Saturday, 17 November 2018

Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Week

Drop the mic.  Not all episodes of Corrie are created equal.  There were six shows this week, but Monday's pair (written by Damon Alexis-Rochefort) were on a different level to Wednesday and Friday.  The North West Regional Stylists Awards were a smorgasbord of bitchery, campery, and just plain old hilarity, with our Audrey confirming her status as the Street's greatest lush by getting hammered and chucking a bouquet at Rula Lenska.  She was wild and uncaring and glorious; that lifetime achievement trophy was well deserved.  It was notable that next morning Rita and Maria were complaining of hangovers while Audrey floated around untroubled; that's the advantage of being a professional alcoholic.  Her viral video hit (over a 1000 likes, despite David filming it in portrait) meant that the Hairdresser Wars finally came to an end, though hopefully Claudia will continue with her plans for a salon on Victoria Street so the rivalry can continue.  If this doesn't end with Sue Nicholls and the north west's answer to Barbara Stanwyck falling into a fountain and tearing at one another's soggy bouffants I will be very disappointed.

Even the queen needs ladies-in-waiting.  Speaking of our Reet, can someone give her a hand in the Kabin?  Since Norris went off on his visit to Emily's she's been all on her own in the newsagent without any assistance (yes, I know Jude worked there for a while, but I can't imagine he was any use whatsoever).  The woman is in her eighties yet she's apparently manning the shop from six till six single handed.  Maybe Maria can work off her debt in there; the salon certainly seems to be functioning well enough on Audrey, David and the wonderful Emma (who we learned this week is named after Baby Spice, a revelation that had me aging a thousand years in a single second and crumbling into a pile of dust).  I worry that the fragrant Mrs Fairclough (yes, Fairclough, you heard) will be hurried off her mortal coil unless someone steps up to assist with the unpacking of the Chit Chats.

You can't diet the cancer away.  A lot of things make me angry on Corrie: the ludicrous tram stop (which this week acquired a kiosk in addition to its two ticket windows), the always bizarre finances at Underworld, Michelle Connor in general.  But few things have induced such white hot fury in me as Steff and her homeopathic cure for Sinead's cancer.  She simpered away about "alkaline diets" and the "evils of sugar" and I found myself struck with temporary blindness due to my brain overloading with rage.  I can't decide who's worse - her for coming out with this nonsense, or Sinead for believing it.  I hope Steff falls under a bus and Sinead goes back to taking proper medicine-based care of herself and her child instead of doing the health equivalent of hoping the fairies magic it away.  Also, that's not how you spell Steph.

Teenage rebellion takes many forms.  The problem with kids on a soap opera is they're kind of dull.  They eat their tea, they do their homework, they look worried when their parents argue - until they can get jobs and boyfriends they're hard to write storylines for.  That's why so many of them turn out to be absolute devil children when they hit thirteen - Tracy and David going completely off the rails was far more interesting than Rosie and Sophie working their way through all the Bird's Eye frozen food they could get their hands on.  Simon is the latest little angel to fall to earth, with his latest wheeze after a couple of years of being an absolute nightmare being joining the Navy.  Personally, if I was offered the chance to offload the obnoxious brat, I'd march him down the recruiting office myself, but this is why I'm not a parent.  Far more fun was Amy, very much the Saffy to Tracy's Edina, telling her mum that wine wasn't one of her five-a-day and formulating a binding contract to ensure her parents treated her right.  She's an absolute delight and infinitely better to watch than Simon's dull-faced hooliganism.  As Steve said the other week, she'll grow up to be a lawyer or a politician or a supervillain, and I for one welcome our new overlord.

Everything is for sale.  A few years ago, little chocolate people appeared before and after the show, and we accepted it, just as we accepted their replacements, the weird sub-dom furniture throuple and the CGI meerkats.  Then we got told that product placement was allowed, and a cash machine appeared in Dev's, followed by some contactless card machines and a well-known flower delivery company.  And we accepted that.  Then an extension to the set opened, which featured two well known High Street names front and centre, and we accepted that too.  This week, though, the sad, plaintive brass notes of Eric Spear's theme tune were replaced by the tinkle of a piano, and we realised how far it had gone.  The theme tune - the gateway to the show, the welcome mat, virtually unchanged for nearly sixty years - can now be auctioned off if a well-known department store wants to plug its wares.  It's clear that nothing on the show is sacred.  ITV will sell any bit of it to anyone with a few bob.  Every single car in the show will be a Toyota.  The Rovers will become a Weatherspoons.  Helen Worth will be replaced as Gail by Ronald McDonald.  No part of the show is untouchable now, and all you need if you want to change the nation's favourite soap opera is a fat chequebook.

