Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Have you got the Weatherfield Cell Block Blues?

The 'Radio Times' soap supremo Gareth McLean has cast his eye over prison-related storylines in this week's issue. His basic moan is that although the lead up to a character's incarceration can be dramatic, the viewer is then rewarded with dull scenes set in the slammer. A case in point is dear old Fiz, moping around wearing a netball bib looking frightened. From weepy Deirdre to maudlin Gail, HMP Weatherfield has never been a place of great excitement or interest. 'Prisoner Cell Block H' it is not. Deirdre never had her head jammed in a steam press and Gail never tried to escape in the back of a garbage truck.

The fellow prisoners are usually deranged (Graeme Proctor), demented (Jackie Dobbs) or look like Les Dawson in a frock. These days it seems to be the case that most soaps have a string of petty criminals. Taking a look down the Street, those who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law include Steve, Becky, Deirdre, Gail, Fiz, Kevin, Tracy, Dennis and even Ken. It can only be a matter of time before Rita is hauled before the courts for dealing  . . . mint humbugs.

Are the prison plots value for money or just dull as ditchwater?

14 comments:

Christopher McBride said...

Rita was hauled before the courts before, when Cilla sued her for "assaulting" Chesney.

Anonymous said...

Deirdre's was good because of the brilliant character of Maggie Veitch, otherwise, I agree. Hayley's time in the clink was particularly unmemorable - which is possibly the reason you haven't mentioned it!!!

Tvor said...

They're one of the staples of soaps as much as love triangles are. I don't mind. Justice is always done in the end. They've got laws about these things ;)

Humpty Dumpty said...

The flip-side of what Tvor says is that given the characters always get out of jail - unless the character is to be written out - there's no suspense about what's going to happen. Wouldn't it have been more interesting to see Fiz develop into a mature, independent, brave woman just by being in that situation without all the phoney drugs drama. It would need sensitive writing, though. Is that expecting too much?

Anonymous said...

Emily was fined at sent to court in 1965 for driving up a one way street lol I think it was Swindley's fault !!

Coronation Street Corner said...

I was gonna say the same about Rita - she spent a night in prison for contempt of court!

Ange said...

I was thinking about this just the other day. We're only up to the part where Gail's being questioned for Joe's (long overdue!) death in NZ. Talk about a tough neighbourhood - given the criminal history of the majority of characters on the street, I think it might be safer to live right where I am.

Anonymous said...

Sunita was arrested on her wedding day after being set up for marrying immigrants, Gary spent time inside shortly after arriving, David,,, say no more, the street is full of crims!

Anonymous said...

I personally would love to see one of the cobbles characters end up in the slammer and end up thriving a la Bad Girls. No, not in a predictable Becky way, but just have a mini personality transplant purely as a survival response and turn suddenly into a manipulative leader, dominant personality/bully or someone who goes hyper-violent so they can get themselves thrown into solitary confinement and then become "friends" with some crazed loonie in the next cell. That'd make it interesting.

Defrost Indoors said...

Jail plots are like pregnancy/baby plots -- they're exciting at first, but fizzle out, and they're a cheap way to drum up interest in a story.

Frosty the Snowman said...

I think Dierdre's prison sentence set a precedent and after that instead of getting a rest from characters and enabling the actor to go off on holiday, we have to endure tiresome prison stories and scenes with people in tabbards like the one about to unfold with Fiz.

Anonymous said...

Eileen was hauled into the cop shop after Owen filed a complaint that she embezzled $ from him. Isn't he the charmer now though.

Anonymous said...

Tvor:
That's what I thought.. but everyone seems to have "forgotten" the fact that Tracy killed someone in cold blood.. because he cheated on her!

Trevina said...

If you take all of those that are or have at some stage being involved with the police, and were arrested for some reason or even went to court, then there might be only ___ left. Who I ask myself? No, I cannot think of anyone!

You might also like...