Buried Gems: Corrine Carter's top TV shows

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Buried Gems: Corrine Carter's top TV shows

December 03, 2016 - 09:32
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Away from the big-name shows, there are a few shows that I've been thoroughly enjoying recently. So if you want something different to watch here are my recent picks...

Ozzy and Jack

By Corrine Carter @DanBogusBlog @corrin80

TV is currently exploding in a good way. Over the last few months my planner has been full with not enough hours to keep up with it all. That has never happened before, with the 'mainstream' channels sticking with their usual offerings there is now a number of other channels blossoming.

Having introduced a number of shows to people I wonder why there are so many fantastic programmes that are going by unnoticed. Many of these shows are somewhat buried away and I've only found some of them by chance. While the mainstream media concentrates on talking about the shows we are already familiar with, there are some absolute gems not given the praise they deserve.

Away from the big-name shows, there are a few shows that I've been thoroughly enjoying recently. So if you want something different to watch here are my recent picks:

'60 Days In The Jail' CI channel & Channel 4 - The BEST show on TV right now. A new experiment in the USA where members of the public are sent to jail to find out how the American prison system really works. Each have had training & advice of how to behave, not even the corrections officers know they are not real inmates. The grim reality of prison life & the participants having to keep to their back stories of why they are in jail is gripping. This is not only an interesting insight into the American prison system but watching the inmates, both real and fake dealing with incarceration and the brutality of fellow inmates is edge-of-the-seat drama not to be missed.

'Yonderland' Sky1 - Now in its 3rd series, from the writers & stars of 'Horrible Histories' it is an absolute treat for the eyes. Debbie is a housewife at a loose end once her children start school, discovers an elf in her pantry with a portal to a magical realm. Debbie becomes the Chosen One and is regularly sent for to save Yonderland with Elf and a stick called Nick for companions. It's achingly funny, packed with fun, puppets & guest starring Stephen Fry as the hilarious Cuddly Dick - you don't have to have children to enjoy this show!

'Ozzy & Jack's World Detour' History Channel - Ozzy & Jack Osbourne's love of history is the premise of the show that sees them travelling around together visiting various landmarks & places of interest. What's special about this programme isn't the weird & sometimes incredible places they visit, but the relationship between a father & son who have been let loose to go anywhere in the world together. Ozzy is still hilarious & Jack is brilliant with him. A great watch with Ozzy telling tales of his wilder days & some poignant moments too. On their visit to the Iron Mountain data storage centre, Ozzy being played his songs which featured the late Randy Rhoads is especially moving.

'Girls' Sky Atlantic - The next series of 'Girls' due to be broadcast in 2017 will be the 6th and final series. To many it's one of the most important shows of the last few years, I agree. Written & created by Lena Dunham, it was originally dubbed the new 'Sex and the City' following the lives of 4 females living in New York. It most definately isn't that, it's the lives of 4 people in their twenties trying to find their way. All of the actors are perfectly cast but the stand out is Jemima Kirke who plays Jessa Johansson, the wildest member of the group. It's raw, hilarious, heartbreaking, the sex is graphic & the stories are painfully real. Like the most successful dramas you fall into the characters lives straight away. It will be sad saying goodbye to these characters in the final series.

'Travel Man: 48 Hours in...' Channel 4 - Richard Ayoade takes a variety of equally funny guests on a 48 hour whistle-stop trip to various cities. Disguised as a travel show it's a great reason to show Richard Ayoade at his cutting best. Visiting the lesser known sites of each city, he and his travelling partner try to pack in as much as possible including places to eat, things to do & see. It's genuinely laugh out loud TV.

'Mount Pleasant' Sky 1 - After 6 series 'Mount Pleasant' is still on top form. It follows the lives of married couple Lisa (Sally Lindsay) & Dan (Dan Ryan) living the suburban life in Manchester. The ups & downs of juggling their work & private lives, along with their friends, familes & neighbours. Bobby Ball as Lisa's adorable & hilarious dad is still the stand-out casting. Many of the original characters have gone but the new characters & stories still make this a great watch.

