Saturday, 29 August 2015

Coronation Street double episode review, Friday 28 August 2015

Aidan: “It’ll take some getting used to working with a load of women. The banter’s different.”
Michelle: “Hm. It’s called intelligent conversation that babes.”
Steve: “Yeah, I often have chats about renaissance art with Beth Tinker.”

And so begins Friday’s double Corrie. Written by Chris Fewtrell, they continue in this vein, and are a treat for anyone who appreciates the joy of well woven storytelling and beautifully crafted dialogue.
“You are a prisoner of other people’s aesthetic prejudices” Mary informs Eileen, whose only experience of painting has involved a skirting board. Her pushy recruitment tactics nevertheless see the community centre filled with budding artists in anticipation of Cathy’s class. It’s always welcome to have a character representing the viewer, and Cathy’s reaction to both Mary and Yasmeen’s overbearing theatricality endears her even  more.
Tim’s playfulness, Craig’s artistic integrity and Roy’s assertion that “This is the land of Lowry” are small but wonderful details that add to the rich palette of the episode. All this provides the backdrop for Cathy regaining her lost confidence and faith in her abilities and crediting Roy with being the catalyst. In what is a touching scene between the pair, he tells her, “The worst has already happened to you and me, nothing that comes now will ever compare, so in a peculiar sort of way, that’s liberating.”
The class subject, a bunch of flowers, sees varied interpretations. Mary’s painting of the grim reaper “proferring a bunch of nettles” is glorious as she explains to a bewildered Cathy, “for me, cut flowers are synonymous with death and also betrayal. They’re a time honoured pathetic male gesture made in the wake of some act of infidelity, negligence or cruelty. The nettles therefore represent the hidden sting that lurks beneath every bouquet.” Magnificent.

As they depart, and Tim is reminded he was supposed to cut the grass for Sally, he asks Cathy’s permission to take the flowers with him; a marvellous validation of both Mary’s assertions and the intricacies of Chris Fewtrell’s fine storytelling. I was just as happy as Yasmeen to hear Cathy will be giving more classes.
Aidan is far from happy with Carla’s attitude towards the business. First, she refuses to attend another important meeting with him, and then he realises she’s lost another £500 to online gambling. They make up, but not without a firm telling off and a request that she allow those who care for her to help her. An increasingly burdened Tracy agrees, albeit reluctantly, to lend her support to Maddie’s charity night at the Bistro, and you'd wonder if her wish for Carla to move on from what was an accident speaks to her own desire to eradicate it from memory. Carla overhears and admits that she does blame herself for the deaths of Maddie and Kal, and always will.
Liz has spent the night with Lloyd, and her shifty behaviour leads Michelle to suspect that she’s hiding someone upstairs. Thinking it’s Tony, Steve calls Lloyd for back up only to hear his phone ringing as he sneaks down the stairs. The following scenes are comedy gold, and result in Steve giving the couple his reluctant, and comically unnecessary, blessing.
Unwilling Lloyd is cajoled by Steve into bringing her on a date, and despite confessing to Dev that he doesn’t want a relationship with Liz, both jaws hit the floor when she arrives out from behind the bar dressed to impress. However, as they are about to leave for the Bistro, Andrea arrives with a full on apology and the record she stole and sold. She begs him for another chance, but it’s too late for Lloyd who can’t trust her again. After he admits he slept with Liz, Andrea ends up crying in Eileen’s face on Maxine’s bench with zero regard for what she’s going through. Lovely.
Once Tony learns from Jason that Callum was responsible for his beating, he turns full alpha-male and returns the favour in the ginnel behind the Rovers. David Platt’s cheeky grin complete with protruding lollipop is hilarious. After a protracted tête-à-tête in which bloodied Callum wheezes and Tony exerts brute force, Liz interrupts, and convinces Tony that this isn’t the way. After Callum scuttles away shouting that Tony has made a big mistake, Liz counsels him. “You can still be a good father to him, but not like this” she says, but Tony is concerned that this is the only way he knows how and it’s all he can do for his son.
Todd is shocked to hear that Jason might need a kidney transplant and goes to the hospital to offer his. He cries tears of relief for his brother on learning that it won’t be needed, and he’ll make a full recovery. Eileen overhears, and asks him to stay, acknowledging that what he did took guts.
Todd is humble throughout, telling her “Some people don’t know me as well as they think they do, and some know me too well. I’m sorry about what I did. I know it makes no odds, I know you won’t believe me, but I am”. Eileen suggests that they try again and this reduces him to tears of gratitude. She hopes he doesn’t expect forgiveness, but he is nevertheless happy to be given this chance. For me, this absolutely has to constitute Todd’s final and complete redemption. If not, then we are left with a pantomime villain who does a disservice to the character’s potential. There is a role for him on the street as a good person who, at the very least, can enrich episodes with his wry slant on proceedings and witty asides.
Chris Fewtrell's double episode was a work of art in its own right and, as ever, I look forward to his next installment.
By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

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Tvor said...

