Saturday, 29 October 2016

Filling in the gaps on the cobbles

I was about to put pen to paper, metaphorically of course, to wax lyrical about certain Corrie scenes when Flaming Nora beat me to it and summed the situation up wonderfully. Have we all been thinking the same, confused thoughts this week?

I speak of the random and presumably conscious coupling of Michelle and Robert. Please - where did that come from? All it seems to have delivered are several odd, jarring moments between two characters who have barely ever spoken. I was trying to recall anything as perplexing in Corrie's rich and varied history. One occasion that sprang to mind was the funny but totally weird episode where Gail pied Deirdre in the face. Here were two Street residents who had barely charged a scene in thirty years going at it hammer and tongs. Followed by . . . absolutely nothing. Random.

However, the Robert/Michelle shenanigans (shall we call them Rochelle? No, let's not) are not the only storylines that seem to have been parachuted in apropos of nothing whatsoever. As funny as they were, the scenes featuring Steve, Tim and the footballer felt distinctly odd. In the story came and then out it went. Likewise the clunky kebab shop vignette this week with Dev dressed like a fan on his way to a Doctor Who convention and an over-acting man who actually uttered the line "you haven't heard the last of this!" like a scene from a long-forgotten 1970s B-movie. Add to this, a badly acted scene during one episode this week and it all makes for rather strange times.

There may, possibly, be an explanation for all of this random behaviour though. We don't know how much filmed material has had to be dumped due to the imminent departure of Sharif. A few odd moments may have been cobbled together featuring whichever actors were available at the time.

Strange they may be but utterly necessary if each episode wasn't to fizzle out after fifteen minutes. At least the Corrie team has been creative about how to solve the problem. Creaky old Aussie soap Prisoner Cell Block H had a similar problem back in the 1980s. When a filmed storyline was declared litigious, the producers simply chopped as many scenes as they could. This led to a character (played by the wonderful Vivean Gray - Mrs Mangel of Neighbours fame) appearing without any introduction, delivering a few lines and then disappearing and never being mentioned again. Thankfully times have moved on as have production values.

Are we set for more tales of the unexpected down Weatherfield way? I'm looking forward to ten minutes of Rita and David discussing a Spode tea service, Peter and Fiz recreating moments from the US election, Audrey challenging Johnny to a darts match and Liz sat in t'back room gently humming to herself until the commercial break. Stay tuned.

Clinkers to Riddle, twitter @bridglondon

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bbhilda said...

It's a relief to hear this. I had made a mental note to turn off my phone and not answer my door because I thought I had missed so much that Coronation Street was now making no sense whatsoever, especially in the case of Michelle & Robert, but thought they were setting the pair up to get together once Michelle finds out about Leanne. But it feels contrived, just as the whole Steve/Leanne thing did - and still does. I hope this is not going to become the norm with the new producer, because I don't like it.

Maricha said...

Thanks Clinkers, I was wondering about much of the strangeness myself. I do think the firing of the actor portraying Sharif is forcing them to shuffle so much around since what promised to be a major storyline needs rewriting. ( Wonder what's going to happen there, unless they recast Sharif, the only way to have this come out without any scenes with him would be to have him die in Sonia's bed and let the survivors figure it out).
I wonder if a lot of the odd pairing are due to the new producer wanting to see for herself who works with who instead of assuming that everyone is with the circle they belong in. For example, I wouldn't have put Mary with Tracy, but it works. Who can say David and Rita couldn't become the best of friends if they got a chance to attend an event together?

Catherine said...

Why don't they recast characters who leave abruptly? It would make the storyline work so much better.

abbyk said...

Actually, Rita and David have a fondness for Tina in common. If some event, like her 30th Birthday or the 5th anniversary of her death came up, putting them together with a teapot might work very well.

Robert and Michelle, well, all they have is Carla and the one night stand that ruined everything. No reason for them not to be cordial but what we're seeing now is more than that and feels like it's leading somewhere else.

And I'm with Team Recast Sharif. I want to see Yasmeen find out and react, she will be superb; if he dies, everything she does will be muddled in grief. He's a support character, not major star, no reason it couldn't work.

Anonymous said...

I have always said there's nowt wrong with recasting characters - they've done it before, can't see why they can't do it every time an actor wants to leave or is made to leave. Some characters have plenty of mileage left (eg Tommy Duckworth, Kylie Platt, Karen MacDonald, I could go on). Corrie is character based, it shouldn't matter who plays that character, we're all adults, we can cope!

