I haven't been inspired to write a blog post about Corrie for some time, and certainly not one praising an episode. But last night's episode was the best episode I've seen in a very long time.
While the episodes surrounding Deirdre's death and funeral didn't solely concentrate on Deirdre, last night's episode was all about her. This was the sort of episode that I'd been waiting for since the death of Anne Kirkbride. And having resisted the urge to read spoilers, this was a nice surprise. The episode had that unique mix of drama and humour that Corrie is famous for and what it's been lacking in recent months and may I say years.
I know we are soaps are now obsessed with awards, but if last night's episode won't get nominated for 'Best Episode' then soaps are really in a dire situation. Explosions and fights don't necessarily make good episodes. More often than not, it's the aftermath that shows the characters at their best.
While my mum had refused to watch the funeral, stating that she didn't agree with the fact that the show was using Kirkbride's death as dramatic purposes, I put last night's episode on and she watched the whole episode. I sensed that this episode was what she wanted - a chance to reflect and reminisce about a long running and popular character.
Deirdre was one of a dying breed of Corrie characters. You can count on one hand - two at a push - the characters who we still care about and we know their history. Deirdre had many phases in her Corrie life - the cheeky mouthy girl in the 1970s, the serious and strong woman of the 1980s, the independent lady in the 1990s, the foil to Blanche in the 2000s and then the comedy character in the last 5 years or so.
For nearly 30 years, Deirdre was a serious character. She wasn't known for being a comedy character like Hilda, Mavis or Reg, but it seems many remember her as she was in the last 5 years, completely forgetting the past. Her two most famous storylines are dramatic ones with Deirdre crying in most of them. This was the Deirdre many relate to when thinking of her. But the fact that she wasn't a particularly funny character didn't make her unpopular. On the contrary, she is one of the most famous characters on the show, on the same par as possibly Ken, Rita, Bet Lynch, Elsie Tanner and Hilda Ogden.
What was wonderful about last night's episode was it was very honest. It showed that Deirdre, as Blanche once said, 'was hardly Snow White'. She, like every classic Corrie character and every human being, had her flaws. While she was never a homewrecker (Wendy flamin' Crozier has that trophy), she didn't have a great track record with men. Mention was duly referenced to Mike Baldwin (who held a torch for Deirdre) and Jon Lindsay, but sadly no reference was made by Rita or Emily about Ray Langton and Billy Walker. And wouldn't it have been great if Billy Walker had returned to pay his respects - Deirdre's first love?
The return of Peter Barlow was very much welcomed and the scenes in the Barlows were electric. And while her love of pottery was mentioned, I did think her choice of huge glasses might have referenced to. And where was Eccles? But I'm picking at straws.
And it was great to have those scenes between Audrey and Bev. History had not been forgotten and it did cement that Bev would be a very welcome return to the street. She still has relevance and she would be a great friend/foe to Audrey.
And like Jordan mentioned in his review, the episode gave Emily and Rita more scope. Rita's reaction when Emily mentioned Ken's old flames was priceless - she's one of them!
What would've been a wonderful ending would be for Deirdre's voice to be heard one last time when Ken switched off the light.
So well done Corrie for last night. You were back on form and it just goes to show that when it pulls out all the stops, it's a clinker of a show!
Goodbye Deirdre. A Corrie legend in the truer sense of the word.
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