Sunday, 27 January 2013

Yay or Nay - is Carla Connor a Coronation Street icon?

What do you think of Coronation Street's Carla Connor?  Is she your Queen of Corrie or She-Devil of the Underworld?

In short, our Sunday question today is whether you think she's earned her place up there with the legends and icons.  Is Carla Connor a Coronation Street icon?  If not, why not?

Differences of opinion are always welcome, of course, that's what blogging's about. But keep it nice or you'll find your clothes chucked out ont'cobbles from the top room of the pub and you'll be barred from the pub. So think on.


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42 comments:

Nat said...

Yes! She's a strong woman who's dealt with so much tragedy that she's turned to the bottle. Yet she still remains to be a great character. There is never a dull moment with her. She's definitely my favourite character from Coronation Street. I think a lot of people can relate to her, she's a believable character.

I have to mention that Alison King's acting is probably the best I've seen on Coronation Street. I'm not taking away from other characters, there are some really great actors and actresses on there. But I do think that Alison is in a league of her own and that win at the soap awards was VERY well deserved. She's a very talented woman.

Now if only Coronation Street would take notice of us Carchelle fans and get Carla and Michelle together... Hmm... :P

Graeme N said...


I think she's a great character and the actress plays her well but she needs better storylines and better integration into the Street before she can be an iconic character. This current storyline is dragging her down

CarterBaby said...

Yes! she's amazing strong and mature and head strong, a great character who should never leave!

Emma said...

YAY! She is amazing, she's been through so much heartache, that of course she's gonna have a bit of a hard side, but when her soft side comes out she is just brilliant. Alison King is one of the best actresses out there <3

Humpty Dumpty said...

Well, I beg to differ but only a bit. This heartache people refer to is really all about Carla and her lost loves, very self-centred and when she gets knocked back, she's on her feet again within episodes. Now I know that is *precisely* why some people love her - because she doesn't stay down for long but that brevity makes her quite uninteresting.

Icon and legend status can only really be conferred retrospectively. Hard to say whether she'll live on in our memories in ten years time. When you compare her with other icons eg: Elsie, Ena, Bet who also had hard lives, one thing is immediately different. They all cared for people who were dependent on them one way or another - children, vulnerable colleagues. Carla cares only for her own happiness so she's not fully rounded enough to be a truly great character. We've been told she's had a hard life but I'd like to see some hardship now and, please, not affair-related! One storyline that would show how she can look defeat in the face and win would be losing the factory. Not just for a couple of episodes until she gets a miraculous buyer who lands a completely ridiculous order but really loses the factory. The next few months see her cleaning other people's factories, scrubbing floors, losing all her glam just so she can prove to people she's not a loser. Then, she wins back the factory and becomes a local hero. Let's see some true grit from her.

vicky said...

Yay! I do think she's an icon, perhaps not on the level of Elsie Tanner and others, but I think when she leaves people will say "I miss Carla, she was great" in the same way that people now say that about Becky. I suppose there are different levels of iconic - few people will ever reach the level of Elsie Tanner but if you leave a lasting impression you've probably reached the lower levels of being an icon.

That isn't to say I enjoy her current storylines, because they have gone on far too long and all four main characters involved are coming across as unsympathetic right now, but even when I'm getting frustrated about how long it's being dragged out, I still enjoy watching her scenes.

Anonymous said...

Nay from me, I'm afraid. I've tried so much to learn to love Carla but I just can't. Alison King is a very good actress but there's a coldness to Carla that put up an instant barrier. The greatest characters always have heart, humour and vulnerability (Hilda, Elsie, Bet etc.) and I find that really lacking with Carla.

vicky said...

Oh and in response to Nat:

"Now if only Coronation Street would take notice of us Carchelle fans and get Carla and Michelle together... Hmm... :P"

My friend and I have been joking (well, semi-joking) for years now about how Carla would be good with Michelle or Maria. Obviously it's not going to happen, but I think the impression comes out of the fact that the characters have more chemistry with each other than they necessarily do with the parade of blokes that come in to woo them. This is why I enjoy the factory storylines, because the relationship between Carla and Michelle is so much more interesting than that between Carla and whichever boyfriend she has at any given time.

Mrs Barton said...

