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Thursday, 4 February 2021

Thoughts on current Corrie. Guest blog from @SirTerenceBoot

By Stephen Leach, who is in Twitter @SirTerenceBoot - read all of Stephen Leach's guest blogs here.

Fancy writing a guest blog post for us? All details here!  

Who’s your favourite Coronation Street character, and why is it Asha Alahan? I know, that one properly crept up on me as well. For years, she and her brother only existed to make up the numbers at birthday parties or to give Mary something to do while Dev was off with his latest squeeze. But in the last couple of years she’s really come on leaps and bounds: her obsession with skin-lightening creams was, for the most part, unusually sensitively handled and emotionally engaging. And I’ve genuinely really enjoyed her burgeoning friendship with Nina, too: it’s rare that any of the kids on the Street actually become friends because they like each other, rather than just being awkwardly shoved together because they happen to live in the same general area. Best quote of Monday’s episode (albeit paraphrased): “Nina’s clever! She’s socially aware, and she actually, like, reads books! Show me a boy who you can say that about!” Fair point, Asha. Fair point.

And thank god she finally seems to have ditched that leering nonentity who convinced her to get naked on camera for him. Lord, why are all the teenage lads in Weatherfield so uniformly awful? Simon was downright insufferable for a long period but he seems to be mending his ways now that he’s hit 18. Craig Harris (remember him?) was the only halfway teenage lad the Street has ever seen, and he hightailed it to Germany at the first opportunity. Okay, maybe Chesney too. But he’s not a teenager any more, and he’s just so insufferably dull.

With that said, the adult men of Weatherfield aren’t much better. Case in point, the ongoing tedium that is Billy, Todd, and Paul. Honestly, to look at Todd now, you’d never think he was once a winsome child prodigy poised to study law at Oxbridge and conquer the world. The amount of devious schemes and scams he’s concocted during his time on the cobbles is eye-watering; the way the show built him up, you’d have thought he could have been the next Wolf of Wall Street. And now he’s bending all of his considerable thought on… getting Billy back. Really? It’s like if Charles Ponzi masterminded a scheme to try and rob the Rovers till. I’m still trying to fathom what makes Billy so alluring to so many people; he even got promoted to archdeacon without doing a blind bit of work, so clearly people must see something in him.

I mean, credit where it’s due: I do want Billy and Paul to break up. Just not for any particular reason. But I feel like all the tension (such as it is) in this story could be drained away if Billy, Todd, and Paul just decided to work things out via a threesome. Sounds like a joke, but after all, Corrie loves its modern, contemporary “issue” storylines. Why can’t we just have the Street’s first throuple and have done with it?

Or, if having a gay ménage à trois would be too groundbreaking for 7.30pm, we could always have Tyrone, Fiz, and Alina do it instead. It’d give Alina something to do, and that has to be good, because frankly I can’t see why else the writers bothered moving her into their house. Unless it was just so we could be treated to endless jokes about how little Fiz and Ty manage to get it on these days while Ty tries not to slobber at the sight of Alina wearing nothing but a damp towel. Seriously, why not? If nothing else it’d make me less curious about where Alina sleeps (even for Corrie, having four adults, two children, and a big dog sharing one poky two-up two-down house is pretty ridiculous – or did they end up getting that attic after all?) because honestly that’s the most interesting thing about this storyline so far.

Speaking of things I’m bored by, that brings us neatly onto Peter’s liver. It seems like this storyline has been going on for years, and in a way it has – countless characters have come and gone while Peter grappled with his alcoholism. So it’s not surprising that we’re here yet again.

The thing is, though, that he’s never going to die. We've been here too many times and he always survives. A nuclear bomb could hit the street and Peter Barlow would outlive the cockroaches – along with Carla, who’ll be there to grieve and torment herself because, as always, the whole event will somehow be her fault. And let’s not forget the ghost of Ken Barlow lingering in the rubble of Number One, giving a disappointed yet haunting “Oh, Peter…” As fresh and as modern as things might get, some things have to stay the same.

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C in Canada said...

I too am loving Asha. She's played the storylines she's been given so well that you can feel her emotions emanating through the screen. My heart broke for her during the online video nastiness. She's such a good actress and she's lately been given so many chances to let that shine thorugh.
I'm also liking the new Aadi, he hasn't been on the screen long but he's much more animated than his predecessor.

Anonymous said...

you sound disenchanted with Billy the vicar

Anonymous said...

Jeanie (anon): the new Aadi is not only better in his individual scenes but he has a great chemistry with his sister and Dad. Now he seems more teasing but affectionate with them whereas before he was more sullen and blank. Looking forward to a good story line with him too...maybe with Kelly or Summer if they go the romance route?

Yes, agreed, the whole story line with Billy and his two admirers is unutterably tedious. Essentially three middle-aged guys acting like hormone-driven melodramatic teens. It just doesn't work--you see all their earnest middle-aged faces, including Billy's beard speckled with gray and New Todd's serious mien and pursed up little mouth, and all the over the top teenage angst and plotting and drama seem incongruous, not to mention tiresome, silly, childish. Grow up, guys! Especially Billy--he used to be someone the Street took seriously; he had a calling, a compassion, a moral compass. Now he's just some sort of passive, sexual prize in this overwrought panto drama. The only thing in this whole sorry spectacle that rang true was poor Paul losing the only real family and home that he had ever had. Expect it will be he and Todd who have the fling, not Todd and Billy.


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