Holby City: Happy for a good five minutes

(Series 23, ep. 35 by Philip Lawrence 30.11.21) My longer review is at Metro as usual, but before you go and look at it I’ve had some random thoughts…

They’re really going to kill Carole Copeland, aren’t they? I don’t honestly think I can deal with that. Should we form a support group now, so we can look after each other (and Dominic) when the inevitable happens? Hanssen can join as well.

So the Ebrahimis are facing the awful ‘her or the baby’ decision about whether Amelia continues with her treatment or her pregnancy. We’re going to need a bigger support group.

Josh has a support group, but I think they already have a packed agenda.

But what is the agenda of Claudia? Is she going to try to steal Our Joshie away from The Fragrant Ange? Her full name is Claudia Blaise, so she sounds like a minx already.

Line of the week: I couldn’t resist quoting it on Metro and I can’t resist quoting it again. Madge’s reaction to Christmas choirs: ‘Amelia wanted to know where I stand on a Christmas choir. I wanted to say “on the conductor’s neck” but I didn’t want to dampen her enthusiasm.’

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Casualty: Gang war on your turf

(Series 36 ‘Retribution’ by Dana Fainaru 27.11.21) Head over to Metro for this week’s review. But before you go…

Hafsa’s injuries – oh my lord, the prosthetics team had fun with that one.

I was genuinely worried for Rash’s lovely face at several points in the episode, as well.

Will Rash now be able to leave the gang behind and get on with his usual task of mildly disagreeing with colleagues and being proved right?

Line of the week: (Dylan is told that Rash is late for work and isn’t answering his phone) ‘That’s both out of character and profoundly unhelpful.’

Talking of Dylan, the scenes with Paula where she was having the scan were so moving and lovely. I love Rosie Jones to bits, and her acting in this episode and her previous appearance has been stunning.

Line of the week 2: (Social worker Adi) ‘How much has [Paula] told you about her recent past?’ (Dylan) ’She’s a patient, not a date.’

Line of the week 3: (Dylan [again] gives David career advice about the clinical nurse manager job) ‘Don’t do it. Seriously, it’s a poisoned chalice.’

Line of the week 4: (Hafsa) ‘If I go into hospital it’s going to be gang war on your turf, Bridgeway and Farmead.’ And without Big Mac to keep the peace, that is the last thing we want.

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Holby City: He’s not a well man

(Series 23, ep. 34 by Ciara Conway 23.11.21) I’ve applied my usual critical lens to this episode for Metro, but before you go to read that…

I liked the visual effects that showed us some of what was going on in Ollie’s mind in that operating theatre. It was genuinely unsettling.

It wasn’t just visual effects, though. James Anderson has been so good at revealing different sides to Oliver as his Holby story has unfolded. From the cocky, confident junior doctor, to the more mature version shaped by the loss of his sister, to his current incarnation all of the versions of Oliver Valentine have been believable. Like Jac Naylor, he’s the product of all the stories that have gone before.

And of course Guy Henry tapped into the very deep sadness at the heart of Henrik Hanssen.

Which brings me once again to thinking how absolutely terrible it is that this programme is being axed.

Back to tonight’s episode, and Dominic’s storyline was really interesting. I liked that it was never suggested that Dominic was actually racist, but his attitude to Tianna was carelessness based on what Max identified as ‘unconscious biases.’

So sad to hear that Carole didn’t recognise him, too. No wonder he wasn’t firing on all cylinders.

He learned his lesson, though, and so did Ange. Josh doesn’t need or want to be mother-smothered.

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Casualty: I’ll be watching you

(Series 36 ‘Gasping for Air’ by Stephen McAteer 20.11.21) Leap over to Metro to see my proper review of the episode. But before you go…

I’m very glad Jan and Ffion are back together. Does his mean Jan can finally move out of Iain’s?

Teddy will also be pleased, though today was his day off so he missed all the hostage excitement. It would really have been summat different for him.

Dave blaming Tony for the entire Holby pollution problem was a bit extreme.

How did Sah come across the live video feed from the squash court? What made them think, ‘I wonder if this is being broadcast live on th’internet?’ Unless Dave had promoted it somewhere…

When Dylan told Stevie, ‘We’re done – until Dylan wakes up,’ I thought he’d signed Ethan’s death warrant and Stevie would be straight along to Ethan’s bedside to pull out a few plugs and silence the things that go beep. But she didn’t.

But has she dropped her revenge plan now? Or does her ‘I’ll be watching you’ comment mean that she’s gone back to Revenge Plan A which is to wait until Ethan makes another mistake then go to Hanssen about it? Who knows? And does anyone really, really care?

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Holby City: Still the same soul

(Series 23, ep. 33 by Emily Groves 16.11.21) Pop over to Metro for this week’s review, but before you go…

Last week I was singing the praises of Jeong Soo and this week we were once again reminded of how marvellous Louis is – he’s wise and thoughtful and just generally lovely. I liked how he was able to repay the kindness of Lucky helping him with his transition by helping her to transition into her new life.

It was also nice that Lucky got to do one last bit of good work at Holby by getting Fletch and Evie back on track. I can’t have any upset among the Fletchlings.

Speaking of whom, it’s time we saw Mikey again.

