Saturday, 19 October 2019

Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Week

Gemma is Reg Holdsworth.  A year or so ago, I'd have listed Gemma in the top tier of Corrie characters.  She'd been promoted to series regular through the sheer power and charm of Dolly-Rose Campbell's performance and she'd rewarded that trust by being a high point in every appearance.  She was funny, she was compassionate, she was smart - remember Gemma was the one who spotted Rita's decline when she had a brain tumour - we wanted more of her.  She was Mary, or Julie, or Emma.  Well, be careful what you wish for, because Gemma is sadly ruined and beyond rescue.  The producers have knocked her character back to the noisy, stupid scrote she was in her first appearances, removed her spark and wit and brains, and made her clatter round the show trapped in unfunny comedy plots and yelling.  This week it hit me: she's a 21st Century Reg Holdsworth.  Reg started out as an amusing side character, before being promoted to his own plotlines, where he gurned and smirked, ruining everything with his presence.  Watch Classic Corrie on ITV3 and his storylines exist outside the reality of the show; they're a whole weird parallel universe of over the top, unfunny comedy.  Gemma has become that, not acting like a real human being, but instead like a cartoon character who's somehow sprung to life.  Giving her quads - QUADS - was a horrible, horrible mistake, making it a comedy pregnancy made it worse (every time they mention the baby who's not developing it's incredibly jarring) and everything that's happened to her since then has just compounded it.  This week she got stuck in a football turnstile and honestly it was about as amusing and sophisticated as an episode of Love Thy Neighbour.  I feel sorry for Dolly-Rose, whose real promise has been derailed by stupidity (QUADS!), and I sort of hope that she leaves the show once the babies are born, for her own sake.  It'd certainly be a relief for me.

The restaurants have severe staffing issues.  Ryan had to draft Alya in to help out in the Bistro this week as everyone else found something better to do.  Michelle and Robert were on holiday, Kate's gone to the Far East, Daniel was with his sick wife, Faye was babysitting, and Bethany was jogging with James.  Who organised that rota?  The only people left working in the restaurant were those non-speaking extras in black; Ryan had to get his girlfriend in so he'd have someone to talk to.  It might seem unlikely that Alya would help out at Speed Daal's main rival, but the alternative was spending the day with Geoff, and frankly I'd help build Donald Trump's wall with my bare hands if it meant I wouldn't have to spend any time with that vile humanoid.

I've reached the stage where I shout so many obscenities at the screen when he appears I've had to put the subtitles on so I can get the dialogue through the fog of F-words.  He's absolutely vile, and I find it so depressing that a clever woman like Yasmeen can fall for his manipulation.  He's now conned her into buying him half of the restaurant; he doesn't seem to be actually putting any money into it, but he's still getting a share, which seems totally fair.  This does mean that Zeedan's last shred of involvement with Speed Daal is gone.  Remember how hard he worked with that food truck, putting his heart and soul into the concept, so that he could open the restaurant of his dreams... and about four minutes after it opened he ran off to London?  I'd have loved to have seen the face on the producer when he refused to renew his contract just after they'd built a big expensive set based around his character.  Geoff's big idea for Speed Daal is to start serving booze; given that one of the central tenents of the entire restaurant is that it's dry, this seems like a bit of a swerve.  Mind you, that's Geoff all over - take something that's working perfectly fine and ruin it for no reason.  His next suggestion will be getting all that complicated Indian food off the menu and replacing it with burgers and chips, and the place will go under, and he'll find a reason to blame Yasmeen, and I will get even more furious on my sofa.

Some wishes don't need to be granted.  Sinead decided she wanted to have a picnic and even though it was a barmy idea, her family did it.  (That's her family who are regulars on the show - Sinead's mum and gran remain conspicuous by their absence).  Now come on, love; it's October.  It's chilly and wet and you want everyone to huddle around in their overcoats eating sandwiches while the tram parps past?  Not to mention there's a baby in the mix there and Sinead is far more susceptible to sickness in her fragile state so chills probably aren't advisable.  If I were Daniel and she asked for a picnic I'd take her to Sefton Park Palm House, or a garden centre, or the plant section at Homebase.  Anywhere you can lay out a picnic blanket under trees but still be protected from the cold.  Still, it's a better suggestion than naked Twister, which Beth, Kirk and Craig started to act on until she admitted it was a joke.  Daniel objected to the idea of Kirk's dangly bits in his face, but nobody pointed out that Craig getting his mum's unclothed intimates thrust at him was far, far worse.  That's years of counselling with Toyah, right there.

The newest idea to keep Sinead perky is to give her Christmas two months early.  They decided to spring the celebration on her, because the last time they did that it went so well, what with her bursting into tears, announcing she was dying and ruining everyone's day.  Still, Tracy showed a bit of compassion and agreed to cook the dinner.  It's a Christmas miracle!

