* Prices may differ from that shown
It's not really surprising that Crossroads hasn't done as well as it should have done. When they first brought it back it had great potential - the viewers were getting to know all the new characters, and it had some good story lines. I think they overdid the murder thing a bit (is 2 murders in 1 hotel in the space of just a few months really realistic - i think not!). But apart from that Crossroads was developing well I think, and let's face it, if viewers wanted realism they'd watch the news! Just as Crossroads was getting interesting, ITV suddenly took it off the air for a few months, for what they said would be a total overhaul.As soon as they brought it back, what should happen in the first episode? You've guessed it..another murder! Some much for new and improved Crossroads. Look on the bright side though, at least there's only been one murder so far! There are some great story lines are going on at the moment: there's mad Beena, obsessed with Jake. There's the Dave, Oona and Tracey love triangle. There's nasty Ethan Black just waiting to get his revenge on the Samson's. Then there's Joe who ALSO wants his revenge on the Samson's, but is madly in love with their daughter. There's no doubt about it, ITV have certainly succeeded in turning Crossroads into the "Dynasty" like programme they were aiming for, while still managing to keep the essence of the original Crossroads. Crossroads was the programme I used to watch avidly every day after school when I was young (the fire at the motel being one of my oldest memories :-)), and now as an adult it's the programme to watch when you come home from work, and chill out in front of the TV with. It's SUPPOSED to be exaggerated and a little unbelievable, that's what makes it fun - if you want award winning and serious watch Eastenders!
Hey watch before you knock it. I like Crossroads. I never watched Crossroads the first time around but even before it was on the screen it was being written that it wont last. How many have said this without even watching the "new" Crossroads. Crossroads is a Hotel. It is a re vamped Soap Opera. First time around did not have the advantages of what soap operas have today. Much was done live so you really cannot compare those days with today. It centre around the owner Kate Booth and her family of 2 sons, daughter, daughter in law and Grandson, not the guests which are very hard to spot. Besides the family you have the staff which are becoming less and less because the hotel is fast going to the dogs. There were 3 of the old crossroads "staff" in it but one has already been murdered, we dont know where the other is and one has retired. You can miss several episodes and still not loose track of the plot which makes for easy watching. Most of the storyline at the moment is centred on Luke, who is Kates son and he has just found out who his father is and fallen out with him, his alcoholic wife Tracey that is about to be sanctioned and his son who he wants to get full custody of. There are other story lines such as school homework, dogfighting and I am afraid once they get hold of a storyline they find it hard to let it go! Crossroads is on at 5.30pm Monday to Thursday which means it is on the same time as both Anne Robinson with The weakest link and that well established Aussie soap Neighbours so really that doesnt help it at all. Given the chance, the money spent on it to maybe have some people staying in the hotel and storylines around them and a different time slot this could be one of the top soaps
The show opens with a pan across the Motel reception and that damned awful signature tune (the original, rather than the Paul McCartney reworked "sad version". A receptionist who has never been seen before and who never utters a word (at least an audible one) "chats" to a similarly mute couple who nevertheless also have moving lips and clutch tightly at a leaflet describing the sights of King's Heath. A door bangs in the kitchen, causing the reception desk to shake uncontrollably and a couple of what seem to be stout oak panels blow across the room. A pane of glass falls from one of the window frames and smashes outside. Still there is silence from the guests and receptionist. A crazed dwarf wearing a chef's uniform races across the reception screaming "Mrs Richardson, Mrs Richardson, we've got an emergency". This is the drug-crazed, mad axeman that is Shughie McFee, the Motel chef. As he races across reception he passes a bumbling oaf in overalls and a bobble hat. "Miss Diane, Oi'm just off for a spanner" is the chilling cry as Benny walks off stage left, never to be seen again by mortal man (at least until his return as a SERIOUS ACTOR. The scene switches to the office where there is a tense silence as Adam Chance and Jill sit facing each other across the empty room. There is an eerie pause while each waits for the other to speak. Finally Adam whispers from behind his raised hand "It's your line, you moron." Jill is startled into action and, almost as an instinctive reaction, breaks into the moving chant, "You're going home like Sandy Richardson, you're going home like Sandy Richardson." Motel owner Meg Mortimer vamps onto the set with an indignant expression on her face. She is clearly annoyed and spits out "Jill, how could you!" Jill is clearly riled by the admonishment and really gets into her stride, screaming " ;Who ate all the pies, who ate all the pies - you fat bastard, you fat bastard, you ate all the pies!" Clearly, the beautiful, young, blonde businesswoman is not feeling quite herself. Has she missed last Sunday's edition of Bullseye? Then suddenly we can see fire and smoke from the reception and amazingly there are already the sounds of fire engines as the creaking closing credits start to roll. Will everyone perish in the inferno or will we be unlucky and have some of them survive to mumble again another day? THIS IS THE EPIC KNOWN AS CROSSROADS It's made an unexpected return to our screens in recent months from its lengthy exile, back in the 60's and 70's when it was one of the most popular and watched of all TV soap operas, despite all the dodgy acting, shaky sets and bizarre plotlines, but despite a bit of a makeover and a desire to go a bit up market, all the old issues are still there. The good old BBC website - http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/entertainment/newsid_1203000/1203144.stm - is as ever a mine of useful info about the bad old days and just quoting liberally for a moment or two, cos it says it all so perfectly, "In 1964, Coronation Street was an infant at just four years old, Emmerdale was a dozen years away and EastEnders wouldn't arrive for 21. And Hazel Adair and Peter Ling created what they planned to call The Midland Road for ITV. Renamed Crossroads, it would become the most mocked drama series in British television history but it would also last for 24 years. It ran initially for five days a week, though in 1967 it dropped back to four and in 1979 TV regulator the IBA, seemingly aghast at how bad it was, ordered it to go down to three. "The soap was the story of the Crossroads Motel, a small business in King's Oak, somewhere in the Midlands. It was a small pond, but Meg Richardson (Noele Gordon) ran it like she was the queen of a country and the motel was a cardboard castle with a lot of staff and some mostly silent guests. Among the many staff cleaning the motel's few chalets were Doris Luke (Kathy Staff) and Amy Turtle (Ann George), the model for Victoria Wood's Mrs Overall. When Ronald Allen later joined as manager David Hunter, Ann George is rumoured to have complained: "I can't work with him, he acts too fast!" "Such were the daft plots that Amy Turtle was accused of being a Russian spy who had cunningly changed her name from Amelia Turtlovski. If that story were ever resolved, and not everything was, nobody cared." Some 13 years after its curtain fell, for some reason the powers that be decreed that the Force would be inflicted once more upon an unsuspecting world and in March 2001, the Beast returned, replete in all the old finery, with a whole stream of new characters, although Adam and Jill Chance (who was quickly bumped off) and dreary Doris Luke were hangovers from the 'good' old days. The 'new' Crossroads goes out at tea time and is repeated during the day and has now developed a new irritating habit of swiftly cutting between the various different naff story lines so that you don't really get the chance to suss out what's happening. To get the full, grating lowdown on this monster, you should check out the TV Cream website - http://tv.cream.org/ - which boasts among other things "Romance was in the air at King's Oak. The new postman, Vince Parker, had a bright smile and a fast line of chat which appealed to Diane; Peter Hope, the new vicar, was very dishy... but was he too good for working-class Marilyn? Then there was old Enoch, who won £250 on the Premium Bonds and advertised for a wife...But something else was in the breeze. Who were the Poison Pen Letter Writer, the Houseboat Haunter, and the Night Prowler? Was there a Crossroads Crime Wave? Laughter and tears, triumph and heartbreak, love and hatred - ev ery human emotion is here in the special Crossroads blend." Aarrrghhhh!!!
Just like several other people who have wrote on this catergory, I have a confession to make: God forbid, I think "Crossroads" is a goos soap! We all remember when the show aired during the 60's, 70's and 80's, but when it returned to ITV in March 2001, it came back well and truly improved. For a start, most of the original goons had disappeared. And, there was no fautly flooring or props! But, we did have to put up with two of the most annoying soap characters ever- Jill Harvey and Adam Chance. Luckily, the creators of the "newly designed" soap realised bringing them back was a bad move, so they ended up getting Adam to MURDER Jill! Very convincing storyline-NOT! Yes, although I find it a highly entertaining soap, it still has some terribly weak actors and totally unbelivable storylines! The entertaining and real characters are: Jake- The Phil Mitchell (to a smaller extend) of Crossroads. Ladies watch out, 'cos Jake's about! Beena- Sexy, slick indian young lass Beena provides some spice in the otherwise dull cast. The characters which are entertaining but not realistic one bit: Dorris- The good old laundry worker, Doris Luke has to be the kindest woman I've ever seen. She certainly doesn't take life very seriously. Oona- One of the only true brummies in Crossraods, Oona Stocks is an utter loudmouth who makes my sides split sometimes! In a recent storyline, she discovered her 17 year old daughter Mandy was pregnant, and she took it so brilliantly well! Phil- Poor boy Phil always finds himself getting into trouble. He arrived on the first day Crossroads returned to our screens. His mother,Julie, is incredibly irritating. The characters you'd like to be seen left in the lake just like Jill- All of The Russell family + Tracey- This family all own Crossroads. They think they have it hard, but one of them is off every day! And Tracey (married to Jake) is an annoying mess who just does nothing in the show. The acting from Cindy Day who plays her is appaulling. Billy- The forever miserable chef of the beloved kitchen. He is seen as some sort of "sex symbol" on the show, but he's just a 4o something year old state. As well as Jill and Adam, quite a few other people have quickly departed in the first year of the show returning: Tom + Daniel- Gay café owner and his younger brother. Left to live in Manchester. Virginia- Formerly Maureen Holdsworth in Corrie. Virginia left to go on a 4 month cruise with her boyfriend. Sarah Jane Harvey- This girl left in September, leaving husband-to-be Mark standing. She turned out to be faking her identity, she wasn't the daughter of Jill Harvey as she'd claimed, she was in fact a cheating liar called Louise Dixon. The real Sarah Jane came flying in just after the imposter left. But, hang on, haven't we seen the new Sarah Jane somewhere before? Ah, yes- She was also in Coronation Street. Anyway, here are the top storylines that dominated Crossroads over the first 9 months: Phil and Nicola run away from home* Jill Harvey is murdered by Adam Chance* Mandy Stocks gets pregnant with Billy's (err!)child!* And thats basically it. There are many other not so big storylines and characters, but it'd take forever to go into real detail. To find out more, I believe the official site is fairly good! So, all in all, Crossroads isn't too bad! The only problem is, it's on at the same time as Neighbours!
