Trollied, Series Seven, Episode Eight ~ Review

It’s the series finale! That’s crept up on us faster than you can say Serves You Right! Do Gavin (Jason Watkins) and Cheryl (Sarah Parish) reconcile? Will Lou (Sally Phillips) find another job? Is Linda (Faye McKeever) set to get back with Nev (Dominic Coleman)? Will Lisa (Beverly Rudd) ever open her till? Read all about it here:

Eye Contact

Cheryl and Gavin were headed for splitsville last week following Gavin’s confession about his reasons for hiring Lou. However, things are looking up, quite literally as apparently she’s started making eye contact again! Will the wedding be on again?

Linda’s Lament

Linda (Faye McKeever) has started mooning after Neville again! Yes, Neville! However, Sue (Lorraine Cheshire) is quick to tell her to leave him alone. Wisely, despite her protest that her happiness should come before Nev’s, Linda tells Nev she hopes he and Meg have something special, like they did.

Best Man

Brian (Stephen Tompkinson) insists that he will be Gavin’s Best Man and has Margaret (Rita May) listen to his speech. Which is rather like an essay! Poor Brian, he’s got no insight whatsoever and he certainly isn’t going to be Gavin’s best man!

New Night Manager

There’s a new Night Manager! It’s Lou!! When Cheryl talks to the clueless soon to be ex employee she finds reasons to keep her on and also reconnects with her reasons for loving and wanting to marry Gavin. So, the wedding is back on!

Stag & Hen

Lisa and Colin (Carl Rice) are getting stuck into planning the stag and hen dos, with Katie (Chanel Cresswell) trying her best to reign it in and organise a more sedate offering. When the unwitting newly-weds-to-be arrive in the canteen for their surprise do they’re first treated to a quiz. However, the raucousness soon breaks out at the hands of Lisa and Colin and the photographic evidence is hilarious! Surely we’ll have a series eight as there’s still a wedding to come, now!

 

 

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Ackley Bridge Series One Episode Six ~ Episode Review

DNA ~ It’s Corey’s baby after all! The DNA test that Steve thought was a good idea has proven that the ‘daddy’ is the uncle after all. A shock plot twist indeed and something to be explored further in series two.

It’s all over? ~ Nasreen seems remarkably cool and collected when she casually informs Lila that it’s all over between them and she’s OK with that. Is it just me or do neither of them seem OK with it really? I want this storyline to carry over, it’s not done with in my head!

Affair Exposed ~ Sadiq’s affair with Mandy is revealed publically by his daughter! Humiliating for both parties and it’s still not boding well for Mandy and Steve in terms of a reconciliation – but then who can blame Steve? For such a small amount of screen time, this affair has caused maximum impact.

Happy Families ~ The Booths are reunited when Simone finally gets her act together despite temptation from her drug dealer. Emma and Chloe are also reconciled and it seems to be decided that Chloe will stay with her mum, quite an emotional realisation which was beautifully performed.

Summary ~ What can I say that I haven’t already said? What a series, what incredible writing and excellent casting. This ought to be in line for awards and the second series that has been commissioned is richly deserved. Ackley Bridge is filled a gap on our television screens and I hadn’t anticipated becoming as emotionally connected to the characters and plots. Every role has been created so innovatively and the choice of storylines amazed me every week. Culturally current, unpredictable, exciting and gripping telly. In fact, this felt like the Channel Four of old and we need more of this. On a side note, I’d like to see more of Lorraine, the nosey receptionist in the next series!

Ackley Bridge Cast & Information

Ackley Bridge Series One Episode Five ~ Review

The penultimate instalment of Ackley Bridge was so innovative and ground-breaking that I feel it contained some of the most poignant scenes I’ve ever seen on television. Highlights to follow, as I reminisce about the sheer brilliance of this show:

Mothers/Daughters ~ I feel I ought to comment on the mother/daughter relationships that have been so carefully crafted in this series. Whether it be Emma and Chloe, Kaneez and Nas or Simone and Missy. We also saw the broken down relationship between Nana and Simone as well as Nana’s place as surrogate mum to Missy and Hayley. Ooh who misses Nana? I really haven’t gotten over her death yet! The point is though, that each mother/daughter pairing has been constructed to perfection.

Revelations ~ Nas seemed hell bent on following through with an arranged marriage, which was not something her mum, Kaneez felt was right for her and caused a ruckus in itself. However, cracking under the pressure and feeling that her mum might be open to the news, Nas finally revealed that she’s a Lesbian. The news was not received well… initially….

