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

Monday, 11 August 2014

The men of Weatherfield


The return of the wonderful Jim McDonald last week has made me ponder the state of Coronation Street's men. We all know that Corrie has always been dominated by the strong female characters but male representation is also very important.

Big Jim is a man's man. He has his demons but all he really wants is the love of a good woman (Elizabeth) and the respect of his sons. Most of the time these days he's some way off achieving these goals but he always gives it a damn good try. And normally clad head to foot in denim.

Jim follows a tradition of Corrie men that was long epitomised by Len Fairclough. Len was a bit rough around the edges, not afraid of a hard drinking session or a good brawl in the street. However he was also a local councillor and respected businessman. People would go to him for help and advice in times of need. And above all else he married the Weatherfield Warbler herself, Rio Rita. However apart from Len and his sidekick Ray Langton, who else was there? Mike Baldwin was too smooth, Ken Barlow wore too many woolly liberal cardigans and Stan Ogden was far too feckless. Perhaps the man's man has always been in short supply in Weatherfield?

Who are the contenders these days amidst Corrie's ever bulging cast?

I remember early on, RIta commented that Owen Armstrong reminded her of Len. I have to say at the time, he did to me too. Now though I'm not so sure. Tony Stewart, currently stepping out with Jim's fair Elizabeth is also a bit rough and ready but he's far too sly and cunning for me. I'd rule Steve and Lloyd out straight away. Lovely as they both undoubtedly are, their girlfriends constantly run rings around them and not often in a good, palatable way.

Nick Tilsley is too camp and petulant, David will always look too young and Dev is just Dev. Rob has been taken down the killer route and lovely Roy is in a category all of his own. Peter Barlow meanwhile has soaked up enough personality flaws for the entire district. Who does that leave us with?

Jason Grimshaw is a true bloke - the character's development and sense of maturity over the years has been impressive. Ryan Thomas has taken Jason a long way since his early appearances. He's the only male presence in the Grimshaw household with a bit of integrity and a backbone at the moment. I just hope he rumbles his unpleasant father and equally toxic brother before they ruin his business.

Perhaps a bit of an odd contender, but there's always our Kirkeh. He may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer (something I think the writers sometimes take too far) but he'll always stand up for his sister, no matter how deranged she becomes. He's also a steadfast supporter of Beth, Craig and Chesney. 

Finally there's Gary Windass. There's a streak of the bad lad in Gary regardless of where he's at in life. Gary's decision to go to war and the aftermath of his life as a soldier were beautifully written and poignantly, powerfully portrayed. Does his link to the army put him in the Jim McDonald mould? 

Kevin Webster will also be returning to the fold again shortly. Is he the epitome of the Weatherfield bloke? Or is he too fists first, think later? 

So who, for you, is currently the archetypical Coronation Street bloke? Which Corrie men do you think need to "man up" and who would you like to see more of (in a manner of speaking)?

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20 comments:

njblas said...

I notice you didn't mention Kal, and probably with good reason. I thought the character had potential, but he hasn't really developed at all since his first appearance. He and Leanne are painfully unsuited as a couple. Not impressed with any of his family members either. I feel they could go the way of the Clayton and Morton families afore long...

Tvor said...

I wouldn't put Kal as a Man's Man either. Too suave even if he used to be a soldier. He doesn't seem the type that would thrive in army life. I'd say Gary certainly has the potential to be a man's man as he matures. He's certainly got the volatility but also a gentle side.

Dev wasn't mentioned either but again, too suave. he's definitely a ladies' man.

Anonymous said...

Len's man manliness also included a bit of wife beating as did Jim.

Anonymous said...

None..they're all a bunch of pussies who whine and moan about their lots in life and when things don't go their way, they go an hit the bottle...AND they blame everything they've done wrong on someone else.
Bunch of losers IMO.

tks for the rant

Anonymous said...

It's a bit hard to buy in to Jason Grimshaw's "hard man" image when he's still living with his mother ha!

The only real men on the cobbles IMO since Len Fairclough have been Alan Bradley and Jim McDonald.