I shouldn’t really admit this, but I actually ENJOY watching the new series of Crossroads. This is really quite a sad confession, as I would consider myself to be an otherwise normal person. So, at the risk of losing my street credibility, I’ll try to explain why I think Crossroads is worth watching. I suppose the main attraction for me is one of nostalgia. I can remember watching Crossroads from a very early age. Originating from Birmingham, even the accents give me a twinge of homesickness. It’s nice to see a new programme with a few familiar faces. It was a welcome (if brief) return by Jill Harvey (Jane Rossington), Adam Chance (sorry, I’ve forgotten the name of the actor) and of course Miss Luke (Cathy Staff). They even look the same as they did in the original show – the wonders of make-up or don’t actors age as quickly as the rest of us? All the things that people criticised in the original Crossroads are still there – weak story lines, slightly wooden acting, dodgy sets… But, somehow that all adds to the character of the show. It’s like tuning in to an old comfy favourite once more. The slightly frightening thing is wondering where has all the time gone. A whole chunk of my life has happened whilst Crossroads has been off the air. How could this “product” be improved? Wouldn’t it be great if they could bring back more of the old characters, especially Benny? Maybe woolly hats would even have a revival as a fashion accessory! There’s a whole generation out there who probably haven’t even heard of Benny. So, if you haven’t seen Crossroads yet (or are too young to remember the original), I recommend you watch it once. It’s on around 5.30pm on ITV1. You may even become hooked!
I really do want to love it, honestly I do. I remember watching it in the 80's with Jill,Miss Diane, Benny and of course the mighty Meg Mortimer at the helm, and I was hooked. I don't really know what the appeal was, the high camp of the acting, the implausible storylines that almost had you in hysterics or perhaps just the lovely Jill swanning around in a high-collared silk blouse, I really dont know! When I heard it was being revived I was delighted , I was looking forward to seeing my old favourites in a soap that never took itself too seriously and provided a little entertainment of a boring evening. Way back in March it looked promising, we had trusty old Doris Luke and at the end of the first episode the formidable Jill herself turned up delivering one of her best ever lines, "I don't need a reservation, I OWN the hotel!" I really thought I could look forward to enjoying Crossroads once again... then it started to sink in. There we only three original cast, Doris, Jill and Jill's ex-husband Adam. 'Never mind,' I thought, 'It's better than none!' How wrong could I be? Within days it was obious that Doris would do nothing more exciting than put her whites on the wrong wash in the laundry and before you knew it, Jill was killed in the hotel lake! Worse was to come....her ex-husband Adam,who, although sly, had always adored her in the old series was the murderer! My patience was streched! I couldn't see how the new faces could hold it toghether, none of them seemed interesting to be honest! I decided to carry on watching, hoping some of them would capture my imagination..... they didn't. The main players seem to be: Sarah Jane, Jill's long lost daughter who very woodenly goes on about her shares constantly and tries to wrap everyone around her finger. Kate and Patrick, owners of the hotel with an unhealthy interest in their grown-up childrens lives . Mark and Jake, (step-brothers, and sons of the above, Im not sure who Jakes father is) constantly fighting for Sarah Janes affections and control of the hotel. Nicola and Phil, Patrick and Kate's daughter and her on/off boyfriend who happens to be the oldest 16 year old I have ever seen and apparently is supposed to be an object of lust for the viewers! Bradley and Tom, the gay couple. When the show started it seemed we were actually going to get a couple who just hapopend to be gay for once instead of the stereo-type we normally see on t.v. Then we had Tom getting gay-bashed and turning into a recluse whilst Bradley tried his best to look concerned. All in all hardly the most thrilling of characters and apart from the afore-mentioned share and love battles, I can't actually remember any real plotlines. In the old days the acting never was fanstic, but Crossorads never tried to be high-drama. Today the acting is no better but Crossroads seems to think it is somewhere between Eastenders and Coronation Street, instead of just being good old-fashioned eye-candy. As I said at the beginning I really did want to like Crossroads, and perhaps I will start to enjoy it more at some point, but in all honestly,I can't really see it lasting beyond Christmas. I suppose I'll just have to wait until they re-make Dynasy....