Daughter behaving badly ~ Chloe steps up to read as Juliet in her mum, Emma’s English literature lesson. However, possibly feeling pushed to one side by her mum (that’s how it’s coming across to me…) Chloe uses the opportunity to play the role as Missy and to effectively pull her fellow student to pieces in front of the class. Although her behaviour wasn’t tolerated and she was disciplined appropriately, I can see why Chloe might feel that her nose has been pushed out as her mum does appear to take more interest in the Booth sisters. Attention seeking? I should say so!

Nas & Kaneez ~ With the news that her daughter is gay resonating, Kaneez takes it upon herself to delve deeper and seeks out a café where she comes to terms with her daughter’s honesty. She follows this up with a trip to the local ice rink which culminates in Kaneez introducing Nas to a homosexual Asian man. Genius!

Missy & Simone ~ Missy discovers that there is a way to reunite her with her sister, but it involves Simone’s co-operation. A trip to their mum’s hide-out meets with a fairly predictable response as Simone is not at her best! It seems a hopeless business and Missy gives up easily. What she doesn’t bank on is her mum showing up at home ready to make peace. What a final scene, I was in tears – beautiful acting from this pair, excellent casting!

Ackley Bridge Cast & Information

Ackley Bridge, Series One Episode Four ~ Episode Review

Ackley Bridge ~ what can I say? It packed a punch this week and no mistake. Oh, and it’s getting a second series which is set to be longer! I’m so excited – here are my highlights from this week:

Death ~ I was not prepared for the death of Missy and Hayley’s Nana, it was so wholly unexpected that I still feel sad about it now! Not least because I will miss Rita May who played her! The aftermath was played out exceptionally well and the scene with the girls’ mother Simone was a masterclass de force. Watching Missy trying to handle the funeral without a penny to her name or help from her useless mother was heart-breaking. thanks heavens for Emma, stepping in – she seems fonder of the Booth girls than of her own daughter though, don’t you think?

Social Services ~ The situation that Missy and Hayley find themselves in means that it’s Mandy’s duty to contact social services and the sisters are separated. Missy takes it on the chin, as much as you might expect. However, again, I find myself wondering if Emma will play a part in this and possibly be able to help out, this reuniting the girls? Her extra ‘gift’ of paying the extra money to get Nana’s ashes to Missy was quite something.

Love ~ Nas is still pining after Lila as their will they/won’t they relationship continues and it’s not long before Lila has come out to her colleague and Mandy is calling her in to discuss the implications. Is the relationship doomed to fail? It seems so, especially after Lila asks Nas not to text her again.

Adultery ~ Quite surprisingly, Mandy comes clean to Steve about her one night stand with Sadiq, just as they’re about to travel home after Mandy’s traumatic meeting with social services. It doesn’t look good…

Lorraine ~ I have to mention Lorrain Cheshire as Lorraine Bird, the receptionist – again! She literally has a small amount of screen time and yet she optimises it brilliantly. Who else wants to find out more about Lorraine? Show of hands, please!

Ackley Bridge Cast & Information

Ackley Bridge – Series One Episode Three

Ackley Bridge, well well well! What an amazing episode which covered so much and crosses boundaries that other dramas haven’t dared to cross. I love this series and can’t speak more highly of it! Let’s look at the highlights, even though the entire episode was one big highlight…

Nas ~ what a terrific character, her ethnic background and the fact that she’s homosexual make her a complex girl if ever there was one. A brave move, as I’ve said before – but this episode sees her explore her sexuality further as she pushes the teacher she is in love with to the brink and their past history emerges too. More to come from this given the finale of the episode.

Mandy & Sadiq ~ So Mandy and Sadiq have been up to naughties and they’re both having the same idea, there will be no repeat. Although is this really the end of it? I fear not, sexual tension ahoy! However, Sadiq’s son is on to them…

Your Disco Needs You! ~ Brilliant scenes with Missy and Nas hitting the night club and boogeying to the Kylie hit Your Disco Needs You! Missy was in her element and Nas had a better time outside! An inspired plot which the girls played out fantastically.

Karaoke ~ I have to mention the character of Lorraine on karaoke singing Baggy Trousers. It was hilarious and too funny – well done to Lorraine Cheshire, you make the most of your role and Lorraine is a great character thanks to you.

Second Series Please!! ~ I’m already anticipating a second series, please Channel Four? Can we have some more? A show like this could run and run, like Waterloo Road.

