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5 TELLY TALKING POINTS: Limitless Win, Stranger Things, The Traitors and more

Here's what's got me talking this week...



Now, before you scroll down, yes, I have included The Traitors twice on this week's list, but with good reason and that's because this second series, which had A LOT to live up to, is delivering Reality TV gold night after night and we're already halfway through the game.


If you haven't caught up with The Traitors yet - seriously, why not?! - then please note that there are some slight spoilers ahead so stop reading this and get to BBC iPlayer immediately.


So what has got me talking this week? Well, there was Paul's waterworks at the Round Table, Diane's potentially fateful love of fizzy rosé and Rosie Jones' wonderful performance on Call the Midwife which moved me to tears. And that's not all, because this week Netflix confirmed that production has started on the final season of Stranger Things.


Here are my 5 telly talking points of the week...


1. "I did it! I got it right!"

Rosie Jones' wonderful performance in Call the Midwife



Rosie Jones is not only a brilliant comedian but as she's previously proved in shows such as Casualty, Doctors and Silent Witness, a brilliant actor as well. So when I saw that she'd be starring in the series 13 opener of BBC One's hit Sunday night drama Call the Midwife, I already knew I'd be in for a treat.


With the series now set in 1969, Rosie Jones played Doreen Challis, a young woman with cerebral palsy whose mother Ada, is furious when it's confirmed that she's pregnant and due much sooner than she first thought. Not only is her mother furious at the baby's father, piano tuner Graham whom Doreen met at Music Club, but also at her sister Anne, who helped conceal the pregnancy.


In some heartbreaking mother-and-daughter scenes as Doreen breaks the news that she's pregnant, Ada tells her "You're not well, Doreen. You were born not well. You need looking after, not... molesting." Causing Doreen to shout back "Graham did not molest me. He loved me. And he loves me now."


As Ada goes out the back to meet with Graham she immediately starts slapping him, accusing him of "destroying" her daughter, but when Graham vows to go nowhere and Doreen overhears their argument, it's clear that Ada's in the wrong.


As concerns grow for Doreen, Sister Julienne meets her for the first time and is told "I am the way I am because of lack of oxygen at birth." and when asked where she was born, she responds with "Neptune Street". But as Dr. Turner describes Neptune Street as "a rough old place" suggesting that nobody "got the best of care there.", Sister Julienne wants to find out more about what happened.


Later, Sister Bernadette reveals to Sister Julienne hat Doreen suffered a tough birth, which led to a broken clavicle, and 14 months later was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. And it was Sister Julienne who delivered her.


Blaming herself for the injury, Sister Juliette says she has no memory of it and together with Sister Bernadette they pay Ada a visit to apologise.


With Ada, Sister Bernadette, Sister Julienne, Graham and Anne all in the room, Rosie Jones delivers an incredibly beautiful, moving and heartfelt speech about not wanting anyone to her "as something broken, because I'm not. I break things. Sometimes cups. Sometimes promises. And now I break people's ideas of what a girl like me can do, or have, or be."


It was lovely to Sister Julienne by Doreen's side when she went into labour and it was after she Doreen had given birth to a beautiful baby boy that Rosie's performance truly brought a tear - OK, tears - to my eyes as she said "I did it! I got it right!"


Rosie's ability to deliver such a heartfelt, dramatic performance, when she's best-known for being an excellent comedian is a testament to her talents. I'd have happily watched more of Doreen and would love to see the character return at some point in the future. When we talk about representation on television and why it matters, there's no better example of that than this storyline in Call the Midwife. And for an 8pm drama on BBC One to be able to achieve this so sensitively and accurately is to be applauded.


Call the Midwife continues Sundays at 8pm on BBC One with the first episode available to watch now on BBC iPlayer



2. "This is a Code Red"

Production begins on the final season of Stranger Things



Stranger Things is the love letter to the ‘80s classic genre films that captivated a generation and as fans prepare to say goodbye, Netflix this week announced that production has begun on the fifth and final season.


The show has made household names of its stars including Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp and more. who all return for the show's final outing. Only, Stranger Things as a franchise is far from over with Stranger Things: The First Shadow currently playing in the West End and an untitled animated spinoff series on the way.


Set in the seemingly normal Midwestern town of Hawkins, Indiana, Stranger Things follows when happens after a boy vanishes into thin air, and as his close-knit group of friends and family search for answers, they're pulled into a high-stakes and deadly series of events.


Beneath the surface of their ordinary town lurks an extraordinary supernatural mystery, along with top-secret government experiments and a dangerous gateway that connects our world to a powerful yet sinister realm. Friendships will be tested and lives will be altered as what they discover will change Hawkins and possibly the world, forever.


Stranger Things will return on Netflix



3. "I'm kind of ready"

Paul's OSCAR-worthy performance in The Traitors



It's been another INCREDIBLE week in The Traitors, and whilst this list could have been filled with moments from this week's episodes (and there is another coming) there was one moment from Wednesday's episode that I could not stop talking about. And that was Paul's Academy Award-worthy performance at the Round Table.


Wednesday's episode opened with Brian being banished before Claudia met with the Traitors in the castle turret to deliver the news that instead of murdering one of the faithful in the night, they were to condemn four players to the castle dungeon before murdering one the following evening.


They chose to condemn two Faithfuls, Andrew and Meg, and two Traitors, Paul and Ash, with the hope of Paul being saved in the mission by his fellow players and a double bluff for Ash. Instead the winning team from the day's mission chose to save Andrew, hindering Paul's plan.


