Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Last Christmas and other unexpected plot points

This year, the Christmas Day episode of Coronation Street opened with a choir singing a very nice accapella version of "Last Christmas" which was originally recorded by the pop group Wham, with lead singer George Michael. By the time the episode aired in the evening, the world had found out that George Michael had died so it was particularly touching. For me, more so because after hearing it a few days before, it had been stuck in my head for days! I wonder if that was an omen or just coincidence?

But on last night's Corrie in the pub in the second episode, the Wham version was played. That was a bit jolting and I wonder if it was dubbed in at the last minute as a tribute? Certainly, the day before, fans on social media had picked up on the coincidence. I found myself thinking surely they wouldn't normally have used the same song two days in a row?

In other surprises, I really never expected Maria to be sent to jail for the immigration charge. I don't think she'll be in jail for the whole year. I reckon she'll be out before Easter but it did seem a bit harsh sending a single mum to prison the day before Christmas for a non-violent crime. Surely they could have ankle-tagged her and let her stay home over the holiday?

Mary's story with her newfound son was my favourite Christmas storyline. It was really touching to see her smile when he introduced himself and called her Mum straight away and then seeing her face when she realized she was going to be a grandma went straight to my heart.  If she doesn't change her mind about moving to South Africa, I will miss her very much. Maybe she'll go and stay to see the baby born and after a bit, come back. I'd find a Weatherfield without Mary much lacking. I did feel a brief pang for Norris with another friend leaving him behind, after Emily's departure last year at New Year.

I'm sure Steve or Michelle mentioned that Liz was gone to Spain to spend Christmas with Andy but there she was on Boxing Day behind the bar. Seemed a bit odd that she wouldn't take a couple of extra days off.

Peter and Toyah? I find them an odd couple, too, though I did guess weeks and weeks ago that she was his new girlfriend. Toyah would have known about Peter's past and his faults through Leanne for years. I did enjoy her tearing a strip off Nick in the hospital but it got me thinking, what was it in their past for which  Nick thought Toyah was raking him over the coals? The only thing that came to my mind was him insisting Leanne have an abortion before he then left her back in the day. I know he's done other stuff but that, for me, at least, would have been the start of the "I hate my sister's partner" mantra. I do like both actors, however, so I'm sure they'll do the storyline justice.

I'm also concerned as to the 180 degree turn that Andy's personality has undergone. Murderous intent? Stashing a few packets of pills in a carry on bag three times the size of the doctor's bag from where he took the pills? Yet, no news of a drugs theft has made its way through the gossip mill, via Rana since she works there. Eva's bought Aidan a kitten. That's even more committment than he's ready for with her. He is in love with Maria but I notice he's not finishing with Eva now that Maria's been sent down. More and more I dislike that character as an arrogant, selfish prat but I don't mind the actor. I can see Johnny's point of view. Why would Aidan prefer Maria over Eva who's gorgeous and has a big, kind heart? I think it's the knight on a charging horse, saving the damsel in distress that's the attraction.

There's always a public argument so the Nick and Peter thing didn't bother me except to make me dislike Nick even more. It was nice to see a house full of Barlows. Nice to see Mary so happy with her friends being supportive. Sarah and Gary are on and off more than a light switch and that's getting tedious.  Eileen has proven her stupidity with men continues by proposing to Phelan. Billy had a revelation and is going back to the church. I think it suits him but I wonder if this is going to be the thing that comes between he and Todd permanently. There wasn't a lot of pubbage this year, I notice, which was different. There were a few scenes but in the past, quite a lot of action would be based in the pub on Christmas night and Boxing night.

 Overall, though, Christmas on the cobbles was ok.

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Humpty Dumpty said...

There could be an interesting switch in Maria's character from dim and boring to hard and cynical. She could go from the airhead who always makes the wrong decision to a manipulator more like Jenny Bradley. Samia could do it, she's a good enough actress and it would make Maria more complex. Regarding Andy, he hasn't entirely changed. His weakness is to act on impulse and then get himself squeezed into a corner. Andy became Gavin because of some squabble with the real Gavin and he was also angry with his father. He couldn't wriggle out of the mess he created and he's doing the same with Phelan. There are elements of the John Stape storyline: the unwitting murderer who isn't really a bad person.

Anonymous said...

Too many new male characters this week - Mary's son, that Nathan bloke and Toyah's husband. My poor old brain can't take it, they all melded into one!

Anonymous said...

I found the Christmas episodes really depressing. I honestly wished for a remake of last year when Tyrone pulled out all the stops for his daughter and the street was so alive, happy & positive. This year all we received were snipes and a lot of angry nasty people.
Enough. I'm a firm believer that we watch tv for escapism and right now Corrie st. is too depressing to even follow. We get enough bad news on the local and world news. Do we really need more from our favourite soap? Oops, sorry, now it's called "continuing drama". I think they are trying to copy Hollyoakes which does not bode well.

Anonymous said...

Maria must have some long criminal record or the bloke she married is part of some international gang. Otherwise, I can't imagine why should wouldn't at least be out pending appeal. The whole story makes no damned sense unless it's purpose is to see Maria toughen up in jail. She is without a doubt one of the dimmest people alive.

I thought the choir singing was a bit coincidental as well. I did read something that said George Michael passed away "peacefully" at home, so perhaps his passing was expected by some? Otherwise, I would've thought they'd have said he passed "suddenly".

