Coronation Street has had its fair share of controversial storylines in its 48 years of broadcast, but the likes of the ‘Free Deirdre’ plot could, potentially, be eclipsed by an episode due to air in September.
The writers of the Weatherfield soap cannot be accused of shying away from contentious issues of modern day society as the soap will soon feature the most gratuitous and shocking scene of girl-on-girl violence seen on British soaps ever. It’s widely expected that a backlash will follow over the scene; many believe that the soap is capitalising on the fear of gang culture sweeping across the nation.
Fansites have today been attracting negative comments from viewers saying that unnecessary scenes of this nature are actually encouraging the same behaviour among teenagers. So what’s all the fuss about?
The scene in question shows four young women attack undercover police officers Mel Morton and Abi Sharpe in an unprovoked attack after they are sent to investigate an incident at a local bar. This is not your playground pulling of the hair and name-calling; the vicious attack sees the four youths punch, kick, and even smash glass bottles over the unsuspecting officers. One fierce assailant brutally stamps on Abi’s head as she lays helpless on the pavement, before leaving her for dead.
My thoughts are that if it’s happening in on our streets, why shouldn’t it occur on Coronation Street or any other soap?
However, contentious scenes or storylines must be written with a certain view taking factors such as sensitivity to taste and violence into account due to the fact that the long-running show is aired before the watershed.
I actually disagree with the concerned fans of the show who are opposing the depiction of such scenes like this on principle. Yes, Coronation Street isn’t EastEnders where more gangsters appear to be operating in Walford than in all the London boroughs put together. However, youth violence is a fact of life and however unpleasant, it needs to be tackled and confronted head on. Even in a soap. It may shock viewers enough for certain people to be more self-aware and withdraw themselves from situations similar.
By Guest Editor Rob Jones