Wednesday, 6 January 2016

My problem with Carla Connor

It took me a very long time to feel anything approaching empathy towards Carla Connor. And I'm still not sure I like the character much at all.  I know. Shoot me now.  I do think Alison King is doing a great job as an actress playing Carla and that's why I've voted for her in the National TV Awards.  


I've also voted for Shayne Ward, as Aidan Connor, who's nominated for Best Newcomer.  I'm quite enjoying Aidan, he's the first of a kind on Corrie, a metrosexual, a new man, all posh shirts and highlighter pens. I bet he smells of expensive aftershave too.  Before I leave the National TV Awards - have you voted yet? - I've also voted for Coronation Street to win Best Serial Drama.  I've voted because I love Coronation Street, but not because I  believe they deserve to win ... not this year.  Which brings me back to Carla.

Or rather, to those who keep the show ticking over with Carla in it.  My problem is this ... we've already invested enormous emotional energy in will Carla live / will Carla die / will Tracy kill her / will Tracy save her.  Over and over, we've had it. 
 

We had it with the bus crash.
 

We had it with the fire at Victoria Court.  


And now we're going to have it again with the break-in at the Bistro.

I do understand the appeal of Carla Connor.  I know how popular she is and I do enjoy watching her in the same way I enjoy watching most of the others. But when we're constantly having car-crash-Connor pushed in our faces as she reels from boozer to bloke, from casino to cobbles, then it makes us stop caring what happens to her next.  One minute she's an alcoholic, then she's not. The next minute she's a gambling addict, then she's not. Other Coronation Street characters exist. I want to see them. I wan to see Carla interact more with them, and not just with Roy. 

Again, I know I won't be popular for saying this, but if I don't get it off my chest I'll just explode... I've never liked Carla and Roy together. Their friendship, to me, feels forced.  Coronation Street recently admitted they only put Carla together with Roy to soften her up as she wasn't doing well in viewer polls.  You can read more on that here.

As we know, Alison King is taking a break from Coronation Street this year.  The break-in at the Bistro could be the storyline that leads up to her leaving, I think.  Let's just hope that when she returns, Carla Connor is given much more interesting storylines and less of the crash-bang-whallop.

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21 comments:

L.G said...

I have grown to love Carla but I don't love the way she is written at times. TPTB have certainly piled too much misery on her.
Having said that, I do adore the unlikely friendship between Carla and Roy - for me it's one of the few things the writers have got absolutely right in the last two years. The actors are superb together, and, well, you will never see me complaining about it.

I have nothing but praise for the actress's portrayal. Alison King gives her all to whatever the writers throw at her (which is a lot) and in my opinion, she is a consistently brilliant, dedicated and hard working actress who understands her character perfectly. That's why I have voted for her in the NTAs.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you about Carla . I can hardly watch her right now and I honestly don't give a hoot as to what happens to her. The relationship with Roy doesn't work for me at all. I cannot vote for her.

Humpty Dumpty said...

I didn't take to Carla to begin with because there was no substance to her. Alison King has done a brilliant job with her character which, in other hands, would have been a 2D cardboard cut out. Now the character is bearable but still doesn't have many layers. I would have liked Carla to have had a baby and watch her struggle with the responsibilities of motherhood and business owner. All we've had are endless scenarios of Carla dealing with her wrong choices in men. Her friendship with Roy is patchy but I do like her with Michelle. Carla would really have benefitted from a mother figure - could have been Betty - who wouldn't have been intimidated by her and would have given her a few home truths. If Carla returns, I hope she sells the factory and starts another business.

Humpty Dumpty said...

I didn't take to Carla to begin with because there was no substance to her. Alison King has done a brilliant job with her character which, in other hands, would have been a 2D cardboard cut out. Now the character is bearable but still doesn't have many layers. I would like Carla to have had a baby and watch her struggle with the responsibilities of motherhood and business owner. All we've had are endless scenarios of Carla dealing with her wrong choices in men. Her friendship with Roy is patchy but I do like her with Michelle. Carla would really have benefitted from a mother figure - someone like Betty - who wouldn't have been intimidated by her and would have given her a few home truths. If Carla returns, I hope she sells the factory and starts another business.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Sorry if this shows up twice. Having trouble uploading comments.

I didn't take to Carla to begin with because there was no substance to her. Alison King has done a brilliant job with her character which, in other hands, would have been a 2D cardboard cut out. Now the character is bearable but still doesn't have many layers. I would like Carla to have had a baby and watch her struggle with the responsibilities of motherhood and business owner. All we've had are endless scenarios of Carla dealing with her wrong choices in men. Her friendship with Roy is patchy but I do like her with Michelle. Carla would really have benefitted from a mother figure - someone like Betty - who wouldn't have been intimidated by her and would have given her a few home truths. If Carla returns, I hope she sells the factory and starts another business.

