Saturday, 4 April 2015

Coronation Street double episode review, Friday 3 April 2015

Poor Faye. Despite labour having begun she refuses to let Craig contact Anna because she fears rejection. But as the pain worsens, she changes her mind, and a relieved Craig is dispatched to get her Mum. Sophie, hearing noises upstairs, finds Faye, which is a lovely touch, as I learned just yesterday from the episode’s writer Jonathan Harvey that the two actresses are actually cousins. 

As a shocked Anna and Owen arrive to find a very distressed Faye, Sophie’s lone tear speaks volumes as the young mother-to-be cries out “I’m sorry” and begs her Mum not to send her back. She is naturally reassured that will never happen by a seemingly calm Anna, but the panic and helplessness on the part of everyone involved is clear and conveyed brilliantly by all concerned.

Craig has been a consistently great friend to Faye throughout. His advice, words of support, preparation and research do him immense credit, and while he is on the receiving end of angry words from Anna, Owen and Tim, his smile is delightful as Faye cries out from the ambulance “Craig! Thanks.” Beth assures him she’ll stand by him regardless as she presses him for information, and when Kirk tells him “I’m your Dad, if that’s alright with you” I wondered if these episodes could get any better. It’s great to see that such a strong support network exists for Craig when others doubt him, especially considering that’s what he offered Faye. 

I’m a sucker for complexity, and Craig swearing on his pet rat Darryl's life that he is not the father of the baby is a line which is more than the sum of its parts. These simple yet brilliant words by Julie Jones convey the fact that he too is a child, tell us how much his pet means to him, and show that the strength of his devotion is such that his mother can be assured he’s telling the truth.

Stunned Tim learns the news from Owen, and while I love that he consistently tries to get away with playing the fool, his beautiful words as he sat by his daughter’s side were emotive and affecting as he tells her, “You’ll always be my little baby girl”. Despite the sad circumstances, he is clearly proud to announce “I’m a granddad”. Anna is less excited as she berates herself for not noticing and wonders why Faye couldn't tell her. She’s not the only one struggling, as Faye turns away when presented with her newborn baby girl.

It’s true that there was a degree of reticence on the part of viewers when this story was announced, but it has proven that it’s not the plot that matters, but rather how it is executed. As far as I’m concerned, it has been an absolute triumph, and actors Ellie Leach and Colson Smith have a lot to be proud of, as do all involved in the storyline.

Carla is back, and so is her mystical fireplace. Basking in both its glory, and her own, having secured a contract with the rather unpleasant Mr. Hanlon, she is joined by Nick and a bottle of red wine. I’m dubious about a potential partnership here, and while their dialogue was natural and engaging, I feel it might be best for them to remain friends. After the success of the Faye and Craig storyline though, I’m open to being pleasantly surprised.

Other things I enjoyed about these brilliant episodes included Bethany telling Jason about Sarah's Italian shrine to him and asking "Is Callum gonna be my new Daddy?" and Sean's performance. He was more of a compére in tonight’s episodes than he was at the butler auction, and it’s a part that really suits him. He sashayed through each scene with quips aplenty, and for me, this is Sean at his best. Tracy flashing a frustrated Tony made me laugh for some reason, and I enjoyed the general banter in the Rovers and the sibling friction between David and Sarah. 

My last word, however, is reserved for the strawberry in the Moët & Chandon; or perhaps I should say the orange in the Bucks Fizz.

There are some things in this life that give boundless pleasure and no one moreso on the cobbles at present than Sally Webster. Shall I compare thee to a summer's day Sally? Thou art more lovely and more temperate than Pam Ayres shopping in the Arndale Centre in a “nasty tracksuit”. Ah yes, Sally’s realist slant on the poetic is like Tim’s chippy tea to the steak tartare she mourns throughout both episodes. And yet the self styled “high flyer” keeps her head high, shouldering unnecessary guilt for "abandoning" Carla in her hour of need, having offered her unwanted services at the “high powered business meeting” and “pow wow” taking place with Mr. Hanlon at the Bistro. 

She resigns herself to white wine in the Rovers with Tim, Anna and Owen where she despairs at the standards in Freshco’s, espouses the merits of recycling, private schooling, lingerie modelling and how her life has turned out, and it’s brilliant. What I love about Sally is that she’s far more at home in the Rovers lording it over her inferiors, than attempting to pronounce Cordon Bleu in the Bistro, and she knows it. When all comes to all, Tim’s suggestion of pie in a tin after promising she’d be wined and dined has her giggling. He is the icing on the cake, and while they joyously play the parts of snob and fool, they meet one another somewhere in the middle where their genuine love and affection is the glue that holds them at the centre. I hope they never part.

