Friday, 11 October 2013

Is there something about Corrie's Mary?

Oh Mary Taylor, I just don't know. A Marmite character since she first arrived as far as I'm concerned. Sometimes I feel bad for hating her. Sometimes I feel good for hating her. Most of the time she just gets right on my nerves.

However...I can't help but think there is more to the character than we have seen in the past or are currently getting. I really don't think Coronation Street is making the best use of Patti Clare. We've had kind Mary, crazy, stalkerish Mary, slightly unhinged Mary, pop-up cafe Mary and most recently, Mary Poppins. I like bits of all of these but somehow none of them have really worked at all. It's as if the Corrie bosses keep trying out different facets of Mary on us viewers like we would try out different paint pots on our living room walls. And it's frustrating.

Part of me (the nasty blogger part) would just like to see the back of Mary altogether. And probably Norris-the-unpleasant too. There is something unrelentingly squirmy about their relationship. I also dislike Mary's involvement with the Croppers. Her plan to disrupt their second wedding did her no favours in the popularity stakes. I really do hope the powers that be don't pair our Roy up with Mary once we lose Hayley next year. That would be a complete and utter travesty.

More successful, though rarely seen these days, was Mary's role as nanny to Dev's children. We saw yet another different side to Mary here and for a time at least, it made for a refreshing change. Is it enough to keep her on our screens though?

I think one major problem with Mary is that she is just not grounded enough in Coronation Street. She still has that ludicrous, mostly absent winnebago, and that really does hold her back from fitting in. There was a glimmer of hope the other week when we saw Mary interact with the reinvigorated Deirdre. I'm not quite sure if those scenes are leading anywhere in particular, however I did actually feel for Mary. She looked pretty lonely and crestfallen after Deirdre's rebuff as she shut the door behind her. Could there be a blossoming friendship between these two around the corner?

I also think Mary needs something proper to do if she is to stay. Elliot's the Butchers has been standing empty since Ashley passed on nearly three years ago. Why not have Mary start up her own business and have a proper home above the shop? Patti Clare is certainly an interesting screen presence - her character just needs more focus and a new, interesting direction.

Anyway, that's my thoughts on the irrepressible, over the top Mary Taylor, what are yours?


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28 comments:

Humpty Dumpty said...

I'm not sure how old Mary is supposed to be. She's only employed on an ad-hoc basis but seems to have an income. Where does it come from and is there a story about it? The friendship with Norris adds nothing to Corrie and should be ditched. She needs a pal, male or female, who's as loopy as she is and they can have adventures bringing some fun to the street. I get the idea of chalk and cheese with Norris but it just hasn't worked.

Jane said...

I thought Kirk/Beth & Craig lived above Ashley's old shop.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Mary's much spoken about 'Mother' should be introduced it could be like a modern day version of Maureen Holdsworth and Maud Grimes !!

Anonymous said...
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Canuktuk said...

I had loads of hope for Mary when she was looking after Dev's kids. She could become a live-in and then that would give her a more permanent residence. She and Deirdre should become mates of a sort, as I think Deirdre can be quite tolerant (she's got Tracy and Carla under her wing already) and she'd be a good mate for Julie, too! In fact, she could spend her time off from being a nanny by working in a business that she, Julie, Dierdre and Sally start up in Ashley's old shop!

Graeme N said...

I agree - I would love to see Mary with some more female friends :)

ChiaGwen said...

Mary seems to be blowing in the wind, thrown into stories with no anchor. She is misused with Norris, who has become a vile, toady little man, who for this fan, would not be missed if he were to fall beneath the Winnebago's wheels one day. Agree that Mary needs more friends and connectivity to other residents and the idea of opening up a shop or at least working in another shop sounds like a good starting point.

Graeme N said...

Norris does have a softer side, we just don't see it very often, mores the pity

Janice said...

I could see her a new Betty in the pub. Cooking hot-pot, culinary theme nights.

Newfy Pearl said...

I like your idea to have Mary open up the butchershop starting a new business and living upstairs. I would love corrie to do the unexpected and pursue a relationship between her and Dev. I love how the children react and interact with her. It also brings about a nicer Dev.

Anonymous said...

i love mary's caharacter. She's one of the wittiest and sweetest people on the street. Lights up the screen!~

Anonymous said...

"Unrelentingly squirmy"! Perfect! That description could be applied to so many relationships on that street, for a variety of reasons.
As for Mary, she seems to walk that strange line that you Brits have - on the one side "eccentric"; on the other "certifiable". Mary can be insightful, sweet, kind and "quirky" at times; at others obsessive, maniacal and dangerous. I suspect tptb brought her in to be colourful, then found she was extremely hard to write convincingly for, so they've tried various scenarios, hoping one will ring true, but none have. Pity! Once again, I reiterate, that medical clinic needs a mental health department. If Mary was monitored by a qualified professional, she could be an asset to the neighbourhood, rather than the loose cannon she is currently.

Anonymous said...

With all the kids on that street, living with working parents, Mary would seem to have a ready-made job running a day-care centre (maybe not in Fred and Ashley's old butcher-shop. Too many hints of "Sweeney Todd"!). She would need to get qualifications and certification, but she's a natural with kids, so she'd be bound to be successful. It would also create the opportunity for her to interact with parents, as well as other employees. Maybe the archaic knicker factory could finally, realistically, go bankrupt and Mary could take over the space.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Patti Clare is a wonderful actress and hope the powers that be find her something "real" to do on the Street. The ideas of running a day-care centre or a shop are both good ones. Even though she is slightly bonkers, it is clear that she is intelligent.
Bev

Beth said...

