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Sunday 15 August 2010

Are Coronation Street's female characters losing their bottle?

I was browsing through the Sunday papers online today and happened upon a feature about an upcoming Coronation Street storyline, involving Rosie Webster and a basque. Again. 'Cept this time, the male involved is Jason Grimshaw, rather than Stape, which makes it even more of a yawn. Don't get me wrong - I really like Ryan Thomas as Jason, and Helen Flanagan as Rosie, but to be honest I can't be doing with this sensationalism. It isn't even that sensational, actually - a bit of excess cleavage and a few gropings and gruntings before the watershed - so what?

I'm also uncomfortable with some of the mutterings about the older characters getting bumped off. Characters like Deirdre - one of my all-time favourites - are the absolute backbone of the Street. Coronation Street has always championed the older woman, but this week, Deirdre and Audrey have been set up to look like fools. Carla - another strong female character - is apparently about to develop an alcohol problem. Janice is leaving. Teresa's gone. Liz and Eileen are swooning over Owen the builder. Okay - that last one might be par for the course, but really - what's going on? Maybe Jackie Dobbs needs to come back.

In the interview mentioned in the previous post, Phil Collinson describes the Corrie cast as "jobbing actors" who know that nothing is forever - well, to that I say, actors like Anne Kirkbride and all the other "oldies" have given a lifetime's work to Corrie, and hours of enjoyment to many. Don't bury them under a tram - give them a decent storyline.


Chewy said...

Funny, the male characters in soaps are always taking their tops off ect. and fans accept it but as soon as a female character does the same its a big no no? and the last producer made all male characters either idiots, slobs, cheaters or psychopaths. At last were getting some strong male characters again.

There are plenty of strong female characters - Leanne, Carla, Gail, Audrey, Liz and Anna - they always get through whatever is thrown at them, and come out stronger. Plus don't worry about the older characters - think of it this way, The Joinery Bar collapses, and it was recently said that this is going to be a hangout for the younger characters ;)

Sea Penguin said...

I'm not saying it's a no-no. I'm just saying no, SURELY NOT AGAIN, to a young woman flashing her breasts in a soap. But what do I know? I'm a middle aged female fan who likes watching Duggie Ferguson drag it up with two balloons stuffed down his front :)) I don't fit the demographic any more.

Chewy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chewy said...

I doubt it will take up much of the episodes, it's more of a running joke with Rosie though and she does represent that part of England's youth that worships people such as Katie Price. The scenes in question sound quite normal in a soap, I mean how many times have we seen couples kissing as they lie down? We've seen it plenty of times, it's just tabloid trash making out storylines are controversial...I mean come on, a "newspaper" that has Corrie as front page news isn't worth paying attention too, none of the redtops are worth paying attention to. The Guardian? Yeah, Manchester Evening News? Yeah, they tend to be more professionally written.

Also about the older cast, Phil mentioned in the DS interview, he loves how in Corrie, the characters have a history you can dip into, so I doubt he'd get rid of the ones you can do that with.

Sorry for wittering on, but I really hate tabloids and their muck spreading ways :p

Sea Penguin said...

I know we've seen this plenty of times - that's my point - it's not sensational - it's dull. If the aim is to attract a younger viewer, I doubt if it will work.

Chewy said...

Sensationalism by the newspaper, not Corrie itself

Anonymous said...

LOL Chewey, Gail a strong woman? Are we watching the same show? :P

Again, sobbing over Carla's demise, she was so cool :(

Ew Rosie, Jason? Bah. Sophie/Jason would be more controversial.

Diedre is so annoying, I miss Blanche.

Chewy said...

She is strong though, she still around isn't she? She's a tough cookie and not afraid of stepping up to a fight! :p

Tvor said...

I think Gail is definitely a strong one. Most of them are, which was always the point of Corrie. Strong women, feckless fellas.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I hated to see Audrey brought low. Because I've only been watching for 5 years, I've seen her as a strong mother to Gail, not taking David's lies, and supporting Maria... oh, and going after men she wants ;) So it's hard to see her humiliated..
Also haven't enjoyed reading about Natasha and Maria bickering over the salon... they used to get on so well, and cat-fights are such a boring sterotype..
And the subject of Fiz losing her fizz once she met John Stape has been well-documented. Let's hope when she finds out he's a lying, self-important murderer, she turns him in and kicks him to the curb!

Rebecca in TO

Cobblestone said...

Have to agree with Chewy that Gail is a strong character. Yes, she has that one vulnerable spot when it comes to falling for the wrong men (which in fairness she doesn't do all that often - after the Hillman disaster she steered clear of emotional entanglements for quite a while, not trusting her own judgement. With good cause), but we've seen her fight like a tiger time and again for her kids. She's no push-over.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the older characters have anything to worry about especially as Phil Collinson is reported to have said he thinks that too much airtime has been given to the younger chracters in recent years and that the show is in danger of becoming like Hollyoaks (that's a British soap aimed at teens for non UK readers)

Nevertheless, Johnny Briggs (Mike Baldwin) did recently say that when he was there cast members were paid on a per episode basis and so, perhaps, this might lead to the more senior cast members who command a higher tarrif being used less frequently in episodes.

I agree with the penguin that the likes of Dreary, Ken, Audrey, Rita et al should never be written out (maybe they should even be offered lifetime contracts with the show?) but puhlease, puhlease, I beg you ITV, whatever you choose to do, NO MORE JACKIE DOBBS!"

Sea Penguin said...

@anonymous - that's a relief re. PC not wanting it to be like Hollyoaks. I generally catch the "tail end" of that (words chosen carefully) just before C4 news, and I don't think I could cope! re. Jackie - I was always too terrified when she appeared on screen originally, to enjoy her performances, but I really liked ehr last time round - they'd softened her, but not TOO much.
Interesting re. cast/paid per episode as well.


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