Coronation Street: Secrets

As the longest running British television series ever, there is a 99 percent chance the entirety of Coronation Street (aka "Corrie" or "the Street") will never see a proper DVD release — seeing as it would take well over 200 discs to cover a show that has been on four nights a week for 44 years. But the producers felt it was best to jump on the DVD bandwagon and get something out, so now diehard fans can get their fill with this four-disc set called Coronation Street: Secrets. The content is not a selection of the greatest episodes but a series of clip shows exploring the themes of the show over the years. Featuring interviews with cast members, directors, publicists and producers, as well as gossipy journalists, the 12 featurettes give a detailed and insightful account of the action that has hit the Street over the years. The more interesting bits come with "Weddings," of which the show has thrown 58, constantly bringing disaster for the bride and groom; the 35 "Barmaids" who you "can't trust because they pour your pints"; the unlimited variety of "Hunks" that inspired a journalist to admit, "Other soaps give us boys. Coronation Street gives us men"; a recount of the more than 90 sad and shocking "Deaths"; and the humorous "Double Acts," which reflects on some of the show's best duos, including Stan and Hilda, Jack and Vera, and Kirk and Les. While there is enough old footage to attract lifetime fans, unfortunately a heavy portion of this collection focuses on storylines from the last three years. A poor choice was made in using the fourth disc for "When Karen Met Steve," "Peter Barlow Exposed" and "Tracy Barlow Exposed." Only the final exposé, "Richard Hillman Exposed," is of true value, investigating the serial killing character that delivered one of the program's most powerful threads and caused power surges in the UK come 7:30 p.m. No explanation is given for the absenteeism of the famous horn-laden theme song, but I guess we've all heard that enough in our lives. (CBC/Morningstar)