Saturday, 13 August 2016

Coronation Street double episode review, Friday 12 August 2016

You have to feel sorry for Eva, but will she ever learn that being pushy isn't a good look? Aidan calls around to smooth things over after the embarrassing flat debacle, and all is going well until she gets annoyed that their making up is being interrupted by a text from Kate. Little does she know it would've been their Mam's birthday, but her unwillingness to hear him out sees him walk.

The birthday is on Caz's mind too, and after she tells Luke, he spots an opportunity for her to impress Kate with flowers; so anxious is he to get her out of his flat, he's even willing to pay for them. If only he hadn't mixed up Caz’s instructions and bought pink carnations on her behalf, the one flower he was told Kate’s Mam hated. We know this, because we heard it twice, on two separate occasions. The message, ‘I know what these meant to your Mum. Caz xx’ is all the more upsetting for Kate when she discovers them on the doorstep. 

Kate vents her fury at Caz in front of Luke, Maria and Sophie, and won’t hear an explanation, insisting that she stay away. Luke is chided by Maria, and he storms off, saying he can’t do anything right. As she takes her tirade out into the street, he sets her straight about where her priorities should lie before drowning his sorrows in the Bistro.

Meanwhile, Aidan calls up to Maria to tell her that she’s a good person and reveals his frustration at Eva's pushiness over a couple of bottles of wine. The guffaw-inducing claim of once being a “big face in the Northern Quarter,” isn't enough to deter Maria, and they end up sleeping together. Maria's half giggle as she asks, “Can you believe we’ve just done that?” and Aidan's clear regret are worlds apart.

In the meantime, Eva is embarrassed to hear that Aidan was visiting his Mam’s grave and leaves another deluge of voicemails and texts to no avail.

While this infidelity might surprise, these things do happen. There is also a newfound adventurousness in Maria, and as we recently learned, Aidan has a rather immodest tally which has now increased by one, so I'm not really shocked by either of them. I like Luke and Eva, but you'd have to wonder if they're with the right partners.

Les Dennis has always been a great comic actor, and there are laughs to be found in Michael's new found attitude.  Never mind what happened to Todd in that London, I'm intrigued as to what occurred in Brighton that has Michael strutting around the street dishing out the put-downs and taking on Phelan. It's hilarious.

Freddie and Audrey hatch a plan to get him together with Gail in the Rovers, and after regaling them with sprinkle-based gags from the trade, an encounter with Phelan is quick to melt his 99. Phelan mocking Michael is the highlight of the episode, as is Michael's retaliation and Phelan's bemused reaction. Michael's defence of Eileen in the midst of it all, however, sees Gail walk out as she's convinced he still holds a candle for his ex. Whatever happens for the pair, Phelan and Michael are adversaries I'll never get tired of.

Leanne isn’t the only one back at the Bistro, as, much to the bafflement of Nick, and my delight, the olives make an unwelcome return. As does Nick’s jealousy as Dev plants a seed in his mind, and he interprets laughter and closeness between Robert and Leanne to mean something. He asks Steph if she knows if anything’s going on and her garbled response doesn’t help quell his fears. He later accuses Leanne of falling for Robert and when she flatly denies it, he demands she get back with him. The answer is no, and I’m left wondering why she doesn’t just tell him about her pregnancy. If Steph knows, surely she can tell Nick.

Rita hiding from Norris in the corner shop is a funny little scene, but he's not the only one she ends up avoiding. Looking to win a Good Samaritan Award, Gemma sets her sights on her perplexed and cynical neighbour who she can't do enough for all of a sudden. After a great scene in the Rovers, Gemma confesses her intentions to Rita. “I’m sick of being a no mark” she tells her unwilling benefactor, “I want a CV that’s longer than my charge sheet.” Rita reckons Gemma needs a plan, and awards her with a drink. I loved these scenes and am a big fan of Gemma, though I would like to see Kylie's death have a greater impact on her.

