Monday, 13 July 2015

What a Corrie Contrast

I absolutely loved the scenes in Monday's Coronation Street which focused on Deirdre's funeral. William Roache, Kate Ford, Eileen Derbyshire and Beverley Callard all pulled it out the bag to give Deirdre Barlow the send off she so richly deserved.

It was wonderful to hear Eileen Derbyshire's voice ring out in the church as Emily delivered her reading. It was a shame it had to be interrupted by Tracy's shenanigans but there you go. I also loved Ken's eulogy. William Roache delivered it superbly and Damon Rochefort did an excellent job at referencing the past while still keeping it believable and very real. It was full of emotion, touching and funny at times. Perfect. So too was Liz's chat with Ken in the backyard, putting her grievances with Tracy to one side for the greater good.

Unfortunately one element of these funeral episodes really got under my skin. I understand that these days Corrie can't just focus on one issue for an entire episode. It's possible the powers that be don't believe a modern audience would stay with the programme for the full hour if all it did was depict the funeral and send off of a much loved, long-standing character. I know other scenes must be written in to provide a contrast to the main event.

I don't blame the writer for the choice of storyline chosen to compliment Deirdre's funeral. I know these decisions are taken elsewhere. The Callum storyline has been dragging on for eons and I cannot wait to see the back of it. I don't even care how it ends. Callum isn't a character I love, like or can even tolerate. He's not even a baddie I love to hate. I just can't stand him. 

The sight of eye-rolling Bethany and Gemma necking back shots at the bar of that grotty boozer jarred horribly with the otherwise respectful, touching and fond farewell to Deirdre. It just didn't work and I really, really disliked it. It brought into sharp focus that characters like Deirdre are in short supply these days. Deirdre was wonderfully warm, funny and passionate but also deeply flawed. Those flaws never meant you couldn't side with her though or cheer her on as she fought her corner. 

The trouble with the likes of Callum, Sarah or Bethany is that no matter how outrageous or badly behaved they are portrayed, there just is no light and shade. As a viewer I wouldn't side with them or cheer them on. There is nothing to cheer about.

I did raise a glass to Deirdre tonight, one of a quickly diminishing breed. 

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Pootle5 said...

I couldn't agree more. I found the dragging in of yet more BethanyCallumSarah rubbish totally out of place and indeed disrespectful.
The general deterioration of the fine comedy/drama balance that I once loved Corrie for was highlighted as they had to ship in humour from the One O'clock Club ladies.
This should have been a pair of classic episodes, but they were polluted by typical Blackburn rubbish. Very sad, on all levels.

Pootle5 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

While I dislike comparing Corrie to EastEnders, EE would have devoted the episode to the funeral, I don't see why Corrie had to bog down the episodes with Callum/Bethany dreck.

Anonymous said...

Disagree with the comments about the One O'Clock Club. They fitted in superbly.

Pootle5 said...

I agree the One O'clock club ladies fitted in perfectly, but the humour should also have been stronger through the established characters - it shows how the Street lacks that sort of writing these days.

Anonymous said...

I found the episode jarring-the Bethany storyline really did not fit with the funeral. It made me uncomfortable.

George Dunning said...

I disagree with the eastenders comment. They recently had to create a funeral for the character of Jim Branning played by the late John Bardon. Not only did they include non funeral stuff but they also had a second funeral of a character we barely knew on the same day simply because he belonged to the family the producers want to plug. So I think Corrie wins in that respect although not 100% as the Callum stuff felt ridiculously forced in.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree that the Callum/Bethany scenes were entirely out of place in tonight's episode, and would have been even if I cared remotely about the characters or their story. Deirdre's funeral deserved better. Other than that, the funeral was well done and the focusing on the faces of her friends as they sang Bridge over Troubled Water was very touching. The picture of Deirdre/Anne was beautiful.

Like you, Graeme, I shall be raising a glass to Deirdre this evening, having just finished watching the episodes here on Canada's west coast.

Anonymous said...

I agree with every word you say Graeme.

Anonymous said...

I agree too Graeme and it definitely seemed disrespectful and disjointed as the Bethany storyline didn't flow . I felt jerked from genuinely feeling sad for The loss of Annie/Deidre to a totally inane and irrelevant storyline that did nothing to lighten or amuse . A major contrast between old Corrie with well established characters who can act versus 'let's grab viewers for the ratings' style. Not that they would need to grab them for last nights episodes. Still
The contrast was very apparent.
Again it was disrespectful .
It must've been very hard for the cast to be together and film those scenes . It was hard to watch for me as I've watched Coronation St since The beginning of Deidre and I know what a legend she was . More storylines with established characters please .

Anonymous said...

Really disappointed that the episode wasn't just about Deirdre.

Anonymous said...

totally disrespectful for Deidre & Annie - they should have concentrated solely on the funeral and left the Callum/Bethaney dribble out - such a tawdry farewell to a great & well loved actress

Anonymous said...

I agree with all the comments and wondered since Tina had a whole hour dedicated to her farewell without other storylines, why couldn't the writers give an iconic character like Deirdre that same consideration instead of allowing her farewell to be taken over by the Platts again and thus disrespecting the memory of Anne Kirkbride.

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