Friday, 4 November 2016

Coronation Street double episode review, Friday 4 November 2016

In the last week both our editor Glenda and blogger David have posted their astutely penned thoughts on how they are finding Corrie at the moment. Like me, they had spotted a few things that didn’t quite make sense, and stretched the bounds of believability. Yes, there is plenty to be excited about and I’m enjoying a lot of what I’m seeing, but tonight’s double episode offered more examples of those head scratching moments that, if handled differently, would complement the otherwise compelling scenes.

Take the Nazirs. We saw Yasmeen throw a party for Zeedan and Rana to celebrate their engagement with Rana's parents in attendance, and Zeedan reciting a lovely poem. It all went pear shaped however when Zeedan referenced the strength of his grandparents’ marriage and Sharif presented Rana with the necklace that should have been from Yasmeen, leading her to crack and reveal the affair in front of the guests. Considering Yasmeen’s personality in general and the dignity and self control shown by this strong, principled, family woman up to now, there was simply no way she would have lost this restraint and done this on such a special occasion for her grandson. Less is more, and I would rather have seen her struggle through with a brave face like the traditional Corrie matriarch, and break down after everyone had left. The impact would have been much greater than the choice to make ‘drama’ of it.

I very much enjoyed the aftermath, however, with great dialogue and performances all round, and this could still have happened had the public reveal not occurred. I was particularly delighted that Alya confessed to knowing for a month and blackmailing her grandfather rather than having him reveal it, or it being dragged it out. Sharif and Alya are promptly ordered to pack their bags, and we’re left with Zeedan consoling Yasmeen on the sofa. I’ve a lot of time for both characters and look forward to seeing them support one another in this.

Now, the Maria story. I’ve had to expend more energy than I should trying to tally this one up in my head so I’ve decided I’ll save further brain cells from certain death and just run with it. Tonight, a bloodstained rug is found in meddlesome Fiz’s bin and promptly brought to the attention of the police who question Maria about the fact that her credit card was used in London and to buy the phone the nasty texts came from.

Weatherfield Police’s whole handling of this is pantomime worthy considering the speed with which Maria has gone from victim to accused, and their refusal to consider any other perspective. The spotlight of course now falls on her relationship with Pablo, so she’s getting it from all sides. Meanwhile, Caz lurks in the shadows with a bandaged hand like a comic book villain. The most convenient thing about all this is Kate’s fear for Caz, the fiancĂ©e she dumped, called a psycho, and couldn’t wait to see the back of. It's as if the plot is determined to head in a particular direction and the characters must follow, whether their reaction becomes them or not.

Despite all the eye rolling and apparent disdain that greets Michael by his very presence in the Platt household, Sarah enthusiastically welcomes his desire to renew his wedding vows and Gail is thrilled when he plucks up the courage to ask her. Considering we know Les Dennis is leaving, I'm intrigued as to where this is headed.

Gary shows great character when he extends the hand of friendship to David, and remarkable resilience by attending a bonfire party at the house of the man whose actions were responsible for his mother's burns.

Meanwhile, Anna lies in a hospital bed and steels herself to see the extent of her injuries. I wasn’t sure how they planned to show her these and wondered why they felt the need to. What I wasn’t expecting was for them to take photographs, and for these to be shown to us. It all felt rather gratuitous and unnecessary. As with Yasmeen’s reveal, less is more, and it would have made for a far more poignant scene if we simply saw the curtain being pulled back and her quietly weeping or some such. In keeping with extremes, she then breaks up with Kevin, and quite harshly too, in an act of apparent self preservation. He too had to be shown the photographs, our second viewing, and it all felt too much.

Elsewhere, Alex fancies Gemma and plans to bring her to Roy and Cathy’s wedding as his plus two, his plus one being Nessa. I jumped at the mention of her name, and would love to see her back on the street, though I know there are others who don’t share my enthusiasm. Characters who divide are all part of the fun, though, aren't they. In other wedding news, Roy doesn’t want to get married in a church out of respect for a religion he doesn’t practice which is a perfectly valid and noble standpoint which Cathy should admire him for. He changes his mind in the end though, and Cathy is delighted rather than regretting that one of them had to compromise their beliefs.

These episodes had some great performances and storylines, but the penchant for extremes and drama actually divested some scenes of their full emotional capacity. If we could just opt for subtlety where it’s needed, then I think we would have some very strong drama on our hands.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes
Facebook: @EmmaHynesWrites
Instagram: emmalouhynes

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Anonymous said...

Great review Emma. On the whole I enjoyed these episodes and loved the way the Nazir affair reveal was handled, but the final scene of the second episode had me screaming at the tv, she's behind you! I posted earlier in the week that someone surely would see Caz on the street, then as if by magic, she appears just as Maria gets out of a taxi. Why did no-one see her? Aiden was facing in that direction, Gary has just walked past with Jake, and there were other people milling about. I really hate this storyline with a vengeance. Please make it stop to save my sanity

Anonymous said...

I do not get it.

