Saturday, 12 December 2015

Coronation Street double episode review, Friday 11 December 2015

There’s another visit to Rob on the cards for Tracy, but in the meantime, Johnny attends for his. It transpires that Rob has seen a photo of him in the paper connecting him with Underworld, and this, combined with a memory of his drunken mother telling him about a one night stand she had with Johnny in his Vauxhall Cavalier, is enough for Rob to presume Carla is his daughter. Johnny’s reaction is all that remains to convince him that it’s true. Johnny’s weak deflections are not enough to dissuade Rob, and £10,000 is the price to keep him quiet. While Johnny seemed ruffled, his departure was somewhat triumphant, revealing that Tracy is shacked up with someone else, and announcing that he’s off for a pint.

To me, this feels like a storyline that’s been wedged in, with explanations peppered about to justify it. Why haven't we seen so much as a glimmer of this possibility in any scenes between Johnny and Carla? Why did Rob never tell Carla about his mother's confession? Apparently because he never believed her. Why would Rob, who was so traumatised at the prospect of going to jail again and whose sole motivation for keeping his murder of Tina a secret was keeping out of prison, risk adding time to his sentence by engaging in further illegal activity? Who knows. What we do know, is that his deviousness arises from boredom. The insertion of a Bill Clinton-esque line from Rob, “Did or did you not have sexual relations with that woman?” seemed rather odd as he was referring to his own mother, and didn’t appear to be making a joke. I did enjoy what were strong scenes between Johnny and Rob, however, and it’s great to see the return of Marc Baylis.
Johnny later attends Nick and Carla's engagement party at the Bistro. After telling a concerned Carla that Rob merely wanted to know how things were going at Underworld, he looks wistfully on as she asks Roy to give her away. I found this to be a rather awkward scene. Roy saying it would be an honour was lovely, but Carla made some rather strange expressions in response. Considering their friendship, and Carla’s ever confident demeanour, I didn’t think her response to a question she had posed would cause her to feel so uncomfortable.

Elsewhere at the party we had ill-wishing Gail swilling the sauvignon, Sally discussing Tim’s toenails, and a frankly bizarre set of scenes involving Aidan’s missing silk seal-pup-like socks in which emergency phone calls to Spain, thievery and flirtatious sock related one-liners all played a part. In fact, I can’t decide which was the stranger; the socks, or Johnny buying a green shirt on the basis that he heard Liz liked Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood. In any event, she likes the shirt, and almost hears a confession from tipsy Johnny, but Carla interrupts and her parentage remains a secret for another day.

Ever the good friend, Roy is disappointed that Ken doesn’t make it to the ball. After Audrey deliberately gives Nessa the updo from hell, and Amy has a good laugh at her expense, Ken's lady friend swaps her party frock for Tracy’s dressing gown and a takeaway. He can’t say or do anything right, and judging by the disgruntled looks on his face throughout, he appears to be wondering if all this is worth the hassle. He still agrees to her staying a second night, which leaves me wondering, who’s looking after Alex?

Sadie Shimmin is doing a great job at portraying this playful, nosy, coy, yet strangely insecure character. Nessa has a presence about her, and I can see a role for her on the street, but not with Ken. At least the Renshaw twins thought her hair was "chic", and I would pay good money to see David Platt cutting their hair simultaneously.

Sarah Platt seems to be under an unwarranted amount of surveillance with Kylie now getting in on the act by reading her phone and searching her bag. I’m not sure what Kylie ran out of the pub for on finding an address for an abortion clinic in Sarah’s purse, as she didn’t urgently impart the news to anyone, and the next we saw of her she was calmly doing her make-up at the kitchen table. In any event, she squeezes an admission from Sarah and sympathises with her at the news that she has booked in for an abortion.

It’s a bit of a contradiction to find Rita joining in with Norris and mocking Mary and her “crackpot convention” while at the same time showing concern when she realises Brendan is married. While she is coming across as interfering, she seems to have Mary's best interests at heart, and one of my favourite scenes of the two episodes was when she revealed the news to Mary only to learn she is already fully aware.

Mary proceeds with their day out together, and as they talk of their mutual enjoyment of the convention, the pair kiss. There was a point some time back when Mary’s character took an unwelcome turn, but in these scenes, and over the past few weeks, she has been one of the highlights of every episode. From confessing that her favourite part of the convention was the moment when Brendan put his hand on her knee, to bashfully telling him “I’ll be thinking of you”, she was a joy throughout. I never would have had Mary down as a mistress and can see her character being vehemently against infidelity, but I feel the manner in which this has played out justifies a change of heart on this score. She is focussed on what she wants it to be rather than what it is. As Mary continues to reside in the afterglow of her magical day, Rita persists with home truths telling her Brendan doesn’t love her, and won’t leave his wife. “I can’t stand back and say nothing” she tells Mary who replies, “You can and you should" and accuses her of being sanctimonious and bitter. 

While I'm no fan of infidelity, you can't but feel sorry for her, as I do fear things will turn out as Rita predicts. Here's hoping the outcome is that it won't be long before Mary meets someone who deserves her, as being loved and in love certainly becomes her.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

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Anonymous said...

Yes, the Roy and Carla scene was "awkward" but that's the whole point - it was meant to be. Their awkwardness is what makes their scenes endearing to those of us who understand Roy and Carla's beautiful friendship. I don't know what expressions you saw, but I saw Carla trying to fight back tears when Roy said it would be his honour. It was a lovely scene.

Tvor said...