Good to see Mary getting a meaningful story but not sure why we needed to see Toyah and Peter hook up. I just can't see how these two would have connected in the first place. I am happy for Mary and hope she takes her son up on his offer of adventure. I could see her helping out with his family, maybe finding a job in the community to do with teaching or caring for children?

Steve and Michelle, Leanne and Nick, Andy and Phelan, Todd and Billy... just so not interested in the same old same old right now.

abbyk said...

I'm not a lawyer but was what Maria did really so much worse than Beth being a bigamist? Maria got a year, Beth only got a little community service. The sentence seems so harsh, especially for a single parent who confessed. And no mention if Pablo has been deported.

I'm also bothered by Mary just picking up stakes and moving to another continent. I could see her going for an extended visit but moving? For a son she has known for less than a day? Come on, Noz, give her a reason to stay.

And while I like Eva, if I were Aidan, I might go with Maria as well. They're both cute but dumb. They both, innappropriately, bought pets for boyfriends who weren't as committed as they are. But Eva is too full on, Maria is a more even tempered. I could see his need for some stretches of calm, not every sentence being a Hey Babe moment.

Billy leaving the church only to return a week later is probably the most bothersome story. Never thought he worked with Todd, so if this splits them up, okay. But for an educated professional treating a life's calling like some disposable entry level job is crazy. If he had been soul searching in the weeks leading up, it wasn't very obvious; I don't recall seeing him wrestle with anything except being called out for having Todd spend the night. To leave the church should have been a huge decision; I would have expected a rational discussion or two to let us know his inner struggle.

Peter and Toyah, meh, but they are such talented actors I can put aside that sleeping with the ex-in-law thing. For now. The TV snafu, oh dear, it could be a case study on how to make 4 characters instantly unlikeable.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one but I was really upset by the Mary storyline. Not because she found her son, but because her character is so obviously being shoved unceremoniously out the back door by the new PTB. What could have finally been a fantastic story for her, unfolding over 6 mths to a year has been accelerated to preposterous levels as she is quickly bustled off the show. Meanwhile, while this great storyline is being given all of a week to ten days of air time, we're being tortured to an interminable spectacle of the insipid, painfully plastic Maria bemoaning her fate after randomly marrying an anonymous gay Argentinian hair dresser, all the while entertaining a series of scummy men on her seemingly revolving couch. And Toyah melodramatically descending on the street just in time to sanctimoniously and shrilly lecture Nick then sneak off for a grope with the endlessly smirking Peter Barlow. And what's he acting so smug and pious about--after abandoning his son for two years to the series of men in his ex wife's life and then suddenly reappearing in hot pursuit of the latest so-called "love of his life"? Which I thought was Carla. No, Leanne. No apparently this next bimbo.

And it's the same with Andy and Steph--two great fresh new characters, never used, now being shunted off the show to make room for returnees like Toyah and Adam who are just going to recycle the same old same old. For example, you can already see the Toyah, Leanne, Peter triangle that will pop up a 6 or 8 mths from now.

Antiphon said...

Has Patti Clare actually said that she is leaving the show permanently? These things generally leak out beforehand and I can't find any reference to her stating that she is quitting anywhere online.

Anonymous said...

I really hope that Mary isn't leaving the show - for me, she is the one saving grace right now. I'm glad to see the back of Maria - such a one dimensional character, although I despair in the fact that she may still be in the show via prison with her BFF Caz. Charming. They did that before with Peter & Big Jim & Peter's cellmate, that worked, but a second time around, not so much.
Hopefully we have seen the last of Cathy, Alex & Nessa. I much prefer Roy in the company of Brian & Norris. Let's see Roy's best intellectual side.
Peter & Toyah - maybe if they don't do the merry-go-round with Leanne & Nick again.
I'm not looking forward to Dozie Webster returning with Sophie - they could stay in Miami and I don't think anybody would miss them.
So on to the New Year, may the sun shine down on the Street and people get happy again.

Anonymous said...

I doubt that Mary will leave. For a son she doesn't know and to be an unpaid Nanny? Nah, it's not likely.

And I am fed up with endlessly smirking Peter Barlow already. Why on earth would he be hooked up with Toyah Battersby, there's no chemistry there at all and I also think he is too old for her. Smacks of something unsavoury to me.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I was wrong but I'm assuming Mary (Patti Clare) is leaving the Street, at least for now. I doubt if the story-writers would bring in her long lost son and have such a perfect reunion (adoptive parents conveniently dead, wife expecting grandchild, instant bond between the two), only to have Mary decide not to leave with him. But perhaps she will come back in the future.

Anonymous said...

I am in agreement that Roy is much better suited to spending time with Brian and Norris, rather than the idiotic Cathy, Nessa and Alex trio. So happy if we've seen the back of that lot!

Tvor said...

There's a big difference between being an unpaid nanny and looking after your first grandchild.

Anonymous said...

And a happy New year to you too!

Anonymous said...

I suspect Mary will go, see her grandchild then return, never to mention them again. The story line did seem to move remarkably quickly. I think a slower search would have been more realistic.

Anonymous said...

100% right. Corrie has become a sad joke.

Anonymous said...

I hope so too.

Anonymous said...

Lol all three very bland and dodgy actors, maybe they had a job lot - buy one get two free!

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