Thursday, 28 February 2013

Coronation Street: The Price is definitely not right

Sorry everyone, I'm back to that old chestnut - my loathing of Stella Price, Landlady of The Rovers Return. Better known to us on the blog as St Ella of the Back Room. I know she (the character) has received a fair dose of criticism during her short spell on the cobbles, but really, I think it is time for her to go. 

Being honest, I have never liked the character of Stella. She has never fitted in, despite repeated attempts by the powers that be to force her down the viewers' collective throat at every cut and turn. Thankfully these days we see a little less of her interference in the lives of characters she has absolutely nothing to do with, but without a doubt she is the weak link in the chain at the Rovers. Let me tell you why I think this.

First of all, and maybe most importantly, she does not make a convincing Rovers Landlady. No, I don't just mean the accent, or the lack of one. She just does not have that brassy, commanding presence of a Bet Lynch, or the grande dame authority of an Annie Walker. Tough acts to follow I know, but that's the kind of character Corrie should be aiming for. The Rovers boss is a pivotal role in the programme and what we have now is just beige, beige, beige. Also, we love our strong women to have a vulnerable, emotional side. Even when her world is collapsing around her, I don't feel sympathy for Stella. The tears just never seem to come from her, and therefore not from me either.

A Rovers Return Landlady should have the power to match Bet and Annie in their prime. I'm thinking of Bet's relationship with Alec Gilroy, her caring friendship with Raquel and her bitchiness with Tanya Pooley. And could Stella pull off any of Annie Walker's stories? The class of Annie's relationship with Jack, with Nellie Harvey? Her battles with Hilda Ogden or delusions of grandeur - who can forget the Bingo Hall carpet in her living room? No, I'm not saying I want a carbon copy of past greats, just a worthy successor.

I also don't enjoy Stella's relationship with her family. The love triangle with Sunita and Karl was just dreadful from the start. Never believable, Stella and Karl's existence on the cobbles led to a complete about turn for Sunita, previously a delightful, caring, warm character. It seems such characteristics are in short supply today. Reading the spoilers about what's to come between Karl and Stella doesn't give me much hope either. Instead of Karl kidnapping Stella and taking her for a couple of laps of the Red Rec (Don Brennan anyone?) why doesn't he head for the M6 and motor somewhere south of the Watford Gap?

The garish Gloria has also failed to liven up the Price family. I just don't believe in them as mother and daughter. It almost reeks of the powers that be drafting in an actress of Sue Johnston's considerable talent and experience to try and salvage something from the wreckage. I loved the arrival of Eric, but the scenes following his sad demise were bordering on distasteful. Stella showed no emotion at Eric's passing and all Gloria is concerned with is the contents of his will. How can we find sympathy for these characters? Yes, I know it's a fictitious soap opera. I know it's meant as entertainment. However, once upon a time Coronation Street had a strong moral compass - it ran through the streets of Weatherfield like Blackpool rock. In days gone by, Gloria would have learned her lesson after the Lewis scam, but no - on she goes like that never happened. 

I also really disliked the way Stella treated her daughter Eva the other night. I have softened in my feelings towards Eva recently as she has shown a more vulnerable, human side. Indeed, she is the only Price I'd save. I watched scene after scene where Stella just didn't listen to a word her daughter said - another awful example of St Ella always being right. I didn't blame Eva at all for considering the option of running away with Eric. I'd have done exactly the same! 

Putting Stella with Jason Grimshaw has also upped the "gag" factor in our house. I have nothing against age gap relationships - look at Ken and Deirdre; Roy and Hayley. Stella and Jason though is just ridiculous. As with most things these days, it all seemed to happen over night and since they got it together, we have seen precious little story development. It's just another example of St Ella being queen bee. I like the character of Jason but for me this really doesn't do him any favours.

Finally, let's discuss probably the greatest travesty of all. Stella revealing she was Leanne's real mother. I've said it before and I'll say it again - utter nonsense! I will always see Janice Battersby as Leanne's mum. Of course sadly these days Leanne never mentions poor old Janice, who has been dumped faster than a batch of Sean Tully's inferior hotpot. The arrival of St Ella and the subsequent revelation has done nothing for Leanne's character at all. One minute Leanne would have nothing to do with Stella, the next it was all hugs, smiles and calling her mum. Far too easy. If this was real life, Janice and Toyah would have been back within days to sort St Ella out once and for all! And if I was in charge, that's exactly what would have happened next.