Izzy’s welcome home party is a treat. Mary sparkles while Sally boasts about her prowess at soundbites and fantasises about being a political prisoner. The banter concerning former inmates present is also a good comic turn. Faye announcing Izzy and Gary are back together has Gary squirming, however, as everyone cheers.

When things quieten down, Gary plies Beth and Kirk with drink to keep them there. After everyone’s gone, he tries everything to put off going to bed. Surely he needs to do the decent thing and tell her the truth. He didn't want to break her spirit while she was inside, but she's out now.

The action outside of the main stories can in itself be a great source of enjoyment, and in this double, Tracy, Amy, Norris and Dev provided a lively backdrop to proceedings. It's the day to day occurrences, such as neighbours dropping by, and incidental conversations in the street about nothing connected to the drama that, for me, gives Corrie that lovely close-knit community feel. May it never be without it.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes
Facebook: @EmmaHynesWrites

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26 comments:

Humpty Dumpty said...

Some of it was OK and some of it wasn't. Gemma's character needs restraining otherwise she'll go off the scale like Becky. I hope they don't have Gemma doing 'hilarious' things just for comedic value. It wasn't believable that Michael would ham-fistedly attack Phelan in the pub. A few choice words would have done the job. As for Phelan, where is his sexual magnetism? Nothing about him persuades me that a woman, even Eileen, would want him in her bed. I look forward to Peter coming back. Strangely, I can see him eventually palling up with Robert and Nick, and perhaps Steve. Time for some buddy storylines.

Anonymous said...

if Michael & Phelan were the highlight of this episode, then obviously the rest wasn't worth watching. I don't understand why suddenly Maria & Gemma seem to be the actors of the hour. Neither one is believable. I really am having a hard time saying anything nice or positive about last nights episodes, so I'll just leave it at that.

Louby said...

First of all, £25 for those carnations?!! Really?


I don't share your enthusiasm for the Phelan/Michael scenes, in any episode. And Phelan and friend sweet talking Sally is pretty cringy.

But the cringe award for last night has to go to Maria and Aiden. It's just ridiculous how often people in Corrie cheat on each other. I made the mistake of flicking through a friend's soap magazine and unwittingly spotted a spoiler that yet another character is having, or had, an affair. Can't the scriptwriters allow anyone to have a strong, loyal relationship?

Anonymous said...

Here we go again with Gary leading poor Izzy on again.
I really hope his sudden reluctance to be with Izzy isn't because he wants to be with Sarah now.

Cobblestone said...

I'm just going to repost what I posted last night on the Episode Preview as it more properly belongs here. Have to say, I was not happy ...

