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An interesting show
This show was very interesting, it was detailing Leslie Grantham's well publicized return to the Elstree film studios in Borehamwood to start working on the popular BBC soap opera EastEnders again after a 14 year absence in which his character the legendary "Dirty" Dennis Watts had supposedly been killed. The show featured interviews with several cast members and also looked at the press the storyline of "Dirty" Den coming back had received.
Leslie meets up with Letitia Dean and we see him film his first scene, we also see him walk around the EastEnders "lot" and reminisce about old times.
Coronation Street (1960)
Lost it's way
Coronation Street was very good last year and lucky because EastEnders which was usually the no.1 soap in the UK was having a bit of bad luck, this gave Coronation Street the chance to shine and be noticed and they did use this chance. We had some excellent story lines, some very strong writing and the right balance between comedy and drama which is what the show usually does best. However they have totally lost the plot this year, the writing is no longer good it's amateurish and often lazy and the plot lines are so bizarre especially the comedy ones which have been pure panto. Too much comedy and not enough action as forced this show to take a back seat whilst EastEnders bounces back. I have no doubt Coronation Street will be able to pull itself back soon, they always do but the stuff they're churning out now leaves a lot to be desired. Stupid larger than life panto characters like Diggory the baker and the notoriously unrealistic Cilla are what has dragged the show down. The main storyline of the year was the Shelley/Charlie fiasco which to an extent was good but there was just not enough interest in the storyline and it dragged on too long. They tried to play it for realism rather than conforming to the soap code and it didn't work for them. Soap viewers today aren't interested in such tosh and especially when it's tedious and repetitive, I can't count how many times the same scenes occurred with practically the same dialogue. I'm yawning just thinking about it and the scriptwriters probably didn't pen anything new they probably just made slight edits to existing scripts for the pair. Bad continuity, scripts, story lines together with rubbish characters and appalling acting from some of their "stars" has resulted in 2005 being one of Corrie's worst years ever in my opinion. ITV haven't helped the show either they churn out far too many episodes which has affected the show enough yet they still add extra episodes when they feel like it or to prop up their other shows which don't need propping up well except in the case of Celebrity Love Island. Corrie will never be as good as it once was when more of it's big stars were there but it proved last year that it can still be great but I'm really disappointed this year. Awful I expect more from Corrie afterall it's probably the second longest running soap behind The Guiding Light.
Hollyoaks: Let Loose (2005)
This series is dire
I watch Hollyoaks on and off so know that the quality isn't of a very high standard but I have to say this series is just dire. I was lost for words having watched a few episodes, the writing isn't very good but the writing for Hollyoaks never is as a rule, the directing in this is some of the worst I've ever seen and the scripts should all be burned to avoid any embarressment in the future. If I was the writer I would want to destroy all evidence that I'd written such tosh. I cannot buy into any of the characters and invest in their emotions because we were just thrown in at the deep end with most of them. I now only watch to see Lisa and Ben two characters from the normal Hollyoaks but even they are becoming very tiresome. I don't recommend watching this even if you're an Hollyoaks fan.
Only Fools and Horses.... (1981)
How a comedy should be!
Only Fools And Horses is an excellent comedy and I wish we had more of the same calibre. Always well written and directed this show is one of Britains most legendary comedic gems. The acting is also of a very high standard with David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst making the script come to life. They pull in good ratings for the BBC but even if they didn't it wouldn't make the show any less than what it is. Pure comedy gold (as a rule) is something that you'd only generally find on the BBC but this is in a different league of it's own. The show focuses on the lives of the two streetwise brothers Del Boy and Rodney whose escapades are always hilarious. It was a shame when the show lost Grandad but Uncle Albert was a good enough replacement.
I enjoyed this but it's crap compared to The Bill
I used to enjoy watching Merseybeat and feel it's a shame that it ended however it wasn't of the same standard of other similar programmes in this genre i.e. The Bill. The show was focused around a police station and followed the lives of the people that work there both professionally and personally. Like The Bill (although The Bill works better) it made a mistake in being too much about the staff rather than the criminals. Overall I'm glad the series ended although it was a shame really because they could have turned things around and made improvements here and there. It wasn't dire like some of the programmes that try to be like The Bill.
