Monday, 17 October 2011

Roy Hattersley calls Corrie 'mean spirited' - is he right?

I usually avoid the Daily Mail at all costs and ignore rants about Coronation Street but this one has struck a chord of sorts with me.

Roy Hattersley writes in today's Mail about the passing of Betty Driver and how Corrie isn't the same show it once was when characters like Betty were at the forefront of the show. 

Now then, I love my Corrie. I've been watching it since I was a girl, and believe you me, that was a long time ago. But his words have struck a chord with me. I don't want to turn this blog post or this blog into a whinge, because Corrie always has its ups and downs. But for this fan, there have been too many downs this year and I still hope that whoever takes over from Phil Collinson will inject more humour into the show. This year has been the first year ever that I've given up on Corrie for a week or so because it became too tedious to watch when ITV used it as a cash cow, putting it on every night of the week to promote another show.

Anyway, have a look at what Roy Hattersley says - and let us know what you think.  Mind you, I don't know when the last time he watched the show was as he says in the piece that Audrey Roberts is 'walking out with a cross-dresser' and we all know that ended many weeks ago.

13 comments:

Karen Mason said...

Corrie is expected to keep up with the 'Eastenders' generation, and the cosy world Roy Hattersley dreams of, and indeed what I recall from my childhood, does not exist any more. If Corrie still lived in a world where Mavis and Derek got their gnomes stolen, and the only unrequieted love was that between Phyllis Pearce and Percy Sugden, the programme would be mocked and EE would wipe the floor with it more than it does.

I myself find it tedious when we have petty, ridiculous stories involving Norris and Mary, or Sylvia. I just think 'oh no Corrie, you're going back to the bad old days when you were so stupid that Eastenders came in like a breath of fresh air and that's why everyone took to it'. I think Mr Hattersley is suffering from that all too common complaint of viewing the world through rose-coloured glasses.

Blackie Bird said...

I disagree. If we want to watch "real life" there are plenty of Dispatches of Fly on the Wall with nasty people or the neighbours from hell. We want a bit of escapism and a feel good factor when we sit down at 7.30 not a programme where everyone is nasty and spiteful and a cheat or liar and you can count the decent people on one hand and still have fingers left over. Unfortunately Emmerdale is going down the same hill as Corrie with characters that would be more suited to Shameless.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Blackie Bird

Layman Battler said...

Have to agree with Blackie.

The reason I like Corrie is because it's NOT EastEnders.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid he's right. Coronation Street has got to the point where any story lines are cynically released months in advance, that ruins the drama and tension. The comedy sections now seem desperate - Sylvia and Mary are funny but compare it to the withering put-downs of Bet Lynch (Gilroy) and Blanche, they seemed natural delivering their lines.
Betty symbolises the passing of an era that I fear will never return and it's not about social realism, because Corrie always carried it's controversial story-lines well, the era that seems to be passing is the era of good writing.

Humpty Dumpty said...

The main criteria for whether a soap is working is: do you care about these people? Underlying that are the important social issues which can be helpful to viewers (cancer, alcoholism, teenage pregnancy) but you have to care about the character involved. More and more, these days, I find I'm bored with Corrie. I don't want it changed into a Last of the Summer Wine, utterly unreal and appealing only to a very older generation. We do need to reflect modern life but something has gone very wrong with the soap this year. Steve and Becky, Peter and Leanne, all ruined. Pointless characters are brought in and we've got some really awful actors in it at the moment. Story lines that seem pegged on and not emerging naturally from the characterisation. I do hope they don't try to recreate Betty in another character (the new 'Betty' like Sylvia and Blanche). We do need more humour, but northern wit, not slapstick comedy.

Anonymous said...

I think the world is a very different place now than it was when the show started and the show does and should reflect that. If that means it's more mean spirited then I think sadly that's a fairly accurate representation of a good number people. It seems now that "telling it like it" is cool and more important than consideration and kindness.

The internet doesn't seem to have helped in this regard, although it's laughable that a pice on a show being mean spirited has appeared in/on the Daily Mail. Since its own comments section is a cesspit of mean spiritedness.

It's also quite ironic that this piece is posted after one entitled Chinless Wonder.

Tvor said...

I'm not sure i'd say mean spirited though a lot of the fans sure can be. There are always ups and downs but I also agree that Corrie had to move with the times to keep up. I do find it usually has a fairly good balance between the sweet and the sensational though yes, i would also agree that this year has seen more sensational than sweet.

Coronation Street Corner said...

I watch old episodes from the 70s and 80s and notice the diffrence to today. People talking about nowt (be it in the Rovers, Kabin or corner shop), down to earth people who you cared about (Alf, Hilda, Len, Annie, Ena, Albert, Elsie)and northern humour. It's a bad thing that you have to depend on the older cast to inject humour in. Let's have more Julies, Eileens, Graemes! It seems characters like Betty don't exist, because they're of a different age. Back in the 1970s and 1980s you had strong characters who'd been through the war and rationing - like Len, Elsie, Ivy, Duckworths, Ogdens, Percy. There's no 'in my day...' in Corrie these days - both Rita and Emily don't suit it - they're comfortable with their cosy life.

Anonymous said...

He might have a point, but I stopped taking it seriously after he used this opportunity to take a needless dig at cross-dressers.

Adam Rekitt said...

I agree with Blackie, Humpty and CSC. I don't watch EE, because I don't care who is top gangster or who is plotting to ruin who. I want to watch likeable, believable characters, who may face conflict and difficulties, but who get through them with humour and support from friends and neighbours.

Anonymous said...

I believe several posts here have nailed down the troubles facing Corrie. There are a lack of likeable characters for us to care about, there is a lack of intelligent humour/wit and just great character writing. I think the other point made by a poster here that Corrie is changing to keep up with a world where sadly, there is a significant lack of character and mean spiritedness has become a norm is all too true. However, since we're tuning in to escape from the cruel reality of the world, the writers should give us a bit of an "other time and place" experience.

wiggleroom said...

Blech, politicians.

Wasn't it only a few months ago that Hattersley wrote an article going on about how well Corrie had "moved with the times" and "continued to reflect the changing society on which it's based" or words to that effect?

Just looked it up. Yes it was - 4th December 2010 in the very same Daily Fail.

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