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Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Peter, Carla, and Alcoholism. My Thoughts On This Toxic Trio. Can the Couple Survive It?

Firstly, let me set the record straight. I love Carla and Peter together. As a Corrie superfan, I've watched religiously since 1997 and both characters are legends of the shows modern history, that's undisputed! My fandom for these two fine actors is unwavering - long may they continue on Corrie!

However, Monday's episode brought my current thoughts on their storyline to the fore, and I need to commit to paper, or Corrie blog, which is the same thing. So, as a firm believer of a balanced debate, and as an ex boozer myself, I feel qualified to sit on a fence, or Maxine's bench, to ponder such a conundrum and offer my thoughts on the future of Carla and Peter. 

Nearly two years ago, I became teetotal from alcohol. No rehab, AA, detox, or hospitalization for me. However, to enact full sobriety, I had some toxic relationships to remove from my life as well. It's what Peter would have been taught in rehab, and this is something I can relate to when it comes to Peter's predicament. Alcohol is a poison and poisonous relationships usually go hand in hand with addiction and abuse. To free yourself from toxicity completely, well that's a big part of any recovery journey, and is essential, in most cases. It's a tricky predicament as you often love the person as much as you do the booze, however, it's just as damaging.  

Peter may have now stopped drinking but is Carla an addiction he needs to quit as well? Metaphorically speaking, you could argue he's been long addicted to the factory boss, and who can blame him! The sultry brunette beauty is a modern-day Elsie Tanner! However, it doesn't mean that the relationship is good for his recovery nor drying out.

In recent episodes, we have seen Peter struggle to put the pieces of a jigsaw together. As anybody will tell you when you stop drinking, you gain a lot of free time, and a jigsaw is a good bit of cognitive behavioural therapy that keeps the brain busy. I smiled as they introduced this on-screen, my CBT was a Corrie colouring book!

Is the jigsaw being used as a visual metaphor, for Peter putting his life back together, perhaps?  

Peter did seem distracted though by Carla's factory flirtation, and lest we forget that whilst he's trying to recover, Carla has slept with his nephew, been tempted by Lucas, and now lied to him about getting drunk with Jenny! 

It does seem like a rather toxic relationship. Can Peter put the pieces back together and still be with Carla, or will he find that there's a final piece that just won't fit? I'd hope not but for Peter to gain and keep sobriety, he has to remove the toxicity and at the minute, that looks like a Carla shaped piece in his life... 

What do you think? 

@rybazoxo your cobbles connossieur 

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Anonymous said...

Oooh I loved this, great perespective piece. I love Carla and Peter together too, they're the couple I'm easily most invested in, but like you say, right now they seem bad for each other. I would like them to pull through this but the key is for them to start communicating and have an open, honest conversation for a change!

Humpty Dumpty said...

Ryan, thank you for your blog and your insights. But this storyline, simply from a dramatic point of view, could have ended with Peter dying of an alcohol-related incident. Let's face it, if Chris G had wanted to leave, that would have been his explosive exit story. I really thought he was hinting in interviews that he'd had enough. If that sounds too grim, he might have gone off on his travels with Simon. Both Peter and Simon need to ditch their situations and come back refreshed with one of them, maybe, sporting a new head. I realise fans may want an uplifting, optimistic ending for Peter and Carla but these characters are often described as the Burton and Taylor of Weatherfield. Well, that parallel isn't too encouraging. They split up and Burton's death was a direct consequence of excessive drinking. Peter and Carla aren't interesting or engaging anymore and it feels like the writers have run out of ideas for them. Let them go their separate ways whether that's on the Street or elsewhere.

maggie muggins said...

Nice, thoughtful blog entry, Ryan! I tend to watch Corrie with my brain switched off to a large degree, so your interpretation of this relationship was good to read. It's not like I don't share the same difficulties and roadblocks that all humans have to bear and hopefully heal from. I love the jigsaw metaphor and don't know how I missed it.

