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

Friday, 11 April 2014

Corrie's spare parts


Coronation Street will never be perfect. Shocking but true. We all have differing opinions on what is good and what is absolute rubbish about Corrie. It has good times and bad, sometimes even good scenes and then bad. On the whole though, the quality of Corrie's weekly output is still way above any of its rivals.

However I still have niggles. I feel like Corrie boasts some wonderful, almost sublime pairings or groups but these are almost always tarnished somehow by the presence of an unwelcome interloper. There are some really annoying "spare parts" getting in the way of my viewing pleasure at the moment...

The Webster household. I thought getting rid of Rosie would sort things out here but oh no, it has only served to make Sawphie all the more irritating. The writers are on to a good thing with Sally and Tim. Kevin's presence in the background isn't even worth the effort. Maddie is an annoying character played by a super young actress and I like the banter she has with Sally and the bond with Tim. There is just no point to Sophie. She's whiney, rude and frequently obnoxious. She treats her mother with practically no respect yet claims to be the next Emily Bishop. I never thought Sophie would irritate me more than Rosie, but that moment has come.

The Grimshaws. I've always liked the Grimshaw house. Eileen and her lodgers are normally the source of good drama mixed with some funny, down to earth scenes. I don't even mind Sean in the midst of the Grimshaw action. Jason, Eva and Julie all flit in and out and it works. I thought things were on the up once Paul slung his hook. Then along comes Todd, back from that London with bad hair and an attitude to match. I know it's a plot device to split Maria and Marcus up, allowing Charlie Condou to leave, but it's tedious, unlikely, contrived and a waste of a previously decent character.

The Rovers. The bad seed here has to be Michelle. The Rovers has improved no end since St Ella of the Beige shipped herself down the street and then off to the Big Apple (rather swiftly and unbelievably though it was). Steve was meant to be behind that bar and while some of us don't care for Liz, I think she makes for a pretty decent Rovers landlady. Michelle is nothing but horrid though. Her belittling of Steve recently reached its nadir when she dragged him through the streets by his ear, like a mother would an errant child. It wasn't funny, it wasn't clever and it's not the picture Corrie should be presenting. Ditch her.

The pensioners. Emily, Rita and Norris are the dwindling face of the older Corrie generation. The three of them work so well together. The actors involved can find humour in practically nothing and raise the bar whenever they appear together. While Mary is by no means my favourite character, she does fit with the older characters and I actually think I might miss her if she left. No, my spare part here was/is Dennis Tanner. Bringing Dennis back was inspired but quite obviously poorly thought through. Marrying him off with Rita on the basis of one episode from 1964 just wasn't good enough and it didn't work. It ruined the dynamic and involved the hideous Gloria. It also meddled with Rita's character and that will never do. What was wrong with Dennis getting together with Audrey? I think that may have worked out a whole lot better and who knows, Philip Lowrie may still have had a future in the show?

The unpleasant menage a trois. Ah yes, let's spend years pulling Carla and Peter together only to marry them off and plunge him into an unbelievable, inappropriate affair with Tina, a character he's barely spoken to over the past five years. Makes perfect sense. Peter and Carla took a while to grow on me, but at least they have chemistry. There's nothing behind the eyes when Peter and Tina share intimate scenes. Like the Todd and Marcus debacle, it's contrived and ruins a good thing.



So those are my thoughts - who are the spare parts for you down Weatherfield way?

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29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I could have written these comments myself Graeme, only nowhere near as well-thought out or well-written.
Thank you for being honest in your synopsis, I agree completely with every observation you have made.

Anonymous said...

Spot on Graeme - I agree 100% with everything you have written - sad to say that the soap is going downhill fast - but, unfortunately, we still keep watching - shame on us!!!!

Anonymous said...

We keep on watching because we live in hope that the show will get better with internal changes; it's happened before over the years.
I think the actors are very good, I have always thought that, but they can only do what they can with poor ideas or story lines.
Graeme is right to see both sides of the characters, the dynamics of those characters who do "work" well together make the show still worth watching, even though so much has gone astray.

