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Friday, 6 June 2014

Can we have a respite from the Corrie misery please?

Has Coronation Street ever been so out and out depressing? Nearly all traces of humour have vanished over the past week as we lurch from one tragedy to another.

In the good old days a tragedy would be contrasted with a more lighthearted storyline, giving more weight and substance to both. At the moment though the writers are fixated with the aftermath of the Tina-Peter-Carla story climax and the Armstrong-Windass clan, both of which are pretty grim. Just when you think things can't get any worse, they do.

It's not enough for Peter to have an affair with Tina, it has to start the night he marries Carla. Both Tina and Carla must have pregnancy scares at the same time. Tina must plunge to her death. Peter must be constantly inebriated. The latest in a long line of tragedies has seen Carla lose her baby. Oh how I wish they had let her keep it. Carla as a single mother would have been an interesting journey for her to go on.

I can't fault any of the performances in this storyline, all the actors have been at the top of their game. I've just reached my misery limit!

Meanwhile, chez Armstrong-Windass, Anna's dark secret has finally emerged and predictably Owen hasn't taken it well. Given Anna was only forced into her drastic plan to rid them of Phelan due to Owen's original decisions, I don't think he has a lot of wriggle room here. However, on we go spiralling further into the darkness. Katy, of course, will not understand Anna's actions at all, so cue plenty of pouting and stomping. Gary will eventually also find out and no doubt there will be further fireworks as his temper and his fists get another airing. When will this all stop I frequently ask myself? I'm crying out for a change of tone with this crowd of characters. Enough is enough. Debbie Rush has been pretty phenomenal as downtrodden Anna, I just think we need a break from all at number 6 Coronation Street.

No doubt the misery will continue in both these main storylines for some time to come. I keep hoping some other background storylines will shed some light on the gloom. Sally and Tim continue to be terrific although I worry if Sally doesn't accept Tim's marriage proposal, this partnership might not last. Two other storylines are shortly to pop back into view and I must confess I am looking forward to neither of them.

The first, linked to the ongoing Tina story, will see Michelle discover Steve knew about Peter's affair. This will lead to much armfolding and bag packing as Michelle dumps Steve and no doubt treats him like dirt in the process. I'm heartily sick of Michelle. Apparently Steve will publicly plead for Michelle to take him back and Carla will also persuade her friend to return to Steve. PLEASE NO! Enough already. Steve and Michelle were awful the first time around and I've seen no improvement now. Steve is a tremendous character but pairing him with Michelle does him no favours. Make it stop.
The second storyline is the return of all the Todd and Marcus business. Marcus was a lovely character - very normal, kind and caring and someone the writers didn't do enough with. The beginning of the end was putting him with Maria, although this subsequent dalliance with Todd is the most unbelievable of all for me. Marcus woudn't be taken in by devious Todd. I think he'd see right through him and give him a wide berth. I was hoping that when Marcus leaves he would take Todd with him, but this too will end in tears. Marcus will have his heart broken and we still don't know why Todd has become such a horrid, nasty character.

Ho hum, at least we still have Deirdre and her pots.

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abbyk said...

100% agree, Graeme! Can you believe that we've needed Tracy (with a couple of great one liners) and Maddie to lighten the mood this week? I think you could have added Maria being dumped and instead of merely being sad, having nice widowed working mom go totally psycho on her oldest dearest friends. That texting thing was so OTT it made her relationship with a gay man seem normal (and btw, I liked them together, even with the elephant in the room).

I am looking forward to Ken's return if it gives Deirdre a bit more screen time. Don't see as much impending joy in Kevin's return or Gails relationship with Michael.

Rachal Jay said...

I totally understand where you are coming from, Graeme.

When I first heard about the storyline for Tina's exit, I expressed doubt.

I think it was all a little too much, and I can't understand why they decided to kill off such a popular character, considering the loss of Hayley. You never know what the future may bring, type thing.

The actors have done some fine work in this S/L - and they, along with the episode writers - have saved it, to a degree.

My opinion here, but more light and shade is needed. I think it's time to start moving the storylines again with some of the other characters and up the fun factor more.

I'm not minding the Anna/Owen storyline. I think Debbie and Ian have given some great performances.

I do appreciate the producers have had unforeseen exits to deal with, etc, so I'm keeping an open mind.

I think Hayley's exit was handled very well and they've got to be acknowledged for the care that went into the storyline - and for giving David and Julie some beautiful and raw material.

