Holby City: You want to know the point of everything?

Holby City S22 - Ep22

‘Personally I’d have gone for something a tad less… actually, just less’

(Series 22, ep. 22 by Davey Jones 21.7.20) Pop over to Metro to read my ‘proper’ review. But before you go…

– I absolutely loved the scenes between Raf and Essie. They were so beautifully written and played. I especially liked their final scene together, as Raf walked away down the ward. Rather than having him fading away in a ghostly style, the camera moved around so that he was hidden by Essie, becoming part of her again because he was really just the thoughts and memories in her head. It was lovely stuff.

– Which means that Raf’s thoughts about the Memorial Lump were really Essie’s thoughts, but I imagine he probably would have thought the Lump was a bit over the top.

– Can we have the old Kian back, please? I am getting fed up with ‘broken’ Kian. I know we have to have characters going through traumatic stuff because that’s drama, but there’s something that doesn’t connect with me about it – and I really liked the character to begin with. Is this just me, or does anyone else know what I mean?

– Though the scene where he goaded Phoenix into beating him up was absolutely brutal and shocking.

– Jac telling Kian she ‘didn’t need protecting,’ though. It seems to me that she does – she needs protecting from wasting her energy on useless men. Her track record in this regard has not been impressive. 

– On the other hand, Louis and Nicky’s flirtation is very sweet and very believable. She’s had such a hard time over the years that Louis is absolutely what she needs – someone considerate, kind and caring. And not bad looking, either. Of course there’s a bit of a hurdle to overcome, as presumably at some point he’ll have to talk to her about him being trans. How will she react?

– Is Selfie going to go after Ric, do you think?

– Line of the week: (Essie to Sacha) ‘Time has beaten us. Let’s just make the most of what we have left.’ So, so sad. 

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Casualty: The one with Young Lev and Mrs Jan

Casualty - Series 34 - EP38(Series 34, ep. 37 by Dana Fainaru and Jillian Mannion 18.7.20) Head over to Metro for this week’s full review. But before you go…

– Well I wasn’t expecting that twist with Lev. I think it does make sense of how he briefly became a nasty football thug – that obviously was never really his nature but was a way to try and hide his confusion about his sexuality beneath a shell of hard-man bravado.

– Is that also true of his relationship with Faith? It does add yet another dimension to the Lev/Faith/Dylan triangle though. If Faith discovers what her husband has been up to with these dating apps it might propel her even faster in the direction of Dylan.

– The boys who played Young Lev and Young Sergei were very good, and you could see how Evgeny reminded Lev of Sergei.

– I liked Jan and Ffion’s relationship, which seemed very real. There are niggles between them, but they work it out because they understand that they both work in the kind of job that doesn’t just stop at 5PM.

– That labour scene in the car and the ambulance was ridiculously shrieky though – and I don’t just mean the woman in labour. Fenisha made enough noise herself.

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Holby City: You did all you could but not enough

dinner holby 21

(Series 22, ep. 21 by Ed Sellek 14.7.20) Have a look at my review of this episode over at Metro, if you please. But before you go…

– The Mythical HR Department of Holby City Hospital have surely done their least impressive work yet by giving Useless Tracey a job in Pulses. If they find their muffin stocks are depleting much faster than usual, I think we’ll know where to point the finger.

– Louis sent Nicky a playlist! How adorable he is.

– But he wasn’t very well rewarded by being invited to the dinner party from hell.

– Oh my lord. Essie. And Sacha! I’m so sad.

– That cupcake did look really nice though.

– Mr/Dr Schrader’s operation looked terrifying. But isn’t Donna a fabulous nurse?

– But there is no way she’d have left that glass of wine untouched.

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Casualty: Jade’s big day

Casualty - Series 34 - EP37

(Series 34, ep. 29 by Charlie Swinbourne and Sophie Woolley 11.7.20) My long review is as usual on Metro. But before you wander off to read that…

– I imagine the distorted sound in a lot of this episode will have been quite polarising and there’ll probably be a few complaints. I really liked it, though. We’re used to visual effects to show when a character is feeling disoriented, drugged or whatever. It was refreshing to try to get into the world of a person for whom sound is altered by whether she’s using a hearing aid or not, and how the artificially amplified sounds might be annoying and stressful.

