Saturday, 16 April 2011

Eastenders, Friday 15th April, 20:00

Some of the best acting for a very long time in tonight's episode, with Ronnie finally giving Tommy back to Kat and coming clean.

Samantha Womack, who plays Ronnie, has portrayed her torment brilliantly over the past weeks and months, but never more so than in this episode, which saw Ronnie making the decision to do the right thing after visiting the maternity ward where James and Tommy were born.

Also brilliant acting on the part of Scott Maslen, who plays Ronnie's long-suffering husband Jack Branning, and Jessie Wallace, who plays Kat Slater.

As well as this storyline, we saw the aftermath of Abi and Max's crash on the way to Tanya's wedding. You would be surprised how many people don't even bat an eyelid at the sight of a bride rushing into A & E dressed head to toe in white on her wedding day. But is married life over before it's really started for Tanya and Greg? Whilst viewers have seen no real chemistry between these two, and no reason to believe in them as a couple, it would probably be a massive mistake for Tanya to go back to Max, and she knows it.

Waterloo Road Series 6-Series Review

A surprisingly happy ending to this series, considering previous runs have ended with fires in the school and a digger destroying the front entrance to name but a couple. No fires, no heavy vehicles, only one pupil injured.

Of course, the main story of the series has been Chesca and Jonah's illicit relationship. This seems to be a marmite one; some people love them together, others think it's completely wrong. Teacher-pupil relationship aside, they do make a very cute couple, but not sure some of the content was entirely appropriate considering the age group of many of the audience of this show.

It was good to see a positive side to Finn Sharky as well. This character used to be the bad guy of the school until George Sampson made an appearance as Kyle Stack, making him look, well, a bit weedy in comparison. The ongoing battle between them came to a head in the final episode, with Denzel Kelly risking his life on a railway bridge to impress Kyle, and Finn valiantly hurried up to rescue him, more to impress Sam than save Denzel we suspect, and injuring himself badly in the process. Appearing in a wheelchair in the next series? Perhaps, it's something they've not done before.

There have been Fisher family dramas along the way. It seems that everyone has forgotten Harry's bulimia, and he has moved on to getting involved with the stunts and dares of Denzel Kelly and the other boys-what would mummy say? Can't help going a bit "aww" over his friendship with Ruth Kirby-I'm hoping we'll see her back in the next series, and maybe a bit more happening between them, but following her brother Jonah's, ahem, misendeavours, it looks unlikely that she will be setting foot anywhere near Waterloo Road again. And just as she was beginning to grow on us...

And let us not forget the Fisher sister's brush with a paedophile.

Cannot help finding Ruby's novel publishing a tad unbelievable-a couple of hours working on a novel and suddenly she's being published. Good to see an ongoing friendship developing between her and Grantley though, despite them both being quite prickly characters.

Good news...according to digitalspy.co.uk, the show is due to return for a 7th series on week beginning 30th April. Exact date and time yet to be confirmed. Watch this space.

Predictions for the next series?
A blossoming friendship between Finn and Kyle? Another Fisher offspring arriving from somewhere now that Bex is off to uni? Denzel Kelly going the same way as his older brother Earl and ending up suspended or in prison?

Big Corrie news-Michelle Collins and John Michie to join cast.

Over on Twitter there have been rumblings for days about some big Corrie news. It was finally revealed this morning that Michelle Collins and John Michie are set to play new characters taking over the helm of the Rovers following Liz's recent departure.

Michelle Collins' character, Stella is employed by Steve to take over the Rovers "after a series of bust-ups with wife Becky leaves the pub's future in serious jeopardy" according to the Coronation Street website, and her husband Karl soon follows

Can we expect a Cindy Beale-esque character from Michelle? Karl and Stella's marriage is apparently set to be one of the biggest storylines of 2011 for the soap, but just what this means remains to be seen.

So what next for Steve and Becky? Rumours are that Katherine Kelly, who plays Becky, is happy on the show and has no plans to leave. But it will be nice to see someone else involved in the behind-the-scenes drama at the Rovers for a change, following Becky and Steve's child buying, adoption fail and near attempt at kidnapping both Amy and Max and sailing off into the sunset with them. We know they will never have a quiet life with Tracey and Kylie on the street, but hopefully this will give some other characters a chance in the limelight for a while.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Eastenders, Thursday 14th April, 19:30

The highlight of tonight's episode? It's got to be a toss up between little Oscar's face as he walked down the aisle with his mum, or the stunning raspberry patterned tuxes worn by Ian and Greg-seriously, who chose those?

