Tuesday, 16 February 2016

My Corrie Quandary

 

I'm in a Corrie quandary. To be honest I'm holding out for a change in personnel. It might just be me but I feel like the show is coasting a little at the moment. I find myself all too often feeling like I've been there before. It feels like everything is being slowly run down before a new broom comes in. 

I am beginning to watch the show after it has been broadcast so I can fast forward the bits I'm too bored to view. I used to just do this with the adverts. There is still plenty to enjoy - don't get me wrong. I have enjoyed seeing more of Rita, Audrey and Norris in the first two months of 2016. They have been brought back to the fore. There has also been plenty of Sally and Tim and much less of the Platt family, so that's kept me happy. And I don't mind the new Connors either. Alright, Aidan's constant moaning following the revelation that Johnny is Carla's dad has been off putting but as a family unit I think they work. 

Despite this, there is a lot I'm not so happy about. The recent news that Kate Connor will become the victim of an abusive partner in the form of girlfriend Caz has also made me sigh and tut. We've had so many versions of this tale in Coronation Street that I can't believe we're going here again. I know that domestic abuse in all its forms is an important topic for continuing drama and one we should not shy away from exploring but it's already being done with the Simon and Leanne storyline. And it was done so well a few years back with Shelley and Charlie Stubbs. Again, I may be a cynic but it feels like the domestic abuse angle is being grafted in to allow Sophie Webster to get together with Kate as we know she will. 


As I've mentioned the recent storyline which saw Carla find out Johnny was her father is just so old hat. Didn't the same thing happen in the factory several years back when Danny Baldwin found out Mike was his dad? Scriptwriters may have short memories but the loyal audience do not. Even without the similarities to the Baldwin story, this plot line feels like it has been done to death not just in the Street but in other versions of the soap genre. 

I also cannot take much more Carla misery. Alison King is a superb talent and will be a great loss to Corrie when she leaves for good later this year. I just think the powers that be have loaded far too much grief, far too many traumas and far too many trips to hospital on the poor woman. I know realism doesn't come into play with Coronation Street these days but Carla has had so many terrible things happen to her in the past ten years it beggars belief. It also diminishes the shock value so the more often it happens the less original drama can be squeezed from the situation. I had to fast forward some of the scenes between Tracy and Carla last night. There was nothing original or different in them. The feud between this pair is dragging on and on and I have very little sympathy for either woman. The vengeful Tracy act is becoming very tired.

 

I am also no fan of the resurrected Pat Phelan story. I think the actor who plays him is superb but it all feels like too much of a retread. I think Debbie Rush is a great actor but I really dislike the shrewish Anna, who seems to be front and centre once again. I felt tremendous sympathy for her the first time around but this time I couldn't understand why she didn't just tell Kevin the truth. She's made the whole situation ten times worse for herself by keeping quiet. Again it all feels too familiar like we've been there before. I think the return of Phelan was an easy option and signifies the staleness in the show at the moment.

I will try to end on a positive. I have completely changed my mind about Erica. To begin with I just saw another soap actor switching programmes and I didn't see the point of the character. Now, I feel differently. I think Claire King is doing an excellent job and Erica is a breath of fresh air with her positive attitude and support of the likes of Mary and Izzy. I really like the character and hope they develop her further. Some more scenes with Liz would be great as the Rovers Landlady really needs a close female friend now Deirdre has gone. 

 

I know the new Coronation Street producer has promised no major cast culls when she takes over later in the spring and while I don't like the thought of hard working actors losing their jobs, I can't help but hope the cast and the storylines are shaken up a little. 

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29 comments:

Abercrombie said...

Dreadful, regurgitated tripe served up last evening between Tracy and Carla. I know it's a soap, we all know it's a soap, but c'mon, Tracy Barlow is boring, unbelievable and unremitting in her propensity to ignore her many shortcomings and crimes. The thing that irritates me the most is the collective short term memory loss syndrome seemingly operating in Weatherfield.
In addition the absence of truth, owning up,the judgements - even of friends and reliable people - the deliberate omission of facts to make a negative and destructive story,sheds a terrible light on the minds of the writers and producer. Stupid it is, however, as I am still watching there must be enough lightness to keep me doing so...or else, there is something dumb about me wasting my time.

John McE said...

