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Saturday 21 January 2012

Falling back in love with Coronation Street

Last night I fell back in love with Coronation Street.

It's not that I've fallen out of love with it totally, we've still had a bit of a thing going on but since last summer's silly season of Stape where Corrie was foisted on us every night for a week to wrap around another ITV media product, I switched off my favourite soap for the first time in my life.  And I'll never forgive Phil Collinson for that. 

Once the summer silliness calmed down I switched back on and got back into Corrie only to be truly disappointed by my favourite soap using rape to boost ratings. And I'll never forgive Phil Collinson for that.

And so it's been like that, Corrie and I over the last few months. The programme's been on, I've been watching and blogging. But I've also been watching and despairing, wondering where the humour's gone, the warmth, and most important to this fan - hating what Phil Collinson has done to kill the emotional strength of the women.

But last night something changed. I can't remember loving two episodes of Coronation Street as much as I enjoyed last night's double bill on Friday 20th January. I'm naming that date on my calendar my Corrie watershed. The programmes blew me away with the drama and humour, both written by Corrie writer Chris Fewtrell.

It's mainly to do with knowing that Tracy Barlow will get that twisted smile knocked off her psycho-face for an episode at least, on Monday next week when Becky ruins her big fat McBarlow wedding to Steve by turning up with that piece of paper she printed off in Doctor Carter's surgery, showing Tracy to be telling lies about losing the twins. The tension - and humour - last night when Becky was frantically logging in and printing off Tracy's medical records while Kylie feined a faint on the waiting room floor was just magic. 

And behind all the shenanigans with Gail joining in to help bring Tracy down, was a desperate Eileen laying herself out as a doormat to get closer to Paul, by trying to be a carer for Paul's wife Lesley, who's struck down with early-onset dementia.  Paul's wife should be getting professional care and I love this storyline for showing how important professional adult social care is in situations like this and how not just anyone can, or should, do it.

I'm also loving Kylie and Becky working together as a team and it's such a shame that just as they're working well and getting on, joining forces to become a formidable sisterhood that Becky will be leaving next week. But her spirit and style will live in on Kylie for sure.

Also last night we had some wonderful, powerful scenes between Anna and Owen where she laid down the law over him hitting little Faye. And just as powerful, for this fan, was Owen sitting down in the cafe with his daughters Izzy (a wonderful character played by a fantastic actress) and Katy and being told some home truths about his parenting skills.

There's a lot to look forward to in the coming months on the Street. We've got more of the wonderful Sylvia with the fab Roy and Hayley and of course Sylvia's man Milton arriving from America. We've got charmer Lewis returning and I can't wait to see Audrey's face when he does. There'll be the fall-out from Tracy's lies being exposed although it doesn't seem to matter what that twisted-bitch does, there's a murmur of discontent from Deirdre, a tut-tut from Ken and a couple of episodes move on and everyone's forgotten all about her latest bit of nastiness, even manslaughter.

So there you have it. I'm falling back in love with Coronation Street. 

And if any of this rings a bell with you too, you might want to think on and if you haven't voted yet, place your vote for Corrie in the National TV Awards. Voting closes on Wednesday this week, 25th January and the show will be live on Wednesday night.  Corrie deserves your vote, for last night's episodes alone. 

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Frosty the Snowman said...

Anna and Owen were great last night and Faye is a good little actress and could give a few lessons to her shouty cousin. Didnt Izzy hate Owen when she first came into it and try to escape him? The medical records fiasco was nonsense and what is she going to do with it anyway. Gail's character seems to come across as a simple minded stooge.

Llifon said...

Great episode - the Becky revenge, Becky/Kylie partnership and the Anna/Owen/Faye storyline is great as well. Thumbs up!

Humpty Dumpty said...

Yes, I agree it was great last night and it's not a co-incidence that one of the story lines leads up to an exit. It's as though if characters aren't leaving the soap, it has to be one drama after another. Becky and Kylie could have made a formidable team a long time ago, palling up against some injustice. The Faye story line was good and she's a super actress for such a young kid. I hope that doesn't signal an exit for one of those characters. Of course, the whole medical centre palava was utter nonsense but it had the feel of the cavalry charging up just at the right moment - so who cares if it couldn't possibly happen. I'm not looking forward to Milton and Lewis. They'll be silly story lines lasting only a few weeks.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed it too. Kylie is shaping up to be a great character, she has vulnerability and attitude in equal measure which always shapes up to make a great addition to Corrie.

Faye was amazing and after a shaky start it seems as though she's grown into the part.

The trouble with Owen is that he's been the victim of that awful recent trend of characters changing personality to suit a situation rather than them growing as a three dimensional character. "We need Owen to be in a relationship with Anna because he needs to be paired off and so does she. Let's just change him into being caring and sensitive and hope no one notices". He did snap at Faye but it was for a reason the audience could empathise with whereas before he was just nasty for the sake of it. Izzy hated him when she first arrived and that has been forgotten. It was the same with Molly who changed character entirely so they could put her with Kevin.

