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Friday, 27 June 2014

In a lull over Corrie

Over the past few months I've been in a lull over Corrie. And I know I've commented on various posts that the show's hit a rough patch and we should keep the faith, but I've been finding myself recently only watching Corrie because that's what I usually do, and not for enjoyment. For instance, last Monday's hour-long episode for me felt like an age, and I even think it's shocking that I say that!

It's not that the acting is bad, but it's the storylines. My dad's not a Corrie fan, and when I'm watching Corrie he tells me to turn off 'that rubbish' and saying that it's not as good as it was back in the days of Ena Sharples and Hilda Ogden. Back then of course, everyone watched Corrie - there were only three channels. But recently I tend to agree with him, and that's scary! I get more enjoyment from watching old Corrie episodes on the internet or DVDs, even though I know the conclusion of plots. But it's the characters that make it for me. And what was great about those episodes was that no character overpowered the others. Today, we have the likes of Peter, Carla, Rob, Anna and we did have Tina hogging our TV screens. I do like these characters, but in moderation.

Corrie has also been extreme in another sense - underusing characters. Audrey has been cruelly underused this year while we don't see enough of Kirk and Beth. Norris has been on the back burner since his storyline with brother Ramsay nearly 5 years ago (apart from Mary imprisoning him in a Yorkshire cottage!)! And while maybe Eileen Derbyshire's health or age won't allow it, I do miss Emily popping up in the Rovers booth on a regular basis. I don't know what the future holds for Rita now that's Tina gone and Dennis is an embarrassment as a character, but that's no fault of Philip Lowrie. Why bring a character back and then not use them?! Baffling!

I'm delighted we've seen more of Deirdre but I have to say I have missed good old Ken. I know many haven't missed him, but I have and I've loved looking at old episodes where he appears in. And I'm excited to see him return.

I hope this lull will disappear in time, but I'm reassured with the likes of Roy, David and Kylie, Sally and Tim, Steph and the old guard that the show can survive.

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Anonymous said...

I stopped enjoying Corrie after Hayley's funeral because I really hated the Peter/Tina tedium and even when I tried to get over how contrived and silly it was, I just found it very repetitive and boring. BUT I've loved Corrie these last few weeks and more than anything I'd say the performances from Alison King, Chris Gascoyne, David Neilson, Marc Baylis etc. have made Corrie unmissable for me again. I suspect they will be taking a break from the Carla/Peter/Rob stuff soon and personally, I'm not looking forward to the upcoming Kal/Leanne/Nick plot but hopefully it won't be boring and I do agree that we need to see more of the other characters you've mentioned.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Right with you, Llifon, and you start to wonder whether this is how it will always be. A previous blog about Hilda made me realise how individual and special characters used to be even though not one of them hogged the screen. If you read an unnamed character's script with no clues in the dialogue, you wouldn't know who was speaking. There's very little in the way of characterisation and mannerisms. Fred's double proclamations, Jim's 'catch yourself on', etc just don't have equivalents these days, and people in real life do have their favourite expressions.

I haven't missed Ken as a character but his absence created a large whole in Peter's storyline. Their love/hate relationship and the continued blame that Peter laid at his father's feet lent so much depth to their scenes. Deirdre's stepped in, but it's not the same as the aging parent and adult child squabbling over the same old themes. Chris G really worked well with Bill Roache. The writers missed something there. Peter could still have had his rows over the phone or internet; his dad wasn't on Mars.

Anonymous said...

Whats wrong with the street at the moment is that most of the scenes and lines in them could be said by any number of characters. You could replace one with another and it wouldnt matter. In the good old days the smallest of lines said by the right character would make a scene. - Micky

Anonymous said...

I read a lot of your posts and agreed with them so I've stopped watching after over 30 years. I realised it was a mix of habit. nostalgia and hope it would get better - but it doesn't. I read this blog and that's all I seem to need now - still feel I know what's going on and I now have a couple of hours extra time a week to do something else. Don't miss it all.

Defrost Indoors said...

I agree; they focus far too much on the same characters and bring in new ones (poorly) while ignoring established people. The constant telegraphing of spoilers is also annoying because it removes so much of the suspense. I don't blame the blog for running them, btw; I blame the studio for constantly letting out the info. I think they are shooting themselves in the foot by doing that and diminishing interest and tension.

NZ Coro Junkie said...

I wonder whether the writers are deliberately recycling tried and tested story lines (cheating, murder, miscarriage, teen pregnancy) on the basis that involving different characters will sufficiently individualise the plot as they won't all react to circumstances in the same way, and different actors bring their own interpretation. Alison King and Marc Bayliss for example are currently playing blinders, even if we've been here before.

