(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in March 2013.)
Why is Steve McDonald always portrayed as a comedy character and a figure of fun? Back in the day Steve was a bad lad up to all sorts, and while I don't think we should go back to all that, I am frustrated by the way he is treated by those around him.
Yes I know he has made some big mistakes in his life, but he is now a responsible father and owner of two Weatherfield businesses. Yet Michelle treats him with what can only be described as mild contempt, sneering at him and calling after him like he's a silly little boy. Apart from she of the folded arms, Steve's mother is also short on respect for the son who installed her back in the Rovers Return.
I caught a glimpse of a sneer from Liz the other night directed straight at Steve as she ushered her latest love interest into the back room of her son's pub. Steve is really just worried about his mum and although he did go about it the wrong way, there was no need for Tony to be so unpleasant to him or for Liz to rub his nose in it. We all know how the Tony and Liz coupling will end and I'm sure Steve will be there for his mother regardless.
Coronation Street is built on a history of strong women, but it wasn't always like this. Yes the men were sometimes feckless, but they had strengths too. There was often affection demonstrated between male and female characters and I see none of that chez McDonald.
Simon Gregson is great at comedy but he is also good with the straight stuff. It's been a while since he's had anything dramatic to get his acting teeth into and I think it's long overdue. It feels like the writers have discovered he's a good comic turn and they've run with the gurns and the one liners, mostly at Steve's expense. I think it's time to show a different side to one of the longest serving male characters in Corrie's history.
What do you think?
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