Tuesday, 24 February 2015

In Defence of Faye's Pregnancy Storyline

(This post was originally posted by Duncan Lindsay on the Coronation Street Blog in August 2013.)

Contains Spoilers 

You'd have to have been living under a cobble not to know that everyone's favourite teenage adopted Windass is to have a bun in the oven. Or, more (in)appropriately, a 'Hello Kitty' fairy cake in the oven. Given that the storyline was first announced over a year ago, there were even whispers that the plot had been scrapped due to the controversy it would inevitably cause. 
According to Stuart Blackburn when I spoke to him recently, however, it's merely been a case of waiting for the right time and, keeping the story away from the radar has been a very deliberate move by scriptwriters since the party Faye attended at which the ill advised liaison with a lad occurred. 

Forums, Twitter and cream cake laden tables in garden centre cafes have been buzzing with outrage that the storyline is in bad taste but my viewpoint is that it is surely fair to wait until the scenes air until passing judgement. In the meantime, to play Devil's Advocate, it's time to refute some of the most popular complaints about the story. Here goes!

"It's so unrealistic! It would never happen."
Firstly, yes it would, and does but I agree that a pregnant 12/13 year old is not commonplace. However, nor is the wedding of two murderers ending in arrest, a local housewife marrying her burglar or someone as eccentric as Dev. Coronation Street is a soap, not a documentary and, while it cannot be a bad thing to highlight underage pregnancy, its prominent aim is to entertain. The sad reality is, while someone like Faye who we recently saw believe that the Barlow house was being haunted by Blanche and who still eats fish fingers and smiley faces for dinner is an unlikely candidate for pregnancy, young girls DO fall into these situations. Short of alien landings, nothing, therefore is out of bounds for a soap. If it can happen, no matter how unlikely, then it will happen on a soap at some point. 

"It's a tasteless story and offensive!"
Offensive is a real buzz word right now and I have heard that Ofcom are taking on some temps to cope with the outpouring of moral outrage calls they will receive when the scenes air but something is only tasteless if it is portrayed badly. The storyline will deal with Faye's fear of becoming a mother and terror at how her family will react as well as her bond with the lovely Craig. It is a pre watershed show and Coronation Street has a track record of handling it's social issue stories sensitively. Until we see things unfold, we really can't judge whether the story will offend.

"You can't trust a story of this magnitude to young actors!"
I beg to differ. Ellie Leach gets a bit of a bad deal on fan forums and social media because people tend not to like her character's bratty edge. But therein lies the answer as to whether she's a competent actress. Teenagers and those entering their teenage years are notoriously infuriating and spoilt and if Ellie is getting on our nerves, then she is doing her job. At other times, we genuinely feel for Faye and her relationship with good pal Craig is truly heartwarming. And there can not be a negative word said about the legend in waiting that is Colson Smith, who portrays one of Corrie's best young characters in years. Long live Faye and Craig and, having seen some of the scenes already, I can assure you, the actors handle the story expertly and with every ounce of professionalism you'd find in an adult actor.

It's a popular bandwagon to jump on to slate a story like this but, looking at the bigger picture, I can honestly say I am approaching this with an open mind that is erring more to the 'this could be really good' side as opposed to the more widespread 'you've gone too far this time Corrie' angle.

I may be wrong (first time for everything) but I'm willing to embrace the potential rather than worrying about aspects that may not come to pass.

Catch more of my Corrie musings at Metro, Digital Spy and Pauseliveaction:

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By Duncan Lindsay

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Anonymous said...

I think this is a great storyline and it has been done before. Gail's daughter Sarah Louise was pregnant when she was around the same age as Faye is now. Back then it caught the attention of my own young daughters and opened the doors for many conversations on the subject of unwanted teen pregnancy which happens all too often. It is one of the current storylines that is really holding my attention. The young actors are doing a great job with it.

Anonymous said...

someone beat me to the it's been done before comment.hopefully faye will tell anna soon, as anna should support faye.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comment about the age of the actress. When the actor who plays Gary was in Halifax on tour last year, he said the young actress who plays Faith is so talented, he forgets she is only 11. (At that time.) In the Sara Lou storyline she was surprised she was pregnant too. I don't think things have changed too much in 15 years when it comes to young girls.

Tvor said...

At that age, with so many changes in the body and for girls, their periods aren't usually regular, that it's probably pretty easy to be pregnant and not realize it for awhile. An 11 or 12 year old is immature and even if taught "the facts of life", they don't really take it all in in terms of real life, I don't think.

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