Friday, 27 May 2011

Coronation Street post-tramcrash - better, or worse?


I've not been blogging here much lately due to total apathy regarding the state of the street. Up until the tram crash I'd watch avidly, but it's much easier for me now to walk away and put the kettle on than ever it's been in the past.
I think the scripts have picked up a bit recently, with a bit more humour, but I think the actual storylines are woeful with far too many in your face issue-driven plots. Homelessness. Transvestism. Sexuality. Schoolgirl mums. Broken families. Marc/Marcia must be a nadir. They've "done" cross-dressing before (Ida Fagg anyone? Duggie Ferguson even! Different world wasn't it?)
I find some of the new characters unappealing - Roy's mum, Ken's grandson. So far, I've no desire to get to know them any better. The two that keep me going at the moment are Kevin Webster (just does angry so well) and believe it or not, Owen Armstrong! He's getting some good lines and I like his gruff delivery.
As far as the Stape blockbuster goes, I will watch it with interest next week out of respect to Graeme Hawley, who has been terrific throughout. But overall, I'd far rather have seen him get back into therapy and settle down nicely with Fiz and the baby than run amok on a rooftop.
I remember people commenting a month or three ago that Coronation Street was just hitting a post-tram crash/post 50th slump, and that it would pick up again. Personally, I think that it has picked up but only very minimally. Anyone else got any thoughts?

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is thee issue based stuff that gets me watching. Without issues what is soap? Drama is what drives soaps and drama is driven by issues. Think about any great drama you like from The Nun's Priest's Tale through King Lear to To Kill a Mockingbird they are all about issues. The current set of issues may be ones you have a phobia about but please don't pretend that Corrie can be issue free!!

seapenguin said...

I don't have a phobia about any of the above issues. I just prefer Coronation Street to be character driven rather than issue driven.

Chewy said...

There was bound to be a lull after the tram crash, there was so much packed into those few months

Anonymous said...

Read somewhere that Ken's grandson is going to attack him after taking out a loan against Ken's house (although I don't know how this is possible) to help buy some house for a homeless shelter. Not interested. Every person on the street now is either evil or gay...(and don't jump on me about the gay remark) on such a small street. Ratings are up but the Corrie of old is gone I think. I gave up watching when Xin and Graeme got together.

Anonymous said...

I'm the only gay in the village.

Not any more you're not.

There's eight of them in Corrie nowadays

Anonymous said...

Obviously people on this blog have a phobia of gays.

Merseytart said...

I can't stand the Mark/Marcia plotline, mainly because I think Mark is one of the worst actors in the history of the show, and his voice is incredibly annoying.

Frosty the Snowman said...

Yep, Ishoos are much more important to be shoved in yer face than any kind of character driven plots like the Corrie of yesteryear. I know we have to move with the times but all these "sensationalist" stories one after the other, we are now becoming acclimatiseds to, and they are just becoming a joke. Why couldnt Stape just settle down to a family life instead of all this ridulous nonsense - how hammy are the Hoyles? Why does Ken's grandson have to attack him, why cant SOMEONE be a good egg. Corrie used to give a feel good factor, now its the opposite and I am sick and tired of people on here calling others homophobes because they dare to say there are too many gay characters, there are. Are we to be called racists because we laugh at Dev?. Get over yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with Frosty. The programme is dying a slow, slow death with these social issues storylines.

Anonymous said...

I know everything has been done before, nothing is new. The only new thing is in how you present it.
So far the presentation of events are like yesterday's laundry left in the basket waiting to go on the line. Damp, dank and wrinkling.
James stealing from Ken; did we not have a similar story line with Duckworths? And this penchant for nasty characters. Please, just because tvland is riddled with them in ridiculous "reality" tv shows doesn't mean people want them in every character in their soap.
There is a balance missing. Who is tying the hands of the writers? Do the actors not have a voice for their own character or is there a fear of retribution- speak out and you won't be written in or worse you'll be completely written out?
Very sad. I will pvr Corrie next week, forward past the drivel and probably have time for an extra cuddle!

Hayli

Anonymous said...

I am sick and tired of you Frosty. You don't have a good word to say about Coronation Street so why bother watching it?

It is homophobic to equate being gay with being evil and simply say there are too many gay characters. That is not the same as laughing at Dev. Get over yourself.

Adam Rekitt said...

Soaps are not about issues; they are about characters. Brookside was the issues soap, with its stories about rape and bodies under the patio. The problem is that the issues have to get ever more sensational, so in the end Brookside tackled incest which was a sensation too far. If this continues Corrie will go the same way as Brookside.

Years ago, Coronation Street was mostly about character. Weeks could pass with not much happening except for Annie Walker being snobby, Ivy Tilsley being an interfering mother-in-law and life kicking Hilda in the teeth again: human interest stories that viewers could relate to. The entertainment was in the humour, the well written dialogue and the perceptive discussions and comments about human nature.

Today lots of people are stepfathers and stepmothers. But Corrie does not show the difficulties and joys of that in an interesting or entertaining way. We get ridiculous stories about selling babies, so we can have lots of conflict and headlines in the tabloids. The show is getting further and further away from what made it successful.

maggie muggins said...

But wasn't Corrie always about issues? Years ago the issues weren't 'out' as much, so to speak. I guess if we lived in a less alienating world where folk really did help each other out in the community, we might not have soaps. At least not in their current state.

The storyline with Sophie & Sian volunteering would be ideal for developing their characters. Do the writers have what it takes to do that? Dunno, but I do know most people still vote for Eastenders, so maybe it's our own fault for not working harder towards a world that is nice & friendly. Art imitates life, so they. say.

