Wednesday, 13 January 2016

How was the Corrie year for you?

(This post was originally posted by Clinkers (David) on the Coronation Street Blog in December 2015.)

Wherever you turn at the moment, someone is reviewing something. Log on to social media and you will be faced with a barrage of 'friends' telling you about their Top 5 slash metal songs of 2015 or recounting their visits to wool shops of the West Midlands. We can't help but say goodbye to the old year other than by peering back at it.

The thought of slowly meandering back down twelve months of Corrie action is a wearisome one. Mainly because I've forgotten much of what happened! For me, Corrie was saved by the magic of the Christmas Day episode which, disbelief having been suspended, worked really well. It did everything that a festive episode should do. Obviously I've enjoyed much of what I've seen in 2015. The standout moment was the manner in which Deirdre's death was handled. Heartbreaking stuff and some memorable performances from the cast. At the other end of the scale, the tedious coach crash and the Victoria Court fire. This kind of plot device has been used so much that by now, it no longer has any kind of shock value. Or interest.

One of the most useful skills I've developed this year has been the ability to filter out characters who I have no interest in. This has come in handy whenever Sean, Maria, Jason or Michael arrive for a scene. It's not that I particularly loathe them, I just don't care whether they are there or not. The Grimshaw residence has become some kind of axis of awfulness. Michael with his downbeat, glum-faced misery, old scarface Todd and his faux Machiavellian plots, pointless Sean reducing everything to a sassy one-liner . . . and then there's Eileen. Once witty, once a joy, dear old Eileen now manages to drain the life out of every scene she is in. Her constant, shrieking unpleasantness is a bore. Either give her a decent boyfriend or hurl her under the Weatherfield Wayfarer. Enough already.

Like many others, I feel that the Family Metcalfe has brought us joy in bucketloads this year. That's all down to Sally Dynevor and Joe Duttine. These two characters have been the making of each other. Sally had shown signs of being unpleasant in middle age whereas Tim had initially been a little bit sinister. Together though they are Corrie gold and let no man (or woman) divide them!

Has anyone else warmed to the Nazirs in 2015? I like them but in a strange reversal of fortunes, Alya now appears to the worst of the bunch. She was ill-served by the dreary 'engagement to Gary' storyline and her constant hangdog moping around the faktry machines with a clipboard. Yasmeen, now she isn't performing to the back row of the theatre, is a lovely character and has real warmth. Zeedan has also developed from sulky moan-fest to decent bloke. Three cheers for the Nazirs.

How are we finding the conscious coupling of Roy and Cathy? Again, it has taken a while for Cathy to bed down. Initially I found her spikiness a little hard to stomach but now she's mellowed, Cathy is a good egg. Roy needs her and she needs Roy. So far, so successful.

Are we still enjoying Leanne and Carla? I think the storyliners could throw anything at this pair and it would probably work, thanks to the skill of Jane Danson and Alison King. It's down to the latter's handling of Carla that the character works so well. A lesser actor would have had us switching off and shrugging with disinterest by now. As for Leanne? Well, the domestic abuse storyline has been a hard one to watch and I'm guessing that we are not through with it yet. Thanks to Jane Danson's work though, we stick with it.

Missing Steve? Yes, me too. The pub isn't the same without him and his gurns. His absence has also rendered Streetcars as an odd little enclave which, within the next few months, will only feature sad old Eileen chatting to a biscuit tin.

I've droned on numerous times about the need to have a strong female presence in t'corner shop. We now have Erica behind the counter. It's too soon to say if she is going to be a force with the pricing gun, especially with Dev fawning around in the background. I like her though. Is she a stayer?

For 2016 then, what would we like? Lots more Eva with or without Aidan and his unfeasibly tight shirts. Here's to less of Tracy (there's nothing new under the sun there), more of the Metcalfes and hopefully a storyline where Gail doesn't come across as a simpering  cretin. It's about time she accessed social media and hooked up with Tricia Hopkins and Suzie Birchall. Gail needs a new lease of life. Also, here's hoping that Ken and Audrey finally click. How lovely would that be?

What were your Hits and Misses in 2015? Which storylines do you cherish and which ones do you never want to revisit? Who impressed and depressed you in Weatherfield in 2015 - and what are your Corrie hopes and dreams for 2016?

David - twitter @BridgLondon

Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.

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