David parsnips said...

Agree with some of it but I find the Grimshaws a spare part these days bar Jason - Bitter old Eileen is going nowhere, Julie is silly and pointless and dont start me on Sean!!

Carry On Blogging! said...

Hmmm I agree that Julie, Eileen and Sean could do with being reinvigorated a tad!

Carry On Blogging! said...

Thanks for your kind comments, I do try my best to provide a balanced critique. And I do still watch because I still love it

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of your comments. The Peter/Tina story is really contrived, as bad as MolVin. Todd came back with a complete personality transplant - why not bring in a different character if one was needed to split up Marcus and Maria. Marcus has aways been one of my favourite characters - an intelligent person with a real job and a pleasant personality. Obviously his relationship with Maria was not going to end well, but I would have expected him to be too smart to be taken in by Todd. Why didn't he get a new job away somewhere and meet someone before Maria decided whether she wanted to move with him.

70sStreetFan said...

Agree with all of the above. A few other spare parts- TracyLuv at the Barlows,the tereminally boring Sinead at No.5,Nick at the Platt-Tilsleys,and Katy at the Windass-Armstrongs.

Anonymous said...

bring back tony gordon

Defrost Indoors said...

I agree that it seems like a waste to slowly build up the Peter/Carla relationship over a span of months, only to have him turn around and fall into bed with the first girl who gives him the eye (even though it fits with Peter's nature).

I don't like the Maddie character because we've been here before: the street rat, slowly being rehabilitated, and if they made her even half as complex as Becky was, she would just make Sofa look even more whiny and one-dimensional. Also Sofa doesn't really interact with the rest of the street except fleetingly with Dev. She's lived there her whole life; where are the rest of her friends? It seems odd that she doesn't have anyone outside of her family except Maddie.

Which reminds me: whither Jenna? She sometimes pops up in the background of the cafe but that's about it. I fear that she's going to silently melt away like Dr. Carter did and never be mentioned again. How does she feel about her dad's new partner? Why isn't she looking for other work?

Anonymous said...

The sad thing about Sophie is that, years ago, she was a bright, feisty, funny kid (played by the same actress). I don't know why they chose to turn her into the little misery she is today.

Rosie said...

Totally agree Graeme, the Peter/Carla/Tina thing would have been so much more believable without Tina, it just doesn't work. Todd's change of character makes this story too contrived. I hated what they did to Rita. And what on earth are they playing at with Sophie? They write her like a young child, she's grown up! She used to be the sensible one, caring and socially aware, there was so much more they could have done with her. I'm not really enjoying all the stories at the moment, but I'll keep watching, it will gat better soon, I hope!

Unknown said...

I agree with alot of what you've said but it would be far too easy to axe all the aforementioned characters. I personally think that a new producer is needed. A female one. The last was Kim Crowther who ended her tenure around 2010. Personally I think that a female influence to oversee Corrie is what is needed. A better and more warmer approach to some of the female characters is also needed - most of them now tend to be whiny, selfish and annoying. In regards to Michelle, I think a character change is needed. If they can do that with Tina (however for the worst) the same can be done with Michelle (for the better). I think that it just comes down to the producer as they plan everything and the writers just write the specifics/dialogue. I mean with Tina, the whole thing has infuriated me! From the start she was nice and we actually had sympathy for her when she had her abortion, death of her father and the debacle with Graeme & Xin. The whole surrogacy storyline was the turning point and the whole affair rubbish just emphasizes the mindset of the producer even more. Sophie is annoying me and I don't like what they've done with her. I'm liking Kevin being back but I'm not feeling that he has a purpose as before his family was his WORLD and now he doesn't have that! The whole Todd & Marcus thing was a joke. Todd is just an annoying character that again serves no purpose. When he came back and was shown more in Streetcars, I took to him a bit better but this selfish streak is just came out of nowhere - again why I feel a new producer is needed. Normally I wouldn't say this but Corrie need a lot of luck and amp things up to win Best Soap the soap awards in a few months. I'm not minding the Windasses however, Faye has calmed down but what happened with the Grace storyline. It ended rather abruptly and has had no mention since and even Simon and Faye haven't passed each other in the street since. What's up with that?! Anyway rant over! But again... another great post! ..