Yes, I agree with the above comment about roy and Carla, neither of whom are very good at showing emotions.

While it does seem out of character for Mary to accept the attentions of a married man, she's been going through a period of feeling like she's got no place in the world, taken for granted, and has no home of her own since she lost her motorhome, etc. She and Brendan connected with a common interest and he certainly has shown her the affection she's always craving. It's going to end badly, as everyone knows. I found it interesting that Brendan seemed to make sure Mary was well and truly besotted before he let her know he was married. Manipulative. and practiced.

Emma Hynes said...

I'm well aware of the nuances of Roy and Carla's special friendship and have written at length in praise of it. For me, it didn't find its fullest expression in this scene.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the above post. Re Roy & Carla, and Brendan.

Brendan is manipulative and it's a believable storyline for gullible Mary. She is so desperate to be loved, as we have always known, so she is completely blind to Brendan's faults and his true character, and if any of her friends disapprove then she will continue trying to convince herself that they are just jealous and she will push them away. I think as far as Mary is concerned, he's Romeo and she's Juliet!

Emma Hynes said...

Agreed Tvor and Anon @ 19.01. As above, Mary's departure from what you might expect from her character is entirely justified for all the reasons you both mention.

Anonymous said...

As always, your writing style is brilliant. You highlight something that I feel many have commented on over the past year, how nasty some characters seem to be written on Corrie, inconsistencies in personality, and bizarre interference in each other's lives that would be unlikely outside of Soap.

I know that Amy has her fans but I find her little more than a psychopath in the making... a chip off the murderous block that is Tracy. I fail to see how this is praiseworthy, particularly in a child.

I also fail to see the point of secrets and blackmail story lines on the show, as most of these situations would be easily resolved by simply telling the subject the truth. Johnny is Carla's father. So what? Yes, she'll now have a target at which to aim her sense of abandonment but why is he on the Street if he doesn't want to have some type of relationship with her? Use this opportunity to take your lumps and mend fences... how can paying 10K seem like a better alternative?

Equally inane is Sarah hiding her pregnancy. Yes, her family will be shocked and disappointed - no doubt so is Sarah. However, revealing the secret can expose her to a variety of support and opinions, rather than just Kylie verbally beating her over the head to join the "I've had Callum's Kid" club. Sarah needs to weigh all the options, the long term effects of her choice and make decisions that she can live with.

Mary's story line rings most true. Although sadly involving infidelity, it is believable that Mary would push past Brendan's manipulation to convince herself this relationship is real and will evolve in the direction she wants. I have genuine sympathy for Mary's situation in seeking love and honestly, don't most women choose to look past the baloney that men spout because we love them? In fact, perhaps that could be the true definition of a woman's love - the one person whose malarkey we will overlook in favour of their other traits? ;)

I am in Canada and rely on this blog to keep up to-date with Corrie. Your descriptions of bizarre filler comments, behaviour and micro stories seems like a hasty change of direction to accommodate the actress underneath Carla leaving our screens. Shame really, as it sounds clunky.

Anonymous said...

Time for Simon Crowther to take a break from writing corrie - he brings in the surreal and weird far too often - silk socks was just embarrassing! Better writers рlease!

Louby said...

The hairdo from hell - did anyone else think, Nessa love, you were facing a mirror so you could see exactly what Audrey was doing to your hair! Who cares though, it was very funny.

Anonymous said...

Disgraceful storyline..Audrey/Ken/Nessa. I thought at least one character on this show had a tad of class..nope..Aud is off my list for Xmas. Ken is as big a dog as his waste of space son Peter. Ugh..the thought of it all..too awful to mention...

Anonymous said...

These day, Simon Crowther episodes never fail to make me cringe.
He has got a very strange approach to comedy and sometimes it's like he is so desperate to be funny that he doesn't dedicate enough time to making other scenes as great as they should be.

I love the Roy and Carla friendship but why did Crowther have to involve Michelle? It would have been far more believable if it was Carla's idea to ask Roy to give her away but for some reason, Crowther preferred to shoehorn Michelle into it with her "Why don't you ask Roy if you can't think of anyone else" suggestion. Ruined what could have been a wonderful scene between Roy and Carla.

Don't get me started on the fact that too much of the episode was dedicated to a character missing his lucky socks which he has never mentioned before. Probably because other writers wouldn't come up with something so cringe-worthy.

Diane said...

What I would've liked more in the Roy/Carla scene is:

Carla nervous about it through the night and after Roy and Cathy leave, she gets the guts to finally ask so she races over to the cafe as hes closing the doors. They have their wonderfully awkward scene, she hugs him instead of punching his arm (wtf was that??)
When Roy finally locks up Cathy smiles and says "You're a wonderful man, Roy Cropper." And the two of them turn out the lights and go arm in arm upstairs.

MartesBC said...

Anon 152 has a point. I agree about Ken being a 'dog'. What would Audrey want with him after he was sniffing around her for weeks, but when Nessa made herself available he went for it. To me it just seems that he wasn't truly interested in Audrey - he was just after a warm body. I hope Audrey has enough self esteem at her age now and just sees him as the fair weather friend that he is.

Anonymous said...

I don't like Nessa but Audrey acted like a jealous teen when she gave Nessa that horrible hairdo. How is Nessa supposed to know that Audrey had feelings for Ken? As a professional hair stylist with sooooo many years of experience, Audrey should have offered to 'fix' it. Nessa probably would have said 'no' .... terrible, unbelievable scene -- made me cringe.

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