2017 was an absolutely storming year for television and there are so many top television programmes for me to choose from for my list of highlights. However, by far, these ten gems have been the best for me personally – take a peek and see if you agree!
EastEnders ~ EastEnders has been on fire with its gripping storylines, I’ve been glued to it since Ronnie (Samantha Womack) and Roxy (Rita Simons) made their double departure. The central and long-running story featuring Max (Jake Wood) at the hub has been an interesting one to watch unfold and I have to hand it to Jake for taking the character to a whole different level. I’m so sad that Jane (Laurie Brett) left as a result of Max’s scheming, though and one of my 2018 wishes is that she returns, what’s Ian without Jane? The Christmas Day episode has to have been one of the best in EastEnders Christmas ‘duff duff’ history too.
Hollyoaks ~ Kathy Barnes (Sarah Jane Buckley) returned! I was over the moon and really feel she has a place back in the show. The Who Killed Amy Barnes storyline was by far one of my favourites, I miss Ashley Slanina-Davies who played her so brilliantly for so long, and that means there are no Barnes children left now – but the story paved the way for greatness. The involvement of the Hutchinsons and Duncan James’ epic performance as Ryan were real highlights. Sadness for me came in the shape of Frankie Osborne (Helen Pearson) who’s sudden and unexpected departure from the show left me bereft. I have a feeling Hollyoaks will continue to draw me in this year, though – the trailer looks incredible.
Coronation Street ~ Corrie has been one to watch this year, slightly marred by the (still) on-going Phelan storyline, it’s just been dragging on too long for my liking I’m afraid. Connor McIntyre is fantastic as Pat, I would like to see the finale to the storyline now though. However, there’s been plenty more going on to hold my interest. Jenny (Sally Ann Matthews) has to be one of my all-time favourite characters and she’s really found her place back in the show. Of course she’s currently set to be Spain-bound, but we’ll see if that really happens. I’ve also enjoyed the love triangle between Chesney (Sam Aston), Sinead (Katie McGlynn) and Daniel (Dominic Holmes). I can’t wait to see what happens when the long anticipated wedding finally goes ahead.
Emmerdale ~ I’ve been impressed with Moira (Natalie J Robb) and Cain (Jeff Hordley) and it looks as though I will continue to be as they’re already setting the screen alight in 2018. A small mention must go to Charlie Hardwick who made a fleeting, ghostly reappearance as Val in the Christmas Day episode – it was actually amazing to see her again even though the storyline for that day was trippy to say the least. A shout out must also go to the whole Dingle family, they surely must be getting close to giving the Sugdens a run for their money as the resident family.
Call The Midwife ~ I have a confession to make, I only started to watch Call The Midwife in 2017, I am now hooked on the show and have watched every episode I’ve missed. If I’m choosing favourites I’ll go for the Turner family – Laura Main as Shelagh is a joy and I was so delighted when they had their own baby. I love the character of Phyllis whom Linda Bassett plays and of course Cliff Parisi is a fantastic addition to any cast too.
Bancroft ~ Oh my, what can I say about this AMAZING four part ITV drama? It was absolutely breath-taking and I was on the edge of my seat waiting for Bancroft (the outstanding Sarah Parish) to be found out. A second series must surely be in the offing and what made this stand out from all of the other ‘murder’ dramas is that Sarah Parish has become such a comedy series star in recent years that to see her in a totally different character moved me beyond words. As an actress, Parish is at the top of her game and still climbing and Bancroft was exceptionally well written too.
W1A ~ One of my ultimate favourite television comedies, the script is side-splittingly observational and I only have to look at Jason Watkins’ expressions to start chuckling. It looked as though this series might be wrapping everything up with Anna (Sarah Parish) leaving for a job abroad and the amalgamation of job roles. A Christmas special would be well received (by me, at least) if this is the end – I need to know if Will (Hugh Skinner) gets the girl!
Ackley Bridge ~ Channel Four certainly had a triumph on its hands with Ackley Bridge. From cast to storylines it was packed with controversy, current issues and a script de force. I know there’s going to be a second series and there is so much that could be done with the characters that it’s no wonder they’ll be making it a longer series. Jo Joyner was particularly notable, I always enjoyed her performance in EastEnders and her role in Ackley Bridge certainly gave her something to get her teeth into. I also must mention Samantha Power who was so believable as drug addict mum, Simone – I’d love to think that she’s cleaned up her act in the second series, but maybe there’ll be a relapse? I can’t wait to see more of this amazing drama.
The A Word ~ Autism or Autistic Spectrum Disorder, I’m familiar with it because of a job I once did in my previous career with the NHS. Watching this exceptionally well crafted series was an emotional experience yet it was so watchable. Cast brilliantly with Chris Eccleston and Pooky Quesnel being two of the highlights for me with outstanding performances. It’s so refreshing to watch this being tackled, though and in such a thought provoking way. An intense series which I’m so glad I tuned into.
Bucket ~ The best comedy I’ve seen in a long time, certainly the best new comedy. Frog Stone has written a master-piece and it was cast so well with Frog and Miriam Margolyes as mother and daughter. A pairing de force in a series bound to make you laugh so hard you’ll cry. I’m also thrilled to have been introduced to another fantastic comedy writer – more please!