Gritty sagas by Corrie blog editor Glenda Young, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Coronation Street Episode Review Friday 15 January 2021

Good evening.  Thank you Ms Kelstar for last week and here are the latest meanderings from Weatherfield.  Faye is sick with worry, every morning.  And as she admits to Maria (eventually) she has other reasons for believing that she is making her second visit to the baby production rodeo.  After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing she admits all to Tim (I'm worried about Tim - see later) and whilst she and Maria take a pregnancy kit off screen Tim rampages from the flats to the Bistro demanding to see Ray who is not there.  The test has proven that she is not in the baby way and whilst Tim remains angry they manage to get him under control before any harm is done.  By the end of the programme Faye is still in a state and feels teh truth should be told whilst Tim has determined that Hale Barns is not far enough away - they are moving to Spain (above) [which post-Brexit and the PM statement on Friday evening might be a challenge that Mrs Metcalfe cannot quite face; indeed getting R'Sally to leave the Street would terminate all of her social climbing antics as she would have climbed the impossible climb!].

In a side story Steve is off on holiday to the hills to get himself fit for his three peak challenge and as luck would have it there is a nice pub next door to the cottage!  Tracy considers it a good idea as it will get him away from the Street and the kerfuffle over Peter.

Talking of Ray, he has gone into that super-villain mode that we see from Lex Luthor just before Superman saves the world.  He admits to Debbie that he has not bribed the planning committee - only the chair woman!  Imran has cooked up a pre-judicial review notice which has sent the council into a tizz and they will be reviewing all the paperwork to make sure it is tickety boo.  Now we know the planning officer (whom Ray attempted to bribe in front of witnesses) was against the scheme, so that will be documented and council members have to have excellent reasons to go against the advice of a planning officer.  The threat of a court case costing £100k will be as welcome in the council offices as it might to Roy Cropper (hiding his Superman suit under his apron); the latter however has strong feelings for the community as it is and vice versa.  Tim pops into the prison to see Gary the same day as applying for a visiting order (magic) and tells him that Faye is finding it tough.  Tim alludes to Ray's involvement in Faye's discomfort and Gary observes that he is pretty sure that at some point Ray will see justice for his wrong-doing.  Ray might not have to wait until Gary is released as a white van pulls up alongside Ray and the side of the Rovers and two masked men leap out to make Ray's day (above).

Pretty pickled Peter picked a pitcher to drown his sorrows and stayed out all night.  Steve's superpower is his hearing as he can clearly hear a ringtone through the closed back door of Number One, across the yard, across the ginnel, through a back gate, in pickled Pete's pocket lying (above) on about six black bags of rubbish (I thought all Weatherfield rubbish [except Peter] had to go in bins?).  Apparently having been out all night at this time of year Peter only has mild hypothermia and Dr Gaddas soon has him up and about again.  Steve over-rules Ken and says he can stay - but no Peter needs some fresh air and cannot stand being cooped up in Number One, heavy coat on he heads out into the night. 

Most of the Street is looking to be rehoused.  Seb is joining Kev and Abi whilst Alina is moving in with Ty and Fiz and Evelyn and Cerberus and Hope and Faith Ruby; no I don't know where she will be sleeping either.  Fiz is not keen on the idea but Alina is not silly and prepares pamper packs for Fiz and the girls whilst there is an added ingredient in Evelyn's pack - alcohol.  Fiz has too big a heart to say no and Alina moves in.  No doubt much hilarity will ensue!  And Alina delivers Ty's lasagne from oven to table.

Meanwhile the Alahan family co-operative provided the light relief this evening.  Early on Asha admitted that creepy Corey was in the dumpster and Aadi applauded the decision whilst in front of Asha Dev was full of listening concern.  As soon as her back was turned to them, both Dev and Aadi stood and did a dance of joy; Dev was clearly not taken in by Corey's golfing abilities!  Aadi is relishing his new position as Deputy Dawg, sorry potential very junior assistant under-manager trainee in the Alahan empire where he is to undertake PDRs with Bernie and Cathy.  For our overseas readers PDR is not a Public Display of Relationship but is in fact a Personal Development Review where in the UK your manager explains how you could do your job better and which you then ignore because he or she does not have the first iota of a clue of what you do.  Dev later gets a message saying that it is all kicking off at the kebab shop (where I thought Chesney was actually the manager) so rushes there to find that Aadi has tomato ketchup, not blood, down his shirt and is being chased by Bernie the Broom out of the shop (above).  Apparently Aadi had found that they both knew the job better than he did and he was using their knowledge to train him in how to handle the late night drunks needing a kebab fix.  All enjoyed it, no harm done and Aadi even impressed Dev.  And a word from me - I was a little harsh on Adam Hussain when he took on the role.  Tonight the way that he, Jimmi Harkishin and Tanisha Gorey interacted and delivered was supreme.  Adam certainly made me feel that he was Dev's son and can learn his way into running the Alahan empire.  Tanisha Gorey has been given some meaty stories recently and I hope these two will be around and coming and going for some years.

