I love Emmerdale at the moment. It’s a show that has always been able to blend warm drama, excellent humour and nail biting drama effectively and it’s currently firing on all cylinders.
Soaps go through the biggest peaks and troughs of any television medium. Considering they have to churn out several episodes per week and still be expected to remain fresh and original, it’s really no surprise that there are seasons when the shows almost hit the skids. There was a point this time last year when BBC’s EastEnders looked like it was on its last legs, but its recent reinvigoration has really turned things around.
Emmerdale, however, has remained steadily consistent, hitting us recently with yet another blockbuster storyline that had it all. I am, of course, talking about Donna’s downfall, which pulled a range of characters into an emotional scenario that was both thrilling and moving.
Emmerdale played a blinder, keeping the eventual outcome of Donna’s rooftop death a surprise for viewers. The fallout from the tragic events has been heart-wrenching to watch, with particularly notable performances from Michael Parr as the tortured Ross Barton and Mark Charnock as Marlon, the grieving dad of Donna’s daughter, April.
But these aching scenes are interspersed with two of my current favourite soap comedy characters of all time: Bernice Blackstock and Kerry Wyatt light up the Dales. Samantha Giles delivers effortlessly as Bernice, bringing new hilarious angles to the ditzy and often brash character, while Laura Norton reminds me of home, delivering side splitting performances as the misguided but loveable Geordie Kerry.
The return of Aaron Livesy to proceedings has also livened up the village somewhat and, in particular, we were treated to some unexpectedly top notch scenes of him with Shirley Stelfox’s Edna, in which we got a rare but moving insight into Edna’s past.
Charity is at her scheming best, Debbie is torn between two lovers, Andy has marriage on his mind, Sam is heading for heartbreak, Belle Dingle is due to be released and Vanessa is dating a man young enough to be her son. It’s never quiet in Emmerdale – and that’s why I love it!
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Written By Our Man In The North