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Shortland Street


Dion

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Yeah I've complained about the pacing on these forums before.

 

As an example, in 2019 the King family burned through years of storylines - dementia, suicide, rape, infanticide (in backstory), pyromania, abortion, near incest, temporary paralysis - in their first six or seven months on the show.

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, Dion said:

Yeah I've complained about the pacing on these forums before.

 

As an example, in 2019 the King family burned through years of storylines - dementia, suicide, rape, infanticide (in backstory), pyromania, abortion, near incest, temporary paralysis - in their first six or seven months on the show.

 

Fascinating.

 

I have to admit I was surprised when I went on Wikipedia and saw that characters like CeCe or even Marty or Tess or Dawn had just been around since 2019 as it feels like they have had very long, pained histories. I suppose it's a credit that CeCe and Louis both feel like compelling characters even though they went through so much story, but it does make CeCe feel somewhat isolated. 

 

I guess at least some of the more longstanding characters like Drew, Boyd or Harper still manage to seem fresh. 

 

Has the pacing always been like this?

Edited by DRW50
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1 hour ago, DRW50 said:

Has the pacing always been like this?

Pretty much, yes.

 

Six weeks was pretty much the rule for a storyline to run back in the 90s and that length of time is still common today.

 

The pacing is actually pretty similar on Neighbours and Home and Away but their storylines tend to be a bit less extreme so it's less noticeable.

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The scenes with  Chris getting hooked on Drag Race, even putting drag makeup on, because it's a happy family atmosphere unlike what he has, were so nicely done. I don't really connect to Chris, but for a character who has been on the show almost all the way through its 30 years, they have managed to make him feel much more rounded and relevant than, say, EE have done with Ian Beale. 

 

Curtis seems so likeable - I can see why the show is reluctant to fully let him go, even though it means Esther is left in limbo. I wonder if they are killing him off. Is that why the actor came back to make those few appearances? 

 

I wonder if the actor who played Eddie left abruptly. The Eddie/Esther tension had been bubbling along for a good while, and then he's left so instead the tension involves whether Esther will sleep with some rich guy viewers had known for about a week before this. And Curtis says hey, no biggie, rather than the more complex reaction he might have had if she was getting further involved with the father of her child. 

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I was just watching the episodes where Esther went on a talk show and faced down backlash for the quota system and being a Maori doctor, which even went as far as having a white racist vandalize her office. I think what surprised me most was they repeatedly made it clear there was no way for Esther to be a "model minority" - when she tried to be a good doctor and operate on the racist in spite of his hatred for her, he hurled abuse at her and refused her treatment. Even though the guy who plays Rico can't act, I did appreciate the mini-arc of him going from being a pro-assimilation figure to realizing just how little trying to fit in with the status quo mattered in the face of bile and hatred. 

This is a story that few soaps would ever touch. I guess the one-week runtime for these types of plots on Shorty make it more possible, but I still appreciate their guts here. 

Esther is such a rich character, especially now that they have moved on from her love life dramas. She's possibly the most layered and relateable character on the show at present. 

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I assumed Zara would return (especially when reading an article saying the actress was just on break), but I was shocked to see that she was pregnant. And that was completely unspoiled - good work! Apparently the actress was pregnant (she's since given birth) so they wrote the pregnancy into the script. 

Overall they've done a good job of tackling an important issue while also having melodrama, never letting the melodrama drown out the seriousness of the issue. Most soaps don't know how to do that anymore. 

Even the obviously doomed pairing of Boyd and Kellyanne worked for me, as she was so much more layered than I was expecting (they should take notes with the writing for Desi and Damo). I genuinely felt bad for her.

I did not realize Zara and Harper are both bisexual. I wish the show was as willing to be fluid with men. I think Boyd and Drew would make a great couple down the line. And it would have to be better than the endless, tedious, constipated misery with Jack and now Rico. They have already written that gorgeous Tom into a corner through that unpleasant mess. 

Edited by DRW50
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8 hours ago, KMan101 said:

Reading the last few pages of the thread and I may have to check Shortland Street out. I always kind of forget about it when I get back into the UK/NZ/Aussie soaps.

I hope you do! I'd like to have someone to talk about the show with and I watch more regularly than I do the UK soaps at this point. I have also been watching Home & Away if you ever want to talk about that.

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15 hours ago, DRW50 said:

I hope you do! I'd like to have someone to talk about the show with and I watch more regularly than I do the UK soaps at this point. I have also been watching Home & Away if you ever want to talk about that.

 

Through a streaming service I can watch the UK networks so I've been able to more easily watch compared to searching through youtube and dailymotion and downloading. 

 

I watched a recent episode I found on DailyMotion and the show interests me. I'll have to do some research on it and try to get into it. 

 

Funny you mention Home and Away. I did start watching that a few months ago but I keep forgetting about it. It's sometimes hard to keep up when you don't make it a part of your routine. I liked what I was watching.

 

I have little interest anymore in the US soaps, sadly, so I've found myself depending on the UK/Aussie/NZ soaps.

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On 9/12/2021 at 12:18 AM, DRW50 said:

I assumed Zara would return (especially when reading an article saying the actress was just on break), but I was shocked to see that she was pregnant. And that was completely unspoiled - good work! Apparently the actress was pregnant (she's since given birth) so they wrote the pregnancy into the script. 

Someone did spoil that on Twitter about a month ago but as the Twitter community for Shortland Street is quite small so the tweet was mostly ignored.

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Fun fact, Oliver Driver once played a nurse back in the 90s (Mike Galloway, 1998 - 1999) but if his character was to reappear today literally noone else on the canvas would know him as he was on during the years (1996 - 2000) Chris wasn't on the show.

 

I have wondered why the number of episodes screened each week hasn't been reduced like it was last year...they must have only like 3 - 4 weeks left at the rate rate of 5 episodes a day.

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2 hours ago, Dion said:

Fun fact, Oliver Driver once played a nurse back in the 90s (Mike Galloway, 1998 - 1999) but if his character was to reappear today literally noone else on the canvas would know him as he was on during the years (1996 - 2000) Chris wasn't on the show.

I have wondered why the number of episodes screened each week hasn't been reduced like it was last year...they must have only like 3 - 4 weeks left at the rate rate of 5 episodes a day.

That's interesting. I didn't know that. 

Do we know which stories were truncated due to COVID? The show seems to have short plots anyway...I wonder about that Wai and Marty story. 

I guess Esther's maternity leave must have been sometime last year. 

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