– I hope the Jade/Susie story will continue, as they explore their relationship and also their different approaches to living with deafness.

– Zoe and Max have a baby! Yay! I love hearing little snippets about people who’ve left, so we can imagine them still getting on with their lives.

– And I like how Jan keeps mentioning Ffion – I’m looking forward to meeting her.

– Read about how this episode was written here.

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Holby City news: Raf returns to Holby!

Joe McFadden - Raf Di Lucca

Yes, I know he’s dead (remind yourself of what happened here), but that’s not the sort of thing to stand between Holby and a guest appearance.

It’s just been announced that Joe McFadden will return to Holby as Raf Di Lucca in a special episode later this month. As Essie comes to terms with her cancer diagnosis, she finds comfort from her late husband in some very moving scenes.

Joe says, “I’ll always look back on my four years on Holby with such fondness as it was one of the happiest jobs I’ve done. It was a real pleasure to get to wear Raf’s scrubs one last time in order to offer his wife Essie some guidance in such a touching episode.”

But the most important question is – will we find out what Raf thinks of the Raf Di Lucca Memorial Lump in the garden?

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Holby City: He hates everyone almost as much as he hates himself

Holby City S22 - Ep20

(Series 22, ep. 20 by Julie Parsons 7.7.20) My full review of this is over at Metro, so please go and have a look. But before you do that…

– The bit of the Nicky heart attack story that I liked the most was Louis calming her down when she was having the panic attack. He is marvellous.

– Though Belinda Owusu did a really good job of gasping on the locker room floor. I was thinking she wouldn’t be found in time and it would be like poor Mason on Casualty, with everyone beating themselves up that they hadn’t read the signs and paid enough attention. Though of course they should maybe think that anyway.

– Essie and Sacha continue to break my heart.

– But it’s good news from Fletcher Towers apparently, as Fletch continues to improve.

– I loved Hanssen telling Cameron that he should pop along and have an ‘all encompassing career chat with Ms McGerry’ rather than trying to creep up to him. Hanssen has no time for odious little twerps.

– I was right about Cameron being ready to deliver more bad behaviour to impress Ange – but frankly trying to get Louis into trouble is going too far. I was very glad that Max stands ready to support her son.

– Please don’t give Tracey a job at Pulses. She’ll put people off their muffins with her whingey demeanour.

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Holby City: More of the same? He can Dunn that

Holby City S22 - Ep19

(Series 22, ep. 19 by Katie Douglas 30.6.20) For a full and frank review of this episode, please visit Metro. But before you go…

– I loved this episode – there was so much going on. There was high emotion from Essie, dastardly deeds from Cameron and a whole lot more.

– Cameron has really crossed the line now and has gone the full ‘mwah-ha-ha.’ Methodically picking apart Ange’s stitching was entirely sick and twisted. It was one of those situations where you can’t quite believe what you’re seeing. I loved it (but then my benchmark of high amusement is American Horror Story). And his muttering that he can do more of the same suggests we’re in for even more ‘I can’t believe what he just Dunn’ scenes before he gets his (almost) inevitable comeuppance.

– I wonder what the side effects of Nicky’s next drugs trial will be? Last time she had sausage fingers. Let’s hope whatever it is doesn’t happen when she’s home alone with Callous Cameron, otherwise she may not survive.

– Louis and Nicky. Is that going to be a Thing, or just good friends?

– Essie broke my heart repeatedly in this episode. When she watched Sacha carrying baby Isla down the stairs away from her, you knew exactly what she was feeling.

– I really like the new Evie. In fact I like her as much as the old Evie, and I liked her a lot.

– I also really like Louis, especially how he always steps up to defend his mum.

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Holby City: What happened to Paris?

