Tuesday, 13 February 2018

In Praise of Tracy Barlow

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog December 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Guest blog post by Shaina who is on Twitter @Shaina2111 
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Of all the characters in Coronation Street who might be praised, Tracy Barlow is not one who would typically come to mind. She’s sarcastic, way too honest, and above all, a murderer. However, since her return to the Street following her release from prison, she has undergone immense character growth, and although some may argue that her changing attitude represents an unrealistic U-turn in her character. When you look beneath the surface it becomes clear that this is still the same person, but one who is - slowly but surely - learning to empathise more with those around her and deal with problems in less controversial ways (i.e. NOT committing murder!). 

One thing that has become clear in recent episodes is that even when Tracy does briefly stumble back into old ways, she tends to do it to try and help those she cares about. Tracy locking Angie in the back of the flower shop in an attempt to give Mary time to talk to Jude is a prime example of Tracy trying to do the right thing, albeit going about it in a morally ambiguous way. This is a far cry from the typical villain, who will often perform seemingly good acts for the wrong reasons, and shows how Tracy is not truly evil, and has simply not received much guidance on how to deal with problems, given her upbringing with the Barlows.

Whilst watching Corrie’s Christmas Day episode, I realised that Tracy, with her many faults and issues, may now be the most sane and logical member of her family. Sitting there amongst Peter- who had just caused Billy to fall off a cliff, Daniel and his obsession with Sinead, and Adam with all his dodgy legal activity, Tracy’s declaration that she’d rather not hang around whilst they discussed what to do with Peter was a refreshing indicator that she no longer gets the pleasure from watching people suffer that she may once have experienced. 

I cannot finish this post without also giving praise to Kate Ford and the Corrie writers for the portrayal of Tracy we now see on our screens. From her impeccable comedic timing to her nuanced facial expressions, Kate Ford brings life to the Tracy we love to watch, whilst the writers allow Tracy to develop meaningful bonds with characters such as Beth and Tracy and demonstrate her three-dimensional existence. Although nothing will ever excuse the murder of Charlie, Tracy can continue to show that she is trying to make amends for her actions, whilst retaining the strong and sarcastic nature that makes her who she is. 

Guest blog post by Shaina who is on Twitter @Shaina2111 

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

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