Ackley Bridge Cast & Information

Ackley Bridge – Series One Episode Two

Episode two of Ackley Bridge bounded onto our screens on Wednesday night and it was another cracking episode. The scripts are intricate and current, the characters are all fascinating and you never know what they’re going to throw in the pot next. One thing’s for sure, that hour isn’t boring and the shocks, twists and turns keep on pounding. Here are a few highlights…

Nasreen ~ Nasreen has taken to wearing a hajib in a bid to shun Missy – her mum waves it off as nonsense and the feud between the pals doesn’t even last an entire episode. However, I wasn’t expecting Nasreen to come out as gay. What a fantastic storyline to tackle though, and I feel sure that this will be handled brilliantly.

Jordan’s the daddy ~ Jordan is on the run from ‘heavies’ and he is also being pursued by the mother of his child, or so we are led to believe. He is literally left holding the baby and it’s up to Steve to help him out. We also got a glimpse of Jordan’s relationship with his father, which is surely going to be a recurring plot.

Steve’s past ~ Just happening to have a child’s car seat in his car is not what I expected from Steve when he lent a hand to Jordan. A much better option than the holdall that Jordan has his baby secreted in and also much more legal than breaking into a car to steal one! So, we now know that Steve must have a child somewhere.

Missy’s on a mission ~ When Nana is reaching for her inhaler because £80 worth of bingo winnings has gone missing, Missy and Nasreen reunite to find Missy’s mum who is suspected of thieving the cash to find her habits. Heading straight to a dodgy set-up, they easily find the culprit and thanks to Nasreen’s quick thinking, have it away on their toes with a wallet.

Mandy & Sadiq ~ The rumours about Mandy and Sadiq were planted in episode one, but this episode sees the pair in a clinch! There may be trouble ahead…

For information on the episode, the show and the cast: Ackley Bridge

Ackley Bridge – Series One Episode One

Ackley Bridge looks set to be the edgier version of Grange Hill meets Waterloo Road meets Shameless! Just what Channel Four needed, with characters who have been perfectly cast and gritty plotlines that don’t shy away from the truth – bring it on say I. Here are a few highlights from what I feel is going to become one of my favourite television shows!

Alcohol & Drugs ~ dealing with underage drinking from the off and then countering it with the drugs problem that one of the mums has is a hard-hitting message. It’s also an early direct link to the reasons why at least one of the pupils (mis)behaves and is repeating a year. Simone and Missy Booth are the two in question and they are played brilliantly by Samantha Power and Poppy Lee Friar. I’m already looking forward to watching this play out. It’s painful to watch yet spectacularly current and truthful. A storyline that has been established from the start and no doubt will become a running theme.

Mixed Race & Culture ~ the merger of the two school to form Ackley Bridge Academy has brought races and cultures together. The new mix lays down the gauntlet for racial differences and as was demonstrated in this episode, shows the hand of friendship being (reluctantly) held out only to be rejected. An interesting take on what continues to be an on-going issue in this country. I suspect that the potential plots won’t back away from being close to the knuckle either.

Naughty Teacher! – straight away one of the teachers is introduced as a wayward one! Liz White as Emma Keane shows us a down to earth, free spirited educator who bends the rules and locks horns with the new head teacher. She also has an eye for the men and a disturbed, social media-happy daughter. There is so much scope with this situation, I’m rubbing my hands together with glee!!

Jo Joyner – Tanya from EastEnders we may recognise her for, or I certainly do – but she’s putting her stamp on a new and strong character with many layers. I’m going to enjoy watching her take us on Mandy’s journey as head teacher and of course, let’s see if she really is having an affair…

Lorraine Cheshire – Lorraine has to have her own mention, Patron of this website and a lovely lady – Lorraine never fails to impress me as an actor. I’m delighted to see her playing the disapproving Lorraine, she’s just the right person to portray the character who has to deal with the pesky kids. It’s also great to see Rita May (who stars in Trollied with Lorraine) starring as Nana Booth, nobody does comedy nans quite like Rita. Amazing casting choices.

Trollied Episode Seven, Series Six ~ Episode Review

A festive treat came in the form of the final episode of this series of Trollied, and it was an utter joy from start to finish. If I wasn’t feeling Christmassy already, I am now.

From the birth of a baby presided over by Dr Brian (Stephen Tompkinson) and viewed with disgust by Lisa (Beverley Rudd) and Colin (Carl Rice) while they each drink a can of lager and request a photograph of the ‘business end’. To the mutual wool pulling that Cheryl (Sarah Parish) and Gavin (Jason Watkins) are plotting against each other in a bid to surprise the other with a romantic proposal. To the fact that the store has run out of Baileys!!! How very dare they?