Crossroads has long since held a special place in the hearts of television viewers. The original series famed for its ham acting, wobbly sets and outlandish storylines may have been off air for 12 years yet still it remained deep in the psyche of the British viewer. It was so bad, it was good. Even those who never saw the original Crossroads know of the legend, most notably, one of the most memorable soap characters ever created Benny, the wooly hat wearing handyman who was a spanner short of a toolbox. Without Crossroads we would not have Victoria Wood's creation of Acorn Antiques. Crossroads may not have set the standards but it did set a benchmark for entertainment alone. For those too young to remember and those who willfully stayed clear, Crossroads was born in 1964 and was open for business until 1988. In its first guise Crossroads was a motel. Remember in the 1960's the new style motor-hotel was seen as modern and the way forward. Filled with a mix-match of characters the core of Crossroads successful years revolved around the in-house battle of overall control between Meg Richardson, her daughter Jill Richardson-Harvey-Chance (multi-marriages in true soap style) and a myriad of pretenders to the throne, the most notable being Barbara and David Hunter. Set against a background of Motel staff regulars and their intertwining lives the soap was famed for its shaky acting and even more unstable sets. Unlike the other more well established soaps of the time Crossroads was a daily staple, and the quick turnover meant episodes were filmed often as one take chances. Births, marriages, deaths, faked deaths, fires and the cleaning lady being exposed as a Russian spy were cast our way but in the ever growing sophisticated world of television the axe fell in 1988, despite the cries of fans. Such was the strength of Crossroads cult status in the next 12 years rumours abounded of a return, rumours which became as ingrained as t he soap itself. It came as somewhat of a shock when Carlton announced it really was time to dust of the Crossroads front desk. In 12 years the Motel has metamorphosed into a rather classy looking, out-of-town 5 star hotel complete with conference facilities, a la carte restaurant, beauty salon and leisure centre. Still set in the fictional Birmingham suburb of Kings Oak, Crossroads opened for business in 2001, thankfully with a bricks and mortar set, so unless Birmingham is victim to a Richter scale 7, the walls should be firm. The all new Crossroads coaxed new viewers with the promise of daily intrigue and gossip, and ensured the return of the old faithful with the inclusion of three Crossroad stalwarts. A backlash occurred when it was revealed Benny would not be one of those but this decision was probably the correct one. The character of Benny had become so infamous and charactertured it would have been a distraction too far. Instead the old guard of Jill Harvey, daughter of the original Crossroads matriarch Meg Richardson, returned on the death of her husband brandishing her 30% share in the hotel and looking for a role in life. Back at Crossroads she noticed it had changed dramatically, the lack of wobbling for a start must have been a pleasure. On her arrival there was one familiar face - Doris Luke, the Lady of the Laundry. Doris Luke, played by Kathy Staff best remembered as Nora 'Baggy stocking's Batty of Last of the Summer Wine, doesn't seem to have left the washing machine and tumble dryers since the 1980s, bless her heart. Somewhat of a surrogate grandmother to everyone who crosses the Crossroads doorstep, Doris is a link between the young and older generations and one of the more believable characters in the hotel. Jill Harvey is then confronted by two more faces from the past. Her ex-husband, and arch schemer, Adam Chance and her daughter with whom she's had little contact, Sarah-Jayne. Now fairdues to the casting director, Joanne Farrell as Sarah-Jayne Harvey makes a visually convincing Harvey offspring and provides Crossroads with the essential Harvey dynasty lineage. With the known Crossroads foundations set it is time to introduce a new fly in the Harvey control ointment. Echoing the old Crossroads standoff to a tee, we are introduced to the Russell family, with 70% of the Crossroads shares between them, they rule the roost, but for how long? The Russells have a distinct hierarchy, which in true fashion, is set for disruption. In the vein of Meg Richardson, the matriarch and Queen of Crossroads is Kate Russell played by Jane Gurnett, a very able television actress and once a lead actress in Casualty. Very stylish and methodical, Kate managers the Hotel yet does not directly own shares. She manages what is basically a family business. Deputy manager is filled by her son Jake Booth, played by Colin Wells. Jake is set to be a central character and has been cast in the well used Soap heart-throb mould even down to his appearance. Think Simon Wicks in Eastenders, Marcus in the ill-fated Eldorado and you are half way there. Often feeling somewhat of an outsider to the core of the Russell family we have learnt that Jake was born to Kate when she was very young and he does not know who his father is. This is obviously being lined up for a future storyline and for the moment acts as the leverage to make Jake rebel. Jake's power struggle with his step-father Patrick is only enhanced by the emergence of Kate and Patrick's son Mark, who is set to be not only a professional rival to Jake, but a rival in love too. With Patrick owning a controlling 50% share of the hotel, Jake's gifted 30% will need an ally to take the full control he desires. He looks towards Sarah-Jayne and the 30% share she has been left by her mother as the way forward and looks towards a match made not so much in heaven as between th e bedsheets (which always look crisp and clean thanks to Doris). It is here we see the new fusion of Sarah-Jayne and Jake. Jake may be a married man with a young son but he has a