Thursday, 14 April 2016

Coronation Street Weds 13th April episode review

Hello! It's Jordan again with the goings-on in last night's Corrie. This episode was written by Jonathan Harvey, which is always very promising. The camp level was certainly high, as was the amount of fabulous pop culture references.

As we all know- Maria's back. Unfortunately, she didn't return while singing 'My Favourite Things',
but her returning storyline is actually surprising interesting. It's early morning on the cobbles and the salon is occupied by the usual lot. With Maria back, she's back to her day job as someone who is supposed to be a hairdresser but spends most of her time drinking tea and sighing. Luke is very excited that she is back, but as we know from Monday's episode, she's hiding something. Most people go on holiday and come back with a tan, but if you're from Weatherfield, you'll no doubt come back with a secret. As the first scene in the salon unfolds, Maria is questioned by Audrey after she was spotted with another man the other night. Maria rightly tells Audrey to mind her own business but it is obvious she is panicking about something. When Luke calls into the salon to invite her for lunch, she fumbles her way out of it by saying she has a lunch date with an old friend in town. When Luke asks who, she cleverly takes inspiration from the song on the radio and tells him she's going to see Anastacia. Everyone, except Audrey, believes this and Luke decides to surprise his girlfriend with a huge bunch of flowers later in the day. She's already left for town by this point and despite Audrey's attempts to intervene, the rest of the salon gang persuade him to go to the restaurant in town and surprise her. When Luke gets to the restaurant, he spots Maria, but no Anastacia. Has she been left outside alone? Nope, there is a man sat with Maria. Oh no.
"This is Luke, my boyfriend"
"And who's this?"
"This is Pablo. My husband"

Luke pulls up a chair and after lecturing the waiter on the pronunciation of espresso, he demands an explanation. Maria reveals that Pablo was a regular at Reservoir Bobs, the salon she worked at during her six months in Cyprus.  She's quick to announce that he's gay, but this causes Luke to be even more confused. Pablo is Argentinian and this allowed him to obtain entry into the country; his parents aren't aware of his sexuality so that made things difficult. When questioned on her silence, Maria simply says she didn't think it was that important. It wasn't really, when you think about it. She was merely doing a friend a favour. Luke marches out of the restaurant, and on his way out, presents a random woman with the huge bunch of flowers. Later on, Luke goes to see sister Steph to tell her all the good news. He caught them together. Eating calamari. Whether it's family loyalty or just another case of closed-mindedness, Steph does not approve of the situation either. During what appears to be a family meeting in the Bistro, she sticks up for her brother and no-one seems to be listening to Maria. Throughout the episode Luke constantly said the word 'gay' in a hating, uncouth manner but he is fantastically put in his place. Although not officially broken up, at the end of the episode, Luke is still refusing to listen to Maria and leaves her standing, sighing, alone on the cobbles.

"You know what you are?"
"What? What is he?"
"A drama queen. Ciao, Maria"

Elsewhere, Erica gives some home truths to Gary about Izzy's cannabis. She has sussed out that he is trying to score drugs and gets him to promise he won't do anything silly that would jeopardise his job at the gym. If you've been reading my reviews lately, you'll know I'm not keen on this news-item of a stroryline, but Erica's small scene with Gary was rather sweet.  Tyrone and Fiz are still trying to earn money with their scrap metal scheme. At first, Fiz was reluctant, but after junk-expert Cathy had a word with her, she was totally on board. Rita gets on board too when Tyrone asks to display a sign in The Kabin window and she brings the ever-whinging Norris along with her. I'm not entirely sure what this storyline is supposed to be, but currently it seems to be a bit of light relief to go alongside al the other blockbuster storylines, the latest being that of sham marriage.
"Norris, is there any metal in you? Only you often strike me as the Tinman. No heart"
"Yes and you remind me of the Wicked Witch of the West"

Apart from a few small scenes with the Nazirs and that tarty nurse who is clearly more familiar with a make up brush than a set of scrubs,  the majority of the episode was taken up by Maria's problem. How are we going to solve this one? I wasn't expecting it to be a sham marriage at all; I was expecting it to be a typical affair. However, I do think it could turn out to be a rehash of the Tina/Graeme/Xin storyline in some ways but nonetheless, I am looking forward to it. 

A fantastically written episode, lots of camp fun, even in the more serious scenes. It didn't feature my favourite storylines, but you can always rely on Jonathan Harvey to write a fabulous episode.

Until next week.

Thanks for reading


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Anonymous said...

