Brookside has been off our screens for nearly 8 years now, yes, you heard right, 8 years!! Goodness!! 8 years without explosions, fights, car crashes and so on!!
The TV and TV listings magazines/guides still look bleek, especially in the soap column, all we hear about today is the press saying, "They can't Corrie on like this" or "Bust up at EastEnders" and so on. The television programmes today are all sad, like THE JEREMY KYLE SHOW or CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER. Anyway back to Brookie...
If you don't know what Brookside is or WAS as I should say, It was a soap, set in a close, in Merseyside, Croxteth, Liverpool and it introduced some hard hitting storyline no other soap had done before, like that lesbian kiss shown before the watershed or the cult in 1994, or the time Jimmy Corkhill held a class of students hostage because he was going crazy, or the big un, that body under the patio!!
Brookside was the one of the first programmes to be broadcast on Channel 4, on Tuesday, 2nd November 1982 with the Grants moving in from a run down council estate, going up the property ladder, whilst the posh Collins family had to move down the property ladder as a result of unemployment. Then their were the Huntingtons, a married couple who were both accountants.
Brookside changed in the early 1990's when Brookside Parade arrived, a defunct college about 15 minutes away from the Brookside set, and Brookside Parade had a shop (owned by the Dixons) then came a nightclud (owned by Barry Grant) next came a pizza shop, and a petrol station.
When 2000 came however the avid viewers of Brookside must have had a bad dream because Brookside started to decline. Before 2000, ratings were at around 4 - 5 million, but afer 2000, they were going to 2 - 3 million instead and in 2002, they were at around 1 million, and in the final year (2003) they were at around 400,000, which wasn't good for Brookside, or channel 4.
Channel 4 was the cause of rapid rating drops because they messed around with it too much, but in November 2002, they moved Brookside from 3 episodes and an omnibus edition every week, just to the omnibus edition, on a Saturday, then, in mid 2003, they changed it again, to Thursdays, and again, to its final timeslot, on a Tuesday at 11:30pm, 90 minutes. They messed around with it like e.g: on Saturday, in the Brookside slot, if C4 had a show no other slot it would fit in, they would've moved Brookside out of that slot,put in the show they wanted to do & put Brookside back-to-back the following Saturday. So, unless, (like me) you read the TV mags, you would'nt know about Brookside being back-to-back, so you would give up on it.
The final episode (watched on channel 4 4OD) was great, basically revolving around (Jack) Michaelson (Paul Duckworth) with everybody in Brookside Close taking a stand against him. And do you know what they did? Taped him up and hung him (lynched) up from his bedroom window, How weird is that!!
THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT BROOKSIDE
Creator: Phil Redmond (he also created Grange hill and Hollyoaks, he even created the emmerdale storyline of the plane crash in 1993)
Brookside Close: On the end of the road from Merseyside, Croxteth, outer Liverpool
When It Started: 1982
When It Finished: 2003
In my opinion Brookside was worth watching (until it finished) but you can buy DVDS and books about it and you can even watch episodes on Channel 4 4OD, Youtube and Dailymotion too. Sad it had to end but you can visit the close whenever you want to and you can even buy a house there too if you do want your own little piece of TV history!! Watch out at number 10 though, you'll be freaked out if you sit on the patio!!
Thank you for reading my review and I hope Channel 4 bring Brookside out on the 2nd november 2012!
I have to admit I am a big soap fan and that might be a bit sad I guess but I do love them as they are normally just easy viewing that you really don't have to think about and can almost pry into other's lives even if you know it's not real so offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of your own life for a bit at least.
Brookside was Channel Four's big soap offering back in the days it was on, although they do of course still have Hollyoaks too. It was a British soap opera that was set in Liverpool in England and ran for twenty one years from 1982 to 2003 before being cancelled. It was hugely popular in it's day and I remember watching if for a fair while in the 1990's. The idea for the show came from Phil Redmond who you may remember also created Grange Hill and Hollyoaks. At it's peak before it tailed off it was a worth competitor for the likes of Eastenders and Coronation Street.
The thing that was good about Brookside was that it was never afraid to tackle some realistic and socially challenging storylines over the years from murder to lesbian affairs and also an incest storyline between a brother and sister which caused a bit stir at the time. In fact this soap was groundbreaking as they were the first to feature a lesbian kiss before the watershed time of 9pm.
