Friday, 20 March 2015

The chickens can stay

I'm feeling a bit "meh" about Coronation Street at the moment. There are some good bits and some not so good bits, yet nothing truly awful. I'm in the midst of a Corrie conundrum. 

I'll kick off with what I'm enjoying at the moment. Strangely, I'm beginning to quite like Steve and Michelle together. Steve has always been a favourite, Michelle less so. However her unflinching support now his depression is out in the open has been pleasing to see. I actually have less of a problem imagining them walking down the aisle now. Having said that, I stand by my original comments that it would be more truthful to the depression storyline had we seen more of Steve interacting with his counsellor. A bit like Tim's reading difficulties, this side of things has been badly handled.

I've also thoroughly enjoyed the ongoing Kevin/Jenny/Rita story. I hope we will see more of this soon. There's always a risk attached to bringing back characters from another era however Jenny has slotted back in beautifully and I really don't want her to leave again. I hope her story is not cut and dried - I like elements of her ginger minx character but I think it's time for some more layers. 

I was dubious about Faye's pregnancy storyline but the young actress Ellie Leach has put in some superb performances so far. I hope it doesn't end up going over old ground however as Sarah and Bethany will shortly be back with us it would be absurd for them not to share scenes and experience. I've also loved Craig's involvement in this story. Colson Smith is a great actor and has come on leaps and bounds. Craig has been a loyal and supportive friend to Faye and it's heartening to see a younger character with those qualities. 

It has been a joy to see more of Emily too. I have liked her interactions with Billy the vicar and it's good to see her doing something that doesn't just involve making up the numbers with Rita and Norris. I fear that sometimes the character of Emily is treated as nothing more than a walk on part but given the right material Eileen Derbyshire still knows how to play it. Unfortunately the material just doesn't always seem to be there.

I'm missing Eva already. Of the three actresses away on maternity leave, she leaves the biggest gap for me. True, Fiz and Kylie have carried bigger story lines but Eva is such a refreshing presence in Corrie that I think her absence will be the most keenly felt. I'm also missing Carla who seems to have disappeared into the Corrie cupboard along with my favourite Nazir, the sparky, spiky Yasmeen. I'm still enjoying Steph even though her current storyline is irritating me (more later) and I hope we see more of her brother Luke. I'm not sure being saddled with Maria is the best thing for his character but the siblings are a breath of fresh air. Finally, I have high hopes for Roy's upcoming friendship with newcomer Cathy. I can see Melanie Hill having great chemistry with David Neilson and as we have been assured it will not be a romantic storyline we can all sit back and enjoy.

Now to some of my low points from recent viewing. I think my general feeling is that there are currently just too many characters I don't really care about or see myself investing time in learning to like. I think I'll call it Sophie Webster syndrome. On paper they read like a good idea but in practice, less so.

We'll start with the Windass-Armstrong clan. All the stuff with Linda just did nothing for me. I already disliked Owen so this has just shunted him further into the pit of scheming negativity. Anna, who has had her moments is swiftly turning into a pinny-clad shrew who spends her time ferrying plates of food back and forth with a permanent scowl on her face. Katy is pointless but she's away soon so we'll leave that be. Izzy seemed surplus to requirements after her split with Gary so who knows what she'll be once Owen and Katy have both left?

Apart from this lot, the other family dominating screen time at the moment are the Platts. I don't even know if they have a collective name anymore as so many surnames are involved. Platt, McIntyre, Roberts, Tilsley, Rodwell, Carver, Logan, Turner. Phew. I love Audrey's constant support in the background but she needs to ditch them all fast and crawl out of number 8 into a storyline of her own that also does not involve Maria, Ken Barlow or Anna Karenina. Gail and Michael are an excellent match, two big drips. All this stuff with David, Max and Callum is tedious. They all seem to have forgotten that Kylie didn't just leave, David chucked her out.  Callum is yet to develop into a character worth keeping, I'm not sure if they are writing him as a villain or a camp comedy element. Whatever, it's dragging on too long.