A good Saturday evening's viewing
Casualty is good entertainment and drama for a Saturday evening, the show is always well directed. The script isn't always top notch but the writers do their best and the writing is usually of a very high standard which compliments the good job the directors on Casualty and such shows do. The show is centred around the "Accident and Emergency" department of Holby City general hospital and focuses on both the personal and working lives of the patients and the staff who go there. I would recommend this show to anybody looking for some good drama for their Saturday evenings infront of the tele, if however you prefer full on entertainment on a Saturday without the drama bit then this show may not be for you.
Where the Heart Is (1997)
Well written and comfortable viewing
Where The Heart Is has always been well written and a comfortable Sunday night drama. It's a shame that the wonderful Peggy Snow played by Pam Ferris is no longer there though, I did feel the programme had lost something after she left. The show focuses on the lives of the people living in Skelthwaite so it does have a soapy aspect to it, you could say that there's too many soap like programmes on TV today but this is just mixing the drama with a soap aspect to make it seem more real. I recommend this to anyone who wants a cosy Sunday evening infront of their tele and doesn't want to watch something that is going to tax their brain to a great extent.
This show is hilarious, it might be pretty stupid but it redeems itself by being so darn funny! It focuses on the lives of a group of friends who hang out together they get into all kinds of hilarious situations and this is when the script comes to life peppered with a mixture of strange dialogue and weirdness but beyond all that you have comedy gold writing and some good directing. It's also a chance to see some good male flesh if you like that kind of thing when Will Mellor whips his top off ooooer. Anyways moving swiftly on I'd recommend this to anyone who loves a good comedy, I wouldn't really say there is an age limit on this I think you can enjoy no matter what age you are because you don't have to take it seriously.
Hilarious video to have
Tony Jordan writes wonderfully for the Mitchells and this script was no exception. Managing to portray the brothers as well rounded individuals is one of 'Jordans specialities and in this he manages to show their emotional vulnerable sides with their love for one another. It's a nostalgic lookback through the years of the Mitchells in EastEnders featuring video clips of their past escapades. To finally top things off there is some of the most unbelievable comedy you could never imagine when the brothers strip off and dance to "Kung Fu Fighting" with their mother walking in on them as they stand butt naked facing her. A must have for any EastEnders fan who has enjoyed watching one of the best soap families ever created.
Tony Jordan one of the best writers we have working on television today wrote a wonderful and humorous script for what is easily one of the best families to have ever graced EastEnders. With nostalgic lookbacks on some of the Slaters early stuff and a bit more insight into what they are like as a family this is a must have for any fan of the Slaters. Nan Mo and granddaughters Lynne, Kat, Little Mo and Zoe are all banged up after Kat assaulted a policeman, they are then unrealistically locked up in the same cell. You can forgive this little flaw though because it's then the fun starts as they act out each scene in between video clips of their early stuff. The script is peppered with witty oneliners which helps to carry it and stop it from becoming boring.
EastEnders: Dot's Story (2003)
A touching look back at the life of the wonderful Dorothy Cotton
This show was very sad and touching, Dot Cotton is an absolute legend and we were going back in time to look at her childhood when she was evacuated during the war. It brought many a tear to my eye watching the fabulous June Brown act out what was a well written and very realistic script. Easily one of the best actresses we have on TV today June played a blinder in this spin off show she really did. It was also good for someone like me who wasn't born during the war to go back in time and look at how some of the things were done back then. I'm not saying it was totally realistic but it was nice all the same. I recommend this to any fan of the totally wonderful Dot Cotton in EastEnders, it's nice to have more background on one of the best soap characters ever created.
EastEnders: Ricky & Bianca (2002)
Having recently watched this again on video I feel able to comment on how I saw the spin off. It was very well done I thought with a good script, however I found the ending a tad unrealistic when Bianca just handed over Liam for Ricky to look after. It was great to see Ricky and Bianca back on screen together though and the chemistry they shared had not gone away. Back in the lovely setting of Walford these two were easily one of the most explosive couples EastEnders had ever seen with Bianca's shrill cry of "Rikaaaaay" to her beloved. They were also both involved in one of the best soap plots ever when Bianca had an affair with bad boy Dan Sullivan. So to see two legends from my favourite television soap back together again and realising they hadn't lost their spark was brilliant. I recommend this to any EastEnders/Ricky and Bianca fan.
