note: no spoilers were used in the preparation of this post
So you've finally decided to start watching Coronation Street. After all, 770,000 Canadians can't be wrong (actually they can -ed). Congratulations! But wait, you say, I don't know anything about Coronation Street and the accents are hard to understand and I can't keep track of the characters.
Hey, relax, it's okay. We've all been there. Here's a handy how-to guide to watching Coronation Street.
1. Don't worry about the past, just dive in
Yes, it's true that Coronation Street has been on the air since 1960, but that doesn't mean you need to know what happened during the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00's to appreciate the current stories. Just start watching and don't worry too much about who's who.
Some characters may intrigue you (Carla the foxy factory owner or Peter the poxy alcoholic). Some may not. All you really need to know about Norris, for example, is that he's a gossip and a busybody. End of. If a particular backstory or character piques your interest, a click of your mouse will get you to a website (Wikipedia or Corriepedia) which will give you as much background as you want. (Watch out for spoilers though as the UK is a few weeks ahead of Canada).
2. Embrace the lingo and the accent
Some have complained that it's hard to understand what the characters are talking about due to the accents and the colloquialisms. Try to see this a learning experience, rather than a pain in the ass. Think of Coronation 'Streetese' as a down-at-the-heels kind of Esperanto, designed to transcend nationality. Once you watch a few episodes, you'll get the hang of it and, before you know it, you'll be skiving (slacking) and eating sarnies (sandwiches) like the punters (customers) at the Rovers.
3. Missing a few episodes now and then is not a big deal
Coronation Street has a life of its own and it really doesn't matter if you miss a few episodes (except for Corrie fanatics who routinely break traffic laws to get home to watch). I once spent a year in France studying toe fungus (truffe d'orteil or toe truffles in French) and it only took me about four episodes to get caught up.
Now, grab a cup of tea (or something stronger), put your feet up and start watching. You're in for a treat.