The Tracy/Carla scenes might have worked better if Tracy had kidnapped Carla and held her in some remote location. But they were in a busy hotel for pity's sake! Shout for help, bang on the wall, batter her with a handily placed heavy ornament, do anything except just lay there.

And Carla must know that Tracy isn't capable of keeping her mouth shut, so why subject herself to that final humiliation of "thanking" Tracy?

What a pity that one of Corrie's "strong women" is reduced to this just before she leaves.

John McE said...

And is is just me, or is Tracy looking more like Morticia than ever?

Tvor said...

I have to agree, this Tracy and Carla thing is really descending into absurdity now. The "slavery" storyline is lacy with holes and i dread yet another recycled abuse storyline. Too many in too short a timespan. Continuity is really really suffering, too. I"m also done with Simon and Leanne. Interesting at first but I'm hoping this is the wakeup call and Simon will slowly lose that angry edge and just be a stroppy teenager. Sally is one of the saving graces.

Dolly Tubb said...

I totally agree with you Graeme, and all the comments above. From being a die-hard, never-miss-an-episode Corrie Superfan, I've now morphed into a couldn't care less kinda gal, who instead reads this blog for the reviews to see what I've missed. The annoying thing is that there are so many storylines that suddenly get forgotten (Carla's gambling, Nick's brain damage, David's epilepsy) that could be further explored, yet they are totally forgotten in the rush for 'explosive new storylines' and 'roller coaster emotional rides' (ie boring rehashes).
And I've suddenly realised I'm running out of characters I enjoy watching, too. Anna's constant high pitched shrieking could split the atom, Eileen, the Platts, Simon and Leanne, Norris, - lets just not go there. Fortunately we still have the wonderful Eva and Erica. Let's just hope the writers' Pen of Doom doesn't reduce these two into unwatchable shrieking harridans.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Carla's disintegration is only happening because she's leaving. If she was staying, she would probably marry Nick and live happily - for a while at least. If Jane Danson was leaving, Simon would disappear to live with his transformed father. We viewers can see the plot devices a mile off, hence nobody's that interested in the Kate/Caz storyline. It's lazy writing to keep using Tracy as the nemesis character and usually this is cranked up when the other character is being written out: Karen, Becky, Shelley and now Carla. On a positive note, Tim and Sally save the day. Their magic evolved by accident, the actors finding wonderful nuances in their ordinary lines. Hopefully, the writers will keep the subtlety and humour in their storylines.

Flaming Nora said...

There are far too many loose ends on Corrie at the minute. Stories that "kept viewers on the edge of the seat" in the press hype did no such thing and have been left hanging and worse, being repeated in the Carla/Tracy storyline we're seeing now. I'm also holding out for a change in producer. I won't give up Corrie, I won't, but it feels like it's given up on me as a loyal, intelligent viewer and instead is aiming itself at its followers on twitter and instagram who shout and holler loudly.

Anonymous said...

I am 100% in agreement with everything you have written Graeme and all those who posted comments on this page. WHEN? WHEN? WILL TPTB WAKE UP AND REALIZE HOW THEY ARE RUINING OUR BELOVED SOAP???????? Perhaps Flaming Nora is right, perhaps using our thought process and memory have pushed us out of the target demographics that they are catering to. ITV have a media dept. surely they must read and follow this blog page and realize how upset the larger percentage of their viewers are, or maybe not, maybe that is the problem all along. I still maintain this why all of the great actors are leaving, I'm sure that even with their creative minds they aren't consulted with storylines or allowed any input. If the new producer will start culling then she needs to start with the writers and give us back our show.

bbhilda said...

I agree with everything above, except you can't blame the writers, it's the storyliners who come up with the plot lines, although the writers certainly do have input.

I groaned when I read about the upcoming abuse story, not only has it been done recently with Simon/Leanne, Tyrone/Kirsty and Shelley/Charlie, it has also been done to death on other soaps, like EastEnders, where it was identical with two lesbians (I forget their names, as I forget most of the names on that show) putting Sophie with Kate is much too predictable and boring. Boring is exactly the word I would use for so much right now. Thank goodness the Nazirs are taking a back seat too - now there is a whole family that has the same effect on me as I get watching paint dry.

