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> 2017 in TV: A Retrospective, Line of Duty/A Series of Unfortunate Events/Doctor Foster
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Klaus
post Dec 19 2017, 08:02 PM
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Let's take a look at the highs and lows of TV in 2017 where TV continued to grow and grow to the point where it's impossible to keep up with all the good shows! I'll be trying to cover as much as I can so why not feel free to offer your opinions and verdicts as we take a look at the world of TV in 2017!
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Klaus
post Dec 19 2017, 08:04 PM
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DOCTOR WHO



Broadcast: 15th April – 1 July
Channel: BBC One
Ratings: 6.68m-4.73m


Doctor Who returned for its 10th series since 2005 and 36th overall! 2016 saw the first year without a full series since its return but it sure came back with a bang in 2017 with new companion Bill Potts (played by Pearl Mackie) being front and centre, and Nardole (played by Matt Lucas) also joining in on the fun after appearing in the two previous Christmas specials. We also found out that this would be Peter Capaldi’s last series as he is set to regenerate on Christmas Day! That meant that we also discovered the 13th Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, becoming the first woman to play the role. We’ll see a glimpse of her in the Christmas special but she’ll certainly be one to discuss in 2018!

Bill was able to bring a huge wave of new life to the show as we hadn’t had a new companion since Clara’s introduction in 2012!! She captured what made Donna such a great companion but was also very much different in her own way. Bill asks the questions that none of the MANY companions have ever asked before. It helps shed a new light on the show, and the character of the Doctor even after 54 years. She was funny, intelligent but also had a HUGE heart, making her fate in the finale even more sad. By having his ‘own’ companion, the 12th Doctor also came into his own. He was a complete contrast to Bill but she certainly helped to bring out his best side. Nardole also brought some fun to the show but wasn’t as necessary as they had promised he would be.

We were able to see the new team being chased by a puddle, targeted by emoji robots and stopping humans from capturing an alien for its poo, and that’s just in the first three episodes and yes… it was far better than it sounds! The hyped Monk trilogy sort of tapered out with a more underwhelming and unsatisfactory ending as we never learnt more about the Monks than we did at the start of the story. The Ice Warriors also returned as well as a writer from the classic era of the show. The finale became one of the finest stories the show has seen since the 50th anniversary special. It brought two different Masters together whilst also bringing back a version of the Cybermen only seen in the 1960s! It finally made the Cybermen scary again and was filled with suspense and epic speeches. His time on the show is open to huge debate but Steven Moffatt certainly ended on a high.
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Klaus
post Dec 19 2017, 08:28 PM
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THE GOOD PLACE



Channel: Netflix/NBC

The Good Place first aired the first half of its first season in 2016 but in 2017 it arrived on Netflix UK and started its second season. The show is fronted by big and upcoming names with Kristen Bell, Ted Dansen and, rather randomly but surprisingly great, Jameela Jamil! It is a big budget, high concept sitcom that normally means it is doomed to fail and it fails to live up to its hype but the excellent writing, actual plot and brilliant cast has helped it to become one of the most memorable new network sitcoms in recent years!

The show follows Eleanor Shellstrop as she wakes up in 'The Good Place', a heaven for all those who have been exceptionally good on Earth, created by Michael. It soon transpires that she was sent there by mistake and so must quickly take lessons from ethics academic Chidi. She lives next door to a rich charity-giving woman and a silent Buddhist monk whilst The Good Place's computer, Janet (think Siri) is on hand to provide everyone with all the help they require.

What helps make the show stand out, aside from its budget, is the level of plot that the sitcom has. Each episode ends on a cliffhanger (and these can often be quite jaw-dropping) and it moves along at a very fast pace. The show's creators were keen to place the plot at the heart of the show, being keen to take inspiration from the likes of Lost. It all leads up to one of the most shocking moments in the finale... which I will say no more about!! Season 2 starts off, understandably quite slow in terms of the plot but quickly gets going again as it hits it stride and it is a slow wait now until we see the second half!