Despite it's popularity in the 1990's by the turn of the century viewing figures were in decline and unfortunately the show had to be cancelled in 2003.
There were many great characters during the show's duration and the notable ones were perhaps the Grant family and they were the family that started it all back in 1982 with Sheila played by Sue Johnston and Bobby played by Ricky Tomlinson. It was a shame that it ran it's course but then sometimes that happens and the storylines dried up and try as they might viewers just turned away and dropped leaving them with no alternative but to cancel.
I must confess that I am not really in any way a soap fan. I got roped into watching Brookside when I was younger (in the late 1990s), and given my hatred for soaps, it was in my opinion the best of the bunch. It wasn't as stuffy as Corronation Street, nor as poorly acted and shoddily made as Eastenders. It was a nice middle ground that had a few revolutionary ideas even if it was ultimately still a dodgy soap.
The show took place in an estate called Brookside Close in Liverpool, where, as with most soaps, everyone was either a criminal, an alcoholic, or had some strange secret that they were conceiling. The show was actually shot on a real "close" to enhance realism, and it has something of an iconic look that most other soaps do not have in the same way. The show was also tackling controversial storylines such as incest, rape, sexual abuse, and homosexuality that other shows at the time were simply too afraid of or prudish to pursue.
The main character, and one who stayed in it from 1986 to 2003, is Jimmy Corkhill, a loveable rogue type who suffered with numerous problems throughout his arc, such as a shambolic marriage to wife Jacki, as well as problems with depression and drugs. He was the show's lynch pin and delivered a nuanced performance right to the show's final wall-breaking scene.
The show is, for my money, the most outrageous soap that ever was, and was spurned to this effect by dwindling ratings. There were numerous explosions and bombs that went off, and in its later years there was even a hilarious incident when a police helicopter was shot down over the close, resulting in an intense stand-off. The show's final episode in particular was absurd, but quite a nice send-off after years of ropey storylines.
It is a guilty pleasure no doubt, but as far as soaps go, it's nice to see one that acknowledged its own ridiculousness, and actually had some good acting to boot. For a look at the "scally" culture of Liverpool, as well as a way to learn all of their amusing words (such as calling cops "busies"), then this was the way to go, and I'm sad that it's gone.
Do you know, I still miss Brookside. It hasn't been on now for several years but I think if they brought it back tomorrow every one of their viewers would tune in again. It was one of the first programmes to be shown on Channel 4, back in 1982. Over the years it got stronger and had many contraversal storylines. I guess that had alot to do with the fact the Phil Redmond was the genius behind it. I think it was typical of Liverpool (and many other areas) at that time and that is why is was so popular. The viewers could identify with the characters and their lives. The storylines I remember most were, Sheila Grant's rape, Barry and Terry getting up to all sorts, Sinbad finding his long lost Mum, the garage explosion, Laura getting electricuted, Jimmy Corkhill being bi polar. My favourite characters were Barry and Damon Grant, Jimmy Corkhill, Sinbad and Mick. Least favourite were grumpy Harry Cross, Ron Dixon,DeeDee Dixon, and Bobby Grant. Maybe we should start a campaign to get it repeated.
Who can forget Brookside, the first soap ever shown on Channel 4. This programme was set on a Liverpool housing estate, and followed all of it's residents.
The show was always hard hitting, covering almost every story that you can think of. Some examples from the top of my head include murder, rape, sieges, shootings, incest, affairs, domestic abuse, helicopter crashes and explosions. Who would ever want to live on such an estate with all of these nasty things going on. The close would have surely been on the news all of the time!
The hardest hitting story would have to be the Jordache domestic abuse story, in about 1993. Mandy Jordache and her two daughters, Beth and Rachel were housed on Brookside Close for their safety after their dad, Trevor abused them. Trevor eventually tracked them down, wormed his way back into Mandy's life, and subsequently starts beating her up again. The worst thing of all was him abusing their youngest daughter, Rachel. This was the final straw for Mandy and Beth, and they plotted to kill him by putting poison in his food. He finds them doing this though and attacks them both, only for Mandy to stab him in the back. This leads to them famously burying him under the patio, leading to a very gripping story.
Brookside's viewers declined in the new millenium, and eventually the programme ceased production in late 2003. It will always be remembered by it's many fans though.
This was the first soap opera to be shown on channel 4 on the channels first night started back in 1982.