Little Britain (2003)
This show is bursting at the seams with hilarious comedy sketches from the dynamic comedy duo Matt Lucas and David Walliams. I honestly can't think of more than 2 sketches which I haven't enjoyed. The humour is hilarious and very splapstick, my favourite sketch character is Vicky Pollard and I think it's amazing how Matt Lucas plays her. Other great characters are the wonderful Lou and Andy, Emily Howard the transvestite and Daffyd the only gay in the village. I recommend buying the DVD's of series 1 and 2 if you've not seen them already. I am really looking forward to series 3 and hope it will be as funny if not funnier than the first two.
The Green Green Grass (2005)
Good but not as good as the original and best
This show works great as a spin off but it's not as good as Only Fools And Horses to be fair though nobody said it would be and I never expected it to be either. The dry wit is still there and it's very amusing when it comes up with the right dialogue. There's been times I've thought this just isn't working but then there's been other times where I've really laughed at what the characters have been saying. On the whole I'm glad that this spin off series was made as it's been great to see the characters involved again. Only the beeb could make a spin off to such an iconic program work and this is what they have done here. Looking forward to the Christmas special and then hopefully a new series in the new year.
The Paul O'Grady Show (2004)
Fabulous teatime show
Paul O'Grady is one of my favourite comedians, I love him best when he's playing Lily Savage but even without the drag act the man is a genius with comedy. His teatime chat show does well in the ratings and deservedly so, it's always very entertaining featuring a great lineup of guests and fun and games. My favourite bit is when they play "guess the theme tune" using the organ. Paul also brings his dogs onto the show with him and even once brought his pet lamb in from his farm. The real star of the show though is Paul's dog Buster who is on more than his other dogs. I hope this show has many a new series to come as it's the best teatime offering for a long while and easily outranks that boring Richard and Judy show that Channel 4 have on at the same time.
Keeping Up Appearances (1990)
This show is fantastic and I love everything about it. The show doesn't tax your brain when you're watching it either it's just a nice comedy that is genuinely funny. When you've seen endless repeats though it becomes less amusing although it still makes me smile if I've seen a particular episode more than once or twice. The colourful character of Hyacinth is brilliant which is good because she is the main character. Patricia Routledge plays her to perfection and the scripts are always very witty and well written. Hats off to everybody involved in making this fabulous comedy offering. There are currently no more new episodes being made but you can see repeats of this show on BBC1 on Sundays I think and as I said before having seen endless repeats of the same episode it can be less amusing but it never stops being genuinely entertaining.
My Hero (2000)
Poor comedy show
Despite being a tad amusing at times this show is also absolutely dire. It really doesn't suit being a BBC primetime comedy offering, it's more of a kids TV show and therefore should be in an ideal slot to reflect this. I have watched more than my fair share of episodes and whilst I find myself laughing at parts of the shows I also find myself cringing at others. All the "superhero" stuff is done very badly and some of the acting (if you can call it that) is appalling. I don't think the beeb should pick this up again if there's going to be another series as I just don't feel it's right for a channel that is renowned for it's excellent original comedy programming.
The Royle Family (1998)
A true beeb gem
This comedy is fantastic, it's got some good dialogue that flows well but not only that all of the characters who have ever graced the show have been fantastic. The show has become a much loved comedic gem with more than it's fair share of fans and the reason it has become such a legend is because it was so well written and directed in only a way a BBC comedy could be. The character of Jim Royle (played by Ricky Tomlinson) one of the main characters in this show is a mini institution himself and then you have the delectable Sue Johnston playing his wife Barbara. They worked together fantastically on Brookside and they gel so well on this show too, it's sad that there are no new episodes of this excellent comedy currently airing but there's hope for the future.
Footballers' Wives (2002)
Very good drama
This show gives a new meaning to the word sensationalism but it's fabulous. The show is so bad that it's funny at the same time with it's colourful characters. The show is bad but in a good way, it certainly provides me with a form of escapism. Tanya Turner played by Zoe Lucker is a super mad bitch who behaves very desperate housewife-esquire and she's just great. She left the series last time though but let's hope that she'll appear in the next one. I think the show isn't as good without the original cast that made it so great but hopefully they'll be able to create a few more characters who prove to be just as successful.