The characters are all largely great, with the actors giving it their all and it feels that, if it has the chance, they'll be able to improvise more scenes with future seasons. The standout is most certainly Janet who really comes into her own about halfway through Season 1 and only becomes better and better as she gets more prominent. She provides some hilarious moments and is such a great character, especially as it is a character that could have easily been one-dimensional.

The show is such an easy watch and one that I would really recommend, a brilliantly unique sitcom that brings something new in this crowded TV era!
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JosephSivan
post Dec 19 2017, 10:03 PM
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Doctor Who was mostly back on form this year. I've enjoyed the Capaldi era, but Bill and Nardole added a lot more heart to the show than Clara ever did for me. The stories were good (if not amazing, bar the finale), and I consistently enjoyed the full series. Bring on Jodie too wub.gif

The Good Place is fantastic, I absolutely loved binge-watching it recently. Jameela was a revelation, I was doubtful of her acting ability but Tahani is amazing, alongside Janet of course *.* The plot really is gripping, much more so than any other comedy I've seen, and I actually really like the cast as a whole.
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Liаm
post Dec 19 2017, 10:49 PM
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The Good Place is incred, as you say it actually has a plot to it while being the still quite light and funny watch you want from a sitcom! Janet is one of the best characters in anything ever but all of the main cast are really likable imo which is a huge part of why it works so well, as well as the unique concept that just works so flawlessly.
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Jack
post Dec 19 2017, 11:25 PM
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The Good Place is one of my favourite TV shows this year along with 13 Reasons Why. So gripping yet so funny as well, I can't wait for more wub.gif.
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post Dec 20 2017, 06:07 AM
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Couldn’t agree more on The Good Place. Such a wonderful show
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JosephSivan
post Dec 20 2017, 04:48 PM
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TEEN WOLF



Broadcast: 3rd - 31st January (season 6A), 30th July - 24 September (season 6B)
Channel: MTV (USA) / Netflix (UK)


2016 saw season 6 of Teen Wolf begin. The final season after falling ratings and ageing teenagers, the last 20 episodes were split into two - 6A and 6B. The first five episodes of 6A aired in November and December, before resuming for the next five in 2017. Tyler Posey (Scott), Dylan O'Brien (Stiles), Holland Roden (Lydia), Shelley Hennig (Malia) and Dylan Sprayberry (Liam) returned to their starring roles, with previous recurring stars Linden Ashby (Sheriff), Melissa Ponzio (Melissa) and JR Bourne (Argent) were upgraded to regulars. Unfortunately, due to prior commitments, Dylan O'Brien's availability was low and he only appeared in a few episodes of 6A, so Stiles was captured by the Ghost Riders in episode 1 and rescued in episode 10, with only one appearance in between.

The long wait then came for the final ten episodes. Season 6B was given a totally different plotline, one that harked back to the very first season - hunters. Cast rumours were everywhere. Returns were promised, but who would it be? Furthermore, Dylan O'Brien's availability seemed to be even lower than before. When the season aired, Dylan was no longer listed in the opening titles as a main cast member, and was instead a 'special guest star' in the first and last episodes. Among the returning stars were Tyler Hoechlin (Derek), Colton Haynes (Jackson), Max Carver (Ethan), Jill Wagner (Kate) and Haley Webb (Jennifer), although there was no sign of fan favourites Daniel Sharman (Isaac) and Arden Cho (Kira). We also met a new team of hunters, with new cast members Sibongile Mlambo (Monroe), Froy Gutierrez (Nolan) and Andrew Matarazzo (Gabe) taking on the roles alongside regular foe Michael Hogan (Gerard). The pack's secret was made public, and an army was built up against supernatural creatures.

After what I felt was a hit-and-miss first half, the second half of season 6 really ensures the show finishes on a high. The return appearances didn't feel shoehorned in for the sake of it, and the plotline was the best they'd had in a few years IMO! Out of the new characters, Nolan was my particular favourite. Froy Gutierrez gave a brilliant performance as a young lad with obvious mental illnesses, who struggles with his conscience after being roped in to join the hunters.