wandering eye and all too often his hands follow. A torrid affair with Sarah-Jayne who has since gone on to bed brother number 2 has set up a classic soap love triangle, well love square if we are going to geometrically correct. So it all sounds rather standard soap fodder so far, and it is. The main problem with Crossroads at present is that it has tried to grab the viewer at galloping pace. Opening with old cast members was a useful ploy but they were dispensed of all too quickly. At Kings Oak nothing stands still for long and just as you think a storyline is coming it's concluded without any real or convincing development of story or character. For example, though having only returned to our screens recently: Jill Harvey returned, attempted suicide, remarried a man she had previously claimed to hate, been murdered. Adam Chance appeared, convinced Jill to marry him with zero effort, murdered her, been found out and carted off ready for trial. Beena, the waitress with aspirations to be a model, finds a lump in her breast at the start of a week, its found to be nothing and resolved - bring on the weekend. Bradley, the gay, handyman nephew of Doris, wants to move in with his boyfriend Tom, who runs a local café and brings up his brother Daniel. Daniel protests, Bradley wins him round with nothing more than a pizza and a pair of rollerblades - what colour wallpaper shall we have Tom? Mandy, the young chambermaid, is bedded (well store-roomed) by the gruff Scottish Chef and falls pregnant. Has an abortion within days of finding out she is pregnant. Porter-cum-handyman Phil falls in love with the oh so precious Russell daughter Nicola. It's Romeo and Juliet in Birmingham. They run away. They come back. If the police force could close cases as fast as Crossroads we'd be a crime free society. In many cases you may want to get a pot of mustard out when watching - why? Because it's a natural accompaniment for the amount of ham produced. There are some promising performances in there, if you look really hard. Tom (Toby Sawyer) and Australian barman Ray (James McKenzie Robinson) have both served time on Hollyoaks and seem more comfortable and at ease than many of the new names for whom this is their first television break. Of course all actors are at the mercy of scripts which can be tenuous in Crossroads to say the least. There is an annoying leaning towards repetition. One of the main culprits is the character of Tracy, Jake's beleaguered, beautician wife. Tracy follows Jake around like a bad smell 'why don't you love me Jake?' ad nauseum. Unfortunately Tracy's (Cindy Marshall-Day) delivery of lines is rather reminiscent of those awful loan company tv adverts, you know, the ones with a couple at the breakfast table 'oh how will we ever pay these bills' in the most unconvincing portrayal of married life ever filmed. Other distracting characters include porter 'Rocky' Wesson (Roger Sloman) and the dragon of the reception desk, Virginia Raven (Sherrie Hewson). Both actors are well known for more comedic roles and Sherrie Hewson was a Coronation Street regular as Maureen Holdsworth. However her portrayal of Miss Raven is more reminiscent of her days on Russ Abbott's Mad House. Rocky's crush on Virginia may have some comedy value but at the moment these comic interludes do not gel smoothly with the overdone drama of the boardroom and hotel control tussle which I am frankly tired of all ready. Crossroads has a lot of evolving to do. As of the moment it is relying too heavily on churning out staple soap fare, having not developed the characters far enough to carry the weight of the story. There is ample room for such development and certainly for better use of the set. As of the moment it is unbelievable that so many family arguments would be carried out in the foyer. It is hard to believe the family would spend so much time in the hotel bar - don't they want to get away? Does Crossroads have some magical spell over them? Is it Birmingham's answer to Stephen King's Outlook Hotel? On saying that I would not like to see the development of Crossroads try to emulate the other main soaps too much. Far better they look back to their hey-day. Yes, it may seem as I am being unduly negative so far in my review but I believe Crossroads must aim to fill a niche not currently fully exposed by the British market. Shown daily at lunch and tea-time, Crossroads is not competing with the three mainstream soaps but the Australian imports. Given their slot, I want to see Crossroads return to that slightly quirky, off the wall soap. At lunchtimes and early evening my brain is not in gear for high drama. What I want as I prepare family meals etc is quality slush and I have long been a believer that every programme shown on television need not be of Bafta quality. If Crossroads is to be light entertainment, let it be. The Australian soaps have become little more than a focus on the love lives of Antipodean teenagers. Crossroads is therefore well placed to develop as a more adult orientated piece of entertainment which relaxes the viewer which is surely what it's time slot allows for. I may not be advocating travelling the full American day time soap road which includes exorcisms and bizarre kidnap plots, but certainly a move towards the more humorous would be welcome. Having had family in the hotel trade and being brought up around it I know there is no end to the storylines available and the inclusion of short, snappy tales of visitors. At the moment we only see guests check in and out and th e odd one phones reception to moan about the mini-bar. The secret is for the producers not too lose faith and to let Crossroads have a fair run, we don't need another Eldorado, which in my opinion was just beginning to find its feet when it was whisked off air. For more information on Crossroads the website at www.carlton.co.uk/crossroads/ is well worth a visit with more in-depth character profiles, storyline updates, chat facilities and competitions.
