As many of you probably know Carla Connor (played by the incomparable Alison King) departed Coronation Street last month. There are so many opinions on the exit Carla was given and I wanted to share mine.
Carla Connor deserved better.
I feel that the exit storyline was not strong enough to do Carla or Alison justice, the storyline revolved around so many things that were so irrelevant to the character Coronation Street had spent nine years builiding up. I do not understand why the show re-wrote the character just to enable her to leave. Although saying this there were things I enjoyed about Carla’s exit.
I thoroughly enjoyed getting to watch Alison King and Ben Price work together, their onscreen chemistry and the talent they have between them is unbelievable. I loved the development in their relationship and the little scenes, the domesticated scenes which were often better than the more substantial scenes. I loved the rises and the falls, the acceptance of Carla in the Platt’s family and the genuine love felt between Carla and Nick. The canal scenes that aired earlier this year were phenomenal, they really showed off the raw emotion within the relationship. I am so glad Coronation Street paired these two together as they were more than a pleasure to watch. The talent portrayed by both Alison and Ben in the past few months has been entrancing to watch.
Carla and Tracy’s scenes were also incredible to watch towards the end. They were emotional, full of hatred and often amusing. Kate Ford is so underrated and these past few months I have honestly enjoyed watching Tracy’s character so much (even when she was tormenting Carla) and am really looking forward to any future storylines involving Tracy. The scenes in the hotel a few months ago have to be some of my favourites from this storyline; it was Tracy at her best and Carla at her worst. The scenes were executed brilliantly and the scenes had me gripped and full of emotion.
Despite saying this, thefeud between Carla and Tracy had been ongoing for years, the fued being involved in the exit storyline felt like a safe bet. Towards the end Tracy dominated Carla which felt so out of character; I do not think Carla would give in to the demands being made no matter how much she wanted her happy ending. But then again maybe Carla was tired, tired of being denied happiness, this would make sense due to the deterioration of Carla’s character since January. As much as I enjoyed the Carla and Tracy scenes I felt it was quite predictable and old to use their feud in the exit storyline.
As much as Carla and Nick’s relationship is something I will always love, the way it ended was underwhelming and disappointing. The revelation of the one night stand felt so rushed, months of waiting for it to be over within ten minutes. I am so glad the first part came from Carla but, she told Nick but he would not listen to her, she tried to tell him everything but he would not let her talk. Because of this the rest of the secrets inevitably came from Tracy which I did not like, I felt that everything should have come from Carla. The couple still married (which again felt rushed and forceful on Nick’s part) but the relationship ended shortly after. The scene during the speeches was so emotional and had me in tears, both Alison and Ben were amazing. However Nick then became dismissive towards Carla, “scoffs” during Roy’s comforting words and used all Carla’s insecurities against her. Everything she was ashamed of, everything she wanted to move on from was broadcast by the man who claimed to love her; this felt so out of character for Nick and annoyed me so much. The much loved couple never spoke things over and ended on a wave. I needed closure.
So many important features of Carla’s life were never mentioned in the process of her exit. It was almost as if the factory did not exist; it was the constant in Carla’s nine years on the street and she never seemed to consider it. Carla rarley attended the factory in the closing months and it felt like she had just forgotten about it, this is not something I believe Carla would do. We never got to see her reminiscing about the past or planning for the factory’s future. The factory team seem to have also been forgotten about, especially the originals like Sean and Fiz who had always been there and had a bond with Carla never got a goodbye. There are other characters like Maria and Ken who also had big parts in Carla’s life were ignored as Carla departed the street.
The thing that annoyed me the most about the exit was the attitudes of certain characters and the terminology used within the writing. Roy’s dismissal of Carla after the accident and the look he gave her honestly broke my heart; Carla constantly seeked Roy’s approval and it was taken away from her. Luckily Roy redeemed himself at the end but I found it disheartening and hard to believe that Roy, out of everyone, would behave in that way. Nick never gave Carla chance to explain herself, she never got the chance to talk something which she deserved. Nick acted disrespectfully towards Carla and never seemed bothered about her departure (I really hope we see Nick’s reaction in the coming episodes). The scenes in the Bistro basically involved Carla being slut-shamed for making one mistake, she was forced to sit and take constant remarks, remarks made by characters who had done much worse. In the next episode the word “psychopath” was used to describe Carla and I hate the way such a bad picture was painted of her before she left, she left with the labels imposed by others. Also, I did not realise making one mistake made you a “psychopath” and I think this was such a bad message to give out.
Although I am so happy that Alison is moving on and exploring new roles on the whole, I was disappointed with Carla’s exit and still feel the need for closure.