Meanwhile, even Abbie knows that Max hasn't got a chance at winning her stunning mum Tanya back. But is it to late? Has he finally been finished off by that car crash (which I was please to see was filmed in Edmonton Green!)? Sadly I fear not. Although  I cannot help but think this character has run his course, I also don't think they'll get rid of him yet...but who knows.

But just when is Ronnie going to reveal her deep, dark secret? So many times she has come so close, Eastenders are just dragging it out now, and not in a good way!

Eastenders, Tuesday 12th April, 19:30

The ugly sisters have rolled into Walford in the form of Tanya's mum, and drug addict sister Rainie. No doubt the rest of the pantomime will follow on the day of the wedding, in true Albert Square style.

We all know that if you put all of the witches of Walford in one club, it will kick off. Unsurprisingly, Kat and Ronnie came to blows (and that's before Kat finds out that Ronnie has her baby!)

Lauren (aka Kevin-the-teenager) shows her first signs of caring about anyone but herself asking if her dad Max is ok about Tanya's wedding and caring for little sister Abbie's first time nerves. It would be good to see her character being given a larger role-she's taken a back seat since revealing her dad's affair with daughter-in-law Stacey.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Coronation Street, Thursday 14th April, 20:20

Was this the first time Liz McDonald has been seen without make-up? Possibly. But who can blame her-Jim's back in the 'big hoose' (although the way Liz and Steve are raking through his things, you'd think he was dead) and she's stuck with Becky for the forseeable. Or is she?  Let's hope these is a future for Liz and Jim, and that this isn't the end-they are such a good couple. Is this really the end for Liz?

No surprise that  Katy and Chesney are struggling. Viewers are behind this couple all the way-between his psychotic brother-in-law (not to mention his mother, Cilla), and her over protective father, neither of them have had the best start in life, so they deserve a bit of happiness, especially as they both seem wise beyond their years. Can definitely see this one ending badly....Gretna Green perhaps?

Feeling a little bit sorry for Maria. Just when things were looking up and she had a decent job, a man comes along to ruin it in typical Corrie style. There is definitely something creepy about Frank-him and Tracey are made  for each other

Monday, 11 April 2011

Candy Cabs, Episode 1

Tuesday 5th April 2011
22:00, BBC ONE

For anyone unfamiliar with the premise of this programme, it begins with a group of female friends mourning the sudden death of another close friend, but nevertheless continuing with their business plan of an all-female taxi firm. Throw in 6 pink cars, an inheritance hungry father and a couple of dodgy relationships, and you have  'Candy Cabs'.

Truth be told, I wasn't sure what to expect of this programme, but a funeral in the opening scene was certainly not it. And it was no normal funeral, with 'Sex Bomb' playing in the background. Disappointingly, I cannot honestly say it got much better.

The main let down of this programme was the lack of characterisation, leaving the audience caring little about whether the new taxi cab business was a success or not. This is a shame as there were some (semi) well known faces in the cast- Claire Sweeney, Jo Joyner (Tanya from Eastenders).

It's easy to see how the Beeb had hoped this show would become a success-it is a brilliant idea, and could have worked, had the women running the business been presented as intelligent, well respected women. II'm no feminist , I cannot help but feel they were presented as airheads, which I think will have put many female viewers off.


The programme did, however, manage to raise a few laughs, and was certainly a way to pass an hour of my life.
Despite the incessant splashes of pink, this programme was still a little bit bland. Let's hope next week's episode is an improvement

Coronation Street, Monday 11th April, 20:30

As Steve MacDonald so accurately put it, there is a 'Grade 1 nutcase with a shotgun' on the loose. In this episode Jim goes from in control of the whole hold-up-at-the-bank situation that he has got himself into, to potentially suicidal, to accepting the fact that he has mucked up again and stepping down gracefully. I half expected, in the true Corrie we all know and love, for Jim to try and fire the gun only to discover that it wasn't loaded.

It is a shame to see this character in trouble again so soon after he returned to our screens. Would have been nicer to perhaps see him and 'his Elizabeth' at least sharing a little bit of happiness in their beloved Rovers before he landed himself behind bars again. But this is Soapland I guess.

David and Kylie have now jetted off on their Honeymoon, courtesy of the £1,000 that Gail paid her son's fiancee to scarper before the wedding. As far fetched as it was to suggest that Nick happened to have £1,000 lying around spare, having just reopened his business days before, what was even more unbelievable is the fact that Gail believed gold digging Kylie would disappear off into the sunset, leaving Gail's precious son behind-why take the money, when you can take the money AND stick around to wind the mother-in-law up?