Mary could run a before/ after school club or creche in the old butchers. She would have to be the manager of sorts as she isn't qualified but get people to work for her. During this time work towards gaining the right qualifications herself.

There are enough children on the street. I make it 11 in total. Could be 10 though as it seems Amy McDonald has upped and left. That's without the children in neighbouring streets. If neighbours have bred in recent times like the folk of Corrie then there is much need :)

Anonymous said...

I love Mary. Still remember her doing the hoovering while singing a Subo number, holding Norris captive in some way... strange! Anyone who does computer gaming AND needlepoint is all right by me. And actually, I know loads of people like Mary who don't "fit in" but very much want to fit in. Partly in this case because she's above averagely intelligent and has travelled. can see her running zumba lessons or, hey, she could revive the book club with Mel Hutchright (?)!

Stephen said...

We've already seen characters axed because they went nowhere, such as Fireman Paul (not missed) and now Headmaster Brian (who will be missed - he was a good foil for Julie). I hope they don't do the same to Mary for that reason. Too many actors/actresses have left lately. I agree that they ought to find something interesting and fun for Mary to do.

Dilly Daydream said...

I would also like to see a romantic relationship develop between Dev and Mary - why not? It would be more believable than one with Norris (I cannot think that anyone would have even a warm thought towards him, the stuttering fool).

And I would also like to know how old Mary is meant to be.

Anonymous said...

Shanny said: I love, love, LOVE Mary! She brings lots of comedy to Corrie along with her sidekick Nasty Norris. I think she has been without a rudder for a long time and I think she finds the people on "the street" are her family. She looked so sad the other day after talking with Deidre, like she wishes she could become a permanent fixture somewhere on the street. It must be hard being homeless even though she has that big camper van to go to every night. I hope that if Emily ever dies that Mary and Norris share a flat together. Mary needs to set down some roots and go off on adventures with Norris if she ever gets the urge to travel again. :D

Frosty the Snowman said...

Hm being as Patti Clare has won a couple of soap awards I doubt whether she would be axed. I think they ruined the character when she held Norris captive on the moors and then tried to scupper Haley and Roy's wedding. She couldnt really come back from that and her being bessies with them all in the Rovers is just not true or believable. She is now just annoying and should go IMO.

Mad Hatter said...

Yes the holding Norris hostage at the Moors was stupid, but then again we have characters like Carla Connor who ran Stella over while drunk, or Tracy killing Charlie Stubbs but brought back 3 years later, and those characters always seem to take up screentime.

Wish writers would think to the future when writing these kind of plots.

I sympathise with the character (which believe me I rarely do now, especially with the "leading" characters). Especially the other day, she appeared to be lonely, especially when saying goodbye to Deirdre.

Anonymous said...

I have always wondered what Mary lives on. She only has tiny little part-time jobs. I agree with poster who would like Norris gone. I can't stand the horrid little toad.

Anonymous said...

She reminds me of Annie Wilkes -the character in Steven King's 'Misery" - she creeps me right out. I wonder if there is an extremely dangerous psycho underneath all that maternal chit chattering and she's just waiting to come out - multiple personality disorder. Corrie hasn't had a female serial killer yet have they? They touched upon her obsessively strange behavior a couple of years ago with Norris but then it was gone and we're left with this fragmented personality.

Helen said...

I believe it was in the planning stages of Hayley and Roy's wedding that I really appreciated Patti Clare's talent for comedic delivery.
She was perfect and I laughed with appreciation at quite a few of her lines.
I too think she hasn't quite found her place on the street; she came close by showing her sensitive, caring side with Dev's children.

I do hope she remains long enough for the writers to be able to show-case her talents for delivering meaningful comedy, not the silly stuff she was introduced with.

njblas said...

I love Mary - even when she's being annoying. Patti Clare plays her so well! According to itv.com, Mary was born in 1974, and Norris in 1940 - so there's a vast age difference between them!

Canuktuk said...

Since there were already hints of this before, I think Mary should help Roy pick up the pieces after Hayley goes. I know she was OTT with him before but truly, who could appreciate the eccentricity of Roy more than Mary?

Dilly Daydream said...

Thanks njblas, I always thought Norris seemed more like her Dad than boyfriend material.

So Mary is nearer to Dev's age, I would love to see them get together.

Love is all she needs!

abbyk said...

How many years has Mary been with us and not had a regular job or even a passionate hobby (other than chasing inappropriate men)? She doesn't even do her contests any more, which at least provided her some income. No money issues, none of the despair of not having purpose or accomplishment, a few randomly appearing talents, Mary's a constantly varying stream of crazy.

I've always felt that Mary was a OTT cartoonish detriment to the vague normalcy of Corrie's neighborhood. She doesn't belong here, and short of a major personality transplant, never will. Comedians sometimes are exceptional dramatic actors, so if there were a story about Mary being part of a wealthy family who escaped from psychiatric care, was living under an assumed name, and getting back on a therapy regimen where she reined in the mania and recognized how wasted her years were, then maybe, just maybe, I'd welcome her to stay on.

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