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About JamesF

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  • Birthday 02/15/1985

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  1. JamesF

    Emmerdale: Discussion Thread

    http://www.digitalspy.com/soaps/emmerdale/news/a868277/emmerdale-spoilers-kim-tate-return-confirmed-claire-king/ So there we have it... I'll pop back in to the show again when she returns but assuming it'll be Kim Tate vs the Dingles I won't be sticking around.
  2. JamesF

    Emmerdale: Discussion Thread

    I've not seen a great deal of Joseph at all but can see why you'd feel that way because I can't bear any of those characters either The Tates though are so iconic to me and when I read ages ago that they were being revisited, I had misplaced hopes that it was the start of building a next generation. Particularly because the show is not one to draw on history from that era and I thought there was so much potential in it. Another side note and complaint, wtf has happened to the Home Farm set? It looks like it was designed and dressed for a school play.
  3. JamesF

    Emmerdale: Discussion Thread

    Probably 2000, around when it went to five nights a week and Sarah Sugden was killed. I never particularly cared for that character (I found the actress irritating) but she served a clear purpose in the Sugden family. When she went, it felt like the start of a decline I guess. There was this air of transforming the show into something else that was more ITV cookie cutter. This was a period where I recall the whole drama slate on ITV becoming very basic and broad strokes. With Emmerdale this seemed to be through hollowing out the families, relationships and characters that had built up during the 90s (the building blocks of what makes a soap a soap) and replacing them with gimmicky, comedy characters. I remember finding Bernice really jarring in those days. I never liked the Dingles and they came to feel like the only stable family. I've kept tabs on and off over the years and the only period I actually enjoyed again was Gavin Blythe's era at the helm. The Wyldes, that Fatal Attraction story and Aaron stuff pulled me back in. It wasn't high quality per se but there was cohesion to it and soapy twists and turns that at least had some logic to them. I remember finding the Emma Barton stuff ludicrous a couple of years ago but I watched that week and appreciated the audacity of it. At least it felt like they were putting in huge amounts of effort and playing it straight. But this week...they've effectively shat on the memories of what I enjoyed when I loved the show. Kim is unrecognisable (I couldn't even call her a character), the story makes no sense and killing off Joe is insane. I rarely feel truly sentimental about soaps and certainly never thought I'd feel so outraged by Emmerdale but these episodes are appalling. Story, acting, production. Absolutely everything.
  4. JamesF

    Emmerdale: Discussion Thread

    Seconded. I've watched this week because I've always said the only thing that could lure me back was Kim Tate. I cannot believe the tacky pantomime I'm watching... I might post more thoughts once the week is out but at the moment I'm astounded adults have been paid to produce what I've watched.
  5. JamesF

    14 UK Soaps from Worst to Best (Telegraph Article)

    I think some of that is down to the fact that it was a more ambitious rip off of the similarly named Sons and Daughters from Australia. It replaced that show in most ITV regions when it debuted and had a very similar set up (one wealthy family, one poor, two siblings-who-don't-know-they're-siblings fall in love). I've only got very hazy memories of it when I was off school but remember it changed significantly in its last year or so. It started to revolve around a wealthy family and village in Cheshire; kind of early 90s Emmerdale without the farming. As a sidenote, I'm about two thirds of the way through Sons and Daughters as it's now online in its entirety. What a mental show that is. Way beyond anything Families attempted! I really threw myself in to Crossroads and Night and Day when they debuted. As a 16 year old soap obsessive, I was beside myself to get not one but two new soaps and was going off a lot of what was being offered in the established ones. Crossroads disappointed in both incarnations. The first was just drab and a bit...well...Doctors. The second was unbearably cheap. The stories and concepts could potentially have worked if they'd had the money to back it up (and weren't going with ridiculous character names like Angel Samson and Betty Waddle, two that stick out in my memory). Night and Day was so much more interesting but it lost me in the middle period. It felt like the producers were rebelling against its failure (and ITV) by making it as insane as they possibly could. This meant that I struggled to grasp WTF was going on and when it was shunted to late night I saw the writing on the wall and gave up. I do remember the final episode which was a fitting finale. Only some time after Corinne Hollingworth took over as producer so maybe the last 3-4 months. The beginning was absolute dross. I seem to remember the turning point being when the bar owner was beaten up and left for dead. It was quite a brutal cliffhanger and sticks in memory; the female residents all then rallied round her over the course of the following few weeks and were able to demonstrate a bit of actual character.
  6. JamesF