Eastenders, Monday 11th April, 20:00

History was made twice over tonight, as Tanya's fiance Greg finally managed to string more than two words together, and Zainab was finally left speechless by Tanya's bolshy mother, all of two minutes after her arrival in the Square.

Whitney has returned from her brief stint at wherever-she-was, and is seeking solace from her normal madhouse at Dot's, resulting in Dot offering to 'make up the spare room' (with your arm in that sling? Yeah, right).

Having just got rid of her ailing husband Jim for a while, to give her a chance to recover from her fall, Dot was probably hoping for a bit of peace and quiet (as unlikely as that sounds in Walford). But Whitney is not the only visitor to her door, as Ronnie turns up, seemingly ready to spill the beans over the whole baby swap saga, and having suddenly become religious, apparently.

The whole Tommy-James baby swap story has dragged out for too long already, and Ronnie's downfall has ruined one of the most likeable characters on the Square. It's about time they wrapped this far- fetched story up and moved on to something else.

Coronation Street, Monday 11th April, 19.30

So Eddie's not a great father, Roy is having deep and profound thoughts and Jim has messed up again. No great surprises in tonight's first episode of Corrie then.

Shocking, however, to find that Roy is actually human, of woman born, as his mother made a surprise yet highly unwelcome visit to the cafe. I for one would like this character to stick around for a while-if not just to find out a little more about Roy's past and why he is so strange.

Also unsurprisingly, Xin seems to be falling for sort-of-husband and best friend's boyfriend Graham, the knight in shining armour who has stepped in to save her being deported. Can't help thinking the visa marriage is something she has set up to try to win Graham from Tina. Watch this space....

Meanwhile, Jim's botched attempt as raiding a building society to buy the Rovers for 'Elizabeth' has failed (so it has, so it has). And no surprises really. Many bank raids that take months of planning are unsuccessful, so what he was hoping to achieve in the space of an afternoon, one has to wonder, particularly with nothing but a flat cap as a disguise. Looks like it's back to the 'big hoos' for our wee Jim lad.

To pay or not to pay?

Can't believe it's been a month since I last posted, I'm truly awful at this!

But it's been a busy month. The usual end of term deadlines, plus, more excitingly, work experience on a local magazine. 

Before going to work experience I wasn't sure what to expect, as you hear about so many placements that result in relentless tea-making and mind numbing filing, with very little else to show, but I had high expectations for this placement-I had arranged it directly with the editor of the magazine, and she therefore knew about my journalistic ambitions and eagerness to gain relevant experience-surely I would not just be relegated to position as office tea maker? 

This got me thinking about the (seemingly ever-raging) debate about work experience and internships-should they be paid positions or not?

Whilst I would never turn down an offer of being paid for a placement, I have always thought that companies who take people on for work experience should be under no obligations to pay them for their efforts. After all, they are going to the effort of, at the very least, finding you a placement and finding you tasks to do to keep you occupied, no doubt causing interruptions to their usual working day. Having said this, I also feel that if you are undertaking the tasks that no one else wants to do (filing, shredding etc.), they should at least give you something in return-tasks related to the experience you are hoping to gain, for instance.

This was the deal I made with the editor of the magazine I was working on. I arrived on the first day and was put to work on a backlog of competition entries from previous issues of the magazine, a task which, from the backlog of data I had to sort through, it seems that either no-one else had the time or the will to do. A boring and unrelated task you may think. But it was made clear from the offset that if I was to spend my first day doing the company a favour by doing this, I would be given a more relevant and interesting task the next day.

And they were true to their word. The following day I was put to work on an article which will hopefully be published in the upcoming issue. My first 'proper' article that I wrote myself from start to finish, contacted people for quotes, pictures etc., and which has led to me being invited to a press conference on Wednesday, a brilliant opportunity to gain some industry relevant experience, and something that looks good on my CV (I realise this sounds shallow, but this is what work experience is about, after all.)

Therefore, I do not necessarily agree that work experience should be paid, as the company is going out of their way to accommodate you, and I believe that if you are trying to break into a notoriously tricky industry such as the media, you must be prepared to work for little (or nothing) on your way up. If, however, a company you are doing work experience with has you carrying out the mundane tasks that no one else wants to do, with few tasks that are relevant to your career aspirations, it is only right that you speak up-you should be rewarded, if not financially, then at least with some sort of experience to show for your efforts.