Sunday, 21 October 2018

The Week In Classic Corrie

MONDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 22nd and 24th August 1990

The Duckworths remained pariahs on the Street which meant they didn't get invited to Mavis and Derek's barbecue.  This turned out to be a blessing, as not only was Derek wearing a red neckerchief, but he was also hopeless at cooking and everyone had to wait hours for their food.  Peter Ingram was buried and Mike wasted no time smarming over his widow and discouraging her from selling up, pointing out how great he'd be at running the factory.  The McDonald boys got their GCSEs, but while Andy did well, Steve scraped only a couple of passes.  However, Steve got all the attention as his parents tried to be encouraging, leading to Andy throwing his dummy out of the cot and proclaiming he wasn't going to do A-Levels but was instead going to join the Army.  Just have a quiet giggle to yourself about the thought of Andy wielding an assault rifle.  Tina was being a right nark, back chatting Alec and mooning over her new rich boyfriend.  Bet was worried that she was seeing a married man, but the truth was far worse: she was seeing the oily Nigel Ridley.

TUESDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 27th and 29th August 1990

Ken opened a new front in his mission to get back in Deirdre's life.  He went to Alf and asked to rent the flat above the shop.  Alf said yes, because he saw the money, but Audrey, Deirdre and Sally all told him it was a horrible idea.  (Sally in particular was aghast at the idea of living on the same street as your ex-husband.  Imagine!)  When he tried to change his mind, Ken threatened legal action, so Alf let him in.  The most annoying part of this whole storyline is knowing that eventually Ken and Deirdre do get back together: she's way too good for him.  Andy continued to pursue an army career for no reason other than he wanted to annoy his parents.  He started to look a bit panicky when Jim called his bluff and took him to the recruitment office.  Tina continued to take the mick, blowing off shifts at the Rovers and talking back to Alec, knowing that her dalliance with Mr Ridley made her untouchable.  Bet spotted them together and tried to have a quiet word, gently pointing out that he was just using her, but Tina's head had been turned, and now Alec knew she had Nigel's ear (and everything else) he felt obliged to let her get away with murder.

WEDNESDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 31st August and 3rd September 1990

Famed Scouse miserablist Jimmy McGovern wrote the first of today's episodes, and as a result it was full of shouting and general mardiness.  Liz went off on a passionate soliloquy about the pains of being an army wife that would, to be honest, have been more appropriately delivered by Sheila Grant, but it persuaded Andy to give up any ideas of being a soldier.  Deirdre was still furious that Alf had let the shop flat to Ken, and was even more furious when Ken said he loved her and basically she just needed to get her silly little head round the fact that they were destined to be together.  There was a brief moment of levity where Mavis found a budgie on her sink and convinced herself it was Harriet reincarnated as Harry, but the main storyline was the Descent of Tina Fowler.  She had become even more uppity and workshy.  The final straw came when she barred Percy; you'd think this would earn her the eternal gratitude of everyone who ever went in the Rovers, but Bet sacked her.  Nigel intervened and told Alec to take her back but Bet put her foot down.  The two barmaids had a blazing row in the back room, with Tina saying Bet was jealous of her for being young and upwardly mobile, and Bet telling her experience had taught her that Nigel was using her.  It was confirmed when Tina went to a posh wine bar and found him with another woman (while wearing an absolutely revolting stripy jacket).  She chucked his Perrier all over him and left, and that was sadly the last we saw of Michelle Holmes on the Street.

THURSDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 5th and 7th September 1990

After the misery of the previous shows, Corrie reverted to farce today.  Mavis discovered Harry the budgie was actually called Boris when his owner Mrs Featherstone put a "missing" card in the window of the Kabin.  Rather than come clean, she held on to him, hiding his cage in the back.  Percy Sugden was on the case though.  He heard a chirrup and made it his mission to discover the bird in the house.  Why he didn't just mind his own damn business was unclear.  Meanwhile Audrey was starring in a low-budget version of Confessions of a TV Repairman, with Jim playing Robin Askwith.  He was called round to fix her portable but she spent most of the time pouting on the bed in a series of low-cut outfits and telling him how dull her husband was.  He legged it out of there and told Liz how terrified he was and remember, this man used to be a soldier.  Ken continued his relentless pursuit of Deirdre, co-opting Tracy into helping him decorate the shop flat and constantly nipping round to number 1.  He even told Bet he wasn't a single man.  Deirdre was rightly stressed by this, but it just strained her relationship with Dave, and when she vanished for fifteen minutes to phone home and see if Ken had visited he told her he'd had enough.