I say YAY as well. In terms of comparing her to Bet Lynch and Elsie Tanner I think she stands up.
Bear in mind Carla has been in it for 6/7 years? And those other ladies had around 30 years to build up their iconic status.
She is very hard and tough (Like Bet) has been a scarlet woman scandalising the street (like Elsie) but she does have a vulnerable side like those women which shows through only very occasionally.
We saw it with the Liam story when she told Leanne she couldn't leave with him because Maria was pregnant, she showed care and compassion and looked after her staff such as when Sally had cancer or when Fiz was wrongly accused.
The character really took on iconic status when the Frank Foster storyline reached it's climax. Although I hated seeing this strong woman brought to her knees like that by a man, it really showed the levels of strength and vulnerability that Carla has.
Yes, she is not perfect. Strong, iconic Corrie women never are. She can be hard faced when it comes to people who annoy her, and she puts her business first most of the time. When it matters though, she softens.
Her affairs, I believe, have had the whiff of plot-driven ratings grabbers which is a shame, the character deserves more than that. Yes she has gone for married men twice, but wasn't Bet shacked up with Mike Baldwin when he was married? and Elsie had a visit from a wronged wife too just off the top of my head.
So for all of those reasons, give her another 20 years and it will be her face on the merchandise, black hair swirling and hoop earrings flashing. She already has the iconic look.

Llifon said...

NAY! You can't class Carla in the same category as Ena, Elsie, Bet, Hilda, Annie, Rita, Betty, Deirdre, Alf, Mike, Ivy and the Duckworths!

I doubt if she'd leave, we'd remember her 10 years later. She'll only be referred to as the woman who ran the factory.

elvis86 said...

I don't think she is, mainly because I never find myself rooting for her?

Her ruthlessness and her unbelievable resilience don't particularly appeal to me, though presumably this is what others love about her. And I could accept that, except for the fact that she's an absolute idiot too!

She never seems to learn from her bad experiences with men. She rushes into things and commits to men when she's not sure about them (Tony, Frank), puts herself in positions where others are able to exploit her, and allows herself to be manipulated by men (Peter).

Whilst this may have been true of other iconic characters, and indeed might have been the very thing that made them iconic, we weren't supposed to think that they were intelligent, independant ruthless businesswomen. She doesn't make sense to me as a character? Would someone so resilient hand over a third of her business to her brother so readily?

I agree that she had potential, she had the look and the attitude etc. But her storylines have let her down IMO.

Beth said...

Nay she's nowhere ready to lick the boots of Bet, Hilda, Elsie, Vera and the like. And unless the writers pull her off the Peter/ Leanne/ Carla/ Nick merry-go-round and give her something other than sink to the lows of alcoholism or another affair then she'll still be really irritating to the extreme.
Trying to make her a ruthless female factory boss hasn't really worked either.
She's self centered and only thinks of herself. Look how she sent Maria off to Foster's house and didn't back her up after. She's spat on Michelle a few times too.
If she doesn't care about others how are we supposed to care about her?
Aside, I'd love a dose of whatever she had in LA to combat her panic attacks and depression that was totally cleared within a week of her leaving Peter at the airport and returning like a brand new woman on Christmas eve - she should sell that in the faktry other than frilly knickers, she'd be a millionaire over night! Magic Cure!

Anonymous said...

There are two aspects here: the character herself and how she is portrayed by the actress.

Firstly, the character is continually depicted as a selfish hedonistic 'business-woman'who attempts to obtain happiness for herself at the expense of others.

Secondly, the character is portrayed by an actress of very limited abilities: a jarring nasal voice and an aggressive facial expression do not add many layers with which the viwer can empathise.

Given these drawbacks, it is difficult to see Carla as an 'icon' (= something to be worshipped.)

Anonymous said...

Nay..she was gone for 6 months (couldn't have cared less) only to come back to the same old stuff..Peter/Leanne and the faktry. For a savy business-woman, she sure has had the wool pulled over her eyes on many occasions..the last one being an ex-con (brother) who just happens to be a computer whiz and an even savier business person than her!!

Anonymous said...

Not at all a legend in my opinion. A good character sure, and a very controversial one but she is far too hard and self centered. Look at how she stabbed Leanne in the back last year (and I'm not even a fan of Leanne's)they were very close at one stage. And after all of that its obvious Peter will either cheat on her or she'll decide to fall in love with another unavailable man.If she was 'in love' with Steve (!) I'm sure she wouldn't think twice about Michelle. However credit to the actress to get such strong reactions to her character!

