Friday, 15 January 2016

Coronation Street double episode review, Friday 15 January 2016

Is anyone else struggling to recognise Robert Preston at the moment? And I’m not making reference to the change in actor. When Robert arrived back in Weatherfield, he seemed like a dull but decent sort. He was good for Amy and too good for Tracy. Indeed, it was his moral compass that saw him struggle with Tracy’s decision to hide her part in the fire from everyone, and make Carla believe she had killed two people in the process, and it was her lack of sympathy for Simon that saw him end their relationship. 

Yet now this compass appears to be facing due south, and he seems every bit the suitable candidate for Tracy Barlow. Surly, angry, manipulative and remorseless, he has slept with his boss’s fiancée without giving it a second thought, subsequently threatened her, and is menacingly dishing out insults and ultimatums. Motiveless personality transplants are bad enough, even if a considerable amount of time has passed since the character’s last appearance, but in this case, Robert has altered significantly since his arrival back in Weatherfield just six months ago, and I’m finding it difficult to accept the change.

After Nick’s gets a great review, Robert declares himself the driving force, and expresses a desire to invest. After Nick confirms he has no interest in having a partner, Robert turns on him and the extent of his arrogance and menace becomes clear. Despite this, Leanne lends her support to the idea.

While Nick had every right to turn down Robert’s request, it was wrong of him to dispatch the rather splendid Oscar Fyffe, a faux rival restaurateur interested in headhunting him for his new restaurant, without letting Robert know about it. Robert is furious to learn this from Zeedan, and takes Nick on in front of the entire restaurant, including a rather nervous Carla.

Leanne referees a show down between the pair in the kitchen after which Nick’s resolve melts quicker than Tyrone’s arctic roll. This makes the stand off in the first episode essentially unnecessary as he gives away 20% of his business in the blink of an eye, despite Robert's chronic attitude, and we all of a sudden find everyone toasting and laughing about it.

The disappearance of Robert's conscience is confirmed when Carla appeals to him to consider how unfair all this is on Nick and he coldly replies “That’s your department”.

I didn't like how appallingly Zeedan was treated in these episodes. He’s shouted at by Robert and rightly complains to management. The response from Leanne? “This is all your fault motormouth, so shut it”. Charming. Then it all wraps itself up with Zeedan perfecting a butterfly chicken and being praised for it, and we have yet another ‘happy ending’. I don’t know why anyone would work in the Bistro, never mind eat there. Could you enjoy a top dollar meal with all that going on? I think not. 

Robert doesn’t look overly impressed to learn that Oscar Fyffe was a friend of Tracy’s (really?) and pulls back from her attempted kiss before giving in to the second. Todd’s remark, “This sign stunt is gaga”, is pertinent for more reasons than one, but Tracy persists with the naming of her new florist, and is clearly a woman on a mission.

Love is in the air elsewhere as Anna and Kevin continue their seduction, and she ships Faye off to Tim and Sally’s for the evening so he can come around for a cosy night in. Her excuse of having ‘admin’ to do was as weak as her knees, and Sally saw right through it. Faye missing her DVD was the perfect excuse for Sally to pop around for a nosy at Anna’s efforts to get a new man “between [her] unwashed sheets”. I enjoyed this scene in which Kevin reluctantly hid in the bedroom while Sally talked sexting and swiping, and it proved the highlight of the episode as many similar sitcom-style segments have done in the past. Kevin tells Anna after they've gone that despite getting away with it this time, he reckons they should go public and she agrees.

Elsewhere, Fiz tells Tyrone he can come home and that, while she’s angry, they all deserve more than to be at each other’s throats at such a time. She also plans to go back to work.

Unable to take the recent news that Jamie is out on bail and working in a bar in town, Andy suggests he and Luke pay the premises a visit. Once his crime is exposed to the manager by the pair, she immediately sacks both Jamie and the colleague who vouched for him. There was something a tad over the top and exaggerated about this scene, and it wasn’t just some of the performances.

Steph is upset at the messages she continues to receive online, and the news that Jamie is out, but feels a lot better after counselling from Leanne. Luke and Andy are happy to find her upbeat and agree not to tell her what they’ve done. Meanwhile, Jamie and Wes spy on them walking down the cobbles from a parked car and I'm left wondering how long they were sitting there, and why.

Cathy encourages Roy to get in touch with his mother, and he learns she’s broken both wrists in a line-dancing related fall. With nobody else to look after her, Roy acts out of what he describes as duty rather than loyalty, and Cathy waves him off to Hastings with pride and a little sadness. 

I will miss Roy myself, and while I certainly look forward to his return, I very much welcome the reason for his departure which you can read all about here.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

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Anonymous said...

I have a question about Zeedan working at Nick's - is it realistic to have a Muslim character working in a non halal kitchen?
The speed at which he moved from the gym to the restaurant was totally unconvincing. Maybe it was so he could be more involved with other characters. And where is Sharif?!

Kristine said...

Every character flip flops - a major flaw in current writing as prior comments on other posts agree. Why should Robert be any different. I'm waiting for Emily's return so that she can open a brothel in Rosamund Street.

Newfy Pearl said...

