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Thursday 11 December 2014

Musings on a year on the cobbles

Don't worry! It's not one of those long meanderings through the year's plots and storylines. They have already been covered excellently by those better equipped than me to do so. This is more of a ramble (in more ways than one) on my own personal loves and loathes of 2014. Is it possible to have a favourite Corrie year? I'm not sure. I think as devotees of the show we tend to talk in terms of eras as opposed to specific years. 2014 - a mixed bag?

Sometimes real life has a shocking way of running in tandem with Corrie. Hayley's illness and subsequent demise came at a time when cancer had arrived in my own household. It made the fictional goings-on of the Croppers impossible to watch and so I avoided huge chunks of the show for several months. It was too painful. Therefore, for purely selfish reasons, I was happy to wave 'ta-ra' to our Hales back in January. Julie Hesmondhalgh provided us with so much joy over the years though.

No tears though for the final, painful offerings from the elder Price family members. At last the white flag of defeat was hoisted and off they went. Gloria, in particular, brought very little to the party and for those of us who have loved Sue Johnston's work over the years, it felt like a blatant squandering of her talents. Glo arrived like some bo-ho battleaxe and departed as an unloved marriage wrecker. Stella vacated the Rovers and did a stint at the increasingly cheerless Bistro before packing her beige bags and doing one. I can't imagine that we will see her again.

The death of Tina was long in coming but when it did, it seemed to (temporarily) be the making of Rob. This sometime humdrum character shone in the period up to his own exit and that made his departure all the more sad. As murderers go, Rob was no pantomime Richard Hillman or hapless John Stape. He was just a fool. Oddly, the rise of Rob also seemed to have reinvigorated Tracy Barlow. It's now almost a given that the majority of blog readers can't stand Tracy luv and yet when thrown a meaty storyline, Kate Ford breathed new life into her. About time too. There is something a little queasy watching a woman approaching forty acting like a stroppy teenager. Time to woman-up Trace.

We all have our favourites though and it's always difficult to pick out those who have impressed most. As ever, Steve has been a good watch in 2014. The depression storyline maybe heavy meat but Simon Gregson's portrayal of a man in turmoil has, to date, been mesmorising. Also high on my 'love list' for this year, ladies and gentlemen Miss Julie Carp. With tedious teacher Brian consigned to history, Julie has escaped a dull relationship to emerge as Weatherfield's very own Doris Day. She dresses like every day is 1957. She's taming Comedy Dev. She needs to be behind that Corner Shop counter. Now.

Luke and Steph Britton have shone in 2014 too. So far, no sign of murky backstories or unhinged personas - just a couple of normal young twenty-somethings, cracking on with work and having a bit of fun. Easy characters who are well acted. What more can we ask?

Also, let's hear it for Tim Metcalfe. Originally I had wondered if Tim was being lined-up to provide us with another 'character with a dark secret' (yawn). Instead we got a slightly bemused but decent bloke who is the ideal foil for Sally and her Hyacinth Bucket moments. Again, in Joe Duttine, the Street is blessed with a fine actor. He and Sally Dynevor are possibly the most watchable couple on the cobbles at the moment.

There's probably far too many to mention but hey, it's Christmas so let's 'big up' Paula Lane and Catherine Tyldesley (enjoy the maternity leave but come back soon!), Anne Kirkbride (Deirdre lobbing that trifle at the wall was a moment to savour) and Amy Kelly. Maddie has come on in leaps and bounds.

That's just my ever-so-humble take on things. Thanks to the actors and all those involved with Corrie who give us something to rant on about!

We all have favourite storylines and characters. Who did you love and loathe in Weaterfield this year?

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XUP said...

I've always liked Tracy and Faith Ford and you're right, she's gotten even better lately. It looks, however, as if they are going to make her waste a lot of time and stupid effort in doing evil stuff to Carla now instead of letting her have the dimensions she is on the brink of developing.

Upintheattic said...

It was also a pleasure to see Kate Ford get a decent story line. We learned that both her and Alison King are indeed very good actors. It was also a year that saw a lot of our favourite characters leave. There is still a few left that are leaving, and hopefully, a couple of them will return. Loved reading your blog Clinkers. Thank you for sharing.

I'm sorry that your husband was so ill at the beginning of the year. So I'm leaving you with a virtual hug.

Tvor said...

