Monday 22 July
Have you noticed that the characters on Emmerdale (7pm, ITV) keep on having the same conversations over and over again? Tonight, for instance, we get Nate encouraging Amy to seek custody of Kyle after he spots another frosty exchange between Cain and Moira. But I swear I’ve seen this scenario play out a number of times over the past couple of weeks.
My theory is that the second episode ITV recently added to Tuesdays has resulted in a lot more padding to fill the show’s allotted screen time. Seven instalments a week is just too much: it seems writers are struggling to come up with enough plot and I fear the end result will be viewers skipping episodes because they perceive them as being disposable. Much as I love the soaps, I do wish ITV would take a chance on, say, a new sitcom rather than just plugging schedule gaps with more Emmerdale. You can have too much of a good thing, you know.
Tuesday 23 July
Some careers lend themselves to maverick individuals, particularly on television. You don’t get many unorthodox chartered accountants, for instance. Or cleaners. But when it comes to TV doctors, the Hippocratic oath isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
For a while, I’d been thinking that the twist with recent arrival Kian in Holby City (8.00pm, BBC1) would be that, despite his stubble and swagger, he’d turn out to be someone who adhered to the rules. But nope, as is revealed tonight, he’s your classic charismatic nonconformist. In fact, he probably sleeps with a photo of ER’s Doug Ross beside his bed. He just won’t take no for an answer tonight after being told the surgery he has lined up isn’t essential. Instead, he does it anyway, roping in a starry-eyed Nicky McKendrick as a co-conspirator. In the real world, such a surgeon would be out on his ear, but you’ll have to wait and see whether Kian can charm his way out of trouble.
Wednesday 24 July
The ambulance bay at Holby just hasn’t been the same since paramedic Dixie left in 2016, but Casualty’s loss proves to be Coronation Street’s (7.30pm, 8.30pm, ITV) gain as Jane Hazlegrove joins the cast to play Gemma and Paul’s mother Bernie. On first appearances, she seems to be in the Cilla Battersby-Brown errant mum mould, with a dash of Jackie Dobbs thrown in for good measure. As you’ll discover, Bernie has a strained relationship with her children, having let them both down on numerous occasions. It seems that exasperation will be the watchword from the off — by Friday, an embarrassed Chesney will catch Bernie stark naked in the kitchen.
Talking of fleshy parts on display, we also have Kirk asking Aggie from the pharmacy for advice about a rash on his bottom. Can you imagine this being pitched in the writers’ story conference? I’m surprised I didn’t get a press release saying that Corrie is working very closely with the makers of E45 Cream on this emotional plotline.
Thursday 25 July
Max on EastEnders (7.30pm, BBC1) is doing what he does best: ie being a dirty old perv and having affairs with women half his age. First, there was Stacey, then it was Lucy, now we have Ruby succumbing to his “charms”. Well, I suppose it distracts us from ‘Enders never having really managed to rehabilitate Max after that Weyland debacle, when he basically abandoned Jane Beale in a burning building.
There’s never a shortage of people who have it in for Paul Robinson on Neighbours (1.45, 5.30pm, Channel 5). At one point, back in the dim and distant past, he built up so many enemies that the show came up with a “Who Pushed PR?” mystery, which saw him chucked from the Lassiter’s mezzanine. Well, guess what? Paul is being targeted again, though in a slightly less imaginative way. What you’ll see is him receiving a kicking from a shadowy assailant, but who is putting the boot in? The writers want you to think it’s Gary, but my money’s on Kyle.
Friday 26 July
Gimlet-eyed Coronation Street (7.30pm, 8.30pm, ITV) fans will have clocked Kevin’s keys being swiped by a passer-by the other day. Now, the consequences of the pickpocketing become apparent, when the culprit lets himself into number 13. Before you ask, the thief isn’t after Kev’s purple bomber jacket, even though it’s one of TV’s most recognisable coats and should really be displayed in a museum alongside Columbo’s mac and Bianca Jackson’s silver puffa. No, what the housebreaker is after are legal papers belonging to Paula. But what the villain hasn’t counted on is Abi taking him down before he can leg it with the documents.
Keegan on EastEnders (8.00pm, BBC1) announces that Gray’s success has inspired him to quit school. Deciding that he needs to address this, dad Mitch, in a style atypical to Walford, calmly and eloquently makes his case to Gray. Only kidding. They actually end up going at it like they’re trying out for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.