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Saturday 9 November 2013

Coronation Street double episode review, Friday 8 November

Hayley continues to be frustrated at Roy, this time for moving her things around. Even though he has her best interests at heart, she doesn’t seem to see it that way. The old Hayley resurfaces when she visits the factory, but disappears when she returns home. As she encounters a single sock while sorting Roy’s pairs, he achingly observes, “if it’s not one of a pair, what use is it?” Not content with forcing Roy to visit Jane with her, Hayley is impatient, mean and disrespectful to him, insisting he drive when he doesn’t want to, and disgusted when he struggles. “That’s what insurance is for isn’t it” remarks a passing Carla, although Roy is unlikely to be found driving over the limit and trying to convince Hayley to swap seats with him as they sit bonnet deep in Barlow’s Buys.

Things go from bad to worse when they arrive at the hospice to find Jane has passed away. It doesn’t get any easier for Roy as he bears the full brunt of the blame for why Hayley didn’t get to say goodbye to her, having urged her not to go to visit after being herself discharged from hospital on Wednesday. His quiet and innocent observations and considerations are continually subjected to eye rolls, snipes, criticism and disdain, and it’s painful to watch. As Hayley declares “Poor Jane”, all I can think is poor Roy. “I can hear myself being horrible”, she declares; so can we, and it makes for difficult viewing. As we hear Roy tell how her company at night “nourishes my soul”, our hearts hurt for him. But it transpires that Hayley is more determined than ever to end her own life for fear of dying as Harold, and it appears that she will refuse to treat Roy with any respect unless he accepts this. His pain is tangible, and we wish with all our hearts that the old Hayley would come back to comfort him as she naturally would in all other things. As they argue further she says, “I feel like I’m losing you already”. Surely it must appear the other way around to Roy, as the Hayley we know and love has turned unrecognisable.

While friction continues between Todd and Jason, Julie’s warm welcome bursts with her trademark exuberance. Despite him sniffing his nose up at her having succeeded in getting him a job in packing at the factory, he’s happy to let her stand him drinks in the pub.

He tries to wow Gloria with his cocktail making skills in return for a job at the Bistro, but Gail and Nick stumble upon the scene and are none too happy.  Nick can’t remember ordering a bacon butty at Roy’s earlier in the day, but no detail of Todd’s treatment of both Sarah Louise and himself has been forgotten. “I’m sure there are plenty of bars out there that’d be happy to snap you up” clips Gail, to which Nick replies, “Timbuktu maybe”. Haven’t heard of that one; is it on the Parade?

Tired Faye seems to have enjoyed the concert, but Owen warns her about playing himself and Anna off against eachother. As she and Grace enjoy burgers at Roy’s, Mary cheerily chips in that the ketchup doesn’t count as one of their five a day. Grace is unnecessarily nasty to her, and when she leaves upset, Faye weakly observes that Mary’s alright. She has proven an unlikeable character in the past, but in contrast to Grace, Faye is a veritable cherub. Grace suggests throwing stones at Mary’s motorhome by way of revenge. When Faye seems reluctant, she continues her bullying campaign by telling her “You’re so boring”, and accuses Simon of being scared. Despite being uncomfortable about it, they proceed with her plan, and succeed in upsetting poor Mary. 
While she obtains comfort from Norris and Emily at The Kabin, Faye looks on as Grace starts spraying Hairy Mary on her home with cream. But they’re caught red handed by all three, and run for cover. Faye fails to escape a passing Owen who, like Mary, Norris and Emily, is none too impressed, and takes her home.

Owen’s anger at being undermined by Anna was earlier softened when she said she’d make it up to him that night, and he asked her to leave the Marigolds on. Yikes. He's likely to become further incensed having witnessed this latest bout of bad behaviour, and seeing Anna defend Faye yet again despite the evidence. If Anna wants to stay on the good side of Owen, she might be better putting those gloves to the use they were intended by making Faye clean Mary's van.

Owen pays Mary a visit, and as she relives the bullying of her school days, the detail of her recollections tells us how painful and long lasting the effects have been on her. It is good to see the often volatile Owen show real heart and sympathy.

Over at the Rovers, Steve’s attempt at helping Amy with her school project gives Michelle and Liz ample opportunity to belittle him. It wouldn’t be so bad if he had someone to back him up, but Lloyd is beyond useless, continually making jibes at Steve’s hair loss and weight. Things don’t get much better when Amy finds that her father has done her project on the wrong war. Maybe if the little madam had done her own homework, she wouldn’t have cause to strop. Meanwhile her pink schoolbag slung over Steve’s shoulder may as well be his as he has to tell his mother what he has done wrong.

The only thing that will make Amy talk to her Dad is a pony; considering Liz and Michelle’s attitude towards him, the last thing Steve needs at the Rovers is another nag. “If I were you I’d start saving up for therapy sessions now” says Liz; seems over the top for a botched toilet roll cardboard project, but as the daughter of Tracy Barlow I’d call that a safe investment.