Holby City S22 - Ep18(Series 22, ep. 18 by Katie Douglas 23.6.20) Bob along to Metro to read my nice long review of this episode. But before you go…

– Did we know previously that Fletch starting his career as a car mechanic before becoming a nurse? I liked his advice to Evie that you don’t have to have your path in life all mapped out when you’re young.

– Hurrah for the helpful urologist who was only too happy to do Fletch’s op in the down-time between the end of his shift and Emmerdale. Fletch shouldn’t even have contemplated going to The Mythical St J for surgery.

– Does this mean Fletch is completely cured? Let’s hope he is, although the ‘two nurses with cancer’ storyline will have been fairly short-lived if so.

– So Kian is in Canada seeing his mum, is he? Adorable as he is, Jac is really better off without him.

– I’ve already mentioned it on Metro, but Ric’s ‘You’re gonna need a bigger bag’ comment to Louis really was a brilliant line. It was unexpected, hilarious – and heartfelt. And it makes it more likely that the little hand gesture that Thunderchild spotted last week (look at the comments under last week’s post) was deliberate.

– Jac’s ‘Are there any patients on the ward that you aren’t related to?’ comment to Nicky was also good and could probably be deployed most weeks on most wards at Holby.

– And we were treated to more Jac and Sacha scenes, which are things of great beauty and joy.

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Holby City: White pills, blue pills…

Holby City S22 - Ep17(Series 22, ep. 17 by Johnny Candon 16.6.20) Pop over to Metro for a thorough dissection of this week’s episode. But before you go…

– Oh, Jac. Is she going to get her heart broken again? She does her best to pretend her feelings for Kian are just good mucky fun, but her little conversation with Sacha revealed otherwise. I am worried for her. I’m also worried for Kian’s boy-parts – you don’t get to stand Jac up and carry on with all your bits intact.

– There was some heated debate on Facebook last week about whether Kian’s pills were white or blue. I think it depends on the device you’re watching it on but they looked white to me. As they’re almost bound to be fictional anyway (Camoxidan, anyone? Watch out for numb hands!) I can’t think it really matters.

– Did Bea ever mention her son was called Phoenix? I’m sure we’d have remembered that, because you don’t run into that many Phoenixes. He was excellent, anyway.

– Hanssen really is playing the long game as far as Max is concerned but it’s obvious that he’s going to oust her eventually. The arrival of Louis has made Max a bit more interesting, but I won’t be entirely happy until Hanssen and his moral compass are back where they belong.

– I really like Louis and loved how he stuck up for Donna.

– That tie! Anyone could see that it was going to be a Sacha Special. Though I can also picture it on Elliot Hope.

– How very rare for Fletch to be having his surgery at the Mythical St James’s. Let’s hope he’s not having it done in Kestrel’s Cheap-as-Chips Prostate Van in the St Jimmy’s car park.

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The Archers: 0, Staged: 1

4FE3F3A2-9842-4F93-9E42-2D409E050E3DOften, it’s the smallest things that introduce a moment of disquiet. As lockdown started, news came that The Archers would be reducing the number of broadcasts per week to eke out its recordings. In fact, I discovered that it was quite nice to escape the real world and be reminded each time that Ambridge was coronavirus free. Then we had the archive episodes. Having heard what came after, I’m all for saying can we go back to these please? After all, there must be 300,000; 34; 974,000 hours of material, to borrow from our beloved Home Secretary. Personally, I would very much like to hear Helen’s trial again, with the special jury deliberation episode.

I’d been all eager to hear the first instalment and awaited 7.00pm in my kitchen in childlike-excitement. Like all irritants, once something’s gone you miss it at some level, and the Twitter tweetalong has been a muted, sombre place the last few months. Other writers (Miranda Sawyer, for example), have already explained beautifully how disappointing this first episode was. David, patriarchal overlord, wanging on tediously about lasagne to Bess (that’s a cow, not a long-suffering family member), intercut with his equally tedious, grumbling spawn. Continue reading

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