Thursday, 20 December 2012

Why I love Emmerdale

Okay, from the title of this blog post I’m giving away my not-so guilty pleasure.

Emmerdale Farm.

I’m pretending not to know anything about the dropping of the ‘farm’ part and it’s re-launch simply as ‘Emmerdale’ a few years ago.

Was I convincing?

Anyway I’ve long been a part-time watcher of the soap set in Yorkshire.  And I guess that’s one of the reasons why I am a fan.

I love Yorkshire.

It’s perhaps the place I am most comfortable in, and suited to.

The county of straightforwardness.

Not that anything scripted in Emmerdale is particularly ever straight-forward, wouldn’t make for much of a TV drama if it was, but strands of its recent storylines have really got me interested.

Not the main one, of who is Cameron going to kill at Christmas? (which I reckon will be the new temporary vet BTW) But the plot lines surrounding the care of one of the newest arrivals to the cast.

During the recent Emmerdale Live episode there were two births.  One of which saw Gennie and Nikhil become parents for the first time.

Nikhil had been portrayed as a neurotic expectant father, and I feared them going down the lines of playing with his obsessive nature, and penchant for cleanliness and being overprotective.

But no, they’ve gone down the lines of challenging the often perceived traditional norm of providing childcare.  That being the dad merrily goes off to work, while mum stays at home and looks after the baby.  No questions asked.

For Gennie she has found that being at home all day with her child is a bore, whereas Nikhil sees his role as father as all important, exciting, and that work is a clear distant thought to that of taking care of his daughter (I think they had a girl).

They have handled the storyline brilliantly thus far, I reckon.  In that they are portraying both characters positively.  As in there’s nothing wrong in admitting to either situation.

That its okay for you to enjoy your work, and are a better parent for doing so, or that you find the end of a baby’s bottle fulfilling enough on its own.  Regardless of dangly bits.

I think Emmerdale are doing their not insignificant bit of getting viewers to think a little more about gender specific stereotyping when it comes to parenthood.

Some of the other characters reactions to the decisions that this new family have taken have been good too.  And no, not in as they’ve all been supportive, more realistically they’ve reacted with dismay when they’ve been told how Gennie planned to return to work, and as a result, Nikhil has decided to spend more time looking after his daughter (I really hope they had a girl).

So far so good in the soap, as these characters are proving their doubters wrong, and challenging stereotyping at the same time.

I sincerely hope they don't turn Nikhil into a hapless dad.  Doesn't look like they will.  They even had him filling in a spreadsheet of his babies intake and, errr, output.  How I love a good spreadsheet.

It warmed me too that Cain, a doting-granddad-come-previous-murderous-hell-raiser, is often left to look after his infant grandson without much more than an eyebrow being raised.

In fact, when another character recently asked him if he’d be ‘okay’ looking after grandson, he replied with passive aggressive sarcasm to make them look a little daft.

Which is why I’ll be watching Emmerdale tonight.

And it’s Thursday so we get a double-helping.

Not that I know the schedule or owt.