I'm looking forward to seeing what Les Dennis brings - and watching Roy (David) start the next phase of his life after so much sadness.

Rachal in Aus. :-)

Zagg said...

I could not agree more Graeme. The whole Michelle character has become so annoying, she is almost a caricature with the eye rolling and arm folding. It's a shame too, I liked her in the beginning. She is completely wrong for Steve. They have no chemistry at all.
And Marcus....oh poor Marcus, what have they done to you? He was always one of my favorite people on the street. The voice of reason and fairness, a truly good guy, a smart guy, an educated guy. There is NO way he would fall for Todd 2.0. It's so far fetched, it is difficult to watch.
And now we will also be plagued with more Sloppie and Maddeahhh. Ugh....
I am tired of all the horrific angst in every household with every character. That is not real life. Corrie Street used to show the balance of good and bad in life and that was the strength of the show. Not any more. It's Doldrum Street now. Everybody's life is so crappy, It's a wonder they all don't just march into the canal like a bunch of lemmings.

Louby said...

Agree! Especially your point about Steve and Michelle. I always thought they were expecting a bit much from the viewers that they believe the pair would have got back together - after he dumped her for Becky before. I would also add the Leanne/Nick/Kal to my list of hates. Bring in a few new people who are nice. A new companion for Mary would be good. And lots of light hearted banter PLEASE!

Humpty Dumpty said...

It's been very down-beat recently and the humour hasn't been enough to off-set the misery. We haven't had light-hearted storylines (and I don't mean farce)but simply a few funny one-liners.

Michelle, as a character, isn't bad, but the actress can't find the right blend of affection and infuriation viz. Hilda, Vera. I don't suppose Kym is told to fold her arms all the time. She does it naturally and the directors don't stop her. Isn't it the director's job to guide actors how to behave on screen?

I've read snippets about Ken's return (as a vegetarian)and, tbh, it sounds dire. Well, humour's a personal thing but giving Deirdre maple syrup as a gift doesn't seem either likely or funny.

The best thing at the moment is Tim and Sally, and I hope they are kept on. Brilliant chemistry and both of them are first class actors. Let's hope Roy has a proper storyline and doesn't just pop up in other people's.

Anonymous said...

Graeme, you are so right. In the manner of "the good old days" we should have some lighthearted story involving Tim & Sally or Kirk, Beth & Craig to relieve the gloom. (In the past it certainly would have been the Duckworths or Mavis and Derek.)

I, along with just about everyone else, am hoping for a permanent end to the Michelle/Steve relationship. Lately, her constant belittlement of Steve and his submissive, spineless behaviour in response has reminded me of Charlie Stubbs and Shelley. Shelley also was a smart, funny, independent character who was ruined by a partner who constantly criticised and belittled her. The difference between the two relationships is just a matter of degree.

Anonymous said...

Agree totally with all the above, the light&shade and warmth has gone - it's gone all EastEnders with constant misery and token "comedy". Please can we have our propper Corrie back? I'm not sure how much longer I can watch.

Tvor said...

Perhaps we could have used a bit more humour but I for one have thoroughly enjoyed all these storylines because for me, the writing, the acting has been top notch. The only thing I'm not looking forward to is when we go back to Sophie and Maddie.

Carry On Blogging! said...

I've enjoyed them all and the performances have been super, but I'm ready for a change of focus

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't the stories or the performances themselves, it's the unrelenting misery.

Terri said...

It is all doom and gloom lately, but I have to say I am really enjoying it at the same time. I've been gripped recently and I love it. I do agree that there should be a more light-hearted or humorous story alongside these though. Also wish they'd not given Carla the miscarriage too, I would've loved to have seen how she coped and her journey in to motherhood. A shame!

Lily said...

Well said Graeme. It's a shame they had Carla miscarry as I think it would have added some humour into this storyline down the road seeing an 8th month pregnant Carla struggling to put on her stilettos, or going on a huge baby shopping spree!

However, her miscarrying is not so much a shame for us viewers as we get to witness the remarkable talent of Alison King, as well as Chris Gascoyne and David Neilson. I thought the way she found out that she lost the baby was very naturally done; the silent anguish was damn near heartwrenching; even when Peter arrived in the room, it was silent grieving for both, and not just resorting to the 'screeching like a harridan' phase. All 3 mentioned above are the few actors on the show that can naturally convey so much emotion through their eyes. Such phenomenal acting and a great contrast from Michelle shouting and yelling and being all 'hard'.