This week, Carla called Mr Tilsley "Nicky", which the author hopes is the start of everyone going back to the name he had for the first few years of his life.  Next stop: calling Sarah "Sarah-Louise" again.  Join my campaign on Twitter @merseytart.

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Conversation Street Podcast Episode 336

On our latest podcast, we dissect the episodes of Coronation Street shown in the UK between the 12th and the 16th November.

If you hadn't realised before that Sally Carman is a major asset to Corrie as Abi, surely this week has been enough to convince you, as the desperate mother fell off the wagon after deciding the twins were better off without her. Ending her week behind bars, though, we can only hope she'll get to share some scenes with the former mayor of Weatherfield in the coming months! Also this week, Audrey and Claudia lock horns at the Stylist Awards, Simon turns seaman and - call the Nobel Prize people! - Sinead finds the cure for cancer.

After Street Talk, we're joined by Sandra Huggett for an interview about her time on Corrie playing DS MacKinnon. We find out what it was like for her to join Corrie as a guest cast member, and learn all about the back story she's created for MacKinnon, which we think goes a long way to making her become one of the show's most memorable recurring coppers.

In The Kabin, we find out why Helen Flanagan's come under fire from the mums of Instagram this week, then after a bit of listener feedback, we finish off the show with a bit of exciting spoilery news about a rumoured returning character.

You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, or stream all our episodes on our own blog right here.

Street Talk - 00:17:13
Sandra Huggett interview - 01:51:43
The Kabin - 02:18:22
Feedback - 02:34:30
Kabin Extra - 02:55:36

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Coronation Street Episode Review 16 November 8.30pm

We’re back and Nick and Leanne are leaving the flat in such a loved up post-coital daze that they totally fail to notice Elsa watching them from across the street. Nick finally remembers he’s got a job and saunters over to the factory. He’s probably planning to spend the rest of the day looking smug whilst paying Candy Crush when Elsa storms in. She’s seen his ‘little tart’, knows he lied to her and is going to make him suffer. Oh dear Nicky, I think your quickie fuss-free divorce may be out of the question now.

Over at the court, Abi is sent down for 16 weeks, which seems rather harsh for trashing a few chrysanthemums. As the judge reads out the sentence Tracy has a brief ‘You can’t handle the truth’ moment when she stands up to defend her ex-friend. But unfortunately rather than a total confession all she manages is a pathetic ‘Abi doesn’t deserve this’, which is about as helpful throwing a drowning woman both ends of the rope.  

Gina and Duncan’s date continues with Gina claiming she’s a rich widow, whose late husband was called either Fred or Frank, (she really needs to practice this), and Duncan giving her more flannel than a towel factory. He eventually tells her that he knows she’s Sally’s sister and that Sally not only broke his heart and conned him but that she thinks Gina is stupid and a liability. Gina storms out saying she doesn’t believe him but we all know that she’s insecure enough for some of those barbs to have hit their target.

Over at the Bistro Robert tells Michelle that he thinks they should have a baby together. Clearly Robert has not been paying attention to his wife’s parenting skills, so just to recap for Mr Preston: The son Michelle raised turned out to be an unemployed, feckless, drug user. The son she didn’t raise managed to become a respected public service professional with an unblemished medical career, until he spent a couple of months with his mother. He’s now a murderer. I think we may have solved the nature/nurture question. If she’s responsible for the upbringing of another child it’d most likely make Damian from the Omen look like Ron Weasley. Luckily for Robert the Queen of the Universe didn’t seem too keen on the baby idea so he may have dodged a bullet.

 Finally after being backed into a corner Nick decides it’s time to tells Leanne that he’s married. Leanne is shocked but it looks like he may be able to win her round with his declarations of eternal love, until he messes it all up by letting slip that he only separated from his wife a week ago. Leanne furiously storms off. So all in all a pretty bad end to the day that started so well for our Nick…and he hasn’t even told Gail yet!