Is it the end for Neville (Dominic Coleman) and his relationship with Linda (Faye McKeever)?

The birth comes at a fortuitous moment for Dr Brian as he has been attempting to out-do his ‘rival’, the new Pharmacist. The safe delivery of the customer’s baby is what he sees as a triumph and he declares that he wants to leave his radio job behind him and return to Margaret’s (Rita May) side. Margaret is only too happy to ‘re-create’ the vacancy for Pharmacist as she cunningly mixes up the prescriptions of two customers which results in the new Pharmacist getting the boot. Naughty Margaret! At least we get the dream team back together again, though. Witnessing the birth of the unexpected arrival deters Colin and Lisa from making a baby of their own, for a start off, Lisa hadn’t realised it hurt when you gave birth…!

There’s also the continuation of the will they/won’t they plot between Katie (Chanel Cresswell) and Daniel (Samuel Anderson), I am happy to confirm that they do! Although I think it fair to say that we’ve all seen this coming from the beginning. The twists that have popped up along the way, not least the arrival of Holly (Georgia May Foote) in unwitting Daniel’s life, have all made it a fun and bumpy journey. However, as regular viewers will know, Valco founded relationships do not tend to go well for Katie, so should a series seven be on the horizon – I feel sure we won’t be treated to a happy ever after for this pair. Certainly not in the way that Mr Strong and Ms Fairweather’s romance has bloomed, anyway.

I loved that both Gavin and Cheryl wore the same outfit as one another to propose in, it also fitted brilliantly to have Cheryl propose to Gavin. She does wear the trousers, regardless of Gavin protestations and attempts to prove to the contrary. So, Sarah Parish might get her big while Valco wedding, yet! To have Neville (Dominic Coleman) spontaneously propose to Linda (Faye McKeever) only to be rejected as quickly as the proposal comes out of his mouth was quite hilarious. However, does this spell the end for them? Then there’s one more announcement to contend with, Lisa’s pregnant! She has been misreading the pregnancy tests and according to Sue’s (Lorraine Cheshire) calculations, is in fact four months pregnant. With so much to look forward to from the team at the supermarket we’ve all taken to our hearts, surely Sky One can provide us with more next year? Please!

 

Trollied Episode Six, Series Six ~ Episode Review

Gavin’s (Jason Watkins) healthy eating campaign has fallen decidedly flat and is affecting Valco’s sales figures, in the first of this week’s instalments. Cheryl (Sarah Parish)  doesn’t know how to tell him and Duncan (Rufus Hound) is still lurking around and being generally obnoxious, ready to pray on the fact that Gavin’s scheme has failed.

Colin (Carl Rice) is actually tired of sex, since he and Lisa (Beverley Rudd) started to try for a baby she has been wearing out the lazy butcher and he chooses Gavin to confide in, while Gavin is eating his breakfast… I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. The other hilarious storyline featured this episode involves Neville (Dominic Coleman) and Linda (Faye McKeever), Neville is teaching Linda to drive, with disastrous consequences. Sue (Lorraine Cheshire) actually starts to side with Neville having been in his shoes before and put her life into Linda’s hands as she took the wheel. It shows an interesting dynamic to the relationship of Linda and Sue, it’s so unusual for Sue to be on Neville’s side, however when Sue’s car is pranged during another of Linda’s lessons – Neville gets the blame. Normal services resumes. We also got two fantastic one-liners from Sue, “bell end” and “knob end”, two simple phrases that absolutely creased me up, demonstrating how Cheshire’s comic timing brilliantly.

trollied_0606
“and there’s your sausages” Valcos best Butchers, Colin (Carl Rice) and Neville (Dominic Coleman)

Meanwhile, Duncan is starting to spread vicious rumours that the store is set to close and jobs will be lost due to Gavin’s healthy eating debacle. We see Margaret (Rita May) worrying about cancelling a holiday that she has not insurance for and isn’t actually going on(!) and Colin showing more concern for the fact that Duncan has claimed that Gavin sits down to go for a wee! Plus what would become of Neville? He can’t go back to the RSPCA if he’s out of a job (it’s the YMCA but Margaret has a different take on it, as usual!).

As Cheryl considers signing on the dotted line to allow a new energy drink from Duncan’s company to be sold in store, the future looks bleak for Ms Fairweather and her Gaveroo…

All of the cast, including some of the newer additions all play their roles so brilliantly and naturally that I find myself forgetting about the actors behind them. Surely that is the mark of an all-round epic comedy series.

 

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