Laura said...

Yes, a well-written post and one that makes us all think about the characters that have "gone wrong" or could be saved. Sometimes it really is all in the pairings - I couldn't stand Rob until he started dating Tracy, another character I don't hav time for - and they have actually grown on me as a couple. I don't want to see them all the time, but I like them on the street, especially with the new direction Tracy is taking in regards to Amy.

Sophie could have become a female Spider, and it would have been interesting to see her go that route and encouraging Emily to join her (which would have led to many mentions of how she reminded her of her nephew, etc.). I agree with others commenting that she's a grown adult now, it's time to move out of Sally's house and support herself. And I never noticed before how little she interacts with other characters on the street. Very telling.

As far as Todd goes, they could have this whole Marcus debacle be some kind of wake up call for him and have him work his way back to being a decent person - not perfect, but decent enough to actually care what happens to him. There could be a big storyline about what happened in London to help explain what turned him into such a monster. I like the actor and I think he would do well with a complex storyline like that, especially if it involved Jason and gave the drifting Eileen, Julie and Sean something to do.

Ah well, this is quite a novel...guess what I'm trying to say is that many characters that seem like spare parts could actually shine given the right storylines.

ChiaGwen said...

Fab post Graeme and I agree wholeheartedly especially regarding the dreadful Sophie, who I have complained about for years. I live in hope that Sally will one day throw her out to fend for herself. Jenna seems to pop up infrequently with those wide staring eyes, say a few words, then it's back to the buttie (sp?) making. Either get rid of her or develop a storyline, but please no more lesbian angst (and no I'm not homophobic)....and yes, why isn't she looking for work more in line with her training...surely the Medical Centre could use her somehow?

Anonymous said...

I agree with a lot of the comments but my big problem is with the way Steve Macdonald's character has disappeared. Simon Gregson worked hard, moved through the pretty boy phase and became a bad boy to rival Nick Cotton and Grant Mitchell but over the last decade he has been transformed into a poor mans Jack Duckworth a hen pecked joke of a man - ridiculed my his Mother ("you need some nuts!") and the vile Kym Marsh (PLEASE write her out - for good, in every way). Give Steve back his edge and if someone is going to murder Tina please get on with it!
Pity Marcus has gone but am sick of "straight when necessary" characters in all soaps so hurrah for Todd. Perhaps Maria can go for Sean next they would not spoil a pair!

Anonymous said...

Agree with all your comments.... Think since Blackburn took over the storylines have disimproved. Sophie ongoing daliance with maddie irritating and pointless. Todd has had a personality transplant, one which does not endear him to viewers. Tina is riding herself to death.... The affair with peter unrealistic. I do enjoy norris, rita and Emily... What was the point in marrying rita to denis only for them to separate shortly afterwards... And with Gloria getting involved??? Get rid of stuart.... He has done nothing for the street!!!!

Anonymous said...

Whereas I agree with all your comments, I feel the fault lies not with the individual actors/actresses but with the person who writes the overall plot lines. Would that be the producer or the head story writer? The regular writers must be required to "fill in the dots" as it were according to the time frames allotted to them.
So I say - - let's get rid of whoever sets up these implausible plot lines. The poor actors can only do so much. It must be very difficult to try and make the unbelievable - believable.
Bev

Marcy said...

Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes.

vintgal003 said...

Ummm.agree with all your comments...except that I really and have always liked LIZ...think she makes an excellent landlady. I truly HOPE that Roy is given some good story lines, now that Hayley has gone and is not just relegated to his room in the café...he is an excellent actor!

Anonymous said...

Michelle only seems decent when she's dealing with other female characters. Heck, instead of bringing Maddie in they could have pulled a Marcus/Maria thing with Sophie/Michelle! Otherwise, she is vile and needs to leave Steve or just get off the Street.

Humpty Dumpty said...

