Advantages Good info, laid out nicely, cheap
Disadvantages Too many soap storylines and adverts
|Quality of journalism|
|Quality of features|
|Value for money||Excellent|
|Quantity of advertising||Average|
A few months ago I was an avid soap watcher so religiously every Tuesday I would go out and buy my copy of What’s On TV for the following week just so I could read up on the soap but in recent months I have stopped watching the soaps as they have gone very stupid and depressing. I still do buy my TV book just to keep a little following of what is going on and why is being murdered this week but I have actually stared using the guide to find out what is on the TV which I never did before. It may seem like a waste of money to some as I do have a good TV planner and guide on my Sky TV but never seem to use it.The front cover of the book always features soap character with a shock or exclusive of what is going to be happening. The What’s on TV name is shoved into the top corner and the rest of the cover has small pictures and headlines of usually soaps or new shows which are going to be on. The back cover of the book always has an advert on.
Upon opening the book then the first page gives a very brief look at what they call the hot TV for the week. Here you usually find an old favourite which is returning or a new show altogether. It also gives a colourful index showing what pages you can find things on. After this the next double page is also designated to their hot TV moments and at the moment I am enjoying this as the Merlin series is usually featured in it. We don’t have a specific category for shows here they are all just random ones which can be found on a whole variety of channels.We then come to the good bit which is the Soapweek feature. There are 4 full pages which give us the low down of all the events which will be happening in all of out soaps. Also included in this are the smaller shows and less known ones such as Doctors and Hollyoaks. I have noticed over recent years how the smaller soaps have been given less and less writing space to make way for extra room for the major ones such as Eastenders, Corrie and Emmerdale. When this section has finished and after you pas the pages of adverts then you will find a soap diary which gives a day to day account of the best bits which will be shown in that nights episode. I really do find this is unnecessary as we have already had the opportunity of reading about them and think this is just to give the book some padding. Saying that I usually find the time to read it!
After reading and finding out about all of the soaps we come to the 9 page spread of the new shows which are starting and I like how they are so mixed and not just for specific channels. We do get some good info here and I like reading about what the actors think of their show. What I do find interesting in this part of the book is the ‘Look Who’s Back’ page as they show old actors and actresses who are making a comeback to the screen.Sometime after this there may be a sneak look at what will be coming up n the soaps in the next few months but in the book which I currently have we have a sneak peak at what ewe are going to be subjected to over the Christmas period.. Personally there is not one show I am looking forward to seeing out of what they have listed! The book then does finally make way for a quick glance at what films are on the TV over the week and they do give then rating but there is never usually any good ones featured. They do give a digital and Sky premier listing and guide, also cinema releases and new DVD’s do get a very small mention.
Finally if you have managed to plough through all of the above then you will come to the main reason for buying the book which is the actually TV listings. Each day of the week is give 3 double pages. The first page has the 5 main channels and the next has the Sky and Free view channels which are sectioned off according to the choice of shows. The third double page is dedicated to the days sky movie films, spots and kids channels. There is also a very small radio show guide. Somehow they have managed to pick three of the best shows of the day and do give them a small mention down the side of the page.When you come to the end of the TV listing there is a competition page which always has a crossword and Sudoku puzzle, there is also a competition entry form at the bottom of the page. There is a horoscope page after this giving your star signs for the week and here they usually feature an actor who is going to be celebrating their Birthday in this week.
Finally the back page of the book (this is the one I actually go to first!) has letters which the viewers have sent in, they are always about the shows which have been on over the previous few weeks. Some of them may be complementing a good actor or actress or more times than not they are letters of complaint about a certain show. There is also a small question and answer section.Throughout the magazine you will find loads of pages which are just for adverts and for me they are always useless and never informative or of any use to me. This annoys me and is just a complete waste of paper. Also when I pick this up from the shelf in the shop I am horrified at the amount of leaflet and junk which falls out. I cannot believe they are still allowed to produce this junk as it is such a waste of trees. There really should be a law bought in over this.
The TV guide is widely available and comes in at 47p. I do find this quite reasonable as it keeps me up to speed on my soaps without me having to sit and watch them all., I also find that there can be some interesting articles inside showing documentaries which are to be on. I would say that this is one of the better TV guides which I have bought and do recommend it to all, especially soap fan.
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