Thursday, 13 August 2015

Does each generation get the Corrie it deserves?

Here's something I've been thinking a lot about recently - does each generation get the Corrie it deserves?

Coronation Street is 55 years old in December this year. It is the longest running TV soap opera in the world. With that legacy to live up to as it faces its future, it shouldn't be bogged down by its past. But it should hold its principles firm.

When I tune into Coronation Street five times a week (or six as is currently being forced on us, more of which later), I want the security and comfort of knowing I'm going to watch something I love. I want that feeling that I'm being served up a nice toasted crumpet on my favourite plate with some hot tea in my favourite mug. I want the cosiness, I want the fun, I want the drama.  And I get all that. I enjoy it still, otherwise I wouldn't continue to watch it and I wouldn't run this site.

But what we also get after 55 years of the show is a soap opera for our time. It's 2015 and Corrie has stiff competition from 'Stenders with its darkness and violence and people who whisper loudly and shout quietly. And then there's Hollyoaks aimed at a demographic I don't understand and programmes like Towie and Geordie Shore with their fake hair, fake tan, fake boobs, fake reality.

Pic: Metro


What we have now in Corrie is a bit of a mix.  We've recently seen Sarah Harding, a pop singer come and go. It wasn't one of Corrie's finest moments but I think I understand why they tried. X-Factor winner Shayne Ward arrives in the show next week. With X-Factor being another of ITV's flagship programmes, who can blame the corprate powers that be for combining both of their golden geese? That's how things work now, it's the business end of show-biz, and this is where I get to mention those six episodes a week that are being forced on us now.

I use the word 'forced' because I don't like the 6th episode on a Thursday night. It's too much. I have a life and I don't want that much Coronation Street in it. You really can have too much of a good thing. I want quality, not quantity. You may well disagree. But why are we having six eps a week now, does anyone know? And when will it end? Maybe it won't. Advertisers must be falling over themselves to book into those coveted extra Corrie slots. 

Perhaps it's an age thing not to want too much Corrie. For me, watching Coronation Street means sitting down in front of the TV, part of a routine. I've never watched it online and wouldn't. I couldn't, not Corrie. This week I've shuddered with horror as people have suggested I watch the live episode on my phone (my phone!) as I'll be overseas when the live episode airs.  I could not be that disrespectful to my favourite show, the cast and crew, to watch their live performance, as part of ITV's 60th anniversary, on a tiny little screen. Anyway, it's more fun to hunt down a foreign bar with English telly.

Anyway, I digress. There are also two comedy actors joining the show - Paddy McGuinness and Ted Robbins. I have high hopes for both. Yes, I would prefer to have some talented unknowns coming into these roles, but I do understand the necessity of bringing in names.  There are things I don't like or enjoy about Corrie but I'm just a life-long fan, I have no say. As a fan, all I can do is take what they give. And what they giving, in the most part, is great.

However, all is not lost. We still have some amazing, talented scriptwriters, some of the best on TV.  We still have some cosy-crumpets-and-slippers-by-the-fire moments. And we still have characters we love ... and while that's the case, I will always be a fan, ready to forgive Corrie anything.

Well, almost.

Oh yeah, and this.  

Download our free App | Follow on Twitter @CoroStreetBlog | Like on Facebook | Visit Corrie.net


Creative Commons Licence
All original work on the Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License

4 comments:

Stevie Dawson said...

There's a markedly different culture in recent years, where it seems storylines are written for ratings and to appeal to, for example this year, to entice a new younger audience - rather than to produce the best drama for it's own sake.

My heart sinks when I see some of the new cameos / cast members but I understand why they are doing it, even if I don't agree with it.

Tvor said...

I agree wholeheartedly. I do tend to be more forgiving of Corrie than some, I have to say. But I do understand that they have to keep up with the competition while still trying to keep it "Corrie" enough for the long time viewers. Having actors that have been around for 30, 40 and 55 years and having excellent writers that throw out a line as a link to the past now and then really makes a difference. There really are some top notch writers, that's for sure. I don't mind "celeb" cameos, because that's what they are mostly, cameos. Short term appearances. If they suck, oh well.. they won't be around long anyway.

Casting a permanent character on looks alone is bad, wrong and they should be scolded roundly. It doesn't matter if, once in a while, they strike gold along with the looks. Most of the time, they don't. Casting unknown actors that have been to acting school is better. Inexperience doesn't always mean no talent, it just means someone has to give them that all-important first break. The woman that played Jenna comes to mind. She was a decent, new actor but the writers really didn't know what to do with her after the initial storyline and putting her with Sophie was a misstep that led to Jenna's ultimate ruination.

Anyway, never mind. Corrie has to keep up with the times. It isn't going to please everyone all the time. But shoving a character in our faces constantly because she's friends with the producer, insisting they're hugely popular when most of the collective is howling in protest is also wrong. They don't have to do everything the fans want but they should take more notice overall of the general feeling in fandom, too.

I'll get off my soapbox now. :)

Humpty Dumpty said...

We should remind ourselves that Corrie fans are very demanding but that's why we have the best soap in the world. Maybe the same could be said for British TV in general. I wonder if it works this business of getting celebrity names to attract younger viewers. Surely nobody over 16 would be tempted away from American soaps, Netflix and the like. There are indeed young fans but I've always assumed it's because they like Corrie and not the latest signing. Corrie's in the same boat as M&S, trying to compete and forgetting its core customers.

Catman said...

