Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Fall from Grace: Coronation Street’s Female Characters

This subject of this post came to my attention from Coronation Street Blog fan Monica.  She wanted to know why the Corrie writers have taken once great female characters and have sullied them with less than savoury personality changes. 

Now, of course, Corrie is a drama but it does try to mirror realistic character portrayals.  All of us have ups and downs in life and are far from being one-dimensional.  We can all be nice, nasty, naughty and neat!  However, some of our once favourite female characters have fallen from grace, and we can see hardly a glimmer of the character we enjoyed in the first place!

A few prime examples (let me know if I’ve missed a few):

Molly-Before-and-After Who: Molly Dobbs. 

Fall from Grace Factor: “Molvin”

Once a bright young woman whom overcame bullying, fell in love with Tyrone and got married.  Yes, in the past she’d tried to steal men from other women and hadn’t been a complete saint.  But she had some charisma about her, a spark and she was a woman who got what she wanted.  The relationship with Kev (the ubiquitous “Molvin) has just sullied her character.  I was so glad to see her stand up to Kevin finally, but up until then she’d been the LAST character I’d wanted to see on screen.  She lost all that she had that was good, personality wise, even in her own life until recently.  Do you think we’ll see the old Molly back again?

Michelle-Before-and-After Who: Michelle Connor

Fall from Grace Factor: Break up with Steve McDonald and some new “plus twos” (breast augmentation)

Michelle came onscreen as a feisty new barmaid and a single mum who had a rough time of it, but was a survivor.  She was strong, smart, even a little classy (besides the tattoo) and had an understated sex appeal.  She dated Steve who did the dirty on her, but we all hoped that she’d come out of it well.  That didn’t happen so much.  She showed up on our screens with some new friends (plus twos) and all the sudden a new personality.  Now she apparently rivals Rosie for “street slapper” so much to the point that even an ex-prossie (Leanne) called her so.  She’s a loose woman who’s lost much of what she once had.  Does she even sing anymore?  The personality change has made a lot of fans deem her rather irrelevant to the soap now.  Do you think Michelle will do her character justice or should she be written off?

Rosie-Before-and-After Who: Rosie Webster (aka Dozy Plebster)

Fall from Grace Factor: Breakup with Craig Harris, affair with John Stape

Rosie Webster was once one of my favourite characters on Coronation Street.  She was smart, young, and in love.  I felt she was a character that would grow up well into the show and wondered where future storylines would take her.  I no longer care.  I can’t stand to see the vapid mess of a character turn up on my screen and just bore and tart it all up.  Rosie had always been pretty, she’d always been “physically gifted” let’s just say before John Stape came along.  Ever since her devastating break from teenage love Craig, Rosie went over to the dark side.  She no longer cared about being smart, or her future.  All she wanted to do was use the attention she received from men (which she first realized she could manipulate form her affair with Stape) to her advantage and screw the rest.  It’s almost as though she’s completely void of emotions now also.  It’s such a shame.  Do you think we’ll ever see the smart Rosie again, or will it all be cleavage and bad acting from hereon-in? 

FIZ-Before-and-After Who: Fiona “Fiz” Stape

Fall from Grace Factor: John Stape

Once named “Fiz Bomb” Brown for all of her spunk and attitude, she was the one who wore the pants in the relationship.  Fiz was strong, funny, outgoing and well, happy, before she met John Stape.  She wasn’t going to let any man push her around, and when she got fed up, she got out as evidenced in her relationship with Kirk.  Those days are gone.  I can hardly recognize the Fiz I see on screen these days.  I even think her hair is a duller shade of red now.  Once one of my favourite strong female characters, she’s been reduced to slaving to some crazy man’s (John Stape) choices and now we hardly ever see a smile on her face.  Never mind a spark of what used to be a fizz.  Do you think the writers will ever resurrect our Fiz Bomb? Or is she just Fiona Stape now?

A common factor between all these ladies and their fall from grace is the men in their lives. Isn’t it time for Corrie, a show which has always highlighted strong women, to not put their personalities at mercy to the men in their lives?  All I can say is thank goodness for Carla Connor and Eileen Grimshaw!

11 comments:

Tvor said...

I think Fiz is the most ruined of them all. I've seen teenage girls go the way Rosie has once they realize they can use sex for power. I can't say Michelle has changed a whole lot in my opinion. Not sure about Molly. She really did get caught in her own web, that one. She flirted, Kevin lapped it up and i think they got caught up in it all. Kevin gets a reality check with Sally's illness and drops Molly like a hot potato and now she's pregnant, who's the daddy, i can see that having an effect really.

abbyk said...

I so miss the old spunky creative Fiz. My favorite time was about 8 years ago when she tried her hand at designing fun lingerie which sadly never got made. She always had the cheery, slightly crazy taste; now she dresses and mopes about like Janice.

I wish Fiz would just do something as simple as make baby Liam a couple of cute outfits. Carla knows what money smells like and might accept what Mike didn't; if she could just have a little success, maybe, just maybe we'd get our funky fun girl back.

Defrost Indoors said...

I think you hit the nail on the head regarding the men in their lives. These characters seem to be falling into the (sexist) trap of American soaps, whereby women with strength and resources go to crazy lengths for the sake of some man who isn't actually worth of them. I hate myself for knowing this, but on The Young and The Restless (US), there's a villainess who keeps getting plastic surgery and coming back to taunt her victim because she thinks she stole her man or somesuch.

I would love to see Fiz have a little success: take a course, start a business, anything -- she's too clever to be stuck in that wretched factory sewing undies the rest of her life! Why isn't Stape encouraging her in that direction? I think he's a bit like Ken, in that he needs to have a woman he can look down on, just a little.

Ena's hairnet said...

Excellent post Yoorke. Also Gail to a certain extent used to be quite a tough cookie who turned into annoying mush over Kitchen Man and is now in jail because of him.

Flaming Nora said...

Well said! I think Mary is a wonderful character but she's going to be turned into a psycho too, shame.

Tvor said...

Mary always did have a bit of an eccentric edge to her, though. I always thought she was a stalker waiting for a victim!

Clare said...

Totally agree. Michelle was always a bit of a bore/tart but nowadays she's drop her knickers for anyone. Fiz is the most dissappointing one as i think everyone loved Fizbomb, she's a shadow of the woman she once was now.

Laura said...

I agree with what's been written, but I was surprised not to see Maria on this list. Her personality has changed from when she first appeared on the show as a kennelmaid, and not in a good way. I find her character pretty boring and feel myself cringing every time she opens her mouth to whine about one thing or another.

Defrost Indoors said...

Maria married way above her station, and I think on some level she knew it too. She's becoming as self-obsessed as Michelle.

Anonymous said...

Fiz used to be great. Spunky, quirky, slightly odd, heart of gold and a tough young lady. Now, at least here in Canada, she is whiny and sad with none of her old strengths. She is now a sad old has-been. I say, change her back to the Fiz we knew and loved, or write her out of the show....one or the other.

Garçon Stupide said...

I agree, except in the case of Rosie. She's comedy gold - especially in her scenes with Sophie.

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