Tuesday, 29 December 2015

How was the Corrie year for you?

Wherever you turn at the moment, someone is reviewing something. Log on to social media and you will be faced with a barrage of 'friends' telling you about their Top 5 slash metal songs of 2015 or recounting their visits to wool shops of the West Midlands. We can't help but say goodbye to the old year other than by peering back at it.

The thought of slowly meandering back down twelve months of Corrie action is a wearisome one. Mainly because I've forgotten much of what happened! For me, Corrie was saved by the magic of the Christmas Day episode which, disbelief having been suspended, worked really well. It did everything that a festive episode should do. Obviously I've enjoyed much of what I've seen in 2015. The standout moment was the manner in which Deirdre's death was handled. Heartbreaking stuff and some memorable performances from the cast. At the other end of the scale, the tedious coach crash and the Victoria Court fire. This kind of plot device has been used so much that by now, it no longer has any kind of shock value. Or interest.

One of the most useful skills I've developed this year has been the ability to filter out characters who I have no interest in. This has come in handy whenever Sean, Maria, Jason or Michael arrive for a scene. It's not that I particularly loathe them, I just don't care whether they are there or not. The Grimshaw residence has become some kind of axis of awfulness. Michael with his downbeat, glum-faced misery, old scarface Todd and his faux Machiavellian plots, pointless Sean reducing everything to a sassy one-liner . . . and then there's Eileen. Once witty, once a joy, dear old Eileen now manages to drain the life out of every scene she is in. Her constant, shrieking unpleasantness is a bore. Either give her a decent boyfriend or hurl her under the Weatherfield Wayfarer. Enough already.

Like many others, I feel that the Family Metcalfe has brought us joy in bucketloads this year. That's all down to Sally Dynevor and Joe Duttine. These two characters have been the making of each other. Sally had shown signs of being unpleasant in middle age whereas Tim had initially been a little bit sinister. Together though they are Corrie gold and let no man (or woman) divide them!

Has anyone else warmed to the Nazirs in 2015? I like them but in a strange reversal of fortunes, Alya now appears to the worst of the bunch. She was ill-served by the dreary 'engagement to Gary' storyline and her constant hangdog moping around the faktry machines with a clipboard. Yasmeen, now she isn't performing to the back row of the theatre, is a lovely character and has real warmth. Zeedan has also developed from sulky moan-fest to decent bloke. Three cheers for the Nazirs.

How are we finding the conscious coupling of Roy and Cathy? Again, it has taken a while for Cathy to bed down. Initially I found her spikiness a little hard to stomach but now she's mellowed, Cathy is a good egg. Roy needs her and she needs Roy. So far, so successful.

Are we still enjoying Leanne and Carla? I think the storyliners could throw anything at this pair and it would probably work, thanks to the skill of Jane Danson and Alison King. It's down to the latter's handling of Carla that the character works so well. A lesser actor would have had us switching off and shrugging with disinterest by now. As for Leanne? Well, the domestic abuse storyline has been a hard one to watch and I'm guessing that we are not through with it yet. Thanks to Jane Danson's work though, we stick with it.

Missing Steve? Yes, me too. The pub isn't the same without him and his gurns. His absence has also rendered Streetcars as an odd little enclave which, within the next few months, will only feature sad old Eileen chatting to a biscuit tin.

I've droned on numerous times about the need to have a strong female presence in t'corner shop. We now have Erica behind the counter. It's too soon to say if she is going to be a force with the pricing gun, especially with Dev fawning around in the background. I like her though. Is she a stayer?

For 2016 then, what would we like? Lots more Eva with or without Aidan and his unfeasibly tight shirts. Let's keep our fingers crossed for the return of Jenny Bradley and hope (probably against hope) that she's not back as a pantomime baddy. Here's to less of Tracy (there's nothing new under the sun there), more of the Metcalfes and hopefully a storyline where Gail doesn't come across as a simpering  cretin. It's about time she accessed social media and hooked up with Tricia Hopkins and Suzie Birchall. Gail needs a new lease of life. Also, here's hoping that Ken and Audrey finally click. How lovely would that be?

What were your Hits and Misses in 2015? Which storylines do you cherish and which ones do you never want to revisit? Who impressed and depressed you in Weatherfield in 2015 - and what are your Corrie hopes and dreams for 2016?

David - twitter @BridgLondon

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Humpty Dumpty said...

I mostly agree with your assessment. Not sure about Erica; she seems totally wrong for the corner shop. There are too many Connors now, but they may shrink much like the Nazirs have.

