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Tuesday 21 May 2013

Stuart Blackburn: what do you think so far?

A comment left on this post by Coronation Street fan Danni echos some of my own thoughts so it's time to get a reaction from fans as to what we think of new producer Stuart Blackburn's work so far.

I know it's early days but I think Stuart Blackburn is doing an excellent job. The scenes with Roy, Sylvia and Hayley have been far and above the usual sort of thing we've had for the last couple of years.  The dialogue and acting are at a level of quality the other soaps can only dream of.

Although I'm disappointed that the world is still revolving around Stella, there is other good stuff going on. I even found myself warming to Carla Connor last night in a way I never have done before. When Rob was on the phone to her moaning: "You'll never guess what Peter's done..." and Peter's on the phone to her going; "You'll never guess what Rob's done..." and they're both turing to Carla to wipe their noses for them - and she does - that's a side to her I've never seen before.  More please.

However, much has been forgotten.  Where's Emily Bishop?  And why has Rob Donovan not had any interaction with Tracy's daughter Amy? Speaking of which - where is she? Where's Beth's son Craig gone? And the story with Mary looking after Dev's kids?

Let's hope Stuart stays true to the words our blogger Graeme heard direct from the producer's mouth - that his vision for Corrie  "is to maintain Corrie's position as Britain's best television drama, highlighting its down to earth, working class roots and not forgetting the impact it originally had back in the 1960s."

Mr Blackburn, a nation's eyes turn to you, along with our Corrie-watching hearts. Please don't let us down.

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Frosty the Snowman said...

Dont see a lot of difference betweeen him and his predecessor myself. Still too much of Phil's best friend and her god awful mother. Contrived scenes to the point of ridiculousness, too much angst and not enough humour, the usual "favourites" getting too much time while others are hardly seen.

Anonymous said...

Think about it - which characters do you really care about ? How much airtime do they get compared with those we either can't stand or feel apathetic about? But I am hopeful that the new producer will turn around the bad decisions his predecessor made

Humpty Dumpty said...

Hard to tell at the moment. Some story arcs are still hanging over from the last incumbent. I am very depressed, though, that the Price family is going to be centre stage and Tracy is back in action. These must be SB's decisions but I wonder how much independence he has.

Beach1 said...

I have to agree. When it was announced last year that Stuart Blackburn would take over from Phil Collinson, I wasn't happy at all. There was a lot of negativity surrounding him and I don't think there were many Emmerdale fans sad to see him go.

But credit where it's due, he is doing a good job on Corrie. So far, so good, I'd say. The only big problem I have is Stella being forced into every episode. Not good at all. Leanne's not far behind but in all fairness, they are probably building up to Karl's exit, so we might (I hope) see less of the whole family next year and see more of better characters.

Re Carla: I feel sorry for her already. She's got Peter saying "It's either him or me" which was very immature. Then she's got her brother whining, "You need to support me on this, you owe it to me".
Is it just me who thinks they're both jealous and they're being so pathetic because they want Carla's full attention?

I totally agree about the Roy, Hayley and Sylvia scenes. I think Sylvia is brilliant and I was blown away by Stephanie Cole's performance last week. I hope Stuart Blackburn wants to focus on them.

Anonymous said...

Phil Collinson was a good producer in many ways but he had some of the characters going round in circles!! Which meant that the idea of character development went out the window.

Stuart Blackburn seems to be moving many characters forward and I think he is passionate about the show but he's just getting on with it. This make me very happy!

Rosie said...

Only one thing bothering me at the moment, background conversation, it's happened a couple of times now and I find it very distracting. I can't concentrate on the main characters talking when two more are talking in the background. Otherwise I'm quite happy with the way it's going so far.

Joseph said...

Honestly it's a dodgy start (although I don't envy the type of story he got from Collinson) but if the Roy/Hayley/Sylvia storyline is the start of something good, then I am starting to be hopeful again about Corrie's future. The main thing is that Blackburn is a fan and yeah I agree with Anon that he DOES seem passionate about the show which is the best you can hope for in a producer.