FRIDAY - Episodes originally broadcast 10th and 12th September 1990

The budgie saga dragged on as Mavis continued to fret.  Derek decided to give Mrs Featherstone a different bird and pretend it was Boris, but Mavis went round and gave a young Andrew Knott her Harry first so he had two.  Mrs Featherstone returned one of the birds - by this point I had lost the will to live and couldn't keep track of which one - so both of them ended up with a budgie and we will hopefully never have to speak of it again.  Audrey called Jim out to waggle her aerial again and he told her he wasn't interested.  Alf insisted on being in when he returned the mended TV set because he was so dissatisfied with the work and Audrey realised he might discover the truth, so she spun a tale of being harassed.  When he confronted him, Jim lost his temper, told Alf the truth and dropped his telly on the floor.  Alf demanded compensation from Jim's boss and banned the McDonalds from his shop.  Dave told Ken to leave Deirdre alone, and he responded by buying them drinks and being smarmy.  It convinced Deirdre to start divorce proceedings.  Vera went to a spiritualist, and casually mentioned to Human Sour Patch Kid Ivy that someone called "Brian" had been trying to leave messages from the other side.  Ivy immediately looked intrigued, while I wondered if the producers had let the work experience boy come up with all the plotlines this week.

If the quality of the episodes don't improve soon @merseytart might have to start watching Classic EastEnders on Drama. 

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Corrie Comicals week ending 19 October 2018

This week follows the fall out from last week.  With two characters in hospital it is fair to say that comedy was not that near the surface on Monday.  Jenny (Sally Ann Matthews) had the heavy lifting to do on Monday facing up to what she had sort of guessed but now knew.  Johnny is trying to explain that his indiscretion with Liz was important - Jenny latches onto this - so it was a "big deal" with "Big Mac"(Donald).  Having told Johnny he is forgiven she adds that "Liz is a whole different slapper correction matter and leave the barmaid to me."  And she tells Liz to decide if she is going to be bothered to turn up for her next shift at 6, which she does, driving Jenny to the bottle.

I did feel sorry for Leanne at one point if she had woken up with Nick one side of her bed and Peter on the other side.  News of Nick's return did not impress David although he did offer to pop along to Freshco to see if they had good stocks of fatted calves.

Having been sent on his way by Leanne and Toyah it is fair to say that Nick is looking for anyone who will be his friend and was getting on very well with David (the dog) until David returns home; he picks the dog up and calls him a traitor!

It was also inevitable that Gail would want to say "I told you so" as she reminds Nick that she warned him about both Leanne and Carla.  As yet of course she is unaware of "E" who is constantly phoning Nick and whom he is studiously avoiding most of the time.  His partner in his Nottingham restaurant perhaps?

How to turn a crisis into drama - and get the wrong result.  Ali is trying to leave Weatherfield so Michelle stands in front of his car (a suspended trainee doctor can afford a TT?) and she pleads for him not to leave whilst he is revving engine.  It had all the wrong effect on me as I thought there were two outcomes - either Ali backed down or Michelle got flattened, so it made me laugh!  It is rumoured that some viewers are not keen on Michelle.  But I am sure there are less dramatic ways of getting Ali to stay than standing in front of his car.  Remember Michelle he was not keen on either mother a few months ago!

Friday was at the weaker end of the humour spectrum.  Sinead's secret is uncovered and Vicky was ushered off to a new job, she did manage one little crack before she departed to Natty's Nicks:

She tells Sarah to keep her wig on when Sarahmis advising Peter that the workforce will revolt if Vicky returns to work.

There was a bright spot, in fact a double bright spot.  Firstly Jack was sounding more positive and in this particular scene I felt the actor also came alive - really giving good delivery of his lines and telling a little story to explain that he was not playing on the Street at the moment.  Kyran Bowes really pulled off his part tonight - I hope he has a bright future ahead of him. This was followed by some good natured joking between Gary and Ty.  More of this please.

Extras at work - this week from the Viaduct bistro where Angie (who remember had lunch in Speed Dahl) is dining with Jude.

She is not referring to the extra wandering past behind them but to her lunch "date" who is less than complimentary with the nick names he uses on his phobile moan.  She asked if he called her "Big Butt Angie" - a hint of dislike of part of your body there Angie?

Friday review will be along a little later.

Writers: Carmel Morgan & Sam Holdsworth (Monday), David Isaac (Wednesday), Susan Oudot and Ian Kershaw (Friday)
Directors: Tim O'Mara (Monday), Duncan Foster (Wednesday & Friday)


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Saturday, 20 October 2018

Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Week

Nicky Tilsley is the worst.  No, I'm not bothered about him spending a year away.  I don't care that he let David suffer in prison without so much as a postcard.  I'll shrug at his declaration of love for Leanne despite him clearly having a bit on the side.  The reason Nicky needs to go back to Nottingham is he thanked Gail for her homemade scones and pronounced "scone" to rhyme with "bone".  Absolutely disgusting behaviour.  Scone rhymes with gone, and anyone who pronounces it any other way is a revolting animal who should be drummed out of polite society.