The Brookside of the title was the close in Liverpool where all the charcters lived. There was a real mixture of characters -there were the Grants - who were on their way up in life having bought their first non council home, the Yuppies Heather and Roger and the wide boy Gavin with his wife Petra.
This series launched the careers of a number of actors who have since become household names, Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston who played Bobby and Sheila Grant, Amanda Burton who played Heather Haversham and Anna Friel who played Beth Jordache.
The story lines in Brookside were designed to be hard hitting and the writer Phil Redmond wanted them to reflect Britain as he saw it. This means we had storylines which involved strikes, theft, rape, teenage pregnancy. There were two stories which really captured the imagination of the country and they were the imprisonment of Fireman George Jackson who was thought to have been involved in a robbery on a warehouse, and the body of Trevor Jordache being buried under the patio.
Phil redmond moved onto other projects and the popularity of the programme declined. It kept being moved around the schedules so I ended up missing lots of episodes and so I just lost interest in the programme. I think often some of these programmes do become habit - as I often used to do the ironing whilst watching the latest episode and once they move them around they stop becoming habit.
Brookside finished in 2003 and all the houses were sold off again recently so you could have had your own piece of TV history if you wanted it!!
On my travels today myself and 2 colleagues were sent to have a look at some houses on a small estate in Croxteth, Liverpool...
As I turned onto a quite looking estate I scanned the sign post which simply said 'Brookeside'... as I drove into this avenue I had to park just in front of a small hut, with a barrier crossing the road into what looked like another avenue... I ducked under the pole of a barrier and walked onto the small hidden cul-de-sac without thinking anything about it but to have a look at the buildings on it for our clients...
As I walked along the road and turned to face the semi circle of house I suddenly realised where I'd seen this close before... especially when I spotted a single bungalow at the far end....
Although standing at the start of the close I did question myself as it seemed so small in comparison to what I had seen on the television regarding where I was now stood...
I actually stood there in slight awe as the younger colleagues with us looked at me with a confused expression on his face...
I had more or less grown up on this estate...(well via the television that is...) and I suddenly realised that we were actually stood on the actual set of the now deceased "Brookside Close", which really did make looking at houses that day a little different as I walked around, a little excited may I add, remembering what I had seen on the television, picturing it as I stood in certain places... the infamous patio behind number 10 and the tragic pool in the back garden of number 7....
As I spent the time looking around the grounds and having a good look inside the empty properties I decided to write a review on what I considered to be one of the best soaps on the television of its time...
*AND HERE WE GO...
Creator: Phil Redmond. (he of Grange Hill and Hollyoaks)
Producers: Mal Young and Paul Marquess
Stars: (Several over the 21 years, including...) Sue Johnston, Ricky Tomlinson,
Dean Sullivan, Claire Sweeney, Simon O'Brien, Paul Usher, Anna Friel, Raymond Quinn, Jennifer Ellison, Michael Stark and Peter Christian.
Brookside was first aired in November 1982, making its debut on Channel four, courtesy of Mersey Television...the shows uniqueness being how it was filmed in a real cul-de-sac in Croxteth on the outskirts of the city of Liverpool. Its television life lasted until 2003, filming nearly 3000 half hour episodes,
The actual Brookside close, or Brookie, consists of 12 houses and 1 bungalow, although only 6 houses were used in the filming, housing the fictional families who came and went throughout its 21 years.
* THE SOAP...
The first few episodes began to introduce the families into the small cul-de-sac... mainly focusing on the Grant family, (who had arrived from a rough council estate...) consisting of Bobby, (played by Ricky Tomlinson), Sheila, (played by Sue Johnston) and there kids, Barry, (played by Paul Usher), Damon, (played by Simon O'Brien) and Karen, (played by Sheelagh O'Hara)...
As other characters began to move in, including the Collins, a well off family who had had to down size from their usual life.... The Huntington's, who were young professional getting a step onto the property ladder... The Taylor's, who were a couple of wheeler dealers, selling anything they could.
Then, it seems to add a little extra humour into the show, the Cross family, Harry, (Bill Dean) and his wife Edna, (Betty Alberge) were introduced, an aged couple with him enjoying nothing more than a good gripe at everything and everyone.
And also Alan Partridge, (Dicken Ashworth) who moved into the only bungalow on the close.
As the show continued on, families left the close leaving room for others to join... like the introduction of the Jackson family in 1983 and the deathly departures of the Taylors.