I enjoyed this episode. I think Robert's transformation is just the real Robert coming to the forefront. He could not have been pining over Tracy for all these years. I think she is the trophy to be honest. She cheated on him and in that sense I think he did not get over her.
I look forward to this storyline developing. I think his interaction with Carla tonight shows that he and Tracy have something in common....a sense of "I want what they have". There seemed a little envy for those who seem to have it all.
I enjoy the screen time that includes Tracy and Robert, Tracy and Amy, Tracy and Todd, and Tracy and Beth. LOL I am a Tracy fan and now that she has others that are in support making great stories...I think 2016 is going to be the year of Tracy Barlow! lol

John McE said...

Do they not still have forward planning meetings? You'd think that when Robert first re(appeared) in the show, they'd have an idea of how the character would develop, so why make him so nice and normal, only to have him suddenly turn into a pantomime villain?

His sense of entitlement over buying into Nick's business was ridiculous and seemed to come from nowhere. No boss would give in to demands presented in that way. Good chefs for a backstreet bistro aren't that had to find, surely?

No, just another contrived plot to ensure the latest "love triangle" rolls on and on. Groan.

Beth said...

I liked Robert as more of a moral character, it's a shame they're taking him this way. He was good with Ken and Amy and put Tracy in her place. He wouldn't have walked on her as he did and then behave like he is now just out of the blue. I agree with John McE, do they have planning meetings or do they make it up from episode to episode, because it feels like it a lot of the time.

We already had Todd start out good then turn bad, became a pantomime character and begin twiddle his fake mustache for a while. Now he's blandish and a kind of side kick to Tracy which is more believable than as was (though we are still wondering what happened in that London). To have yet another character turn bad (and let's face it, on Corrie they don't turn bad, they get evil) is tiresome.

Lily Bigfield said...

Yes, the fake pantomime moustache has been passed on to Robert, and his moral turnaround is complete! I preferred the decent version, but maybe Newfy Pearl is right, this bad boy was the real Robert all along. I admit, I didn't like the contrived 'comedy' scene with snooping, condescending Sally at her worst. Sometimes she is just plain cruel, and I wonder how the lovely nice but dim Tim can tolerate her.
Great review and comments, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Ever since Robert slept with Carla, he's been walking around with a massive ego. And just because Carla isn't falling over herself for him, he's resorted to blackmail. Pathetic. He doesn't appear to give a damn about Nick and he has basically turned into Tracy! Lol
Strange, contrived but I suppose the writers needed to do something because he really was too dull, he certainly doesn't have any chemistry with Tracy and we're meant to believe that he's now some sort of Gordon Ramsay while "fags and booze have nothing on Tracy".
He now likes making a scene in the Bistro and he seems very bitter and jealous that Nick has a business, flash car and a 'trophy fiancée'.

Humpty Dumpty said...

The writers would probably argue that character development is an organic process. They write according to what seems to work and it pays off sometimes. Tim and Sally - pure fluke because I'm pretty sure the original plan was for Kevin to snatch Sally back. Michael le Vell went off again and we were unexpectedly left with comedy gold. Sadly, with Robert and Tracy, it's flopped. The writers realised they missed a trick by sending Rob to prison and nice, moral Robert had zero chemistry with Tracy. So they're winging it and turning Robert into Rob version 2. I know Tracy has her fans and some might call her panto queen act consistent. I call it one-note. Robert and Tracy still have no buzz about them at all. Actually, the best scenes with Tracy are with Todd.

Humpty Dumpty said...

The writers would probably argue that character development is an organic process. They write according to what seems to work and it pays off sometimes. Tim and Sally - pure fluke because I'm pretty sure the original plan was for Kevin to snatch Sally back. Michael le Vell went off again and we were unexpectedly left with comedy gold. Sadly, with Robert and Tracy, it's flopped. The writers realised they missed a trick by sending Rob to prison and nice, moral Robert had zero chemistry with Tracy. So they're winging it and turning Robert into Rob version 2. I know Tracy has her fans and some might call her panto queen act consistent. I call it one-note. Robert and Tracy still have no buzz about them at all. Actually, the best scenes with Tracy are with Todd.

Anonymous said...

Humpty Dumpty you are right - Tracy with Todd or Amy are the best scenes. As for the transformation of Robert it may have something to do with the announcement that Alison King was leaving, he started off with puppy dog love for Tracy, but then they had to devise an exit line for Carla, tada: make Robert egotistical, arrogant and cause all sorts of trouble for Carla and Nick. The good news is no Platts lately, yippee, and I just read that she is pregnant again so she'll be gone again for a while, sounds good to me. As I have said before keep Nick & Audrey and ship the rest off.
To the first comment about Zeedan working in a non halal restaurant, I think you are right but it never crossed my mind. How will the writers handle that aspect now that you have mentioned it? Or will they just ignore it?

Anonymous said...

Humpty Dumpty, Unfortunately considering Kevin's concerns about Sally finding out about him and Anna,I fear that he may still have feelings for her and down the road they will be reunited.
Considering she was in jail for fraud,I thought it was hyporcritical for FIZ to throw Tyrone out of His house.They're not married yet and she's calling the shots!Perhaps if Fiz wasn't so quick to accuse Tyrone of not being 'upset enough'over Hope's illness when she was diagnosed then maybe he wouldn't be in so much debt bringing 'Lapland' to Weatherfield to prove her wrong?

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