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Holby City: So sad for Frieda

(Series 21, ep. 4 ‘A Daring Adventure Or Nothing At All’ by Isla Gray 22.1.19) For my full review of this episode head over to Metro. But a couple of things before you go…

– I felt so sorry for Frieda, because I could really believe in her and Roman as a couple. Not least because of the beautiful way she says his name. I had to google about opening the window to let his soul out, to check it was really a thing, but somehow I knew from the way she did it that it is a thing. It’s a very beautiful thing, I think. I’m glad that at least before Roman died he had a chance to show Frieda that he really was the man she’d always loved.

– Now I want to talk about the decor in the YAU (Yow!). First of all, where did the cash-strapped NHS find the money for all that etched glass and whatnot? And secondly, isn’t a bit patronising to think the young adults need surrounding with the bright colours and cartoony shapes of play school?

– And why isn’t anybody (Sacha?) kicking up a fuss about having half of Keller carved off for the YAU?

– I’m not really getting the Foetus/Fauntleroy rivalry. One minute they’re friends(ish – going to karaoke together at least), the next minute they aren’t. For Nicky it’s a bit of a replay of what she went through with Meena.

– Mia is very amusing. She talks like an adult, but in a believable way. I really like the Mia/Donna/Zav combo.

– And for anyone who would like to know more about Pathological Demand Avoidance (as seen in the Ellen/Ange storyline) there’s a useful website here.

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Holby City: Young adults everywhere

(Series 21, ep. 2 ‘China Crisis’ by Joe Ainsworth 8.1.19) Happy new year, Holby fans! The review for this episode is over at Metro, and now I’ve come out of Christmas hibernation I can summon up a few additional random thoughts about it.

Tom Campbell-Gore succumbed to the Curse of the Holby Relative/Friend/Staff Member fairly easily, didn’t he? It’s a shame, really, as I was rather enjoying his arrogant ways. And enjoying Serena putting him in his place very much.

I rather like Ange at first sight, though she does remind me of Colette Sheward in a practical, sleeves-up, no-nonsense kind of way.

Has the YAU (I hear that in my head as a James Brown sort of ‘Yow!’) been conceived so that Holby can nurture the next generation of young acting talent by bringing in lots of Young Adults? It  would be very commendable if so, but I do get a bit vexed by these ‘units’ that take over perfectly sensible wards. It’s usually Darwin that gets corners of it stolen by other departments, but they always get their territory back in the end. I wonder how long the YAU will last before someone decides they need the beds back?

Essie does love a Special Uniform, doesn’t she?

Cameron’s appearance on Darwin prompted some of the best lines of the week (‘That’s all I need, another pound shop Hugh Grant’ and the line about ‘Foetus and Fauntleroy’ from Jac), but I think my favourite line in the whole episode was ‘Serena Campbell. No Gore.’

The scenes between Lorraine Chase and Jaye Jacobs were beautiful.

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Holby City: Distance makes it wander

(Series 20, ep. 49 ‘Love Is’ by Michelle Lipton 4.12.18) Pop over to Metro if you’d like to see my full review of this episode.

– It was quite a sad one, wasn’t it? Serena crying on Fletch, Dominic crying on Essie. At least we had Frieda and that lovely dog to cheer us up.

– It wasn’t all bad on the Berena front, either. It’s always glorious to see Bernie, though of course the pleasure of seeing her was tainted by the dread that she would find out about Serena and Leah and would invoke one of her famous 13 ways to kill with her bare hands. Or just be really sad, which would be worse. For now, things are looking like they might work out after all.

– Dominic and Lofty, though… David Ames breaks my heart when Dominic is sad, but it doesn’t make me like Lofty any less because you can see his actions come from being caring and thoughtful. He’s just too cautious.

Line of the week – Bernie‘Whatever happened to absence makes the heart grow fonder?’ Donna: ‘Too much distance makes it wander.’ 

 

– Do not miss next week’s episode. That’s all I’m saying.

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Holby City: The race to save Jac

(Series 20, ep. 47 ‘One of Us’ by Katie Douglas 20.11.18) Please pop over to Metro to have a look at my full review/recap of the episode, but before you go here are a few more thoughts.

– Sacha and Fletch, eh? If you ever wanted a sign that Jac Naylor is deep down a lovely, lovely person, you need only look at the amount of love for her shown by these two men. Absolutely adorable.

– And, talking of adorable – Mo Effanga. Casualty fans may recall after paramedic Jeff died and the ED staff were finding it hard to cope, Connie Beauchamp got Dr Zoe Hanna to come back, because what was needed was a people person with heart, warmth and compassion. That’s what we have in Mo. She’s the anti-Gaskell, sent to soothe us and make us smile and I couldn’t have been more pleased to see her.

– I also loved seeing Selfie, which isn’t a sentence that at one point I could have imagined saying, but there you go. John Michie played this episode perfectly, with Selfie fully aware of his own tarnished reputation, a slightly more humble and self-aware person but still (thankfully) confident in his skills.

– You have to wonder how Hanssen is holding himself together after everything that he’s been through. He truly is made of the finest Swedish steel.

– Donna and Zav really are a very lovely couple. I like how he’s like a snail who gets back in his shell whenever life gets too tricky or things get too personal, but Donna is nothing if not persistent. And she has a smile you’d have to be Gaskell to resist.

– Word of the day: ‘flirtingship.’

– Holby book news: There are hardly any left anywhere now. Thank you to everyone who bought one and especially everyone who got in touch or left reviews – I’m so happy that you enjoyed reading it and that it did justice to the brilliant work the people at Holby City do every week. For those who didn’t manage to get a copy yet, SilverWood books might still have a couple, but otherwise your best bet is to get it in ebook form (Kindle, Nook or Kobo).

