Does anyone else have a feeling of déjà vu when they’re watching Coronation Street at the moment? Now, I know there are only a finite number of stories that a soap opera can tell, but it seems that the Corrie writers are plundering their own history a little too heavily.
The tipping point came last week with a rather tepid sequel to Eileen and Gail’s famous smackdown, which this time featured hairdressing gowns rather than plain old dressing gowns.
This rather lacklustre barney came all-too-soon after Kylie’s drugs rehab session in which the Platts ended up unwittingly baring their souls. Funny though the scene undoubtedly was, there were definite echoes of Blanche hijacking Peter’s AA meeting all those years ago.
If more examples are needed, then we’ve also had Jenny Bradley aping the baby-snatching antics of such bereaved mothers as Casey Carswell, Alison Webster and Brenda Fearns. Carla – surely the unluckiest character to have ever appeared on the show – has been in her second fire in five years. And drug dealer Callum Logan is now insinuating his way onto the Street in much the same manner as drug dealer Jez Quigley once did.
Carla (Alison King) has now almost burned to death on two occasions
And, please, how many times do we need to see Dev Alahan humiliated by women who have ten times the amount of grey matter than he does? Has he learned nothing since his treatment at the hands of Tara Mandal?
This trend of history repeating itself has been noticeable for a while now. When Rob Donovan confessed to Carla last year that he’d killed Tina McIntyre, it was all-too-similar to Karl Munro admitting to Stella Price that he’d cut Sunita Alahan’s life support.
For months, we’d seen Rob covering his tracks, just as Karl had done 12 months before. There are so many times we can peer into the psyche of a killer before it all starts to appear a bit samey.
As Corrie enters its summer months, there are thankfully signs of originality on the horizon. Simon Barlow’s abuse of Leanne is working well, while Paddy McGuinness will hopefully provide some laughs as a wilderness survival expert putting the likes of Chesney and Tyrone through their paces.
But if Corrie is to be truly distinctive again, it needs to stop mining the past and instead tell fresh tales. We don’t want life in Weatherfield to be cover versions of its greatest hits. So, please, no more rematches for Gail and Eileen. Let’s call that their final bout.
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Coronation Street below.
And visit our dedicated Coronation Street page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.