Clare said...

I think it's hard to be referred to as a Corrie legend until a character has been in the soap for a long time, longer than Carla. I do however think she will be in time to come. She's my favourite current character anyhow.

Jake Lewis said...

A Coronation Street icon? Without a doubt, yes.

I think the writers are letting her down with a few storylines though. Like the dreadful love square. It started off brilliant but they've wrecked it and turned it into something that's not believable at all.
The Christmas storyline with Peter, Leanne and Nick fell flat because we've seen it all before and it's even more unbelievable this time than it was the first time around, the second time, the third time and so on!

Carla as a character is being messed up because she's being thrown into the middle of it and the writing is all over the place. It must be frustrating for the actors.

The whole thing feels forced and in some odd way it's like they're using Carla and Peter to make Leanne and Nick more interesting. When Alison King and Chris Gascoyne were on a break, Leanne and Nick were hardly seen. The moment Alison and Chris return, Leanne and Nick have a big wedding storyline that ends up being all about Peter. I hope Stuart Blackburn moves them all forward because while this ridiculous love square continues, they're all back at square one, not just Carla.

Stephen said...

I think that Ms King has not yet earnt the title of Coronation Street icon (though that is an overused word). Give her another five years or so, and let her be a slightly more sympathetic character, like Pat Phoenix's Elsie Tanner, for instance, and she'll be on her way.

Nat said...

I don't think she's selfish at all. When Tony held Carla and Hayley hostage, Carla offered her own life so that Hayley could walk free. That was a very brave and admirable moment for her. I do wish we could see more of her kinder side though. Maybe we will do in the future. I hope so anyway. But then again, I think it's part of Carla's personality that these moments are a rarity and reserved for certain people. It's part of what makes her so great.

Anonymous said...

Nay, nay, thrice nay. Never in a million years. Not an iota close to being an icon in my opinion.
AmandaB

Anonymous said...

Nay, enjoyed the show when she was off and glad when she's gone for good. Icon, get real, that whining voice, and the fake black hair. Good ridence.

Mrs Barton said...

I am wondering if there are some double standards going on with Carla. She is hard, sometimes selfish, out for her own happiness yes.... and a woman.
Would any of the nay sayers refuse Mike Baldwin the status of icon? Yet his character flaws are the same as Carla's......

Anonymous said...

It's a YAY from me. She's fabulous!

I would lose interest in Corrie if Carla left.

Tvor said...

I wouldn't say she's iconic yet but if she stays and goes the distance I do think she's got the potential.

Anonymous said...

I think she always has such wonderful potential but is somehow left just outside the edge of the Street and that's why she's not quite iconic yet. Definitely needs some opportunities to integrate better with life on the Street and develop some stronger dimensions. Everything of depth they've done with her has been so fleeting.

Anonymous said...

Are you serious?! She's good ok but as for being iconic? Elsie Tanner, Bet Lynch, Ena Sharples, Annie Walker, Rita Tanner, Deidre Barlow, Gail McIntyre and Hilda Ogden. Carla Conner is a shadow of these ladies!- Micky

Defrost Indoors said...

I enjoy the Carla character but I think putting her with Peter has ruined her. With Liam, Paul, Tony etc. she was their equal and gave as good as she got; suddenly with Peter she turns into a snivelling, whining drunk. Untangle the whole messy business of Carla, Peter, Nick and Leanne and let everyone get on with their own lives without coming back and attacking each other over and over. Show Carla really hitting the skids, showing a flash of heart, and not being quite so cold and high and mighty.

Janice said...

Missing one key ingredient: likability.

Anonymous said...

Nayyy. Or neigh even!

Cannot stand her - no redeeming qualities at all. Notice she has no real girlfriends? Not even Michelle is a friend in the true sense.

And of course her voice is like fingernails on a blackboard. Ugh!

~JB in Canada

Anonymous said...

Nay. With Carla there is always the feeling that she has the potential to be an iconic character, but she's not and never will be unless she gets better stories than affairs with married men and factory nonsense. As others have said, she is not likeable. She has all the warmth of liquid nitrogen

Anonymous said...

Yay but in a few years time. She's only been in the show 6/7 years, but having said that she has had some pretty incredible storylines so far.

