Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Defending Corrie

There's been so much garbage in the media lately about Coronation Street - low ratings, bad accents, too many gay characters, and all of it's pure rubbish. As reported on t'other blog, ITV has stoutly defended it's flagship soap. Some question why they even need to. I reckon it's because the media, once they've got something in their grip, don't want to let it go and they all pick it up and run with it. Nothing better to do, I guess.

I've been enjoying the show of late.

Do I like all the characters? No, but then I never do. I've never liked Norris Cole. I've never warmed up to Michelle Connor. I don't like Eva Price so far but it's early days yet. I've not always been too fond of Kevin Webster. There's some characters that have always been kind of pointless for me, but partly, that's because the writers never really did much with them so they never really gelled.   (Chris, Cheryl, Russ for a start but they're clearing out soon anyway, and Tommy has never made much of an impact either.)  Since the Graeme/Xin debacle, Tina is getting on my nerves. I can't stand Tracy Barlow and I hate that they've brought her back. Mary seems to have lost her quirkiness of late. I don't like Owen but I'm hoping that Anna will soften him up a bit.

Do I like all the storylines? No, but then that's also normal. I never enjoyed the immigration story and am very glad that's over. I'm not too happy about the return of Dennis Tanner only because they've really not done much with him and I'm afraid he'll get fed up and leave. I've never been all that keen on Chesney and Katy's romance and the direction it's taken. (Oh, and now Fiz is in the nick, have they moved into the house? If so, have they given up the flat? There were murmurings but it's all confusing me.) So far, Sean has had minimal struggle dealing with a little boy, even with Marcus' help. Chris and Maria have not clicked, either but that's nearly over.

As always, most of the actors do an excellent job, whether I'm enjoying the storyline or not, whether I like the character or not. There are always weak links, but everyone has different opinions on what they are. I have never felt that Kate Ford is a strong actor but she's apparently a very nice person so perhaps she is better than I think?

Michelle Collins seems to be a bit weak on the emotional scenes but perhaps that's to do with the chemically frozen features that seem to be increasingly common in women of a certain age although, thankfully, Corrie doesn't seem to have many. I don't mind her Northern accent at all, and since I was only ever an occasional EE watcher, I don't see her as Cindy Beale. And anyway, wasn't that a lot of years ago? Surely she's got past that typecasting now? I'm looking forward to seeing how she and Leanne get on. I think it was a great move to make her Leanne's mother and there's lots of emotional potential there. I really like Leanne and Peter and I feel emotionally invested in them as a family. I'll not like that they seem to be throwing Carla into the mix again but conflict is what soaps are all about. I just cross my fingers that the younger Barlow family will manage to stick together.

I've been enjoying the Stape, and now, Fiz storyline. Some people hate that she's moaning and crying all the time, but wouldn't you if you were in her shoes? Her life has completely crashed around her. She married an asshole and he's done nothing good for her and left her holdling both the baby and the blame. We all know she won't be convicted because it's soap law and as soon as John walked away from the 6 storey fall (oh, come on, it's a soap, you really do have to expect these things!) I knew he'd eventually come back to confess and keep her from jail. That's predictable as well but I'd have been disappointed otherwise. My only fear is that when he does that, Fiz will soften and bleat "See? He does love me!" and forgive him because he's the father of her baybeh! Stupid woman. I hope she gets angry. Really angry, and gives him the telling off of his life. I'll help.

I'm enjoying Sophie's misadventures with the homeless shelter. It seemed harmless enough but then it took a twist and turned out to be a scam. Angry  young man James is about to be revealed as a scam artist. Maybe his father Lawrence was right about him all along! He certainly won't be surprised to hear his son is about to try to rip off his newly found grandfather. I don't think he'll get away with it, though.

I'm eagerly waiting for Brian the teacher to come back into Julie's life. I think he's one of the best new characters. He's feckless and silly and a real classic Corrie bloke and I think he and Julie are absolutely made for each other. I really like her and this will give them more airtime. I love how she's forging ahead and has determined that Dennis Tanner is indeed a relative while Dennis is quite clearly not quite enthralled with her and her antics but is bemused and slightly exasperated in conjunction with much eye rolling. I think the two of them could become quite good mates in the end, though, don't you?

