Friday, 30 May 2014
There'll be no Coronation Street on ITV1 tonight, because the schedule's stuffed with a friendly England v Peru football game – complete with the usual rushed, rubbishy commentary from Adrian Chiles and co – as an opener for the World Cup.
Traditionally Corrie fans get upset when football pushes the soap out, but I suspect many of them tonight will be relieved to have a rest from all the artificial sweat and tension of recent weeks.
Tina is in hospital on life-support in a standard soap cliché scene, and Peter Barlow is desperate for a drink, no doubt. ZZZzzzzz.
Now we have those other TV chestnuts to get through ... who was responsible for her death? (Apparently it was Rob, but I couldn't be arsed to watch the Tuesday episode which revealed that.) Next, will the correct killer be bought to justice?
Honestly, who bloody cares? I suspect the actors themselves find it hilarious than anyone can take such overwritten bollocks can seriously.
Now, Corrie bosses are doubtless crowing that viewing figures are up for recent episodes, the ones where Tina planned to run away with Peter Barlow to somewhere down south, where she could get her teeth whitened more regularly.
I think some 10 million have watched those episodes, but actually that's well down on Corrie's viewing figures some 25 years ago, when it regularly pulled in more than 20 million viewers per episode – without having to resort to tram crashes and silly murders.
Now, I'm not saying that the Street should be solely about ordinary people doing ordinary things – there would be no drama in that, and that is not what drama is about.
But the producers do need to be less desperate in the plotting and the rush to make everything that happens so anxious and knife-edgey. It just doesn't work.
What this vintage soap needs to get back to is fine script-writing, which builds character, humour and the sort of street-wise philosophy that we who live in the North of England recognise a strong and life-affirming part of daily existence.