And in an item which should really have been in Corrie Comicals - Tim.  That lump above his right eye looks pretty nasty to me and someone should send for Dr Gadass as she is the only doctor in the country who appears to be doing house calls at the moment (two this week alone).

PS Why did anyone think having Chris Whitty in an advertisement was actually a good idea?

Written by David Isaac and directed by Leon Lopez

If it is the same Leon Lopez then we welcome him as a former actor from both Brookside and EastEnders.  If not then he certainly got off to a great start tonight.


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Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Week

Everyone has a limit.  I accept that Corey is a perv, a bully, and doesn't suit that little bumfluff moustache one bit.  But can we give him a bit of kudos for waiting until Asha's sixteenth birthday until he tried to have sex with her?  Most teenage boys would've been whining for months that if she really loved him she'd have given up her virginity, and, as we've seen from the likes of Sarah-Lou, Faye and Amy, it probably would've worked.  Corey, on the other hand, waited until she was at least of legal age before he tried to give her the birthday gift of his unsheathed penis.  Thankfully, his lack of consideration for her feelings, combined with his general sleaziness, finally got through to Asha and she kicked him out.  The tragic break up of her relationship caused Dev and Aadi to do a little dance which was absolutely brilliant.

The twins' sixteenth birthday (don't get me started on the dates of that, by the way, let's just agree there's been a time slip somewhere along the line) was a great excuse for the scriptwriters to make it Alahan Week and I enjoyed every minute of it.  Whether it was Dev tearing up as he saw his little kiddies getting older, Aadi putting on a suit and trying to boss "Bernadette and Catherine" about, or Asha having a plotline that didn't see her descend into a mass of snot and self-loathing, all three members of the family were joyous and wonderful.  Honestly Dev should've got an Inside Soap Award for his pronunciation of "classic of Indian cinema" alone.  Special mention should go to Adam Hussein, who's managed to slip into the role of Aadi so well and establish great chemistry with his onscreen sister and dad even though he's had to do it during a pandemic and a lockdown and at two metre's distance.  Everyone at number seven is a star and I'm ridiculously invested in their lovely little family.  Knuckle down and get those qualifications kids and make us all proud.  

Up the women!  Of course one of the key activating factors in Asha's realisation that Corey was bad for her was Nina opening up her mind to feminist theories and female empowerment.  Her unselfish, unembarrassed support for Asha is a real treat, with her blithely complimenting her friends' appearance and giving her a gift she'd truly treasure.  When Yasmeen pointed out Corey's bad behaviour, Nina was right in there to reinforce her points.  For all her general awesomeness, Nina's not really had a plotline of her own since her dad died, and the producers should rectify this immediately.  She's unproblematic and wonderful and they should probably send her into Wethy High to give lectures to the teenage girls on how to have high self-esteem.  Nina could single-handedly build a generation of powerful strong women to take over the Street.

We interrupt this blog for a commercial break:

Do you like lukewarm chips?
Do you like soggy batter?
Do you like congealed gravy that's cooled to a plasticky glaze over your dinner?

Then come to For Your Fries Only, where our expert chefs will lovingly craft your fish supper, only for it to be completely ruined because our delivery service is one teenage boy who hasn't got a car or a moped so he just walks really really fast.  If you're lucky, Simon will stick them in the basket on his BMX and hope that the local dogs don't catch a whiff of him as he cycles past and chase him down for his saveloy.  But otherwise, if you live any further away than, say, Balaclava Terrace, you might be better off breaking out the McCain Oven Chips.

