Friday, 29 May 2015

Flamin' Coronation Street

I haven't blogged about Coronation Street for a while because I haven't watched Coronation Street for a while. However after Sally Ann Matthews told me on Twitter that I MUST WATCH IT NOW I decided the special fire week was the right moment to try again. 

I freely admit I fell out of love with Corrie. It's been a bumpy ride since the wonderful, emotional, beautifully written final journey for our Hayley early last year. I'm not going to write again about why I switched off as it's pretty obvious - too many characters, too many characters I don't like, too many storylines that either go nowhere or go on too long. Basically the heart of Corrie just wasn't there for me any more.

I was planning to tune in one final time for the episodes that will broadcast Deirdre's exit storyline. If I know Corrie they will raise the bar and pull out all the stops for this one. They owe it to the fantastic Anne Kirkbride to do so and they know it. 

Anyway, I gave in and watched Fire Week. First of all I completely disagree with Corrie being used to support ratings for Britain's Got Talent. I've never watched BGT and I never intend to watch it either. Corrie shouldn't be used by anyone for anything. It's flipping Coronation Street for goodness sake. It's stands alone! I also don't like Corrie popping up at random times. 9pm?! Spare me! Corrie belongs at 7.30pm and that's that!

First of all, the positives. Sally Ann Matthews is an absolute star. It was a brilliant move to bring the legendary Jenny Bradley back to our screens and Sally Ann has put in some fantastic performances. I had hoped Jenny would be back long term but after this storyline peaks I don't see that being likely, which is a huge shame. I'm hoping that despite the drama, kidnap plots, roof-top dangling and dodgy wigs, we will get to the root of why Jenny has gone bonkers. Some sensitive scripts will do Sally Ann justice. A few more mentions of her nasty daddy and some more scenes with Barbara Knox would be special too.

The other actress who stands out for me is Beverley Callard as Liz. Poor Liz has been put through the wringer by slimey Tony and toxic Tracy this week. I've loved Beverley's gutsy performances - putting Steve's happiness before her own, helping to rescue Amy and destroying most of the Rovers back room! Lovely stuff. Liz is no saint though - Des Barnes' brother or Jim's physiotherapist anyone? - but I'm sure this storyline has got the audience coming down firmly on Liz's side. Bravo Bev!

As for the fire itself? Coronation Street must be the most highly flammable street in Manchester. How many fires have we had of late? The Bistro, The Rovers, the faktry, number 13, Peter Barlow's flat, the cab office flat...the list goes on. Surely it's time for something else? The special effects were terrific and the whole thing was very dramatic if a tad slow and implausible. The rescue of Amy dragged on for decades. There were also strange aspects. For a modern block of flats the anti-fire measures (smoke alarms/sprinklers) seemed pretty pathetic or completely absent. However if it means we get rid of the useless Victoria Court then I'm not really complaining.

As always it looks like everyone is going to turn on Carla. That woman takes the blame for everything! I love Carla but her incredibly dramatic life and the fact everyone but Roy tends to hate her is wearing really thin. Can she please have some happiness before Alison King takes her time off? Tracy's nasty act is also a yawn. Kate Ford does it very well but it's really just a round robin of spite these days. Either turn it on its head and find her a new direction or else it's time to wave goodbye I think.

Kal has already left our screens and although I like Jimi Mistry as an actor, he's never quite worked in Corrie as far as I'm concerned. Maddie's life currently hangs in the balance although we know the actress is also leaving. I don't care for Sophie Webster so I'm not relishing weeks of her misery. I did quite enjoy the shock explosion that seems to have claimed Maddie. Nice for a change for Corrie to hold something unexpected back. 

I've really enjoyed certain aspects of this special week of Corrie but it still doesn't feel like quality, classic Corrie to me. I'm undecided on whether I'll keep watching after Fire Week, although strictly speaking it's not over yet. Let's see what happens next.

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Anonymous said...

Great Blog Graeme!

I'm also quite sick of the 'blame Carla' storyline. She got blamed for wrongly accusing Frank of rape, then got blamed for Frank's murder, then got blamed for Tina's come on! Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this week's episodes, but can we just move on from the repetitious plots already? Especially concerning Leanne and Carla, who have two brilliant actresses worthy of far more than what they are given.

