Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The Good, the Bad, the Flamin' Useless

Let's take a trip down memory lane. The curlers are in, the HP sauce, thickly buttered bread and a steaming mug of tea form the centre piece of a lovingly furnished dining table. Stan Ogden sits in wait until the fry-up eventually arrives accompanied by the chirping sounds of wife Hilda, mid-anecdote. She flutters about putting the world to rights whilst he pretends to listen, nodding every now and then to show he's paying attention. In what could be described as a typical working class marriage of that era, the Corrie husband served a purpose however useless he was and Stan was the epitome of that. 

"Pull my finger"
Following in Stan's footsteps, Jack Duckworth also personified the bone idle, but loveable Corrie male. The fondness for a pint or three at the Rovers, an eye for the ladies and an apparent allergy to a hard day's work meant that wife Vera was the ultimate long-suffering spouse, a situation which often led to a vicious cycle of misbehaviour, a rollocking from the missus, followed by a few pints to alleviate the stress caused by the rollocking from the missus, followed again by another rollocking from the missus for coming home blind drunk. It was glorious to watch and one wouldn't be the same without the other.

Also from the school of bone idle - Les Battersby. Although perhaps jail of bone idol is more accurate. The Battersbys were cartoon-like in how stereotypically common they were. With the family causing trouble right from the start, hapless Les was often at the centre of their problems. When put with Cilla that familiar Corrie theme of male failure, female disappointment and all the corresponding sound effects (screaming, shouting, insults etc) fall into place.

"I asked for two halves but they only had one glass"
Coronation Street is and probably always will be dominated by the female of the species, but without the lazy, good-for-nothing slobs who test their wives to the limit, the Street would not be the same. A more modern example of the flamin' usless is Kirk. Debateably a few cobbles short of a full street, Kirk is a more modern take on the sloth-like Corrie male. Not so much letting the women do all the cooking, cleaning and going out to work, but not entirely reliable in an emergency. He respects his better half though and 
isn't afraid to show that respect, something the more old fashioned Corrie men weren't so comfortable with.  

In what seems to be a bit of a transitional period for Coronation Street, the type of man described above, that has always been a staple of the show and that have helped make the strong women so prominent, seems to be dying out. New castings have meant that the Street is fully stocked up with new families such as the Connors and lots of new and younger male faces to see Corrie into the future, but will it be the same without the Jack Duckworths, the Stan Ogdens and even the Kirk Sutherland's of this world? If a couple of the most recent long term arrivals are anything to go by, probably not.

Take Andy. Entering on a great storyline of deceit, blackmail and heartbreak - literally in Michael's case - the character had promise. They dragged the initial storyline out a little bit too long but that gave us more time to get used to Andy (or Gavin as he temporarily was), but now he just seems to hover around the periphery of the show, contributing very little. He does indeed seem useless, but not in the comedic, scripted way we like, he's just a bit wet. 

Another floater is Robert. The scenes this week with Simon in the Barlow's yard were touching, and gave us a little insight into Robert's own past, but again he seems weak and a little bit pointless. Perhaps when turbulent Tracy finally sends him over the edge we might see a bit of oomph from the sexy chef.

"It's like talking to a brick wall"
All is not lost however. Tyrone and Fiz have the potential to follow in the footsteps of Jack and Vera. Still quite young, they are already veterans of Coronation Street and the writers have the potential to make them true soap legends. Just imagine Tyrone is his 50s, complete with string vest and pigeons . And THANK GOD for Tim. And Sally for that matter. Their pairing is genius and the new comedy element to Sally's character is just perfect. Tim has quickly become a Corrie favourite and certainly shows elements of that classic, henpecked Corrie bloke. 

We've been a bit obsessed with men on the Coronation Street blog recently. Llifon has been counting down his all time favourite Corrie men, and over the summer Emma gave us some of her thoughts about Corrie's Mithered Men. I also wrote about What Makes a Corrie Man last year. Enjoy.


Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.

Like us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter @CoroStreetBlog

Download our free App | Visit Corrie.net

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


Alison said...

I'm happy for characters not to follow the old Corrie stereotype. Men lazing around and their women screeching at them isn't what I want to watch.

Stephen said...

