Thursday, 20 April 2017

Is Corrie more nasty than it used to be?

Guest blog post by by Glenn Meads who is on Twitter and LinkedIn
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Bethany Platt is being groomed right before our very eyes, complete with a Northern accent and no sign of an Italian twang even though she lived there for years. Joking aside – does this and the murderous Barlows storyline mean that Corrie is getting too nasty?

Corrie writers and producers are dealing with the fact that many do not watch live TV anymore and today’s millennials have grown up with the likes of Girls, The Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad. But, do these recent controversial storylines suggest that the soap is losing its sense of humour in favour of darker storylines?

Well, it might feel this way, but look at these Fifty Cobbles Darker plotlines from the past and you’ll realise that Coronation Street has often had something nasty lurking behind Roy’s Rolls.

Leanne causing a scandal on the street, when she took as job as an escort.

Still mentioned to this day, our Leanne had bills to pay and was lured into this cash job, only to have it plastered around the street in the form of gossip, and a scary encounter with a former client. 

Maya Sharma’s mad Monday

This was more manic than any song by The Bangles.  Maya ended up blowing up Dev’s shops and holding him hostage. This one got so silly, it annoyed me, as sometimes you can lose your grip on any shred of reality. And this was that storyline, more suited to Fast and the Furious film franchise. But, it proved how far Corrie had come. To think that Valerie Barlow’s death by electric shock caused shockwaves in 1971!

Carla Connor raped

Carla Connor has been at the centre of many controversial storylines. Alcoholism, affairs, incredibly high heels and the most shocking of them all, rape at the hands of Frank Foster, and then he was let off. This led to superb performances by Alison King. But there was so much unhappiness piled onto the character, that you can see why Alison left Carla’s lippy and wine glasses behind.

Our Faye preggers at 12

Faye Windass Pregnant at 12. OK, she may have followed Sarah Lou, but this storyline still had the power to shock. But, like many Corrie storylines, humour was not too far away. When the baby was named Miley, I can’t have been the only one to realise the baby’s arrival came in like a “Wrecking Ball!”

Serial Killer

Tricky Dicky’s murderous Norman Bates with a briefcase attacked many well-loved characters. And one his victim’s - Maxine Peacock has a memorial bench which remains on the street. And he also attacked beloved widow - Emily Bishop. 19.4 million watched, as he plunged to his death in the canal.

Another killer, this time in dungarees

Killer Katie – a killer in dungarees – she had an affair with Martin Platt but did not kill him. She turned on her dad. Monkey Wrench in hand, she killed him as mum stood by her. A case of a bad worker blaming their tools.

And another one, this time accidental

Another killer John Stape played it for comedy in many episodes, as his crimes were due to his bumbling personality. But things got even darker, as he began a fixation with our Rosie Webster, and he taught her. There’s more, he kidnapped her but even this could not stop her papping on, as the diva demanded 1st class service.

Another nasty Carla plotline

And another, Tony Gordon – this was the end of the crime stories for a while. Tony went a rampage when he realised that Carla was into Liam.  This led to Liam’s death, before the actor legged it to Downton.

So, whilst the Bethany story may be grabbing the headlines, and Ken’s who ‘pushed him and stopped him completing his Grauniad crossword’ might leave us guessing, Corrie has had nasty storylines and controversy for a while now.

It has had to move with the times, and the madder and badder the storyline, the more interest you get from newspapers, and as Hillman’s destructive streak proved, bad news for Corrie residents = good news for viewing figures.

But, with Bethany Platt soon to be pimped out by Nathan, is Corrie going too far?

What do you think?

Glenn Meads
Twitter: @glenn_meads

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Maricha said...

I don't think the nasty parts are nastier but they aren't balanced out by as many scenes of normalcy and humor.The terrible things going on involve almost all characters at once.
Ken's attack casting suspicion on all the Barlows, Kevin's financial woes happening as Sally is trolled, Anna is still limping from her burns and Faye is dating Seb. Phelan is still around with a hand in both Kevin's trouble and his other crimes. Peter has both a stalker and a tiresome girlfriend. Sinead felt forced to have an abortion. No one knows where Daniel's mother has been. Who is just happily enjoying life right now?

Perhaps I'm misremembering it but it seems to me tragedy used to take turns happening to people on Corrie.

Humpty Dumpty said...

