(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in November 2014, reposted with permission.)
I have to thank Emma's excellent review of last Friday's Corrie for making me sit up and think about this issue. Although I love Tim and think Joe Duttine is superb, his current storyline is really missing the point as far as I'm concerned.
Tackling adult literacy is a very important move for a programme like Corrie, which still has the power to educate and inform as well as entertain. For many people like Tim, school didn't work out well for him for a number of different, complex reasons. Many people struggle by with poor reading and writing skills for much of their adult life. If Corrie publicising this issue can help people then it's all for the good.
However so far, despite Joe Duttine and Debbie Rush being very good actors, I really don't think Coronation Street are hitting this head on. It feels like Tim's struggles with reading are really only a means for Sally suspecting them of having an affair. If the story continues along these lines it will be a total and utter disappointment for me and a missed opportunity.
Corrie is traditionally not an issue led programme. Past attempts at this, such as Alma's cervical cancer or Toyah's rape, have backfired. There was a period in the late 1990s and early 2000s where Corrie changed focus and became more issue based, like EastEnders. Not a great time for us loyal Corrie viewers. So while I'm all for stories being character led, I can't help but feel that these days important issues are being raised only to be used as plot devices for more typical soapy scenarios such as adultery or murder. Sensationalist and unsatisfactory.
Sally will find out very soon what has really been going on between Anna and Tim and as usual will have to dismount from her high horse for a large slice of humble pie. I hope the writers will then focus on Tim's real issue and show Sally being supportive of her partner. I also really really hope this isn't just a precursor for a full-blown Anna and Tim affair. I adore Sally and Tim together and think they have so much potential for the future. The combination of Sally's twenty-first century misguided Annie Walker snobbery and Tim's modern day Eddie Yeats works so much better than another Sally/Kevin rehash.
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