    Y&R: October 2017 Discussion Thread

    I'm only watching Y&R very sporadically but to temper the concern somewhat... If MY is essentially saying he wants to replicate the UK/Aus approach through "one ep=one day", there are plenty of times when they don't follow this rule. Particularly around big cliffhangers, weddings etc where the day may be stretched over 2-3 episodes. I would hope that the same common sense would be used for Y&R so that it's not completely arbitrary.
  7. JamesF

    Old/Classic B&B discussion&articles

    That Sheila/Sally scene is absolutely magic. A testament to Darlene Conley, Kimberlin Brown and the juicy soapy goodness that B&B used to be. I was only around 13 when that aired and I still distinctly remember the thrill of those two characters interacting because I hadn't seen it before (and don't recall it happening again). Yet more reminders of the squandered potential the show has. Edited - I've just watched the clip of Sheila/Stephanie where Sheila asks if she never wanted to lose control when Brooke went after Eric. "I never wanted to attack her physically!" At the time I just loathed Stephanie has a hypocrite but now I suspect it was just the start of the writing rot setting in.
  8. JamesF

    Coronation Street: Discussion Thread

    I always expect the episodes to be butchered but each one is getting a 35 minute slot which, to me, suggests they won't need to cut for ads as they would with a standard 30 minute slot. I think generally ITV3 only edits if the material is unsuitable for daytime but I could be entirely wrong.
  9. JamesF

    Coronation Street: Discussion Thread

    In a bit of unexpected news ITV3 is going to start airing repeats of Corrie from October, starting with Alan Bradley's first appearance in 1986. They'll be airing two eps a day and given the show was only on twice a week back then, they'll blast through fairly quickly. I should imagine the eps will make their way online for those interested...
  10. JamesF

    B&B: August 2017 Discussion Thread

    I've just caught up on this week and the Sheila/Quinn catfight on Monday was [!@#$%^&*] brilliant. I know shows don't do them these days because of the cost of stunt performers and I also find them a bit dated unless there's strong enough conflict to warrant it but it was really well produced. I also thought the way the scenes were written and choreographed put both characters on a pretty level playing field which tbh I don't think B&B has done with two characters since Sheila/Stephanie. I liked that Quinn went for it and didn't continue down the rather out of character snivelling routine she's done for months. But. They really do need to write Sheila more subtly. They could still play these story beats and make them even more compelling if she was just a little less obvious in her chasing after Eric. The rest of the show is barely holding my interest. I think the Bill/Caroline plot is typically facile - how would they not get caught out? There could be interesting conflict if Brooke was pulled into it too but I don't see that happening because Brad has nothing to give KKL these days, he'd rather use Steffy. The Spectras are in holding pattern - Courtney Hope really is the shining star though. The show is extremely lucky to have her...for now.
  11. JamesF

