Author Archives: Sue Haasler

About Sue Haasler

Writer of funny, romantic books. Fully qualified with a degree in televisual medicine from Holby University, so you know you'll be safe with me. www.suehaasler.com

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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Holby City: When a pocket is a loaded gun

jasmine holby(Series 19, ep. 37 ‘For You May Be the Next to Die…‘ by Patrick Homes) The hour started with an unsettling, dreamlike scene of young Fran and young Jac, presumably in the terrible care home they lived in when they were kids. We saw Fran – geeky and awkward-looking – going to Jac (who was uncannily, recognisably Jac) for comfort. A horrible song full of nasty death imagery played over it.

Then, in the apparent safety of Holby, there was Jasmine, singing the same song to herself. It was one of Paula Burrows’ favourites, apparently. Even if we’d never heard of Paula before, I think we’d have quite a clue about her personality just from that detail. Morven thought the song was horrible, but Morven is still too close to losing Arthur for death to be an abstract notion to her. To Jasmine, a naturally optimistic, full-of-life person,  it was just a catchy tune.  Continue reading

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Holby City: MoT – passed with flying colours

(Series 19, ep. 36 ‘For the Love of Maureen’ by Joe Ainsworth 13.6.17) The end of the episode saw Mo, Mr T and Hector drive off into the Holby sunset in Mo’s funny little pink car. It was a lovely happy-ever-after for them, and the whole episode was a beautiful send-off for Mo, who ever since her first heavily-pregnant appearance has been a wonderful warm, funny, feisty character. She got to say goodbye to all her Holby family in touching little one-to-one scenes and a funny party scene at the end. Chizzy Akudolu said on Twitter that her tears in her scene with Sacha were real, and there was genuine emotion also in a scene with Ric and a wonderful one with Jac, where Jac paid tribute to Mo as a black working class woman in a posh white man’s world. It’s not often you hear Jac Naylor’s voice break up, but it did at the end of that speech.  Continue reading

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Holby City: This time last year

(Series 19, ep. 35 ‘The Hard Way Home’ by Martin Jameson and Nick Fisher) Has it really been a year already? On this very day in 2016, Holby and the world lost Arthur Digby, husband, friend, doctor and all-round lovely man. The repercussions of that have lasted ever since, especially among those closest to him – Morven, Zosia and Dominic. Morven’s reactions have been more straightforward, and on the anniversary of his death we found her trying to work up the courage to face a memorial get-together, and sobbing her heart out on the stairs.

Dominic has had a torrid time of it in the last twelve months. After losing his best friend, he found himself in an abusive relationship with Isaac. His self esteem at an all-time low, he’s recently been taking to the gym like a man possessed and throwing back steroids. This has made him all angry and shouty, and this culminated in him getting rather nasty with Sacha in theatre. It reminded me of when Oliver Valentine turned on Elliot Hope after Tara’s death, because Sacha, like Elliot, is a delightful human being and beloved mentor, but also like Elliot he has his vulnerabilities and in some ways lays himself open to attack. Sacha doesn’t get cross very often, but I rather like it when he does, and he did.  Continue reading

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