I agree, the balance has gone and viewers become numbed by the nastiness. More light and shade is needed both to give viewers some breathing space and also to emphasise the darkness.

Newfy Pearl said...

I agree with both comments completely. You have hit the nail on the head Mariche and Humpty.
Also with so much going on it is hard to keep track so it will be easier for the writers to let things drop.
I have to stop and remind myself that Phelan has robbed half the street of thousands of pounds, let Michael die, and actually killed Andy.
Not even Luke mentions Andy or Steph. As long as there is no one to grieve the dead there will be no justice. Even Charlie Stubbs had Jason and Maria crying over him.

C in Canada said...

I will add my agreement with those above. There isn't enough balance between nasty and humour anymore. Look at what we saw with the Platt's and the Callum storyline - went on for well over a year and most of us were (well, me anyway) were sick to death of it by the tragic end.

Maricha said...

Dare I remind you of how long and miserable the Caz storyline was? ;-)

Gayle said...

I agree with all of your comments! I have been a loyal viewer for over 40 years and will continue to watch. Having said that I just wish the writers could give some characters a bit of joy and happiness and not have everyone so miserable and sad. Where are all the children we haven't see Jack (Kevin's son) for months, same with Faith and Ruby, Jake (Izzie's son) Dev's children, Max and Lilly. We see what we assume Oliver being pushed about in his pram in the rain. Leeanne should be enjoying bonding with her newborn son rather than looking at Nick, Peter and Toyah's miserable faces.

Zagg said...

The problem with these stories for me is, that they do go on too long. When you're watching a soap, you expect it to move along not too quickly but not in real time also. The Bethany grooming story feels like we're seeing too much. I get it. I know what's happening. I do not need to see her in bed with Nathan and them fondling each other to the extent it is being shown. It's too much and starts to feel gratuitous.
And I wholeheartedly agree it all too miserable. Where is the balance? Some fun moments with Norris and Mary, Dev and the kids, Tyrone and Fiz and their kids...something that is normal is needed. Every single story now is doom and gloom. Does Kate Oates really think this is what the viewers want?
Maybe that's why it is not winning awards lately.

Tilly Flop said...

Mary finding her son wasn't drawn out. It was over in a flash

Louby said...

I started watching in the 70s and the first big storyline was Ernie Bishop being shot, so quite nasty back then too! But I agree, not enough balance nowadays with humour and light hearted stuff. I also think that the number of episodes doesn't help. There's too much time to fill, so it gets filled with the sensationalist content. And soon there will be another half an hour to fill.

Newfy Pearl said...

To be fair Zagg it is in future months that we will see if Katie's ideas are award winning. The storylines that are up for awards at the moment are based on stuff from before she arrived.

Anonymous said...

Yep, the nasty days of Stuart Blackburn. I flinch at the very thought of them

Glenn Meads said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glenn Meads said...

Thanks for all your comments. I wrote this to provoke debate and it has just done that. There are still funny moments. Mary singing The Smiths will stay with me all year!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of long, nasty storylines,I wonder how long will Michelle\Robert\Steve go on for?
Michelle has seem to have moved on from Steve to Robert rather quickly and is now bullying Leanne and throwing her weight around the Bistro.I do not have any sympathy for Michelle and wish instead she would get her comeuppance.
I'm also disappointed that the miscarriage storyline was a ploy for her and Robert to get together as she seems to have forgotten about her son Ruari.

Anonymous said...

Spending a few years in Milan does not give a British person an Italian accent when they speak English! Bethany was about 8 yrs old and spoke with a Manchester accent when she went to Milan, so that wouldn't change, but if she spoke Italian she would probably have a Manchester accent. Of course, a person born and brought up in Milan with Italian as first language may well speak English with an Italian accent, but that isn't the case with Bethany.

Zagg said...

Actually Kate Oates started on Corrie a year ago April and her storylines came to fruition in the fall of 2016. So all of this is her doing, not Blackburn at all.

Glenn Meads said...

Bethany rarely spoke when the previous actress played her! I used to smile, as she was similar to Hope. Smiling, aware she was being filmed but too young to know what was happening. The accent paragraph was a joke.

Laura said...

Part of me wonders if Michelle is overly focused on Steve and Leanne precisely because she lost her son. I would imagine it's easier to be angry and focused on revenge than to deal with the loss of a child.

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