Oh dear, dear, dear ... I hate to be negative about Corrie but - Jonathan Harvey can be quite brilliant or he can be completely off-kilter. Tonight's first episode was unquestionably the latter. This is Corrie, Jonathan: not 'Gimme, Gimme, Gimme', Gemma is not bloody Kathy Burke. It was DREADFUL! Pantomimic hogwash! The scenes with Gemma, Dev & (no blame to Barbara) Rita were excruciatingly crap! I do think Gemma has huge comic potential; I do like the character, handled right: but the actress is young, lacking in experience and needs STRONG direction (please note, Durno Johnson!) This current storyline could be good if we were shown an ounce of pathos, which is all that can possibly endear this character to the viewing public. Instead we were confronted by scenes I can only compare to a medieval jester repeatedly hitting me in the face with an inflated pig's bladder on a stick! Excruciating!
Meanwhile we had an utterly implausible farrago involving an unfortunate mistake over a bunch of flowers (why the hell didn't Luke forcibly intervene with an explanation that the error had been his - sorry, but he meant well but misheard instructions ?) And the whole of Weatherfield seems expected to know that today is the anniversary of the death of the First Mrs Johnny Connor ... eh? Don't get me wrong: the anniversary of the death of a mother is a serious & poignant thing; but does anyone get the impression that there's something a bit unhealthy about this annual maelstrom of grief and renewed mourning from the Lesser Connor Siblings? Kate, as she's told us many times, doesn't even remember her mum with any clarity. Okay, maybe Johnny's betrayal of the poor woman with Carla's mum would perhaps be fresh in the memory, but really ...? And why, play tell, did Aidan of the too-tight shirts, suddenly take it into his head to visit his cousin's widow, just because of a flare up with her B/F whom she treats like less than the dogs she used to care for (and is anyone thinking Caz may be responsible for the imminent death of a pooch?) Jan McVerry's second episode brought the whole mess back to almost credible levels, thank goodness. But yet again, the whole exasperating TELL THE BLOODY TRUTH bilge, with Leanne & Nick! Why did Michael cry out "This is a set-up!" when he found Gail in the Rovers? She's in there every other night! And shouldn't he be quite glad to find here there, as he's supposed to be really keen on reconciliation? But no - off we go again on the ridiculous Eileen merry-go-round (and who hasn't ridden that carousel?) And don't get me started on how my heart sinks when the Windasses & Izzy wheel into view. I actually started doing what I have a rule against, and began checking my phone for emails. Bad, bad, bad! I feel ashamed to be a lifelong Corrie fan.
Please, Ms Oates: sort it out!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Humpty Dumpty and Cobblestone completely -you write exactly how I feel, but do it more eloquently. What I don't understand is why Maria is the go to girl all of a sudden - why on earth are the Connors even friends with her, they didn't interact with her at all since coming on to the street and now she is super important - even Michelle never paid any attention to Liam even though he is her nephew. Are we just supposed to forget the past and go from here. Sadly that direction is really out there and not worth it.

Anonymous said...

I would argue that while completely over the top, Gemma's new found interest in doing something with her life is her way of coping with Kylie's death. They were good friends but had been on opposite sides of the fence for a long while, so Kylie's efforts to save Gemma might cause her to feel more need to "give back" than to grieve in more traditional (crying, depression, etc.) ways. Someone was her unexpected super hero, she wants to be someone else's. They most certainly need to dial this character down, though, as her hyper aggression and constant shouting make her difficult to enjoy.

This business with Maria and Aiden is so forced it's beyond ridiculous. This is a go-nowhere, filler story if ever there was. If they wanted to break up couples this quickly, they could have just as easily had someone discover they had an STD. That would put so many characters on the Street on high alert that no one would stay together.

Avon Blake said...

I enjoyed the Maria and Aidan scenes, the two have chemistry and make a far better pairing than Maria and Luke, Aidan and Eva. It's actually not a filler storyline - it's going to be a long running storyline with the Maria and Cas aspect being one chapter of it!

Anonymous said...

You'd think wine had some special panty-removing properties in Weatherfield! Makes me afraid to crack open that second bottle...
Personally I am loving Gemma. She is fast becoming my favourite character. While her performance last night may have been a little over the top, it does show how eager she is to move on. And she gets my award for best dressed!

coconno196 said...

See the Friday preview blog for many similar comments.

If Maria and Aidan drank a whole bottle each I'm surprised they didn't just pass out, and why didn't they move to the bedroom? Surely more comfortable than that tiny sofa? I agree with Anon 1851 that an STD would be a good storyline. Nobody seems to know how to avoid pregnancy, but it's not the only consequence of casual sex.

Rapunzel said...

Maria finds out she has chlamidia. Tells Aiden and urges him to let Eva know as undetected, it could affect her fertility. Aiden goes into avoidance mode. Maria left with the dilemma - should she herself warn Eva?

Tvor said...

I found most of the episodes very contrived. IT was one after another. Aidan and Maria? Two people that have barely spoken yet it was she that Aiden went to for support? I don't buy it. The only shining bits were those Gemma was in. I love her, I love that she wants to make something of her life and I love that Rita seemed about to help her plan it. Rita has a history of bonding with some of the more rough and ready girls such as a young Leanne if you will recall. Tina and Rita had a nice relationship, too.

