kane). Essie wished that she and Parker could have such a bond, but actually Roma and Lewis were teetering along that fine line where devotion can become harmful for one or both parties. Roma realised that and made some changes, and Essie realised, with the help of Raf, that she needs to relax about Parker a bit. I bet she won’t, though.  Continue reading

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Holby City: How messy life can be

(Series 19, ep. 40 ‘Sleep Well’ by Elliot Hope and Johanne McAndrew 11.7.17) Fran isn’t evil, or a villain, or a baddie. She’s a hurt, angry, damaged person. Jac knows this, because she’s similarly damaged. Where they differ is that Jac has dealt with all the hurt she’s suffered over the years by exercising a huge amount of self control – sometimes Jac is just held together by willpower alone. Fran is more needy and volatile.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Morven on the case

(Series 19, ep. 39 ‘Keeping the Faith’ by Jeff Povey 4.7.17) There was no need for the services of Lexi, the Holby Vicar, this week as Jasmine’s funeral had already taken place before the episode started. Jac Naylor didn’t shed a single tear, let alone fling herself on the coffin screaming “Why? WHY???” This will not surprise those of us who’ve known Jac for some time. I can’t imagine a person less likely to emote in public.

You’d think that Morven, who went through it all with Arthur, would know that there’s more than one way to grieve, and just because it doesn’t show doesn’t mean it isn’t so (I made that up – I think – but if you want to borrow it for any self-help book you may be writing, please feel free). Morven decided that Jac’s apparent lack of remorse was hiding a guilty conscience. When she confronted Jac about this, it made me realise how rarely we see Jac properly angry. We see snappy, sarcastic and irked quite a lot, but this was proper white-hot fury. You can tell that Jac’s mental defences are pretty fragile and having Morven poking a little stick at them was almost too much.  Continue reading

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Holby City: A tale of two faces

(Series 19, ep. 38 ‘Paper Wishes’ by Patrick Homes and Ailsa Macaulay 27.6.17) Jac Naylor looked so sad all through this episode. Diminished, almost, like a little bit of her had gone with Jasmine. She put a brave face on it (“Stop looking at me like I’m about to break!” she told Zosia and everyone else who was gazing at her in sympathy), but it was just there behind the mask the whole time. She tried to work and be her usual snippy self, but Jasmine was on her mind all day. Her patient was a woman (Roisin O’Neil) who believed her illness was caused by karma because she’d had an argument with her mother, and her mother died before they could make up. Karma-woman liked to write wishes on paper planes – well, it’s nice to have a hobby. Jac wrote a wish on a paper plane too: “I wish I’d told Jasmine I love her.” Too, too sad.  Continue reading

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Poldark: Aunt Agatha brings it

imageBurly miner struts across the Cornish cliff, rippling his muscles. ‘I’ve a message from Trenwith. Where’s Poldark…?’
‘He’s behind youuuuuu….!’

Sorry, I thought we’d got lost in panto-land for a minute. I’ve watched both the previous series and it seems they’re certainly ratcheting up the ham-factor this time round if the opening episode was anything to go by. Perhaps this is inevitable after the first couple of series – Downtown Abbey certainly suffered the same fate.

Maybe it’s the new telly I got last year, but the colours seem to be set permanently to one of those especially lurid filters, such as Lark or Juno, that you find on Instagram. Our three central heroines – Demelza, Elizabeth and Caroline look like Charlie’s Angels in olde worldy frocks or maybe a Timotei ad, so lustrous are their floating manes and improbably perfect white teeth and flawless complexions.

There was much consternation in the nation that Ross, Every-Woman’s eye-candy (hashtag #hotstuff), didn’t flash his torso in Episode One. Normal service was swiftly resumed in Episode Two, with Demelza’s brothers also plunging obligingly bare-chested into the sea for good measure.

No, Episode One was about LAYING ON THE DRAMA.  Continue reading

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