Anonymous said...

if the they have to fill screen time with other things to take place of sharif's storyline, instead of randomness , couldn't they film some extra special scenes explaining Hilda Ogden's death , tied up Hilda's story, I think viewers would appreciate that, for example Kevin or Sally could be informed of Hilda's death by a phone call from Trevor or Irma, and there could be scenes of characters such as Rita, Audrey, Kevin, Sally and Jenny remembering Hilda. Maybe Kev and Sal could visit the cemetery and Hilda's grave ( I would think Hilda would be buried in Weatherfield as I seem to remember when Stan died she bought a plot for the both of them!)

Anonymous said...

If they recast characters it will become just another american-style soap opera. For those of us who have watched Corrie forever, we know these people like our own family. Yes, it happens in the case of child actors but for those well known it takes away from the reality feeling of the Street. When Dennis reappeared on Corrie we knew who he was before he was introduced to the newbies. Recasting him would have been a farce. I can live with characters leaving. That's life. It often happens in our own lives but we don't recast our friends and family. If a character has to leave it's sad but please let them leave and don't insult our intelligence by recasting.

Anonymous said...

I just feel lately that I sometimes get the feeling that I must have missed an episode in between - especially the David fiasco - one minute Gail is watching his goodbye video to his children then the next they are all organized as to locking him up in the cellar (which we have never seen before) then he tries to crawl out, then pop he is back were he started pretending he is dead. Didn't seem to pan out - why the rush??? Other storylines take weeks to develop this one was wham bam thank you ma'am. Too many people had to be in just the right place for it to happen. When was the last time you saw Fiz & Tyrone babysit Lilly? Never. And why wasn't Gary at work? All to convenient. Do you really believe that Robert would let his restaurant not be open for 2 nights in a row? He would have lost a bundle of money on that. Makes no sense. And why were Anna & Kevin celebrating diner at the Rovers mid-afternoon and leaving the café and garage wide-open?

Peter said...

I was confused when seeing the Robert and Michelle scenes, I thought I'd somehow missed an episode somewhere!
On a side note, it's funny you mention Prisoner and Viviean Grey's Edna Pearson storyline as that literally what I'm watching as I write this!!

David said...

What are you talking about? Sharif appeared this week and has a big part next week. His scenes haven't been thrown out at all.

-- As funny as they were, the scenes featuring Steve, Tim and the footballer felt distinctly odd. In the story came and then out it went. --

So it didn't outstay its welcome - I can think of many other storylines I wish had done the same!

Anonymous said...

Back to the original article: Gail threw the cake at Deirdre because she found out that Deirdre had been snogging Lewis the same time that Gail was batting her eyelashes at him. So that made sense.
Michelle & Robert - obviously this will lead somewhere down the road - I would be all for it because I can see Michelle being with Robert rather than spineless Steve, but on the other hand I'm not crazy about residents hopping into bed with each other. Like putting Luke & Tracy together. Didn't they try that a few years ago with Tracy & David - double yuck to that one also. I just don't understand the hopping around so much. Dev in that outfit was funny, but I wasn't quite sure why we even saw it. Just to give him & Chesney something to do?

Louby said...

Anon at 12.16, I think it was to add a bit of comedy and to introduce the idea of Alya designing uniforms. When Dev pops up occasionally like this it's great. Now and again he's hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Why can't Sharif and Sonia just disappear into the sunset? Yazmeen could kick them both out - - end of. That still leaves the rest of the family for her to interact with, and she does still run the community centre. I am against changing heads, except when absolutely necessary for child actors.

Tvor said...

The upcoming Sharif scenes will be his last most likely.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 24.04 - do you even watch Coronation Street as it sounds like you missed points in the episodes.

Everything was rushed with the plan of what to do with David as he was planning on killing himself and Clayton imminently - they had to act fast else he would be dead. Gail told Nick she had a plan although it wasn't discussed on screen what that plan was & didn't need to be IMO.

Fiz & Tyrone - Gail was looking for someone to babysit Lily and was desperate - why shouldn't fiz babysit? She has 2 kids already and if I were Gail & desperate & had to get to David, then I would have no qualms leaving them with Fiz.

Gary was t at work because Kevin & his mum were moving into together - they wanted to share that celebratory moment during lunch with family - what's wrong with that? I'm sure Gary can escape from the gym for an hour for that.

Kevin & Anna were in the pub celebrating them moving into together.

Robert was proactive and wanted overland to have a look at the electrical - who told him there was a problem & Nick was handling it. If you have no power, you don't have any option other than to close. As soon as he safely something amiss, he went down there to see what's going on & openly didn't agree with what they were doing.

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