As for the more Stella thing, I know we all hate or at least strongly dislike the character and I myself share that view, but I'm wondering if Blackburn just wants to explore her character, and see if there's potential there. As a writer myself, I understand that. With Stella though, I just don't think it can be done (although I do see potential in Eva)

So yeah in conclusion to this mini essay, I am hopeful and optimistic. The dodgy start may just be because Blackburn was settling in to work, but now he's settled, hopefully things should start to pick up now.

Oh and personally I liked the background conversation thing in yesterday's episode but this is more because Gary annoys me, and I'd rather watch Norris and Rita arguing. Probably just me though!

Anonymous said...

I hope he works his magic soon. Here in Canada we're putting up with idiotic David hovering over Kylie. I have never been a fan of David but am just realizing how thick he is - wanting to call an ambulance because the baby kicks unbelievable. And we also have creepy Gary hanging around Tina like a bad smell while ignoring Izzy altogether. And course we are still putting up with Stella in every other scene,

Anonymous said...

The one and only thing I would ask of the new producer is please, once and for all, get rid of Tracy Barlow. I don't care how, let her get hit by a out of control geezer on a moped..just get rid. Her time on the street has been over for years and just when you think it's safe to start watching Corrie again...Hereeeee's Tracy!!!

Anonymous said...

Amy's gone up to listen to her tapes?

Anonymous said...

I agree with all of the above. Where did I read that the producers/writers believe that we all LOVE the Price family? Seriously?? All I have ever seen in comments is the extreme dislike for their characters. I wish Liz was back, I miss her, her shoes are hard to fill I guess. I do see potential in Eva, I like her and hope they use her more in future storylines. And yes..listening to Rita and Norris harping at each other is more entertaining than Stella and her "hobbit" mother.

Anonymous said...

"Is it just me who thinks they're both jealous and they're being so pathetic because they want Carla's full attention?"

Beach1, I think Rob is jealous, but I think Peter is genuinely p-o'ed about having Rob butt into his business. Peter doesn't want Carla OR Rob barging into his little world of the Bookies, and I can't say I blame him. Meanwhile, he is showing that he has other ways to fix a problem than drinking. Carla wanted to offload Rob, now Peter is offloading him back where he belongs.

ChiaGwen said...

It was like watching a new version of Cornation St with the Sylvia, Hayley and Roy scenes...just bloody brilliant! Love Sylvia's one-liners in the Cafe! Um, did Steve suddenly bloat-up and that haircut....ooooh, not good.

Beach1 said...

Anonymous 14:38 - that's a fair point.

I think Peter can be very immature though and he's used to Carla relying on him and only him, so it will be interesting to see what happens if Carla and Rob can eventually sort out their differences. Having said that, for that to happen of course, Rob will have to stop stabbing his own sister in the back and get rid of Tracy Barlow.

Rebecca said...

At this point I'm starting to see things just starting to pick up here in Canada. In all fairness, the poor guy was left with a terrible mess when PC left! I too am hoping that after Karl leaves St Ella will finally take a back burner and they'll start to move towards her departure (taking her mother with her!). I'm interested to see what everyone's thoughts are after he's had some time to polish off PC's mess and develop his own ideas.

Anonymous said...

Beach1, I appreciate your comments and a chance to think about the Rob-Carla-Peter-Tracy storyline more. I think you're right that Carla and Rob need to sort out their differences. On the other hand, I've noticed the writers are very fond of symmetries. This will require Peter to work on his relationship with Tracy - at least for 5 minutes - so she's probably not going anywhere soon.

I don't know about you, but I don't really know what's at stake in Peter's relationship with Tracy. Any ideas?

Zagg said...