Although they come under the heading of the Metcalfes, I feel special mention should go to Faye and Craig - my top Hit. Thankfully, the writers chose not to transform Craig into a young lothario and so we had a proper storyline about their platonic friendship. Craig gave Faye the chance to open up about her deepest feelings and made her a much more believable character. I wish the writers would give the residents more interaction with people beyond their own families and work groups. Utterly sick of family sagas, by which I mean the Platts. My top Miss has to be the endless Callum storyline. Discounting young Max, I have zero sympathy for any of the characters in this disaster. The writers evidently have no idea how to tie the loose ends up and plod on regardless, offering us the pregnancy and Marion's mugging. It was a rotten sponge cake to start with and no amount of icing will ever disguise it.

Tvor said...

Gosh where to start! Overall I enjoyed this year. Top stories for me were Faye's pregnancy. The Platt custody suit was hit and miss, miss being the bit while Kylie was away and all that tedium of Callum vs. David and one of the hits being the recurring Gemma. That was awful but apparently necessary due to Paula Lane's mat leave. Loved anything with Sally and Tim, And I even enjoyed Carla's descent into guilt and gambling while Tracy wasn't quite able to feel guilty enough to tell the truth until she wanted to impress Robert. Loved Rob Donovan's return even if it brought up the old soap "Who's your daddy" chestnut. I'm with you on the Nazirs all the way, with Alya turning into the lesser of the four. I like the Connors so far and loving Amy and how they're bringing her personality out. I hope she doesn't end up as bitchy as her mother, that someone can pull her back a bit as she gets older. What's funny now will quickly turn into nasty. I really also enjoyed the story with Andy/Gavin and all the twists and turns and why the heck are they dragging out the inevitable reunion between Michael and Gail when everyone can see Michael and Eileen are the most boring and ill suited couple ever?

I also count the Tracy and Tony story culminating in Tony's ejection by Liz as a hit. I haven't particularly enjoyed Hope's illness storyline even though they have kept it fairly low key and turned it into a debt thing. As much as I dislike Nessa I do think the character is a "love to hate" one and I'm enjoying it, also loving the sister dynamic between she and Cathy. Not really sure if i call Simon abusing Leanne a hit or a miss, certainly not one of my favourite storylines but it's been handled well and with Simon's history, not unsurprising. Another miss to Gary and Alya as a couple.

Another hit with the return of Jenny Bradley and I'm looking forward to more even if she's not reformed. Where would be the interest in that? They handled Deirdre's death very well. A big miss to Mary getting involved with a married man.

Anonymous said...

Although I still check in at this site for a bit of gossip - for me, 2015 was the year I gave up watching Corrie after many, many years. Overall I found that I just couldn't like many of the characters any more or care about them and therefore could no longer invest my time in them. Maybe one day I'll go back but there we are.

Anonymous said...

A big miss for me in 2015 was Deirdre's death.I think the writers waited too long to honour her and when they did,the Platts sadly detracted what could've been an emotional farewell with the Callum storyline. Remembering that the reason Deirdre left was due to Peter being found guilty of Tina's murder,I found it hard to believe that the reason she stayed away so long was because of Tracy's and Tony's affair as I thought the real reason should've been she was afraid to face Ken because she believed Rob over Peter.
I'm also disappointed how quickly Deirdre has been 'replaced'in Ken's heart by Nessa.

Anonymous said...

What's worked?
The live episode
David Neilson and Alison King's performances throughout the year
The friendship between Roy and Carla
Sally and Tim
Amy Barlow

The Simon storyline could have been powerful if it was about Simon and what he is going through but it's been more about Leanne.

Erica is pointless

Tracy and Robert are terrible together. Zero chemistry.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% with your article - and now you've mentioned it, yes, the Grimshaw household has got very tiresome and stale. For me, it's not been a good year - essentially because of the domination of the Callum saga which went around in circles with an end to Callum I predicted (apart from who dealt the blow) which of course means there will be months and months of dragged out "aftermath" which the Platt's over-exposure has made me not give one fig about. At least they've toned down Bethany, she was top of my axe list for quite a while.

Also, the ever increasing "EastEndersisation" with a generally nasty tone to the show - which fortunately seems to have turned a corner since about mid-October. There have been too many murders and "explosive" stunts in very recent years - did they not see how Brookside blew itself out that way?