Despite the fact that I only began watching Teen Wolf in January, I felt it was important for my favourite new discovery in years to go out on a high, and it really did. The final episode saw a hugely satisfying end, and sets up a future comeback/spin-off quite nicely. Froy Gutierrez and Dylan Sprayberry spark up a brilliant connection as Nolan and Liam turn from foes to friends, and Cody Christian's Theo begins his redemption arc. The only downside is the lack of Isaac - a return for him would've been very easy within the context of the show, but Daniel Sharman wasn't available unfortunately sad.gif
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CodyOfTheWoods
post Dec 20 2017, 11:00 PM
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That’s one of my top 3 picks in TV, just need the other two and we’re gucci

Arden Cho actually picked up a guest slot on Chicago Med!
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Klaus
post Dec 21 2017, 06:24 PM
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IRON FIST/THE DEFENDERS/THE PUNISHER



Broadcast: March 17/August 18/November 17
Channel: Netflix


I'm going to group the three Netflix/Marvel shows together as I'm sure they'll gather the same level of interest and it makes it easier for me! This year saw three Marvel shows, all with their first series.

Iron First started off the trio back in March. It had been attracting a lot of criticism with accusations of whitewashing due to an Asian male failing to be cast in the main role who has special martial arts abilities. The original comic book character wasn't Asian but it would have been great to have the ethnicity represented, particularly given the 'subject matter'. The Netflix/Marvel shows have often suffered from being a bit dull and slow for me, largely down to having too many episodes. Iron Fist took this one step further as it became a bit of a slog to get through! Finn Jones was cast in his first starring role as Danny Rand and, for me, he's not a leading man or at least not in this role. He wasn't captivating in the same way that Daredevil/Jessica Jones/Luke Cage are and he just comes across a bit like a moody/arrogant teenager at times. The story of the evil major corporation has been done many times before too and it was too uninteresting here to justify the large focus spent on it. The brother and sister came across a bit too much like the Trump siblings too. The actual martial arts scenes were quite good and I particularly enjoyed the episode where Danny faces the challenges set by the Hand. Although the fight with the drunk guy really annoyed me because it came across so much like a video game boss which goes on forever. Colleen Wing was also a highlight and should have been the main hero tbh! Overall, the weakest element of the Netflix/Marvel world.

As we had our fourth hero, The Defenders arrived in August, with Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist all uniting to fight against The Hand. It was brilliant to see all the heroes unite and what was particularly special was the scenes before they all met where each character's scenes would have their own primary colour pallet. This helped it gain that comic book feel and also made it build up the event. It was particularly amazing to have Jessica Jones back and it made me realise how much I'm looking forward to the second season when it finally arrives! The downside was that there was a lot of focus on Iron Fist, who I've already said is the weakest link. Due to his focus on being an enemy of the Hand, it sort of ended up revolving around him which is a shame. There was still a lot of fun to be had though with the heroes, and all the characters from the series, interacting with each other. What helped make it more special was that all the main supporting characters were involved and a large part of the series which is not always the case when you have big crossovers like this. It helps make the world look realistic in a way that the rest of the MCU often can't do. Sigourney Weaver was of course great in the villain role although the character itself was a bit underwhelming. The show also definitely benefited from the shorter run of 8 episodes which is something that should really be picked up with the other shows. It's a shame that Season 2 is unconfirmed still!

The third series, The Punisher, arrived just last month but I've already caught up with it all! kink.gif The character was originally seen in Daredevil Season 2 and has also previously starred in his own films (before the whole MCU). He's perhaps more of a complex character than the other heroes, due to the fact that he's not really a hero! The lines are drawn between good and bad although this wasn't explored as much here as it maybe was in Daredevil. It was a stronger offering than Luke Cage and Iron Fist as I enjoyed the conspiracy/cover up aspect. There was the usual lull but it built up to a brilliant (and bloody!) close.

2018 will bring us new series of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Daredevil at the very least! ohmy.gif
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Botchia
post Dec 21 2017, 09:25 PM
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This year's series of Doctor Who was fantastic. Bill really rejuvenated the show for me! Shame it didn't do so well in the ratings.
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Klaus
post Dec 22 2017, 06:00 PM
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13 REASONS WHY



Broadcast: March 31
Channel: Netflix


One of the most talked about shows of the year was 13 Reasons Why, based on the best-selling book and it had Selena Gomez as one of it's producers (although who knows her actual imput...). It followed the aftermath of a teenage girl's suicide after she leaves 13 tapes for a group of students to listen to, explaining the reasons why she killed herself.

