My Christmas Wishlist for Coronation Street

Dear Santa

I’ve been a good boy this year but I don’t want to ask for much for Christmas. Instead, I’d rather you direct your powers of gift-giving to a certain Northern English street called "Coronation":

  • Please stop sending every other character to jail. Coronation Street has more hardened criminals per capita than any other street in the UK. Current residents who have done time include: David, Graeme, Kevin, Hayley, Deirdre, Becky, Steve, John, Gail, Tracey, Fizz, and I think Dennis Tanner 50 years ago. While we accept a certain amount of heightened reality, no street has this many people who have done time.
  • Become more issues driven. Seeing Dennis Tanner return as a homeless man was a good move and I think it helped put a human face on homelessness. People aren’t born in the street. Through any number of circumstances, they end up there. We don’t yet know how Dennis ended up there (unless I missed it) but it would be an interesting story, I think. In addition, we often see characters dealing with government or social services agencies. Is the custody tug of war between Steve and Becky and Tracey realistic? I don’t know but it doesn’t seem so. Actually show, in detail, how legislation affects lives. Coronation Street was never intended to be a soap. It’s a kitchen sink drama.
  • No more personality transplants. Figure out what makes a character tick and stick with it. Chesney hates deceit. Fizz is feisty and sharp. Ken is a long winded bore with a wandering eye. The Fizz we’re seeing now isn’t the Fizz I remember. And how about deciding once and for all if Kirk has a learning disability and if he does, write it into his character and show how he struggles with it. His intelligence isn’t written consistently. There are times when he seems like he barely functions as an adult and other times when he’s just a bit dim and doesn’t always catch on to a joke.
  • And after that character’s key personality trait is determined, let them grow. Case in point: Becky. She started off on the street stealing money from Roy’s till. A few months ago, she was…stealing money from Dev’s safe. Her motive may be more altruistic this time around but she goes back to the same actions again and again: she takes things extremely personally and then veers from rage to catatonia with never an opportunity to learn from her past behaviour.
  • There are storylines that don’t involve infidelity. Quick, how many families on the street are married, and have always been married, and have their own children? Give up? The answer: none. Kevin and Sally have their own children but are separated and were previously divorced. Steve and Becky were attempting to raise their nephew and Amy from a previous relationship. Ken and Deirdre are a blended family. Dev and Sunita are divorced. Anna and Eddie are divorced, leaving her a single mother. Not all of these instances are infidelity related but there are few stable families, if any, on the street.
  • Mix up the characters: It seems there are a few social bubbles on the street that don’t intersect. I like seeing characters breaking out of those bubbles and rubbing elbows. Sophie at the Barlows’ reminded me that the Websters and Barlows never speak and it’s interesting to see.
  • More of this please: Julie and Brian. Sylvia. Dennis. Chesney and Gary. Lloyd. Norris and Mary. Roy and Hayley, keeping on keeping on.

So that’s my Christmas list. What’s yours?

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About shatnerian

Former Maritimer living in the suburbs of Montreal.
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11 Responses to My Christmas Wishlist for Coronation Street

  1. Bea says:

    I want more humor. Although there has been some recovery of that lately. In tonight’s episode right near the end, for instance. As Tracy left the Rovers, is it just me, or was the tag hanging from the back of her new dress? Also, on a recent episode, when Chezney was asking John and Fiz for some mail that he was expecting. They claimed that they knew nothing about it, but all through the episode, I could see a letter on the shelf in the kitchen, kind of propped up, like you would do if you were trying to remember to give it to someone. I wished I could enlarge it, so I could see who’s it was.

    My second wish is to stop recycling the characters. It seems that someone gets the taxi ride out of town every week, only to be replaced by someone else. I find it hard to keep up. I want to ‘know’ the characters. I want to get into their lives. Right now, I’m having trouble remembering their names.

  2. S. Poole says:

    Well said, John. I would add Rita to the Norris and Mary equation in the more of this please category. There was a time Graeme would have been high on the list too but they have turned him into a wimpy, whinging pile of jelly.

    A high ratio of murders and serial killers to regular folk on that little street too. And then the expected recycling of various scenes, e.g.Steve and Becky fall out, then one or the other goes on a bender, rewind, rinse and repeat.

    Merry Christmas all, and to all a good night.

  3. corrierules says:

    Excellent post John. Just this week I was saying to myself “I think that’s the third time I’ve seen that shot” in the past year. You know the one where our female heroine is hunched up hugging herself on her cot (sort of a sitting fetal position) in a prison cell, the scene is silvery gray, she’s weeping, and then the sliding door peephole (through which we are seeing her) bangs shut.Cue the credits. Becky. Gail. Now Fizz. Enough already.

    I love all of your “more ofs”. Love, love, love Julie . Will miss Graeme. But found it hard to feel sorry for Tina. Who loans out their boyfriend? She was careless and took the wonderfulness that is Graeme for granted.

  4. Long Time Lurker says:

    Brilliant, John – thanks so much for that.

    I will miss Graeme; I really hope he’s not gone for good.

    Wishing all the Corrie Canuckers a wonderful festive holiday; lots of R&R for everyone – we need it, don’t we?

  5. haili says:

    Get rid of Cheryl and re-hire Eileen for the cab office. Have more scenes with Eileen, Steve and Lloyd. Let’s have more of the Grimshaw household for a change.

    Steve seems to have finally grown a pair – if only he can keep them. Maybe it’s time to dump Becky, though I was getting to like her until the last few relapses into drunken violence.

    I agree that we need to bring back Fizz’s spunk and common sense and smarten Kirk up a bit. He could hardly function in life being that stupid.

    I think Ken was in jail once when he was a student – for protesting the Vietnam war or something and didn’t Emily get into trouble for her tree sit-in?

    Get some elocution lessons for Sophie and Sian.

    Thanks to all who do these write-ups and Merry Christmas to all!

  6. Gayle says:

    I love Dennis! I really enjoyed December 23rd eppie and I haven’t been able to say that for a while! I LOVED that Steve sacked Tracey!

  7. Mary Prankster says:

    OK. so call this my New Year’s wish list! Have the producers, directors and writers make a resolution to make the show more believable, with realistic characters who don’t switch character & personality whenever the writers run out of ideas. Have less sensational plot-lines, with more “human” interaction between the characters instead. Let the people attempt to learn from their mistakes and grow as adults. Let the older characters have opportunities to teach and mentor the younger ones, while continuing to learn themselves. Enough with the screaming, hitting, tantrum-throwing and otherwise infantile behaviour. It’s boring! Write civilized characters!

    • MaryEllyn says:

      I’ve been saying something similar for months. It is so good to hear that others are thinking along the same lines.
      I love the wish list for Christmas… and Mary P’s New Year’s wish list too. brilliant.

  8. Mary Prankster says:

    A big thank you to our stalwart John, and Happy New year to all.

  9. NicoleK says:

    Late to the party as usual. Thank you John for maintaining this blog!

    I agree with everyone here that all the screaming and fighting isn’t doing anything for me. More character development and less ‘shock value’ plotlines, please.

    Also, I would like the characters to upgrade to some new technology. They’re all using Motorola Razr’s that are at least 5 years old. I’m sure at least Rosie would have an iPhone by now.

    • John says:

      I noticed that as well. I was just saying last night that nobody had a smart phone. I think tonight with Sean and Marcus, that may have been the first time I saw one on the show (think it was an Android).

      And Kevin’s never heard of online banking. Riiiight.

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