Monday 15 July
Now we know Ryan Hawley is set to leave Emmerdale (7.00pm ITV), it’s hard to resist the urge to spot Robert Sugden’s exit plotline. Surely, it’ll have to be tied to Robert’s vendetta against Victoria’s rapist Lee? I’m thinking he’ll eventually get sent down after bumping Lee off. But tonight, he’s merely trying to honey-trap him, using a cash-strapped Dawn as bait. No doubt matters will escalate in the months ahead…
Have you ever noticed how virtually all the members of the Donovan family have now turned up in Neighbours (1.45pm, 5.30pm Channel 5)? First, we had Jason Donovan as Scott Robinson, then his real-life dad Terence played Doug Willis, followed by Jason’s half-sister Stephanie McIntosh as Sky Mangel. Now, Jason’s daughter Jemma has found her way to Ramsay Street to play Harlow Robinson, the long-lost granddaughter of show stalwart Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis). I’m sure they all got their jobs purely on acting merits, so well done them.
Tuesday 16 July
The plotlines on Holby City (8.00pm BBC1) are now so repetitive that even the characters are noticing. “This is starting to feel really similar,” says Dom, talking to Chloe about her borderline-psychopathic husband and co-worker Evan. Dom, of course, has experience in such matters, having been recently abused by Isaac, so he can spot the warning signs where Evan’s concerned.
But surely Dom should be taking this to the HR department? After all, it seems that the hospital would give any maniac a job. I bet if you looked back at the employment records, you’d find that Charles Manson had a stint as a porter in the early 1960s… As for the current state of affairs, I’m wondering how long Evan will get away with going nose-to-nose with staff in busy corridors and saying things like, “I will ruin your life” or “Don’t cross me” or “Do you remember that storyline with Marc Elliott a fortnight ago? This is exactly the same…”
Wednesday 17 July
The other week on Coronation Street (7.30pm, 8.30pm ITV), we got that image of Gary (Mikey North) leaning back in the chair at Rick’s desk, having taken on the gangster’s loan-shark duties. I think Corrie was trying to channel The Godfather, with Gary in the Al Pacino role, wrestling with the lure of crime. Well, I’m afraid Gary’s set to turn from Michael Corleone into Michael Crawford as his life falls apart Frank Spencer-style in the space of a day. Will he crack under the pressure and confess his part in the factory roof collapse?
Speaking of Underworld, the writers have finally found a new plot for the staff. After years of seeing the machinists doing the same old storylines (there are too many orders, there aren’t enough orders, they’re going out on strike, someone’s stolen the petty cash etc), we’re now witnessing them deal with the struggles of being a cooperative. Tonight, the share certificates arrive, but divisions among the workers emerge…
Thursday 18 July
Don’t think I haven’t noticed the lengths EastEnders (7.30pm BBC1) is going to to conceal the pregnancy of Lacey Turner. Let me tell you, we’re now way beyond oversized handbags. It’s July, it’s hot, but Stacey is still wearing that thick red overcoat. And when she’s not in that, she’s flouncing around in a black cape that’s bigger than Batman’s. She’s also falling out with everybody (Kush, Kat, Mo etc), presumably to give her a legitimate reason to quit the Square before Turner’s waters break.
There’s a harsh reality check coming our way on Hollyoaks (6.30pm C4) where Tony (Nick Pickard) is set to become a granddad. Since when did that floppy-haired 19-year-old from the very first episode become old enough to have grandchildren? And if you want to feel absolutely ancient, stick around until the autumn when Joe McGann turns up to play Tony’s dad Edward. Yes, the one-time heartthrob from The Upper Hand is now playing great-grandfather roles.
Friday 19 July
Who is Ali on Coronation Street (7.30, 8.30pm ITV)? Yes, I know the basics: he’s Michelle’s biological son and only ever seems to have relationships with Connor women to whom he’s vaguely related (he’s a Connor Connoisseur, or a Connor-Sir, maybe?). But despite being back on the show for over a year, his actual personality remains a complete mystery. These days, he’s cast as a romantic lead as he charms his way into Maria’s affections. But what happened to all that business about him killing gangster Ronan Truman last October? As far as I can remember, he had PTSD for about two episodes before the entire plotline was abandoned.
Perhaps Corrie is playing the long game and this dark side will resurface should the romance with Maria become long-term. But I’ve a sneaking suspicion that the writers have just changed their minds about who they want the character to be and are hoping we’ll forget that nascent streak of villainy.