Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weekending Shenanigans Part 1

Paul was up at the weekend, for our by now traditional (can two years count as a tradition?) Edinburgh Festival drink and books get together.

It's not a complicated tradition or anything - just a chance to sit around, gabbing about books and telly and people we know, fuelled by alcohol and chinese takeaway. The specific plan this time round was to watch telly and get drunk on the Friday night, then go book shopping on Saturday, followed by dinner and more drinks.

As it turned out, Julie, Paul and I managed to get the chinese meal ordered and eaten, contrived to fill up sundry glasses with red wine, cider and vodka (not all at once, you understand) but then ended up gabbing and drinking until about 11 o'clock and so by the time we turned the tv on, we were all a bit half-cut and nodding off.

Which might explain the disparity between...

Friday Night Viewing (planned)

The Love Boat (pilot episode)
My Family and Other Animals (an episode with Brian Blessed as Spiro)
Crossroads (random black and white episode)
Raven (an episode not already on the Network DVD Look Back sampler dvd)

Friday Night Viewing (actual)

The Love Boat (abandoned half way through due to drunken tiredness)

Crossroads in 1966 was a far different beast to that in 1979, we discovered. Like Coronation Street at the same time, it's a more realistic series than soaps nowadays, with nothing very much happening and a lot of the screen time being taken up with characters talking to one another.

There's no sign here of campness or cheapness, no wobbly sets or comedy ethnic characters. In fact it's not even really about the motel at all, merely using that as a base around which the staff live their lives. A pre-accident Sandy gives evidence in court, Miss Diane (looking very young and just plain 'Diane' at this point) worries about something or other to do with tea, and an equally young but still not very attractive Audrey Roberts bats her eyelids unconvincingly at all and sundry (presumably Wendy Richard wasn't available for the role on the day required?). Noelle Gordon is even more brilliant than she is later on (though sadly she doesn't sing) and all that I really missed from the 70s series I watched at tea-time is the dashing figure of David Hunter (actually, where was Jane Rossington, I wonder?)

The other unexpected thing (and again, similar to contemporary Corrie) is how quickly an episode shoots past. We watched it for what felt like five minutes, paused the dvd to talk about Noelle's hair and her resemblance to Thatcher, turned it back on - and it was finished! Presumably part of that is down to the short running time, once adverts have been removed, but even so, for a show full of talking it was no great trial to get through...

To be honest, all I can remember clearly about The Love Boat was the presence of Phil Silvers, some plot bits about the ship's doctor having been a newly wed woman's old friend and a jealous husband threatening to belt him one. And some sort of bedroom swap, but things were going a bit blurry and cross-eyed by that point. I did laugh though, I think so worth re-visiting.

Saturday's goings on, including scary giant bears, posh ladies, ill-informed booksellers and overly screechy teenagers, later...

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Blogger Scott Harrison said...

I've been highly tempted myself to get hold of old episodes of Crossroads and Coronation Street (1960s & 70s stuff) on DVD as Network are selling them at some smashing prices on their site.

The odd thing is I much prefer watching TV shows from the 60s, 70s and 80s than I do the current stuff...and I'm not sure if I should be worried about this or not!

2:20 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Well it never worries me in the slightest! :)

2:22 pm  

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