So, I want to hear your thoughts on the Price family. Do you agree with me or are you shocked at my harsh streak? Love them or loathe them, by the looks of Stuart Blackburn's recent comments, they are here to stay for the foreseeable future. And I for one am not happy.

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37 comments:

Ginger Beer said...

I think you're too harsh on the Prices by far. There are far more makeweight characters around at the moment to focus your ire on - Anna Windass and the awful Owen, for instance. I can't bring myself to care about any of their storylines, not the surrogacy, not the Faye/Tim situation, nothing. They both seem annoying idiots, quite frankly. What was Anna thinking, trying to prevent Faye from seeing her real dad? Why does Owen think he has any say at all in the situation? And the sooner they get rid of Gary and Izzy the better - the storyline will hot up a bit when the baby's due but once it's born, it'll just be another Corrie kid that the writers have to try really hard to remember to include every now and then (like Hope, Joseph, Aasha and Aadi etc)

At least the Prices are believable. Eva particularly is bloody marvellous - classic Corrie woman: unlucky in love, feisty, brassy, the author of her own personal tragedies half the time.

Nah, leave the Prices alone, focus on the real dullards: Anna, Owen, Faye, Gary, Izzy

Graeme N said...


I agree with you about Owen, and to a certain extent Faye - but I loved Anna before and think she could get back on track. And I could never think of getting rid of either Izzy or especially Gary. Both are brilliant, despite their current storyline.

rita duck said...

i totely agree the whole price family should go ,i love sue but hate hear in corrie do you think the people at corrie take on /listern to our comments

Graeme N said...


I doubt they do, but if they did I reckon I would be very unpopular!

Humpty Dumpty said...

Graeme, agree 99.9% because Jason strangely makes it work in their scenes. The main issue is that MC can't act and nobody's bothering to direct her. Folding your arms and rolling your eyes is very panto, and looks really silly on tv. I'm so disappointed in Gloria; I loved her when she burst onto our screens with her Blanche-like put-downs. Now, she's an aging Tracy. The odd thing about it is that SJ is an amazing actor. Why's it all gone so horribly wrong? I agree, Eva is becoming very believable. Catherine Tyldesley has got a beautifully expressive face and her eyes can show hurt so well.

I've posted about the moral compass before. There is no counterpoint on Corrie. Nobody who acts as a balance to the 'anything goes' acceptance of adultery, drugs, burglary etc. Nobody would feel chastened by a gentle reprimand from Emily or Hayley.

Very last point in this latest rant. The brilliance of Blanche and Betty with their one-liners wasn't that they were vile to people who got in their way. They spoke up when needed and voiced what probably most viewers were thinking. Who didn't cheer when Blanche gave Tracy a much-needed slap round the face?

I'd be happy to see Stella and Gloria go. Eva's good but she would need reasons to stay.

Anonymous said...

I thought her treatment of Eva after she quit her job at the faktry was vile. First she says she's fully staffed and can't afford to have her on the books and the next, offers to pay for her to travel..'maybe I can help you out with that'. Absurd writing ..again.
I also think that if the producers had just not shoved Stella et al into the viewers faces constantly throughout the first few months she was there, I might feel differently about this character but if the whole clan suddenly disappeared overnight, I don't think anyone would notice or care.

Anonymous said...

Oh..and can the writers come up with a few different lines for Faye other than 'He's me dad' over and over again? The line is delivered and she either slams her books or laptop shut and storms up to her room.

Anonymous said...

maybe everybody should stop jumping on the band wagon they said the battersby should not be there and look 16 years on leanne still there people should back of i like them maybe you should look at mandy or sean

Graeme N said...


Michelle - I don't think we can really compare the Battersby family with the Price's. The Battersby crowd were deliberately introduced to shake things up and upset the apple cart - Stella et al have not. At least Les and Janice were interesting and entertaining to watch.

Loon the Baloon said...

Seems like Faye has taken over from Tina in shrieking ME DAD in every sentence. Like Eva, can tolerate Stella in small doses, cannot abide Gloria.

dopytracy said...

that my point it took a few number of years before people like the battersby now it the same with the prices everybody is use to loud funny make up land lady the price only been in show less then 2 years people judges character since they start the show they dont give time to devolpe

Jake Powers said...