You all complain about the show being unrealistic. Yet, when they show the burns, you all complain about it being too real. Lucky for you, you can shield your eyes from it. We, burn victims, have to live with the scars for the rest of our lives. Good on Corrie for showing another layer to Anna's feelings. You see the burns, you can understand why she is pushing Kevin away.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree that a woman with the resolve and grace as Yasmeen would not have made such a spectacle, especially on the occasion of her grandson's engagement celebration. I don't know what the Corrie writers were thinking. Perhaps they realize that the show is a snorefest and wanted to plunk down a trainwreck right in the middle of a happy occasion. What a totally stupid way to handle Sharif's betrayal. It would have been much better to see her hold her composure through the party and then in the next couple of episodes arrange her personal affairs and then give Sharif the boot.

Maricha said...

This was a great post Emma.
I also can't imagine that the Yasmeen we've come to know would make a scene in front of future in-laws.
I've come to the opinion that the entire purpose of the Caz disappearance storyline is to bring Aiden and Maria together because of outlandish it would be for anyone to leave Eva for Maria under normal circumstances.
We do have to see the extent of Anna's injuries as it's likely that quarrels over David's actions will last for a long time. If some of us felt they weren't too bad it would make us think the reactions of characters like Kevin were over the top.
The mistake was made when the gratuitous car explosion was allowed to take place. There's no way that this was a good idea or that it's acceptable coming from a character we'd seen come to accept and feel guilt that his extreme overreaction had permanently injured his brother in the Bistro truck crash. Even after Gail pointed out to David that guards, pedestrians and other innocents would be injured or die, the script had him go on with his plan. I'm sorry the show did that but they've made their bed and can't get dainty now.
I just hope this sort of writing stops.

Daft Apeth said...

I'm with you on Nessa. A workplace irritant without being a panto villan. I completely missed Kaz in that scene, I feel so thick.

Tvor said...

Caz has a reputation and a history for being a volatile nutter. There is a lot of documentation for that including her ousting from the military and her pretend injury to try to keep Kate. Why on earth would any police force worth their salt assume Maria killed Caz when there's no body and she'd only been missing a few hours. She wasn't even gone long enough for a shopping spree!

Maricha said...

That's true but with Kate and Fizz stirring the pot, the police may be backed into a corner. If 2 citizens tell you something happened and you ignore them until a day or two has passed, you'd be giving a murderer all that time to cover their tracks.Plus the police might feel sympathy for a veteran, even a troubled one.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what you say, Emma. Good analysis. I am also tired of the unrealistic writing which is inflicted upon Samia Ghadie, in the character of Maria. Why can't any good, realistic scenes be produced for her? Since Liam (Sr.) and Tony Gordon, the writing for her character has been all over the place. Give the poor actress a break! And Caz is nothing more than a panto villain. Please make this story go away. It reminds me of Graham and Xin, another story which was completely off the wall and totally unbelievable.

abbyk said...

What I don't understand is why Caz's persona hasn't been scrutinized as Maria's? There is documented evidence from her recent dismissal from the army, and certainly Aiden and Jonny have insights that should be nearly as strong as Kate's. What fiz gave as 'evidence' is circumstantial and there was plenty of proff that Chaz was fine while Maria was in London. Don't get it at all.

I also don't believe dignified, educated matriarch Yasmeen blowing up in front of company to air a very personal family issue and ruining her grandson's night in the process. Yes, Alya and Sharif got the boot they deserved, but Z, Rana and her parents didn't.

As far as reality goes, as a fan I'm not only looking for fires and crashes to come down to a level that's more realistic, but for the way characters behave and react to each other to mirror the real world as well. It's why Mary has bothered me for years and out of character outbursts like Yasmeens tonight are so frustrating. The photos, meh, I didn't need to see it. I would have preferred to see Anna muster the courage to look under the bandages today, and at some time down the road, do it again so she could wear a leg revealing dress for an occasion like her son's wedding.

Anonymous said...

The phrase "less is more" has been missing from Corrie far too often lately. Yes it gets the media bylines - such as Todd & Billy in the hotel, endless car crashes, buildings catching on fire, etc, etc.
Truthfully I find Corrie is becoming more like American tv everyweek - they don't trust the American intelligence therefore every single detail must be played out to the bitter end - leave nothing to the imagination or it will be lost. Sad state of affairs.
That was what made Corrie great - we didn't have to suffer through every painful detail, storylines weren't dragged out for months on end. Now we pretty much can guess the so-called surprise endings because of the set up which cover many episodes. So what does keep us wanting to come back? - not much. Sad.

Louby said...

Lots of good comments on this post.

Something else that I thought was odd - the couple who were at the party were Rana's parents? Didn't say much did they? They were almost incidental extras. I had thought in previous episodes that Rana had a skeleton in her closet re her family, as in perhaps they were estranged or something, but that seems to have come to nothing.

Anonymous said...

I also wondered about Rana's parents - in the previews it said that her mother was upset with the outfit that Rana had chosen to wear and we didn't hear any mention of that - actually I don't think they even said 2 words. Perhaps that whole scene was rewritten to provide for the hasty departure of Sharif. Maybe one of these days we will learn some background info on Rana's parents.

Laura said...

I'm glad they at least had Rana's parents there - all too often extended family members "aren't able to make it" for some silly reason or other for important events like weddings, etc. It's jarring and unbelievable.

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