Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Taking The Fun Out Of A Funeral

Kylie's funeral in last night's Corrie was very affecting.  Even my cynical heart - formed out of concrete and razor blades - had a slight crack when Max was wheeled on to talk about how great his mother was before she died.  It was a moving and appropriate tribute.

A shame, then, that the good work on the funeral was undercut by the deserted wake.  They'd made such a fuss about it - booking the venue, letting Max choose the food - and then when it happened, it turned out the producers had decided to do it on the cheap.

Literally everyone who attended could fit in a single booth at the Rovers.  There was Gail, Audrey, Rita, Bethany, Michael, Derek Griffiths (I believe his character has a name, but I'm a child of Play School, so I will only ever call him Derek Griffiths and sit cross legged waiting for him to do a song about balloons).  Eva perched on a stool.  Norris floated in at the end with some bonbons.  Tim wandered around talking about antimacassars.  And that was it.

Really?  So Nick and Roy - who carried Kylie's coffin - couldn't make it to the actual wake?  Nick couldn't get out of his busy schedule of standing around being useless? (And even though Roy was at the funeral, there was no sign of Cathy in support).

It was more than that.  Tim and Rita behind the bar was utterly illogical - chattering about being "roped in to help" would make sense if, at any point, we saw Steve, Liz or Michelle busying themselves with other arrangements.  Not a sign.  Maria (who was attending without Luke, for some reason) took the kids away from the actual burial.  Fair enough.  But after Max deciding on burger and chips for everyone, wouldn't it be nice to let him actually eat some?  (In fact, I didn't see anyone eat anything all episode).  It's actually quite life-affirming to have children at a wake - everyone talking about the deceased in glowing terms, while kids play.  That's the part of the funeral they should attend, instead of being trapped in Maria's tiny flat.

There was a half-hearted stab at explaining Sally's absence, but it was still ridiculous.  She's been mates with Gail for twenty odd years - she'd be there.  And Kevin and Sophie, as long-standing friends of the Platt family, should have been there too.  There's no chance that Beth, having actually been at the funeral, would then pass up the opportunity for free food and drink - she'd have taken a carrier bag.  She would probably have called Kirk and told him to fill his boots, but again, he was conspicuous by his absence.

Given that she was stabbed as the result of a robbery at his kebab shop, wouldn't Dev have wanted to attend as a mark of respect?  How about Chesney, supporting his friend Gemma?  How about Leanne, who was actually related to Kylie and the rest of the Platts for a while?  Hell, just pay a few extras to fill the space in the background - pretend they were Kylie's nail clients or something.

I get it: there are filming conflicts, costings, holidays.  From a production point of view, where actors are paid by the episode, it makes no sense to pay a lot of fees so that actors can have a single line or loiter in the background.  But the practicalities of production shouldn't be allowed to interfere with the drama onscreen.  Make savings elsewhere; film inserts on a different date that can be dropped in later.  Kylie's wake was sparse and miserable, and it destroyed the goodwill of the funeral in the first half of the show.  It took me out of the moment.  The Rovers looked like a ghost town, and surely, that's not what she would have wanted.

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John McE said...

After more than 40 years of watching the show I finally turned off Corrie after five minutes last Friday. An opening scene of Liz telling Steve that his fathering Leanne's baby won't remain a secret for long (duh!), followed by a scene in the community centre with the vicar, and kids, was just too much.

Unlike some people on here, I hate Steve's constant gurning - it's just no substitute for proper acting, IMHO.

I cannot stand the world's most unlikely vicar. He possesses none of the authority that vicars invariably have, and it's hard to believe he would have ever been put in charge of a parish. He lurks from one moral crisis to the next, uncertain about anything, yet lying through his teeth about his affair with Todd, having resisted it for all of five minutes.

The endless array of children taking centre stage in their own plots does nothing for me, and how can you invest in a young character when you know that in a few years, chances are they'll be recast?

Sophie - the world's most unlikely lesbian and sometime Christian, but only when the plot suits.

Dev - the world's worst actor. Ever.

Derek Griffiths. No idea what his character is called, but he's hard to believe in when he still talks like he is presenting Playschool.

Amy - the young actress who plays her clearly shows talent, but the character is just so unpleasant.

Mary, who I know is popular, but irritates the hell out of me.

There are a few characters I enjoy - Rita and the still great Audreh, the wonderful Eva and Steph, and Tim is quite amusing too. But the characters I really dislike so outnumber the ones I do like, that it is time to stop watching.

Instead I watched a movie, and enjoyed it far more than I've enjoyed Coronation Street in years.

I really hope that the new producer gets the show back on track, but from the spoilers that I've heard so far, it looks like it will be the same old "love triangles" and one-night stand babies that have plagued the show in recent years.

Over and out.

Lily Bigfield said...

You have expressed exactly what I felt about this episode. I also thought the funeral was a sparse affair; the spaces in the church could have been filled by extras. This is the problem with Corrie funerals - and weddings - those attending are made up of whoever's available, not whether they were close friends or not. People you'd expect to be there are nowhere to be seen. There seemed to be no sense of shock or loss in the street, after what had been an horrific murder in their community. The contrived subplots in this episode also got in the way of the drama for me. Sean would go to the funeral to hurry Todd along? What rubbish. It was an awkward, disappointing episode.

