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Beware The Love Trap

by Maggie Gordon-Walker

I promised my sons I wouldn’t watch Love Island again. I got embroiled in one season (the ‘Jack and Dani’ one, who acquired the moniker ‘Jani’, I believe). I was ‘addicted’, my offspring claimed derisively, even though I joined midway through. With nightly instalments, there were so many hours to fill you could barely tell what was recap and what new. Answer: Nothing new. Just sunkissed/burned flesh and a collection of unwelcome words to the lexicon.

Anyway, that was then, this is now. Bring on The Love Trap. Not as wholesome as the Von Trapps. But perhaps not ‘the most immoral show on TV’, which I heard it described as somewhere. Seriously…?! Have these people not trawled through the higher numbers of the telly options? They might get a surprise.

The Love Trap is only on once a week, which is a big bonus. Large house, a ‘mansion’ no less, filled with girls on the hunt to find love and one frightened looking chap. So, who are the traps in the love shack? Well, that’s what our handsome hunk has to determine. The traps are already in relationships and only there to get £20k, which is a tidy amount, but not enough to put your future marital harmony on the line for, surely. If he gets it right, presumably they waltz off into the sunset together at the end of the show. What happens if he’s wrong…? A girl might want to have and eat said cake, ditching old boyfriend in the blink of an eye and getting cash and marry, so to speak.

David is the muscled hunk in question. He’s a personal trainer, so does have a ‘lorra lorra’ muscles, as the late Cilla might have opined. He seems nice enough, if slightly befuddled by the attention. He was previously on ‘Too Hot to Handle’, but that liaison went wrong. Rather than sticking to Tinder like the rest of us, here he is again, suffering in a luxury mansion with damsels pouring themselves all over him, in and out of hot tubs, supping on bubbly. I’ve changed my mind. This is immoral. He’s had his turn, goddamit.

His boudoir, from whence he verily does his push-ups, has a four-poster bed. The women are all bundled together into one smallish room, sharing beds. You’re telling me the mansion doesn’t have more rooms? Of COURSE it does. We know the bed-sharing is meant to titillate.

The room none of them want to visit is the sinister lower chamber, with faux Grecian décor. Because what do love traps deserve? A trap door, of course. The ejected female exits foot-first into an unseen cellar, only to pop up on a video shortly after to declare if they’re a ‘match or a trap’ in tones as awkward as Kirstie Allsopp declaring ‘Love it or List it’. This is, in effect, what David has just done: Didn’t want this one, let’s pop it on Ebay.

We have no proof the women survive the drop; that video could have been filmed beforehand. After Squid Game, we all see death and destruction round every corner. It would be most excellent if their departure was accompanied by bloodcurdling screams and the sound of a thousand piranhas munching. Maybe if it was on Channel 5…

Poor David, with all this lusciousness to choose from, needed assistance from old chum Alessandra. She entered as mole, putting out feelers to elicit who had genuine feelings as the rivals trowelled on their warpaint in the dressing room. Some of those make-up kits are bigger than the ladies themselves.

Previously new arrival Suzel declared almost immediately that Alessandra was a plant, which seems a bit rich as she’d only been there a day herself and shortly after entering had eaten the chocolate-dipped strawberry David had offered as if it was the last food on Earth. She does bear a passing resemblance to a young Ivanka Trump though, which tells you all you need to know. The suspicion was mutual, as Suzel found herself once more in the trap door room.

Disappointingly, it was Saran who was surprisingly ejected. A great shame, as she had a nice throaty laugh and looked like you could go out for a quick pint together, without her needing to spend an hour putting on eyelashes that are longer than the average colon. Perhaps the power is in the lashes, like Samson…

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Casualty: Look who just helicoptered in

(Series 35, ep. 14 by Ed Sellek 10.4.21) Off you pop to Metro to read this week’s review. But before you go…

Line of the week: (Rosa’s not happy with Marty) ‘I’m surrounded by selfish, careless children!’ (Marty) ‘No offence – you’re kind of being a bit old and rude. I don’t see how that’s any better.’ 

Line of the week 2: (Dylan’s not impressed by Lev) ‘You could include the salient information instead of just grunting sub-sonically about clavicles.’

Holding out for a hero: How dashing did Iain look in his HEMS uniform? Red is so much more his colour than green. And we so need someone to get Jan back on the straight and narrow. Iain knows exactly what Ross is capable of. 

