A few weeks ago, we had the grown-up tigresses going at it. Rita and Audrey over Lewis and Alf and many years of shared history. This Wednesday it was Tracey and Becky, well-matched fighters from the younger generation. The difference between the two pairs is that Audrey and Rita are friends. Somehow I can’t see a friendship between Tracey and Becky ever developing. Audrey, Rita and Becky are all decent human beings who may have disagreements with others and who speak their minds. Tracey is not.
But watching the two of them eyeing each other across the visitor table in the prison! I could see them as cats, backs arched, circling warily, keeping back far enough to avoid the other’s claws but trying to get in close enough to land a good wallop with claws out. Tracey plays the game better. She baited Becky enough to make her lose control. I wondered if the guards would just haul Becky straight into a cell, and maybe she, Tracey and Gail would all end up as roomies.
I confess that I don’t much like Tracey – the character, not just her despicable actions. Ever since she’s been thoroughly bad, I’ve found her a bit over the top. She’s more like an American soap villainess to me than a Corrie Street one. Always scheming, always nasty – not a lot of layers to her character. She serves a dramatic purpose – stirring the pot – but usually there’s more complexity to Corrie Street characters. Becky, for example, was comparable to Tracey when she first came on the show – straight out mean. But she’s changed: we see her good side, her vulnerable side and her volatile street-tough side. Tracey is, well, nasty and scheming. I’ve come to dread her returns because I find her out of sync with the rest of the Street.
One-dimensional characters appear on Coronation Street, but aren’t usually long-term. Even Theresa showed other sides of her personality and I felt quite bad when she left, for once keeping her head high and showing some pride.
However, despite my caveat about Tracey, I enjoyed watching her and Becky square off. Becky is a match for her in all ways and that humanizes Tracey’s character. Having Becky recognize Tracey’s games and match them makes Tracey’s conniving more believable. Pairing two equals somehow adds to the credibility of the performance. At least it did in this little scene, when I was holding my breath wondering which cat was going to draw blood first.