I agree about Roy's Mum. Blanche was grumpy and funny. She's just grumpy and mean.

seapenguin said...

@Merseytart I agree re. Mark - an unfortunately wooden actor with an annoying voice - & that's largely why I don't like that storyline. I think a transvestism storyline is potentially interesting & I'm glad there are gay characters, it reflects life. But what I dont like is the clunky, parachuting in way they're handling the "issues" - storylines shoudle emerge as far as is possible FROM characters & their circumstances, not be foisted on them just because the production team fancy a crack at them & think they might nab a few headlines.

Anonymous said...

I'm not homophobic, me. I just don't like gays. I mean there's eight of them round here now. Well that's if you count the 5 minutes that Todd and "Jools" were here and the lesbo rumoured to be on the way. Eight does sound way more scary than five though.

Five is too much. We need more family types, like that John Stape. He's so caring! And that Frank, what took over the Faktry. He's a real red blooded man with the lovely ladies! Let's have more like them! It's just unrealistic to have so many gays living in the Gay Capital of Northern England. There won't be no room for more murderers soon!

I bumped into that Tony Warren in Rosamund Street. I says to him, I says: "Tony, int it awful, all these gays nowadays? There's never been owt camp about our Street". "Yes, it’s always been as butch as those fifties bodybuilding magazines", he replied. "Yer must be spinning in yer grave", I said. "I'm not dead yet, you moron", he replied playfully, as he hurried away. I bet he were feeling ill thinking ‘bout all them gays, cos he were practically running. Anyway, I’m a moron. I'm so pleased.

Daz Omo (Not Gay)

mister_tmg said...

I think Corrie's glory days are gone for good, sadly. I now fast forward through the omnibus for the few bits that entertain me: the oldies, the story with Becky (bits of it). Unfortunately as noted above it is no longer character driven. Everything is sensationalist. It's on too much. I don't really care about most of the characters - that's the main problem.

When I switched off Corrie in 2008, it was part of me going 'cold turkey' with ALL the soaps, as at the time I also watched EE, Emmerdale and Neighbours. Since just before the tram crash I've only watched Corrie. I quite enjoyed watching again for a time, but recently it's just boring and repetitive. I really do long for the days of yore. Even 90s Corrie was SUPERB compared to this drivel.

Agree with you Hayli. The older actors especially cannot be watching the show for leisure, and they certainly must have opinions about the state of it.

Everyone here should read Sean Egan's Unofficial Story of Corrie, published last year. He signals the irreversable decline began with four or five episodes weekly, and also hints that the suits at the top of ITV are having too much input: demanding x number of sieges a year. This, I fear, is why Corrie will never return to it's "golden age" style, as ITV would never allow such simple stories about a select few characters we know and love. Corrie cannot be called "high quality television" these days sadly. I begin to wonder if it's time to end it.

Anonymous said...

Why does anybody's sexuality have to even come into focus when a new character is introduced like it was the main focus of who the character is? Who cares what goes on after the lights are out. Anyway, I am disappointed in Corrie lately because the characters have changed so much. Fiz..she used to have balls but now just whines all the time. Is there nothing of Cilla in her at all? And what happened to the David we loved to hate? Now he's trying to be Mr. family man? C'mon.

Anonymous said...

Why on earth would Claudia give a rat's ass about Marc ....... He has to be the most annoying character ever to walk the cobbles and in dire need of new dentures !

Frosty the Snowman said...

Oh dear I see my strange stalker has appeared again with nothing to say apart from berate me. If you note quite a few people here agree with Frosty but nobody seems to agree with YOU. You really should get out more old dear, you are becoming quite a bore.

Adam Rekitt said...

Great post mister_tmg. The number of episodes is the fundamental problem. Unfortunately that will not change until Corrie is no longer a cash cow for ITV and by then it may be too late to save it.

Anonymous said...

From the article about the axing of characters in The People: "The soap pulled in 11.5million ­viewers in January shortly after the dramatic tram crash. But in recent weeks figures have dropped to as low as 7.7million"

33% drop in ratings says it all.

mister_tmg said...

Thanks Adam - I agree. The trouble is that ITV seem to think it needs to be aimed at a younger demographic, rather than traditional Corrie viewers who've watched for donkey's years. I'd say both audiences are alienated at the moment. The ratings figures say it all! Every week there's a character having an accident or ending up in hospital, a siege, and the same storylines taking forever to build to a climax we couldn't give a fig about. Any idea of 'quality' has gone down the drain.

Anonymous said...

I am not your strange stalker Frosty. Actually I defended you. An action I deeply regret after your homophobic comment.

Anonymous said...

You don't like Roy's mum?! I love her - she often provides the only interesting moments in otherwise dreary episodes

Anonymous said...

Roy's mum reminds me of my mum...not a good thing to say anytime anywhere...the old dear. Let's have more of her!!
Also..maybe a bit more focus on the older actors on the street? Elder abuse by family members is in focus more and more...can they work that in somewhere? Maybe that's what's coming up with Ken and his grandson?

Anonymous said...

Shanny said:

Anonymous,you said:

"From the article about the axing of characters in The People: "The soap pulled in 11.5million ­viewers in January shortly after the dramatic tram crash. But in recent weeks figures have dropped to as low as 7.7million"

33% drop in ratings says it all."

I think you need to consider how many people watch Corrie via the internet. Over here in Canada Corrie is GOD to us! The ones that can't wait to watch it on the CBC watch current British episodes on the internet. That is the only way to do it. If you added the Canadian internet viewers your -33% would go up to lets say, +100%! Love you Corrie, it's the best soapie eva!

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