Each episode focused on one of these tapes and saw flashbacks, showing the events of the tapes with one character being the focus of that tape/episode. We were able to see everything through everyday nice guy (or he is...omg) Clay. It saw a huge range of issues being explored which is why the show has been praised so much. However, it is not without its controversy as many saw the show as possibly glamorising suicide/revenge suicide. Strong warnings were placed before the episodes to help prevent this.

I was a bit uncertain before watching the show and even after a few episodes. However, it is a show that benefits from the full run as the issues grow more and more serious as the story develops. Hannah isn't the perfect person, and neither are any of the characters (even if moral compass Tony thinks he's practically perfect in every way as he tries to be some enigmatic Gandalf/Dumbledore figure, he wins my aware of Most Hated Character of the Year cheer.gif) My interpretation of the show is that humanity should be more aware of what certain actions may look like to other people and how you really need to stand in someone else's shoes before you may form a certain opinion. Well that goes for some people at least, some people are just utter knobs!

The series does become really gripping as you're eager to find out everyone's secret even if it does have some nasty consequences and some really tough viewing. There were a couple of notable scenes that i really couldn't watch. It does tell a really sad story and you become really emotionally invested, not just in Hannah's story but in many character's stories. I particularly liked how it explored how her parent's were dealing with the suicide and my heart really did break for them. omg my heart when Only You started playing as well cry.gif cry.gif

It will be interesting to see what story the second series tells. I'm very unsure about it and whether it is necessary in terms of story, obviously it was always going to happen with the amount of buzz around the show.
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Jack
post Dec 22 2017, 06:18 PM
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One of my favourite shows this year, I was so emotionally invested throughout and it was SO well acted. So many heartbreaking moments in it, and it was all done so tastefully.

I don't think a second series is completely necessary but I'm really looking forward to seeing what direction they go in with it.
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Shia LeMuffQueef
post Dec 22 2017, 06:21 PM
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Can we all just agree that Doctor Who was thr tv and ratings highlight of the year, except from the light and wood house episodes?
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Klaus
post Dec 24 2017, 11:09 AM
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THE MOORSIDE



Broadcast: 7-14 February
Ratings: 10.23-9.93m
Channel: BBC One


Fresh from her appearance in Sherlock (which I'll come too later...) Sian Brooke joined Sheridan Smith and Gemma Whelan in the brilliant drama 'The Moorside' which focused on the events surrounding the disappearance of Shannon Matthews in 2008. It was a story that was all over the news as Shannon was reported missing and a huge wave of publicity followed. Thankfully, she was found but the twist to the tale was that she was found in the mother's (Karen) boyfriend's uncle's house and Karen had had involvement with the plan of the kidnap. The plan was to get money from the publicity as well as the reward money...

Anyway, the drama focused on the effect on the community both before and after the discovery. Sian and Sheridan play two neighbours who are close friends of Karen but have no awareness of her involvement. They help to organise searches and keep the publicity going for the campaign. The focus on the community within a working class council estate was really strong and it was great to see a positive message come out of a negative subject matter. It was also really interesting to see 'behind the scenes' as it were as Karen and her boyfriend give away moments of odd behaviour that suggest not all is as it seems. Gemma Whelan was absolutely brilliant as Karen and played it to the point where you really believed that it was her.

It was a really well done drama that showed the subject matter sensitively, rightly preferring a focus on the community campaign to find Shannon and the effects on the community as it is revealed that Karen had involvement. I'm sure a similar drama may be interesting that focuses on the Madeline McCann case...
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Klaus
post Dec 24 2017, 12:24 PM
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i think it should be clear that there are spoilers in every post but just highlighting it now anyway

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK



Broadcast: 9 June
Channel: Netflix


Orange Is the New Black has emerged as one of, if not the, most popular Netflix shows. This year, it experimented a bit with its fifth season which saw the entire 13 episode run focusing three days of a prison riot. The end of Season 4 saw Daya point a gun at one of the prison guards after Poussey wrongfully died and Season 5 immediately picks up from this point where Daya eventually shoots the guard, although not to kill. What emerges from this is a full-scale prison riot with the guards becoming imprisoned and the prisoners themselves dealing with the riot in different ways.