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed it.


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Coronation Street Episode Review 16 November 7.30pm

Evening Corrie fans, it’s Kelly here with the first of your Friday night Corrie reviews.

If tonight’s episodes were a Cosmopolitan magazine it would be ‘the parenting issue’. First up we have Seb and Abi who are still rowing over the court case and Abi’s decision to put the twins up for adoption. Seb is so determined to keep the twins that he’s considering adopting them himself, even if it means turning his back on his mum. Whilst Abi is arguing that they deserve a better life than the one she can give them. To be fair she may have a point. You’d be hard pressed to find a lawyer or a finance manager amongst the kids who grew up on Coronation Street. The best you can really hope for is becoming a landlady of a backstreet boozer, but that’s only if you’re prepared to marry someone 20 years older than you and overlook his philandering with the barmaid.

Meanwhile Sinead, in a misguided attempt to protect her unborn child, is rejecting her chemotherapy in favour of a plant-based alkaline diet as suggested by her new BFF Stef. To throw Daniel off the mung-bean scent she even has Stef call him up pretending to be Flora’s nursing home. Which is pretty sneaky for a woman who you just know has never chucked a sickie in her entire life. Why Sinead is so keen to take the advice of some hippy she’s just met over that of medical professionals, (you know the ones that actually do this for a living), who have already told her that the chemo won’t harm her baby is beyond me. But then I demanded total sensory deprivation plus back up drugs the last time I had a filling, so maybe I’m not the best person to ask.

Over at number one Nick has called round to try to talk Simon out of joining the navy. Despite his lack of parenting experience Nick does actually manage to talk some sense into Si, who grudgingly agrees to finish his A-Level’s before leaving for a life on the ocean wave. Nick has cleverly used a tactic which neither of Simon’s actual parents seem to have considered which involves just speaking to him in a calm, measured tone rather than constantly picking a fight, getting drunk, burning his home down or copping off with the babysitter. Amazing.

Feeling rather pleased with himself Nick goes round to Leanne with the news. It pleases her so much that she deems it deserving of a bottle of wine and an afternoon bunk up. I did think that both of them had jobs but clearly the economy in Weatherfield is so stable that they can both skive off with no one batting an eyelid. In their passion they both ignore the sound of the door-buzzer being repeatedly pressed by Elsa (fair play that would have put me right off my game). The soon-to-be-ex Mrs Tilsley had overheard Leanne boasting about Nick whilst buying a bottle of wine from Dev’s. If only they’d stayed sober for their afternoon delight!

In other news Gina has an internet date with Ian, (mid 40’s, grainy photo) who turns out to be none other than dodgy Duncan. Of all the bars in all the world…  

Meet you back here at 8.30pm!

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Friday, 16 November 2018

Corrie's Top 10 Storylines of 2010s - No. 1

Guest blog post from Jade Rainbow who is on Twitter: @MissJE1994
Fancy writing a guest blog post for us? All details here! 

1. Aidan Connor's Suicide (2018)

There could only be one winner here really, and I'm pretty sure this storyline would be at the top if I ever managed to make a list of the best storylines ever. As I mentioned before, I don't cry at things on TV that aren't real, but little Jack made me cry, as in tears were rolling down my cheeks, but this storyline, just a couple of months earlier, made me straight up bawl my eyes out. I genuinely don't know how anyone could have sat through Gail's speech without sobbing. Aidan's silent struggle in the months leading up to his death was so subtle that a lot of people missed it completely, making the whole thing devastatingly realistic. 

I wrote a whole post about this too so again I won't go over and over it again, but I think what made this storyline so flawless was, obviously the performances from everyone involved, particularly Shayne Ward, Richard Hawley and Catherine Tyldesley, but also the sensitive way in which it was handled and not glorified in any way. The aftermath episode showed the community's different reactions to the news, and beautifully intertwined it with David's silent torment over his recent rape, and not once did we see Aidan's body or any of the circumstances of his death. It raised a huge amount of awareness, made a huge amount of difference, and was, in my opinion, the single most amazing episode of Coronation Street ever. 

That's all folks! Hope you enjoyed! What are your top ten storylines then?

Guest blog post from Jade Rainbow who is on Twitter: @MissJE1994
Fancy writing a guest blog post for us? All details here! 

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