I can't really say that there is a great deal of improvement yet. The thing that bugs me most is the improbable situations and reactions that they keep writing. St Stella has lost everything and owes a poopload of money that she cannot pay. The neighbors are doubting her etc.. Now any sane person would be grief struck about all this. But no, she and Karl are painting together and revelling in Karl's proposal like a couple of teenagers. UNREALISTIC.
These writers need to stop writing scenes that just do not make sense. I hear myself saying, "no way, that wouldn't happen", more and more in this show. So often, is just seems stupid.
I understand that it is a show and there needs to be some leeway. But do they really think we are buying that two hot girls are fighting over Chesney? Really? Or why hasn't someone just knocked the snot out of Tracy? It is illogical that this has NOT happened.
I think these writers could use a panel of fans in which to sound off ideas. It would be a great way to keep it real, because this Corrie Street is not.

Anonymous said...

Well, Rob actually has some direction now, so that's something. The Roy, Hayley, and Sylvia scenes have been the best thing going so far. Since we know the actor who plays Karl is leaving, his scenes with Stella just feel pointless, the sooner he's found out the better, put an end to this story. The Chesney and Katy stuff is lacklustre, he and Sinead actually have some chemistry. The baby story with Gary and Tina is icky. I would love to see "evil" Owen come back full force and teach Gary a lesson for messing with Izzy's heart. Then he can go and wipe the smug grin of Ryan's face. I'll give SB some credit for not doing a mass cast cull like so many expected. But on the other hand, Corrie could stand to shed about 10 characters.

Beach1 said...

Anonymous 18:58 - Same here. To be honest, I'm not sure about Peter and Tracy's relationship. But I don't believe Rob is really serious about her. Apparently, Ken and Peter were going to try to split them up over the summer. I've got no idea what's going to happen with that story now because they've obviously had to cut Ken's scenes.

Rob and Carla's relationship appears to be the more complex one. But I just don't know how many more times I can listen to Rob claim that Carla owes him. She gives him a job, he gives her a load of abuse, tries to scam her, Carla chooses not to go to the police and gives her brother a share of the factory instead, he tries to scam her again and he still expects her to give him everything? There's obviously a reason why Carla keeps giving him so many chances and why she won't go to the police. I hope this storyline is going there soon.

Beth said...

I don't know how Stella can ever take a back seat as Landlady of The Rovers, it's a main part, so she'll always be in our faces. Hopefully not as much as now but certainly front and centre. But I will bet my bottom $ that she's getting that back room ready for all her "come through to the back" consultations :)
The Landlady of the Rovers needs to have that 'something'. Annie Walker had it and Bet Lynch had it. Stella does not! She is not Landlady material at all.

I"m hoping there are lots of things that are hanging over from PC's time and will go away and improve such as two Pinochio's Kah-ei aka Katie and Ryan acting together in the same scene. It's painful. Please put people with them who can help them out. Terrible that they are given a job on their looks and no way talents. They need acting lessons for sure!

Defrost Indoors said...

I honestly don't see the point of Boria -- not only is she a thoroughly unpleasant character, she has no ties with the rest of the Street either (other than insulting comments) -- even Eva has some connection to the faktry girls.

Defrost Indoors said...

...oh and I'm wondering if Rob, as an ex-con, would be allowed to work at a bookie shop? I'm not British so I don't know how the rules would work for that.

I've said it before that one of the failings with St. Ella is that she just doesn't do humour well, let alone that wry, heartwrenching stuff that characters like Roy and Hayley can do effortlessly. Imagine Stella and Boria doing that glorious "powerwalking thru the countryside" scene that Audrey and Gail did to such great effect -- you just can't. The writers are always deadly serious with Stella and it makes us resent the character because she just doesn't have that side to her and there's no vulnerability to her that makes us warm up to her. Stupid decisions and regrets are not the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Anon 22.55 Well said about cutting l0 characters let me be so bold as to list my choices: Gloria, Stella, Tracey, Rob, Ryan, Katie, Chesney, Karl, Gary and Izzy.


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