Why You Should Be Watching Canada’s “This Life”: SOAPS

In the emotional drama, Kristopher Turner plays Oliver, the estranged gay brother of a single mom with a year to live. (Get the tissues ready.)


A Place To Call Home (Australia)

They’re just going to drag this out until next week’s season finale, aren’t they? For the past few weeks we’ve gotten just dribs and drabs of the James/Henry storyline. Even here, a dream about Henry that prompted James to dash off to Sydney, didn’t offer much.

This week is the last episode until 2016, so I have the feeling whatever happens between these boys is not going to end well.

As for the rest of the show, the scenes surrounding Rene’s funeral were nicely done. I don’t know how accurate they were in terms of the Jewish faith, but they were beautiful. I’m so glad Anna finally left Gino (for now). I was even happier Anna snatched the satchel with her novel away from him before she left.

Is George going to have two women carrying his baby? Given that Regina drugged George and had sex with him, we predict she’s either pregnant or will claim she is. Guess we’ll find out next week.

Cuffs (U.K.)

There must be more to Jake and Simon’s relationship than what we’ve seen on screen, because Jake moving into Simon’s place—even temporarily—denotes a deeper connection that what’s aired to date. Hopefully, we’ll see more of it—though with only a couple of scenes between them each week, that’ll be hard.

Then again, we get more of Jake’s love life than anyone else’s since the main focus on Cuffs is the squad’s professional lives.


Speak of love lives, now that Jake knows about his father’s affair, how will he react when he finds out who it was with?

Side note: I also thought it was curious that Felix was delivering a soliloquy on how unfair life is to the witness when he knows the guy can’t understand a word he says.

Emmerdale (U.K.)

Me thinks Aaron doth protest too much.

He didn’t have to track Robert down just to tell him how much hates him. So, of course they’ll get back together. I mean, when your lover kidnaps and tries to kill you, it’s destiny, right?

Hollyoaks (U.K.)

The secret of Pete sexually abusing Cleo is finally out. I always found it hard to believe the basis for this story—that no one believed Porsche when she claimed Pete abused her—but that’s the only way he could continue having sex with Cleo, I guess.


The fallout scenes were well-acted: it was scary (but realistic) how Cleo truly believed she was in legitimate relationship with a man twice her age. A PSA at the end of the episode would have been stronger if James Sutton (John Paul) and Jorgie Porter (Theresa) stepped out of character.

Holby City (U.K.)

I’m sorry, but Lee is one of the hottest cancer patients I’ve ever seen. And I liked the little culture clash he and Dom had going on—until Dom admitted he had feelings for him.

That scene where Lee told Dom his family knew he was in the hospital but hadn’t come to see him was heartbreaking—though it was balanced by Dom deciding to leave the flirty guy in the bar to hang out with Lee.


I do hope this is going somewhere. Dom hasn’t had a long-term boyfriend since Kyle, and Lee could be very good for him. And, yes, it would give me us something pretty to look at.

How To Get Away With Murder (U.S.)

Uhh, WTF was that?

HTGAWM has always been a bit OTT, but Annalese screaming for someone to shoot her so they can frame Catherine for murder had me outright laughing. Sorry, but not even the fabulous Viola Davis could pull off that ridiculous moment.


When we saw Annalese reacting to the phone calls, looking devastated as the camera swirled around her, was a powerful moment. But that “Shoot me! Shoot me!”? I hope the show gets back on track quickly.


I also hope it can recover from the increasingly convoluted story lines—the murders, attempted murders, frameups, plots twists upon plot twists, and secrets upon secrets are dizzying—and increasingly implausible.

Also, when is someone who commits a heinous crime actually going to pay for it? That’s always been a problem with HTGAWM and it’s even more so this season.


Unfortunately, it’s only going to get worse with the reveal that Annalese and Eve were somehow involved in death of Wes’s mother—oh, and that Wes shot Annalese. And let’s not forget that Asher is now a killer, too.

At this point, the series has written itself into a corner. I don’t know how the writers can get it out of there without being more ridiculous, but I’ll watch them try.


The best moment for me was that despite the fact that they’ve known and have worked with Asher for over a year, none of the students had his number. Don’t we all have people like that in our lives?

London Spy (U.K.)

I thought last week’s London Spy might pick up the pace a bit, but if anything it went even slower. That’s not a bad thing, really, because the show remained utterly compelling as the intrigue and emotional complexity grew. Danny’s trip to see Alex’s parents, which could have lead to his death, was riveting. Especially with Charlotte Rampling as Alex’s (real) mother, Frances!