Steve’s subsequent appearance in a blazer, and announcement that he’s enrolling in college ensures further sniggering and additional opportunities for Lloyd to make weight gags. I find this baffling as Steve looks perfectly fine to me. Furthermore, why is there a differentiation being made between the kind of bullying Mary has been subjected to, and this apparently more palatable version which is supposed to represent the lighter side of tonight’s episodes? Even when Steve feels he has had the last laugh by revealing to Lloyd that he overstated the length of the course to have some “Chico Time”, he can’t resist slagging off his looks. Come on Lloyd, you’re a nice bloke, head on over to the jukebox and change the record.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

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Humpty Dumpty said...

I'm rather intrigued by this new blunt, bad-tempered Hayley. Perhaps this is her real personality and she covered it up for years in a bid to fit in. When it's come to conflicts, Hayley's always been the first to compromise and surrender. A lot of us think 'anything for a quiet life' but Hayley doesn't have the luxury of thinking that. It has to be 'do it now before it's too late'. Roy isn't good at being the strong supporter but he frustrates me when he's so useless (as he's supposed to, probably). The obvious thing to have done would be to suggest Hayley rings Jane's husband when she was discharged if she's too poorly to visit. Perhaps I missed that bit if it happened. I guess a lot of 'obvious' things we would or wouldn't do in real life will be ignored in order to crank up the tension. Sylvia would have been the one to calm the atmosphere and her character is very much missed. Roy and Hayley need a parent figure to take charge and Anna just doesn't cut the mustard.

Corrie really needs to look at itself when it comes to education. OK, it's another plot device for Steve and Michelle, but it would have had more impact if she'd actually supported him in the first place. Why make fun of someone trying to improve their education? Lloyd should have been on his side, offering to organise a pub quiz team with Steve as the history expert. Flat storyline.

I like the Fay/Grace storyline. I wonder if Simon gets bullied for refusing to throw stones. Anna comes across as being completely pathetic and will be wringing her hands when it all comes to light, probably with Simon's evidence.

Frosty the Snowman said...

How is Scary Mary suddenly portrayed as a victim? Scared of a couple of ten year olds and whimpering to Owen in the van? Not like the strange and evil woman we know.

Anonymous said...

Another personality switch. Mary sufferers from multiple personality disorder - how else would you explain all the switching around? I hope she goes after Grace - gives her a right smacking and ends up in the hospital after suffering a massive breakdown.
And that Anna - believes everything Faye tells her. Wait till the gruesome twosome end up torching her house or summat. It'll be a right laugh!

Anonymous said...

I actually see Hayley's reactions to Roy as very realistic. Her losing patience with him and not the factory girls is again true to life. How many of us leave home in a rotten mood some days, being snippy and belittling to our significant other, only to run into a friend on the street and be incredibly sweet and good humoured? Hayley is suffering more than anyone can understand as she is terrified she is going to turn into Harold again. She is afraid of changing...only to come home from the hospital and find everything 'changed' in the flat. As sweet as Roys gesture was, it is obviously seen in a different context to hayley.

I found the Carla and Hayley scenes simply wonderful. I adore their friendship. I found Carla tried to encourage Roy to face his fears saying that everyone gets nervous the first few times they're behind the wheel and he needs to ask himself 'what's the worst that can happen?' 'I could crash' comes the somber reply from Roy 'Roy you won't crash...anyway that's what insurance is for innit?' As though saying...the car is just a thing...

The comment you made alluding to Carla crashing into the bookies was a bit offside, as she didn't try to convince Frank to swap seats with her. Her controlling, possessive fiancée (and the man who would violently rape her in the following weeks) moved her while she was unconscious.

I felt bad for poor Steve as well. He always seems to get belittled by those around him. I really don't like him with Michelle, but that could also be because I have really gone off her character in the last few years. She had potential, but I feel like I am watching the actress and not the character...does that make sense?

Owen has his soft spots and I loved his interaction with Mary. Anna has become quite irksome. Should be interesting to see what happens when the bullying of Simon comes out and see Anna eat a piece of humble pie. But then again as the bullying story is being used to facilitate the affair between Tina and Peter, I'm not looking forward to seeing Tina being the one to serve the pie. The show has become the Tina show for the last couple of years and I won't really care when or how she leaves.

Anonymous said...

Excellent review. For the first time I tired of the Roy/Hayley storyline last night. It's becoming very repetitive and with Hayley having just collapsed, both must realise that there is a possibility that time could be very short indeed and few people would spend it arguing.

Liz/Lloyd/Michelle weren't funny. It was horrible to watch. And I'd have thrown the Pina Colada at Nick, not paid £7.50. Episodes too much like EastEnders.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon - episodes too much like East Enders. It's as if all of the characters that we love have all changed overnight. Out of body experience or summat. Everybody mad at everybody else. Nobody happy. I felt sorry for Steve, but at least it was humourous not the doom and gloom of Roy and Haley. Enough is enough!!!!

ChiaGwen said...

Why would Todd pay and Boria hold out her claws for the drink money when Boria invited him to make the drink to test him in the first place? Agree - Todd should have thrown it at the miserable mother-son duo instead.

Anonymous said...

Pain, fear and impending doom can certainly account for the changes to Hayley's personality. This is a good example of where an imbalanced relationship can start to collapse in on itself when something significant happens to the person who has been holding the whole thing together. No matter how good Roy's intentions are, he's really useless when it comes to dealing with difficult things; disabled is probably a better word.


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