You are right, the dialogue was superb last night. Mary was awesome and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed Callum getting a small taste of his own medicine. He didn't look too threatening pointing the finger of doom at Tony at the end, did he? wheezing and scared! I reckon Tony's thugs would make mincemeat out of Callum's if it came to it.

I really hope this is the turning point in Todd's life. Let's move on, as you said, we don't need him to be a petty, pantomime, whiney manipulator. It's old, it's done. You've got a scar. Deal with it. You've made a lot of mistakes. Own them, don't blame anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Emma, thank you for another fantastic review. Your analysis of Todd has always been spot on and I'm so glad his redemption happened on your watch.

These episodes were phenomenal for the writing, yes, but also the ways in which the writing wove together so many elements of the Street. Early on there was that shot of the extended Grimshaw clan - Eileen, Tony, Sean, Billy, Michael - walking down the street in a row, like the Mod Squad or something. Eileen was amazing from start to finish. She forgives Todd, then comforts Andrea for an upset that pales compared to what she's just been through.

I also thought Liz's scene with Tony was brilliant. Tony asks her how she would feel if her son was in ICU. This time the writers got it right, because Liz has been there, done that with Steve and Jim, so her telling Tony that going to jail isn't worth it actually rings true. She's talking about Jim and speaking from experience. The scene showed her capacity to care about Tony's well-being despite the wrong he's done her.

Eileen and Liz - wow!

And then the art class. I posted something about art appreciation recently, but I failed to predict the depths of Mary's self-expression. Or Tim taking home the model. That was really something.


corrierules said...

I am glad that Callum got a taste of his own medicine. But knowing that the actor who plays Tony will be appearing in panto this Xmas has me of two things will likely happen:1) Tony will kill Callum and will join Jim in the big house,so he will; or,2) Tony will be killed. I hope it's the former, as that leaves the door open for Tony to return.

Catman said...

For those who remember Charlie Stubbs, now there was a bad guy! I still remember him putting David Platt's head in a toilet. Oh, won't you love to see someone do that again, or Bethany? Of all the bad guys over the years, Callums doesn't cut it physically or realistically. There's many small bad ones, they have presence. Sorry, Callums doesn't.

Sally Dee said...

Thank you Emma - grand review here, it helped me to appreciate some of the nuances in the episodes. The Todd storyline has been so ... ??? ... that honestly I can't even remember what he last did that needs forgiving. It must not have had any impact on me because it carries on so. The fight scenes here were realistic to me, much more than between Callum's thugs and Jason. That one just seemed to serve the purpose of putting Jason in the hospital. This one rather built on Tony & Callum's characters. It's obvious you put a lot of time and effort into your reviews, so well done & thank you! Cheers, Sally

Anonymous said...

Tim saying that he'd just take his art home and pin it on his fridge like a little kid, was so funny.
Not liking Tracy at all..they cannot redeem this character IMO.

Anonymous said...

ever since I read that bad boy Callum (Sean Ward)can't drive I can't stop laughing - he just doesn't come across as someone to be feared - maybe he can pull a nasty on someone driving a bicycle. Teehee.

Anonymous said...

This blog is becoming just choc-a-bloc with fab writers, and Emma, this was another fine example! Wasn't Chris Fewtrell in fine form as always? Deffo a rich double whammy.

I have some reservations about Todd's redemption, though it was a turning point for him. I hope it happens slowly and not so fast so as to be unbelievable. Interesting how both Eileen and Liz are interacting with Tony since he's been back. Can't recall, does Eileen know about him being in cahoots, and bed, with Tracy? Both women are able be real with him despite all he's done, but neither letting him get the upper hand again. Well, Eileen never really did since his return with the current actor.

So glad that Roy is being kept woven into so many stories. And I'm glad Cathy is a good catalyst for that and not just a token love interest. I recall you mentioning the arts on the Street recently, ELK, and was thinking of you during Cathy's almost enforced art class! I was pleasantly surprised we got to see the paintings of the characters, with descriptions, no less!

- maggie muggins

Belle Fleur said...

I think Shane Ward is a pretty good actor. However, it beggars belief that the character would put £80,000 of his hard earned cash into a business while Carla openly carries on drinking and gambling the profits away. Carla wearing her hair shirt and Nick running after her like she is a 2 year old is dragging on a bit now.

Emma Hynes said...

Thank you ELK, Sally Dee and Maggie Muggins for your lovely comments. Always happy to hear people are enjoying our blogs!

Anonymous said...

@maggiemuggins "I was pleasantly surprised we got to see the paintings of the characters, with descriptions, no less!" Ikr?! -ELK

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