Pretty much agree with all you've said. I was glad to see the back of Tina and disliked the affair but Chris Gascoyne made it watchable. Loved having that little visit with Big Jim. The short scenes with he and Liz and with Steve crackled with chemistry as always. I really think Maddie has so much potential but they've got her in a dead end relationship with Sophie. For a soap that was created by a gay man, they sure can't seem to find interesting stories for the gay couples. They put them together then completely forget about them.

Loving Kirk and Beth. Loved Carla and Roy's blossoming friendship. Where's that gone? Kylie and David continue to impress me, too.

I thought I'd like Kal and Leanne together but they're dull as dishwater and another couple that, once put together, have been pretty much forgotten. Alya's ok but she's not interesting with Gary. Zeedan so far is just a scowling kid. Is he old enough to be friends with Steph and Luke and Katy? He needs someone to hang out with besides his family. Maybe he could be good friends with Ches and Sinead, they're also in the right age group.

I'm glad the Prices are gone as well. Good to see Cilla back for a visit. Loving Kevin and Tim's matey friendship.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Agree with everything you say. My tolerance threshold is a lot lower than yours, though, and I loathe quite a bit more. The Nazirs are as tedious as the Windarms and now they're linked! If only Anna was leaving, too. How is it that so few people on the Street have friends. Tracy, amazingly, has Beth but where are the friends for David Platt, who has lived all his life on the Street, Alya who could confide in Steph, Anna has no female friends ... Some of the storylines of this year would have worked if only the character could have opened their heart to someone so we could understand their deepest emotions. Why is Alya so passive? Did she promise her dying mother (whom she never talks about) that she would be a good girl for her dad?

Tim was going nowhere until the writers were forced by reality to give him a real story. Wonderful match with Sally and working quite well with Kevin. Tracy was about to be saved but it sounds like she's going back to square one.

I have an idea for Tracy when Deirdre returns. The relationship between parents and their adult children starts to change when the kids reach 40. Deirdre could come back not quite herself (guilt/delayed grief, maybe)and Tracy should realise that she has to take more care of her mum. That would save Tracy from returning to childish ways. Kate Ford has shown that she is capable of much more if she's given a decent script.

Anonymous said...

Was glad to see LESS of Leanne. She's great, but in small doses. Hope to see Deirdre come back, although I would have thought she'd be there for Tracy's 'non-wedding'.
Steve is always great, love scenes with him and Lloyd.
Michelle can 'do one'!
C in Canada

Llifon said...

Loves: Ken's comeback, Sally and Tim, Dev and Julie, Stella leaving, Jim's stint

Loathes: Todd returning, Dennis ruination, Kylie drug plot

ChiaGwen said...

Andrea.....please leave.
Kal and Leanne: Indeed, dull as chemistry there.
Nick: Has his own flat but still seems to keep things at his Mummy's.....sad boy.

Tim and Sally. Never thought I would say that but they are better together than Sally and Kevin.
Beth/Kirk/Craig....more scenes please.
Julie: Good move putting her with Dev...I think they will play off each other very well and agree get Julie in the corner shop...better there than the Faktry.
Audrey: the woman can do no wrong in my eyes. Needs a storyline that maybe doesn't involve all those annoying Platts....could Lewis please return!

Rebecca said...

I'm going to jump on the Dev & Julie bandwagon -- I like them together and what a great reason to get Julie into a more suitable job at the shop!

I admit that I owe Kate Ford an apology. I've always said I didn't like Tracy, but in the past few months I've realized it's the writers who have been giving poor Kate absolute garbage to work with. I actually even liked Todd when Tracy went around to goad him back to work! If any writers are reading this please let us see more of this Tracy and no more of the one dimensional bitch!

I was so glad to see the end of the whole Peter/Tina story. We all know that if he had killed her he would have been absolutely covered in orange self tanner.

I was glad to see the end of St Ella, the Beige Lady of the Back Room and her mother, Blanche's wannabe replacement with no redeeming qualities. It was sad to see Haley's death, but I was glad to see it handled so well. I would like to see more of the friendship between Carla and Roy in the coming year though.

Anonymous said...

Still tired of stroppy, horrible Tracy - good actress, just not given enough dimensions. On the other hand, Carla's character has been given so much more depth in the last year. Love her storylines.

Perhaps I'm just being sentimental, but I'd like a good storyline in the new year for the older set. Couldn't something interesting happen to Emily?


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