They should bring Jim Mac back full time; although (sadly) I believe he will only be back on screen for a few months.

Carry On Blogging! said...

I forgot about Kal Njblas! That says it all

Carry On Blogging! said...

I did mention Dev Tvor but only to say that Dev is Dev, which rules him out I think! :)

Carry On Blogging! said...

I agree bringing Jim back full time would be good :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not looking forward to Kevin's return at all. In my humble opinion there is no place for him on the show any longer. What is he going to do share the house with the annoying Sophie and Maddie? I've never been a fan of Kevin and haven't missed him a single bit.

Humpty Dumpty said...

We've long been missing a male character who was a 'man's man' but also attractive to women. It's a soap archetype along with 'the loveable rogue' and I'd say we don't have one of those, either. Is this where Corrie has gone wrong in recent months?

Jim's aged well. He's mellowed and looks fit for a man coming up to 60. He's got charisma, which Len also had and so did Peter until they ruined him with too many flaws. Jason is in the mould, probably becoming more so as he gets nearer to 40 and isn't so gullible. At the moment, none of the other Corrie males have got Jim's blend of passion, basic decency and sex appeal.

abbyk said...

Tyrone! Maybe not an alpha male but the hardworking, reliable, loyal real man you want to come home to or count as a neighbor if ever there's a problem.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Graeme for a witty and insightful blog. I really enjoyed your observations.

My one question is why we, as viewers, are so ready to forgive and forget Jim McDonald's past weaknesses. Not only was he a bruiser who struck his wife, he also killed a man (although it might have been perceived as retributive justice, it was still a violent act), slept with Fiona behind Steve's back, and subsequently ruined her future prospects. He also beat up Vernon didn't he? While never labeled as an alcoholic, he hit the bottle pretty hard, and could become self-pitying and weak on those occasions.

One theory I have, after reading the recent interview with Charles Lawson, is that the actor himself might be responsible for rescuing his character, by pushing back against the writers' attempts to emasculate Jim -

Charles Lawson: "I had eight months when the writers were fed up with me... Beverley had gone and in the end it was a question of having a sit-down chat with the then-producer to say, 'If you emasculate this man anymore, you're just going to ruin him because he's not about that'.

"But that was the writers bored with me and struggling because they didn't know what to do with him...

"There's two ways of handling that situation - you can either shout, be an idiot or complain, in which case they'll kill you anyway, or you go up and say, 'Look, I think I've got so much to offer this, but at the moment I think you're going to get so bored with the character you're going to kill him. So why in the name of Jesus don't we just say cheerio?' That was fine and however many years later he's still here."

Good on Charles Lawson for seeing the writing on the wall, but for the grace of which, Jim might be remembered less fondly and enthusiastically today.

-ELK

Carry On Blogging! said...


Humpty I think you may be right - they haven't managed to fill the Jim McDonald role properly...which makes me think they should just bring him back full time instead of these on/off appearances. Surely they could think of storylines for him?

Carry On Blogging! said...


You are right Abby, Tyrone is great and he's been around long enough now to be heading for Corrie legend status. I'd much rather see him stick around than Kevin...

Anonymous said...

Most of the blokes on Corrie are just weedy.

Bring back Jim I say too!

Defrost Indoors said...

Tim isn't the right sort you're talking about either -- I like the character and think he has plenty of miles left in him, but he's more in the feckless Jack Duckworth/Karl mold (before Karl went all weird and stalkery) with Jack's kind heart underneath it all.

Anonymous said...

Tim!

Llifon said...

Alan Bradley, Jim, to some extent Kevin Webster and also Gary Mallett.

Llifon said...

And there was also Billy Walker - the hard man behind the Rovers bar. And possibly Karl Munro. Duggie Ferguson as well was said to be in the 'Len' mode.

Anonymous said...

I think Kirk is an ideal man's man.He's kind sensitive and most importantly has demonstrated he's no pushover and should be taken seriously.One example of this is when Tyrone was falsely accused of beating Kirsty,Kirk in no uncertaib refused to believe in his friend's guilt and shut up the factory girls who were gossiping about Ty in the Rovers.

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

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