I'll never forgive Collinson for many things and the sidelining of Gail has to be one of them. Stella is pushed into the forefront time and time again as was Becky and Gail is just left to fester.

That's what was good about last night, Gail was actually doing something.

Danny-K said...

This latest blog by Flaming Nora, has almost word, for word, highlighted what I was about to post today - as her recent experiences of Corrie mirror mine exactly, from skipping episodes due to dissent, to slowly dipping back in (probably not the only one either). I couldn't agree more.

In fact I re-played parts of both episodes last night for the sheer delight of watching Kylie's moments. Can't remember ever doing that for a soap before.

The first was to rewatch the moment where Gayle finally succumbs to Kylie and Becky's 'Mission Impossible' request for help, and the relief, exuberance, the sheer Joie de vivre, let loose by Kylie as she squealed with youthful delight perfectly encapsulated the viewers empathy.

The other moment was in the second episode with Kylie on the floor in Doc's surgery. What a fine performance - an actress playing a character, where the character is trying to 'act' her way from illness to recovery, as if it was natural, but appearing anything but. You just knew Kylie was going to jump up 'Lourdes-like' as Deidre so aptly commented on. You were almost holding your breath, saying to yourself: not so fast Kylie, steady on, you're going to blow it.

A genuine comedic moment - of the highest order. Just had to press the rewind button later and watch it all again as I was still laughing and missed part of Becky and Kylie's exchange once outside the surgery.

In fact, I'd say as far as 2012 is concerned that scene in the surgery with Kylie on the floor, recovery and pretend-staggering out, so far stands as the comedic scene of the year. I'm taking no prisoners on this - the best so far this year!!!

The sheer charm invested in the Kylie character means she will be able to get away with a lot, where disbelief would befall other characters without the same 'charm'.

Yes, all-in-all, two not-to-be-missed episodes, no rapes, no murders, no tram crashes - they were far, far, better than that!

Can't wait for the wedding where it all comes to a head.

Sunny Jim said...

Couldn't agree more Nora. It was simply beltin'. Becky was wasted for so long but just as she's about to leave, she's back on form (no surprise there). There's not only her new relationship with her sister but there's a real spark between her and Sylvia too, which I would have liked to have been explored more.

abbyk said...

Three words: Character.Driven.Stories

Last night was probably the toughest in my life as an American Corrie fan - fantastic stories and no one to share them with.

Plot twists: Leslie's episode, the (dramatically licensed) break in. That's it. One within the very sad bounds of reality, the other just slightly beyond. If they had hacked the medical center records from outside, however, there'd have been no Kylie humor brightening the day.

Paul, Eileen, Owen, Anna: they had their troubles, talked them out, came to realizations, made decisions, their stories will change. Yummy!

Gail: revenge is a dish best served cold. Yes! LUV you with your kids. Get a better job, now, please. Writers, she's not a pensioner. This capable lady should be doing more.

Becky: wonderful, a spark. Why was she wasted as a drunk for so long? I sooooo hope she comes for visits (between plays & movies), or the younger Platts get a Barbados spinoff.

Tvor said...

So so right on all points! Yes it was silly and unrealistic, Kylie squirming and screaming on the floor but it worked, so... Yay! I love the new bond between Becky and Kylie and Kylie has long been one of my favourite characters. She's got comedy, she's got vulnerability, she's got a temper but she's not explosive like Becky always was. Paula Lane is amazing.

I really enjoyed the storyline with Anna and Owen too, he really did get a reality check. Excellent peformances all around. Yes, they've softened him but I think as a single father with a disabled child, and probably resenting his ex wife for leaving, he had a lot of lonely anger built up over a long time, adding to that being over protective of Izzy once she'd grown up. That was why Izzy "hated" her father, she needed her independence and he couldn't let go so easily. THey've softened him but I don't see that as a personality change. And finding someone to love has taken away that loneliness too but hasn't taken away his temper.

Glenda Young said...

Makes you wonder why Corrie can't be this good each and every episode. It's no coincidence surely that it's just this good because the NTAs are this week, is it, or am I being too cynical?

Anonymous said...

Collinson didnt use the Rape storyline for Ratings, all the STORYLINES are for ratings and for great viewing! the carnt just sit in the rovers having pint!

Anonymous said...

Go Gail!! Nice to have her back doing something other than scrubbing Nick's loo.
I think Faye is going to do Owen in..I can see him building her a new shed and she tries to kill him. Wishful thinking? His transformation and the tears flowing as he professed his love for Anna was OTT.

Anonymous said...

What are they doing with Deirdre and Gail - the writers are making them quite dopey and silly! sorry but finding Deirdre quite annoying of late can't really put my finger on why!


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