I do believe some actors are not up to the job, but are kept on for PR events etc. The directors perhaps don't have time to coach the not-so-talented and of course the writing can make or break a character. Tim completely changed when he was put with Sally. Sophie's character suffers from problems in the acting/writing/directing areas so she is really a useless character. Other spare parts are Tracy, all of the Windass crew, but I don't mind Michelle.

Plutonian said...

I would agree with ditching Michelle. Her behaviour is, quite frankly, only a notch down from Kirsty's treatment of Tyrone and yet we're all supposed to laugh along with the abuser this time. Do not like.

I'm glad to see Dennis and Tina getting the chop (quite literally in the latter's case, it would seem) but I disagree that Todd should go. I LOVE the storyline with Maria and Marcus and I'd like to see this new, nasty Todd developed a bit further.

Would be quite happy to see the back of Sinead, Chesney and pretty much all of the Armstrong clan.

Carry On Blogging! said...

Reading the comments I can't believe I left out Tracy!

abbyk said...

I can't believe you left out the Windass/Armstrongs from an otherwise brilliant synopsis. If their house exploded killing all inside while Chesney was in the park with Joseph, there'd be no impact other than Roy and Carla's need to find new employees.

Not a fan of Michelle, but I do like her with Carla. When Peter is thrown out on his backside, if she went back to the factory as Carla's assistant mgr, and broke up with Steve, that might work.

Sophie. Arghhh, I used to like her, and empathized when her parents all but ignored her for Rosie's dramatics. She has no friends because all her clever schoolmates are off at university. She has a worse romantic track record than Maria (incredible!). She didn't even have the initiative to go for the kebab shop manager position when it was open. Breaking her back should have been a major life change that propelled her in a direction. Instead, she's become an inert, mouthy, totally wasted formerly smart young person. Redeem her or let her go.

Oh, and Ken Barlow. A sacred cow, of course, but how much better is Deirdre without him? His best role of late was as Peter's confident. With Peter leaving, what's he going to do? Bury his head every time Tracy enters the room?

Anonymous said...

Funny, Tracy is such a spare part that many of us have all but forgotten her - and how much has anyone really missed Ken? Emily spends much of her time in the cupboard and I at least wonder about her, whereas my only concern is the ruination of Deirdre's new direction when Ken returns to the Street!

Anonymous said...

I would like to add Kevin to the list of spare parts.I didn't really miss him while he was gone and he still hasn't changed,bullying Tyrone who was also going through rough times while struggling to run the garage, getting in a fight with Tim[ who I think is great with Sally] and generally throwing his weight around.What next,Kevin has an affair with Fiz because eirher Sally has moved on or as revenge for Tyrone almost running his garage to the ground.

Anonymous said...

I sure miss the humour in Corrie. Love the days of Mavis, Reginald, Fred etc.
The ones who could pull off some great laughs is the Norris - Mary duo if they were involved somehow is some relationship...platonic of course.
Another thing that annoys me is the coincidence factor. Tina and Peter in a hotel and sure enough David walks in. What are the chances of that? Too many coincidences to even mention here.
As much as I tried I just can't warm up to Carla. This woman exudes coldness and could put out a fire with a simple look. As I'm not familiar with the actress in other roles (haven't seen her here in Canada)I just can't imagine she can project depth or warmth.
I have many times told myself to drop my Corrie viewing habits but after watching for over 40 years it almost seems sacrilegious but thankfully with the help of a PVR I can skip the Tina - Peter - Carla segments. Oh, and any scene with Tracy.

maggie muggins said...

Great post, Graeme N, though I can't add any more spare parts. You've certainly elicited a large response! Crikey, I'd love/hate to see some of you on Gogglebox!

I was really trying to like the new Todd, especially after seeing the actor sing in the video linked here recently. But he's just too one-dimensional. Anyway, people don't turn into sociopaths overnight.

I love your line about there being "nothing behind the eyes" with the Peter/Tina pairing. Even a lustful couple have more chemistry than these two. I wonder if the actors aren't feeling that the storyline is awful and that's translating on screen.

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

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