Category: Feature

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Introducing… Hollyoaks Later 2012

It’s no secret that 2012 is my favourite year of Hollyoaks. I hold it in such high regard that it is the threshold I compare every other year against. Everything was heading in the right direction — not 100% perfect, but well on its way. The stories felt character-driven, engaging and exciting (but not OTT) and didn’t patronise the viewer. The writing felt mature and clever, without too much exposition. The characters were strong, well-developed and relatable. There was an abundance of character-comedy and hilarious moments. The overall good-to-bad acting level ratio was the strongest the show has ever seen. Hollyoaks had incredible showrunners that seemed to listen to the viewers’ feedback, negate our concerns and implement changes. I obviously can’t speak for everyone, but it felt like a brilliant time to be a Hollyoaks fan. To complement this exciting era, we were treated to a fantastic late-night spin-off, which allowed specific stories to push the boat out. I’ve always believed that the 2012 series of Hollyoaks Later was Hollyoaks‘ way of saying to the world, “this is what we’re truly capable of”.

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The End of an Era: Farewell, Neighbours

Everyone’s heard of Neighbours. If they don’t watch this Australian soap opera, they’re probably at least familiar with the theme tune. Or that one young couple who got married. Or maybe that dog who had a dream about marrying another dog. Or Harold going missing and returning from the dead years later. The only Neighbours events that exist as far as pop culture is concerned. Whilst the show may only dream of the viewing figures it reached back in the day, it still has a fiercely loyal fanbase and achieves impressive daytime ratings here in the UK. It regularly outperforms two of the British daily serial dramas and is frequently amongst its UK broadcaster’s most-watched shows. Sadly, after 37 and a half years, the serial will air for the final time. To mark this poignant occasion, I wanted to take some time to share my journey with this down-to-Earth, slice-of-life drama, which has been a constant throughout my entire life.

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Why I Love Fox’s Much-Maligned X-Men Franchise

In 1963, Marvel’s Stan Lee and Jack Kirby launched a new comic book series: X-Men. The series focuses on a fictional subspecies of humans named mutants, who possess the X-Gene in their DNA which causes them to develop superhuman abilities which generally manifest during adolescence. The stories traditionally focus on a particular group of mutants—the X-Men—in their fight for acceptance and equality in a world where hate, discrimination and bigotry towards mutants are rife. The X-Men are traditionally led by Professor Charles Xavier, alias Professor X, who strives for peace and understanding between mutants and humans. They are often antagonised by Max Eisenhardt, alias Erik Lehnsherr or Magneto. He has felt the wrath of humanity all his life and, as a result, has a more extreme ideology. He sees humans as a threat to mutants’ very existence and is willing to use whatever force possible to fight back. In the mid-’90s, 20th Century Fox obtained the film rights to the franchise from a financially-struggling Marvel. On 14th July 2000, the first film enjoyed its public release, changing the landscape of superhero movies forever.

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Why I Love The Smoking Room

There aren’t many comedy shows that leave a lasting impression on me, but The Smoking Room is one of them; a British sitcom created and written by Brian Dooley. From June 2004 to September 2005 there were two series and a Christmas special transmitted on BBC Three. I fell in love with this series during its initial broadcast and my passion has never faded; I frequently enjoy re-watches over 15 years later. Thankfully, it has aged well and doesn’t feel dated. I just wanted to share some of my love for this oft-forgotten little gem.

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