Sunday, 27 January 2013

Is Corrie really in the doldrums?

Well, it has been quite a week for our favourite continuing drama. Richly deserved awards for Alan Halsall and the programme itself. A real shame that Natalie Gumede was not awarded an NTA too, especially given her chilling performances in the past few episodes.

It feels like a week of bouquets and brickbats though. Judging from a few comments lodged here, as a community (do we qualify as a community? Can we have our own flag and maybe an anthem?) we are experiencing a few less than quality moments.

Personally, I wondered if this was more to do with the changing of the guard, producer-wise. The current batch of episodes would have been filmed at a time when Phil Collinson was working his notice. It could be that he did not want to saddle his successor with a bunch of storylines that may not come to fruition until later in the year. Instead we get a few 'holding' stories - the Faktry farce involving Rob and Carla, tedious old Fay(e) (please don't get rid of Joe Duttine as Fay(e)'s real dad too quickly - he's a great actor and would be a welcome regular), Gail's loony plotline and the ruination of Sunita. These things will pass.

This has possibly been one of those periods where the acting has lifted one or two mundane plots. We have Nigel Havers (the Street's best ever pantomime baddie), Natalie Gumede, Alan Halsall and Jennie McAlpine (a storyline for Fiz - a nation celebrates) to thank for that.

In a couple of months we will see how things are settling down under Stuart Blackburn. Will he be able to revive the likes of Deirdre, Eileen and Julie who have all gone a wee bit sour of late? How will he handle the departure of Hayley and possibly a couple of others? Can he reverse the fortunes of the Young Fogies (Tina and Tommy - 21 but going on 50)?

Corrie often has peaks and troughs. It happens. We carry on regardless. Try to remember that no matter how grim things seem to be, they will never be as bad as the 1997 Brian Park episodes. Think Cult of Nirab. But try not to weep . . .


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13 comments:

Graeme N said...


Well said! I have been very fed up with it of late, but all you have to do is look back the way to see the frequent dips Corrie has had in the past. Any long running drama than churns out the episodes like Coronation Street does cannot maintain the same standard constantly.

I have hopes that the new producer will address some of the show's current issues.

Anonymous said...

Has everyone forgotten how boring Corrie was until Collinson took over? The past couple of years, no matter what faults they may have had, have been leagues ahead of what his immediate predecessors produced. Plot is emphasised over character now, and that is a failing, but at least the series isn't boring, which it was for a long time in the late 00s.

Humpty Dumpty said...

One problem the show has is that its audience is quite sophisticated. We understand 'google' and can check for legal inaccuracies, and we can surf the internet to get information from Corriepedia and others. The old-timers amongst us are watching eagle-eyed for any discrepancies. Tptb can't get away with any old rubbish. Am I in danger of becoming a 'Corrie anorak'? Well, if it means I know more than some of the crew, I'm proud to embrace the term. The show is drifting at the moment with a few highs and rather more lows. On this blogsite, I'm always impressed by the insightful comments that are posted. The new producer should be invited to go through a selection and comment. I sometimes feel the writers think the viewers are in a time warp of the 70's when tv dialogue, camera shots, acting ability etc weren't discussed by fans.

bbhilda said...

I have stayed with it through the highs and lows since December 1960, and find I am prepared to ride out a lot of the mundane, I can grit my teeth and get through the plain awful, (like the Nirab fiasco and any scene containing Reg Holdsworth), but the one thing that I cannot stand, and has me leaping onto my high horse, is when they do not do their homework and rewrite history to suit the storyline, or more often to give their favourite actor more airtime.

It is insulting to the long time viewers, and we deserve to be treated with more respect. Getting old doesn't necessarily mean we have Alzheimer's, and if and when we contract that, we will forget to watch altogether. Until then, respect us - and the long and rich history of Coronation Street.

If they want to make amends for the biggest gaff of Collinson's tenure, they can take down that photo of Betty that irritates me every time I look at it, and put it back up with the inscription 'Betty Williams - Barmaid - 1969 - 2011'

Anonymous said...

How will he handle the departure of Hayley and possibly a couple of others?
Why not just recast the part?
Corrie has had many characters that have gone through multiple actors/actresses and the world hasn't come to an end.
How many Tracy's, Nick's Ryan's Amy's etc. have we had and the Street goes on why can't they do the same with Hayley it would make more sense than a "sensational" death or whatever to explain her absence.
There has always been mutterings when the PTB change heads on a character but they are accepted or not as the case might and the Street continues as before.
They should at least consider it as the lesser of two evils.

Tvor said...

There are some characters you just couldn't recast and Hayley is one of them. Someone like Nick or Tracy, who were recast a couple of times as they grew up or were played by somewhat forgettable actors as late teens are easy to recast. They could even recast Rosie Webster successfully I think. but someone of a mature age who's as popular and, dare I say it, iconic as Hayley could not be recast.

Anonymous said...

Well said bbhilda! All soaps seem to be in the doldrums because some viewers think that good dialogue and acting are boring and there should be a crime or explosion every two seconds. The days when Coronation Street appealed to all sections of society are gone and will never return I fear.

Janice said...

Well said. All soaps are in doldrums because audiences are more sophisticated than ever. In the US many soaps older than Corrie have folded. The days of amnesia, evil twins and returned from the dead characters are gone. If Corrie ventures into that kind of territory too often it risks the same fate.

Anonymous said...

Agreed that Hayley is one character who could not be recast; she is loved because of the actress who portrays her.

Beth said...

I have to laugh that anybody who praises Collinson is always left by "anonymous" :)

Rowan Mayfaire said...

I know I'm going to be shish kabobed, but the Cult of Nirab was my favourite time of Corrie, LOVED that story line. LOVED Ashley and Zoe together and bawled my eyes out when she left.

Janice said...

That Anon who always praises Collinson is his mother.

bbhilda said...

I too was upset when Zoe left, Rowan, but mostly because Joanne Froggatt is a fabulous actress, but even she couldn't do a lot with that silly storyline. As it has turned out, leaving Corrie is probably the best thing she ever did, but it served to get her talents noticed, and she hasn't looked back since.

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