Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Blog writer's block


At the moment I'm suffering from what I can only describe as blog writer's block. I've been contributing to this fine blog for the past two years and I've never before struggled for subject matter. An idea pops into my head or I react to something I've seen on screen and off I go.

This familiar pattern hasn't been happening lately and it's making me question my long-held Coronation Street loyalty. Yes I still watch regularly. I still know all the characters and what's happening to them. I still look out for Corrie news stories in the press and I'm a fearless defender of the cult of Corrie when I come up against non-believers. It's just, well, at the moment something is missing.

It might just be me going through an uncreative patch. Or it might be a sign that my love of all things Corrie is gradually on the wane. I don't know. I didn't see Corrie for two weeks while I was away on holiday and I noticed two things in relation to this. First of all, I didn't miss it and secondly, it was quickly apparent on my return that I hadn't really missed all that much. I could carry on after an absence of ten episodes like I'd never been gone. In an era that sees Corrie churned out and things happen at a pace that feels weird and out of kilter.

Amanda Barrie wrote at great length in her wonderful autobiography about her reasons for leaving Coronation Street back in 2001. At the time Corrie was somewhat in the doldrums from what I can remember. It had gone into an issue led phase in order to battle EastEnders for the ratings crown. It had lost a lot of its heart. Amanda worried that the increase in episodes and the change in direction was threatening the traditional, cherished strengths of the show and I can't help but see parallels thirteen years on. Things picked up again for Corrie mid-way through that decade and it once again had a fruitful, successful period. I'm confident that will happen again. 

I know former Corrie stars frequently "speak out" to the press about the show not being what it was in their day and for the most part I take these comments with a pinch of salt. Maybe it's me going through the Corrie doldrums and not the programme itself, I don't know. I'll try and find my blog writing mojo again and in the meantime I'll keep watching, looking for the green shoots of growth. Corrie will never be the programme it was in the days of Doris Speed and Violet Carson and nor should it be. It has to adapt to changing times. That doesn't mean the essence of what made Corrie great fifty odd years ago can't still be found in the scripts, storylines and performances in 2014. 

I don't know where I'm going with this blog but I hope it shows that even though I'm experiencing a bout of Corrie turbulence, I still care an awful lot about my favourite television drama. 

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15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am watching in Canada and am not enjoying the current storylines at all. Fizz and Tyronne are really showing their ignorance trying to get a load of money out of Jason by suing him. Do they really think they will get a huge settlement in court! I don't understand if Tyronne is part owner of the garage why he wouldn't have an income. There is no reason why he couldn't go to the garage, answer the phone, do the books and help with some minor repairs. He has no problem sitting in Roy's (on a daily basis) and walking about with Fizz (where are the kids)mouthing off at Jason. Then we have Kylie at her wit's end because her son has attention deficit disorder it's hardly a fatal illness and he is getting help. Why is a one year old baby waking up 3/4 times a night! If she is teething there are treatments for that. I think the writers aren't giving us realistic storylines. I am a long time viewer but I think I keep watching more out of loyalty than anything else. We need some new interesting characters and need to get rid of some dead weight characters (Katy, Tyronne, Fizz, Kylie, David, Maria and Sophie to name a few)nothing against the actors who play them I just can't stand the characters.

Barrie.T said...

I have no doubt in my mind that Stuart Blackburn is to blame.andrea needs to go, the entire nazir clan need to go, we do not need any new characters joining. 50% of the cast need to be cut. None of these things are going to happen while SB is in charge. We can only hope that his contract is coming to an end very soon.

Anonymous said...

do you think the new set has oрened uр a bermuda triangle? all storylines are reрeated - by different heads. It's surreal! There's a storyline for you ;) - John H

Anonymous said...

How short memories are. The previous producer, Phil Collinson, was hated for much the same reason. Blackburn's vision has been seen on the screen for a year and a half now. We have been complaining long before he came onto the scene. Just go back to some of the old discussion forums to see. I think there is some truth that perhaps there are too many shows per week and that can affect the quality of the shows plus for all shows that are soaps, they are probably finding it difficult to keep audiences committed to watching these shows consistently as they have other things in their lives. http://coronationstreetupdates.blogspot.ca/2012/10/what-will-phil-collinsons-corrie-legacy.html?m=1

Humpty Dumpty said...