Some prisoners take advantage, making the guards into a laughing stock and enjoying the new found freedom that they have, others hide in a secret bunker until 'it all blows over'. Taystee however focuses on seeking justice for Poussey and eventually leads the negotiations with this aim in mind. I think what was interesting is that Poussey's death was an accident due to the lack of training rather than say a malicious guard.

It was an interesting experiment to focus on three days only and it was nice to see the different factions reactions to the riot and, as always, the highlights are when these factions perhaps split off and 'merge' with other ones. My favourite parts were the scenes with Taystee/Black Cindy etc as they were the ones with real impact as they were wanting real change. There was also a lot of fun this season with Angie and Leanne who were slowly emerging as two of my favourites. However, I don't like the prominence that has emerged with the skin heads, I think those characters are a bit weak so far and I think the show is slightly suffering from having too many characters.

It was another enjoyable season, perhaps not the best, but it was great to see them mixing it up, helping to inject new life. It gave a new perspective and made the finale quite sad as they were unable to achieve their demands due to Taystee holding out for justice for Poussey and seeing them lose was, whilst expected, disheartening for them. It is intriguing for where the sixth season will go as they all look destined to be split up, not sure if it will work or not!
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Liаm
post Dec 24 2017, 07:06 PM
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13 Reasons Why is so important as a TV show imo, the "it went too far" stuff doesn't wash with me as I think it's important to tackle something like this in a realistic way and show how far someone can be pushed by the seemingly little things that people say. Imo there was no point tackling it half heartedly and losing any impact and power it has. I liked that Hannah at times was unlikable too, they didn't try and be over-sentimental and overemotional, I feel that the characters were mostly portrayed in such a rounded way so your feelings changed so many times as the episodes went on. I'm not sure about the second season, the story of Hannah was the whole point and what made it so good, not necessarily the other characters and their stories, but it could be interesting if it turns out Hannah was lying or something.

Orange Is The New Black was solid this season, I agree it wasn't the best and the aspect of it going other three days does kind of drag a bit in the middle after an exciting start and before but the last episode was amazing and I think of all the cliffhangers of each season that's the one where I'm most on edge to see what happened because it totally changes everything potentially! It could go either way, it might ruin the dynamic they've got going but I feel like it might be what the show needs, we'll see ohmy.gif
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post Dec 24 2017, 08:02 PM
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QUOTE(Candlelit Snow @ Dec 22 2017, 06:21 PM) *
Can we all just agree that Doctor Who was thr tv and ratings highlight of the year, except from the light and wood house episodes?



Personally, no. Not in a year when Twin Peaks quite literally picked up the rule book, (you know the one, the one everyone's been using since David Lynch re-wrote the rules in 1989) and quite literally dropped a nuclear bomb on it. Once again redefining what a TV show can be and do.
Creatively, nothing even comes close.

And then of course there's the peerless Handmaids Tale.


I do love Doctor Who of course and welcome its inclusion. I'd also love to see comments for Taboo, Vikings, Star Trek (and the utterly delightful The Orville), Crisis On Earth X, Legion, The Sinner, Game Of Thrones (of course) and Man In The High Castle as they've all been exceptionally good too.


This post has been edited by Severin: Dec 24 2017, 08:08 PM
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Liаm
post Dec 24 2017, 08:17 PM
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EMMERDALE





Broadcast: Year round
Channel: ITV1
British Soap Awards: Best Soap, Best Actor (John Middleton as Ashley Thomas), Best Actress (Charlotte Bellamy as Laurel Thomas), Best Male Dramatic Performance (John Middleton as Ashley Thomas), Best Storyline (Ashley's dementia), Best Single Episode (Ashley's point of view episode)


Our journey through the soaps begins with the incumbent holder of the British Soap Award for Best Soap, rural drama Emmerdale!