I would jump for joy if Leanne and Stella left. I can't stand Leanne. She's a nasty, miserable, self-righteous, hypocritical, sour-faced cow.

I quite like Eva.

Gloria was funny in the beginning but I'm starting to get fed up of her.

abbyk said...

Gloria is a stupid, shallow character. She's like a toddler with wrinkles, all Me Me Me, oblivious to the people around her. She's incapable of understanding when she's wrong, so she can't grow. With no time invested in this character, there's no point in redeeming her. The sooner she leaves, the better.

Eva has redeemed herself a bit, and Karl has potential. Stella is as bland as her wardrobe. If Eva or Karl stayed, fine. If they all up and left, fine. Let Lloyd buy the Rovers already and move on. Fewer characters means better development for all.

FJH said...

I totally disagree with you--everyone will always have favorites on a soap opera, but when they're gone, it's time to move on and not match up every new person with them. Yeah, Stella's not like other brassy landladies, but I still think she commands the Rovers in her own way. I agree that the Leanne plot line is outlandish, and it can sometimes distract, but Michelle Collins plays Stella as a subtly sexy and powerful female. She doesn't back down from her opinions, and although she forgives, she never forgets. I think she is perfect for a 2013 Corrie landlady; Annie Walker and Bet Lynch would totally scare away new generations of Corrie fans (me included). You may think the Sunita/Karl affair was a total turn-around for Sunita, but which characters don't get turned around on this show? It's part of life; making mistakes that aren't normally like you, otherwise our society wouldn't be rife with divorce due to extramarital affairs!

Stella also did show emotion when she slapped Sunita in the street and basically holed herself up in her pub for the week, trying not to let the glares of Norris and Co. reveal that she was wounded. Eva certainly helped her through it and still doesn't believe Karl is good for her (her glare when Stella offered a free pint on Wednesday), but Eva the Diva has still had her fair share of mischief. Yes, she's likeable now when she's miserable from the Manc rain, but hasn't she earned it? I know you don't think Leanne and Nick are well-suited, but it doesn't excuse Eva's attempts at sabotage. How about her fake reservation at the Bistro or her meddling in Kylie's business? She had her chance with Nick and completely lost it when she went off her head in a (mistaken) act of public vengeance. Her current act of feeling lonely is certainly not persuading me that she doesn't belong where she is.

Oh, Glo. Quite annoying, yet wildly entertaining for how much of an old c**t she can be. She touts herself as a matriarch who strives to keep her family together, yet she would leap-frog over her daughter and granddaughter if it meant opportunity for her. I think her true colors wee apparent when she aligned with Gail during the Lewis plot--I mean, if you find you have something in common with Gail Platt, then you really need to take a step back and examine your life.

At the end of the day, it's personal preference, and that's why Corrie is still so wildly successful after 50+ years. I think your reasons for your opinions are great, but we've all got our own, so it's quite nice to love and hate certain characters whom you know your Corrie companions across the globe feel differently about.

John McE said...

We do of course have a potential Annie Walker on our hands in the guise of Sylvia. It's a shame Roy is against drinking alcohol else, when Hailey leaves, he could have bought the pub, and given Sylvia full reign to lord it over her inferiors.

Janice said...

In my opinion the problem with Price women is that they are a poor combination. Fictional characters have to play off each other to be entertaining and plausible. The weakness of one should match the strengths of the others. That creates the idea of co-dependence which is what binds families together. Stella can survive without Gloria and Eva and vice versa. Hence it feels like a forced family. That is not fun to watch.

Graeme N said...


FJH - thanks for your opinions, I love all the comments whether they agree with me or not. I don't think we're ever likely to agree about Stella but I respect your opinion.

There are characters I love to hate (like Kirsty, Charlie Stubbs, Alan Bradley) but that's generally because they are well played, despite the fact I don't like them. I don't even think Stella is a particularly strong, well crafted character unfortunately.

Joseph said...

I don't loathe Stella as much as most people, and I do enjoy Gloria and Eva. It's just always seemed to me that Michelle Collins had nothing coming up, so someone in Corrie (Collinson?) gave her a job out of sympathy, which is why the character of Stella Price has been such a travesty.

Now personally I'm looking forward to the latest Stella/Karl arc but only because I can see John Michie play a bad guy awesomely. Part of me just wish they'd get together and leave to run another pub somewhere.