It was with the arrival of the Jackson family and their involvement in a rather controversial plot line, creating some brilliant publicity with its clever use of the media, taking the viewing figures into orbit.
By the turn of the 1990s most of the original faces had left, leaving the writers with fresh faces to use involving some very contentious plot lines indeed, probably and most famously in 1993 for the first ever lesbian kiss to be shown in a soap opera before the watershed....(a big thing at the time).
And with the addition of the 'parade', which was seen as just around the corner from the close accessed through a small passage, (although the actual 'parade was filmed in disused College grounds in Childwall, which was 15 minutes), the show seemed to be able to expand it plotline choices.
Then, in the mid 90s it began to raise some even more controversial issues, such as incest and most dramatically domestic violence, showing the terrifying outcome of such abuse... with some shocking results, including a long standing story involving the Jordaches family and a body under the patio...
So with many different characters coming and going the show was becoming more popular then ever... made even more so by the arrival of the vast Corkhill family (who did seem to replace the Jackson's in the mid 80s), the main members of the family being Billy,(John McArdle), Jackie,(Sue Jenkins), Jimmy,(Dean Sullivan) and Lindsey, (Claire Sweeney), although there were many other members of the Corkhill clan.
The continuing story line were now becoming more hard hitting indeed with the show touching on many subjects as it constantly tried to shock the viewers, with such storylines as marital problems in the Grant household to debt troubles at the Corkhill's... including a hostage situation and a very rather frightening saga involving Sheila Grant....
Unfortunately, at the turn of the century the show began to lose it popularity due to a number of factors... mainly due to many favourite characters either leaving or being given some rather strange plot line...
So towards the demise of the soap there were some almost ridiculous stories... such as a cult suicide plot, a gang warfare with some visiting Manchurians, a badly fitted gas cooker incident and even a bullying plot which turned into an unusual death and many tongues wagging...
In shear desperation the writers were throwing anything they could think of into the show... but with little hope...
And as the curtain fell on this two decade running saga we saw what would be the funniest of what was meant to be a thriller of a story line as drug dealer, Jack Michaelson, (Paul Duckworth), upset all the remaining residents of the close and met his rather bizarre ending courtesy of a length of rope and an upstairs window from number 8....
So with the show at an end it was left down to Phil Redmond to write all the character out and he used Dean Sullivan as Jimmy Corkhill to narrate the final few words after expressing his anger in messages around the close itself...
* IN CONCLUSION
It started as a new soap on a relatively new television channel at the time and soon became as popular as the long running Coronation Street.
Its storylines seemed to be a light hearted look at the lives of several people from very different backgrounds all pushed into one small place.... But as time went on and the show became more popular the story line did seem to push the boundaries somewhat.
Although many of the story lines were brilliantly portrayed, especially the domestic violence plot involving the Jordache family and the rather comical character that was Jimmy Corkhill, I do feel some plots really did lose the plot, especially a long drawn out story line involving a who dunnit murder scenario on the construction site of the parade...
It is, sorry, was a soap opera which constantly tried to push the viewers feeling, and upsetting the media to the full as it used many controversial idea to gain its popularity, but the sometimes far fetched story lines did seem to be its downfall as the show simply became too far fetched, turning the viewers away ion their thousands, (mainly over to the BBC and Eastenders)...
The final few years of the shows life were the most dramatic, although very far fetched indeed... with a bomb explosion in the night club on the parade, a Scouse-Mancuniun-police stand off at the Murreys which ended in such a bizarre way that it was almost unwatchable... I mean, a helicopter for gods sake... what a farce...
Anyway, the show was rather entertaining, for a soap, but toward the end it did seem to be scrapping the bottom of the barrel for story lines, as if the writers had effectively ran out of ideas to shock the audience, there attempts to bring astonishment falling far short, bringing more laughter than awe, making the show become unwatchable toward the finale...
In all, I enjoyed watching most of the earlier episodes fro the comical banter, especially from the Grants and the Corkhills as they constantly bickered with their more upper class neighbours.... The early story lines being more realistic and quite enjoyable indeed...
But sadly, the stories became too far fetched and the characters become too serious, making the show become less light-hearted to watch...
Although the show has gone to the big soap dish in the sky the there are still many spin off shows that were made during its lifetime, such as... (but unfortunately they are only available on VHS video),
Brookside classics ...