Certainly one can hope for tradition. Afterall, that's a major responsibility for those so employed to uphold the glowing flame. Not to do so, would be to lower the standard to the level of Emmerdale.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Our Top 10 Blog Posts in last 7 days (automatically updated)

Click on a name to find out more about your Corrie favourites!

adam barlow aidan connor alan halsall alex bain alexander bain alison king alison sinclair all about soap awards alma baldwin amy barlow amy kelly andrea beckett andy whyment anna windass antony cotton audrey roberts awards baby Oliver barbara knox barlows battleaxes becky mcdonald behind the scenes ben price ben tagoe bet gilroy bet lynch beth tinker bethany platt betty driver betty turpin betty williams betty's hotpot bev callard beverley callard bill roache billy mayhew billy the vicar blanche hunt brian packham brooke vincent bruno langley can i visit the coronation street set Canada canadian coronation street fans carla connor Cath Tyldesley catherine tyldesley cathy matthews celebrities on coronation street characters joining coronation street characters leaving coronation street cherylee houston chesney brown chris gascoyne chris harper claire king classic corrie clothes worn on coronation street colson smith competition connor mcintyre conversation street coronation street coronation street art coronation street babies Coronation Street Blog - the book coronation street cartoons coronation street fan events coronation street fan of the week coronation street fans coronation street funerals coronation street history coronation street in canada coronation street look-a-like coronation street map coronation street men coronation street merchandise coronation street news coronation street preview coronation street spoilers coronation street weekly update coronation street weekly updates coronation street writers craig tinker damon alexis-rochefort damon rochefort daniel brocklebank daran little david neilson david platt debbie oates debbie rush debbie webster deirdre barlow deirdre hunt denise osbourne derek griffiths dev alahan eileen derbyshire eileen grimshaw Elle Mulvaney ellie leach ellie-louise leach elsie tanner emily bishop emily nugent ena sharples erica stewart exclusive interview exercise dvds famous people who have been in corrie fat brenda favourite females favourite males faye windass feckless fellas in coronation street filming locations filming mistakes fiz brown fiz stape florizel street flying ducks gail rodwell gary windass gary's army diaries gay and lesbians gay men in coronation street gay men in soaps gay women in soaps granada manchester coronation street set granada studios gurn of the week helen flanagan helen worth hilda ogden hilda ogden's curlers Hope Stape hot pot how to contact coronation street inside soap inside soap magazine izzy armstrong jack p shepherd Jack P. Shepherd jane danson jean alexander jennie mcalpine jigsaw jimmi harkishin job vacancies at coronation street joe duttine johnny connor jonathan harvey julie goodyear julie hesmondhalgh kabin kate fitzgerald kate ford katherine kelly kathy jones katie mcglynn ken barlow kev webster kevin webster kieran roberts kirk sutherland kylie platt kylie turner kym marsh leanne barlow leanne battersby leanne tilsley liam bairstow lily platt lisa george liz mcdonald lloyd mullaney Lucy Fallon luke britton maggie jones malcolm hebden manchester tart marc baylis maria connor mark llewellin martin sterling mary taylor matriachs maxine's bench michael le vell michelle connor mikey north mikey north miley windass minnie caldwell mothers on the cobbles music in the rovers nathan curtis new set new zealand newton and ridley nick tilsley nick's bistro nigel pivaro no.1 Coronation Street no.11 coronation street no.13 coronation street no.3 coronation street no.5 coronation street no.6 coronation street no.7 coronation street no.9 coronation street norris cole norris cole's brother nuttalls brewery odd side of the street official coronation street website oldham coliseum oliver battersby on location opening titles original cast our blog is the best blog in the world outside broadcast paper boys paper girls pat phelan pat phoenix patti claire patti clare paula lane peter barlow peter gunn pets on coronation street pictures of the coronation street set pigeons pillars of the community platt family plot holes props qasim akhtar quay street returning characters rita fairclough rita littlewood rita sullivan rita tanner road to coronation street rob donovan rob mallard romanian holiday rosamund street rosie webster rovers bosses rovers fire rovers return rovers return barmaids rovers return fire rovers return landlady roy and hayley roy cropper roy's rolls roys rolls ryan thomas sair khan sally webster sally and tim sally dynevor sally dyvenor Sally Metcalfe sally webster sally whittaker sam aston samia ghadie samia longchambon sarah platt Sarah-Louise Platt schmeichel sean tully shayne ward shelley king simon barlow simon crowther simon gregson sinead tinker six episodes per week sophie webster special effects speculation spin-off spoilers state of the street steve mcdonald storyline speculation storylines streetcars sue cleaver sue johnston sue nicholls susan barlow susan oudot sylvia cropper sylvia goodwin terry duckworth the corrie years the kabin the Nazirs the newspaper boy the road to coronation street through the years tim metcalfe tina o'bren tina o'brien Tina O’Brien tiricia hopkins todd grimshaw tony warren Tony Warren inspiration tours of coronation street toyah battersby tracy barlow trafford set tram crash tricia hopkins tyrone dobbs underworld underworld sign unofficial book unofficial merchandise unseen characters viaduct street victoria court fire vip bloggers walking tours watch coronation street online weatherfield weatherfield arms weatherfield council weatherfield county weatherfield county football club weatherfield fire station weatherfield gazette weatherfield haulage Weatherfield high Weatherfield Open Days weatherfield style weatherfield wayfarer websters' autos wedding wedding dress weddings weekly awards weekly update where have you seen william roache William Roache Interview window cleaners writers for soaps Yasmeen nazir zeedan nazir