Emma is right where she belongs.  Ever since she arrived in the show, Emma has slowly been moving from the periphery to its heart.  At first she was just a ditzy apprentice with a temporary contract, there to get in between David and Shona and nothing more.  She was such a star she got promoted to series regular, and then, after a while, brought into the McDonald family as another product of Steve's super sperm.  She also started work behind the bar, a position that carries a great historic weight; barmaid at the Rovers Return is a job that has a certain level of cultural cachĂ©, like being a Bond Girl or a Doctor Who companion.  Now she's finally taken the significant step of moving into the pub itself as a tenant, presumably into the Raquel Wolstenhulme Memorial Bedroom, and I'm thrilled at the idea of Emma participating in those pre-shift cuppas in the back room with Jenny.  Even better, if the producers want to do a 21st century version of this iconic scene with Emma and Jenny, I would be very much on board with that.

I'm also keen on this new arrangement because it seems to have put Daisy's nose out of joint.  Every now and then, the Corrie producers get it into their head that they need to introduce a "minx" character, a sexy, sarcastic woman who wanders round the Street seducing the men and stealing their wallets.  They usually end up going one of two ways.  Either they're toned down after a couple of months - it's hard to remember now, after her years as a professional victim, but Bethany returned to the show as a high school runaway in a tiny skirt who tried to get Gary to buy her a drink in the pub - or they are written out of the show altogether because they're awful in general.  It's still too early to tell with Daisy, but the signs aren't good; she has a brittle quality to her that means what could be quite funny lines instead come off as plain unpleasant.  Perhaps she'll calm down.  Perhaps we'll get a revelation of some deep dark secret that will humanise her.  Or perhaps her contract will expire and she'll wander off and never be seen again.

Emma moving into the Rovers does mean that the happy band at the hairdresser flat have been broken up.  I say "happy band" - back in the Spring Emma gave Seb a month to move out because he was trying to run two women at the same time, but lockdown seems to have brought them together as friends.  I'm not sure why they couldn't rent a flat or a house together but as with all living arrangements in Corrie, it's best not to query it too much, because that way madness lies.  Instead Seb is now in number 13, and Alina Pop! is sleeping on Tyrone's sofa, a truly weird arrangement given that I'm not sure Alina and Tyrone had ever spoken to one another prior to last week.  Fiz was naturally annoyed that they were getting a new roommate, saying there was no room.  This is absolutely true, but this time last year Jade was somehow living in the house too so there is precedent.  Did they ever finish that loft conversion?  Tyrone started it, but then there was a whole business with some cheap plasterboard and he fell through the ceiling, and I'm not sure he ever finished.  Whatever happens, at least it means we're not going to lose Alina Pop! and her scintillating personality and joie de vivre.  "Hurrah". 

Stick some product on it.  Ken Barlow is, for a man in his eighties, in remarkably good shape, and still models a fine head of lustrous thick hair.  However, in the last few episodes that magnificent mane has looked a little bit raggedy and rough.  At first I thought this was a character choice, with Peter's decision to drink himself to death driving Ken to despair and away from the Pantene, but I realised there's a far more simple explanation.  With the pandemic putting all sorts of limits on contact and social distancing, hairdressing is one of those jobs that the actors have been forced to take on themselves, and I twigged that Bill Roache hasn't done his own hair for sixty years.  Every week he's turned up at Granada or MediaCity and somebody else has teased and combed and washed it for him.  He probably can't remember how a hairbrush works any more.  In those circumstances we should be glad his hair looks as good as it does, and also glad that he's not entirely reliant on a wardrobe mistress to dress him as well.

That was a remarkably chipper Five Things, because it was actually a great week of the show, if you ignore all the stuff with Peter and Carla and Ray and Faye and Maria and Tim and Adam and Peter again.  Hmm.  Maybe it wasn't such a good week after all.  Let me know what you thought on Twitter @merseytart.

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Coronation Street weekly update – January 16, 2021

Corrie weekly updates from 1995
All the wit and warmth of Weatherfield
None of the waffle - and all for just 99p

Sally and Tim pack their belongings for their move out of their home. (Except, you know, we all know they won’t be going anywhere when push comes to shove). But bear with me, nonetheless. When they’re packing up Sally’s aghast to find the Streetcars chair of doom in her living room. Tim tells her he won it off Steve in a bet but it’s too much for Sally to cope with and she shoves it in her conservatory out of sight. As they’re packing, Tim realises there’s something wrong with Faye but she won’t tell him what. She’s not feeling well, she’s being sick in the morning and she confides in Maria that she might be pregnant by Ray. When Faye is out of Maria’s flat, Tim storms in and demands that Maria tells him the truth. It doesn’t take him long to find out what’s going on after he spots a pregnancy kit, and then speaks to Faye. She reveals everything to her dad, about Ray, about hitting Adam, about Gary covering for her and him being sent to jail instead of her. Tim hits the roof when he finds out about Ray and barges to the Bistro intent on having it out with Weatherfield’s best-dressed villain. On the plus side, Faye’s pregnancy test is negative. 