But yes some nice light scenes with some humour would be appreciated in the coming weeks and months. :)

My two cents anyways.

Billy Niblick said...

Can't help thinking that with all that's going on in Weatherfield in respect of hiis other family members - affairs, deceit, falling right off the wagon, miscarriages, and even murder - old Ken would in real life at least have popped over for a bit from Canada. Or even called. After all, his son in Canada must surely be feeling a bit better by now.

Anonymous said...

Today's episode truly made me smile and applaud whole-heartedly when Michelle said "I've left". My thoughts went back to Mike Plowman's irreverant comments, and I thought "and the whole nation howls with glee that Stevie-boy is finally released"!!!

Anonymous said...

To all who say they won't watch anymore or how much more you can take I say..bah. You know you love it..warts and all.

Anonymous said...

I am a viewer in Canada and am so not looking forward to the upcoming storylines! I have been a Corrie fan for 30 years plus and I am finding I tune in sort of loyalty whatever. I find myself reacting to the storylines right now as how stupidly the characters are behaving! Marcus and Todd in the real world Marcus would not be remotely interested in Todd. Maria stalking Tyronne again completely out of character. Kal and Leanne absolutely no chemistry! And boring!

Anonymous said...

Amen I'm beginning to even hate watching.

Anonymous said...

I wish they had put Marcus and Maria together but not as a sexual couple but just "together" if that makes sense. Then Todd could have arrived on scene and Maria could have been a good support for Marcus, talking him back to reality, if indeed he found anything attractive about Todd (which I still can't believe to this moment).

Carry On Blogging! said...

Anonymous - I never hate watching Corrie! I'll always love it, I just find it frustrating sometimes!

Anonymous said...

I will STOP watching before I hate watching Corrie. I will never come to the point where I HATE watching...why would I watch something I HATE?

But it certainly is frustrating as Graeme says when your show of shows...the show you go to brew up your favourite tea before broadcast continues to frustrate and leaves you nibbling on tinier and tinier morsels of entertainment!

Michelle and Steve - I AGREE - this pairing was just a disaster first, second...third? time around but given that the higher powers felt that Steve had to have a female companion behind the bar -- why make her such a cow and him such a hen-pecked, feckless coward? He should be able to stand up to Michelle by now. This second hook-up should have logically featured a different power dynamic of this couple given that the bar, the house and home -- the vast majority share anyway belongs to him and his mom Liz. This is why I found Michelle's constant pecking of Steve annoying -- she was kicked out of the factory or felt she was pushed out and had no prospects so essentially Steve took her in. The final straw is her over-the-top attitude in literally blaming everythng on Steve -- Tina's death, the affair, the loss of Carla's baby. It's a bit rich even for Michelle. How could this character think even for a moment that SHE could have saved or salvage any of the situation when she herself couldn't convince her "best" friend Carla to give her a raise or a promotion at the faktry... She'd be profoundly sad and at a loss like the rest of Cobbledom but her seething anger at not being informed sooner of the dirty business is just too much to stomach. Ah well, good riddance to bad rubbish. I hope she doesn't find herself behind the bar or anywhere near Stevee.

As for Katy in the Windbag/Arsestrong clan staying on her high moral horse after doing such a beautiful job with HER own relationship with Chesney after specifically quitting school to be a mom rather than growing up a bit and better able to support a "family" -- I could care less that she walks out on Anna -- collecting the rest of her baggage along with a trunk ful of her "indignation". Please do not come back Kateh, eh???

And there's Gail who rarely lives in an empty house or even an isolated one -- all scared up to even go to bed at night. So she's at work in the Bistro toilets/front desk at the gym and by teatime she's at home with Kylie, David, the baby and whoever else... AND her flat shares a common wall with the Windasses. She's also within shouting distance of Sally and her "conservatory"... FINE, be ANGRY at the violation a burglary causes one to feel and perhaps a bit scared, but this is again over-the-top -- OTT! Just incredibly frustrating to believe.

YES, yes... the actors are all taking it in stride and giving the angst-ridden performance of their lives... some probably are salivating at the prospect of stretching their acting chops at such "misery" laden scripts. But for an audience, we should be watching a fully developed show with interesting, convincing storylines, characters that come alive because of their humanity and humanness -- weakness, srength, the good, the bad and the ugly. We should be watching a TV show, not some acting workshop!


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