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Tuesday, 27 September 2011
The backbone of the Street - Where now?
(This post was originally posted by Seapenguin on the Coronation Street Blog November, 2010, reposted to this blog with permission.)
I found this photograph here when searching for another one for another blog post, and I couldn't resist blogging it. I'm sure some of you must have seen it before. Apparently, it's the original cast, taken on the roof of Granada studios in Manchester. I just love it. Lovely to see Doris Speed of course, and Violet Carson looking so proud in the centre, Pat Phoenix fabulous beside her, and William Roache looking very windswept and "Melvin Bragg" at the front!
The death of Jack Duckworth has really made me think about where Corrie goes from here. It's often been said that "the oldies" are the backbone of the Street. Well, we've recently lost a few "vertebrae" in the form of Blanche, Vera, Jack, and we're soon to lose another long time character (don't click if you don't want to know). Stalwarts. Corrie needs its stalwarts, and I'm wondering where the next generation is going to come from. Is it even possible, in today's TV and acting world, to have stalwarts? I don't know. I'm just a fan, not part of the machine.
Let's face it. The current incumbents of "the metaphorical snug" are going to move on in one way or another over the foreseeable. Whos' going to replace them? The Corrie powers that be must be thinking about that.
Us viewers get fond of our characters. We know they're not "real people" yet part of us responds to them as if they are. That's why we watch Corrie. We like the characters, and we identify with them. Storylines, serial killers and tram crashes come and go but it's the characters (underpinned by dialogue) that hold the whole thing together and that's why Corrie's lasted for fifty flaming years!
Do soaps like Corrie need to fulfil a social role any more? I'm not sure. The way we use media has changed so much over the past ten, twenty years. We used to relate to the continuity of Coronation Street - it gave a sense of stability, even if it was illusory. Perhaps it's only oldies like me who still look for that! I don't know.
Anybody else been thinking ahead?