Sunday, March 4, 2012

SUPERIOR SOAP

It's been a vintage week in Ambridge. Oh, didn't I mention that I am an Archers Addict? Well, now the secret is out.

First, there's the ongoing dilemma facing David and Ruth - should they get out of dairy farming altogether? They're losing money hand over slurry tank.

The mega dairy project promoted by Brian and the lovely Debbie at the meeting which ended last week's Friday episode is causing friction around the village and considerable opposition. Adam remains frosty and at odds with everyone except his partner, Ian.

But then, in the best soap tradition, on Tuesday poor old battered and beleaguered Tony has a heart attack in the middle of milking. It's obviously been brought on by the relentless pressure of his tactless and thoughtless son, Tom, who just happens to find him in the nick of time so an ambulance can be summoned.

The remaining episodes in this action-packed week show our characters at their best - reconciliations all round, everyone 'mucks in' at Bridge Farm to keep it running smoothly, and dear old Clarrie, whose irresponsible actions caused the E-coli outbreak which nearly closed the place down, is recruited back to work in the dairy while Pat, of course, has her hands full nursing Tony back to health.

If you're not a devotee of that 'everyday story of country folk' (how long is it since they dropped that description?) then the above will be meaningless. If you are, then we all agree, don't we, that no TV soap can touch 'The Archers'. No contrived exits, no complicated storylines, and certainly no pressure to compete with anything on the 'other' channel. Life goes on, sometimes at a leisurely pace, sometimes with a little drama thrown in, but always in a way which makes us believe that 'real' life exists in Ambridge.

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