Talking of dragging on too long, we now come to the ongoing Andy/Gavin saga. It feels to me that the writers don't have enough confidence in their basic plotlines so they must constantly make them even more complex and therefore unbelievable. Qudos to stalwarts Helen Worth and Sue Nicholls for keeping up with this one. I actually quite enjoyed the real Gavin, he was an odious baddie got rid of far too soon. He could've given Callum some tips. Basically it's all just too convoluted and at the end of it I don't really care what happens to any of them. We've been promised it will come to a dramatic head and that there will be repercussions for all. Hooray. More simpering Gail and scenes of Michael clutching his chest. When Gail asks him if it's his heart, it would be the perfect time for Les Dennis to squeak out "I don't really know..."

Less irritating but worth a ponder is the continuing presence of Chesney and Sinead. Why can Coronation Street no longer create and develop nice characters who are also interesting? Why does nice equal dull or old before their time? And when these options run out they can always morph into vamps that bed their neighbours, turn bunny boilers and face horrible deaths which are accompanied by swathes of publicity. Chesney and Sinead should be likeable. We, the collective audience should be fighting for them, willing them on. Not leaving the room to stick the kettle on whenever they appear. 

Minor points before I go: I hope we never see Liz's friend Erica ever again. Sharif needs to be bundled into the van that comes to take the chickens away and never be seen again. The chickens can stay. I'm still not sure about Vicar Billy but that may be because he's sharing most of his scenes with Sean. Todd's London backstory - what on earth is it?? Still don't like Andrea. 

And on a purely gratuitous note, can we have more scenes written in featuring Gary Windass with his top off. Even at the cafe, I don't care about the hygiene risks. I've been in it, it's not that clean.

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Tvor said...

I, on the other hand, am enjoying the Rodwell-Gavin storyline twists and turns. I do agreet hat the real Gavin was truly odious and an excellent character. If he'd stayed in long term, though, they'd have to soften him a bit unless he would have been the new Terry Duckworth!

I'm with you on the Callum/David/Max stuff, though. I'm really finding it tedious. I know they had to work around Paula Lane's maternity leave and that sort of thing always ends up making for clunky storylines.

I might have bought into Linda Armstrong more if she'd been a bit more of a sparky feisty character. But again, it was only contrived to see Katy off.

I really miss Eva and her little giggle too!

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'm sill waiting for Corrie to improve. These last few months in particular... I have struggled to keep watching.

I agree about Michelle. She has 100% stood by Steve and the writers have made sure she's said all the right things, defended him when others have questioned his behaviour etc. TPTB are clearly very determined to convince viewers that "Michelle is the best thing that's ever happened to Steve." HOWEVER, I'm just not that interested in watching their scenes. The whole depression/love story is just not for me.

Admittedly, I've really missed Carla.

I'm just finding the whole show very uninteresting atm, though.

Llifon said...

Yet again you've summarised my thoughts Graeme! :)

I also agree with Tvor about that Corrie doesn't interest me as much, apart from when certain characters appear.

But I'll still be loyal! ;)

Humpty Dumpty said...

Agree with everything, Graeme. I find I can manage with two episodes a week. For me, the problem with Corrie is that there have been too many occasions when characters failed to do the obvious simply to make more of the story:

Michael/Gavin: just tell Michael the truth
David/Max: just get a solicitor
Anna and all her woes: just call the professionals for help - eg therapists for Gary

The chicken story is strange. we assume the senior Nazirs had a large house with a garden fit for the job. It's true that they might have been living in b and b but their demeanour suggests middle class wealth. However, Sharif waits until he's got a tiny yard - doesn't make sense.

Anna is going to ruin the pregnancy story. Faye and Craig are brilliant and it's those two that keep me hooked on that storyline.

Anonymous said...

Corrie has become so uninteresting for some time now. The Nazirs have got to go , very boring.
I miss Eva too and we need to see Carla back.
Hope they wrap up the Gail/ Michael/ Gavin storyline soon too.

Colin Schmollin said...

I am sure those who miss Eva will be very happy to know that Ms Sarah Louise Platt will be working behind the Rovers bar as you do. I just hope she is not as moany as I remember her.

Zagg said...

I suppose I agree with at least half of your summary.
The real Gavin was quite a good actor. HE should have been Callum. His short time on the street was memorable for sure. The scene when he confronted Gail on her wedding day, at the house was Corrie magic. He was intense and threatening and so believable.
The Callum actor, bless him, but the poor boy really can't act. He is nice to look at though.
Gary....I know some people love him. I am not one of those people. I feel he is past his sell date. The pairing of him and Alya is absurd.