*The Siege at number 7
* The Sheila Grant years
* That man Harry Cross
* Brookside, the teenage year
* Brookside, the women
* Brookside, the men
* Brookside, The lost weekend
* Brookside, the Backstage Tour
* Brookside, Friday the 13th
* Brookside, Double Take.
The only DVD release was titled 'Unfinished Business', which saw the previously aired scenes surrounding the drug dealer Jack Michaelson.
* For the record...
The houses at Brookside close are going into auction on in Mid December with a guide price of £600,000 for the entire plot....and with most of the houses having had much reconstruction and decorative work done to them this is a bargain of a price.
I find Brookside to be absolutely impenetrable. It takes long enough to understand what they are saying what with 'Go ead yur divvy' whatever that means but even when you can understand them the storylines are so extreme there is just no credibility.
I know its a soap and they have to compress everything into a small location but the amount of things which have happened in the Close are incredible. You have the usual mix of improbable marriages and relationships seemingly only set up so you can see how they fail. Completely implausible situations such as Jimmy Corkhill becoming a teacher and going off his head. There have been gangsters, stalkers, rapes, drugs, lesbian affairs, 'ordinary' affairs but with big age differences. Of course as there are a limited number of characters for you theoretically to get interested in they always seem to get involved with each other.
The programme has been going since Channel 4 started and was the brainchild of Phil Redmond who also developed Grange Hill. I have to say the programme needs rethinking. There used to be a spoof soap from America called 'Soap' in which completely outrageous things happened but I think even they would have rejected some of the Brookside plots.
Brookside is quite well produced and well acted but without the credibility in the story it is just a waste of talent. Some good actors like Kenneth Cope, Anna Friel and Bernie Nolan have been in it and it was where Amanda Burton first came to prominence.
Ultimately though I can leave it alone, it just doesn't grip me. Its just too ridiculous. There are occasionally some 5 programmes a week special story lines but it all getting too predictable. You just have to imagine the most improbable thing the could happen and it probably will.
I loved brookside it was the best thing on the tv, it was a very good soap opera with characters that seemed real. it just lost it,now axed only because the media underrated it and that channel 4 moved it time slot contuously from primetime to weekend then late night.it bowed out on november 2003 after 21 strong years on occasions peaks in ratings of 9million and ended on 2 million. Brookside was a Television soap filmed in Liverpool aimed at showing life as it was, and shown on Ch 4 with story lines based on real life situations covering many controversial issues including Drug Abuse, Date Rape, Incest, Domestic Violence,Bulimia and Religious cults e.t.c. Help-lines were sometimes shown at the end of theprogramme. The first episode was shown on the 2nd November 1982 and instead of filming in a studio six real houses were brought. There was also a shopping precinct called Brookside parade and Brookside Comprehensive school. The name Brookside was chosen because there is a brook that runs alongside the close. There were a mixture of characters in the programme of all ages and from various life styles. Each character had a real personality so that people could watch that person and relate to similar events in their own lives shown on the programme. The main Characters revolved around several families The Dixons, The Murrays, The Corkhills, The Shadwicks and The Johnsons. The young actors were natural as not all had been to stage school before they performed on Brookside. i also urge all brookside fans for past to visit :http://www.petitiononline.com/weigfach/petition.html also download past episodes and tlk on forumn to fellow fans at; brooksidesoapbox.co.uk There now is a brookside dvd out avaliable at brookside.com at the cost of £12.99 it is called brookside unfinished business it is a high octane feature length special that reveals what happens when deadly enemies finally get to set the score.Driven into hiding after the
death of tim o'learys wife emily(emily,played by jenifier ellsison who won hells kitchen),drug dealer terry gibson hatches a plan to deliver both tim and his friend steve into his clutches.using a liverpool escort agency and tim/steves limousine business.he lures them to a remote welsh farm to exact revenge.But tim and steve are not going to make it easier for the physochopathic killer. It is a 18 and includes special features such as interviews,comentary and behind the scenes as well as trailers for the next two dvds coming out soon called settling up where barry grant (paul usher)get revenge on those who killed his brother damon.And brookside 100 gretest moments.
