I'm not sure how many American soap fans know about Hollyoaks, but they should. This British import is the best daytime soap opera I've seen in years. Let's face it: American daytime soaps are horrible and are unlikely to improve.
BBC America is re-airing the 65 episodes they showed this summer, but new episodes are being streamed online on BBC America's website. Being able to watch online works well for me, as I had to visit my parents house to watch BBC America. Right now we are seeing episodes that aired in Britain just before Christmas 2006. If you like good soapy soaps, give Hollyoaks a try. The streaming episodes only stay up at the site for 7 days, although if you want to save the episodes, you can find programs that will allow you to download copies for yourself.
The major stories as of 09/20/07, American pace:
Sociopath Clare Cunningham is trying to kill her poor husband Max (who recently had a cocaine-induced heart attack) by tampering with his medication. All she ever cared about was getting her hands on Max's money, and now that she knows about his life insurance policy, she's pushed aside any feelings of guilt or sentimentally she may have felt for him. Clare is keeping Max's friends away, but she's so smooth that most of them think she's a devoted wife and a good substitute mother for Max's 6-year-old brother, Tom, whom Max is raising. The manager of Max's club, Warren, knows that Clare is no angel (she's cheated on Max with him), but even he has no clue how bad she really is. Max's estranged best friend O.B. knows that Clare is evil, but will he ever get the proof he needs? Will Max wake up before it's too late?
Poor Becca! Becca Dean was a young teacher Hollyoaks' High. Unhappily married to Jake, she gradually fell in love with a student, Justin Burton, although they did not sleep together until he was 16 years old, the age of consent. Becca lost her husband and her job, but she really loved Justin, and he moved in with her. Did I mention that she is also pregnant with a child that could be Jake or Justin's? Although she loved him, eventually she realized Justin was too immature and reckless and she ended the relationship.
Justin retaliated by lying in court that Becca seduced him when he was only fifteen. Despite her younger sister Nancy and Jake's efforts, Becca was found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison. Becca went into labor when she heard the verdict. At that same moment, Justin had sex with 15-year-old Sasha Valentine, Justin's best friend Sonny's little sister. Justin has had a hard year (both his twin sisters were murdered in an arson fire), but he's still an evil little turd.
Fifteen-year-old Amy Barnes is pregnant, but hiding it from her family. Only her best friend Michela McQueen and a nurse, Suzanne Ashworth, know the truth. Amy's 17-year-old sister Sarah is dating Craig Dean. His best friend John Paul McQueen recently slept with Sarah's best friend Hannah Ashworth, but he seems ambivelant about the relationship.
Michela McQueen has reconnected with her long-lost father, behind her mother Myra's back. Mercedes McQueen is dating Russ Owen. Tina McQueen is dating Dominic Reilly. Jacqui McQueen was seeing Dominic's brother Tony Hutchinson until she violated her parole and ended up back in prison. Dim but sweet Carmel McQueen is still searching for a boyfriend.
The are several Hollyoaks Community College students sharing a flat, one of whom is a cross-dresser (Kris), and another who is a psycho (Will). Will manipulated things so that the object of his affection (Zoe) believed that nice-guy Zak was stalking her, all the while watching her via a hidden camera in her room. When Zoe and Zak made up, Will arranged an accident that burned Zak's arm.
There is more, of course, but it's not difficult to catch on. The accents can be a problem, but the meaning is usually clear, even if the words are not.