Okay I admit it I watched crossroads the first time round and not only that but remember most of the characters. I was looking forward to seeing what they would do with it second time round. It is now a hotel instead of a motel. It is more about the owners and the staff than anything else. It was nice to see Jill Harvey and Adam Chance back in it but these two characters are now out of it. Jill murdered by Adam on their wedding day. Unless they pick up and get some more storylines that are believable I really cannot see this soap lasting. They should have a couple of stories around tourists or the people staying at the hotel - which are very few and far between. Some of the young actors and actresses are good and I hope they do develope their parts. With so many good soaps now you have to be that little bit better to get the viewers and I dont think that somehow Crossroads have got it. Yet. But will they be given the time to get it. Somehow I dont think so
In order for ITV to reach the levels of audience to what they had promised advertisers but did not deliver in 99, they have launched new programs to attract a larger audience one of these programs was the relaunch of Crossroads what a mistake!!! This program really has nothing to do with the old Crossroads they have just branded the name and kept a couple of elements like the intro. and the hotel in order to pull back its previous faithful audience. Sadly we are not that stupid. The pace of issues and the way they are resolved seems more like an episode of Dallas not a daytime British serial. The characters included are a very good attempt to attract a wide audience, I do not think that there has been a group left out. There is a gay couple, several ethnic characters, old characters, young, teenagers, the handsome business goal orientated young man. And for the independent women Mrs Booth who owns and runs the Crossroads hotel. Not to mention the cunning mean daughter of Jill Harvey. This is a good thing in that it will attract many people to it and hopefully the audience will identify with those characters but really it just seems like a blatant attempt by ITV to get an audience without much effort. The issues tackled in this program are so vast and quick that it’s hard to keep up. The power struggle between Jake booth is obviously going to be something that will be persistent but the personal everyday issues covered don’t really seem to have had much thought put into them. Within the first 5 episodes Jake and his wife were constantly arguing and people were afraid ( well really that old house keeper who seems to have taken the role of Helen Daniel’s over) that they may get divorced even there boy was missing school. But surely this issue was addressed and by the next episode it was not even brought up. The sudden appearance of Jill Harvey’s daughter really got me laughing. Suddenly Jill decided she need ed to see her daughter, she got drunk but sadly as she had not seen her daughter for years she could not get the courage to see her. Which is understandable. However surely by the next episode Jill was able to go see her daughter and by the following episode her and her daughter were best of friends. These are a few examples of the poor attempts of realism in the soap which cannot be compared to the likes of Eastenders or coronation street or even the old Crossroads. I hope this program continues to fall in the ratings it is a poor attempt by ITV to revive an old good serial which sadly has given a bad name to Crossroads.
Now I will explain that title, Crossroads has only just re-started and it already rates, with me, as one of the best things on television. The set has changed and to explain this they now call it a Hotel instead of a Motel, saying that the Hotel has been built on the grounds of the old motel. In the first episode they bought back Doris the house keeper and Jill Harvey previous owner and was a share holder, now deceased as i will explain in a minute. Within the first week another old face appears in the form of Adam Chance, who is all set to charm his way back into Jill's life. By the way I am only 28 and I only just remember the original crossroads, my grandma used to watch it and I love listening to the music as it reminds me of her. Sarah-Jane Harvey, Jill's daughter, has come back and is currently working as the receptionist. Adam Chance managed to worm his way back into Jill's life and even got her to agree to marry him and it was on their wedding day that she disappeared, soon after signing her share of the Hotel over to Sarah-Jane, only to be found a day or so later dead in the Hotel lake! Now there is a whodunnit! Well the biggest suspect is Adam Chance he was not at all happy with his wife for signing the shares over to her daughter, and he did only marry her for her money! Next in line is Sarah-Jane Harvey but I don't beleive even she could kill her own mum, could she? Then there is Jake Booth, he will do anything to get a controlling share in the Hotel, after all he was having an affir with Sarah-Jane, but would he be desperate enough to kill! Then last of all there Phil Berry,hotel porter, who we last saw in Jill's room Steeling her rings to sell, that was before he ran away with Nicola the Hotel owners daughter, but he has already been arrested and released. So we are still kept in suspense as to who killed Jill! I hope we fi nd out soon. My bet would be on Adam he seems to have the most likely motive. But you will have to watch to find out what happens, its gripping stuff and really worth watching either at Lunchtime 1.30pm or dinnertime 5.05pm, I tend to watch it whilst making the dinner that way I can be sure that I won't be disturbed! i forgot to say that its on every week day. The other characters are good too I especially like the Chef Billy, he has an attitude and is quite sexy too! Also I like the Hotel Owner Kate Russell she has a soft spot for Billy and i think tyhat the two of them will end up having an affair before too long, she is married you see. It is a fairly young cast which I like because it makes me feel young again! They are all very good actors. Watch it and you'll be hooked too!