I can't agree with you about the Mighty Kirk. He may cluelessly let others' chatter go over his head, but he's not bone idle. He turns up to work every day and even has a work ethic, happy in his job. Like Tim and Steve, Kirkeh is a wonderful character, and (yes, I know I've said this before) much too good for the gobby, awful Beth.
Still, she knows when she's well off. When the superfluous Connor girl was flirting with him at the factory, Beth grudgingly said that she could see why, because "sex just oozes out of him." The Mighty Kirk, indeed.

Stevie Dawson said...

I'm not sure I want to think about sex oozing out of Kirk... :)

Humpty Dumpty said...

Let's not forget Jason, though he's soon to depart the cobbles. He's a rare Corrie male, liked by other blokes and fancied by a lot of women. A hard grafter but probably doesn't lift a finger at home. He's easy going and kind-hearted which means he can get henpecked by the strong Corrie females in his life. All in all, Jason belongs on the Street and it's a shame he and Eva didn't stay together.

Tvor said...

lol Stephan and Stevie. Yep, I was going to add that Kirk isn't bone idle and is a wonderful character. Eddie Windass was probably the last really classic feckless bone idol fella we had on the show. Steve has his moments, and Michelle certainly treats him like the classic Corrie husband but he does own two businesses and is a decent dad as well.

Anonymous said...

I will never understand the Fizz/Tyrone, Jack/Vera comparisons. Fizz's character is dreary and awful, she's not a patch on Vera.

Llifon said...

May I point out it's fans' favourite men, not mine ;)

Anonymous said...

Anon 14.50, I agree with you. I am not a fan of Fizz at all. I got completely turned off her when after Hayley passed away and she started treating Roy like a child. She is constantly nagging at Tyronne he never seems to do anything right. Both she and Tyronne need to smarten up use their heads and learn all they can about their daughter's disease and the best way to help her through it. I'm sure there are all kinds of resources available to them. But of course this is Corrie and no one ever seems to get professional help for anything. Fizz seems afraid to take Hope out in public in case she picks up an infection but has no problem letting half the street troop into the house.

Anonymous said...

I'm also not a fan of Fiz who I observed has become a bully to Tyrone in the same way Hayley was with Roy when she had cancer and wondered why aren't they seeing a counsellor about Hope's illness?
I wonder why is the term 'bone idle'is only used in reference to male characters? Sarah Platt is not what I would consider a 'strong Corrie woman'She's whinging when she doesn't get her way and when she was 'working' at the Rovers,she was always on a 'break'.

njblas said...

Totally agree with you about how the characters of Andy and Robert are floating. I feel sorry for the actors that it appears the writers can't do more with them and beef them up a little. They are both being wasted - especially Andy, who I think has huge potential. The biggest waste however was of the actor who played the real (nasty) Gavin - he was brilliant, so menacing. How very different (and more believable) the Callum storyline would have been if they had cast the Gavin actor as Callum! Instead he was wasted on a handful of episodes, while we had to endure a panto-villain at the helm of that never-ending Platts vs Callum saga...

Cobblestone said...

They certainly are wasting Andy, who I find very likeable and decent (when he's not pretending to be someone else) but currently adrift. I'm still pretty disgusted with the writers that they didn't show us the evolution of Andy & Michael's relationship after the latter left Gail (who only lied out of concern for his health) and moved in with the guy who'd caused all the strife in the first place. We were expected to just accept that 'ah, Michael & Andy have patched things up', while instead of this potentially interesting story, all we were served up with was the dross of the Gail/Eileen battle for Michael. Surely we should have seen at least one frank conversation between Michael & Andy, addressing what happened, now the dust has settled. Wouldn't the essentially decent Andy have put in a plea for forgiveness for Gail? What was compelling about the original story was the growth of Andy's filial love for Michael, not having had a relationship with his own father, and the problems his deception threw in the way of that. We all remember how touching the surrogate father/son relationship between Jack and Tyrone was; this could have been fascinating given the complications, the trust-issues &c, but no, as soon as the cat was out of the bag, it was just dropped by the writers. All wasted opportunities.

And can I just say, I CANNOT buy into Eileen & Michael as a couple. When is he going to go back to Gail?

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