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Friday, 23 June 2017

Taking Dramatic License


Cross posted from State of the Street

Many viewers have expressed concerns about the grooming storyline. Bethany's story has definitely been quite controversial. Some think it's gone too far. Some hate that a corrupt policeman has been added for dramatic effect, saying that it could stop someone going for help in "real life". But people know this is a fictional drama, and though these things happen in life, most of the police are not going to be corrupt. This kind of situation is nothing new. Pimps have been seducing vulnerable young women for centuries. Bethany might not have been forced to walk the streets for her clients but Nathan is pimping her out just the same. Even though the vast majority of the police are trustworthy and do an admirable job, there have also always been a few corrupt police officers so why not introduce one to the storyline? Surely people watching have the sense to understand that it's still fiction they're watching on the screen?

Mind you, I should know better than to say that. I used to process the email that came in through the Corrie.net website. Flaming Nora can back me up here. There would occasionally be an email from someone that didn't seem to understand that what they were watching was acting. I remember when Alma died of cancer. There were a half dozen or more emails from people who really thought the actress was dying and how brave was it of her to portray Alma's death on screen. When the storyline aired in Canada some months later, in popped a few more similar emails. I guess there really are some people that get far too involved and confuse fantasy with reality.

Would it really be possible for a mother to disappear without a trace for 7 years, leaving a 15 year old alone as Denise did with Daniel? The financial aspect alone would make it nearly impossible. She had a breakdown, allegedly, so how was she getting the money to put in the bank to pay the rent and bills? Yet apparently she did that. So why didn't Daniel trace her through the bank deposits? Why did not one neighbour or friend find it suspicious that she hadn't been seen for years? Why didn't Denise contact Ken and send Daniel to him if she wasn't going to be around? Daniel wasn't too keen on having his father in his life, as we saw during that last time Ken saw him but rather than leave your child alone, she had that option. Daniel could only lie and cover for her for so long before someone would start asking questions. We complain a bit but more or less accept the storyline as given because it's fiction.


I'm finding it a little difficult to accept that a man diagnosed with terminal cancer only bothered to try to find a guardian for his daughter almost before it was too late. He knew he didn't have much time left, he told that to Billy when he first appeared on the screen about a month ago. Surely if you have cancer, even if you don't know yet that it's terminal, you would scramble to get your house in order especially if you had the guardianship of a child to worry about, and especially knowing she'd either go into care or be given to your homophobic parents if you didn't make prior arrangements or at least write a will and express your wishes there. Social services might still get involved under those circumstances but surely they'd lean towards a big hearted gay vicar over a mean spirited homophobic grandmother.

I can't say yet if this story is going to interest me much but I will say this, if Billy and Todd do end up with Summer, they had better find somewhere to live. I'm pretty sure Eileen isn't going to go for having yet another mouth to feed.

David finally found out Shona's connection to his late wife, the fact that her child is the one that killed Kylie. Naturally he went ballistic, particularly because he was finding that he was attracted to her and it was mutual. She went and ran off but I'm sure she'll be back and in the time honoured tradition of soaps, they'll eventually get together though it's going to be weird that Kylie's kids' step-mother is the mother of the man that killed their mother. My head hurts already!

We all know that Eva's been in full on Bridezilla mode, trying to get Aidan to propose. She's been dropping hints like the flower girl drops rose petals up the church aisle. He's not picking them up. Deliberately. He likes having it both ways, a gorgeous blonde in his bed and another beauty on the side. He can continue to make promises to both of them and probably enjoys the danger zone. Eva took desperate measures and proposed to him in public so what could he do but say yes! Just to cement the deal, Eva is now pregnant though of course, she wouldn't have known that before the proposal I don't think. What I do think is that I wouldn't put it past her to have placed herself in that position of the possibility of getting pregnant because that would be her backup guarantee of a wedding.

Eva's always been full-on with relationships, pushing them into the next step before the fella was ready for it. I think that's why she kept getting engaged and then dumped. When we first met her, she was licking her wounds after a broken engagement and was there not something about when she was staying in France (when the actress was on maternity leave), that she wrote to Leanne that she met a guy and got engaged? When she returned, she was broken hearted again. Those relationships start up and zoom through to that huge commitment stage far too quickly and that's her fueling the zoom bit just like she's done with Aidan. First it was the push to get him to move in and recently it's been the proposal anticipation. But while she's told him about the baby, she's also going to be plotting his downfall while he continues to gleefully juggle both women, making empty promises to each.

