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EricMontreal22

14 UK Soaps from Worst to Best (Telegraph Article)

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Here's the list, for those of you who don't want to register:

 

14. Eldorado (BBC One), 1992-1993

13. Families (ITV), 1990-1993

12. Albion Market (ITV), 1985-1986

11. Night & Day (ITV), 2001-2003

10. Take the High Road (ITV), 1980-2003

09. Family Affairs (Channel 5), 1997-2005

08. Pobol y Cwm (People of the Valley) (BBC Wales/S4C), 1974-

07. Crossroads (ITV), 1964-1988, 2001-2003

06. Hollyoaks (Channel 4), 1995-

05. Doctors (BBC One), 2000-

04. Emmerdale (ITV), 1972-

03. Brookside (Channel 4), 1982-2003

02. EastEnders (BBC One), 1985-

01. Coronation Street (ITV), 1960-

 

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28 minutes ago, Bright Eyes said:

 

I registered for free (it took merely seconds) and was able to read it.

 

I'm glad you were able to. 

 

Thanks for the list, @I Am A Swede

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23 minutes ago, DRW50 said:

 

I'm glad you were able to. 

 

Thanks for the list, @I Am A Swede

 

Weird. Maybe it's because I'm Canadian? Usually it's the other way around. 

 

Their write up of Families seems more positive than Albion Market, but yet it was lower.

 

Night & Day has always seemed so fascinating. It probably would have worked better if it was a normal series and debuted a decade later. Honestly most of the cancelled soaps listed here, except Eldorado and Albion Market, sound highly watchable. Though Families probably should have been a limited series instead of a soap. And the title seems much too lackluster for the show's premise.

 

Doctors seems like it has interesting stories sometimes, but every time I've tried to watch it, it just left me cold. It should definitely be lower than it is.

 

I don't know what happened to the Hollyoaks write up between referring to Tony as 'tedious' and somehow believing the Hunks and Babes calendars are still a thing. Though I wish they would return along with late night spin-offs which were, mostly, always enjoyable.

 

Personally, ever since I delved into UK soaps in the late 2000s, Corrie has never had a solid period to truly hook me. Unlike the other main three which have had several intermittently.

Edited by Bright Eyes

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Sorry about that--I forgot about the paywall.  I'm a free but registered user too (and Canadian...)  There's commentary about each soap but it's not particularly insightful if you have a basic idea of them--still some stuff I didn't know like that Albion Market was meant to take place mere blocks away from Coronation Street--in the end they just replaced it with more Corrie. 

Crossroads fascinates me.  I was living in England and Ireland when the (as they say in the article "kitschy") reboot happened and it was just a beyond weird mess--the producer played up the reputation the soap had for being cheap not seeming to realize that its fans (as awful as some of the clips I've seen are) obviously on some level loved it un-ironically and didn't want a very different feeling send-up of it, essentially.  She also gave interviews saying how she was specifically trying to appeal to gay audiences (I guess she meant camp gay fans, which for the time was kinda brave to even admit to, but wrong-headed) and yet it had very few actually gay characters...  The finale is especially odd with the actors all playing people in a grocery store who dreamed (or something) that they were on Crossroads.

For what it's worth I have one British friend whose taste I usually trust who swears that a lot of Eldorado was actually good (he's the only one I've heard say that though ;) ).

Bright Eyes you might be too young but Night and day was carried in its entirety--just a week behind--here in Canada on Women's Network (W now) which tried with foreign soaps every so often--when CBC dropped Emmerdale they picked it up, but sadly only briefly, and also carried at a time old episodes of Eastenders, and new episodes of Neighbours (which I guess the gay network OutTV now carries but I don't get that)00I think they may have carried Home and Away for a spell too around the time Global had dropped their brief attempt to have it as an afternoon soap after their American soaps.

*anyway*--I kinda loved it.  It was beyond bizarre, and its bizarre filming style, editing, etc, especially at first, could be frustrating just as often as it was cool--it also was a weird mix of cynical even mean spirited stuff with genuinely emotional or sentimental stuff--and then all the wacky stories which often were just for the sake of being wacky.  But I watched it all (quite a bit of the early eps and finale are online I think) and the cast managed to be both more glamorous than typical for UK soaps but also genuinely talented (of course many of them have done higher profile work).  I'm surprised grande dame Lesley Joseph hasn't popped up on Corrie or Eastenders.

Corrie definitely remains my fave but that is largely since I've watched it since 1991 or so when I was 10 lol.  Although I admit out of the UK soaps I follow right now, the one i enjoyed the most the past few summers is The Archers, LOL.
 

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Sorry - it may not have been a paywall. I just saw the block and didn't go further because so many sites are dangerous these days. 

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11 minutes ago, EricMontreal22 said:

For what it's worth I have one British friend whose taste I usually trust who swears that a lot of Eldorado was actually good (he's the only one I've heard say that though ;) ).

 

Eldorado aired here too, probably because there was a Swedish actress (Bo Corre) in the cast. We never got to see the entire run, but I watched the episodes we did get, and, while it certainly wasn't high quality tv it wasn't the unmitigated disaster you might think. Some parts were ok, while some weren't.....   :P

I can't say I was surprised that it got cancelled so quickly though.

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15 hours ago, Bright Eyes said:

Though Families probably should have been a limited series instead of a soap. And the title seems much too lackluster for the show's premise.

 

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!

 

14 hours ago, EricMontreal22 said:

Crossroads fascinates me.  I was living in England and Ireland when the (as they say in the article "kitschy") reboot happened and it was just a beyond weird mess--the producer played up the reputation the soap had for being cheap not seeming to realize that its fans

 

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.

14 hours ago, EricMontreal22 said:

For what it's worth I have one British friend whose taste I usually trust who swears that a lot of Eldorado was actually good (he's the only one I've heard say that though ;) ).

 

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.

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Someone posted a great TV special about the failure of Eldorado on YT.  It was an amusing look at how difficult it can be to produce a soap.  Of course, even as a failure, it was watched by millions at the time.

 

I've watched all of Sons and Daughters, I recommend the eps with the actor's commentary.  It is a fun and very Aussie soap.  The action is incredibly fast-paced given the low number of episodes produced per season.  The leading character escapes a murder attempt, goes to South America for plastic surgery, returns to seduce her ex and destroy her enemies, the original actress returns, there's an auto accident caused by psychic intervention, and a twisted but happy ending.  One can really sense the connection to Prisoner (cell block H) and future Aussie soaps.

 

I am waiting on pins and needles for the return of Kim Tate on this week's Emmerdale

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How many episodes of Sons and Daughters are there and what is the tone? Sounds interesting...

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14 minutes ago, ~bl~ said:

How many episodes of Sons and Daughters are there and what is the tone? Sounds interesting...

There are 972 episodes, so it may take a while to binge it.

 

Today the tone would be considered high camp; psychic car crashes, people drowning in a puddle of water, and long lost twins. 

 

The key episodes have the actor's commentary and they usually contextualize the information, so an entire re-watch is unnecessary.

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