When Zack opened the Round Table by accusing Paul of being "very calm, composed and cool", three characteristics he believes would make for a great Traitor, he began to panic and when asked why he thought the Traitors had condemned him to the dungeon, Paul told the group that out of himself and Andrew, they believed one would be banished and one would be murdered.


But with Andrew now safe, Paul admitted to feeling like he was now going home. Speaking about his partner Kate and their little boy, Paul switched on the fake tears in scenes resembling Matt Hancock's infamous appearance on Good Morning Britain, telling his fellow players that he actually "feels ready" to go home.


A risky move, but ultimately one that paid off as thanks to him and Harry turning on fellow Traitor Ash, it was she who went home whilst Paul secured his place in the game. A lot has been said about Paul's gameplay and whilst I genuinely believe his game is soon-to-be up and unlikelt to make it through to the final, he's been brilliant to watch. The Traitors is a game and the beauty of watching it is the different ways peope play it.


Harry and Miles might be playing the smarter game, but Paul's gameplay is the most entertaining and one of the main reasons I come back night after night. Will he make it through to the final? Unlikely. And if he doesn't, I can't wait to see his banishment.


The Traitors continues Wednesdays to Fridays at 9pm on BBC One with the first six episodes available to watch now on BBC iPlayer



4. "You've just cashed out, one million pounds!"

An incredible £1million win on Ant & Dec's Limitless Win



It's one of television best new quiz show formats in years and last week Ant & Dec returned with a third series of Limitless Win, promising the same never-ending money ladder, a Limitless pot of cash, and a stack of fiendish questions, the answers to which are all numbers but this time, the show would give away it's largest cash prize in the show’s history, a staggering £1m.


As episode one ended, we were told that the big £1m win would take place in episode two and on Saturday day, after Bianca and Ky left with nothing, it was the turn of NHS workers and married couple Helen and Charlie from Suffolk, to take on the limitless ladder. And of course, we all knew then how much they were going to walk away with.


But of course, they didn't and when asked at the start of their game how much money they wanted to win, Helen said £500k, before describing the possibility of getting into the millions as "crazy". Little did they know. Despite knowing the outcome (would I have wished for a complete surprise? Yes. But I get why they decided to tell us.), the game still managed to be one of the most exciting and thrilling quiz show moments of all time.


As Helen and Charlie had quickly climbed the ladder, with £100,000 banked, they knew that if they answered the next question correctly it would take them past £1m on the ladder. And only a correct answer would see that £1m added to their total.


Thankfully, the question was "2024 marks how many years since Blur beat Oasis to the UK number 1 spot with the song Country House?" and straight away, Charlie confidently remembered it happening in 1995, which meant he soon locked in 29.


And sure enough, after watching the steps on the ladder light up yellow for what felt like 6 hours, it was revealed that not only had they not gone over with 29, but they had given an exact answer, taking their banked total from £100k to a staggering £1m. And it was not just the contestants and the studio audience who were overcome with emotion, as Ant & Dec celebrated with them, joy overcame Ant as he climbed up onto the Limitless Win table.


After playing it safe with the next question, locking in 1 as their answer, a question asking "How many weeks after it took off from Earth did NASA’s Perseverance Rover land on Mars?" completely stumped them. Realising they didn't have enough lives left to gamble meaningfully, and with £1m at risk, Helen and George decided to cash out, taking home £1m, the show's biggest-ever win to date.


But if the tease for the rest of the series is anything to go by, it looks as though this was just the start and there could be another huge win on the way. Whilst Ant teased "This is the highest up the ladder we have ever been" and Dec confirmed that one team had gone through £1.25m on the ladder it was the words "If this is exact or will be the biggest ever win on a British quiz show." spoken by Ant which really excited me. Is it too early to start counting down to every Saturday for the next few weeks?


Ant & Dec's Limitless Win continues Saturdays at 8.30pm on ITV1 with the first two episodes available to watch now on ITVX



5. "I would take fizzy"

Miles handing Diane the poisoned chalice in The Traitors



During Thursday's episode of (brilliant visualised podcast for the show) The Traitors: Uncloaked, host Ed Gamble teased a "very tense cliffhanger ending" on Friday and my oh my was he not kidding. The events that unfolded in the final minutes of Friday's episode will again (it happened last week with "...but Ross is.") go down in reality TV history.


So, what happened? Well, after a long day, Claudia delivered the Traitors a secret murder mission. Instead of meeting in secret that evening, they would need to murder in plain sight.


Their mission was to find a set of three Shakespeare tragedies in the library (without asking Harry's mum for help, apparently), inside which a poisoned chalice was secretly placed. They then had to give the poisoned chalice to a player to drink from to poison and murder them.


As they gathered secretly by the firepit, Harry, Miles and Paul discussed who their next victim will be, before deciding that Miles should hand the poison chalice to their victim. But during THAT cliffhanger at the end of Friday's episode, we saw Miles hand the chalice over to Diane after she tells him "I would take fizzy" when he offers her a fizzy Rosé.


But will she drink from the poisoned chalice? I'd like to think not and there was something in her eyes that suggested she was onto Miles. Whatever the outcome, it's going to be unmissable television. Bring. On. Wednesday. Where we'll finally find out what happened!


The Traitors continues Wednesdays to Fridays at 9pm on BBC One with the first six episodes available to watch now on BBC iPlayer

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