Saturday, 22 October 2016

A new era on the cobbles of Coronation Street?

What a difference a week makes. Only seven days ago I served up a healthy portion of pre-weariness at the prospect of another crash, bang, wallop 'explosive' week on t'cobbles. Today I'm feasting on humble pie.

Arise Dame Kate Oates! Well, maybe a bit early for heaping on the awards but by the 'eck Minnie Caldwell, this lady knows how to produce. The best bit of all though, the treat dealt out to us  sometimes cynical viewers, is that the venerable Kate did what she did without signposting every single move. Let joy be unconfined. A few years ago, the TV listings would have carried something on the lines of "... and there's concern for Anna when she erupts in a ball of flame". Instead, we found ourselves gripped by the twists and turns of the story. Okay, it all pretty unfeasible but this is soap and here was a seemingly bonkers story told well.

We've been treated to a number of subtle character changes. Gail discovered a backbone after umpteen years of playing the ninny. Tracy luv stepped up exactly when it was needed. No major histrionics at Ken's bedside, as would have been the case only a few months ago. Instead, a hint of Deirdre as she took control and kicked Peter into touch. Yes he's back and obviously has a story to tell. Who else is looking forward to finding out what that's all about?

Elsewhere, new alliances were being formed. It was lovely to see Eva and Gemma having a bit of a bonding session. Unlikely friends are always welcome in Weatherfield and in true Corrie style, Gemma has transitioned from gobby spitbag to friend and neighbour. Oddly, she seems more stable than Kylie was and so maybe Dame Kate will not have to hit the 'revert-to-type' button. Mary seems to be blossoming too. She provided kind counsel to Tracy and helped Beth out in her hour of need. Bless her, Mary also gave us the one comedy moment of the week as she hurtled headfirst into a wheelie bin.

The element of surprise will, hopefully, not remain a stranger to Corrie. This week, the programme felt much stronger for not having spoon-fed us every plot line and nuance. It altogether felt more 'grown up', leaving us to enjoy the twists and turns as we might in the likes of House of Cards. I haven't watched sister show Emmerdale for many a year (the last time I was a regular viewer it was still called 'Farm' and the most exciting thing to happen was Amos dropping his pipe) but I've just taken a quick peek at their 'explosive' week. Speaking to devotees of the show, I'm assured that it was handled much the same as Corrie - no-one knew what was coming next. Bravo ITV Drama!

What could have been another dire week of tiresome, doom-laden stories turned out to be something much more dynamic and watchable. Maybe you disagree but I'm jamming on my 'hopeful' hat like a well-weaved hairnet and will be keeping my fingers crossed for interesting times ahead. Just don't tell us about them, Kate . . .

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Tvor said...

With you all the way. Wow what a week!!! I haven't been "gripped" by much, ever, on Corrie though the tram crash was one of those weeks. This certainly was as well. And just when I thought Jack P. Shepherd couldn't possibly get any better, he takes up another notch. Agreed about Gail. She may have been reduced to a silly woman in the past few years but put one of her chicks in danger and that's all it took. Every mother's nightmare seeing your child in the state David was in. I never lost faith in Helen Worth. best week in Corrie since the tram crash. Thank you, Kate Oakes

Peter said...

I think it was a brilliant week. I agree with you wholeheartedly on all points.
Eva and Gemma in the courts had me thinking initially 'when did they become mates?' Using the friendship they both had with Kylie as a Segway to them forming a friendship was clever, every better by utilising Gemma's stance in court.
Tracy-luv and her maturity regarding Ken this week was nice to see. Yes, keep some of her bitchiness, but it's good to see she's maturing into a more caring person.
The biggest thing is being surprised. The fact that I was literally on the edge of my seat and tears brimming on Friday's break after the crash, 'Are they ok/alive?' I was freaking out! Then with them all running from the car, and Beth walking around the corner, I thought she was going to cop it, but then TWIST! Poor Anna copped it instead. Very well played. It's fantastic to not already know what is going to happen. I hope they do this from now on as it makes for much, mich, better viewing.

Well done Kate Oates, well done.

abbyk said...

This level of intensity can't be maintained every week but the focus on relationships and having a surprise or three can. I am optimistic about the future of our show. Welcome back, Gail! I can't wait until Monday.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the elements of surprise this week but I hated the cheesy music in the final scenes - and there is no place in pre-watershed soap for seeing someone burned alive; it was needlessly horrific and not what I want from Corrie.
The absolute misery of it all was too much. All smacks of Brookside sensationalism - and look how that fetched up.

Beth said...

I din't like it at all. Seeing someone burned isn't my idea of entertainment. Neither is seeing a child buried under a car. I found it hard to watch and distasteful.

The scenes with Mary and Beth then Gemma and Eva were the kind of thing I want to watch. It's a shame that corrie has to go to great lengths of explosions, stabbings, murders, constant will they live or die (and they always do) because they can longer produce the rich characters or dialogue they used to.