Jac’s terror at the thought of her ‘brain being fried by protons’ was absolutely real and relatable. It’s like the Panic Attack Olympics on Holby – Jac, Ollie and Josh have all had them recently, and very convincingly too. I’m not saying that to belittle panic attacks, by the way. Just to heap praise on Holby’s brilliant actors.

Charlotte and Susannah were a lovely couple and it was a beautiful scene when Ollie’s treatment brought Susannah back from her confusion. Charlotte’s line, ‘She is my peace, Dr Hudson’ almost had me in tears.

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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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Holby City: The first place that feels like home

(Series 23, ep. 32 by Emma Dennis-Edwards 9.11.21) Pop over to Metro where you will find my ‘proper’ review of the episode. But before you dash off…

Did we know that Amelia had previously had a brain tumour?

Hands up who thinks that Amelia can now be a guinea pig for some trial treatment that will eventually save Jac’s life? Puts hand up.

Ollie slapping Maisie was a shock. Normally I wouldn’t buy the ‘I have blackouts’ line when trotted out by an abuser, but this is lovely Oliver Valentine we’re talking about, and he probably really does have blackouts thanks to having had part of his brain blown away by Fredrik’s bullet.

I like how Eli learned the lesson from last week that what Josh needs is a listening ear, not someone trying to come up with solutions. It’s so important and so helpful.

But having someone wangle your F2 registration when you’ve forgotten to submit the forms is also supremely helpful.

Line of the week: (Max finds Kylie slightly intimidating) ‘It’s like my mother’s been reincarnated into a white Liverpudlian lady.’

The preview episode I watched didn’t show what was on the phone screen when Doreen sent the unfortunate group message. Can anyone enlighten me?

Jeong Soo’s little speech about Holby being the first place that feels like home reminded me once again that Jeong Soo is the spiritual heir to the glorious Arthur Digby. Kind, quiet, nerdy, adorable, bespectacled and clever.

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Casualty: Stevie, on the roof, with scissors

(Series 36 ‘Blinded’ by Jenny Davis and ‘Two Minutes’ by Dan Berlinka 6.11.21) Please pop over to Metro and read my concise (this was the word that teachers always wrote on my essays at school. I was never one to waste paper) summary of these exciting episodes. But first…

So we learned that, despite her ‘mwah-ha-hah!’ face-pulling, Stevie’s revenge plan for Ethan was to take him down via reporting him to Hanssen for incompetence. Getting stabby with surgical scissors was not on her agenda.

Though if I have any questions about the competence of the ED staff it would be about Stevie herself. The woman goes off on a strop as soon as you disagree with her and freaks out as soon as she makes a mistake. This is not the calm and balanced approach I’d want at my bedside if my leg was hanging off.

Line of the week: (Patient Luke) ‘I’ve done something on the roof.’ Oh, all the ‘somethings’ that roof has seen over the years. Especially if we pretend it’s the same roof that they have on Holby.

I’m very, very worried about Rash. Hafsa is not going to take kindly to him calling the feds.

Is this the first time that a Casualty ep shown on bonfire night weekend has not featured a firework-related injury?

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Holby City: The one feat. Chris Packham

(Series 23, ep. 31 by Rebecca Wojciechowski 2.11.21) Whizz over to Metro to read this week’s review. But before you go…

Poor Josh. He was about to tell Ange what was going on with him but she launched in by telling him how much she was missing the twins and that she’d come back to work too soon. This forced him back into his default setting of being the one who looks after everybody else. ‘Do I look like I can’t handle the pressure?’ he said to her, and in that exact moment looked as relaxed as anything. Of course we know that’s just a front that he puts on.

The Sammy story was very sad, especially the way it echoed Josh’s story in that Sammy’s mum was trying to protect him from the truth, and Sammy was trying to protect his mum from knowing that he knew he was dying.

I never expected to see Chris Packham on Holby!

Nice work from the prosthetics team with the stick in Billie’s neck. It’s been a while since we had anything resembling a Human Kebab Tragedy on Holby.

Do you think Ollie has previously maimed someone in surgery?

His flinchiness (is that a word? It is now) in theatre was very well done. I’d flinch too, being back in a scenario where I’d previously been shot in the head. In fact I would not be going near that scenario.

Line of the week: (Kylie sums up Max) ‘You’re only human. It just took me a while to get that given your… whole vibe.’

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Casualty: Rash. Too nice for his own good

(Series 36 ‘Two Tribes’ by Stephen McAteer 30.10.21) Please pop over to Metro to read my review. But first…

The flashbacks of little Kyle were very poignant and well done.

The Farmead estate has apparently gone downhill again since the days when Big Mac used to patrol the streets in army uniform. Or did I just hallucinate that?

Rash is too nice for his own good, isn’t he? Unwittingly he has ended up as the gang’s in-house doctor. It can’t end well.

Stevie almost went full ‘mwah hah hah!’ in this episode. If looks could kill, Stevie would have laser-beamed half the department by now.

Scissors, an eyeball and a shaky hand. Noooooo!!!

Line of the week: (Dylan contemplates the idea of a department with Stevie in charge) ‘This is bad. Really bad.’

When Dylan asked Ethan whether he should get rid of Stevie, I rather think Ethan is going to live to regret saying no.

And most likely so is Dylan.

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