This year has been one of much drama, with the new era of Iain MacLeod going from strength to strength. The big hitter of the first half of the year was the climax of Ashley Thomas' dementia storyline, as he passed away in April. This marked the end of a year and a half long storyline that focused not just on Ashley but the impact that his early onset dementia had on his wife Laurel (who had given birth to their daughter Dotty in September 20160, daughter Gabby, son Arthur and their friends. Most of this played out in 2016, but 2017 was just as heartbreaking as Laurel madethe decision to move Ashley to a care home as his conditioned worsened. His death episode was perhaps a bit disappointing but I think more realistic and heartbreaking which was an important way to portray it I think. He recognized Laurel for a brief second before he passed away.

Another enduring storyline of the year somewhat tied in with Ashley's plight, as the rise and fall of Emma Barton dominated much of this year. Following her murdering her husband James in 2016, which was witnessed by Ashley, Emma had threatened him and confused him so he didn't tell anyone. This was caught on camera and witnessed by Arthur, but Emma destroyed the footage and became creepily obsessed with Arthur not saying anything, which led to a fued with Laurel in which Laurel ended up looking the crazy one to the neighbours, especially after Emma slyly made it look like she slipped back into alcoholism. Emma was undoubtedly one of the best soap villains I have seen, played excellently by Brookside and Casualty star Gillian Kearney. Seeing her descend further into lunacy driven by her religion was so gripping and never too over the top imo, it felt like a very real spiral of despair after her husband's death. She was eventually inadvertently responsible for the death of her son Finn, hours before she cruelly taunted love rival Moira over the death of her daughter Holly, leading to Moira pushing her to her death in the heat of the moment. Everything about emma's trajectory in the show was amazing for me, any episode where she was centre stage was essential viewing for me and Gillian Kearney is easily one of the best actresses I have ever seen in soap. I'd be astounded if she didn't win a soap award in 2018 for this!

Other highlights of the year for me were the arrival of Faith Dingle, mother of established characters Chas and Cain, who has been a real breath of fresh air and given us the comic relief older woman character we've needed since Val died (as well as some more touching dramatic moments such as her revealing she had had a double mastectomy and we saw a more subdued and insecure side of her over her body) and the marital rape of Rhona Goskirk and resulting trial. While Gillian Kearney should have Best Actress sewn up, Zoe Henry can definitely expect a nomination or two in the coming year of awards. I've also really enjoyed the recent fling of Charity and Vanessa, it's good to see them not brushing Vanessa's feelings for women under the carpet and it's nice to see Charity in a fun little storyline, it's being done quite well in the grand scheme of soap sexuality also.

On the other end of the scale, the never ending saga of the Whites, with Lawrence's 83 near death attempts, is definitely something I could have done without. The family are competent enough characters and the characters are fairly interesting, but they seem to have been on the brink of leaving for ages now and Lachlan being a it psycho/Lawrence having poor health/Chrissie being a mess isn't going anywhere but round in circles. It doesn't help they cast Carli D'Amato from the Inbetweeners as Rebecca, and I can't take her seriously as a result laugh.gif Rebecca's main noteworthy storyline has been homewrecking the internet's beloved Robron by sleeping with Robert and eventually giving birth to his son Sebastian recently, which again was dull af and led to Robert and Aaron's umpteenth rocky patch and break-up, with both storming round the village looking surly 24/7.

Overall, this was the best soap of the year for me with huge highs and even when there isn't much going on it's a decent watch compared to other soaps which can be really dull and drag a bit for long periods.
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Klaus
post Dec 24 2017, 08:34 PM
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QUOTE(Severin @ Dec 24 2017, 08:02 PM) *
I do love Doctor Who of course and welcome its inclusion. I'd also love to see comments for Taboo, Vikings, Star Trek (and the utterly delightful The Orville), Crisis On Earth X, Legion, The Sinner, Game Of Thrones (of course) and Man In The High Castle as they've all been exceptionally good too.

Game of Thrones will be featured but unfortunately that’s the only one I’ve seen in that list so the only one I can really write about! (STILL need to watch Taboo!!)

You are more than welcome to write stuff about those shows though, just like Joseph and Liam have done! That goes for anyone!
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Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 21st January 2018 - 10:06 PM