Saturday, 12 October 2013
Valerie: "Well, hello, darlings. Welcome to the Crossroads Motel 1983 'Coping With Life In The 21st Century' Stress Management Course..."
Life has not been particularly good for me lately. Everything from a sudden severe cold to family problems to ludicrously inaccurate "statements of fact" on Wikipedia have conspired to get me down. I've been feeling worn out. Every inch a couple of years off fifty. And thoroughly cheesed off with the 21st Century...
Youngsters texting away whilst I am trying to have a conversation with them; their complete indifference to political issues; griping and moaning from older folk (like me!); a highly prevalent "I'm all right, Jack, pull the ladder up" attitude all round; stress, stress and more stress; lack of money to do any thing relaxing with; a lack of warmth and caring which distresses me greatly...
OK, I was born in 1965 and the world has never been marvellous in my lifetime, but surely it wasn't always THIS bad? Or am I just getting old?
Anyway, I was at the local newspaper archive on Wednesday, doing a spot of research. The newspapers I had to study were from 1921 and 1983. The TV listings in the 1983 newspapers caught my eye and one title in particular - CROSSROADS! The local newspaper pundit "wittily" described it as "down the kitchen sink drama" in one episode synopsis!
Of course, Crossroads was extensively panned by TV critics for many years, but I always watched it and, a quick skim through other 1983 editions of the "local rag" whetted my appetite for a visit to the motel in that year. Those tantalising synopsis...
What was that about a poison pen letter? What crisis were the Pollards facing? And why was Sharon being questioned by the police?
On returning home, I suddenly remembered that my wife was away overnight. So, I scoffed some dinner, brewed a huge pot of tea and revisited Crossroads in 1983 via my DVD collection of episodes originally taped on VHS from the UK Gold repeats. Once safely back in King's Oak, I rediscovered characters that talk to each other about everyday things, a little bit of (slightly camp!) melodrama, and a great deal of warmth.
I'm now feeling rather better than I did.
And it's not the first time this often ridiculed old soap has come to my rescue.
So much more realistic than the modern soaps' obsessions with serial killers and explosions...
AND so much better written! Yep, soap that was produced for people who have an attention span that is longer than that of a retarded goldfish!
So, I say ( and not for the first time)....
THANK YOU, CROSSROADS!
I'll be booking in again very soon.