Bad Girls (1999)
Sensational but compelling viewing
Bad Girls is fantastic viewing with it's compelling story lines. The sensationalism can often be very off putting but the show doesn't claim not to be sensational and the whole show is based on it's well known sensationalism. With the great character of Jim Fenner no longer being there though I worry that the next series might not be as good to watch. I won't be giving up on such a powerful drama yet though, all Bad Girls does is provide a form of escapism and it does it so wonderfully like the other regular "Shed" production - "Footballers Wives". Here's to series 7 and beyond, let's hope they're just as compelling without Jim Fenner in it.
A good show
I've been watching Heartbeat for the past 7 years and have to say that it's a very gentle show. The show did suffer after losing the character of Greengrass but I like the way that things have picked up after a brief boring period. The character of Peggy is a bit tiresome but you can cope with her if you ignore the fact that she's supposed to be their latest replacement for Greengrass. I don't know how long this show can still continue to be set in the 60s for though when you consider the fact that soon the cast will begin to look much older than they were ten years ago. Overall it combines some great sounds of the sixties with some entertaining stories about crime.
Holby City (1999)
A good drama
I have been watching Holby City since it began, although it suffers slightly from the story lines revolving too much around the staff the show does give us some intense drama when it wants to. I would recommend watching this to anyone who loves a good drama based around the setting of an hospital. Holby City also has some great characters like the wonderful newcomer Amanda Mealing who plays Connie. Here's to the future of Holby City - may it be long and prosperous and continue to flourish. I don't think Holby is as good as it once was however but it's still a top notch drama and one that the BBC should be very proud to air.
The Bill (1984)
Not as good as it once was but still good
The Bill was very good a few years ago however at the moment it is suffering from a dose of over-sensationalism. The show has always featured unrealistic happenings for years now and it's always had a dose of sensationalism however it seems to be extracting the urine from it's fans at the moment. The scenes aren't as deep or as meaningful, the stories aren't as top notch and there's an explosion every other week. However the show is still interesting and good to watch but it needs to get back to the people outside the station committing crimes rather than focusing on villainous coppers or the coppers love lives. Overall entertaining to watch but not a patch on what it used to be.
A soap that fell victim to sensationalism
Brookside was a classic soap opera that was brilliant at character building however things started to go wrong in the late 1990s. Whilst the real rot didn't set in until about 2001 onwards things were starting to go wrong for a period of time before then. The final straw for me was when they had the lesbian storyline involving Jackie Corkhill and Lindsey Corkhill. Jackie Corkhill was one of the most believable characters ever to grace a soap before that plot line. Her and Jimmy were so believable with their fighting and arguing however the character of Jimmy was eventually exhausted as well. It's a shame really but the show just fell foul to sensationalism, gone were the nitty, gritty dramatic days that were good drama yet true to the characters. There was a great friendship going on between the delightful Jacqui Dixon, Rachel Jordache and Katie Rogers for instance that focused on character building over the years. I loved Brookside in it's heyday but it should have been axed before the rot really had a chance to set in. I blame Phil Redmond and Channel 4 for letting the show go down the pan though, Phil Redmond just had to be in charge of his show, nobody else could have touched Brookside. Channel 4 showed no support whatsoever for what was once the most popular programme airing on the channel. I stuck with Brookside up until the end out of loyalty and it still had some great characters like the wonderful Bev however all the time shifting before it's demise was disgusting, you just didn't know when the programme was on half the time.
Hollyoaks is rather entertaining if you lower your mentality just a tad. Often taking things to the extreme by using special effects this soap redeems itself by tackling controversial plots that even some of our more serious soaps shy away from. Great viewing on a Sunday morning if you've got nothing better to do or great for an half hours entertainment whilst you're waiting for Emmerdale to come on during the week. Hollyoaks gets slated a lot for the cast looking beautiful but it's refreshing when you've been used to looking at the decaying face of Betty Turpin serving up hotpot in the tramp shack in "The Street". I don't think many people over 35 will enjoy Hollyoaks however.