Gritty sagas by Corrie blog editor Glenda Young, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Why I love Corrie's Craig Tinker

Another fab guest post from Anna Kalinski, who will soon be joining us as a Coronation Street Blogger.  Follow Anna on twitter @annakalinski

For months, I've been slightly bemused by the point of Craig Tinker in Corrie. Clearly introduced as a comedy character, ever since his first appearance around 18 months ago, he seemed to be cast as the teen equivalent of Eddie the Staring Dog in Frasier.

Just as imposing as Eddie and just as ginger and white, except in Frasier it was funny; perhaps because there was the old endearment factor of a dog, rather than of a teenager who in each scene, sat around like a vast slug shovelling Jammie Dodgers and Cheesy Wotsits into his mouth, whilst fixating murderously on Steve McDonald.

I liked neither him nor Beth Tinker when they arrived in Corrie. Beth seemed to be some sort of brash Cilla sub (indeed my mum still calls her Cilla to this day, so there’s at least one person who hasn’t noticed) and for my liking, their scenes were a little too forced. Their comedy moments at first were the equivalent of somebody preceding an anecdote with the words: "Oh, this totally HILARIOUS thing happened to us....". Being told you're supposed to find it funny makes it not funny.

Of course, classic Corrie humour has always been about subtlety and crucially, realism. My comedy stars recently have been Gail and Son and their whole "Daviiid/Mum!!"exchanges as they grate on each other in their co-dependent way. A recent gem was when David walked in on Gail kneeling down to Lewis on the sofa, just at the moment as she leaned over to place a pillow under his back. Right on time, David enters the room assuming the worst mind-bleach moment of any son ever, Max sliding off his back as he recoils: “Mum!! What are you doing?” “Oh David, what?”, says The Mack in all naivety. Alas, too much comedy in Corrie of late has been about as funny as a burning orphanage.

However, when Craig was finally given lines, right before Christmas, ka-boom!, he suddenly transmogrified into a fantastic little addition who injected the sort of humour we love and expect on Corrie - character driven, not "hilarious" ladder/banana skin/underpants set-up incidents which we seem to get of late, interspersed with scenes of rape and abortion.

Colson Smith does a sterling job of playing Craig with just the right mix of cheeky rogueishness and optimism and cockle-warming loyalty to his mam. There is something quite sweet about how he accepts his turbulent world and kind of plods along. He is rendered with all the astuteness of a child passed from pillar to post and, he even made Kirk seem to have a point for a while, which is no mean feat. He's nobody's fool, a wheeler-dealer, who ain't getting up no extendable ladders for less than a fiver. And not before he's fed his rat first.

He is presented now as a nice enough kid, happy to help with a bright "okay then!" as opposed to the grunting obtuse Damien-esque terror he had appeared as initially. Craig Tinker has suffered from the classic lack of direction that characters often have when introduced to the street, before suddenly bursting out of their shell with a totally new personality. Or in Ryan Connor's case, no personality.

Next week: Roy Cropper, tower of attraction to women. Deirdre will be straight in once Hayley goes.

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to more scenes with Craig, and I'd like to see him interacting more - could you imagine him with Roy? Now we know Hayley is leaving, perhaps with his wisdom beyond his years, Craig would be a nice foil for Roy, and somebody for him to take under his wing. Let's get him a job in the caffy, shall we? Well, them rats don’t feed themselves.

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10 comments:

ChiaGwen said...

Great write-up! Craig is a little gem and yes interaction with Roy, perhaps teaching him about trains, would be wonderful...may ease the dismay of Hayley being gone...ours and Roy.

Mary Prankster said...

Wonderful writing, Ms. Kalinski!

For me, Craig's new light 1st appeared when he started to help Kirk. I realized he was not just a sullen blobby but was smart enough to see that his Mum seems happy with Kirk (however unlikely that may be), so he decided to assist the lovable simpleton. It all culminated in his selling his electronic lifeline, to order the flashy status symbol his mother desired, and letting Kirk take the credit. Sweet, in a Gift of the Magi sort of way! If the writers get it right, he and Kirk have a Laurel and Hardy-esque potential.

Janice said...

He could lose the rat. Don't find the rat loose in the Rovers thing at all funny.

Anonymous said...

Great post! I agree that Craig has really shone as a character in recent months after a rather sliw start. Can't wait until you join the blog!

Kat said...

Another fantastic read Anna! I agree with you, he is a wonderfully comic fellow and I feel that he will continue to develop into a well-rounded character. The rat comment was a bit of corrie comedy gold and I can't wait to see more of this from this great, young actor.

Keep up the good work Craig and a partnership with Roy Cropper sounds like the stuff of dreams!

Anonymous said...

Craig has some great potential for sure! What's really good about this character is that he's been unfolded before us slowly, like other new characters should be. Definitely loved the way he helped Kirk out. This family has a fun dysfunction that suits each other and will make them one of the best family units going, so long as they get a bit more screen time.

Anonymous said...

I suspect the lad's grunting Damien act when we first met him was for the benefit of protecting his mum in a new street with an old flame. The child may have been dragged from pillar to post through his childhood, given the sense of adventure his mother seems to have. Seems logical he'd be sullen, stand-offish and even trying to scare folk like Tracy when he first came round. Now that his life has stablized and he's surrounded by decent folk, his sense of safety and stability would naturally bring out his real personality.

Anonymous said...

I think we caught a first glimpse of Craig's potential when he and Deirdre shared their "pottery moments". Then the writers seemed to put him on hold for a while. I'm glad they've figured out what to do with the character. I like him!!

~JB in Canada

Tvor said...

Most of the kids on the street are spare parts and don't have the chops to contribute to a story until they get a bit older like Craig or Faye. THey're also restricted to filming more often at school holidays so that's another reason we don't get to see a lot of the children as often as you'd think normal.

Anonymous said...

He needs to lose weight maybe he needs a diet storyline line to keep him on coronation street or they should get rid of him

GRITTY SAGAS BY CORRIE BLOG EDITOR GLENDA YOUNG, PUBLISHED BY HEADLINE. CLICK PIC BELOW!

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GRITTY SAGAS BY CORRIE BLOG EDITOR GLENDA YOUNG, PUBLISHED BY HEADLINE. CLICK PIC BELOW!