Granny doesn't know best.  Max's nan Marion has regenerated, and judging by that haircut, she's now in her Tom Baker phase.  Marion had arrived in the show to express her deep concern about Max and the way he's been brought up, a concern that had only manifested itself in the last couple of weeks, because this character hasn't been in the show since 2016.  I'm glad she has turned up because Max's legal status has been a constant niggle of mine.  Both his birth parents are dead, David never got round to adopting him, and right now he's being cared for by a woman who is engaged to his step-dad.  He hasn't even got the same surname as the rest of his family.  Now someone who actually shares his DNA has showed up and the Platts are thrown into a panic.  Of course, he has half-sister Lily and half-brother Harry living with him (Harry is simultaneously Lily's cousin, because the family tree of the residents of number 8 is less a proud oak and more of a vine).  I strongly suspect the writers had forgotten about that particular genetic link because Marion went on long speeches about how much she loved her grandson Max and how concerned she was about his care and then at the end she'd go "oh yeah, there's also Harry," as though Tina O'Brien had quietly pointed it out to the director and they'd had to add something on the spot.  It'd be nice for someone to care about Harry for once.

Bethany's going for the Booker.  Having conquered the world of journalism with her one (ONE) article, Bethany has decided to become a writer full-time, and has moved into short fiction.  James got to read her totally made up and definitely not real story of Beverley Pratt and her unrequited love for Dashiell Barnow and his dying wife Sinead (oh damn, one slipped through there, best get the Tipp-Ex out).  James rightly pointed out that "write what you know" doesn't mean "copy out your diary and change the names".  He's proving to be a surprisingly thoughtful footballer, even if he doesn't seem to be talented enough to play in the first team.  I'm not sure what the problem is given that the entire squad of Wethy County seems to be Tommy Orpington and literally nobody else.  You'd think he'd welcome a bit of help.  Anyway, Bethany is going to enter the story anyway, on the basis that nobody on the Street will ever see it.  I'm sure that is definitely right and won't come back to haunt her at any point.

Did you hear the prison was really tense and overcrowded?  It was only mentioned about four hundred times so you might have missed it.  I really can't guess what's going to happen next; if you have any ideas, please send them to me on Twitter @merseytart.

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Conversation Street Podcast Episode 386

On our latest podcast, we cover the episodes of Coronation Street shown in the UK between the 16th and the 18th October.

This week, there's trouble a-brewin' at the Big House when David finds out Josh has been locked up for committing another rape, and with talk of a riot to come, it looks like there could be some exciting scenes on the horizon! Meanwhile, Geoff wants to invest in the Bistro, Marion Logan returns with a new head, and Sinead's friends and family plan to make Christmas come early to Weatherfield - and speaking of premature arrivals, we also nearly get an early appearance of Gemma's quads too when she thinks she's gone into labour!

After Street Talk, we answer some listener questions: first, we discuss which Corrie characters we think are currently being underserved in terms of writing, then after that, we look back on some of the show's most ridiculous storylines over the years. In The Kabin segment, there's congratulations in order for ex-Corrie star Hayley Tamaddon, and we round off the show with more of your listener feedback.

Street Talk - 00:09:36
Listener Questions - 01:23:18
The Kabin - 02:00:24
Feedback - 02:10:51

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

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Friday, 18 October 2019

Preview of tonight's hour-long Coronation Street - Fri 18 Oct


DAVID’S PAST COMES BACK TO HAUNT HIM Shona tries to contact Max but he ignores her calls. David voices his concerns over the tense atmosphere in the prison and is worried when Shona tells him about Max staying at Marion’s house and how Marion plans to apply for custody of her grandson. His day goes from bad to worse when he goes to the medical wing to get his medication and is horrified to spot a bloodied and bruised Josh waiting to get treatment.  David makes brief eye contact with Josh before heading  back to his cell, clearly shaken. Abe reveals that Josh is inside for drugging and raping someone, David admits that Josh did exactly the same to him. Back on the street Sarah’s horrified to discover Marion has been seeking legal advice from Adam.
GEMMA CAN’T ESCAPE THE PACK Gemma is infuriated to find that a photo of her stuck in the turnstile has made the front page of the Gazette and that she is being harassed by journalists. She meets with a PR Agent  in the Rovers who insist she could set up interviews and make Gemma a small fortune. Gemma is interested but suddenly starts to get stomach pains. At the hospital Gemma is told she needs gets lots of rest. Bernie insists they don’t need Rosa and offers to look after Gemma’s PR, to her delight.  Chesney is less keen on the idea.
BETHANY FINDS INSPIRATION Bethany struggles with her short story for the writing course.  Brian suggests she should pick a subject close to her heart. Bethany shows her short story to James.  James promises to keep it a secret once he realises that the story is about her own experiences and her  love for Daniel.
ELSEWHERE Much to Alya’s annoyance, a thrilled Geoff explains that Zeedan has agreed to sell his half of the business. Sinead admits to Beth that just the simplest of tasks has become an uphill struggle as she’s no energy. Yasmeen assures Alya that she wants Geoff to be part of the business. To anger her even more, Geoff suggests on scrapping her no alcohol policy.  Aware Sinead won’t live to see Christmas, Kirk consults Beth, Craig, Adam and Tracy and they plan to celebrate Christmas early.


Glenda Young
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
Facebook: GlendaYoungAuthor

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Spot the Corrie prop - October 18th 2019

No congratulations this week as nobody managed to guess that last week's doggy display can be found in Vicky's house. Well done to me for catching you all out!

For this week's prop puzzle all you have to do is tell us whereabouts on Coronation Street you would find this big, busy bee.

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