Laura said...

They never really explained why Becky didn't come to her sister's funeral, did they? It just makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

Laura, yes they did. She told David in a phone call, she had an inner ear infection, therefore making her unable to fly

Laura said...

Yes sorry I just watched it! But gimme a break....like having an ear infection would stop Becky from going to the funeral! I'm sure they would have put her in handcuffs if she tried to board the plane!

Antiphon said...

The fact that Norris was disposing of some of Emily's surplus items online last night makes me wonder if this is a clue that she is not coming back.

Linda Shockley said...

Laura, yeah an ear infection can prevent a person from flying; it's either stay home or chance losing your hearing when your eardrums burst.

Ancient corrier said...

Last nights Corrie was awful, it was all over the place ... The funeral (where was rent a crowd?) the Rovers, Eileen's, the funeral, the Rovers, the ginnel, back to Eileen's. Too much, too confusing. I dread to think what they have in store for six episodes a week. Slow down - pace it out, a lot of it could have been saved for another time.

When Emily left for Peru I had a feeling it really was her last goodbye. I don't think she'll be coming back.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Maddie's funeral was more of a cast affair than Kylie's and I think as you listed...there was no reason for a bigger turnout not taking place.
And I wish Gail would make up her mind...either David stand up and deal with it and look after the kids or break down grief stricken...she cannot have it both ways! Annoying cow!
Love the relationship of Sarah and David. :-) Please writers do not mess it up.

Anonymous said...

Tina's funeral was also a cast affair too.
As for the relationship between Sarah and David,I have a feeling that the writers will mess it up as Sarah is back to her manipulations letting Todd think David killed Callum.

Zagg said...

Having just seen the Kylie death scenes here in Canada, I have to say it was kind of weird. The street was so empty, it felt like no one knew what they were supposed to do, acting wise. Even with a slight dust up in the street, EVERYONE comes out of their homes, businesses and the pub to see what is happening. Kylie gets killed and it was like a ghost town. The limited people seemed to be more concerned about ridiculous Gemma sustaining a punch.Yes Kylie and David were superb, but where were the neighbors? If felt so wrong.
So now reading how the funeral turns out, it seems Corrie has lost the plot. If too many people were on holidays to make a plausible murder storyline for her exit, then write a different ending that is befitting for a well loved character. Of course there should have been a huge turnout for her funeral. A few people mentioned Maddie, and to me her sendoff was so over the top, given her character's time on the street. They mourned her ad nauseum.

Anonymous said...

The leak about a Corrie legend being killed off has to be Emily off screen.

Anonymous said...

Corrie must be straррed for cash and cutting corners - strange!

Pat said...

I too found it really odd that Tim and Rita were behind the bar. Steve and Michelle went to Ireland, but surely knowing Kylie's wake was to be held in the Rovers they would have waited. Was there any mention of why Liz wasn't there? Totally ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I so agree with commenter number one,John. I've recently started watching again after a break of about ten years but at the moment I'm not bothered if I miss an episode a couple of times a week, whereas years ago I used set the video to record Corrie and watched avidly.
Mary really annoys me. Dev is so bad that he is funny, so I don't mind him. Steve's gurning does not pass for acting I'm afraid.
I really want to fall in love with Corrie again but finding it hard going!
On the plus side, I love Jenny, Liz, Leanne and Tim. I think Amy is a great little actress but they shouldn't write her so 'know all-y' cos it grates.

Anonymous said...

I am a Canadian viewer so I've just seen Kylie's death. From what I have just read sounds the the funeral was strange and a lot of neighbours missing in action. A lot of the cast must be on holiday.
Not to sound insensitive or unkind but I never ceases to amaze me the
elaborate "church" funerals Corrie characters have. From what I have seen of the previews looks like quite an elaborate expensive funeral. Who paid for it?
Having said that I will miss the character of Kylie, I was starting to grow quite fond of her, she is an excellent actress and will do will in her future endeavours.

Abercrombie said...

I so agree with John McE regarding Steve McDonald's gurning. His acting, when he does that to express emotion, is cringeworthy. I do so wish he would stop.

ritaduck said...

i agree with every thing thats been said today corrie is the only soap i watch these days and am afraid it seems to going the same way as the others ,my husband cant bear it anymore,changing the personality of characators all the time

Anonymous said...

Lynne from Ottawa - I will be sad to see Emily go; I loved the interaction with Norris. I think Corrie should bring back a few battle axes like Blanche. She was a master at delivering withering remarks, I miss that.

Louby said...

I was away last week and although I recorded Corrie I realised that I couldn't be bothered to watch it! I did tune in on Monday though and also found the wake a rather strange affair.

Going back to the episodes immediately after the murder, my first thought was wouldn't anyone who lived in the vicinity, especially family of the deceased, be extremely fearful of the fact that the murderer was still at large? Yet we saw Bethany take Max and Lily to the park or somewhere, on her own!

In general, I have thought for years that the characters get over some horrific experiences incredibly quickly, with usually no reference to the incident again. But we have discussed continuity issues on here many times!

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