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Monday, June 14, 2004

Our other street.

"If just one teenage boy watches this story, relates to it and as a result of this story, realizes the feelings he's having are ones felt by others, I'll be happy."
- Openly gay Coronation Street writer Daron Little (TV Week magazine, June 19-25, 2004)(All quotes are from this issue - EG.)
It's one of those guilty little pleasures, is The Street. Britain's longest-running soap opera (43 years, and counting) is certainly (to me, anyways) the most watchable, and definitely the most believable soap on TV. I confess I haven't watched it in quite some time, due to its odd airtimes on the People's Network (that would be the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - or CBC - for all you non-Canadians), so I'm a tad out of touch with the current storylines (CBC airs the current shows roughly six months after they air in Britain, apparently).

Recently, the show started its first-ever storyline involving a gay character, a teenager named Todd, who is in the process of coming out:
"I'm glad that the first gay character isn't a screaming queen, sipping cocktails in the Rovers dressed in pink Lycra. To me, that isn't Coronation Street - Todd is. He's the lad who lives across the street, the studious one who's polite. He's got a good relationship with his brother, he loves his mom, he watches football, drinks in the pub and goes out with the prettiest girl in town. He's an average guy and as such, I hope the viewers will relate to him and try to understand what he's going through."
- Daron Little
Well...I certainly can relate, but there were a few complaints made to ITV, which airs the series in Britain ("Two men?...Kissing?!...On The Street???!!!...*hurrumph!*"). The British Independent Television Commission looked into the complaints and dismissed them, saying:
"...a young man's confusion with his sexuality, expressed in a clumsy and inexplicit manner, did not go beyond what has been previously been seen in a drama in a similar timeslot."
Nice to see a little bureaucratic reasonableness, isn't it? Picture what would've happened if Queer As Folk had aired in an afternoon time slot...but I digress...

Now that the CBC (as of today) will be airing The Street in primetime (Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays: 7.30pm Pacific time) I will return to that "guilty pleasure," if only to see how they handle the storyline (although there are rumours the character will depart The Street at the end of the season).

In the meantime: "Cheers, mates!"

Trivia Note: There is a Canadian connection to The Street (yes, it's "blame Canada" - again).

Links to Coronation Street:
ITV's Coronation Street page (remember: we're six months behind them!) (the official fansite)
TV Tome's Coronation Street Page