Mark my words, this will be similar to Becky's exit only dragged out longer: Carla will be a pariah on the street, everyone blaming her for the fire. Alya, and her new line of lingerie, will swear vengeance and slowly start taking Carla's clients and possibly her staff while Leanne, and the Nazirs support her. Enter 'Underworld in crisis # 10897657' since Carla took over, and enter new Connor cousin to the rescue. But it's not enough for poor Carla who only has the support of Roy, Michelle, and possibly Nick. She eventually proves it was Tracy (with no physical evidence but with possibly catching her out verbally) and everyone rushes to apologize for wrongfully blaming her, but Carla skulks off to L.A. leaving the business in Michelle and new Connor cousin's hands.

If Leanne actually sees the fire as an accident and eventually forgives Carla I'd be shocked!

Anyways, that's my two cents haha!

Humpty Dumpty said...

Graeme, it doesn't feel like classic quality Corrie because it isn't. Anyone who remembers the Rovers fire where Bet was trapped will know the difference. I remember the continuity announcer on itv later in the week saying that due to the dramatic events on Corrie, the episode would be repeated. Different era that can never be recaptured. This era is 'modern Corrie' which is sometimes good and sometimes bad. Tim and Sally are a sheer delight and demonstrate how the small scenes are worth savouring far more than the (often literally) explosive stuff. I loved the look of passion on her face when she saw Tim's wedding outfit. We don't have the benefit of hindsight about the period we're going through. Is there an equivalent quote to 'Woman, Stanley, woman'? It might make a good blog - the best one-liners or memorable scenes of the last five years. We may have already had that blog but I can't remember. Maybe they weren't that memorable.

Anonymous said...

First of all, welcome back Graeme, I missed you!

I agree with you about Beverly Callard - she was great this week, everything from smashing crockery to sitting stone-faced beside Tony at the wedding.

Although the special effects of the fire were fine, the pacing of events was decidedly off. If Kal or Leanne had simply picked Amy up and carried her out of the building, they all would have survived. And why on earth wasn't Tyrone yelling "Move! that tank is about to blow!"?

Stevie Dawson said...

Agree with many of your points Graeme, especially about holding things back and surprising us. Corrie doesn't do that very well but there were some nice twists this week, with several explosions, Jenny's wig and how the fire was started.

Welcome back to t'cobbles.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,I agree with your comments about Carla being the scapegoatand I'm bored with the fact every other storyline seems to revolve around everyone turning against someone
Now if Ken suspects Tracy but keeps quiet and lets Carla take the fall like Deirdre did with Becky, then maybe he should leave too.
I may be in the minority, but I don't feel sorry for Liz.Maybe now she'll understand the humiliation Carla felt when she found about Peter and Tina,an affair she knew but kept quiet to 'protect Tina.

George Dunning said...

Someone does something bad while someone else takes the blame for a few months. It's more or less an annual event and I now think it's lazy.

Jonathan said...

Classic Corrie is usually short hand for Corrie I happen to like. I would like to see more of Scott Wilson's reviews because he was actually prepared to acknowledge that Classic Corrie wasn't always what it was cracked up to be.

Graeme N said...

Oh Jonathan, when I say Classic Corrie I mean good, quality Corrie not just old episodes. I'm not sure what we've had this past week is either all that good or quality.

mark taha said...

I'm a Corrieholic and Jenny was always my favourite character. I hope she is back for good-say undergoing therapy and rehabilitation,making up with Rita as a result, marrying Kevin?

Frosty the Snowman said...

Well its obviously the blame and gang up on Carla scenario that is going to lead up to Alison's King's leaving for a bit. Only good old Roy is on her side and believes in her. Of course it doesnt take much for the Battersby Big Mouth to have another go at someone. Last week she was smashing up Tony's shop now she is harrangueing Carla. Why does there always have to be a witch hunt?? Why does Norris always have to spill his bile? Even if Carla HAD left the candle burning which we all know she didnt, it wasnt a deliberate act.

Anonymous said...

Yes, everyone is acting as though Carla had deliberately set the fire, instead of it being an accident. Reminds me of everyone piling on Steve after the bus crash.

Anonymous said...

Scapegoat Street: Why hasn't anyone thought to pin the blame on Sinead - she did, after all, make the candle to begin with.

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