Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Back and Forth

Poor Toyah Battersby.  Her recent marital problems mean she's left without a husband, without a home, without a job.

Wait, what?

In Monday's Corrie, Toyah was forced to throw herself on Liz's mercy in the hope of earning a few pennies.  "I was a counsellor in Liverpool," she informed us, but some bar work would apparently keep her going while she looked for a new position.

First, let's deal with the fact that a fully trained, experienced counsellor probably wouldn't need to scrabble around in a backstreet boozer for random pennies.  I accept that it is a haven for business professionals; top CEO Sarah-Louise Platt, for example, came out of years of running an Italian business and literally the only job she could get in the UK was serving half a shandy to Norris of an evening.  But still, Sarah-Lou had moved across an entire continent to get away from her old job.  Toyah has moved from Liverpool.

Liverpool is, if you didn't know, quite close to Manchester.  There's a motorway connecting the two. There are two railway lines connecting the cities, one of which is literally the first intercity line built in the world.  You can travel between the two in less than an hour, and it costs about a tenner on public transport.  Why can't Toyah just, you know, commute?  Why does she have to give up her job at all?  Thousands of people travel between the two cities every day; why can Toyah only work somewhere that's within walking distance of her front door?

It throws up a problem with the fictional world of Coronation Street; if it doesn't happen on the Street, it doesn't happen anywhere.  If Toyah had moved from, say, Kircudbright, we'd have no problem believing she'd left her old world behind.  It's what's happened with Adam - we accept that he had a life in Canada, but he's starting again in Weatherfield.  Toyah, on the other hand, is within spitting distance of her old life.  She could nip back to Liverpool after lunch, pick up all her worldly possessions, and still be back at Leanne's flat in time for The Chase.  They fell into this trap before, with Martin Platt; he moved to Liverpool with his new wife and showed absolutely no interest in visiting his son in prison or his grandchildren or the funeral of his daughter in law.  It niggles.  It sticks.  You know, as a viewer, that it's because the actor won't visit or the storyline dictates a radical change, but the point is: you shouldn't have to see the joins.  If you can see the narrative inconsistencies something hasn't worked.

If you're not going to feature someone's other life, some world that she has to abandon in order to relocate to Coronation Street, set it miles away.  Set it in Cardiff or Bristol or Abergavenny.  Stick it somewhere where we don't end up shouting "For pity's sake, BUY A SEASON TICKET!" at the TV screen.

Scott, twitter: @Merseytart

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Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this comment. I have a friend who commutes daily between Coventry and London for work. I hate these assaults on common sense too!

Anonymous said...

If Adam is from Canada why does he have a Scottish accent?

Anonymous said...

Adam grew up in Scotland. He has only just recently lived in Canada. And for the record, you can't train just to be a solicitor in Canada. If you graduate from law school and pass the bar, you are qualified to be a full-fledged barrister. You can choose to just do solicitor work if you wish, but you must study the whole hog. And I can't see that Adam has the brains to be accepted into law school, as it is VERY difficult to get into.

Maricha said...

Being a foreigner, I wasn't aware of the possibility of a commute but it does seem ridiculous that just because someone wants to live on Coronation Street means they can't work a few streets away.
Many storylines do end up being touched on at the Rovers but those working elsewhere could still drop by after work or on weekends and have the same interactions.

Jan said...

I totally agree with you. Just because you live on / very near Coronation Street doesn't mean you have to work there. Manchester is a big place with plenty of places to work, you can commute very easily to many other towns. I think it's just lack of imagination and thought by the writers.

Anonymous said...

What? Do you mean writers and storyliners on Corrie have a lack of imagination and thought? I'm in shock ..... ;)

Humpty Dumpty said...

And they all get jobs in pubs, shops and cafes which have hardly any customers. If the writers really can't think beyond the street, it's time for a new business to start up that actually needs staff. Round here, packers and order pickers are always needed and that would suit the younger characters.

Anonymous said...

I hope Toyah isn't going to be Counselling anymore as she should be abiding by codes of conduct such as laid down by the BACP and not bring Counselling into disrepute by her behaviours. I was in the Counselling field for 25 years , as a therapist and as a college lecturer in Counselling . We always had to tell the students that it is very difficult to get paid work - so many students were doing the courses and there weren't enough jobs to go round. If we r to believe Toyah was a Counsellor then I'm expecting her to be very self aware with her thinking and behaviour. A few of us Counselling lecturers no longer practice ( 25 years being a long time ) . One of us works in a bar now pulling pints and couldn't be happier .

Anonymous said...

Commuting from Liverpool to Manchester can be less of a journey than from North to South London. Why can't they restrict Toyah's scenes to the evening and if they want her in the Rovers, just have her there as a customer? Why were all the women - including the boss's girlfriend - working in the factory on a bank holiday when all their scenes could easily have relocated to the pub or the cafe? Corrie is losing all sense of taking place in the real world. It exists in soap land now. With no attempt made to reflect real life it gets harder and harder to care.

Anonymous said...

That would also fit with the curse of the Street, where nearly everyone with a profession or vocation somehow loses it and winds up in the factory, pub, or cab office. Maybe Dr. Carter only got to stay a doctor because the health centre is part of the set.

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