Coronation Street and Storytelling

Coronation Street and Storytelling

I guess I admire storytellers. Shocker, eh? If you’re a writer, I would hope that’s a prerequisite, because you won’t get very good learnings from yourself. I’ve been a reader for my entire literate life, and if you have too, we could probably buy each other one of those giant bowl lattes and talk about books until the caffeine buzz would eventually make us forget about literature and investigate good landing ground for somersaults. Date time and place, that’s all I need, my friend.

But what we often forget about are stories from movies and TV. Yes, we love books, and those are our guilty pleasures, but when we’re too tired to do anything else, where can we be found? In front of the good ‘ol TV. And if it’s 7:30pm in our house, you’ll find us in front of Coronation Street.

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Before I met my husband I had never seen this show. But then we started hanging out, I became a regular visitor at his cottage, and we started being semi hung over on Sunday mornings. I soon discovered that hung over Sunday mornings are best spent on the couch in front of the TV, and when you’re up north and you only get one TV station, guess what’s on? Coronation Street. Phil was already aware of the characters because he has tons of British relatives who love it, and before I knew it, I was hooked.

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I was watching it again tonight, and I paused to marvel at what a lame show it actually is. Everyone who watches it knows that it’s lame. You can’t watch an episode that’s primarily about whether or not Chesney will get to keep his dog without knowing that this program is lame.

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But at the same time, fans will defend the show’s merits until they bad accent themselves hoarse. So I wondered tonight – what is it about this stupid show?

And do you know what it is? It’s the characters. When you have strong, believable characters, you can have lame story lines. Dry story lines.  Norris can contemplate whether or not to share a trailer with someone. Roy can fret about not being able to find good help in his sandwich shop. Because we love Norris and Roy, even though they’re both extremely annoying. And of course, there is plenty of baby mama love triangle drama at the same time with others on the show. But once you’re invested in the characters, the plot only needs brief twists to keep you going. And when the characters shift – actors quit, or whatever – you wonder if you’ll keep watching. But you do (though not quite enough that you hate to miss an episode). The writers do a good job of keeping you invested.

I hope I’ll keep you invested. In me, not in Coronation Street, although as I’ve mentioned, that’s good too.

Question – what characters in programs, movies, and books keep you tuning in?

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