Maria Brabiner, a life long Coronation Street, writes a short piece for ATV Today on why she thinks the Manchester soap has lost its way. Much has been made in the press over the past week about falling ratings, dodgy northern accents and gay characters but in this opinion piece Maria gives her own views on why the street isn’t the soap it once was.
I’ve been a life-long Coronation Street fan as long as I can remember. I’m from the area, daily life growing up amongst those terraced streets is what I’ve been used to.
My first proper memory is of Elsie Tanner (played by the wonderful late Pat Phoenix) lying in the road after being knocked down by a taxi and seeing the credits roll up. She was in London visiting her son Dennis in prison. From then on I was hooked.
I hated missing an episode and in later years I would always watch ITV2 to catch up. But not any more, I can’t say I feel like that of late, I’m sorry to say. I have been disenchanted for a while but lately I feel the storylines have just got worse.
I can cite what I call unwatchable storylines :
1. John Stape, the whole sorry saga
2. Stella turning out to be Leanne’s mother and let’s not forget her dodgy accent. No way is that a Salford/Manchester accent. Yorkshire maybe ? Definitely not Salford. Salford people don’t talk like that and I should know, I come from Salford originally.
3. I’m not interested in the destruction of Becky. Totally out of character as Becky was reformed.
4. I’m not interested in grinning and scheming Tracy Barlow either. (But why is she called Barlow anyway, she was married and was Preston. Ok, she was divorced, but some divorced ladies keep their surname) Tracy should be in prison for life doing time for murder. She confessed, she should be inside. Not realistic at all. Neither is Deirdre who always sticks up for her wayward daughter, no matter what she does ! Her interference in Steve & Becky’s marriage was just a re-hash of Steve and Karen. Not good when plots are recycled.
5. I feel that the marriage of Kylie and David Platt is a bit of a recycle too. Their relationship is a carbon copy of David’s early relationship with Tina who was also a bad girl at the time. Only difference is that David married Kylie.
6. I’m not interested in Izzy or her family.
7. Bringing back Dennis Tanner I feel was a mistake. Its been revealed that Elsie’s maiden name was Grimshaw. I do hope this doesn’t really mean Eileen will be related to Elsie and Dennis ? Because if it does, again totally unrealistic, a scraping the barrel storyline.
But I must say that the John Stape storyline has been the worst of them all. Why did he have to be a serial killer ? He changed from a mild mannered teacher who abducted Rosie Webster. This was bad enough, but for him to then kill ? Totally unbelievable.
I know programmes have to evolve to survive and that Coronation Street isn’t quite at death’s door, not at the critical stage just yet. But that’s the way it will go if they don’t start to get some decent storylines and use their strongest characters i.e. Rita and Norris in The Kabin, Carla, Peter & Leanne Barlow just a couple of examples there.
It doesn’t have to be sensationalist all the time and perhaps its become that way because there are far too many episodes each week. It was better when there were just three episodes a week and it aired on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Moving it to Thursdays was a big, big mistake.