Sensationalism gone berzerk.

coconno196 said...

Agree about the surprises, and the crash was convincingly filmed. Sadly for me who hadn't yet watched it, a massive spoiler headline popped up when I was looking at something else online. 😠 I also liked the Eva/Gemma and Beth/ Mary scenes.

Louby said...

Did anyone else marvel at Macca's quick recovery?! And at how quickly Beth and Mary were able to swap back.

I'm looking forward to seeing if the consequences of David's actions will be realistic. We have already seen his family lie for him and Robert has been embroiled in the "locking David in the cellar" plot too. Hopefully it will not stretch credibility too much.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I can't believe the mixed bag of views on this week's episodes. They have been a vast improvement on what we have been served in the recent past. No-one really wants to go back to the banal, mundane, spoiler alert days off SB do they? I suppose the saying you can please some of the people some of the time comes to mind

Anonymous said...

I agree with Beth's comments,these sensational storylines are getting tedious to watch especially since the Platts always seem to be the center of them!Enough of them already.
I do hope Anna's recovery is done seriously and not she's not up and about within a few days,her trauma forgotten like Hope's cancer seems to be.
I wonder if David's accident will refuel[no pun intended]the Platt\Windass feud with Gary and Sarah as a modern day 'Romeo and Juliet'?

Pickledjo said...

I agree.
You can definitely see the street is under new management.
Less spoilers. Less fast safe storylines.
Many minor characters seem to have been injected with personality. Suddenly I'm starry if to like Maria, Steph and Andy.
Ken seemed to have more about him, and I'm liking the new friendships and romances.
Let's see if she can make me like Kate.

Flo said...

I personally thought they were very well done, even with the sensationalistic story line. As several people have pointed out, it was great to see a community spirit, something we haven't seen in a very long time. It will be very interesting to see how they continue with these storylines in the weeks and months to come. Lots of question marks at the moment: recovery for Ken and Anna, will David finally get the help he desperately needs, and will justice be served for Kylie's murder. I just hope the ball isn't dropped yet again as they are all storylines that could have massive impact, not just for the show but for the viewers as well.

The highlight of the whole episode for me was the burgeoning friendship between Gemma and Eva. Two unlikely mates if ever there were, but Kylie is a nice common ground for them. I was also happy to see that Gemma was a bit toned down, I hope that it stays that way. She was rapidly approaching cartoon character status and it was a shame for such a colorful character to be exploited that way. I think she as well as the actress who plays her has a lot to offer in the future, as long as it's done right.

Pickledjo said...

The music at the end of the "super soap week" episode didn't suit Corrie though. It was very Eastenders,

coconno196 said...

Anon 1903: good point re Platt / Windass feud. Wonder if the scriptwriters have thought of it?

Louby: I was also puzzled by Macca's appearance in court, minus scars and bruises, when he was at death's door a couple of weeks ago.

Also, brilliant as Gemma's rant was, she wouldn't have been allowed to just go on like that, might even have been charged with contempt of court. The defence barrister asks questions to elicit the answers they want, then moves swiftly on. If Gemma was responding to the prosecution that question should have been included. But overall a good episode with signs of a return to classic Corrie.

Anonymous said...

Agree with anonymous 16:10--it's all too grisly and grim. Porn really--where gratuitous violence, suffering and destruction is thrown in for its own sake and has not been prepared for, nor is justified in terms of plot, tone, or character development. To just toss in someone burning alive on a soap and show the person's agony in detail--that will ramp it up a bit!--is disgusting and not story-telling but a form of exploitative porn. Not to mention the whole scenario of David escaping from the cellar and dousing himself in petrol while sweet little Lily wanders out into the street at that exact moment is just preposterous. Finally, all the people gathering on the street to watch another scene of fire, death, mayhem, just months after Kylie was stabbed to death--where do these people live, Syria?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I did what I always do when gratuitous suffering with no plot or character purpose is tossed on to the screen in order to order to stimulate a visceral response--I dozed off. That sort of melodrama and violence is so boring, not to mention incredibly lazy. For Christ's sake, give these people a real story line with meaning, as opposed to using the crutch of sensationalism. Jack Shepard is a good enough actor that he could convey the agony of losing his wife and fantasizing about revenge without having to resort to this preposterous storyline.

Anonymous said...

I live in Washington State(U.S.) so have not seen any of this yet, but I was thinking maybe Anna will need some medical pot for her pain and she will she what a cow she was to Izzy who lives in pain every day.

Anonymous said...

Take it from a former Emmerdale viewer, it soon gets draining, overly violent, with the actors having to go high camp to pull any of it off. I preferred SB's Emmerdale and I think I'll prefer his Corrie too. The audience gets far too factionalized and tunes in to watch their favs, not the whole show. Keeping an open mind, but the David thing just felt too OTT, and done before. We shall see, I guess.

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