Holding out for a hero 2: It was an unexpected twist that prisoner Dougie would decide that he loved Jane Beale from EastEnders so much he was prepared to go to prison again rather than subject her to a life running from the law. What a gentleman. 

(Picture: BBC)

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Holby City: The broken thing

fletch jac holby 50 pla(Series 21, ep. 50 ‘Kintsugi’ by Martin Jameson 10.12.19) Pop over to Metro to read my review of this week’s episode. But before you do that…

– The ‘three wise men’ idea was quite sweet for a seasonal episode. There was a suspicion of tweeness about the gold, frankincense and myrrh gifts, but it was undercut by Jac’s relentless horribleness to Fletch and Sacha.

– Imagine slapping Sacha! You just couldn’t.

– I did love the Kintsugi idea of the mended thing being even more beautiful than the unbroken thing. Poor Jac has been broken and mended so many times she must be about the most beautiful thing possible now.

– Line of the week: So many to choose from, from funny lines like Fletch saying it was like Mission Impossible trying to get into the psychiatric unit and Jac saying, ‘What, you came through the ceiling?’ to Jac’s terribly sad words to Elliot: ‘Without you and without Emma who am I? No one.’ The episode was beautifully written by Martin Jameson.

– It’s a horrific situation that Chloe finds herself in – not least because now she’s got Cameron trying to work through his own guilt by stepping up to co-parent Baby Evil Evan, and she’s got Phoebe gearing up to be the clingy aunt from hell.

– If Jac is the sister Sacha never had, and Elliot is the father Jac never had, Elliot must be the father Sacha doesn’t even realise he needs.

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Casualty: You can’t let the people down

18780563-low_res-casualty-portraits(Series 34, ep. 9  by Sumerah Srivastav and Colin Bytheway 19.10.19) Leap like a gazelle over to Metro for a look at my review of this week’s episode. But before you go…

Mason’s explanation of why he behaves like he does, and his symbolic return of Rash’s bike, hopefully marks the start of a new chapter for the new F1. It was perhaps risky to introduce a character who seemed properly nasty and pit him against a well-established and completely nice character. We could have just hated him full stop, but Victor Oshin has gradually revealed Mason’s vulnerabilities and as an introduction to a new character it’s worked brilliantly.

sfgfdgfg– Vincent Millbank was played by Tim Woodward – son of Edward Woodward who was in the original film of ‘The Wicker Man.’ I have three fun facts about that: (1) My mum and Edward Woodward were sort of pen-pals for quite a few years after she wrote him a fan letter and he wrote back and they continued to correspond. (2) When I was a kid we went on a family holiday to a caravan park in south west Scotland that was adjacent to where The Wicker Man was filmed (we didn’t know anything about the film at the time). The remnants of the burned wicker man at the top of the cliffs loomed over the caravans. It was huge and absolutely terrifying. (3) The tree you can see to the right of the burning wicker man was concreted in. Not a real tree. Somehow this made it scarier.

– Back to Casualty, and I am actually very worried about Ethan, both for his professional career and for his emotional wellbeing.

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Casualty: Major incident declared

Casualty - Series 34 - EP1(Series 34, ep. 1 by Mark Catley 17.8.19) Pop your lovely self over to Metro for my full review of this episode. But first…

– Blimey, that was a rollercoaster ride of an episode, wasn’t it? I felt like the budget that had been saved on the somewhat underwhelming prison riot of a few weeks back was blown on today’s terrorist attack. It was as well done and gripping as anything you’d see on Line Of Duty or The Bodyguard. I thought the editing was especially good in the scene where the bomb went off – events happened quickly but there was still enough time for a real sense of dread to build.

– Beautiful work from George Rainsford. Ethan is such a beloved character so we’re always rooting for him, and George made sure that we were feeling everything that Ethan was feeling.

– Though I do hope Ethan isn’t going to become Traumatised Person of the Series. We’ve just got Iain back to health and Connie safely in rehab, I don’t want to see episode after episode of Ethan quivering in corners.

– I feel very sorry for Gem. She must have managed about two days of happy holidays with her beloved before he was whizzing off back to Holby, leaving her in charge of the Elephant Cam.

– But I’m happy that Rash is back.

– It already feels like Rosa has been in Casualty since forever. There’s something completely real and believable about both the character and the way Jacey Salles plays her.