I don't think you can really compare many new characters to those of the past. It's a different era...and in many ways, a different show. Trying to compare Carla to Elsie for example is like the "let's compare Kate Middleton to Diana" nonsense. Leanne, Carla, Michelle, Maria, Kylie, Becky for example are their own characters and were introduced in an era entirely different to the 60s,70s,80s and even the early 90s in some ways.

Now here's what gets me about some of the responses on this blog: criticizing an actor's voice? Really? You do realize that she is acting right? Watch some of her old stuff like her stint in Coupling, or one of her many episodes of "Dream Team". It's obvious she's pushing the nasal factor, it's called creating a character. And even if it was her actual voice, is that a reason to dislike a character? Talk about being superficial.

And honestly, the whole sleeping with married men nonsense? How many unavailable men has she been with/pursued? Two. How many had Maria been with? Three. How about Leanne? Two (not including when she was an escort).

I personally love Carla's character. She has become a woman who's vulnerability shines through her "front" of being a "queen bitch".

But really, she needs more time on the street to be considered a legend, as does any character with less than 15 years on the show in my humble opinion

And that's my two cents. :)

Anonymous said...

I feel the need to STRONGLY disagree with the comments about Alisons acting. She is incredible, one of the best soaps have got. Corrie aren't using her brilliantly right now, but yes, she is 100% an icon.

Anonymous said...

I guess it depends how you define an icon. In my opinion she's one of the few current characters that I genuinely feel will be missed and remembered fondly for several years after Ali leaves, if not by everyone then certainly by her large and dedicated fan base. I agree with other people comparing her to Becky, and I think they're on the same kind of level of 'icon'.

Carla represents something that is rare in tv, especially in soaps: independent, childless, strong willed and feisty, yet also undoubtedly flawed and vulnerable.I think a lot of people can relate to her on some level or not, and regardless of whether you like her as a person, she's one of those characters that I think everyone has an opinion on. And in a soap, isn't that the most important thing?

The fact that she's played by, in my opinion, one of the most talented actresses in soap (or in tv in general, really) certainly doesn't hurt either.

Hannah said...

In my opinion, yes! Carla is one of the only characters that I find that I have any interest in what so ever. She is strong, feisty and takes no rubbish from anybody, but all the while she still has a heart, I can't understand why people still say she doesn't. I think she is a woman who doesn't trust many people at all but you can still tell that the character cares deeply about the likes of Michelle, and the way she was with Liam too.

I think there is still so much they can do with this character and I am facinated by her past and hope we learn more about that soon. She is played by possibly one of the best soap actresses I've ever watched, Alison King doesn't even have to speak in a scene and she still steals it.

But in my opinion, yes she will be a Corrie icon.

Anonymous said...

JB in Canada - And of course her voice is like fingernails on a blackboard. Ugh!

COULDN'T AGREE MORE!

Can't stand the character. She should go back to EL EH!

mp in Canada

Anonymous said...

I think she is. She is amazing and Alison King is the best actress i have ever came across in a soap, she is in a different league to the rest. I love her. I will certainly miss her if she was to leave and would lose interest in it to be honest

Anonymous said...

ABSOLUTELY YES! I missed her presence when she left for LA. That is when I realized I like Carla. I vote her in as a Corrie icon. Alison King ... you are beautiful and a good actor.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Humpty Dumpty. Carla cares only for herself and the icons have endured some pain due to their vulnerability in caring for others. Good point you made!
At this point I do not feel bad when bad things happen to her - or root for her to succeed - because she is so selfish.

Anonymous said...

Can't stand the thing and can't wait for her to be gone, along with Michelle. Poor actors and poor characters.

Anonymous said...

YAY CARLA SHOULD BE THE ICON SHES OUT BIDDEN ANNA HAYLEY SALLY STELLA LEANNE THE ONLY ONE PERSON SHE LOVED WAS PETER BARLOW FROM THE BEGINNING SHE HATED TONY AND EVIL RAPIST FRANK FOSTER BUT IVE HEARD THAT ANDREW LANCEL ESSCAPED PRISON IN REAL LIFE, CARLA IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE IVE MET CHRIS GASCOYNE IN REAL LIFE HE IS SUCH A LOVELY GUY HE HEARD ME SHOUT ILL TELL KEN OF YOU HE TOLD ME AT THE BACK STAGE DOOR SO ITS A BIG YAY FOR CARLA

John Pitt said...

We'll she's an icon of mine!

Hannah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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