UKTV – Coronation Street “Cheapens” Hayley’s Death Plot

It wasn’t enough for Coronation Street producers to kill off character Hayley Cropper with cancer alone. They are throwing in assisted suicide as well in order to boost ratings. Will the twist cheapen Hayley’s departure from the soap and do viewers need euthanasia rammed down their throats in the name of ‘entertainment’ over the Christmas period?

corrie pro pic

I’m not Coronation Street’s biggest fan but I did grow up on it and I do tune in whenever a dramatic storyline is screened. Whilst I’m quite loving the David/Nick/Kylie Platt lovechild saga, I thought the recent climax to the Karl Munro getting caught was lame and poorly acted (Dev’s over theatrical fight scene with Karl in the Rovers was a joke). As a fan of Roy and Hayley Cropper, I was quite intrigued to see how Hayley’s cancer plot would be played out. Viewers know that Hayley (played by Julie Hesmondhalgh ) is going to die, and as such an affectionate and popular character, its essential the storyline would be emotional and memorable for fans. All was going well, although tearful, until it was revealed that Hayley’s demise will be down to assisted suicide, rather than the disease itself. WHYYYYYY? I screamed.

Corrie favourites... Hayley and Roy
Corrie favourites… Hayley and Roy

Assisted suicide amongst terminally ill patients has become a much talked about subject here in the UK in recent years. I understand Soaps like to use a bit of controversy to boost the ratings but throwing this in with Hayley’s exit is just too many ingredients in the recipe. A much loved and seasoned character dying from cancer is dramatic enough, throwing in the suicide just cheapens the sentiment for viewers. Every viewer watching will know of someone who is suffering or has died from cancer, or maybe suffering it themselves. Why do Coronation Street viewers feel we need this suicide rammed down our throats? Especially in the run up to Christmas. People die from cancer daily. Highlight the suffering the patient goes through, the effect on their friends and family members and the nursing care involved so viewers can resonate with the story, not feel uncomfortable. Don’t give Mrs Smith at home on her last legs the impression that if she tops herself she won’t be burdening her family or losing her pride.

TV QUOTE OF THE WEEK – Emmerdale’s Chas Dingle to Paddy Kirk before their drunkard rendezvous “Have you got any painkillers for the morning?”, to which Paddy replied “No! Rhona’s had ’em all”. (Rhona is Paddy’s estranged wife recovering from painkiller addiction) Classic!

I’m not saying that assisted suicide/euthanasia shouldn’t be used in soaps… In Hollyoaks recently Ste Hay helped his mother to die, Aaron helped paralysed Jackson in Emmerdale and moralistic God fearing Christian, Dot assisted her best friend, Ethel in Eastenders. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and I feel with Hayley, viewers will be turned off. I’d like to see awkward Roy embracing the communities sympathy or going to visit his and Hayley’s unofficially adopted daughter, Becky Grainger abroad to get over his grief. Whereas it looks as though Roy will most likely be charged with assisted murder and facing scornful looks and remarks from half his neighbours. Not my kind of entertainment at all.

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