I have very recently been invited to write a weekly Coronation Street blog for a fans web site. The link to today's offering is included below (for future reference), but the actual article also follows. The hope is that one or two Corrie viewers might find their way to my book about the Rovers barmaids and decide to invest. The reality may be different! http://fansofcoronationstreet.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/a-fine-line.html
Never a dull day in Weatherfield. With Lewis finally having scarpered with Gail’s cash, all eyes are now firmly focussed on Kirsty and Tyrone, And if you thought Gail was gullible in the extreme (which she was...), then you can add to the list everyone who has been duped by Kirsty’s manipulation and lies. Butter wouldn’t melt for Corrie’s undisputed lightweight champion and for some other residents, short memories and misguided loyalties abound as things go from bad to worse for Tyrone.
It bothers me somewhat that as far as some soap writers are concerned, the need to extend the drama (presumably to build the tension to the climactic finale) outweighs the importance of how the subject matter is dealt with. I don’t know, but I’d hazard a guess that Kirsty will get her comeuppance at some point in the future, but for anyone unfortunate enough to haveTyrone’s fictional misery played out in real life, any hope that things can and do improve is pretty thin on the ground at the moment.
It’s to Corrie’s credit that the programme raises the profile of some desperately serious subjects, but is there an albeit fine line beyond which the issue becomes secondary to the ratings?
Moving sideways, a plot (however well written) will always need quality acting performances if the desired effect is to be achieved. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure just how good the overall standard of acting is in any serial drama, but Natalie Gumede is most certainly believable as the scheming ex-police officer.
If you look back a few years, the Charlie and Shelley (pictured) story worked because of the wonderful interaction between the two actors and more recently, Becky McDonald’s ups and downs were brilliantly realised by Katharine Kelly, but I’d venture that performers of her talent are the exception rather than the rule.
That said, if you pressed me for the best (or perhaps that should read most versatile) actor or actress ever to have graced the Coronation Street cobbles, I’d need about one second of deliberation before giving you the name Suranne Jones. Maybe Natalie Gumede is another star of the future, but for now let’s hope the current storyline is played out with empathy as well as dramatic effect
All my own work... almost.