Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Why I'm sorry to see Corrie's Jenna go

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in May 2014.)

Yesterday (back in May) it was announced that actress Krissi Bohn would be leaving her role as Corrie's Jenna Kamara this summer. As we've not really seen that much of Jenna I guess it shouldn't come as much of a surprise, however I found myself getting very vexed over this latest exit.

First and foremost I feel sorry for the actor. Krissi Bohn has done her best in the role of Jenna and she's always impressed me even though she's been given very little to do. The character had great promise at first I thought, however she was underused and saddled with the really poor Sophie Webster plot and that didn't help. There were no attempts to revive Jenna's fortunes on the back of this and I struggle to believe the Corrie writing team couldn't come up with something interesting for this promising character to do.

I also thought Jenna had great chemistry with Lloyd, played so brilliantly by Craig Charles. They were very believable as father and daughter, yet again, sadly the actors were never given much of a chance onscreen to show this. Craig Charles was interviewed when it was announced he would be getting a Corrie family and you could tell he was thrilled to have a family and that it would also be Corrie's first proper black family too. Two years down the line and the writing is on the wall again. Mandy and Jenna were a definite improvement on the last characters Lloyd was involved with - Cheryl and her son Russ - remember them?

It just felt that the actors were employed without the powers that be having a clear idea of what to do with them. When Jenna told her mother she was gay and entering a relationship with Sophie, there were initially very powerful scenes between mother and daughter. I can't remember now what they were up against, however this storyline seemed to be rather quickly brushed under the rug for the sake of something else. The fact I can't remember what that something else was speaks volumes.

The Corrie cast is far too big. There is no chance, even at five episodes a week, that every actor will get their chance to dominate in a high profile storyline. Despite this, the cast just seems to get bigger, even with characters leaving fairly regularly. There is about to be another deluge, with Kal's family arriving left, right and centre. I wonder how long they will last?

Even worse, the cast continues to be huge while it seems a smaller and smaller number of characters seem to dominate endlessly. As much as I like Chris Gascoyne, Alison King and Michelle Keegan, they do seem to feature really heavily.

While it is reasonable that more senior members of the cast do not want to appear so regularly anymore, there are still plenty of other characters that are more than capable of carrying bigger storylines. As well as Lloyd and Jenna, there are super characters like Beth and Kirk, Deirdre, Jason and Eva and Sally and Tim. We see them in the background or in storylines that never seem to lead anywhere but I think there should be room made for them to tackle more challenging stuff. Even much respected cast members like Sue Nicholls, Philip Lowrie and Barbara Knox are only used these days as foils to younger characters like Tina and Maria. 

Anyway, back to my original point. I always think it's a rather lame excuse when statements are released saying that a certain character has been taken as far as they can when really, they haven't actually gone anywhere at all.

I do think Corrie needs to look at its casting decisions and its cast in general otherwise things will never improve.

I hope Craig Charles stays in Corrie despite the ever fluctuating characters around him. He's an asset I wish Krissi Bohn well with whatever she does next. She is a good actress and deserves something that shows off how talented she is.

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1 comment:

50 and counting said...

I liked Jenna and always felt that she got a raw deal with the Sophie story line which ruined her career.

If anything I loathe Sophie Webster and feel that she is a sexual predator. She makes it very clear what she wants and doesn't give up until she gets it.

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