One big fear in recovery for me was of becoming "too normal" or "boring". It's an illusion, of course, because life is never free of surprises, sober or not. I hope the writers can incorporate this into whatever road Peter goes down next. I'd really hate to see him and Carla split up for good. I know it's not easy to portray the inner workings of an addicts mind, but we seem to be stuck in a loop at the moment. It will take a special writer to get us out of it. I'm looking at you Russell T. Davis! (who has written for Corrie in the distant past)

Gorgeousness Inc said...

Good piece. Alcohol is such a difficult substance to control.
The writers are giving this a bit more of a nuanced treatment and may they continue to do so.

Carla is the archetypal functioning alcoholic, who can manage a career. However, the true definition of an alcoholic is not the amount you drink, but is it detrimental to your relationships. Obviously, it is. Sleeping with your partner's nephew is the case in point.
I'm glad they finally got Peter out of the pub, that was the most unbelievable housing solution Corrie has come up with in a long time.

Sharon boothroyd said...

I agree these 2 are going round in circles and if I was Carla, I'd think about walking away, no matter how much I loved the person.
It seems he corrie team are trying to preach us the 'love conquer all' message, which is silly and absurd. I read somewhere that Peter proposes again to Carla.
This is the usual pattern of events - Peter in a drunken rage, accuses her of not caring, so she gets upset and sleeps with someone else.
Then she feels guilty - he uses her guilt against her to punish her, then she turns the tables on him, to punish him, and the blame game goes on.
It's tedious to watch, and it must be tedious to act, and also to write.
As for Carla being a toxic person for Peter - well, as far as I can see, they're both as bad as each other!

Anonymous said...

I think the issue is that there's no substance anymore. Like previously said, we are going around in circles. Yes, perhaps it's to mimic real life, but for television audiences repetition gets boring and you lose your audience.

The thing that really bugs me about the relationship is the abuse Carla gets. Yes, again it mimics real life but it doesn't work for this character. She used to be fiesty and now she's always apologizing and groveling. It has turned me off this character.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Ryan.
Corrie has shot itself in the foot with Peter and Carla. The writers are going to town on this ‘we’re toxic and bad for each other’ rhetoric yet still want us to route for them as a couple. Well, you can’t have it both ways, Corrie! How can anyone get behind a relationship that’s causing the two people in it so much unhappiness?
Not only that, but it’s boring! Every week it’s the same old thing of Peter saying something that upsets Carla, her going off and doing something stupid, followed by scenes of her chasing after him and him throwing a load of abuse at her. Enough already!
Carla deserves better at this point. The way Peter treats her is all kinds of wrong- and yet this isn’t recognised by the show as it’s always her who’s painted as being in the wrong and grovelling after him, which isn’t a great look for such a supposedly strong woman.
Lucas had it spot on in Wednesday’s episode– Carla used to be so full of life until Peter sucked it all out of her.
I was really excited to watch Peter and Carla’s upcoming storyline but it’s been so disappointing (not the alcohol side of it, that’s been great, just the love story part). I get that as the show’s money couple there’s a temptation to throw hurdle after hurdle at them, but I think people would’ve preferred to see them in an uplifting story for a change that showed them being a force of good for each other, but alas, I don’t think we’ll ever get a story like that with these two. I’m not angry, Corrie. Just disappointed.

Anonymous said...

You make such a good point. I bet there are people in this situation who see Carla and Peter as a kind of Romeo and Juliet. They are not good for each other, and in real life this would not be considered healthy. Corrie should show the positive effects of following addiction counselling advice...remove yourself from toxic relationships and heal.

Anonymous said...

I agree see a business woman like Carla reduced to the character of a self destructive toxic partner to an alcoholic is not a good representation of a strong woman. Shame on Corrie.

MartesBC said...

Wow, super helpful blog! Perspective. These two seem to work best either when away from Weatherfield or when Carla needs more help than Peter, and he can rescue her. They are what, late 40s? They need to part for a few years and heal.


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