Thursday, July 23, 2009

urban robotics

spoiler alert: this post makes reference to the July 23 episode on CBC

It's interesting to see the role of technology on Coronation Street. Nowadays, it seems everyone on the Street (even Norris) has a cellphone, sends text messages and uses a computer. There's nothing wrong with that of course; the Street is simply reflecting modern life.

Look at yesterday's episode. Liam starts up his computer and ignores Maria. Carla gets an incoming cellphone call and the caller ID tells her it's Liam. Lloyd gets a cellphone call about John Stape's accident (attacked by Grandma Nell's cat I assume - ed). Jason is glued to his cellphone talking to Sarah Platt in Italy. Even Auntie Pam is selling dodgy digital watches with the help of shill-in-training, Tyrone. (Surely you've heard of 'Urban Robotics' - just like Movado or Rolex without working parts).

Sometimes, however, technology gets in the way of a good story or becomes a substitute for a decent plot. Remember when David hacked into Tina's email account? Too much of that story depended on emails, staring at computer screens, figuring out login passwords etc. Similarly, too many text messages can not only be hard for viewers to see and read - but can actually become a crutch for poor storytelling. After all, back in the day, all Elsie Tanner had was a rotary phone and a cigarette lighter and she was a hellraiser.

Of course, some characters seem blissfully oblivious to the benefits of hi-tech living. I haven't seen Emily texting her vicar lately ("C U Sunday Vikr, LOL"). Thank God for small mercies.

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