'The Royals' E! - Based on a fictional British royal family. With Elizabeth Hurley playing the queen of England, the storylines are like the exaggerated drama of 'Dynasty'. Add Dame Joan Collins into the mix as the Grand Duchess it's a crazy ride of off-the-wall drama & unashamed entertainmant.

'Trollied', Sky 1 - Now in its 6th series, the life of the staff at Valco supermarket is a fun & lighthearted comedy from Ash Atalla. A great cast & special guests over the series including Jane Horrocks, Jason Watkins and my personal favourites Lorraine Cheshire, Faye McKeever & Chanel Cresswell. When a cast get on so well off-screen it shines through on-screen.

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ccarter's picture

By @corrin80

I'm not sure how many would agree but I'm not really fussed about the soaps & haven't been for a while. Viewing figures would suggest that I'm not the only person who has switched off recently. For me it's a combination of a few things - too many episodes per week to keep up, repeated storylines but mostly paper thin characters that I no longer believe in.

Thankfully ITV3 have decided that we need to see why we fell in love with our soaps & have delivered a masterstroke. Repeating Coronation Street from what I would consider the shows glory years. The repeated episodes have started from 1986 & it's perfect TV. Picking up 26 years after the show started, we see a very different show to the soaps of today. It's slower pace & portrayal of the characters' everyday life is somehow gripping. 

After we see Kevin Webster famously drive past & splash her as she waited for a bus, Sally Seddon is introduced to the show becoming Kevin's girlfriend. Kev's landlady, the legendary Hilda Ogden is not impressed with his choice of girlfriend. Along the street the memorable characters keep coming: Alf Roberts running the corner shop, Mike Baldwin is the boss at the factory, Bet Lynch's name is on the door of the Rovers, Brian Tilsley runs the garage, Rita & Mavis are behind the counter of the newsagents (complete with a wooden drawer as a till) & the cafe is manned by Gail Tilsley, Phyllis & a teenage Martin Platt.

Among the daily routine of seeing Vera & Ivy head to work in the factory while Curly & Terry Duckworth are wannabe furniture dealers there is high drama brewing. At number 1, Ken Barlow is hellbent on stopping daughter Susan marry her boyfriend Mike Baldwin. Refusing to accept that Mike could become his son-in-law Ken won't go to the wedding & give his daughter away, Dierdre is at loggerheads with him & we've already seen two of the many famous fights between rivals Mike & Ken. The first in Mike's office & the second is in the Rovers.

It's been a real treat to watch these episodes, from the famous ginger cat on the roof during the opening credits, mentions of Balaclava Street to the hilariously abrupt endings with no cliffhanger moments. It's taken me right back to when soaps were so much better without the expensive stunts & shock storylines. Of course they are needed every now and then but recently the soaps tend to bumble along for a few months then use a stunt episode in an effort to draw the audience back. Unfortunately I don't think soaps could survive without that format because every member of the cast back then played a character with much more depth, sadly now it's just a collection of either middle aged people with no character or young attractive people behaving badly. We've seen everything there is to see now so nothing really stands out or keeps us on the edge if our seats like back then. Most soap actors today rarely stick around long enough for us to become attached to their character, so to see a 31 year old soap with some of the characters still present today has been a joy to watch their early years & knowing what lies ahead for them.
Among the greats of this era - the bickering Duckworth's, Hilda Ogden & Ken & Dierdre, there is one character who stands out - Bet Lynch. Always considered a legend of the show but watching so many episodes I now understand why. An amazing character who got the best lines and for all of her trademark leopard skin & blonde hair piled up on her head, she was possibly the most believable. As the landlady of the Rovers she was a vital character & Julie Goodyear played her effortlessly, keeping tabs on cellar man Jack Duckworth & laughing along with much missed Betty Turpin.

I've loved going back in time enjoying these episodes and can't wait to see how the stories unfold - will Rita get together with Alan Bradley? Will Jack Duckworth get to drive the car Vera has won in a competition? Will Brian & Gail Tilsley live happily ever after? And most importantly why was Bet wearing toilet rolls for earrings?

Classic Coronation Street, ITV3, 2.40 & 3.15pm weekdays