As I’ve mentioned in another post, my guilty pleasure is the long-running British soap opera Coronation Street. I’ve been watching it for years and can’t help but notice how it has changed over time to keep up with its audience. The soap has tackled a myriad of storylines and situations; from the ever popular love triangle to transsexual characters Coronation Street has been there, done that. But one of the current plots is drawing some criticism.
The very popular character Hayley Cropper, played by Julie Hesmondhalgh, is going to be killed-off. Hesmondhalgh decided it was time to leave the show for other pursuits and the writers opted for a storyline in which Hayley is diagnosed with terminal cancer. The story has been playing out for several months now and has included Hayley making funeral plans, befriending another terminally ill woman who dies, and telling her husband Roy Cropper, played by David Neilson, that she will take charge in the end – alluding to her desire to commit suicide rather than die naturally.
The acting of Hesmondhalgh and Neilson has been nothing short of stellar as the disease takes its toll, physically and emotionally. In fact some Corrie fans are finding it too much and have threatened to boycott the final episode in protest. The tweet below from @_EllieT_x is one of many from disgruntled fans.
In my humble opinion the storyline has gone on too long. But more to the point I can’t help but feel for those who might be facing a similar situation in their lives – as the saying goes, in ‘real life’. Perhaps they are caring for a terminally ill loved one, or are themselves sick and, when seeking a bit of an escape from things in the form of a loved soap opera are doused with a bucket of cold reality. No matter how well the acting and writing has been, and it has been terrific, I don’t think this is the place for a drawn-out plot such as this.