"The camp level was certainly high, as was the amount of fabulous pop culture references."

...which utterly takes away any possible realism. Harvey is the prime mover in the current bunch of scriptwriters who make the characters change for the sake of expediency. Dreadful.

Anonymous said...

The song 'How to solve a problem like Maria'came to mind with Maria's storyline. Granted it may be campy but nonetheless a nice change from the Platt dramas.Now the writers are remembering there are other residents on the Street.

Anonymous said...

"wasn't really that important?" Last time I checked marriage was a binding legal contract. Luke and his protective older sister have every right to be upset, shocked, angry, and in Luke's case hurt--assuming he has a relationship with Maria.

Seeing the vacuous gleam in Maria's eyes as she said this was truly unnerving--Run, Luke, run! You and your sister are both about 50 IQ points higher than Maria, not to mention 50 times more alert--and no other scene could have pulled this out more clearly.

I'm a pretty loyal viewer, since the 80's, but watching these scenes was painful viewing indeed--some of the worst Corrie I've ever seen. Not sure which was worse--the actor playing Luke struggling to bring some plausibility to his lines and the preposterous scenario or the utterly vacant look on Maria's face.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Grief, this Maria storyline is so silly. Forgetting that Pablo doesn't need a visa to enter the UK, I'm pretty sure Maria would have to prove that she earns a certain amount in order to support her husband. That would mean contacting the salon and, even if she did earn the required amount, Audrey would then know about the marriage. Why worry, it's only a sitcom storyline.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Grief, this Maria storyline is so silly. Forgetting that Pablo doesn't need a visa to enter the UK, I'm pretty sure Maria would have to prove that she earns a certain amount in order to support her husband. That would mean contacting the salon and, even if she did earn the required amount, Audrey would then know about the marriage. Why worry, it's only a sitcom storyline.

Anonymous said...

sorry to continue my rant, but I found this Maria storyline almost unbearably pointless, stupid, preposterous. oh, btw, i got married but forgot to mention it! (bats eyelashes in mask-like face and adopts a little girl voice). Why are you so angry? Probably the worst thing I've seen on Corrie, apart from Molly suddenly falling for Kevin, and at least the Molly storyline had room for some drama. But this!
1. It's not like Maria had a good reason to marry him--he's not a long-term friend or anything and not being persecuted or abused. Just some guy described as a regular visitor to the salon where she was working for a few months.
2. the writers gratuitously show them engaging in romantic behaviour--feeding each other in the restaurant--only to blurt out he's gay.

3. As Luke rightfully points out, Pablos's English boyfriend could have married him if they are so desperate to be together.

4. We're supposed to believe that Pablos is desperate to be with his boyfriend but won't marry him because his parents will find out he's gay. But he thinks it's okay and less trouble to have a sham marriage with a woman he's known a few months. If you want a charade why not just marry the boyfriend and not tell the parents he's a male (they're living in Argentina after all).

Anonymous said...

This story is one of Corrie's lowest points. Why would Maria marry a gay man when she had a breakdown after Marcus? And the legal need for it doesn't stack up. He could've just married his boyfriend. That was pointed out in the episode! How thick do they think we are that we'll just buy it anyway.

There was no drama or suspense because the reveal was over and done with in the space of two episodes and it was too implausible for the comedy to work so why bother?

I can't remember Corrie ever being as bad as it is at the moment. All plausibility and consistency has gone and the tone is increasingly one of half-hearted, camp send-up. The new producer has a challenge on her hands.

Anonymous said...

The worst-case rehash of the Tina/Graeme/Xin storyline - no surprise that the writers are this unoriginal. Not to mention Maria marrying a gay man after the Marcus storyline.

"wasn't really that important?" - so then if Steve were to return from Spain married to a lesbian (if he weren't already married), would that be okay too? Or would Michelle be understandably hurt and confused?

So we're meant to believe that Pablo needed some sort of visa to enter the UK (which others have pointed out he does not), yet Maria can work in Cyprus without a special visa? So she marries someone illegitimately just to get him in the country (ostensibly illegally) whom she met while working illegally. This storyline is beyond stupid. Roll on Maria in a lion costume and I can only wonder if the actress has pissed someone off or their hoping she'll quit.

Anonymous said...

I have always found the character of Maria pointless. Am disappointed that she came back.

C in Canada said...

Although I am pleased to see the show delving into the issue of cannabis for medication, as this IS a real issue for many, many people, Izzy's whinging is getting on my nerves - everyone's griping about Maria being pointless, but I find Izzy all the more so.

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