Holby City: Pinkie promise

morven digby holby(Series 17, ep.38) There was so much to love about this episode that I hardly know where to start – we had Mr T (Mr T!!!) manning up, Dominic’s mum flirting with Selfie, and the best new character debut for ages.

Dr Morven Shreve (Eleanor Fanyinka) is the new character. She’s on AAU and she could easily have been another “more book learning than people skills” type. She arrived all nervous, but as soon as her scrubs were on she was spouting medical terms like she was born to it. But she does have her own quirky way with people, too. She knows when a patient needs a hand to hold, and when a mentor (Digby) is in need of a bit of support himself. She’s clumsy, funny and entirely adorable.  Continue reading

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Casualty: Over-worked and under-intoxicated

dylan casualty(Series 29, ep.37) The BBC Casualty website informed us that “Dylan has another bad day,” so I wasn’t expecting a happy outcome for his patient (a woman, Anne, whose husband had dementia and whose son didn’t seem all that bothered). As it turned out, the story was rather sweet, but very sad. The woman died – due to carbon monoxide poisoning, rather than the car crash she’d been involved in. Dylan failed to spot the carbon monoxide poisoning, hence it being another bad day for him. The husband with dementia, Clive, was played by George Layton (previously a TV medic himself), and his portrayal of Clive’s confusion and distress in his old age was really poignant to watch. The story didn’t end entirely negatively – Clive’s son finally stepped up to the task of looking after his father, and turned out to be rather nice after all.  Continue reading

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Joy of Sets: Leverage

The official marketing line for Leverage is “Hustle meets the A-Team”. Trading Standards would not argue with this description. It is a fine place to start. But it’s a bit like calling Buckingham Palace an oversized council house, or George Osborne a bit of a knob. You’re hitting a truth, but missing out on a wealth of detail. Now I know I’m late to the Leverage party, but regular readers will be aware that when I fall for a show, I fall hard, and at least this way I can skip all that tedious waiting for the next episode/season stuff. Let me share what I’ve learned and loved in watching 77 episodes in just over a month… Continue reading

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The Archers: Don’t marry her, have me

So the gloomy day inches ever closer. The day that Helen wilfully hitches her wagon to Psycho Rob till death do them part, or until the Borsetshire Women’s Refuge helps her escape – whichever is sooner. In light of Jess finally getting round to organising the decree absolute, I am minded to reflect on Ambridge marriages. And long-term partnerships too, of course: I am a modern blogger, even if I still think that ‘living in sin’ sounds wildly exciting.

Are there any decent marriages at all in this benighted village? My decency test is very simple and goes like this: would I like to be one of the parties in this marriage? Overwhelmingly, the answer is no. For instance, the script-writers clearly believe that David and Ruth have a good and strong marriage. That may be true, on paper. (Yes, I do realise that everything in The Archers is technically ‘on paper,’ at least to start with.) But my test asks whether I would like to be in that marriage. Actually be one of the two partners, I mean, not like Camilla was ‘in the marriage’ of Charles and Di. UGH, a horrible vision of being David and Ruth’s sexual plaything has entered my mind and won’t leave. Nurse! Brain bleach, stat. So anyway, no I damn well wouldn’t like to be married to David, thanks all the same. Would I like to be married to Ruth? Are you effing kidding me?! It’s nice they have each other, though. Saves two other people.

I’m going to run the test on some more couples. Continue reading

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Holby City: The good that comes from being in hospital

elliot holby(Series 17, ep.37 ) It’s heartening to see that Henrik Hanssen hasn’t given up being enigmatic. This week he communicated some staffing advice to Elliot Hope via the medium of a children’s book about a gorilla, and a strategically presented banana. This was far more subtle than saying, “Prof. Hope, I really think you ought to be paying more attention to Dr Zosia March,” though being less subtle might have avoided Elliot having to spend so long pondering the meaning of the gift – time he could have spent paying more attention to Dr Zosia March.

seb zosia holbyZosia had a deeply annoying patient and the patient’s even more annoying sister to deal with. They were convinced they were both afflicted by a fictional parasitic worm disease, and this was preventing the woman agreeing to treatment for a real heart problem. Dr Oliver Valentine – who is now Mr Oliver Valentine, if you please – wanted to take the direct approach, which was basically to bang heads together, and I was with him on that one. Anyway, what was needed was a Psych consult from new Psych guy Seb “Call me Seb” Coulter, who is going to be popping up everywhere now, just like when we had Psych Sharon. He’s an “arrogant narcissist” according to Zosia, and we must believe her because she’s read all the Psych text books. He also has a flashy little car which he drives wearing driving gloves to keep the smell of ciggies off his hands. Doesn’t that sound attractive? Zosia thinks so, anyway, and he’s asked her out, so she may get to find out even more about him. She was a bit worried that getting into an emotional entanglement could set her health back, but Dig and Dom delightfully reassured her that this wasn’t the case. She also got the fake parasite woman to admit that she’d been using the fake parasite illness as a bit of an emotional crutch (there was some kind of brains-speak going on there, but it was even more subtle than the gorilla book and the banana). Zosia is “the good that comes from being in hospital,” apparently. Continue reading

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Casualty: Tough love

charlie casualty(Series 29, ep.36) Charlie’s waste of skin son Louis is a handful. No sooner was Charlie’s back turned than Louis had summoned a dealer, acquired some drugs and was found in a toilet cubicle about to inject them into himself. Earlier on a patient had died in the department of a heroin overdose, and it would be callous to say Charlie used this as a handy learning resource for Louis, but that’s what happened – there’s nothing like having your face shoved at a corpse while your normally placid dad goes all shouty at you (“It’s take your son to work week!”), to make you reconsider your life’s goals. Louis had a bit of a cry and asked his dad to help him, so Charlie took him home and locked him in the kind of room serial killers generally keep their victims in while they wait for Robson Green or Idris Elba to track them down. I don’t think Robson or Idris will be visiting Charlie any time soon, but Connie and Tess might pop round with flowers and/or soup (probably not soup, in Connie’s case, unless she has a hamper delivered from Fortnum’s), because they’re both worried about Charlie.  Continue reading

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The Joy of Sets: M*A*S*H

M*A*S*HThere have been many medical shows in my past. I have hazy memories of Angels, was an avid viewer of Casualty for years until being lured away by ER, but my first love was M*A*S*H.

It’s a good job I’m not seeing any other medical shows at the moment, because I went from “Meeting my first crush is bound to be disappointing” reticence to “oh-my-god, why did we ever split up?” obsession in under a week, and there would, by now, be hurt recriminations coming in from Holby City and Facebook status updates that end in tears.

Apparently there have been people labouring under the misapprehension that M*A*S*H is a sitcom. I can only assume they never watched more than a couple of early episodes.  M*A*S*H is all ‘sit’ (all 250-plus episodes are about the highs and lows of the members of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean war ) and has plenty of moments of glorious comedy, but it will break your heart more than once and can be bleaker than a convention of fictional Scandinavian detectives.

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