Thursday, 6 March 2014

Unsympathetic Street

(This post was originally posted by Clinkers (David) on the Coronation Street Blog in February 2013.)

Along with the bad weather, a wave of harshness seems to have swept across our favourite set of cobbles. Or has it? There was a robust conversation on these very pages earlier in the week in respect of the usually lovely Fiz who has now been cast as some glowering harridan. Alongside her we have, ladies and gentleman, the not-so-lovely anymore Rita (bitter, sad, doddery), Michelle (face like a war, arms like a windmill in a gale force wind), Gloria (plain nasty), Tina (trollop), Beth (hard-faced), Tracy (Tracy), Todd (malevolent), Anna (hand-wringing temptress with a tea towel) and on it goes. My point is this; are we, lovely fan community that we are, being a bit too hard on the good folk of Weatherfield?

Fair point, Fiz has been a bit of a grump of late but she has cause to be. Remember too who her mother is and we all now how wonderfully reasonable Cilla could be. The apple usually doesn't fall far from the tree. The same could be said of dear old Tracy. Take a look into her murky gene pool. Anyone remember Deirdre back in the 1970s? OK, she wasn't a ornament-toting murderer but she could be quite hard. As for Ray Langton, well he could be a nasty piece of work and was often free and easy with the snide comments. Then there's Blanche. It's not difficult to see that Tracy luv's character traits are inherited.

Rita also seems to have reverted to type again of late. Admittedly, she's never been one of my favourite characters but the rather uncompromising character we see now is a throw back to the Rita of thirty or forty years ago. She too could be a selfish and at times, snide piece of work. Some of her Mavis-related put-downs were particularly vicious.

Maybe it's a case of the writers reconnecting with the characters as they used to be. Possibly we have become more used to their present day personas and are being a little hard on the 'back to basics' reboots. Whatever the cause, it doesn't feel as though there is a great deal of connection with the characters at the moment. While no one wants a Street drowning in sepia-tinted memories of yesteryear, I do wonder whether the days when we truly cared about the likes of Hilda, Annie or Eddie have gone. With the exception of Roy and maybe Leanne (when she's not having one of her Munch-face weeks), it's difficult to be bothered.

Are the Corrie cast being drawn as a particularly unsympathetic bunch or are we, as devotees of the show, being a little too critical?

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