Friday, 20 May 2016

The big spoiler debate... keep it to yourself, Corrie!

Guest blog post from Craig Laurenson who is on twitter @Craig247

"With the heavily promoted Corrie Big Week fast approaching, it's got me thinking - would Corrie benefit from giving the audience a few more surprises?

It's been no secret that the departing EastEnders producer, Dominic Treadwell-Collins, has breathed a new lease of life into Corrie's southerly sister.

Returning characters and shock storyline twists are in no way new to the world of soap. But what I have been impressed by is the way these are now regularly being handled by our Walford-counterparts.

Crucial information is being left out of episode synopses and publicity, to give the audience the ultimate surprise when the episode is transmitted. I can't but feel a slight pang of jealousy when I eventually see these erupt on my Twitter feed, with the audience agog at the return of Jack Branning or the next victim of little Bobby Beale.

Imagine the surprise the Coronation Street audience would have got seeing Bethany and Sarah Platt rock up unannounced at Number 8 last year. Or the first glimpse of Rob Donovan in prison last December, having had no prior publicity. What if we hadn't been told of Robert and Carla's tryst before it happened, and were left shouting at the TV in shock as they headed for the hotel room.

For me, I think it's an exciting time for the soaps, and I'd personally love to see more of these little surprises creeping into Corrie for the audience. The now annual Big Week will undoubtedly throw a couple of these our way - the deaths of Kal and Maddie last year for example. And I thoroughly enjoy the OMG moment when they do! But wouldn't it be nice to see it happen when you least expect it? A cosy little midweek Wednesday ep of Corrie and - BAM! - Becky McDonald steps out of a taxi. (Hey, a Corrie fan can dream, right?!)

For me this Big Week, I'm personally most intrigued and looking forward to seeing the series of events that leads to the discovery of Callum's body. Corrie bosses are keeping their cards close to their chest with this one, and as a viewer it makes me excited to see what happens without the prior knowledge.

With the arrival of Kate Oates as new Corrie producer, a new chapter of Corrie is beginning, and I'd love to see some of this begin to happen on the Street too. It certainly seems to be proving a hit with the audience of EastEnders, and gives the loyal, regular viewers an unexpected treat every now and then.

Over to you... what are your thoughts on surprise plot twists being kept secret until transmission? I know my opinions aren't always reflected by the Corrie masses (I was a big Stella Price fan, for my sins!), so I'd be interested to hear what you think.

Craig Laurenson. Twitter: @Craig247

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Anonymous said...

I agree with what you are saying ...but we do know Bobbie Beal's next is his mom Jane. no surprise...leak as always.

Humpty Dumpty said...

I agree they give away too much and I wonder if it really encourages people to watch. Perhaps the channel switcher might be intrigued enough to tune in. The main spoiler is when they announce (often months in advance) an actor is leaving; that generally means an unhappy ending.

Humpty Dumpty said...

I agree they give away too much and I wonder if it really encourages people to watch. Perhaps the channel switcher might be intrigued enough to tune in. The main spoiler is when they announce (often months in advance) an actor is leaving; that generally means an unhappy ending.

Tvor said...

Unfortunately, the announcement of the exit of an actor, months before it will happen, really does take some of the fun away from guessing. I don't mind spoilers but yes, I do think some things should be held back. The studio tries to spin it to pretend that you will have to guess... will Carla and Nick marry or not? Well, with one leaving and one apparently not, it's not really much of a contest. I am curious to find out how Callum's body is discovered. They're keeping that one quiet at least, because I can't imagine how it will happen so suddenly. When Colin Fishwick's body was under the factory, we had a smell, then plumbing drainage problems. Excavating the factory floor did the trick. This time? Who knows but by this time next week it'll all be over.

Louby said...

I'm old enough to remember when spoilers weren't really a thing and most plots were a big surprise. I'd like to go back to those days. There could be a happy medium though, like hinting that something was about to happen instead of telling us exactly what!