Roy and Cathy - boring, Ken and Audrey - boring. Eileen and Phelan? Oh please! Give that woman a break! Hopefully under the hand of the new producer, we will get off this childish pairing up of couples - even couples who have been rubbing shoulders for eons without a spark of chemistry, we are supposed to believe that suddenly they can't keep their hands off each other? I just don't buy it, and want interaction between them without the lazy way of having them all jump into bed after bed with their neighbours.

I am sure it will pick up a bit when Paula Lane goes on mat leave, as Callum's body will be discovered. This story has been done before too with Stape and the body under the factory floor, but this time we will have the novelty of watching Gail's reaction when she discovers who her under-bed fellow has been for months. Yes, I must be bored if this is all I have to look forward to!

Newfy Pearl said...

I cannot agree with the hardships that Carla has endured for the past ten years. She covered up the death of a Polish factory worker that was being overworked by her. She was trying to steal away married Liam Connor from his pregnant wife...nevermind that she had been married to his brother at one time. She also became an alcoholic (supposedly) needing the support of Peter Barlow....stole him away too - could not care less about Simon or Leanne who had lost her baby wanting so badly to have a child with her husband.
Carla married Tony Gordon even though she did not love him. She was involved with rapist whats his name - again, no love there.
She had an affair with the guy that Janice Battersby cared for....
She takes all who care about her for granted, and breaks their hearts when she becomes self destructive.
I will not miss Carla.

Anonymous said...

When is Kate Oates actually starting? It really needs to happen fast and hopefully she does bring in some fresh ideas. Also why doesn't Coronation street keep some things a secret? Like Character departures? I think it just makes things easier to predict when they announce these kind of things. This storyline with Carla and Tracy is stupid and been done to death. Why all of a sudden is Carla like some weak Kitten running scared of big bad Tracy? Really! Tracy really needs to face some sort of comeuppance as she gets away with everything. Not sure where Corrie get the idea that the viewers love the feud. All I have seen is negatives. The predicted outcome is probably Tracy ruining Nick and Carla's wedding and Nick losing everything with Carla leaving to LA! Wouldn't it be good if they threw a spanner in the works and had Carla going to Prison for killing/almost killing the witch? Not saying that's right but anything that isn't so predictable.the whole Kylie/Callum thing. Looks like that is going to have a predictable outcome aswell after the actress announcing her departure too. Another upcoming abuse story too? They really do struggle with ideas.

Anonymous said...

I do wish they could have come up with something better for Carla's exit story. The actress has had to make a lot work and after all the drama and misery she's had thrown at her over the years, it would have been better if they had given her a happy exit. Instead, it's just more misery - a blackmail plot leading to Carla's wedding and relationship with Nick ending.

Tracy just sounds like a broken record and will probably have a feud with Leanne when Carla's gone.
The producer's idea of punishing her this time (if they can be bothered with it) is probably Robert dumping her. Big deal lol

abbyk said...

Carla's Perils of Pauline life would be ludicrous if AK weren't such a good actor. I will miss her but I am not looking forward to her destruction. Tina and Becky were center stage characters that were forced out of character and ruined at the ends of their runs. By the time they left, we were all saying good riddance. Same thing is happening to Carla -- suddenly she's kowtowing to Tracy? Really???

Speaking of gaping holes, where was the "You lied about kicking Kyle, Simon!" moment? He's old enough that mommy shouldn't be sorting out the knots in his shoelaces (yeah, that was embarrassing) and should know better. He lied and said he did something horrible, and it got back to Leanne, who he had already sent to the hospital. Of course she did the right thing turning him in. Good luck with your little psycho, alky Peter. The kid belongs in a group home. Don't forget his glitter and stickers. (You're a good actor, Alec Bain, sorry you've had such nonsense to work with).

Why did abuse work with Shelley and Charlie? Because they had outside connections and history and we cared about them, or at least her. Why did abuse work with Kirsty and Tyrone? Because he had history and connections and she was pretty and he loved her and it didn't happen the day she moved in but slowly over time and with great devious planning. Why abuse should have worked with Simon and Leanne? We saw it get built up over many years and really got to know them and their relationship, but there were too many story gaps and leaps of illogic to be convincing. Why abuse won't work with Cate and Kaz? Who are they? Do we have anything invested in them? Do we even know how to spell their names?