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Holby City: He used to be a happy boy

isaac dom holby 21(Series 21, ep. 21 ‘Unredeemed’ by Andy Bayliss 21.5.19) Pop over to Metro for the full review of this episode. But first…

– It was one of those episodes which shows what a real community Holby is, as everyone jumped to defend Dominic from the nasty Isaac.

– Isaac hasn’t changed at all, has he? Still as manipulative and nasty as ever. Marc Elliott plays him so well that the scenes between Isaac and Dom were quite distressing to watch.

– Lofty leaving Dominic sandwiches for breakfast was like Charlie bringing Duffy the last muffin on Casualty. Adorable. I still don’t think for a minute that Lofty would have cheated on Dominic on what was supposed to be their honeymoon, but sometimes plot reasons come first I suppose.

Carole’s love of Dominic hasn’t been affected one bit by his recent rejecting behaviour of her, has it? I loved her confrontation with Jon: ’My son was a happy boy and Isaac has taken that away.’

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Casualty: Whatever comes their way

Casualty - Series 33 - Ep35(Series 33, ep. 35 by Oliver Frampton 11.5.19)

Head over to Metro for my review of this week’s episode. 

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Holby City: He’s massive on gut instinct

ange chloe holby 19(Series 21, ep. 19 ‘Ex Marks the Spot’ by Joe Ainsworth 7.5.19) For a full and frank review of this episode, please head over to Metro.

Only a few further thoughts this week:

– Is Evan gearing up to be the next big Holby villain, or is he just a needy and manipulative twonk?

– It’s reassuring to know that the HR department of The Mythical St James’s is every bit as ‘relaxed’ as the one at Holby, enabling staff to be hired on the bitchy whim of a third party recommendation.

– Poor Carole spilling the beans to Chloe. Carole really can’t be enjoying her new receptionist job, bless her.

– Kian was really sweet with Victoria Parker/Molly Pecker, but I’m still getting a Matteo Rossini vibe. I don’t feel I quite have a handle on his character yet.

– Ric was extremely sweet with Darla. He may have messed up a bit with his own children, but as a granddad he’s ace.

– And I felt really sorry for Essie when Darla offered to let her adopt the baby. You could see there was nothing she would have loved more, but she knew it wasn’t possible. Poor Essie.

(Picture: BBC)

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Casualty: Charlie’s love muffin

chuffy reunited(Series 33, ep. 34 by Dana Fainaru 4.5.19) Pop over to Metro for a proper review of this episode. But first…

– Is Duffy being brave or a bit daft by telling patients and their relatives that she has dementia? I admire her not wanting to keep it hidden, but on the other hand (as we saw in this episode) it is a bit risky. Patients need to have confidence that they’re going to have the best care. Also we’ve seen Duffy making mistakes due to her dementia before she was diagnosed. How does she expect to know whether or how it’s affecting her now, if she didn’t before? Or am I being guilty of exactly the sort of prejudice Duffy is trying to fight?

– I’m very glad Charlie and Duffy are back together again, though. The awkwardness between them was just wrong.

– David is absolutely precious, isn’t he? Telling Duffy about Charlie getting her the last muffin: ‘That’s love, that is.’ He understands that the biggest love expresses itself in the smallest ways sometimes.

– I admit I missed a good few months of Casualty at one point (when Connie was ill) so I really don’t understand the weird dynamic between Connie and Elle. Can anyone enlighten me?

– Hurrah for Iain being back at work. Now we just need Jan to ease up on him a bit so he can get on with what he does best.

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Holby City: No flies on Darwin

kian jac holby 18(Series 21, ep. 18 ‘Vinegar and Honey’ by Ed Sellek 30.4.19) For a full review of this week’s episode please bob over to Metro (the home of top quality soaps coverage). But first…

– The episode was called ‘Vinegar and Honey’ because Fletch told Jac ‘You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.’ I loved Jac’s reply: ‘Why would I want flies?’

– So Kian is the cousin of Marty in the ED. I wonder whether we’ll see Kian summoned to a Casualty crossover one day? It would be even nicer if Marty was there – he hasn’t been seen in a while.

– I understood Ange’s explanation of why Chloe would be devastated to find out Dominic is her brother while she was saying it, but looking back I’m not sure I agree with her now. What do you think?

– Dominic is getting quite obsessive though. When he told Ange ‘You don’t get to abandon me again,’ it sounded borderline threatening – not in a scary way, but in a very needy way. He isn’t a character whose emotions you can just dabble with, as Ange is finding out.

– I knew all wasn’t well in Scary Sue’s romantic life. Bless her.

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