I'm loving the arrival of Roy's mother to put the cat in amongst the pigeons. We've needed the gruff older battleaxe as Greek Chorus, acidly observing the comings and goings from one of the key neighbourhood meeting points. She will be developed and has already shown that there's a bit of a kinder underside to her. She's no Blanche. But then, Blanche was no Ena. I think, in fact, Sylvia is probably closer to Ena's character than Blanche was in some ways. Little by little, they're having her make "friends" with a few of the older characters who are including her in their circle at the Rovers. There were rumours of a romantic triangle between Dennis, Rita and Emily but I rather think Sylvia may replace Emily in that, if it happens, though I still have a hard time wrapping my head around Dennis being old enough to date women in their 70s as his peers!

The breakdown of Steve and Becky, while it saddens me, was probably inevitable. He is attracted to women like her but they are loose cannons and very self destructive. Has he not made a connection to the fact that Tracy has been instrumental in both of his most recent marraige blow outs? Steve is weak and spineless, he always was. It's frustrating seeing him buckle under the least little bit of pressure from any of the women in his life but that's who he is. I never used to like his character but the actor has come along so well and about the time he and Jim started the building business, about 10 years ago or a bit more, I started to come around. As Steve matured (and I use that term loosely!), the actor has really settled in and Steve is now one of my favourites in spit of, or probably because of his flaws.

I miss Liz but since she's barely been on screen for over a year, her parting was less of a wrench that it would have been. I wish she'd have been able to go off happy with Jim, though. That made me a little sad.

Although I hated the Molly-Kevin affair, as did we all, you have to admit it had a lot of far reaching consequences. I'm very afraid that Sally will soften towards Kevin and take him back. After what he's done, she really shouldn't and I don't care how much history they have. She may be a shrew, a snob and a pain in the arse, but Kevin doesn't deserve her and he doesn't deserve to get his whole family back after his betrayal. I shall be very disappointed if this happens. I love Sally always sniping at him and cheer every one of her backhanded remarks at his expense. I do find it hard to believe that he and Tyrone could possibly continue to work together.

In a real world, Tyrone would have sold his share back to Kevin and left. It would have been too difficult working with the man and too hard to see that hated man bring up the baby he thought was his. It's not the real world, though, so sometimes things just have to be accepted. I'm glad they're going to give him a new love but i don't think it will be smooth sailing and so it shouldn't at first.

One last thing I'm really loving (yes, I know this is rambling on!) is Kylie and David. I always enjoyed Paula Lane, I think she's a fabulous actress and the character of Kylie is great! One of those you like to hate because she's so gobby and full of attitude. Perfect for David who really gets her. And I love her battles with Gail, the mother in law that is a carbon copy nearly, of her own ex mother-in-law, Ivy, the woman that couldn't let go of her children because her own life was empty. I've always liked Gail and I'm just chuffed that she's still getting great storylines. It looks like Helen Worth is having a lot of fun with this one!

There's a lot more that I like about the show, lots of characters, and other storylines but I've run on long enough for today. Watch this space!


Llywela said...

Ramble away!

As I commented over on t'other blog, I'm thoroughly enjoying the show at the moment and don't know what all the fuss is about. I think there's a log of bandwagon jumping going on. Sure, the show has its faults, most of 'em to do with the writing: it isn't good at pacing storylines and also isn't good at follow through or balance, plus has a tendency to sacrifice character development and long-term potential for short term shock tactics, which is always a disappointment. But despite all that, plus plot holes you could drive a truck through, I am nearly always thoroughly entertained by each episode and am ridiculously attached to most of the characters, whether I actually like them as individuals or not.

Hopefully all this fuss is just a storm in a teacup and will soon blow over.

Llywela said...

Or even a lot of bandwagon jumping going on, not log. Sheesh.

Chewy said...

I think the show is fine at the moment

scifiaddict86 said...