Oh, you're not alone, Graeme. I have enough trouble looking at blogs and thinking about commenting. And then I realise I've got nothing to say because nothing is really grabbing me. We often complain about the writing and acting on this site but my main worry is the directing. For example, Simon (as many have pointed out) throws his arms around people. Cute at first but now nauseous. I don't think Alex is directed to do that. He learnt it a long time ago and no-one has told him to stop. Similarly with Tracy and her gurning, Sophie and her mumbling, Gail and her simpering. I wish a director would say: 'Stop doing that, it's getting on my nerves.'

Could we perhaps have a blog on 'The Groan Factor', Graeme? I could think of several things that make me groan. Seems like we're have to make our own entertainment these days.

Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed seeing photos and a brief commentary of her pet dog by Eileen Derbyshire, from the recent dog charity visit to coronation street. We haven't seen her much as Emily as recent, so it was a real treat

Anonymous said...

I agree with all the comments - Corrie just isnt' what it used to be - I know most of my friends who watch Corrie in Canada & the US have pretty much given up - even though CBC will be playing catch up within a week of the UK timeline - so what?? you could miss a week and you can pick right up where you left off - nothing changes- they just beat the same old storylines to death. The new characters on the street are the best: Luke, Steph, Maddie, Michael. And the remake of Gary is wonderful. Maybe even Yasim in some instances. I say change the plot writers and bring in some fresh new ideas. Corrie is getting old and past it's sell by date.

Tvor said...

Could just be a case of post-holiday blues, too. You had a lovely two weeks away and it's hard to come back down to earth.

Anonymous said...

I think the main reason that Corrie is in the doldrums right now is due to dragged out and mean spirited storylines featuring the same characters over and over again.Some new and interesting characters like Luke and Steph have been introduced but yet,it's only the Platts and the Barlows who seem to dominate episodes.I don't think Corrie will get better either with Kevin's return as it will be same old wanting Sally back routine.

Graeme N said...


Might be Tvor, although I was feeling a bit like this before I went!

Graeme N said...


Humpty, I'll get started on The Groan Factor immediately!

Anonymous said...

Graeme, once again you are in tune with so many corrie fans. I will always love corrie but part of that love stems from its rich history. I often wonder now whether there would be such an obvious love for the show if it was a new soap launched with no history. I feel corrie is losing its heart, there is not as much depth to the characters and things seemed rushed at times. The characters can seem bland and two dimensional and where as once upon a time there was no one bigger than the show this was because there were always other great characters waiting in the wings. We have lost many greats over the last few years but they have been replaced with grey characters who have personality transplants to fit the storyliners briefs so now the loss of cornerstones such as Jack, Blanche, Hayley and Betty seem more drastic. Even in the press when we hear about how great corrie is it is always these past characters which are referred to. Do we really care about Andrea? The Windasses? Even dare I say Tyrone and Fiz like we did the duckworths, Bet, Curly and Raquel? The answer is a big fat no. I fear we need to go back to basics and then we will find the love again!- Micky

Anonymous said...

All the complainers here, could you do a better job? I didn't think so.

Beth said...

I haven't watched for months now which is incredible as I've been a fan since the 70s. I come back to the blog for catch ups to see if it's worth tuning back in but nothing's grabbing me and it just seems more of the same. The longer it's going the less I'm missing the show and the connection I feel.

Then all the press releases from Granada with even more brand news characters when they don't seem to be able to develop an already huge cast. Characters are brought in in explosive stories and then it's though they don't know what to do with them anymore and they revert back to months of Platt or Windass sagas - whilst they search for more brand new characters for more explosive plots..... And so it goes on....

I fear my Corrie days may be over :(

Talia said...

Beth, I too have watched for a long time ( since the mid-60s actually) and thought the day would never come when I could not care less about watching.
However, it has, and I don't miss the show at all, I only miss the enjoyment I used to get out of watching.
I only look in on the blog once in a while now too, it's the end of a very long era in television viewing for me, and for quite a few others too, obviously.
Glad I happened to catch your post Graeme; it always rings true and is very much in tune with the way many of us feel.

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