I kinda fell out of love with the Soap opera, Coronation Street.
Then they gave us a great new villain and I am, hooked again! So is Bob Dylan!
Why had I given up on ‘Corrie’?
Frankly, I felt the writing had taken a nosedive in quality. As though a team of school kids with wikipedia access had been given the gig. Lots of attempts at capturing older idioms in the show, without earning the style or substance to do so. ‘Trying to give each character a distinctive speech; faux comedy side-lines etc. And ultimately, their plots became just as obsessed with drugs/crime/class war as Eastenders (which I hate).
The final straw, I thought, was when they showed my beloved Sally Webster, relieving herself, in the bushes. I switched off for months, thereafter.
And yet? THEN. They bring in a GREAT baddie.
Griff (Michael Condron) is a masterclass in onscreen villainy.
They have managed to portray how kids get seduced by extremism, via Condron’s performance. Griff takes a vulnerable, impressionable, angry young man under his wing and thereby brainwashes him into racism.
It is a textured, subtle, varied performance. At once menacing and even funny, in places. Condron is a star and once his storyline ends, his presence will be missed on the show but I have no doubt that Hollywood will come calling.
The writing still varies in quality. Even in this case, they don’t ‘get’ that if the baddie says ‘WOKE’ and then the Corrie regulars spout wokery themselves, they arguably endorse rather than condemn his narrative?
It does not help matters that Griff’s main opponent appears to be the resident wannabe gangster (Gary Windass). Young people frequently adopt gang credentials in a bid for identity. To escape the perceived tyranny of some other threat.
So, in pitting Mr racist baddie against A N other villainy? You do the motif zero favours and play directly back into the hands of the enemy. But, that minor caveat aside? This is truly great acting and therefore, unmissable television.
And yes. I love Sally Webster. Sorry. But she’s like the Julie Andrews of Coronation Street. Could play Mary Poppins or Maria from Sound of Music, easily. 😉