I think there is definitely something a bit off with the show and that there is too much plot over character and lack of respect for the shows strong women. I think the balance is off and that Phil Collinson is a good writer he doesn't seem to understand women well enough to run Corrie. I keep getting the feeling form the way characters are all over the place (Dennis loved Julie last this week hes rolling his eyes at her, Last week Peter adored Leanne this week his making eyes at Carla etc etc etc.) that there is quite a bit of disagreement in the writers room itself right now. I also hate the way storylines seem to exist in bubbles(Peter having no reaction to Tracy's tangles with Becky, none of the Barlow's at James big work do, Dennis having nothing to do with Ken etc.) so characters don't get to react to whats happening with each other like they used to, I don't think Phil knows quite how to manage a serial drama like this and the show is suffering because of it I think Phil needs someone to balance him so we still get to keep his big ideas but they're tempered by someone who understands soap better(In my head its Daran Little since his current show is about go off the air and soaps in the US are a dying breed)

I actually think Sally should take Kevin back, its clearly what she wants to do and what will probably make her happiest in the long run. In the end Kevin chose her and came back to her and I don't think he'd risk losing her again. At the end of the day they love each other (I know this is a very cynical) and really the odds of Sally finding someone else are slim most women her age never remarry and when they do it rarely works out. I'm not saying she should settle for Kevin, I'm saying if she wants him why not take him back and be happy?

I love David and Kylie too and I hope they last a good long time. I do wish Gail would find something else to do though her playing Ivy is nothing new and frankly it bores me.

Tvor said...

That's the thing, though. I think if Sally takes Kevin back, she's just settling or she's become too attached to the baby. She only married him the second time for the sake of the girls

maggie muggins said...

It's strange that there aren't any articles like your blog post here, Tvor, in any of the big news sites that are gathering so many eyeballs during Bash Corrie Week. (except for the Marcus character's defense of the gay characterization) I think any reasonable viewer could make a similar case, with their own likes & dislikes inserted appropriately. Instead, people seem to be letting off steam about everything they've ever hated about the show, even all soaps! Wouldn't it be interesting to find some older comments & articles pre-Phil Collinson?

I think it was Chewy who debunked the low viewership numbers at the other blog. but that hasn't stopped the flow. It's all very curious. I even missed another article at the Guardian yesterday, there's so much of it around. I have some theories why, but won't get into it now.

Back to the point of your post, Tvor. It's certainly rounded off the sharp edges of the I-Hate-Corrie meme storming around like sleet on t'internet. I think you're being more fair than the "anti" crowd, mostly because you're honest about what you don't like as well. I'd be willing to bet that those who are screaming are still watching the show, even those who say they're not. You've also reminded us that in the end - it's just a soap! A bit of entertainment. OK, it's a British institution, a long-time tradition, I'm Canadian, but steeped in Brit TV and news sources. Working class New Yorker by birth. I've lived in a small town. I think I get The North.

The most hated: Kylie, Becky and Sean are all characters I've grown to like. Yep, Becky's downfall is too stretched out. Kylie is annoying. Sean is a bit too whatevah at times. I've never seen a "perfect" cast, on anything. (Well, maybe Forbrydelsen - The Killing from Norway).

There's a tradition in quilt-making and some garment-making cultures, where a part of the finished article is left with a mistake in it. Sort of a nod to the gods that perfection really doesn't exist. I used to be a bit embarrassed to admit I watched this soap. Then I realized a bit of low-brow in the mix is tickety-boo. It would be a shame if Phil left the show too early without having a chance to leave behind a nice patina on it. I actually hope this broad discussion continues, cause I can think of lots more to say! Like to Sally: kick the bum out!

Tvor said...

Thanks for your great comments, maggie. I"m Canadian too and I find that we seem to be a lot less likely to pick on the negative so much, when it comes to Corrie, and focus on how great the show is overall.

I don't think it's Phil Collinson, really, because i've been online a long time and I can remember when Brian Park really shook things up in the mid to late 90s and was reviled for ruining Corrie even back then! He didn't, obviously, but the sensationalist storylines seemed to start around then, slowly, and has worked up to what we have today. And I do have to admit that there are more times during Park's reign that i wasn't enjoying the show than there is now.

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