And so, to Gary in prison where he’s on the Weatherfield Wing with Johnny who’s putting the con into Connor. Yes, our two Corrie scoundrels meet up in the jailhouse and Johnny’s not well. His MS has flared up and when Jenny visits, she worries for his health. 

Over at the Rovers, Jenny copes on her own, until the annoying Daisy moves in. But then, to balance Daisy’s sourness, lovely Emma moves in too. I’m still no fan of Daisy, although I’m willing to change my mind, I’m still waiting to like her. She’s all teeth, smiles and overacting, and it’s like nails down a blackboard for me each time she’s on screen. And when she goes off, a calmness returns to my head.

In the Kate Oates memorial ward at Weatherfield General (yet more hospital scenes? Come on, Corrie, you can do better than this!) Peter’s told his liver stands a chance if he never drinks again. And so he, you’ve guessed it, drinks again, aggressively and copiously, collapsing in a heap in the ginnel. The Barlows are at their wits end wondering what they’re going to do with the drunken (ex) sailor. 

Elsewhere this week, in some lovely scenes, Dev celebrated Aadi and Asha’s 16th birthday by presenting a new sign at the corner shop. It’s no longer D&S Alahan’s (Dev and Sunita’s); it’s now D&A&A Alahan’s (Dev and Aadi and Asha). Neither of the twins appreciate what Dev has done but I thought it was wonderful. Aadi had been hoping for a moped instead. Asha received a lacy black choker as a gift from Nina in Roy’s Rolls, a present she liked very much. However, Asha’s boyfriend Corey didn’t like the choker and made Asha take it off. Yasmeen witnesses Corey bullying Asha and steps in to offer advice. Asha finally sees sense, dumps Corey and Dev and Aadi support her and tell her she’s done the right thing. In a wonderful scene, Asha heads into the kitchen and while her back is turned, Dev and Aadi celebrate her dumping Corey by dancing in the living room. Nice.  I also enjoyed, very much, Dev putting Aadi on course to take over his business empire by making him part of the management team and telling him to conduct personal development reviews in the kebab shop with Bernie and Cathy. A really lovely, funny scene. 

And finally this week, in a last-ditch effort to stop evil Ray from demolishing the street and building a high-rise temple to his ego, Roy begins proceedings for a judicial review. I have no idea what this is, but it sounds impressive and it certainly rattles Ray enough for him to go and threaten Roy. The review will bring the council’s decision to allow Ray’s development under scrutiny, but there’s a problem for Roy. It’s a very expensive thing to do and if he loses, he loses his cafĂ© and his home on the street. (See first paragraph above re Sally and Tim not moving anywhere but for now, we have to pretend they all are).

And that’s just about that for this week.

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This week’s writers were John Kerr (Monday); Nessah Murthy (a new writer) and Ian Kershaw (Wednesday); David Isaac (Friday). Find out all about the Coronation Street writing team at Coronation Street Blog: Exclusive: All Current Corrie writers online

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Conversation Street Podcast Episode 453

In our latest podcast, we have a good old natter about the episodes of Corrie shown in the UK between the 11th and the 15th January (Episodes #10219 - 10223).

This week sees Peter's decline continue as he makes a big decision regarding his own future - can anyone get through to him and convince him to keep on fighting? Meanwhile, Yasmeen recognises Geoff in Corey's treatment of Asha, Johnny struggles to to get used to life behind bars, and has Ray got Faye in the family way?

With Harry Visinoni's toilet snake not quite enough to carry a news segment on its own, we give the Kabin a miss this week, and we finish off the podcast with more listener feedback.

Street Talk - 00:09:03
Feedback - 02:18:54

For this week's bonus podcast, we chat with ITV's Joe Parkinson, who's not only been working for the past few years as a story editor at Corrie, but he's also responsible for the fabulous script in the Coronation Street: Words & Design app.  We speak to Joe about what it was like giving a voice to the legendary Bet Lynch after nearly 20 years off our screens, and unpick the storytelling process behind the scenes at Corrie. 

You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, stream all our old episodes on our own site here, or click the play buttons above to give it a listen from the comfort of this very blog!

All original work on Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License


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