I know Brookside has never been on a par with Eastenders or Coronation Street, but it did used to be quite good. Recently I have begun to question why I am taking time out of my busy schedule to actually watch it. My mom had watched it practically from the start, yet even she gave it up a few months ago. I stuck it out however waiting for improvement. Now I have read that ratings have dramatically fallen and I cannot say I'm surprised. Am I the only one who thinks the story lines are done to death. I did not think anything could out drag the Nicki Shadwick rape storyline (if you can call it that), a couple of years ago, but the Anthony Murray one has. I could not believe it when the boy who plays him picked up awards at this years soap awards. The whole thing has dragged on and on, with no sign of them coming nearer to finding Emelda. We don't even know if she is dead. Any intrigue I had is well and truly gone. Similarly, the Murray's IVF failures have gone on and on and if Mike Dixon does not stop complaining about his teeth I shall scream. The house swap showed promise at some humour but fizzled into nothing. Jimmy's depression, is just that depressing, resulting in it having become a chore to watch. Further, is the arrival of the new family. Newcomers always take some getting used to, this time I'm not sure I can be bothered. I've set myself a target of this week and if there is still nothing to grab me, that's it. What do other Brookie/ex brookie fans think?
Brookside for me has now become a religion rather than a simple obsession. This is a program that is based on the people of Liverpool and more precise it is located in Brookside hence the title. It features the situations that these peoples encounter and how they over come them. Brookside has now been running for over ten years and for many people the tradition that is the show has now reached an all time high in popularity because of his entwining storyline and captivating and magnetic characters. Brookside is on 3 times a week on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and then repeated over the weekend. The schedule over that past few months has gone through various transformation which has become very annoying and frustrating for the user and even now there is no guarantee that the now chosen schedule shall remain in place or whether the directors of the show shall again choose to resituate the program. Brookside is one of the best soap operas in the United Kingdom not just because of the record breaking running time but also because of the manner in which new storylines are continuously being introduced to the show. It compares very well against the competition, the likes of Eastenders and Coronation Street are in comparison to the show but are not equals perhaps apart from the pioneering Eastenders. The characters within the show are chosen so that each member of the household family can relate with them and fully appreciate them. For instance small children can relate with the young child being bullied whereas the older generation can interact with Jackie and Max Farnham. The storylines over the years have gone under a lot of transformation and new ideas and ideals are constantly being introduced. For example the perhaps most interesting and captivating storyline of the Jordashes, in which a father abused his young daughters has now spanned out into a network of storylines ranging from bullying to drugs and crim
e. The winning formula for Brookside is how easy it is to relate with the characters and the sites and sounds that they experience so that when one watches them on television it feel like they are just watching themselves in different predicaments. I feel that this is something that a lot of new and foreign shows have failed to maintain, although they bring new images to the airwaves the important factor of relating to the characters is ultimately lost, and Brookside thrives off this. Showing on channel 4 the language and content is very strong and emotional but this is simply to create a more believable and realistic environment. Don?t misunderstand, the characters do not swear but the language is harsh and rough creating an interesting environment to say the least. Unlike Eastenders, Brookside rarely ventures outside Liverpool but instead keeps the filming within the vicinity. Is this a good thing? Well yes in the most part because we are not able to see the characters in different surroundings but this means that the audience is not sidetracked from situations and events happening in the show. Brookside is a classic example of a quality soap, and is probably the blueprint that other soap operas should follow. Brookside was the first to pioneer into a lot of new subjects such as abortion, and incest. Today their legacy still lives on.
I like to think of myself as an educated soap fan, I know my Mitchell's from my Sugdens, and I know the difference between the Street and the Parade. Brookside is a soap, set in Liverpool,which concentrates on the lives of the people who live in Brookside close. Brookside is well known for being on people's least favourite place to live list! Everything happens there, murders,cults,explosions and the odd dead body under a patio. I feel that Brookside covers a whole heap of topic's, and also in a way that requires a high standard of acting, the characters give that high standard of acting. The first lesbian kiss on Tv,domestic violence and rape have all been portrayed with outstanding acting. More recently the storyline of Jimmy Corkhill and his mental illness, his acting made me weep, he had me wanting to reach out and protect him, it was amazing. I could go on as the list of great storys played out so well is endless. What I do not understand is why on the recent "Soap Awards" Brookside was hardly recongised. I understand everyone has their favourite soaps, but to all those that have not seen Brookside, give it a try, it may just surprise you.