Tvor said...

I like Carla but it does get a bit tedious when she's been thrown into one crisis after another and yet keeps coming back for more. Terrible choices in men, booze, gambling, physical peril (fires, crashes, rape, accidents), emotional gut wrenchers (on trial/arrested for murder twice, discovery of a long lost father, death of a mother that was apparently an addict, husband who was unfaithful with prostitutes) and being enemies with both Tracy and Leanne. Even Michelle wasn't always her friend. At least she has one friend these days! Good grief. How much more can one person stand?

Anonymous said...

I still remember the Carla who tried her damnedest to seduce Liam right after he and Maria suffered the heartbreak of losing a full term baby. Probably the most devastating form of loss of an unborn child because it comes entirely without warning.

For me, that still says it all about Carla. That, and the fact that she went away to LA without denouncing Tony Gordon. Cowardly and selfish. The "new" Carla who returned, layered on top of the old one, just seems inconsistent--not a character at all but whatever new drama the writer throws at her.

If we have to have a few female characters undergo the perils of Pauline in Victorian melodrama fashion I much prefer Leanne. Both the actress and the character make the series of disasters endured seem much more plausible and sympathetic.

Beth said...

Never had a lot of time for the character. I've found her unpleasant and mean in breaking up relationships. She's for the most part been selfish in all aspects and areas. They tried to to soften her with the unlikely relationship and bring her close to Hayley and now Roy but as Flaming Nora says, for me this seems forced for me too. This hard lined 'get stiching' we've got deadline by tomorrow malarkay and shut up or get out only worked with the only ever real boss of the factory and that was Mike Baldwin. Everybody else is a feeble imitation at being cheeky and chopsy with the staff. The round and round boozing, gambling, breaking up with men and feuding with Tracy and Leanne is now tedious and boring. So as a character, I'm glad to see the back of her.

Anonymous said...

Becky and Roy worked, two oddballs who both recognized something special in the other. Loved Roy's line about Becky: "helped her become the person she was meant to be." Carla and Roy lack authenticity. Carla the character doesn't see men as friends but as lovers and sources of income. Roy the character would be intimidated and disgusted. They would not realistically bond.

Carla and Hayley made more sense, because Carla the character obviously longs for a mother or big sister figure.

Kristine said...

Carla Connor - and her numerous, repetitive, uninteresting, flip flopping and farfetched storylines - is the character who most embodies the problems with Corrie's writers/producers.

Anonymous said...

This is not the first time they have over-worked a character to the point of fatigue. Most recently it was Tracy. Stella was over worked to the point it irritated the viewers and led to her departure. Gail was shoved down our throat for years.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter what the writers throw at Carla. Even if she cheats, gambles, gets drunk, almost dies a thousand times - at the end of it all, she will still manage to be fabulous.
Largely because she is still a survivor, a dear friend to Roy, she's fierce but vulnerable. She's witty and she's desirable.

Queen Carla rules.

TC

Anonymous said...

The only reason the writers have been able to throw so many disasters at Carla is because Ali King is such a wonderful actress. In my mind, any lack of credibility to do with Carla is because of the writers (or the producer) who never would have been able to get away with such a ridiculous string of events were it not for the skill of Alison King. I don't blame her for wanting to take a break.

However, I do like Carla and Roy together. He is the only person who really understands her loneliness and vulnerability.

Laura said...

The strangeness in Roy and Carla's friendship rings true for me because she started out as Hayley's friend, not his. I think after Hayley died they both felt a need to look out for each other, because each knew how much the other person meant to Hayley. It's feeling more natural as time goes on, which is how a true friendship that started that way would work.

Newfy Pearl said...

I agree with your writeup.
It has always niggled at me - the alcholic thing. I thought that if you were a true alcoholic you could not drink at all. Yet she swigs back glass after glass of the red.
And why oh why does she have so many supporters even after all of the things she has done which were motivated by pure selfishness.
Recently she seemed momentarily disgusted at the thought of being married to her second cousin. Yet the Carla who seduced Liam did not bother about sleeping with her dead husband's brother! Give me a break! lol
There are some in the show, as in real life, that can do anything they please and always have supporters. Carla is one of those I guess.....though I don't know why.
Is she a better person than Tracy? Tracy did try to sell her baby before Amy was actually born....but Carla did make Peter choose between her and Simon at one point. Remember when they went off into the sunset leaving Simon with Leanne.
Anyway..thanks for the post...enjoyed it.

bluegardenia said...