Hopes for 2016:
1) More light-hearted storylines, particulary around Sally & Tim (the saviours of 2015)and Beth and Kirk - and Amy!;
2) Axe to fall on pointless Alya, tiresome Todd, dreary Michael, Sean (keep the Vicar though!). I don't think Maria really brings anything also I think the time is up for Dev - and yes, possibly Eileen.
3) Stronger character driven storylines using the cast more evenly - no family or person should dominate - just seeing Mary with her own storyline is brilliant for example.
4) Fewer stunts ("star" casting, crashes, fires - and NO MURDERS for a good while!).
6) Some credible twists, turns and surprises - hopefully blabber-mouth SB's departure might help on that front...

Anonymous said...

I am probably alone in my thinking but I hated that Jenny Bradley returned and cannot see why on earth they would bring her back? Are her and Kevin going to reconcile along with little Jack (another child we never, ever see). I really, really hope that we see far less of the Platt's and the boring Callum storyline, I'm am so sick of David, Kylie and Sarah whispering and carrying on. What is the point of Bethany all she does is hang around her Mom, rarely goes to school and doesn't appear to have friends at all. A girl that age would more than likely have some sort of part-time job and lots of friends.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, it would appear that we have ANOTHER fire coming up (at Cathy's). Have the storywriters no imagination? So tired of the old clich├ęd plots like fires and unplanned pregnancies.

I LOVE Craig, Amy, Sally and Tim, Audrey, Rita, Steve and Liz. The cab office without Steve and Lloyd is an empty shell.

And please, can we send Sarah somewhere? Anywhere?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous 01:09 about fires and random pregnancies. I also can't see how they're going to write the Platts out of this corner with Callum's body lying under the floor. Put the family on the back burner for a while!

I think Erica works but she's not quite right for the shop -- she'd be better off at the Bistro, somewhere flashier. Sally and Tim are a joy, as is Craig. Chesney seems pointless but Sinead can stay. Tyrone's financial pickle is ridiculous; he and Fiz don't seem to speak at all, and he's been offered money twice (by Kevin and by Roy) yet still carries on stupidly.

Has anyone else noticed a resemblance between Robert and the long-lost Linda Armstrong? (or whatever her name was -- Izzy's mother)

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the Nazirs and the Connors develop into a modern Hatfield and McCoys. They can try to kill each other on the business and domestic front. Although being Soap, no doubt this will require the Romeo and Juliet pairing of Alya and Aiden or Zeedan and ... Carla?

Joseph Billington said...

Mostly agree but I love Sean and Jason.

Joseph Billington said...

Best Stories - Faye's pregnancy, Kylie's drug battle, Dierdre's farewell, the LIVE, the Camping holiday and Mary and Brendan.
Worst Stories- Steve's depression, the Victoria Court fire saga and Carla's downhill spiral.
A good year all in all.

Newfy Pearl said...

I enjoyed the Liz/Tony/Tracy storyline.
I enjoy anything and everything Platt.
I was no impressed with the Nazir pregnancy that just disappeared.
I did not find Owen's exit believable after all he and the family had been through...with that said I can't wait for Kev and Anna to connect.
I like that Liz and Michelle are more pleasant to watch, since the depression storyline Steve is not their punchbag.
Faye's pregnancy storyline was handled fairly well all considered. I like that the child is in what looks to be a stable home with a very young father whose heart seems in the right place and loving grandparents.
Roy and Cathy are lovely now that we are used to Cathy.
Ken getting on with his life is staying true to character. I want to see him with Audrey but am enjoying Nessa in the meantime.
Beth and the whole family dynamic of the Dobbs and the Browns and Sutherlands work for me.
Christmas episode left me wanting something more.
But looking forward to 2016. I am sure there will be stories that will irritate me, but be overwhelmed by those I find intriguing and delightful. :-)

Louby said...

Most soap births are not very well acted, but Ellie Leach did a fantastic job. Not keen on the general pregnancy /baby story but she is great, as is Colson Smith. Craig is a brilliant, positive character and I hope the ptb don't decide he needs to go off the rails. I also thought real Gavin was excellent and it was a shame he wasn't around a bit longer.

Now for the not-so-good.... Of course, the never ending Platts and the Callum saga. It went on too long and still isn't over. The Alya and Gary relationship was totally unbelievable and it felt like he and Izzy had an unconvincing split just because the script writers wanted the mixed culture relationship.

Hopes for 2016 - Gail to find something sensible to do with her life. An established couple to have a baby. Kirk and Beth? I too would like less high drama and more character development with lots of humorous dialogue. Most of all, I'd like the plots to be less predictable. For instance, it's been obvious for ages that Ken will end up with Audrey.

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