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Tuesday 27 January 2015

In Defence of Faye's Pregnancy Storyline

Contains Spoilers 

You'd have to have been living under a cobble not to know that everyone's favourite teenage adopted Windass is to have a bun in the oven. Or, more (in)appropriately, a 'Hello Kitty' fairy cake in the oven. Given that the storyline was first announced over a year ago, there were even whispers that the plot had been scrapped due to the controversy it would inevitably cause. 
According to Stuart Blackburn when I spoke to him recently, however, it's merely been a case of waiting for the right time and, keeping the story away from the radar has been a very deliberate move by scriptwriters since the party Faye attended at which the ill advised liaison with a lad occurred. 

Forums, Twitter and cream cake laden tables in garden centre cafes have been buzzing with outrage that the storyline is in bad taste but my viewpoint is that it is surely fair to wait until the scenes air until passing judgement. In the meantime, to play Devil's Advocate, it's time to refute some of the most popular complaints about the story. Here goes!

"It's so unrealistic! It would never happen."
Firstly, yes it would, and does but I agree that a pregnant 12/13 year old is not commonplace. However, nor is the wedding of two murderers ending in arrest, a local housewife marrying her burglar or someone as eccentric as Dev. Coronation Street is a soap, not a documentary and, while it cannot be a bad thing to highlight underage pregnancy, its prominent aim is to entertain. The sad reality is, while someone like Faye who we recently saw believe that the Barlow house was being haunted by Blanche and who still eats fish fingers and smiley faces for dinner is an unlikely candidate for pregnancy, young girls DO fall into these situations. Short of alien landings, nothing, therefore is out of bounds for a soap. If it can happen, no matter how unlikely, then it will happen on a soap at some point. 

"It's a tasteless story and offensive!"
Offensive is a real buzz word right now and I have heard that Ofcom are taking on some temps to cope with the outpouring of moral outrage calls they will receive when the scenes air but something is only tasteless if it is portrayed badly. The storyline will deal with Faye's fear of becoming a mother and terror at how her family will react as well as her bond with the lovely Craig. It is a pre watershed show and Coronation Street has a track record of handling it's social issue stories sensitively. Until we see things unfold, we really can't judge whether the story will offend.

"You can't trust a story of this magnitude to young actors!"
I beg to differ. Ellie Leach gets a bit of a bad deal on fan forums and social media because people tend not to like her character's bratty edge. But therein lies the answer as to whether she's a competent actress. Teenagers and those entering their teenage years are notoriously infuriating and spoilt and if Ellie is getting on our nerves, then she is doing her job. At other times, we genuinely feel for Faye and her relationship with good pal Craig is truly heartwarming. And there can not be a negative word said about the legend in waiting that is Colson Smith, who portrays one of Corrie's best young characters in years. Long live Faye and Craig and, having seen some of the scenes already, I can assure you, the actors handle the story expertly and with every ounce of professionalism you'd find in an adult actor.

It's a popular bandwagon to jump on to slate a story like this but, looking at the bigger picture, I can honestly say I am approaching this with an open mind that is erring more to the 'this could be really good' side as opposed to the more widespread 'you've gone too far this time Corrie' angle.

I may be wrong (first time for everything) but I'm willing to embrace the potential rather than worrying about aspects that may not come to pass.

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By Duncan Lindsay

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Anonymous said...

A bit off topic, but that Craig has been a jem since he first appeared. I hope he's in it for the long haul.
C in Canada.

AmandaB said...

The 'unrealistic' argument doesn't hold, it happens all the time, including 2 girls in my year at school.
A plot like this can be a useful lesson for children watching and creates a springboard from which parents could initiate discussion.
What I think we the bloggers object to is the fact that we will have months of endless Windass screen time including Anna's misguided pompous rantings. I'd far prefer Faye to move in with Tim and Sally and see them deal with the situation.

@NickJay6 (Manchester) said...

I must have been living under a cobble then. First time I've heard of this but why there should be outrage, I've no idea - not the first time this storyline has been done - ala Sarah-Louise Platt! True she was supposedly 16 if memory serves so this time the age is a bit lower but I wonder what percentage of 12 and 13 years of age actually watch Corrie? Seems like so many of the soaps are just regurgitating old storylines and many repeating them too. Look at euthenasia at the moment. Was done on Emmerdale already, Corrie already (Roy & Hayley) and Eastenders already (Dot & Ethel) yet Eastenders are doing it again - or were suggesting until last night that they were so who will be next I wonder?

Anyway I digress. :)

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Sarah Platt pregnant at 12 and gave birth age 13? Sadly these things do happen in real life.

Anonymous said...

Craig is a joy to watch - a teenager who is sensitive and caring rather than a brat. The bratty teenager seems to be the default option in Corrie, just wait until the Alahan twins reach 13, unless they spend their teen years in their rooms listening to music.

I can imagine Craig playing a significant role in this story, as Faye's confidant and supporter.

Tvor said...

My main objection is that this sensational story has already been done! Ok, Yes, you can have duplicate storylines because you wouldn't last very long if you could only show one affair, one murder etc. But when it's something really detailed like a 12/13 year old getting pregnant and is too far along for a termination, why do it again even if you're doing it a bit differently?

I do agree that Ellie Leach is capable of the storyline. I think she's a cracking little actor and plays Faye as very believable. I know that they will do a good job with the storyline and it will be handled well.

Shan said...

I am also one of those people who object just based on the fact that they are repeating the storyline, same age and all.

I think they could do a good job with this if it explores adoption. I would personally write it as struggling with what to do and examining how adoption has helped her, and in the end, placing the baby for adoption.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Agree 100% with Shan. I definitely think Faye should go down the adoption route given that she has had a good experience herself. That would be very authentic. Moving the story on from Faye's situation, I fear this will turn into Anna's story. Anna the martyr will want to look after the baby while Faye returns to school. She won't want Social Services involved and will believe that her love is all that Faye and the baby need. I do hope Faye can stand up to her mother, with the support of Tim & Sally and Craig.

Duncan Lindsay said...

SPOILER The story will sort of explore this. Faye considers leaving the baby outside a hospital so it gets taken into adoption as she thinks the baby will have a better life that way than she could ever give it *END SPOILER*

Anonymous said...

You are so right about Colson Smith.
He's a super talent. Love his character dearly.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see Tim desperate to adopt the baby, creating an instant graddad-dad complexity to their relationship.

Being drawn to her spawn, I'd also like to see Faye move in with Sally and Tim permanently and leave Anna and Gary to their own miserable fates - and Anna's nose rubbed in her poor mothering skills by social services blaming her for Faye's underage pregnancy.

Then Faye and Craig could explore a sweet and supportive friendship and might turn into a longer-term relationship when they're older.

Blythe said...

I agree with anon above. It would be nice to see Faye live with Tim and Sally. Anna and Gary, be gone!

The.HR.Doctor said...

Craig is the new Stan Ogden, except with a bit of initiative...


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