Friday, 24 June 2016

Should Corrie include big news stories in its episodes?



Unless I missed it, I don't think that Coronation Street has ever mentioned, in recent months, the EU referendum. Maybe, if we had seen more of Ken and he wasn't quite so worried about Tracy or wasn't  grieving for Deirdre, it may well have been him who would have tried to engage residents on the cobbles in a discussion as to why we should Leave or Remain in the EU.

In one of the talks I did this spring, a couple of people asked me why Corrie never mentioned political hot potatoes. One of them said that Corrie would be more realistic if it did. I would be very interested to know what viewers think. Is it a good idea to introduce serious political discussion or should we leave that to Newsnight and Andrew Marr?

Perhaps big news stories might be mentioned in passing, without a full blown discussion emerging, though, given that Corrie is filmed in advance, it may well prove too difficult. Any such comments though could still be mentioned, even after big news stories, which might well add to the suspension of disbelief. If all the country is talking about something, might it not be odd, if the residents of Weatherfield don't mention at all what is on everyone's minds?

Corrie never shies away from issues, including: teenage pregnancy, surrogacy, drugs, mental health,
prostitution, domestic abuse, illegal immigration, gambling, to name just some. The inclusion of issues such as these make Corrie relevant and up to date. Some of these issues will or do already affect our lives, and so to see issues played out in front of us can make us feel less isolated and more willing to talk about them.

Ruth Owen

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9 comments:

Stephen Feldman said...

The biggest issue for me (as you mention) is how far in advance Corrie is taped for the really big issues. If its a scheduled event (i.e. the Queen's birthday), it is predictable enough to bring it into the show without much concern. However, for fluid, highly charged events, like BrExit, a minor comment could be brought into to make it 'real' for viewers, but any big debate could have ITV looking like its choosing sides (perhaps). I enjoy seeing real concerns/topics brought into the show which makes it more enjoyable as to how it effects the residents, but I guess there is a fine line.

Llifon said...

Well as Corrie is seemingly not set in the real world, maybe mentioning the referendum would be blurring fiction/reality, although we've had stories involving the Queen's Jubilee and the Royal Weddings. But I suppose one can guess what certain characters would be doing that day. Like today, would they have had to film two scenes - one involving if we'd stayed in the EU while the other discussed Brexit?

Corrie has never shyed away from discussing politics with the likes of Ken, Norris, Alf Roberts and others being politically minded. Although if you look at episodes from the 1970s, politicians like Harold Wilson or Jim Callaghan or Mrs Thatcher were mentioned, whereas I can't remember Corrie mentioning Cameron, Boris or Farage in recent years.

But if you start mentioning the referendum, then why not the Euros, the Queen's 90th birthday or the election in America?

It's a nice touch now and then, but maybe in a few months mention the implications. Like, was the Community Centre funded by European money? Sophie applying for uni but Kev and Sally have to bring funds together? That could work maybe.

Tvor said...

I think they do tend to stay away from political hot potatoes like this one but I agree, something like having a character like Roy or Ken mention they're going to the polling station would add a little realism without going into any particular political debate on the show. And considering all the media blitz on the BrExit issue, having Corrie stay far away from that is a little oasis of peace and neutrality, Switzerland with Glasses so to speak :)

Humpty Dumpty said...

It would be a good start if Corrie residents didn't casually walk out of one job into another, buy and sell property and businesses with an informal handshake, ignore professionals expertise and so on. Referencing the real world isn't just about specific events, it's about weaving authentic processes into storylines. When Corrie does authenticity, it's usual an issues storyline to make a point and that's why it can stick out like a sore thumb.

Anonymous said...

The Brexit issue has been going on for awhile so I thought it's unrealistic that it was never mentioned in passing by Roy,Ken or even Norris as it is an important issue.
The writers seemed to have the residents of Weatherfield live in a bubble where major news events are not known,Brexit,the London Olympics,Prince Willam's wedding and the birth of his children or even 9\11[Although there was a scene in which Deirdre complained about long line ups for security when she and Ken were going on honeymoon].
Instead of having every other storyline focus on the Platts or someone having an affair,the writers should take the time to incorporate what's happening in their country and around the world in storylines.

Anonymous said...

While immediate political may not be practical or desirable, long term consequences of political events such as Brexit should be incorporated into the dialogue. For example, some of the characters have family in Spain or careers in Milan. Dev once talked of buying property in Spain. It would be odd if these characters never expressed anxiety over the future of such deals. Sarah has to ponder if she can ever go back to Milan, Liz has to worry about Andy's plans, Kev has to mention his dad's prospects in Germany. Beyond that Corrie should not turn into a panel discussion in the Rovers, an extension of the typical news broadcast.

Ruth Owen said...

Love that Tvor! Switzerland with glasses!

abbyk said...

Anon 16:42, Andy M was the first person I thought of. All the jetting about to Spain, Ireland and Portugal, will this be affected? Will Brexit mean Eddie Windass loses his job in Germany and has to come back? Yeah, I was expecting to at least see Ken and Roy having a discussion, but now all we have to look forward to is dimwit Sally explain the ramifications to her constituents and Johnny scrambling with contracts, old school style.

Beth said...

I watched Friday's episodes today (Monday) and after all the uproar and non stop bickering about Brexit over the weekend it was really very nice to watch something that didn't mention it at all. It was, as Tvor rightly pointed out to quote the wonderful Deirdre Switzerland in glasses :) So on this occasion I'm very happy Corrie stayed in it's bubble.

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