(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in March 2014.)
Is it true to say that things ain't what they used to be? I've always thought so where Coronation Street is concerned.
I comment (moan) quite frequently about many aspects of modern day Corrie, quite often using examples from the past to highlight a decline in standards however I'm starting to wonder if I'm right.
I watch a lot of old Corrie episodes mainly due to a lack of other decent telly these days. My box sets and the glories of Youtube often keep me entertained. However, I realise it would be rash to make such a blanket statement about Corrie "then" versus Corrie "now".
For every Stan and Hilda there's a Chalkie and Craig Whitely, although they did give us the wonderful Phyllis Pearce. For every Eddie Yeats there's a Brian Tilsley and for every Suzie Birchall there's a Susan Barlow (you know the one I mean).
The sixties, seventies and eighties had as many mistakes and dodgy storylines as we've all suffered through in more recent times. How many of us reminisce over the likes of Lionel Petty, Granny Hopkins or any of the Clayton family? Yes recent times have given us the awful Mortons and those bookies (I can't even remember their names), but we've also had Graeme Proctor, Beth Tinker and Kylie Platt.
For me there have been two periods when Corrie seemed to go from strength to strength. The show certainly seemed to be firing on all cylinders between 1976 and 1983. It had strong characters, brilliant writing and a seamless blend of moving, poignant drama and wonderful, beautifully played comedy.
Much later, I think the period from 2003 to 2007 was also a delight. The nature of any long running show is that it will have peaks and troughs. I think we're somewhere in the middle at the moment. The Roy and Hayley story showed that the writers and actors can still raise their game when it matters. However the weeks following Hayley's sad demise seemed like a different show in many respects.
I'm not sure Corrie will ever see the likes of Pat Phoenix, Doris Speed or Jean Alexander again, but that doesn't mean it won't go on entertaining us for years to come.
So what was your favourite period in Coronation Street history and why? And how do you think it compares to the Corrie of 2014?