Lily Bigfield said...

Reposting my comments from the preview as they respond to Cobblestone's above. I am watching on catchup now, and I echo your comments. It is tortuous. Can't bear the Nick stupidity and his terrible acting. Why on earth has Aidan turned up at Maria's? There's been no attraction between them before. And I agree about the anniversary of the Connor mother's birthday, what a contrived plot device. Why on earth would Eva know? Why this overreaction from the Connor kids (and where was Johnny?). I know from personal experience about facing the anniversary of special dates of loved ones we have lost, and this was just silly. There was a comment from Tracy about her mother's birthday anniversary, and her telling Aidan it would get better with time, or something similar. What? Tracy's loss is much more recent, and Deirdre is someone we all knew and cared about.
And here I am, writing comments whilst watching....yes, it needs sorting, as I love my Corrie and want it back!

Anonymous said...

Don't worry everyone that was SB's last eрisode,hurray!!! Suрer Kate Oates to the rescue :)

Anonymous said...

Hope so. Think she's got her work cut out though.

Daft Apeth said...

Having over 90 notches on the bed post....That's my goal.

Anonymous said...

I guess we have another unplanned pregnancy coming up then? Shark!!

Anonymous said...

let's see if Aiden can get to the hundred by the end of the year - only 9 to go! So - sarah,michelle (only 3rd cousin=allowed) leanne,tracey,Steрh,sinead,Gemma,erica,alya - any other ideas? ;)

Anonymous said...

of course Rana is gagging for it - and if he wanted any Mother/daughter action then I'm sure Gail and Audrey wouldn't be against the idea ;)

Anonymous said...

Have to disagree with Gemma fans - I CANNOT STAND HER, awful character very poorly acted. Sorry, just my opinion - which I believe I am entitled to.

Anonymous said...

Cliche number 57, page 68 of the Writer's Guide to Coronation Street: if a character persistently talks about making something of herself, ensure that a someone comes along to thwart her efforts. If it is a young female, pregnancy is your easiest option. If she is single, a drunken one-night stand can be used as a plausible explanation.

It is all there in black and white.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Anonymous 16:27 - I am sick to death of Gemma, can't stand her. The street already has an obnoxious, gobby character in Beth, I don't think we need another one. I think there are way too many characters in Corrie these days, and they could start the weeding out with Gemma. Just my opinion.

Bonnie from Canada

Anonymous said...

Anyone else think marias ok til she opens her gob and ruins the illusion?

Tom said...

They must go to bed early in Weatherfield. Izzy and Gary getting ready for bed, daylight streaming through the window. End of speed dating night, broad daylight outside. Aiden emerging from Maria's flat, still daylight.

Anonymous said...

Well Tom, the longest day is in June, when it doesn't get dark until about 10pm. After that the nights start drawing in - now it's getting dark by about 9pm. So I guess they must have filmed during early June. Or of course, they filmed during the day :-)

Flo said...

Let me just say that today is my late mom's birthday, she's been gone 6 years. I for some odd reason don't feel the need to lord it over everyone, nor hop in bed with my late cousin's ex! I think this whole storyline is just ridiculous. It seems like everyone on the street who gets bad news or can't handle life just jumps into bed with whoever. And forget about any form of birth control! At the rate things are going, there should be some raging STD's going on around there. Or some seriously dangerous cross-breeding.

On to the rest of the episode, I enjoyed the whole Rita and Gemma thing, but I agree, they need to tone Gemma down, enough yelling already. I didn't like her when she first came on the scene, but I think she is turning into a great character, as long as they don't ruin a good thing. I would love to see more of her and Chesney or Craig together.

I'd like to see Luke and Eva end up together, I think they would be a fun couple and it would be the ultimate revenge.

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