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Holby City: I see dead people

I see Roxanna! (Picture: BBC)

(Series 20, ep. 42 ‘Stains’ by Patrick Homes 16.10.18) For this week’s review click over to Metro, but before you go here are a few random thoughts:

– Donna and Zav – is ‘Zonna’ ever going to be a Thing, do you think, or are they just going to continue having these Moments? When he told Alex that she was in her late thirties with two sprogs and she didn’t need the likes of either of them, I think he was speaking more about his own insecurity. Or is he really a twonk?

– Hurrah for Sacha and his clear-sighted assessment of Prof Gaskell, and having the balls to tell him to his face. At least there’s one person at Holby who doesn’t subscribe to the Cult of Gaskell. Sadly Hanssen seems just as far away from learning the truth as ever. What’s it going to take to expose the Prof’s crimes? Or will it go undetected and poor Roxanna will have died in vain? Surely that can’t happen?

– Essie was getting very judgemental about that murderer patient, wasn’t she? Particularly when you remember the rather ugly history of her own grandfather. Then she went and told Hanssen what a genius Gaskell is and completely threw him off the scent. Oh, Essie! Not your finest week.

– When the murderer asked Gaskell to kill him and Gaskell didn’t, it shows that he does have ethics – but in Roxanna’s case ethics were over-ridden by the necessity to keep his trial going, come what may. If I’m being kind I might call him a ‘bigger picture’ kind of guy.

– When Steven was talking confidently about nits to Jac, and Fletch said Steven had never so much as been near him with a nit comb when he was a kid, I thought Steven’s life-changing secret was going to be that he had a secret other family somewhere that Fletch never knew about and he’d spent many years happily examining his children’s heads for lice in a way he’d never done with Fletch.

– An insight into the writer’s thinking: episode writer Patrick Homes (@PatrickHomes) tweeted yesterday ‘Tonight’s episode of #holbycity was written listening to Pixies “Where is My Mind” on an endless loop. It may or may not show…’

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Holby City: Sibling rivalry

(Series 20, ep. 41 ‘The Three Musketeers’ by Joe Ainsworth 9.10.18) For a full review of this episode, head over to Metro. Before you go, a few additional points:

– What a brilliant bit of acting from Marcus Griffiths as Xavier sat in the Linden Cullen Temple of Anguish (AKA the multi-faith room/prayer room/whatever). Holby actors seem to be very good at crying on demand. It must make them very tricky to live with.

– It was a nice outcome to find that Reg didn’t have dementia and wasn’t being beaten up by Alex, but had a treatable condition after all. Maybe he’ll get well enough to become a porter.

– Hanssen is holding himself together well, but Guy Henry is such a superbly subtle actor that you can see the emotion just under the surface. He’s channelling his love for Roxanna into caring for Gaskell, and when and if the story fully comes out about what he’s been up to – well, it’ll be a double blow and I honestly don’t know how Hanssen will start to cope with that.

– There’s definitely chemistry between Donna and Xavier. Is he the kind of man who’d be happy to have a girlfriend with two children, though? He’s always seemed a bit of a player, so we’ll have to see.

– There’s been a mixed reaction to Leah’s pursuit of Serena, and I can see why. If you’re very invested in the Berena relationship then it’s not easy to think of Serena even contemplating anyone else. Quite possibly she’s going to carry on rejecting Leah and be happy with her long-distance love, but it’s interesting to see her being tested. It also made for some very funny scenes, especially when Ric and Serena were inside the office and Leah was outside, fully aware that Serena was listening to everything she was saying.

– Scary Sue needs to be a regular character. Sometimes new people arrive on Holby and it takes a little while to work out who they are as characters. I feel like we already know Sue, thanks to the way the writers have brought her in and Angela Lonsdale’s funny, clever portrayal of her. And of course you can never have too many Sues.

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Holby City: Well that was a shock

(Series 20, ep. 32 ‘Bygones’ by Jon Barton 8.8.18) For my more in-depth look at this week’s episode, please head over to Metro. But before you go, read on for a few random thoughts.

– The scene where Serena helped Evie tell Fletch how she felt and he reacted with tears was brilliant. Alex Walkinshaw and Macey Chipping have such a natural on-screen rapport, and it came across as absolutely realistic and genuine.

– I honestly didn’t guess that the person in the bed at the beginning/end was going to be Jac. I thought Steven, Evie, possibly Essie (though it probably wouldn’t have been Fletch at her bedside), maybe even a patient who’d suffered as a result of Fletch being too preoccupied with his family troubles. So that ending came as a real shock.

– Steven was appearing everywhere – he was in Pulses, he was in Fletch’s office, he was in Albie’s (when Albie’s was actually closed). If he gets this porter job Fletch wants him to go for (and of course he will), expect him to turn up in the basement, on the roof and in random operating theatres. Expect him to find parts of the hospital we didn’t even know existed.

– Sacha’s tears when Essie got the news about her cancer! Bless him, he’s like a well of loveliness. And I’m ever so glad Essie is coming back.

– When Donna drew the man with the beard, I thought it might be Tom Wyrick, the patient on Darwin. That would have put the cat among the pigeons if Lofty had transferred MRSA to Darwin.

– Actually my first thought about Donna’s drawing was that it was Jarvis Cocker.

– It’s amazing how even though most people seem to die or suffer terrible effects not long after the Prof’s scalpel has touched them, everyone is still (just about) convinced he’s a miracle worker.

– I loved Essie’s shirt dress thing.

– And how can Donna just fling a fascinator on her head and look fabulous?

– I’m now desperately worried about Jac. I don’t do prayers, but if any eyelashes fall out this week that I can wish on, I know what I’ll be wishing for.

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