I was watching an episode of Brookside tonight and it got me thinking. The entire episode contained only two characters - Jimmy Corkhill and Mick Johnson. Watching this show made me realise just how good Brookie can be at times. Some people are not fans of soap episodes based completely around just a couple of characters. I am not necessarily either, it depends on the actors involved. This evening’s Brookside episode was very good though, in my opinion and it was a testament to both actors. Mick was in the depths of despair and contemplating suicide when former mental patient and drug addict Jimmy made him see that he had hope in his life. Dean Sullivan, who plays the sometimes unstable Jimmy is one of the finest actors on the box for my money. Having said that, Louis Emerick (Mick) is not exactly bad either. The episode was a nice tribute to Louis who has worked on Brookside for twelve years and will make his on-screen exit very shortly. I am not afraid to admit that I was teary eyed more than once during the 22 minute show. I am not surprised though that the soap delivered tonight. It has been breaking taboos with sensational plot for years now. Remember the now infamous “lesbian kiss”? That’s right, Brookie had lesbian characters when everyone else was terrified to. They risked public outcry and took a gamble which paid off. Since it’s beginning Brookside has covered just about every single plot you can think of. Incest, racism, a religious cult, murder, rape, they’ve even had their own plague! Okay, so maybe that was not the best idea they have ever thought of but at least it showed daringness and imagination. While watching the ‘A-Z of Soap’ last weekend on BBC1, I noticed just how few clips of Brookside were shown. I think they showed more of Eldorado and Triangle than the Merseyside soap. I appreciate that Brookie is aired on a rival TV channel but that did not affect the Coronation Street f
ootage that was shown. It has struck me just how underrated Brookside really is. When you read the newspapers and the preview, or review the night’s telly, Brookside rarely gets a mention. I know the show is shown on Channel 4 but does that really make a difference? All you’ve got to do is press a button people!!! It seems that even fellow Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks gets more media attention than Brookie. While I do not mind Hollyoaks, overall I do not think that it possesses the acting talent that Brookside does. The scouse soap is by no means perfect and like most shows it has some actors who are not quite on par with others. All in all though, it is a solid show, that carries a reputation for covering storylines before (and often better) that other soap operas. If you are looking for some good old depressing (that it what makes the show) acting, then I would advise you to give the C4 show a shot. You only have to change the channel remember!
I used to be addicted to soaps; I watched all bar two and loved them. But I have cut down on quite a few and one of the ones left is Brookside. I have always like Brookside and I love the character's accents, they make the programme more enjoyable (I am not making fun of Liverpool people's accents!). Brookside is set in Liverpool on Brookside close and around that fictional area. However, it is actually filmed in Manchester next door to where Hollyoaks is filmed. That is why you'll find a few Brookie characters dating some of the Hollyoaks ones. Brookside has been going for about 19 years, which is longer than Eastenders. Although it is not everyone’s favourite soap it does have a lot of dedicated viewers who watch it most episodes. There have been many storylines on Brookie that you wouldn't usually find in a normal place, but it's soap so therefore fictional. Many of the stories have been very dramatic, from burying a body under patio to being a surrogate mother to someone you don't even like! Over the years Brookside has certainly brought us a lot of great plots. Many of the characters in Brookside have switched to other soaps, some even staying the same character. For example Matt from Brookside (the one in the family with the brother that raped Nikki Shadwick) went over the road to Hollyoaks staying as the same Matt. Also Max Farnham's wife went over to coronation Street to play Natalie's sister, Debbie. There are many more characters that have done that. Storylines play a big part in soaps, they have to be exciting and intriguing otherwise the viewer’s wont watch the show. A lot has happened on Brookside. I have put some below. The Jordaches; Rachel is the only Jordache left in Brookside. Her mother and sister killed her abusive father and them buried him with the help of Sinbad under the patio. A little while later he was found and Beth (the sister) and the
mother were sent to prison. Beth died in there. Susannah; Susannah was the lying and cheating bitch of the square. Everyone hated her. But she finally got her comeuppance last year when Max, her ex, pushed her down the stairs leaving her dead. She left behind her two children and a lot of memories. The Millennium explosion; This as you can probably tell happened at the millennium. The new club owned by Jackie Dixon, Lindsey Corkhill and Susannah Morrisy was opened up for the first time. During the evening Greg Shadwick and Susannah were in one of the showers together ending their affair. The club exploded and left Greg dead and Susannah seriously injured. Then when Greg’s son, Jason, went in to get him he was killed as well during the blast. This left the Shadwicks devastated. Those are just a few of the many storylines Brookside has brought us over the years. It is a fantastic show that will hopefully keep us entertained for years to come. I love watching Brookside and although it isn’t my favourite soap I do like it.