 We suspend disbelief in most cases when dramatic license is taken. There's no harm in that. Tv, movies, books, fiction. Sometimes the writers need to throw in a twist or two that might be a bit over the top.

What bothers me is the nit-picky stuff, or if a character is written to do something that we know they would never, ever do. (i.e. when it was discovered that Betty Williams pilfered all those bar glasses) We also stand up and holler if Corrie history is blatantly rewritten (Annie Walker couldn't leave the pub to Betty because the brewery owned it and did until Bet Lynch left and the Duckies bought it from Newton and Ridley.) Would one small neighbourhood have that many people that have had anywhere between 4 and 6 spouses? Would one small neighbourhood have a building bursting into flame every year or two? Sometimes, you just roll your eyes and get on with it.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)




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10 comments:

Where's Emily? said...



Loved it! You certainly have a way with words, really enjoyed your synopsis and your analytical comments. Cuppa?

Anonymous said...

Very well said TVOR!

Ms Page said...

I also think also what things we can accept and overlook, or not as the case may be, is very subjective to each viewer. I think Corrie are extremely brave to show that sexual offenders/groomers can come from all walks of life.

My personal issue regarding suspension of reality is the poor portrayal of medical incidents (of which all soaps are guilty of), the most recent being Daniel's instantaneous recovery from a triple cocktail of neat vodka, cocaine and GHB taken in a very short space of time leading to a seizure. No ambulance, psych evaluation, contact with next of kin etc. and release on the same day. I think this type of suspension *can be* harmful, but then again, too much detail would put viewers off.


A great article, by the way. :)

Cathy said...

Thank you for saying all that, nicely written. I think all the time that it is only a TV show for our entertainment. Even the so-called "reality" shows are scripted for drama etc... I suppose bitching about the suspension of reality could be considered by some as enjoyment, so to each their own.

Cathy said...

Also why do they like Eva to seem so needy and desperate? She could have anybody but the smell of desperation is a huge turn off. I didn't know women were that pushy about getting a proposal.

Louby said...

Great read, thanks! There's so much about Corrie that stretches reality, and it's often discussed on this blog, and it can be quite entertaining. I think most of us do realise it's fiction!

The elastic walls and the seldom referred to children are my pet peeves though!

Humpty Dumpty said...

Great read and very true. Sometimes credibility is stretched so much that even the actors laugh about it in interviews. I have two main gripes at the moment. Tvor, you point out that some viewers can find it difficult to distinguish between fiction and reality. They are often quite vulnerable people and the grooming storyline is about vulnerable people being targeted. If the writers wanted a storyline about a corrupt police officer, they could have used another theme: for example, fraud (one of Phelan's mates, maybe). We don't really know how the Neil character is affecting some victims. The other gripe is more of an irritation. It's how the professionals are used. In so many storylines, they are portrayed as incompetent or unethical eg physios having relationships with patients. Mostly, professionals are absent and huge problems are miraculously solved by the matriarch.

Jonathan said...

Isn't it amazing that we have not had one complaint from any children's charity about Neil or critic. It does seem that people are overreacting and it's frankly beyond patronising to assume that people can't tell fact from fiction.

Tvor said...

Thanks, all
Jonathan, I always found it strange that people didn't seem to understand what they are watching is fiction. But I've seen it. These characters are on our screens 5 times a week, every week without fail and people become attached to them. The characters start to feel real to them because they know them so well, have known them for years. They become familiar to us, they evoke our sympathy and some people do get obsessed with television shows or movie characters. It becomes more difficult to separate fiction.

Anonymous said...

I also feel that the strange case of a lack of cars on the street. If all the cars were рermanently рarked outside the houses then the street would feel more 'real' (although it would be too congested in actuality) But having them miraculously 'aррear' when you turn a corner is ridiculous! I'm sure if this haррened in real life it would be in an eрisode of the 'X files unexрlained' - I'm actually surрrised that рeoрle don't get injured when a car suddenly 'рoрs uр' in front of them!

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