Have to agree about Erica. She's sassy and normal, someone trying to be a good friend and neighbor. No inner demons yet she is very watchable. The only thing she needs is more time with BFF Liz. Sean, far less 'flouncy' than in the past, is also great fun when he is just one of the boys, like last night when he 3 Muskateered with Kev and Tim. Right now, there are too many OTT characters (Mary, Tracy, and, sorry, Beth and Kirk) straining credibility, and normal characters who could/should be the basis of compelling drama in need of believable stories.

Anonymous said...

In total agreement with all the above. I'm glad it's not just me thinking these things - although very sad that my favourite show is steadily being destroyed. I used to defend Corrie to friends and colleagues who scorned me for watching, nowadays I just don't see the quality and subtlety of drama and comedy that it once had. It's too conflict, stunt and issue based with obvious formulaic storylines and plot devices. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

not a big fan of Anna Windass but I think it's very believable that she can't tell Kevin about Phelan. What he did to her was deeply shaming--almost worst than rape because she submitted to it, even though she hated it.

It would be very painful to talk about something like that, especially to your new boyfriend!

Catman said...

Ahh. Writer mentioned Charlie Stubbs. Now he was an evil one. Should have been in Spectre. Never gets proper recognition as a Corrie badie.

maggie muggins said...

You would think that storyliners and writers on Corrie would be so grateful to work on this beloved show that they would respect it enough, that when things start fraying at the edges, they would do something to fix it. Don't they notice what's happened? Cause we, the loyal fans, sure have.

abbyk said...

You nailed it, FN! It's comes across as it were written as short attention span theater by folks with 144 character mindsets and little real life experience or understanding of psychology.

Anonymous said...

I think Corrie will be in safe hands. Just last night, Emmerdale's Laurel had a very short but poignant scene laying flowers at the grave of the child she found dead in his cot 8 years ago (just after she'd been to the hospital for a pregnancy scan) It wasn't sensationalist, seedy or storyline-led, just a character acknowledging a traumatic time from their past in a quiet moment of reflection. It also demonstrated a respect for the audience.

Corrie desperately needs the change to happen sooner rather than later but I think Kate Oates will do a sterling job.

Graeme N said...

I hope you are right. I'm not familiar with her work on emmerdale but I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt

Graeme N said...

Charlie was a proper Corrie villain!

Anonymous said...

I was soo bored watching Tracy and Carla on Mondays episode that I mustve switched off cos I found myself weighing up the difference between a botox (allegedly) and non botoxed ( allegedly) face as was on my high def screen . Tracy does not look good when being nasty nowadays. Whereas Carla remained beautiful but blank . I must've been bored . Good luck to Kate Oakes we viewers have high expectations .

Graeme N said...

You are quite right about the Shelley and Charlie story. I too would love more scenes with Erica and Liz

Graeme N said...

Yes I think Alison King deserves a much better exit storyline

Graeme N said...

You make lots of really valid points about Carla but I still love her!

Graeme N said...

I hate the loose ends too. I agree a change at the top may freshen things up as its desperately needed but the cynic in me feels like we've been here many times before with new producers.

Shelley said...

I agree with a lot of this. I was so disappointed hearing about the Kate/Caz abuse storyline coming up. It's too much! We still have the Leanne/Simon ordeal going on, and we just had the Tyrone/Kirsty plot not too long ago.

I do love Tracy though, but she's being wasted with all these stupid feuds. Tracy just used Tony to try to take over the Rover's, and now she's using Robert to take over the Bistro? It's getting hard to care about what happens. Nothing too bad ever really happens to Tracy as a result of her actions. Her plans always fail, and she's sad, but that's all. It would be nice to see some real damage done for a change.

I wish they'd do some more novel storylines. What about Bethany developing an eating disorder? Or one of Dev's kids becomes transgender? Or Billy loses his faith after discovering he's HIV positive?

There's so many things the show has never explored, I don't know why they keep coming back to the same old, same old.

Anonymous said...

And poor Sunita, her character assassination was really dumbfounding. It's as though we were supposed to hate her by the time she left.

Newfy Pearl said...

Exactly! By the time Sunita and Tina left we were salivating for their death. lol They had made the characters so detestable that we were glad to be rid. If they had let Becky go 6 months earlier it would have been the same.

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