Crossroads used to be a standing joke, the sets were amazingly poor, very rickety and I'm sure people used to watch it just to see if a disaster would befall the actors as they tried to open a door. How times have changed, the old set has been replace by a much more upmarket and beleivable hotel, complete with internet cafe- wonder if Doris Luke is a dooyoo member? There are still some original cast members - the slick Adam Chance, alcohic Jill and her attractive but devious daughter Sarah Jane. The programme is now aimed at ayounger market, with lots of emphasis placed on youngsters and their relationships and has taken on some much more modern issues - the gay male couple about to move in together, and bullying, theft etc. Whilst the show is definitely much improved, I just year for those shaky sets and Benny of course!.
Eastenders excels, Coronation Street is addictive viewing for millions, even Brookside handles important issues well. There was no gap in the televisual market for a good, quality soap – that is why Crossroads was re-born! People think that Crossroads was axed because it was a poor soap. That is not the reason. Of course not; here are a few facts : · IT HAD DODGY SCENERY. So do most films and TV programmes if you look closely. The possibility of the set collapsing added to the viewing excitement of Crossroads. · IT HAD CHARACTERS WITH RIDICULOUS NAMES. Huey McFee, Miss Diane, Jill Chance. Ridiculous names have always gone down well - what’s worse than the Harry Potter books for strange names? · THE ACTORS COULDN’T ACT. Debateable. Perhaps they were REALLY good actors acting like actors who couldn’t act. Remember the Jasper Carrott joke? He confessed that the character Benny in Crossroads really worried him. He was either really mentally ill, in which case should be getting professional help, or he was one terrific actor! · THE PLOTS WERE UNREALISTIC. Yes, they were. Remember Benny’s girlfriend with the awful scar on her face that she managed to keep covered by a few strands of hair for weeks? One day Benny lifted her hair and the whole country gasped. Benny chucked his life savings at the problem and the girl turned into a stunning beauty. Boy, would I like to meet that Plastic Surgeon! Soap plots aren’t meant to be realistic. Someone should tell the Eastenders’ writers that. We want escapism, not dreary reality. Crossroads originally hit the screens (literally, probably) in 1964, the year I was born. It aired in the afternoons, so it was not aimed at the professional classes. Now, in those days there were people who called themselves housewives. These were ladies who were happy to stay at home, look after children, cook and clean and pay no attention to their own needs. In the 60’s the women’s revolution was happening in America but it didn’t hit suburban Britain until much later – probably the mid-70’s. Look at the sit-coms of those times and you will see that the housewife was alive and cooking : George & Mildred, The Good Life, On The Buses. They would never get away with comedies like that now. Housewives were the people who watched soaps in those days, and housewives loved Crossroads. Actually, I think a lot of people loved Crossroads, but not many of them were prepared to admit to it. Unfortunately, by the middle of the 80’s, the housewife was no more. Any women who did stay at home were too busy taking courses, studying, forcing their children to be gifted or 1,001 other things that took their minds off their lack of a career. They certainly didn’t have time for soaps. The makers of Crossroads hired and fired, improved the sets, changed the writers, tried media stunts. Nothing helped. The soap finally died in 1988. I believe it died because they tried to make it into a good soap and they lost their target audience. So now it is back, what is it’s future? I for one don’t care. I’m living for the here and now – it’s back and I’m happy!
That clucking noise you hear is the sound of a whole hen house full of chickens coming home to roost. In one short week, most of the hotel's storylines came to fruition. After month's of secret meetings star crossed lovers, porter Phil and the boss' daughter Nicola, were discovered frolicking in the salon Jacuzzi ( by Jill Harvey none the less - and you just know it is going to lead to trouble) run away together. Jake finally asked Tracy for a divorce and poor young Mandy ( a chamber maid) discovered she was up the duff after loosing her virginity in a one- night stand with Billy ( the moody chef in the hotel) a couple of months back. And, of course, Jill Harvey married the dastardly Adam Chance, only to finally realise that he was only after her money all along. She did a runner before they cut the cake. This week we saw Jill's body being fished out of the lake and the inquest to what happened her is held - and it looks as someone may have a guilty conscience. If things go on at this pace they will have to keep the writing team in a darkened room with a supply of cold compresses. (I have never seen so much action in one week of a soap in my entire life) it does seem odd, though to bring Jill Harvey back to launch the new CROSSRAODS and then to promptly dispose of one of the few in the cast worth watching.
