Monday, 19 January 2015

Corrie spoilers: Less is more?


I can never resist reading ahead to find out what is going to happen in Corrie. My partner constantly despairs that I seem to know everything that is going on with my favourite characters rather than waiting for the odd surprise. However, when thinking about this I realised that we don't often get surprises from Coronation Street these days.

I've been to several ITV press events as part of my role as a blogger for this site and they are always terrific. It's a great privilege and a pleasure to get sneak peeks behind the scenes and meet some of those involved. It is something that Coronation Street and ITV do very well indeed. I'm wondering though whether we, the viewers, are exposed to too much in advance in the hope of securing high viewing figures?

Take the mini bus crash. From the clips I've seen it looks brilliantly executed and yes, very dramatic (that much overused word). The trouble is that most Corrie fans and the viewing public at large have been keenly aware for months that this is coming. It has featured in many publications, newspapers, on television and the internet. Every member of the cast involved has been interviewed about their role in the big stunt and possible consequences for their characters. My worry is that this strips the storyline clean and leaves us with little that is unknown and surprising to look forward to. We will all still tune in tonight to watch the trauma unfold but will it, I wonder, have lost a bit of its edge?

Every so often the Corrie producer will appear on television or in the press to discuss upcoming storylines. Always an interesting interview which sparks many comments both here and elsewhere. But do we need to know it all? I hate to bring EastEnders into this, and I don't watch it at all, however I am aware of a new tactic that has been deployed in Albert Square. Every so often the producers will hit the viewers with a complete surprise. They have apparently very successfully brought back characters from the past for brief, but unexpected stints. This could be said to give the programme greater continuity and believability while also hooking viewers in who are waiting for the next unexpected twist. Is this something Coronation Street should explore?

We all love to gossip about Corrie and attempt to predict what will happen in the weeks and months ahead, but is it better left at that? Do we need all of Corrie's storylines to be discussed and previewed repeatedly leaving nothing left to the imagination? You can understand the need to stoke the publicity furnace on an ongoing basis but are we now at saturation point? I'll probably never stop reading ahead and pouncing on the latest bit of news, but what do you think?

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9 comments:

Chewy said...

It's definately the case these days, it feels like Corrie themselves don't even try to hide the spoilers anymore, its ruined my enjoyment of the show somewhat.

Alison said...

Like you I can't resist reading ahead, but I loved when Gavin turned out not to be Gavin - something that was kept completely under wraps!

Humpty Dumpty said...

It's been a long time since I watched an episode of Corrie with bated breath. It's only the live episodes that have real suspense and part of that is the fear that something may go wrong - although I believe there is a short delay before broadcast. it's the little gems that give the most pleasure. Those scenes which are not worthy of being 'spoiled' and give you a real surprise eg Steve and Peter in the hotel bedroom. If Corrie insists on giving the end away, let the writing and acting more than make up for it.

Tvor said...

I understand that they're using all the publicity to draw viewers in, putting "bums on seats" so to speak. I guess they think that the more they throw out there, the more likely people will want to turn in but as you say, it could have the opposite effect. With the exit of various actors announced months and months ahead, it takes the surprise out of the "lives in the balance" thing. I'm sure the stunts will be exciting to watch just as the tram crash was, and that was really REALLY well done.

I do like to be surprised and yes, I think doing something like EE does, throwing in a big surprise like a returning character or event every now and then would be a great idea.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Tvor in that I can see they hope to attract extra non-regular viewers - but for me, a regular, it spoils it.

Anonymous said...

I've completely stopped reading spoilers, just to try and maintain any sort of enjoyment of the programme. Its very hard to avoid them, especially on this site, but I just don't read past the headlnie on your articles. I've not read anything in your items about Stuart Blackburn's spoilers for the year ahead, so hopefully, somethings will still come as a surprise. Have grown to hate waiting for something to happen that you already know is coming!

BarrieT said...

Grahame you really should watch Eastenders, it's on fire right now, just brilliant (and that coming from a huge corrie fan) but i agree with you and think Stuart Blackburn has been the biggest spoiler. He gives everything away almost a year in advance. We all know Faye is going to get pregnant as it was announced in 2013 (seems like it) not only has the bush crash Surprise been ruined but they have also said that no one will get killed (main reason for viewers suspense) and only one character will be injured. No doubt by next week we will know that Sinead is back to normal. In comparison in Eastenders. Last week there was a surprise car crash. They only announced that someone would be killed off if you watch tonight. Over 2 eps it appeared that ronnie was dead (big surprise we didnt know the actress was leaving) then on the next ep it turned out that ronnie had cone back from the dead (classic soap cliffhanger) and summerhayes was in fact dead (or murdered) its just one surprise after another and its so exciting to watch like a proper whodunnit suspense. Corrie could learn so much at the moment. Please stop spoiling everything.

Anonymous said...

I feel nowadays that it doesn't matter if I miss a few episodes (or even a lot!) as I already know how current storylines play out, and even upcoming ones. So I can tune in days later and know exactly what is going on. Although I do devour any and all spoilers (I can't help myself!) I think it would be good to go back to more surprises, especially for things that will happen months from now.

Anonymous said...

I don't see what the problem is with spoilers. Those people who do not like spoilers don't have to read them. Every place there are spoilers, there are warnings, so don't keep reading if you don't want to know until it is aired. I personally enjoy the spoilers immensely and find it interesting to see how different the reality is from the teaser.

Canadian Corrie Addict

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