Sunday, 4 October 2015

My struggle with Roy and Cathy



I seem to be swimming against the tide of popular opinion on this one. Most people I've encountered on Twitter seem to love the blossoming romance between Roy and Cathy in Coronation Street, but sadly I'm still not feeling it.

Independently I appreciate both characters. Roy Cropper is a bona fide Corrie legend. David Neilson is an actor who continues to be at the top of his game, finding fresh things to do with a character he has now played for over twenty years. In my opinion, the man is a genius. Roy is a multi-layered character amidst a sea of Weatherfield residents who mostly lack depth and who we, the collective viewing public, struggle to empathise with at all. Roy is Corrie of old and long may David continue to bring him to life. 

Cathy is a welcome addition to Coronation Street. Melanie Hill is an actress well-suited to the Street and I think she fits in well with the established cast. I like her interactions with the likes of Tyrone and Anna and at least she has squeezed out the interfering, over the top Fiz from dictating to poor Roy. I thought making Cathy a hoarder was a great idea and something Corrie has not tackled before. Unfortunately, as with other issues such as Tim's illiteracy, Faye's pregnancy and Steve's depression, Cathy's hoarding did not play out well in practice. I wasn't a fan.



When Cathy's arrival was announced, I quite clearly remember the powers that be making it clear that fans shouldn't worry - Roy and Cathy would be friends but it would stay platonic. So here we are, not that far down the storyline track and Roy and Cathy are embarking on dates and things are moving along further than originally anticipated. As friends it really works, as something more, I'm really not sure. For a start, I just don't think Roy would move on so quickly from Hayley. Before Hayley, Roy was a loner, uncomfortable socially and it became clear she was the only woman for him. The storyline that led to Hayley's death was so traumatic I just can't see Roy moving on at this point.

I really didn't enjoy the recent Blackpool scenes. It was laid on with a trowel. Every single Roy and Hayley Blackpool memory came clumsily out of an unknowing Cathy's mouth. It was painful. The ice creams, the paddling, the dancing at the ballroom. It was too much and it jarred for me.

Above all else, Roy and Cathy getting together is another example of the apparent view that characters in Corrie need to be constantly romantically involved with someone. Nick and Carla are another example. Never before had they shown the slightest interest in each other.  We also have Ken and Audrey to look forward to - why Corrie, just why!? It's bonkers.



I think Roy and Cathy as a friendship was a potentially rich, alternative storyline. I may still be convinced that they are right for each other but i can't see it happening at the moment. 

You can follow me on Twitter @GraemeN82 



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20 comments:

Lily Bigfield said...

Well done Graeme, you have managed to put into eloquent words my own discomfort with this storyline. I feel the same way about the proposed Ken and Audrey plot; all relationships have to lead to romance, instead of them developing a deeper, more nuanced friendship.

Anonymous said...

agree

Graeme N said...

Thanks Lily. Yes I feel the same about both these plots. It seems really unnecessary to force these characters into romances when friendships can be really interesting plot lines. Just look at Roy and Carla for example.

Stephen said...

Thank you for saying this. Clearly I am not alone in feeling uncomfortable with this development. Let Roy be on his own for a year or three; many people - especially widows and widowers - are contented without a partner. In the show, Norris would be an example of this - though it's hard to imagine such a character being with someone.

I agree with you, that the prevailing mindset seems to be that every character has to have some sort of romantic interest. This is why some of them have been married four or more times. It is indeed bonkers.

As for Ken Barlow, it's far too soon after Deidre's passing for him to be romantic with anyone.

I wonder if the actors tell the producer the same thing, "This is not really feasible," and they are told to shut up and learn the script?

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% with your comments - Roy & Cathy don't work for me - when they first announced that Roy would meet Cathy at the allotment I was intrigued - it would have worked out really well and given the option of filming scenes not entirely on the street - another dimension - now they have just paired them up and round and around we go - it feels to contrived. Same with the idea of Audrey & Ken - doesn't work for me. Unfortunately I find that most plotlines these days in Corrie are too forced and contrived - "shoved on with a trowel" great choice of words. The only point I disagree with is Nick & Carla - for some reason they work really well on screen to the point that I don't feel as if they are acting - they really play well off each other wonderfully and it does become believable. The only shining light apart from Tim & Sally. Thank goodness with have Tim and Craig.

Tvor said...

You're not wrong. I don't mind them together but I have hopes it may yet come to where they realized they're better off just friends. I am very likely naive in that respect. Cathy, too, is grieving and it feels more like the two of them are clinging to a liferaft. But I also don't think Hayley was the *only* woman for Roy. She taught him a lot, brought him out of his shell and into the real world. He never really had friends before Hayley, either, and now he has some very good friendships and he has learned how to *be* a friend, it's not just one way. So, given the right person, Roy could find a new woman. It does feel too soon and in real life, it wouldn't have happened for Roy, but time is compressed on a soap.

But it definitely is too soon for Ken even given his habit of womanzing. I expect that thing with Audrey will not go anywhere.

Joseph Billington said...

I disagree with you. Roy deserves happiness and is allowed to move on. Melanie Hill and David Neilson make an excellent couple. One of the best choices Blackburn made.