The all new Crossroads has been a really big disappointment. First of all as you see from the title Benny has not been included in the cast this time. He obviously never did find the spanner he was sent to look for back in the eighties! Most of the cast are brand new, in fact there are only two members of the original Crossroads left in the show.Jane Rossington has now left leaving just Tony Adams and Kathy Staff(Adam Chance and Doris Luke) to fly the flag for the old motel.What I find really odd is that these characters have failed to give anyone from the old show a mention at all.They can't all be dead surely? Another feature lost is the storylines including guests staying at the hotel,there have been none. A mild flirtation and quickie with the Jake the hotel manager do not count.This is a part of Crossroads where they could add a lot more interest with new people passing through the doors all the time,after all it is a hotel so there's a lot a scope there being missed out on. Most of the staff seem to live in and so you only get see their room rather than their homes. I feel that you should see more of the homes and families as at the moment most of the characters seem to be a bit one dimensionable.And while your seeing the goings on in the kitchen, the restaurant is non-existant as yet.Perhaps they haven't got enough budget for extra sets I know from reading reports in the papers that finding a filming location has been a problem. As I mentioned before I had hoped that some of the characters from the old show would be making a return. I realise that it's not possible for many of them.Some have either been killed off or have died in real life and some just don't act any more.But it does seem to be a bit rough on old Benny especially with Doris Luke making her return,the two characters often did scenes together in the old Crossroads and I see no reason other than pure snobbishness for his absen ce this time around.Even if he only made the occasional guest appearance it would be more realistic.Doris Luke was very fond of Benny along with the Crossroads fans. That being said I will continue to watch with interest and hope that some of the previous cast members will make an appearance or two. I was a big fan of the old show and was pleased to see it comeback,But if it is to succeed there is a lot to be improved upon.
Jill Harvey/Chance has gone missing. Does anyone care well yes I have to admit I do. I watched the much promoted wedding episode and it bought back memories of the old Crossroads flooding back. Now she has been found dead in the lake. Accident,Suicide or Murder we will have to watch and wait.(Well only watch if your the slightest bit interested.) Could it be Phil Berry who has done away with her for exposing him in the jacuzzi with Nicola?. He does have a record of violence. Well as I say we will just have to wait, I have no idea how these plot writers minds work. But I am really going to miss closing my eyes everytime Adam and Jill have a snog. Only three(now two) of the original characters remain Jill Harvey, Adam Chance and Doris Luke, but the writing has bought the new actors and characters down to the level of their predecessors. But I must say I am hooked. A quick recap of the main characters and their plots. Jill Harvey recently widowed returns to Crossroads and ends up as the salon receptionist. She is about to marry Adam Chance who she has already divorced years ago for some reason I can't rememeber. Important point she is a major shareholder in the hotel. Adam Chance an oily comb of a man. He is wine supplier to the hotel, he has tricked Jill into thinking he is successful when in fact he has only debts. Everyone but Jill can see he is after her shares. Sarah Jane is Jill Harveys daughter, she is having an affair with Jake Booth the deputy hotel manager. She has only just forgiven her mother for divorcing her father Stan Harvey. She and Adam chance hate each other. She cannot convince her mother that Adam is only after her money. Jake Booth has told his wife Tracey the salon manager that he wants a divorce. Is he trying to get to Jills shares through Sarah Jane? The Russels run the hotel there daughter Nicola is seeing a porter called Phil. So the wedding episode... Will Jill realise in time that Adam is only after the hotel. Despite everyone warning her that he is .After being late for the ceremony and a dramatic pause she says yes. But then realising her mistake she offers to sign over her share to Sarah Jane. Now Sarah Jane who up until now has shown no need for honesty admits that she was only hanging around to get the shares. Her further protestations that she has now grown to care for her mother don't work, as Jill withdraws the offer. Jake is furious with Sarah Jane for 'blowing it' as it spoils his chances. Adam is furious with Jill for offering the much lusted over shares to Sarah Jane. Meanwhile Nichola Russell is running away with porter Phil Berry. But my favourite part of all is that despite a series of public spats between the newlyweds, Mr Russell still calls out 'time to cut the cake'. Only then is it realised that the blushing bride is missing. We are left with little clue of where Jill Harvey or is it Chance has gone. Suicide ?No its only a few weeks since her last attempt. I can hardly wait until 1.30 to get my lunchtime fix. But I am still so embarassed about watching it that I won't watch the repeat at 5pm because the the family would find out my guilty secret.