    B&B: July 2017 Discussion Thread

    Prefacing this with the statement that my expectations of the show are bargain basement low, I'm enjoying the show more than I have for about 16 years and am actually watching daily. Admittedly with steady use of the FF button. I don't remember so many characters and stories being featured since the late 90s, pre-Amber takeover. I also like that, in spite of the numerous erm...story imperfections, characters are also crossing into more than one story and not being islanded. I loathe Steffy but she is acting as a catalyst where she's been used in the past week. As for Sheila, I know I'm in the minority here and have always loved the character but in very broad brush strokes, I think her return has been handled well. I thought 2002, 2003 and the Y&R stories were cheap and played on extremes to the character which barely even existed in her original run. This version of Sheila is what I would have expected 1990s Sheila to become with age and I'm amazed KB has been able to step back into the role so easily, particularly given how fast the show tapes these days. She and John McCook had great chemistry in the hotel scenes and her spats with Quinn have had varying success. They do need to par down the loony fawning over Eric and gushing when she's at the Forrester house - she never even lived there. I do agree that some characters are thick as pig [!@#$%^&*] but god knows that's nothing new on this show, particularly for Eric. And when is Brooke going to be allowed to be an active woman again instead of a passive, simpering, pod person? Even with RJ's accident, she made some mealy mouthed protestations about texting. If that had been Rick or Bridget back in the day, she'd have dragged Coco out of the hospital room.
  12. JamesF

    B&B: Popular actress returns

    Oh damn, now I'm going to have to start watching again. For all the terrible writing on B&B and ridiculous plots given to Sheila since the late 90s, I can't resist Kimberlin Brown on B&B. I'll expect the worst and hope for the best.
  13. Funnily enough after years away and only vaguely keeping up with story summaries since about 2002, I decided to watch all of the episodes around the 30th anniversary and see if I wanted to hang around. The 30th week itself I enjoyed. Great location shoot, Quinn as an interloper, some actual "characters" in the new Spectras... Then as I kept watching, I slowly began to realise why I ended up giving up on the show in the first place. Too many scenes of dullards like Charlie/Pam or Zende/Nicole hanging around talking about characters with more interesting lives than their own. Terrible story pacing - it goes 5mph to 100mph and then just stalls completely. Worst of all, because the characters have been de-aged, recast and slept with or worse married each other so many times, I don't care what happens. I know that everything will just be reset in a few months and start from square one again. Brooke/Ridge/Bill - absolutely no stakes because this story and variations of it have literally happened three times a year since 2001. The show needs structure, long term planning and stakes. For me, Brooke taking over Forrester back in the day was soap gold because you could almost taste the satisfaction - it was a pay off that completely shook up the canvas. And it managed to involve the whole Forrester family in different ways without them sleeping with their in-laws. I don't think the show is beyond salvageable because it should be the easiest soap to pull off that's still on air. There is still an international following, a decent budget, Patrick Mulcahey on staff, a defined concept in the fashion business which is still relevant and only 18 bloody minutes of airtime to fill! There must be so many creative minds who could write a twisty, compelling, sex and glamour soap about a Californian fashion dynasty.
  14. JamesF


    From the last two episodes, I think the reason Chandler was adopted was to facilitate his relationship with Heather who was related to the other kids. Perhaps she was Gwen's secret daughter or something (hence the story developing in the final episode about her real background).
  15. JamesF

    Neighbours: Discussion Thread

    I was really surprised by how effective Josh's death was, particularly the writing and acting. I went into the week with low expectations and as soon as the explosion happened, I was taken aback by the intensity of the scenes to the point I was bawling my eyes out by the end of the death episode! Terese, Imogen and even Paige really showed their worth. Brad...less so but there was at least some emotion there. I also enjoyed Lauren getting Terese to confront what had happened and the tears running down her face. One thing that's been striking me recently (though I feel dirty for saying it) is how hammy Jackie Woodburne is becoming at times. I don't know if it's because she's not had a serious story for quite some time but she just seems a bit cartoony. The stuff on Monday where she accused Karl of flirting with Nene should have been a serious precursor to Sarah arriving but instead it felt like a comedy side story. I don't know, I can't put my finger on it. There's a really good energy about the show at the moment and a freshness to the stories. Lots of variation, some good teen actors, intrigue around Ned and this new John Doe guy. I'm enjoying 90% of the show which is rare