I'm looking forward to finding out if my theory about Tony getting the blame for Callum's death comes true.

Rapunzel said...

The problem with actors leaving is that it is in their interests (and their agents') to broadcast it loudly so they can attract new work. So I don't think there is much that can be done about that unless there are confidentiality clauses written into their contracts.

But I don't see why new or returning characters couldn't be kept a secret. Is it because ratings only count for viewers of the actual broadcast so there's a need to promote shows? If so that's what should change as surely a large proportion now watch on demand and ITV can count how many downloads from their webpage. Then, if there was a big surprise, that would make the news and those who missed it would be induced to watch on demand.

Rapunzel said...

Unfortunately I think it's going to be Jason although Tony may feature as an accessory. Although Paula Lane can't have too much longer to go. Isn't her baby due in the next few weeks?

Anonymous said...

I think they definitely overdo the spoilers. We get the rumours, then the previews, and by the time it happens I feel like I've already watched it. Kudos to Corrie for keeping SOMETHING under wraps -- eager to find out how Callum's body is discovered, in 'real time', or as real as it can be in Canada (I know the blog will tell me before but still).

Anonymous said...

You can't blame the spoilers alone. The plots are so recycled and predictable that spoilers are redundant in my opinion. Recent example, I was the first one this site to say Billy's secret boy was his brother. Originality is what would keep me interested to find out more. Also many of the characters are one note, e.g. Tracy, a three year old could guess how she will react. If the characters were layered, and not caricatures, there would be a sense of anticipation.

Anonymous said...

Agreed that the plots are terribly recycled - is anything really ever a "surprise" anymore, even if there wasn't a spoiler?

As someone in Canada I am also a watcher of How to Get Away with Murder. I think this is a brilliantly written show simply because they spend little time revealing what is about to happen, usually only the briefest of hints and focus more on catching watchers up on what has already happened prior to airing the newest episode. I can't think of any other TV series I've watched in ages where I am always genuinely surprised by the most subtle yet amazing twists thrown in at the end of an episode... no matter how much it seemed like the story was obvious up to that point.

I truly wish Corrie would focus less on every detail of future spoilers and more on just catching people up on what's already been aired. When it comes to actors leaving the show, their agents are always sniffing around behind the scenes seeking out new work through phone calls, emails and lunch dates - there is little reason for the actor or the show to advertise they are leaving, particularly so far in advance.

In my mind, the mark of a clever show is to think "didn't see THAT coming" at some point, no matter how subtle.

Flaming Nora said...

Hi Anonymous at 20:10 - we here at the Blog truly don't know what's going to happen either. Apart from our bloggers Ruth and Emma who have seen the screenings at ITV, and would never reveal what happens, we truly don't know. And we're not even going to speculate this time, we're just sitting back and enjoying the ride! Can't wait to se what happens.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Tony being blamed is MY theory! LOL. Wondering if that prediction is wide-spread. Would work well I think and explain why the producers chose to kill the Tony character off-screen. Also, Liz can testify that Tony already almost killed Callum. I know soap characters are usually punished for murder, but in this case Kylie was protecting Sara. So, it's plausible the producers will find a way to wrap up the story line without Kylie being sent down for murder. Or perhaps she will claim that Tony did it to defend her or Sara and Kylie will be convicted of a lesser accessory after the fact charge. Would be interested to know what other people think. Jeanie

Louby said...

I don't really know what will happen next, but I'm sure that the car burning thing will somehow incriminate Tony and/or Jason, even though Jason and wasn't involved. At the time I wondered why Tony insisted that Todd shouldn't tell Jason. Perhaps I'm over thinking things here! The scriptwriters have had a long time to make this good so I hope we are not disappointed.

John from Corriepedia said...

I can understand that it's in an actor's best interests when they leave the show to generate publicity so that they can get new work, but it would be nice for returnees to be a surprise.

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