Graeme N said...

I'm not saying he doesn't deserve to be happy, just that this feels rushed. Sorry, just doesn't work for me.

Humpty Dumpty said...

I'm with you, Graeme. Far too soon for any romantic developments for Roy even with the Corrie timescale taken into account. The only way this relationship will work for me is if Roy and Cathy decide that friendship is all they want from each other. As for Ken and Audrey, you could see this coming a mile off. Constant companions will be fine but nothing sexual. Too soon, too icky.

Jenny Postlethwaite said...

Completely agree. No more to be said :)

Conversation Street said...

Agree with Tvor's comments about Hayley bringing Roy into the real world and teaching him how to 'be a friend'. She helped him see that the whole world isn't against him, and he has just as much right to companionship as anyone else. Yes, it's possibly too soon, but sometimes in life these people come along when you least expect - and when you may not feel yourself like you're ready to move on. Roy *was* fairly oblivious to Cathy's advances for a short while, but in our minds, they're a perfect match, and sometimes, love just finds a way!

We do echo other posters' concerns about Ken and Audrey, though - a throwaway storyline about him lending her a book isn't enough to convince us they have any romantic chemistry, and it certainly *is* too soon in this instance, no bones about it!

Anonymous said...

I know everyone is different (thank goodness!) We were 56 when my husband died. I am now 64 and still can't envision myself with someone else. So, for me, it feels too soon for someone like Roy who lost the love of his life.

As for Ken and Audrey - please! Deirdre JUST died.

~JB in Canada

donna harris said...

I don't care for the romance between Roy and Cathy either..although stranger things have happened on the cobbles. As for the romance of Ken and Audrey...thinking that she's too old for Ken, not interesting enough...not his type...bleck!!

Really enjoyed your blog though, some great insights into the charaters. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Totally disagree. Cathy is fine for Roy and the actors work well together. Yes, I understand the sentimentality about Hayley and why Roy must be subservient to her memory for an appropriate mourning period. But if you just placed Roy with characters like Ken, Tyrone, or Norris, it would not change him. What they've done by placing him with Cathy, I believe, is force a storyline where Roy has to face difficult, seismic emotions - and that's what David Nielson is good at. So, carry on, I say! The scenes with Carla have been brilliant and no one seems to recognize that Cathy, whatever else you might think of her character, is a catalyst for that. Why grouse? Also, I wonder if the line between friends and all-out-romance doesn't get a bit more nuanced when people have gone through what Roy and Cathy have experienced. The symolism is everywhere - even having a dinner together in public is scandalous. I think they'll take it slow, even if they're currently "courting." (aka FB status update)

Stevie Dawson said...

Stuart Blackburn assured me and others at a press event not so long ago that Roy and Cathy would NOT be getting together. Either he was fibbing or they changed their mind about how the characters progress. I don't think the time is right for Roy to move on, but I do like Cathy.

vintgal003 said...

I am very happy to see Roy & Cathy as a couple...we are yet to see IF this really will happen.....it does look as though things are heading in that direction...BUT....we don't know for certain yet. I love them together...and I think that Hayley would give her blessing...






bbhilda said...

I agree Graeme, in fact I have complained before about the contrived romances on the Street. It is so unlikely in a small community like that, where everyone knows everyone else in the Street, and drink together in the pub for years that suddenly there would be a sexual attraction between two people that have never given each other more than a passing glance before. The storyliners seem to be very immature when it comes to things like that, and want everyone to bed hop with everyone else. In a case like Ken and Audrey, it almost seems incestuous, they have known each other for so long.

I felt the same about Nick and Carla, they even worked together without a flicker of a spark, then suddenly they are soul mates?

I love Melanie Hill as an actress, and would like to see her stay, but I think they moved her in with Roy far too quickly, I would have liked more of her hoarding storyline. It's an illness, and they have done real hoarders a disservice by dropping it in order to make a cheap romance - and it is a cheap romance. They have very little in common, her messy habits annoy the life out of Roy, yet they want to put them together romantically, even though they both admit they are still grieving for their spouses.

I too hope they decide it isn't working as anything other than a friendship. Send her back home to deal with the rest of her stuff, with Roy's help of course. Quite apart from anything else, it's ludicrous that she would want to give up her lovely home to live in a tiny flat above a cafe. Almost as silly as Carla giving up her luxury apartment to live with Peter above the bookies!LOL

Anonymous said...

See, I disagree about Carla and Nick. I think there was something always there; it was just never acted upon. Plus, I'm sure I read an interview with one of the actors that said that it was planned for them to get together years ago, but obviously that never happened. To me, it feels like an natural progression for them. They work so well together. Unlike Roy and Cathy – now that feels forced. They just don't 'fit'.

Shells said...

I don't really enjoy Cathy. I don't see any chemistry, especially from Roy toward Cathy. He seems to tolerate her.

Anonymous said...

I think that Roy would have been overwhelmed by the death of Hayley and would not have started a friendship with a stranger so fast -- especially one with a big problem who then moves in. I believe that Roy has Asperger's Syndrome and Cathy took over his life and he should get out from under. This storyline never rang true for me. -- Lyn

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