Alison King is one of the best assets Coronation St. has...oh of course she gets the bad boys, and car crashes, and yes she was an alcoholic for a few months then a gambler for a few months...that has to do with the awful writing on Coronation St. NOT Alison King...she'll play whatever lame piece of script that they can dish out. So not sure why people are jumping on Carla...what about Eileen? same old crap over and over...mets man man leaves. Same with Gail she is absolute nauseous.
Get's a husband, he's a murderer, or is murdered, or drowns, or leaves her for someone else before the ink is dry on the marriage license. Come on!!!!!!
And now we've got to put up with Rob creating chaos from his jail cell....what do these writer's want from us??

Cobblestone said...

Really, Pearl? Your former partner's sibling is hardly the same thing as a blood cousin (leaving aside the fact that in Carla's case, they were both the same thing!) We've moved on a bit from Leviticus, which regards in-laws as equivalent to blood relations. And again, selling your own baby is the equivalent to forcing a partner to choose between you and his kid by another woman? No, these are just not equivalencies. I'm not defending these actions by any means, just querying the comparisons.
The alcohol thing - it's mixed messages from the Corrie pulpit, but I know do people who are not full blown alcoholics but do have a drink problem. Carla is undoubtedly one of the latter; she drinks far more than is good for her and it could devolve into full blown dependency at any time, but some people do manage to teeter along that brink for pretty most of their life. I do get where your coming from though; she's a character riddled with contradictions, but - some people genuinely are! It takes a fine actor to portray that though, (most actors are fine playing one thing, but not that and it's own opposite at once) and they have one in Ali King.

Cobblestone said...

When I first saw Carla walk into the Rovers, my reaction was - they have to be kidding! This impossibly glamorous woman from that Football soap I might have chanced upon a couple of times (only because a friend of mine was in it for a bit) could not possibly exist on the cobbles. What were they thinking? But she settled in, and for a long while I bought into her being there, but could not warm to this selfish brittle woman. (I admit, I've always been very Team Leanne.) But imperceptibly, I somehow found I'd come to love this deeply flawed, self-destructive mess. Yes, the concious gambit of the Roy-Relationship was a major factor in winning me over (although the spadework was done with Haley). I don't agree it's forced (other than accepting its origins lie in a dictator from on high to soften her character) because Roy cares for her because of her love for Haley, and anyone who by now has not realised that Roy is the father-figure she's been craving all her life has not been paying close attention. Her embarrassment when Michelle suggested Roy should give her away spoke volumes! Too close to the raw emotional truth for Carla to handle; hence the awkwardness of the scene. Yes, all the criticisms of the endless concatenation of car-crash disasters are valid, but through it all, two things have brought the character through. One is the almost gut-level sympathy the viewer has for this lost soul of a woman with so little sense of self-worth that she cannot believe herself deserving of happiness (bear with me - this is the Shakespearean magnitude of Carla Connor!), and the other is the adroit, instinctual talent of the actor Alison King. Ali is, as has been said above, capable of taking whatever old crap is shovelled her way and making it emotionally believable and - never thought I'd ever say this in the early Bitch-Carla days - often deeply moving. You can call me a Carla convert - but yes, I really hope they change the pace for her when she returns. A baby, for example, would yield a more cautious, risk-averse Carla. I'd like to see that explored.

Rachal said...

For me, Roy and Carla's connection is through Hayley. They relate/make allowances based on that connection. It is an odd relationship the characters "want" to work at. That's how I see the actors playing it.

Anonymous said...

Carla King is the type of character because of the actress you tune in for. .it's rare. ,numbers will spike on her return..even old. .let Gail and eileen take a sabbatical..numbers will rise on their return. .let Kylie Erin of again. .give David a three month break. .DANG...

Shells said...

I too will not miss Carla. I like that she's a softer version now, due to her experiences with Hayley and now Roy. But in early days, she was just a horrible person.

I have only watched Corrie regularly for the last couple of years, and watched infrequently in the past. So I've only just gone back to watch the early material with Carla. And she was a horrible shrew of a woman. Her treatment of Nick at the factory was abysmal. I simply don't believe that he would ever forgive her much less love her, even in soap world with limited romantic prospects. I also find her relationship with Michelle improbable. Her affair with Peter - awful. I can't root for Carla. Leanne is also flawed, but I see more remorse and growth and would rather watch her take more of the female lead.

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