And I loved the scene where Frances portrayed her son as an uncaring deviant, only for Danny to tell her—in pretty graphic detail—how he knew Alex was a virgin.


There were some truly heartbreaking moments, as well—like when Danny was fumbling with his tie and we flashed back to Alex tying one for him. Later Danny cried in Alex’s childhood bed,

Wouldn’t you be a weepy, tormented mess, too, trying to remain connected to the partner who suddenly vanished from your life?


But Danny might be losing his grip, judging by the wall covered with clippings and clues about Alex’s fate. (Just a wee bit obsessive, no?)

London Spy started off haunting and romantic and has only become moreso. I can’t wait to see where Episode Three takes us.

Nashville (U.S.)

All this bonding between Avery and Will? It’s nice, but all I can think about would be the drama that would ensue if they had an affair.

Avery would eventually go back to his wife, with the guys admitting it they were both just lonely and on the rebound, but it could be a very interesting (and hot!) turn of events.

I’m sure all the Nashville shippers have it all plotted out already.

I did like Will’s song—I just wish we could have heard Will sing it, rather than Avery. And I hope Will calls that publisher and it’s the start of a new story arc for him.

This Life (Canada)
Sometimes I don’t find a show until it’s been on for a while, so I missed the first five weeks of This Life, a Canadian series about a woman who finds out she only has a year to live.

This Life premiered on the CBC in October, with Torri Higginson playing Natalie Lawson, a single mother who’s been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Kristopher Turner plays Oliver, Natalie’s gay brother, who has comes back home from L.A. when he hears about her illness.

It’s a heavy series, not just with Natalie trying to prepare her kids for the future as she contemplates her lack of one, but in Oliver’s story as well.

His estrangement from his parents is a story we’ve seen so many times before, but I do like the twist here: Rather than the parents being the heavies, we see it was Oliver who pushed them away.

I’m really not sure how Oliver’s storyline will resolve in the show’s few remaining episodes, but I’m curious to find out.


A Place To Call Home: As the season comes to a close, James goes off to Sydney to be with Henry, but will Olivia let go of her husband?


Cuffs: Jake and Ryan finally bond after they capture an elusive criminal, but their euphoria is tempered when Jake learns a tough lesson about being a cop. And will moving in together ruin Simon and Jake’s relationship?


Days of Our Lives: Paul is still on this show? And here I thought Salem had been totally de-gayed. Oh well, I’m sure it’s just a random appearance that will amount to nothing. (Unless you’re interested in Daddy John’s quest to uncover his past—Paul does some detective work and unearths an important clue. Who says models don’t have real skills?)


Emmerdale: Still unaware she’s actually stalking herself, sleepwalker Chas is increasingly worried with Emma back in town. When Chas wakes up with a knife in her bed (that she got herself, remember), she’s certain Emma is the culprit.

Cain and Aaron even watch Emma’s house to make sure she doesn’t leave.

That night, Chas wakes up and sees someone lurking in the dark. So of course she lashes out with that knife—only to realize she’s stabbed Diane!


Chas calls Aaron and Cain, who come over to help Diane and call the police. Though they know what Chas has done, they pretend the stalker is to blame and Diane is rushed to the hospital. How long can they hide the truth? Especially when Robert and Andy vow to take revenge against Diane’s attacker.


Elsewhere, Lawrence suggest he and Bernice consider an open marriage. Will she accept?


Holby City: After Lee gets some good news about his health, he and Dom share an intimate moment and Dom is left wondering if he’s just a grateful patient or if there’s something more between them.

This Life: Oliver deals with the messy fallout from his on-night stand with the therapist. But that takes a backseat to being served with papers by Tom’s son, Dylan, who wants the money Tom left Oliver in his will.

Oliver doesn’t want to deal with the situation, and even decides to let Dylan have the money, but Maggie encourages him to fight for what’s rightfully his.


Cuffs: Jake is disturbed when he sees a dark side to Ryan.


Emmerdale: Aaron works to figure out who really shot Robert, which has Robert in a panic.

Days of Our Lives: Paul gets an exciting job opportunity.

Holby City: Lee is leaving the hospital, but not before asking Dom out for a date.


Hollyoaks: John Paul learns Sally’s secret, while Harry is jealous when he sees John Paul and Ste getting close again.

River City: Patrick takes Drew under his wing and learns how troubled the teenager truly is.

This Life: Oliver goes back to L.A. to deal with the loose ends of his life with Tom.

That’s it for this edition of Langford On Soaps. See you next week!