(This post was originally posted on the Coronation Street Blog July 2012, reposted to this blog with permission.)
A special guest post from Liam Beard, who describes himself as a Corrie addict, hopeful journalist and hopeful future Corrie scriptwriter. Liam is on twitter @liambeard
It is a well-known fact that Corrie is the longest-running soap in history because of one reason – its humour and hilarious storylines. However, the last few years have disillusioned many Corrie addicts as the scriptwriters have swayed towards gritty, EastEnders-esque storylines. Whether this was due to EastEnders winning best soap every year from 2008-2012 or just a shift in general television programmes I’m not sure. The modern viewer loves drama and lusts for blood and gore. An undercurrent to this obvious shift though is that Coronation Street has won three of the last four best Comedy Performances at the National Soap Awards. So is Corrie’s humour as dead as the Street’s plants during Weatherfield in Bloom (except Gail’s) or as alive as the lamb in Sean’s disastrous first attempts at Betty’s hotpot?
Luckily the last couple of weeks in Corrie there have been some great storylines which has seen us returned to the Corrie of old. Mary and Norris’ dance classes and subsequent sniping from Norris were funny. Then we were treated to Norris and Hayley’s ballroom performance and Mary and Roy’s battle of chess and Mary’s hilarious anecdotes.
Tracy and Beth’s gruesome twosome routine of putting off potential buyers has gone down a storm. Beth’s accidental release of her son, Craig’s, rat in the pub brought about a dichotomy of emotions as many viewers would have rolled around laughing whilst others would have rolled on the floor with their eyes glued firmly shut.
A light-hearted storyline a couple of months ago that brought together a concoction of some of Corrie’s best characters that Betty would have been proud of was the Weatherfield in Bloom competition. It brought together some of the most prominent and long-standing characters in a whirl of community spirit and more interestingly, sabotage. Norris, Sally and Stella all had their entries ruined but surprise, surprise Gail’s was intact. It was no coincidence that Audrey, Gail’s mother, was one of the judges. Norris’ hissy fits made it all the better.
So it’s not as bad as it is made out, it would seem. There have been a stream of great, light-hearted storylines recently and Corrie still leads the way in soap humour. Let’s just hope that the scriptwriters recognise its humour and continue to entertain us with one-liners and fun storylines. Live long and prosper the funny ones: Mary, Norris, Steve, Eileen, Sylvia and of course little Simon.
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