Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Carla, Frank and the Corrie rape storyline

I have to say that I think that the rape storyline with Frank and Carla is being superbly done. Over the summer I drifted off from Corrie - and this blog - but the autumn has seen me rapt once again, and it's partly because of this storyline. I think it's been handled superbly, and sensitively, by the writers, I think it's been acted wonderfully by Andrew Lancel and Alison King, and I think it's beaten other such high-profile storylines into submission.

Frank has been creepy ever since he first showed up on the cobbles, but he's really upped it recently, up to and including poaching Carla's staff and his defiant declaration that "I'm the victim!". Not only that, but his mother, played by the immense Gwen Taylor, is almost as creepy as he is.

When Frank raped Carla, it wasn't about sex, it was about power. Since the beginning, their relationship has been about power, ever since Frank played the knight in shining armour and saved the factory, through to how he commandeered their engagement, their wedding plans, where they would live, and even to how he made her be around his parents. Carla is a strong woman, but she was caught on the back foot, and she was gradually worn down, I think due to her difficulties with work, with her drinking problem, and with her feelings for Peter. Plus, let's not forget that this is a woman who has lost a lot in life - Paul, Liam, her family - so it makes sense that she craves stability.

When Carla finally called it off, she took the power back from Frank and he responded in the only way he knew to - by raping her. She did the right thing by calling the police, even though it would have been a believable and realistic plot for her to not go to the police. Frank cleverly admitted that they'd had sex, as he knew that his DNA would show up, but said that she "liked it rough". So it will end up being her word against his, if in fact it goes to court.

This is the face of rape. It's estimated that one in three women have suffered from sexual assault or rape. The most common perpetrators of rape are husbands or partners.* Even though in 2006/2007 0.5% of women reported rape or attempted rape in the British Crime Survey~ (equating to around 85,000 nationally), fewer than 800 persons were convicted of rape that year.

If this storyline was real life, I think Frank would get off with it. It may not go to court, Carla may decide not to testify, it would be her word against his, the CPS may decide not to proceed.

But this is soap, and in soaps the baddies rarely get away with it for long. At the very least Frank will lose his new factory. I hope it goes all the way and that he loses his freedom, too. That would send a very positive message to people like Carla who are raped - sometimes frequently - by people they know, trust, and maybe even love.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree, this storyline has had me gripped. In real life I very much doubt Carla would get a conviction as Frank is an amazing liar, but for the purposes of the storyline I think it's imperative Frank gets convicted, hope they throw away the key!

Great work by both Andrew and Alison.

Humpty Dumpty said...

I agree the rape story line has been a strong point of Corrie. But I feel it went to the wrong characters and, yes, I know, it would entirely change the plot of the sinister man duping everyone into thinking he's a good guy, much like Richard Hillman did. But if you're looking for creepiness, sorry, I don't get it from this Frank. Tony Gordon was the King of Creep, as far as I'm concerned. Andrew Lancel is far too wooden for me, and I've never really got in to Carla's character, although I know she is very popular. She's been excellent in scenes with Mrs Foster but I think that's down to Gwen Taylor.

A better couple to do this storyline would be Kevin and Sally. Rape within a failing marriage, the nice guy turned evil or was he provoked. His daughters caught between them - I think there would have been more mileage there.

Not so sure about soap karma anymore. Tracy is still walking round scot-free and she killed someone ...

Anonymous said...

Baddies rarely get away with it too long? What about Tracy? Totally got away with bashing her boyfriends head in claiming he was abusing her. Dumb. Frank will get away with it. No evidence.

Anonymous said...

Tracey DID get some kind of prison sentence. I agree with the first poster. When dealing with such a sensitive issue as rape and giving the amount of research that has obviously been done for this storyline Frank HAS to be sent down for his crimes, otherwise it's sending the wrong message out to alot of victims. (The rape crisis center increased its intake of calls by 800% after this story was aired, less women will have to confidence to come forward if they see Frank walk free.)

Rachel said...

Good post. I think that either Frank's mum will realise he is guilty and will persuade him to change his plea, or that he'll get off but his comeuppance will come via Peter.

Tvor said...

They could never do this with Kevin and Sally unless Michael LeVell was leaving the show because it would ruin the long standing character but in real life, that sort of situation with a man with as much anger and vindictiveness in him as Kevin? Could possibly happen.

Anonymous said...

I agree I think the it's been done well. I can't see Frank being convicted on the evidence they have though, I wonder if he will do something similar to another woman or as Rachel says possibly his mother will convince him to change his mind.

Cobblestone said...

I don't find Gwen Taylor's characterisation of Ann Foster creepy - I find her terrifying! If circumstances were different, what we'd have in her is a classic Corrie strong woman / battleaxe.

ChiaGwen said...

Wasn't there an article somewhere that said Frank would attempt to/or rape Sally....?....so I'm assuming if this is true then Frank's mother will have to realize Carla was telling the truth and hopefully Frank will be sent down.

Humpty Dumpty said...

I've had another thought. Frank's father didn't seem to believe his story about being the driver. Who knows, maybe assaults have happened before? Could Dad decide to challenge Frank in front of his mother?

Anonymous said...

Gutted corrie not only promotes rape. As a victim myself, Corrie basically told me I deserved it and don't deserve to be loved ever again. Corrie will never be on in my house again. Frank being punished in another way simply is not good enough! He should have gone down. I hate corrie and it's sick in the head writers!

You might also like...