Often lately I have cringed and even become irate at announcements of story lines, but appreciate them more when they play out. Even the acting in the Peter/Tina storyline, which I hated from whoa to go, worked. The affair was depicted as tawdry in the extreme (having sex in Carla and Peter's bed, for instance) and I don't think we, the audience, were ever supposed to feel comfortable about it. Patterns of dysfunctional behaviour (which Peter has exhibited in spades) coupled with middle age = pathos, so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that Peter has reached a pathetic nadir at his stage in life.

However, I can't understand why Ken has not reappeared by now. It's months since Bill Roache was acquitted. Even if scripts are finalised in advance, they don't seem to have much trouble writing characters out in a hurry, so why not reintroduce them on the same basis? Particularly when it would serve the integrity of the storyline.

Anonymous said...

Coronation Street has become an American Soap opera !! Sad!!! M

John McE said...

I am sure the real reason ITV refuse to show the series again from the beginning, on one of their many channels, is that they are worried people would watch the old episodes and stop watching the new.

Talia said...

I have to agree with Anonymous 04:08's comment as I caught a bit of an American soap yesterday, and thought the same thing.

Over the years I've enthused about C.S. when talking to someone who'd never heard of it.

I was proud to say it was NOTHING like an American soap.

Can't say that now though, which is a real shame.

However,I will say that IMO, the acting on C.S. is still superior to it's American counter-parts, but certainly not the story lines.

The 'un-thinkable' has happened with me; I read this blog for information and comments, and I pick and choose when to watch C.S.; a far cry from when I would do anything not to miss an ep, which breaks the habit of a life-time, really...

Anonymous said...

Agreed. I too have stopped watching. I blame ITV for the spoilers and the writers etc for the fact that I don't care about the characters - and I used to. CS has always had the odd crazy storyline, unbelievable situation and so on but I cared what happened to the main characters like Hilda, Annie, Betty, Alf, Rita and the rest. Now there are too many of them for one thing. Tina dies? Who cares. I really wasn't bothered who did it either. I'm bored with the ongoing sagas of Peter and Carla, threesomes, love triangles and underage pregnancies no longer shock, Gail gets another lover? So what? CS needs a radical cast cull and for me, an episode or two less per week (which I know won't happen) because filling all that time causes the writers to stretch and regurgitate stories and the producer to want to bring in new blood all the time. I read an interview with a TV exec (not from CS) recently where he said that it wasn't about ratings but about how many of a certain demographic watched. The thought being that if the advertisers wanted to reach 18-25 year olds, for example, programmes had to attract them even if it simply meant putting a bit of totty in the odd episode or getting a bit of publicity in publications/websites read by those people to make them watch an episode or two. That's all it was about. He said that loyal viewers watch no matter what but you had to attract occasional viewers who met the criteria advertisers were looking for. The longevity of a show, the loyalty of its audience or the integrity of the 'brand' counted for little.

Talia said...

I too commented on that many posts ago Anonymous 13:29.

It's all about demographics, as let's face it, the young ones, the generation they want to attract if the show is to live on, is who they want.

They don't care if the mature audiences keep watching, that's all the better for ratings of course if they do, but the young viewers are the ones that would be likely to buy the consumer products presumably being pitched during the show's time-slot.
At least, that's how things are done this side of the pond.

Anonymous said...

In Canada the CBC seems to think the viewership of the show doesn't contain any young people, judging from the content of the ads.11003

Anonymous said...

A slight change of topic. When Stuart Blackburn came on board, he said he had gone back and studied the old episodes of Corrie. The results may not be perfect, but I still think we should give credit where it's due. Maybe Mr. Blackburn is compelled to play to a younger demographic, but something about the show - call it the centre of gravity - has shifted in the last year. Take Tina's death. While sensational and headline grabbing (whatever that means), the focus has really been on satellite characters, the drama around the drama as it were. Isn't that what we on this blog have been asking for?

Many comments hope TPTB will read the blog and take note. Maybe we should ask rather, if they do read it, should we not give credit where it's due and acknowledge the gentle steering away from crashes and fires and what not?

I'm in Canada, so I just saw the scene where Faye applies for a paper girl route. That was a good scene, y'know? Everyone came across sympathetically. Faye, Norris, and Gary.

Jack Layton, a much loved politician in Canada, used to talk about the politics of proposition, not opposition. Where this applies to Corrie, I just don't think a new producer can work wonders (especially while pleasing advertisers) overnight, but credit where credit is due. Let's say TPTB are listening to loyal viewers too, let's at least appreciate the efforts they have made to circle the rocks...

Anonymous said...

please draft in some better scriptwriters..the current storylines are boring and predictable..some of the older actors are embassing to watch..i.e. Norris..Emily and new characters and new scriptwriters please..


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