I feel the Windass/Armstrong clan, or as we call them in our household...the Strong-Ass clan, should call it a day. With Owen and Katy leaving and taking the now completely pointless Joseph, what is Izzy going to do? And Anna, Faye and Gary do not make an interesting family that's for sure. Anna is beyond annoying now. I'd rather see Faye go live with Tim and Sally. That would be interesting and more palatable. Maybe Anna and Gary should go meet up with Eddie somewhere.

And I know I am in a real minority when I say I am not and really have never been very fond of Emily Bishop. I find her too self-righteous and half the time I don't even know what she's taking about. I love the older characters...just not her.

Anonymous said...

Please, please, please get rid of the chickens and all associated with them.

Laura said...

I'm enjoying the show at the moment.

Liking the Andy/Gavin/Michael storyline, but agree it's time to wrap it up. I do like Andy though, hope he sticks around.

I didn't see when Jenny was on originally, but they've done a good job of making me interested in her. Also nice to see Kevin with a storyline.

Have not missed Carla, the character needed a rest.

Looking forward to seeing the fallout when Liz finds out about Tony/Tracy, especially as I'm not liking Liz at the moment. Too selfish and obnoxious.

Hated the Eileen as barmaid story - mostly because of the way Liz, Steve and Michelle dithered over getting rid of her. It was pathetic after the first one or two scenes.

Have enjoyed watching Tyrone interact with Roy, driving lessons and helping him study, etc. However I would like to see Ken and Roy interact more. I found it ridiculous that there was never a scene with Ken talking to Roy about Hayley, yet they're supposed to be friends. It would make more sense to see Ken helping Roy win the allotment than having him crash hen parties to discuss literature.

Anonymous said...

Everyone seems mystified by the chicken story, except that it's exactly the same story as the one that took place with Stan, Hilda, and Eddie. That story also went on for ever. What's the difference?

Anonymous said...

So, in summary, nobody agrees fully and absolutely with everyone else as to what they are enjoying and what they dislike but the production team are supposed to meet everyone's wishes...


vintgal003 said...

I have to say....I absolutely agree with this last *Anonymous* commentator above....everyone has their own likes and dislikes...

If one is so unsatisfied with Coronation Street...I am sure, there are other shows that they can watch... Most of the commentators are negative about much of the show...that is a shame for those of us who really enjoy this program....

Anonymous said...

Humpty, I agree with all of your comments!
I hate to say it but I don't miss Fizz one bit. The last while she was on all she did was sit in the pub or the café and when she was in the café she constantly nagged at Roy. Nothing against Jennie McAlpine but the writer need to do something with Fizz and Tryone they are so boring.
I miss Eva a lot. Kylie never, ever liked the character so don't care if she returns again, nothing against Paula Lane just the character

Laura said...

People complaining whenever a critical comment is posted about the show is becoming as frequent as the actual complaining about plots and characters. Not sure how constructive that is...

Given that this is a comment thread in response to a post that began with: "I'm feeling a bit "meh" about Coronation Street at the moment", I'm a little confused as to why there would be surprise about comments echoing and commiserating with that negativity.

Anonymous said...

Laura, I agree. Everyone has a opinion, whether it's things they like or things they don't like about what's happening on Corrie, and it's all fun to read. But when I read negative comments criticising other people for expressing their opinions, it makes me very uncomfortable, and I have noticed that this has been happening more frequently lately.

Kira Thomsen-Cheek said...

I love this blog - thanks, Graeme! Waiting in the USA with bated breath for Gary Windass topless. As a ginger, don't often find male gingers attractive - but OOF! Gahr-eh. Woof!


Milly said...

Without the chickens, the Nazirs are nothing.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm in the minority but I like Sinead and Chesney and don't find them to be an old couple but responsible who genuinely love and respect each other and I wish there was more of that rather than the bed hopping we've seen with the likes of Katy and will soon see with Sarah and Callum.
I'm also not missing Fiz as I thought she was a bit controlling at times with Tyrone.At the same time though,I think Chesney could've used her support when Katy wanted to take Joseph to Portugal with her as I doubt Fiz would allow Katy to walk all over Chesney and get her way.

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