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Brookside

LEEJ88

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I think the decline began with the drawn rape story of Nikki Shadwick what does everyone else think???
 

James from London

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Once Billy and Sheila leave for Basingstoke and it turns into the Jimmy Corkhill Show, I'm out of there.
 

Ome

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Once Billy and Sheila leave for Basingstoke and it turns into the Jimmy Corkhill Show, I'm out of there.
Haha!

While I agree with you on it turning into the Jimmy Corkhill show, the early 90s still had some great drama for me.

  • The Jordache abuse story leading to the body under the patio.
  • Susanna killed her two children in a drink and drive incident.
  • Who killed baby Daniel Sullivan.
  • The cult in the Grants' old home.
 

AndyB2008

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The way Channel 4 treated it was disgraceful was there flagship soap and they moved it around and then axed it.
It was sliding in the ratings before Channel 4 pulled the plug as people tired of the plots. Gangsters, the boring rape storyline and over reliance on Claire
Sweeney.

They had axed it officially, but the contract with Mersey TV didn't run out for another year, so they still had to run it.

Brookside Parade was phased out when the Saturday afternoon episodes came in.
 

9unfold

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Brookside was pretty good. But finding the right storylines become an impossible task for the production heads.

The last time I watched it there was a criminal gang holed up on the close and one crook smashed a hole through the wall into next door where other crooks were hiding and asked to borrow a cup of Charly or something along those lines. Never bother with a after that.
 

Carrie Fairchild

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Brookside is getting a rerun for the first time since it went off air 20 years ago. STV in Scotland is making it available for streaming via their player service.

 

James from London

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And the good news? You can access STV Player no matter where you are in the UK.

So you don't even need Scottish internet!
 

James from London

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I saw someone on Twitter pointing out that at five episodes a week, it’ll take eleven years to rerun the entire series.
I'm 331 episodes into a Brookside re-re-watch and I'm hoping STV will catch up with me at some point so I can switch over to their eps instead which are bound to be a bit nicer looking than the DVD-of-a-videotape-of-a-1990s-cable-TV-rerun quality I'm currently watching (which is still a lot, lot better than nothing). But they'll only have until virtual 1990 cos that's when the series ends for me.
 

Mel O'Drama

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Brookside is getting a rerun for the first time since it went off air 20 years ago. STV in Scotland is making it available for streaming via their player service.

This is thrilling.

It has given me a bit of a dilemma though. I'd planned to dive into Crossroads in the not-too-distant, but this has thrown a potential spanner in the works (and on top of that, I have guilts over still not starting Emmerdale Farm).

Still - it's a luxurious problem to have.



their High Road rerun (which is currently on 1990).

I noticed this and got all excited until I saw that episodes appear to begin somewhere in the 600s. Probably just as well. If they had the early years on there I'd be sorely tempted and even more torn.



But they'll only have until virtual 1990 cos that's when the series ends for me.

Something I was wondering today was which point I'd choose to check out of Brookie (and of course there are some options at the top of this page).
 

Carrie Fairchild

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But they'll only have until virtual 1990 cos that's when the series ends for me.
Can I ask, what was it that marked the end of the series for you in 1990? I think my first recollection of the show was when Sue was pushed off the scaffolding circa 1991 but I was still a kid then and only knew of it because my mother was a casual viewer. I recall the Jordache saga too but it was probably the mid-90’s when I started watching it with any regularity myself. It was all Jimmy Corkhill and Casa Bevron at that stage, so I missed that imperial phase of the 80’s. Was it any particular character’s departure in 1990 or just a general shift in the show?
I noticed this and got all excited until I saw that episodes appear to begin somewhere in the 600s. Probably just as well. If they had the early years on there I'd be sorely tempted and even more torn.
Not to add to your quandary but the early years are available “elsewhere”.
 

James from London

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Can I ask, what was it that marked the end of the series for you in 1990?
It's when Billy and Sheila are written out. The series had just gone to three episodes a week and it was already starting to feel more like a conventional soap, with everyone going in and out of each other's houses and confiding their problems at the drop of a hat. Then they introduce the shopping parade and suddenly everyone's working with and for each other as well, and it starts existing in its own little bubble with less and less connection to the outside world. That kind of thing worked fine on Coronation Street and EastEnders because of the rich history and mythology surrounding those shows' respective communities, but on Brookside, there wasn't the same depth and it felt bland and artificial. And as the characters became more two-dimensional, the storylines became increasingly issue-based and supposedly "edgy" and "real", but to me it all just seemed sensationalised and hollow. A bit like Torchwood without the monsters.
 

JamesF

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Until the summer, I'd spent a couple of years whizzing my way through Brookside. I was similarly of an age where I remember the Jordache story etc in the mid-90s so had a nostalgic view of that era in my mind and looked forward to getting to it - in reality, rewatching as an adult, it just isn't very good. There are undoubtedly some great moments and performances and I did find some of the Simpson incest period more engaging but it's not great TV.

My approach to rewatching things like soaps is to liberally use FF if I know there are characters or stories that I just can't muster an interest in. For Brookside, I barely touched it for the first 8 or 9 years worth and then around the Parade point, it was getting a lot of use. That 1980s era was all new to me me so perhaps engaged me in that way but I also thought it was just better. The characters are so different from one another that there was really something quite exciting about the way they observed each others' stories and occasionally even intersected. Heather's litany of trauma was the most obvious example, especially around her exit. She had very distinct relationships with all of the neighbours.

The shine started to come off around 1988/89 especially the way Sheila seemed to become a bit of loose end, wedged into the Corkhills after a stint in a bedsit. There were aspects of the story I loved, mainly the conflicts and discomfort in the family but it didn't feel quite as purposeful as years before. I enjoyed the new era of the Farnhams and Dixons and Johnsons coming in pre-Parade. They were characters I knew and did give a shot of energy after the show felt a bit rudderless and burned through some flop household units. Then if I think about it, it's probably Jimmy/Jackie taking greater roles that represented the nosedive. They weren't solely to blame but from that point, everything felt very forced and there was a great deal of pretty dreadful filler. The final few years I tried to keep an open mind with but some of it was genuinely unwatchable.

One thing I noted through the rewatch was how obsessed the show seemed to be in repeating stories about mothers walking out on their families or being perceived to do so. Doreen Corkhill, Chrissy Rogers, Josie Johnson, DD Dixon, Margi Shadwick, Jan Murray off the top of my head. All but one leaving a husband behind to "pick up the pieces" (and ironically in most examples, the wife was by far the more interesting character).
 
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