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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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Holby City: Behind the eyes

kian 2 holby 17(Series 21, ep. 17 ‘Pleased to Meet You’ by Ed Sellek 23.4.19) For my full (and rather long) review of this brilliant episode, head over to Metro. But first…

– I’ve not always been the greatest fan of Nicky as a character, but she absolutely stole the episode for me with her breathless fan-girly appreciation of Kian. Even when she was in the background she was giving him admiring little glances. It was really funny and well done.

– Talking of funny, I love Ed Sellek’s episodes. He’s the man who gave us Hanssen with a theremin, as I’ll never cease to keep reminding you because it was genius.

– And Scary Sue! She’s absolutely brilliant. I loved her comment about London making her bogies black. It’s such a northern thing to say (I speak as a northerner who lives in London). The genius of Sue’s character is that she has this ‘scary’ reputation but she’s ever so vulnerable and sad really, and I like that Donna recognised that about her.

– It was a good debut for Kian. He’s like a Mills and Boon fantasy doctor come to life with his tattooed hunkiness, but he’s got an air of danger and secrets around him that makes him quite interesting.

– Dominic was being really horrible to Carole and I could have slapped him at various points, but David Ames lets you see everything play out in Dominic’s eyes – the emotions of the moment are on his face, but his eyes tell you how he really feels inside and he is hurting.

– Julia Deakin and Dawn Steele are also being brilliant in this storyline and even though I still wish it hadn’t happened, it’s bringing some ninja level drama out, which I suppose is the entire point.

– Though when is Chloe going to get her chance to start emoting like everybody else? It must come soon.

– I’m glad Dom’s father was just a nice boy who liked Wham! and had a look of John Taylor from Duran Duran, rather than something sinister or icky. Such as looking like Simon Le Bon from Duran Duran.

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Fleabag – blame the parents

I’ve come to this all topsy-turvy, having watched the second series, then gone back to see the first and now rewatching the second again. To be honest, this doesn’t detract hugely from an understanding or appreciation of the programme, for those coming to it fresh.    It gives more information on the itinerant naked lady torso statue and the story behind the demise of Boo, (but no reason as to why Fleabag looks to the audience to be complicit, or where the nickname originated) but everything else can be gleaned from the second outing.
The soundtrack is also spectacular, with dramatic classical music stings. And there is the same wicked humour and devil-may-care attitude to character portrayal as in Killing Eve. I bet Phoebe Waller-Bridge is an excellent drinking companion.
So cleverly written is it, that you don’t really notice, until someone points it out; how few of the characters are named. (Another poke in the eye to traditional drama that feels that naming characters is imperative). ‘Hot Priest’ Andrew Scott is indeed delightful and manages to remain hot, even after you have read the comment that he looks like both Ant AND Dec. Some took umbrage to audiences finding him hot because he is emotionally manipulative and toxic, but as others riposted, so is Fleabag herself.
In fact, the hottest scene IMO, is the bar scene between our Pheebs and Kristin Scott Thomas. The latter’s speech about how women carry pain, whereas men invent it, should be made mandatory reading. Stick it on the Tube please. Watching Fleabag being drawn, moth-like, to older, authority figures of both genders made me realise how entrenched her parent issues must be. It’s a shame we never got to see the mother in a flashback. Dad is bumbling and easily swayed by The Unpleasant Godmother, yet clearly the problems inherent in both his daughters’ attitudes to relationships weren’t caused by him alone.
I wasn’t disappointed that Fleabag and Priest didn’t end up together (And I’m the soppiest romantic EVER). It wouldn’t have been right for either of them. Anyway, with no more series planned, we can invent our own ending. Maybe they can both work on their ‘issues’, he can ditch the priesthood for which he is clearly not suited and they’ll get together in a few years time. Possibly in Finland with Claire and Klare.

by Maggie Gordon-Walker

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