Graeme N said...


Janice - I think you are right there, they do feel very forced, which doesn't help matters at all.

Anonymous said...

I'm team Graeme on this one. Cannot bear Stella ,never liked her and my loathing of the character is increasing with time. I am old enough to remember Annie Walker and the very fine landladies who followed up until now.Stella is beige and underwhelming in every respect. I had high hopes for Gloria but has no redeeming features. Keep Eva, this character is developing nicely. The jury is out on Karl but as he is being propelled towards criminality I can only guess his days are mercifully numbered and for goodness sake writers, rescue Jason.

Anonymous said...

I really don't see what the problem with the Prices is. Yeah, Stella's not the best character ever, but she's passable. And I actually really like the all female set up in the Rovers. I know a family just like them: demanding granny, spoilt granddaughter, long suffering daughter stuck in the middle.

Chatty Kathy said...

I'm indifferent to Stella. She could leave or stay, I don't care. I don't hate her, but neither am I invested in any of her story lines.

As to Eva,just because she's been shedding tears of self-pity lately, that doesn't excuse all the treacherous tricks she's played on her sister and Nick. I'll need to see less meanness and vengeance in this character before I'm convinced she's changed. She doesn't seem impressed by her grandmother and sees through her, so I'll give her that.

The Dreaded Gloria. What can I say? Abbyk already nailed it. "A toddler with wrinkles!" LOL! I'd like to see her leave. I really don't find her entertaining in the least.

But the Price family doesn't bother me even close to the way that Tracy-luv Barlow does. Now THAT'S a character that needs to go. Now. Immediately. ASAP. I'd put up with 100 Glorias in exchange for getting rid of Toxic Tracy.

Anonymous said...

I am really beginning to like Eva - let's keep her. I am indifferent to Stella, dislike Karl and loathe Gloria. If the powers that be want to create new couples, how about Karl and Tracey? They deserve each other!

Although she is not quite there yet, I can see Sally as landlady of the Rovers.
Bev

Anonymous said...

I dislike the character to the point of wanting to throw my shoe at the tv during certain scenes of hers, but in many ways that's why I like her; she brings a strong reaction out in me.

I despise the way she treats Eva simply because Leanne is back in her life. Leanne is not a young girl who needs mummy fighting her battles for her; she survived far worse before Stella came into her life and she did it on her own, fighting back with every shove tooth and nail (ahhhh the old Leanne). Sure Eva was wrong in trying to break up Nick and Leanne, but Leanne was not innocent nor the victim in it at all; but as per usual, it was everyone's fault but her own.

This new, sour-faced, up on her high-horse Leanne (who has selective amnesia when it comes to her sordid past by the way), and her scowling, snippy mother have become a bullying tag-team and it's a real turn-off.

I am waiting for the day when Leanne's past as a prostitute and heroin addict are revealed to her mother. Why no one has chosen to do so yet is beyond me; the closest we came was when Peter threatened that his lawyer would bring up his ex wife's past during the custody battle.

Here's where the inconsistency really bugs me though: Stella treats Sunita with more respect than she treats Carla and that really irks me. Stella and Carla share a common past; a horrific trauma that brought the two women close together for a few great nanoseconds before being completely cast aside. Carla is the only one Stella ever told that she was raped, and it was Stella, not the counselor, not Maria and not Peter, who gave Carla the strength to fight back after Frank was released at his appeal. While I get Stella's anger in thinking Carla was lying about the attack, when she DID find out that Carla was in fact telling the truth, there was no acknowledgment to this, or to the horrible things she said to her. I'm not saying they had to be best of friends, but an apology from one victim to another would have been nice, and the fact that it wasn't even attempted disgusts me.

I'm hoping that when Karl gets aggressive with Stella in tomorrow's episode, that it is Carla who walks in as Karl runs off. Maybe the two ladies will share a moment then? Maybe call a truce?

One can dream right?

I hope that following the fire, they develop her character into less of the interfering mother, and more of the landlady I think she can be.

--Lily

ChiaGwen said...

Stella needs to close the Rover's back room psychiatrist's office and concentrate on developing close friendships with some of the established characters on the street, quit folding her arms and rolling her eyes and get a new hair style. Eva needs to aspire to more than sewing at the Faktry, running home crying at every insult and reign in those big baps. Gloria needs to just leave.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit to being critical of St Ella, but am reconsidering and with decent writing she could work. Her desire to be the best friend behind the bar could be an opportunity for comedy, particularly if she gave dodgy advice and others made tart comments that voiced what the viewers were thinking about her pushy personality. After all, step in the back has already become a joke accidentally.

