Your favourite Shortland Street moments
You may recall that, a couple of months ago, I mentioned that my other New Year's resolution was to watch Shortland Street every evening, starting with its first episode for the year in mid-January and ending sometime after the show's 20th anniversary in late May (or maybe even its 5000th episode, soon thereafter). At the time, I joked that I might not make it, saying "this is a life-or-death situation. Please tell my family I love them."
Well, not only has Shortland Street not killed me, but I've also managed to make it through 54 episodes (as of this morning) and I'm actually enjoying myself.
Shortland Street doesn't aspire to be a top-quality drama - not that the team don't do the best they can within the boundaries placed on them (budget, talent, time), because they do. It's just that no one is under the impression that they are trying to compete with drama heavyweights like Breaking Bad or Mad Men. It is what it is: a half-hour soap that tries to deliver an entertaining 30 minutes each night.
Besides, if you just take Shortland Street as it comes, it can be quite entertaining in its own way.
Twenty years on air is an impressive feat for any show, anywhere in the world, and Shortland Street has managed to do it while remaining at or near the top of the NZ ratings for most of that time. Five thousand episodes is an equally impressive feat: The Simpsons has managed 500 episodes in 23 seasons - Shortland Street has done 10 times that number in a shorter time, with smaller resources. The team make the equivalent of a feature film every week for most of the year.
Anyway, while thinking about how to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Shortland Street, I thought we could make a list - the 20 Greatest Moments in Shortland Street History. But I'm not doing it myself. You're going to help.
I'm sure most of you have spent more time watching Shorty than I ever have, and I'm sure even the most anti-Shorty commenter will have watched at least a handful of episodes. So here's what we'll do:
1) Submit your favourite Shortland Street moments from the past 20 years in the comments below. Don't worry if you're repeating a moment that someone else has already mentioned. Don't worry about details: I'll figure that stuff out later.
2) Next, I'll figure out which are the most popular moments and put together a list of nominees. We'll vote on the nominees in a separate post in April.
3) Finally, I'll run the 20 most popular moments - as voted by you - during May, ahead of Shortland Street's 20th anniversary.
It'll be the 20 Greatest Moments in Shortland Street History, As Voted by On the Box Readers, and it will be fantastic.
All right, enough explaining. Put your thinking caps on and start submitting your favourite moments. Is it Lionel Skeggins getting washed off a rock in 1999? Gina and Leonard marrying in 1993? Or Rangi and Donna marrying in 2000? Maybe you liked the end of the Ferndale Strangler storyline in 2008? Or perhaps you like the simplicity of "you're not in Guatemala now, Dr Ropata" all the way back in 1992?