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When is a Soap Opera not a Soap Opera

May 29, 2015
Posted at 9:51 am
Updated: May 29, 2015 - 2:32 pm

I don't watch "The Soaps" and never have. I'm referring to Days of our Lives, All My Children, etc, featured on the US television networks ... and ... Coronation Street, East Enders, etc on the English system. They don't interest me and never have. That doesn't mean they are poor, it just means they don't interest me.

But the truth is, I am easily hooked on top quality sequential stories, usually found on English, Scottish, or Australian TV. For the most part, the ones that hook me easily are the period pieces. I've never gotten into Downton Abbey, possibly because I picked it up too late to catch on. But lately, two series have me hooked ... I simply won't miss them if at all possible.

An English WWII and post-war drama about a former policemen and now MI5 agent, Foyle's War, is superb. Not just the acting, but the scenes and writing about the destruction and deprivation of the people of Britain. I don't know how long it will continue, but I'm hoping for quite a while.

The second series that has just begun showing up on US PBS this spring is A Place to Call Home, an Australian production set in post WWII New South Wales. What caught my immediate attention was the first scene that my wife talked me into watching. It featured a beautiful MG TF (1949 likely)in traditional green, and a silver Mark VII Jaguar saloon (same era). Okay, so I'm a car nut, but it immediately clued me in that this was going to be different, and it is.

Now, it may be that this and Foyle's War might be turned into something less and possibly cheapen the quality, but I truly hope not. Quality television is so hard to come by, and I can count on one hand the number of programs each week I'm prepared to sacrifice my time to watch.

Here endeth the editorial.