The Rovers is not working though. Neither Tina nor Sean bring anything to it. Eva would be good there, winding up her mother in a witty way.

Anonymous said...

The best person to take over the Rovers is Sally. If anyone was the reincarnation of Annie Walker and all her snootie-ness it's her. Plus she actually has the money to do it.

Anonymous said...

Need to change back to the older time when it was funny

njblas said...

Graeme, I agree with all your comments about this lacklustre character. And another reason her relationship with Leanne grates - Les Battersby referred to Leanne's mum in the past as being named Babs. When Stella arrived there was no effort made to explain this name change and appease viewers with long memories and an appetite for trivia:) A similar situation exists with the character (and I use that term loosely) of Rob Donovan, who was always referred to as Darren before that dark day he turned up on screen. There are always elements of ret-conning in long-running shows, but it has been an epidemic at Corrie in recent times. Maybe TPTB think viewers are too dopey to notice, or they just don't care. An even more depressing scenario is that maybe they don't even look into characters' histories any more when planning storylines...

Graeme N said...


Anonymous - I agree, Sally would be terrific as Landlady!

Graeme N said...


oh Njblas - don't get me started on Rob/Darren Donovan!! Another beige waste of space!!

Barrie.T said...

Completely disagree. Leave Stella alone. Michelle Collins is doing a fine job. You can't compare 2 landladys. I love gloria, she is hilarious, and teaming her with stella makes stella more believable. Eva is great whoever she interacts with and destined to be a classic corrie character. As for Jason, well it's believable that an attractive middle aged lady like stella would have a toyboy. The only one thing that grates with me is how quick Leanne was to call Stella Mum while she always called janice "janice". I also don't believe Stella would have slept with Les Battersby in a million years.

Graeme N said...


Barrie - I respect your opinion on this but I don't think we will ever agree on either Stella or Gloria. You say leave her alone as if I'm having a go at a real person instead of a fictitious character in a TV show.

I just don't think the characters of Stella or Gloria are any good or suited to Coronation Street - just my opinion though.

Anonymous said...

Never liked Eva -- her bra size is bigger than her brains and she keeps harping about losing Nick -- she lost him all by herself without help. Other characters I dislike is Norris and his gutter mouth (he used to be funny...), Sean (oh woe is me because my boyfriend is straight now...), and evil Tracy (who just hates everybody). Corrie has lost its spark and I hate the "rehashed" stories; if Corrie needs ideas, there are enough people on this site to provide some!

Zoey T said...

I have to admit at first i liked stella but as times passed her lack of emotion has begun to grate. when the sunita karl thing happened dev was devastated while stella got over it overnight. I think its the characters lack of emotions that gets me like with her relationship with jason you can see his hearts in it where as for her it just seems like meh i got nothing better to do. another thing is like when eric died she seemed completely unphased by any of it. and yet everyone rallys round to try and please her. this just gets annoying to be honest and her lack of emotion means you begin not to feel sorry for her in situations where you would for a character.

bluegardenia said...

Stella and GLoria and Karl have to go. I can't stand any of them and the storylines are getting ridiculous. The show gives no intelligence whatsoever to the faithful viewer. The goings on at Sunita's bedside are disgusting. As if anyone would behave the way Gloria, Stella and the police have done. The quality of writing on the show has deteriorated alarmingly. Gayle is a shrew....and needs a haircut. Stella looks like a hag, Eileen needs to decide what hairstyle she wants, Sophie and whatshername are totally unbelievable as a couple. Where does everyone live? Seems either at Eileens or Tina's flat. Where does Owen live? Where does Kevin live...whose house has now been taken over by the Prices. Continuity is sadly lacking. But I keep watching and hoping that new writers will come and horrible characters will leave.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Stella's "confidence" is forced and feels like crappy acting. I fast forward through Stella scenes. Gloria is not charming or wise, certainly not Blanche! So disappointed Stella made it out of the fire. The writers should be ashamed hat they destroyed the Sunita well-crafted characterization on Stella's altar. It didn't work and was a huge waste. Please get a new landlady, like yesterday!

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