Cosy crimes and gritty sagas by Corrie Blog editor Glenda, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Tuesday 21 December 2021

Street Life - but not as we know it

And so this is Christmas. OK so we may be heading to hell in a handcart yet again but we can all crack open a milk stout and overdose on ham barms for a few days. Oh - and watch Corrie on Christmas Day. The previews would seem to suggest that the Weatherfield folk will be serving up something light-hearted along with the dry turkey and overdone veg. It's about time too. The doom factor has been relentless on the Street this year. However the target demographic gets what the target demographic wants. Imagine though, if you will, what Street life would have been like if Corrie writers had been under this pressure in years gone by . . .

1967 - A train crashes from the viaduct onto the Street, Ena Sharples is missing . . .
Albert Tatlock crawls into the rubble for no reason and discovers that Ena's hairnet has caught on a piece of masonry. Ena confesses to Albert that she is the secret mother of Elsie Tanner. Albert brands her a 'trollop' and steals thruppence from her purse, leaving her to die a lonely death.

1974 - The women of the Street head off to Majorca for a week in the sun
Mavis Riley is singled out by a suspicious-looking Spaniard called Pedro. He forces her into trafficking a quantity of drugs for which she is arrested and thrown into Palma Cell Block H. During a cabaret night, Rita confesses that she was once a man called Ron who was part of a transvestite Flamenco act. Hilda sings on her balcony - but whose hands were responsible for trying to push her to her death?

1977 - The residents celebrate the Silver Jubilee
Britain Through the Ages is the theme of the Street float. However, as it sets off, and for no apparent reason, a gaping fissure opens in the cobbles. The float topples in and the residents are left fighting for their lives. Eddie Yeats clambers to safety but kicks Fred Gee back into the depths. Meanwhile at the bottom of this pit of despair, Queen Victoria (Ena) and Elizabeth the First (Annie) take time out to settle old rivalries - but which one of them will survive?

1983 - Fred, Bet & Betty have a day out at the country park
Annie suspects that one of her staff has been helping themselves to hotpot. She pays someone to tamper with the breaks of the Rover 2000. Unknowingly, Fred sets off for a day by the lake with Bet and Betty. On arrival, the brakes fail and the car is plunged into murky water. Fred escapes and Bet uses her chest as a buoyancy aid. But what will become of Betty?

1990 - Wendy flamin' Crozier
Deirdre discovers that Ken has been having an affair with town hall hussy Wendy. She wages a campaign of revenge against the pair by smashing Ken's reading glasses and torching the offices of the Weatherfield Recorder. After a heated exchange on the town hall steps, Deirdre pushes Wendy into the path of an oncoming plot device.

1995 - Bet leaves Weatherfield
After being rebuffed by her so-called business partner Rita, Bet ... err, wages a campaign of revenge. She fire bombs one of Rita's wigs which leads to a toxic cloud forming over Weatherfield. Rounding on her not-so-loyal customers, Bet stamps on Alf's trilby, throttles Liz with that hideous 'L' necklace, hurls Vera down yet another fissure that's opened up in t'ginnel, laces the hotpot with strychnine, gags Audrey for making that "mmm?' noise yet again and then launches herself from a cannon on the Rovers roof bellowing "Get it? Got it? Good". 

Complete nonsense of course but had the storylines of 2021 been presented to the audience of 2001, there probably would have been guffaws of laughter. Merriment on a large scale. Soaps evolve and Corrie has moved in a different direction. Whereas two decades ago, the 'explosive' silly storylines were left to the ailing Channel 4 soap Brookside, nowadays they are more mainstream. This is what the thirty-something demographic enjoy, not listening to a bunch of old dears rambling on about firelighters. 

Corrie does sometimes pull off the odd surprise. The deaths of Seb (harrowing) and Johnny (comedic) came from nowhere this year. How amazing was it too that the team were able to pick up the reins and produce drama on a regular basis when so many of us endured working days slumped over a laptop, squinting at a Teams meeting from the comfort of a box room? Under extraordinary circumstances, with the determination and spirit that Ena would have approved of, Corrie continued. In to 2022 it will sally forth, with its dark revelations, exploding buildings, quirky friendships, sharp put-downs and sadly, Sean. With EastEnders in a steep decline and Emmerdale becoming further detached from reality, Corrie will lead the way into the New Year. Bravo!

A few days ago my fellow blogger Merseytart, the man who always manages to voice what we all seem to be thinking, spoke of how Corrie 'isn't my show any more'. Neither is it mine. Nothing is forever. The habit-forming ritual of sitting down to view began to wane for me when the number of episodes increased to six. Now I record them, watch them here and there, delete a few along the way. Corrie has to evolve if it's to stay relevant to a new audience. There are similar arguments swirling around BBC Radio 2 and Radio 4 at the moment where predominantly older audiences are bemoaning the fact that programmes are being geared towards a younger demographic. If shows are to continue then there has to be that flow-through of new, engaged viewers and listeners. As for me, I'm happy to drop in on an old friend every now and then. Catch-up, see what's happening, have a bit of a chat about it and then go our separate ways. Will I ever be a devoted Corrie addict again? Now there's a question!

By Clinkers to Riddle

All original work on Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License

1 comment:

Humpty Dumpty said...

There's the demographic profile of the Corrie audience on the one hand and the target audience on the other. I can't find an analysis of age groups currently watching Corrie though it may exist in some agency's market research. The target audience can be worked out by looking at the adverts in the breaks. As far as I can see, the ads are pretty much across the board which suggests ITV just wants the biggest audience and doesn't mind who the viewer is. Which means more random storylines across the age groups, hoping some of them click. Agree that nothing is forever. Coronation Street is one of those shows for me, as well, and Dr Who is another. Is there a connection?


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