Weatherfield Police needs to consider its budget priorities.  DS MacKinnon continued her investigation into... to be honest, I'm not really sure any more.  Apparently she's suspicious of an accidental overdose, and also Ryan's failure to phone an ambulance for three minutes, and also Michelle's car breaking down even though she was the one being chased so it doesn't really matter?  It's all very important that she hang around Victoria Court barking questions at everyone who walks in anyway.  It's also, apparently, far more important to the police than Hannah and Jim stealing £10,000, even though (a) that's definitely a crime while all this business with the Connors is more or less a hunch (b) Liz was able to tell them who did it, how and what bank account she put the money in and (c) Jim has only been out of prison about three weeks so he's presumably on licence and could be packed off back to prison without any bother.  Perhaps they can't afford to investigate because DS Stroppy Knickers has signed up the entire force to investigate the Connors.  On Monday her assistant was that chap above, wearing a hat two sizes too big for his head.

The week before last she had this constable helping her out, though in fairness he was probably too busy running the anti-terrorism squad in Bodyguard to commit to a lengthy enquiry.

Then on Friday she had a silver fox taking down her particulars.  There must be an incident room at Weatherfield Police the size of Canary Wharf staffed by a cast of thousands all looking into exactly how close Ali was to that fence post when Ronan died.  Meanwhile there's poor little old ladies who've just been mugged being told to suck it up because there are no officers available.

Michelle's moral compass is awry.  Meanwhile, let's return to Exalted Queen of the Universe, the sole bright spot round which the rest of the galaxy shines, Ms Michelle Connor, and her strange decision making process on what is and isn't murderous behaviour.  Ali told her he'd helped Ronan to die and she said she'd have to tell the police; she absolutely couldn't lie about the circumstances of a man's death, no matter how unpleasant he was and how much he deserved it.  Finally, after much sobbing and angst, she did lie to the police, not feeling good about any of it.  It's all a remarkable change from her position back in June, when Anna stabbed Phelan in the back and Michelle immediately told him she would happily lie that it was self-defence, because he was a deeply unpleasant person and he deserved it.  I suppose in Anna's case, it was the woman who'd served her bacon butties for years, whereas here it was only her own flesh and blood.  Still, that's Michelle: she may make wildly unpredictable decisions and arbitrarily punish relatives (this week she hated Ali for helping Leanne over Ryan, then changed her mind and decided to not visit Ryan because Ali was more important) but we must never forget that she is never, ever wrong.  Michelle is the sun and we are merely basking in her light.

The Weatherfield Gazette is a smut rag.  Local journalism is in trouble, with small town newspapers closing across the country.  It's understandable that they look to other sources to get the readers in.  The Gazette, however, seems to have taken the lowest possible road, and is publishing Ken's lurid tales - presumably a Page 3 stunner isn't far behind.  It shows how desperate Barlow senior is to get in print; stuff the social realism, toss off a bonkfest where a couple of bitchy crimpers rip off their blouses and commit filthy acts week to week.  You'd never get that sort of racy content in RiversideAlso Ken, don't force your son to read your masturbatory fantasies.  Daniel was so shocked when he glanced over the text he just kept saying "boobs" over and over in a tremulous voice, his eyes boggling and his stomach lurching.  Isn't he disturbed enough already?

Evelyn is all of us.  Maureen Lipman continued to make her mark, this week querying why there were people in the kebab shop at nine in the morning.  Prima Doner does have the weirdest opening hours of any of the Street's businesses; it seems to be fully staffed from first thing in the morning, as though there's anyone who fancies a kebab for their elevenses, then closes before the Rovers, despite the absolute best time to eat a lamb kofte being after a skinful.  No wonder it never makes any money.  I hope this doesn't signal Evelyn's presence as a fourth wall breaking character who just goes round pointing out the show's absurdities.  Firstly, saying things like "how many bedrooms does number 4 have?" and "if you're so hard up why are you spending every night in the pub?" would destroy Corrie's verisimilitude.  Secondly, it'd put me out of a job.

Have Jude and Angie split up or what?  They live in the same house, but she's going on dates and getting called "Big Butt Ange", which makes it sound like she's sending her nudes to all and sundry.  Help me work it out on Twitter @merseytart.  And also send me your nudes.

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See Corrie star at Southbank Centre

Maureen Lipman, who has recently joined Coronation Street as Evelyn the new battleaxe, has a long career in the entertainment industry. She will be appearing over the Christmas and New Year at the Southbank Centre in London

The flyer says "The new battleaxe of Coronation Street in an evening of rave, rollick and rant. Expect sketches, monologues, songs, magic, lots of great jokes and maybe even some dancing."

More details here

I may see you there!

By Kosmo

Fancy writing a guest blog post for us? All details here!  

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