On a final note, there is so much to be positive about when these exceptional episodes are considered, and long may it continue.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

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  1. I really like your summation of Tim and Sally's relationship. I, too, hope they are together for the long haul.

  2. This was a brilliant write-up. Well done!

  3. Completely agree, I can't deny a tear in my eye when Faye begged Anna not to send her back. Brilliant acting and writing from all concerned. Oh and I love Tim and Sally too.

  4. What an excellent tribute! I really enjoyed reading this - fantastic job!

    - ELK

  5. Thank you everyone! That means a lot x

  6. I wasn't convinced at all about Anna's was certainly underwhelming considering the enormity of what she discovered about her daughter. It's such an incredulous thing happening (since she didn't get any hints of Faye's condition up till the very end) and she barely blinked an eye when faced with her being in the final stages of labour.

    And I can do without Sean 'sashaying' anywhere...he's way over the top for a man nearing 40 years old.

    I think that the quips are the problem. There's way too many of them. This is supposed to be a drama about real life. I love the occasional humour of course. But everyone doesn't talk in sentences ending in one-liners over and over again.

  7. Great write up for great episodes. I fear, though, that we won't escape Anna's martyrdom. She's definitely a marmite character! SB said they had a massive responsibility to get it right. That means when a character says something they believe is true but isn't (eg: Craig's remark about a baby moving less as time goes on), another character should question it. Huge round of applause for Ellie Leach and Colson Smith. Real stars who should get a joint award.

  8. It has probably been mentioned before but, the casting for Bethany is just so wrong. I don't believe she is 14, she doesn't look 14. It looks like she could be going out with Callum herself.

    Why on earth have they made her like this?

    Thanks, Mike.

  9. Save Bethany from the eyeliner mad makeup artist! She looks old enough to be Sara's sister, not her daughter. Tone it down already. They do the same thing with Rita..make her look like a racoon which only ages her more than she is.

  10. Sally was absolutely superb tonight!!! Emma you have it exactly right. I laughed out loud at Sally over and over.

    I think Anna's "underreaction" probably had more to do with the fact that she just had no time to deal with the shock, with her daughter in the middle of giving birth.

    Colson Smith and Ellie Leach knocked it out of the park!

  11. I agree with Laura's comment about Sean's 'sashaying'.I thought he was a distraction from the unfolding drama of Faye giving birth.It seems the writers are making the same mistake with Sean that they did with Tina,shoehorning him in every episode regardless of storyline.
    I hope we see Gail and Sarah offer support to Anna and Faye.

  12. Everyone is assuming that Faye will keep the baby. Why isn't adoption the default option?

  13. A pleasure to read your write-up Emma...excellent writing! Thank you and *Happy Easter*.....

  14. maggie muggins5 April 2015 at 03:33

    Wonderful review, Emma! You've managed to make this set of episodes even more enjoyable, like finding leftover cheesecake in the frig that you forgot about. Your recalling funny script lines is brilliant. And Carla's "mystical fireplace" - genius. Who knew she likes the peace and quiet at home?

    I thought Anna's reaction was believable - she was in shock! And she knew Faye was going through something leading up to the birth. I think there will be plenty of delayed reactions to come. I too see awards coming for Ellie and Colson!

    Sally just gets better and better, made even moreso with Tim.

  15. Frosty the Snowman5 April 2015 at 07:35

    Anna and Tim;s reacton was ridiculous - Anna acted like Faye had just had her purse nicked than finding your 12 year old suddenly giving birth and Tim instead of being shocked to the ccre and demanding to know who caused it, he just almost cracked a cigar he was so proud to be a granddad! Unbeliveable.

    Why do soaps always do the old chestnut of phones being "dead" whenever there is an emergency as well but at least the ambulance crew actually turned up this time and we didnt have Marty Mother Theresea Anna having to deliver yet another baby on her own. Sally has had two children and wouldnt behave in such a silly way either. Then we have traumatised Faye having Awful Anna shoving a massive baby in her face. Owen of course reacts the way he always does - with his fists.

  16. I had tears in my eyes during the Faye/ Craig scenes, such were the sadness and loneliness of this little girl trying to do it alone for fear of rejection. These two youngsters have been belting throughout this storyline and have shown their peers up big time. As for such a young actress so convincingly in labour, she was wonderful. These two should be awarded not anybody else. They’ve carried Corrie for weeks now.

    Also, Sally and Tim aside, who were equally marvelous, the less said about the rest of the episode the better Callum, Sarah Lou, Bethany, David - rubbish. The lot of it. Squabbling, shouting and bickering like they did ten plus years ago. I expected one of them to say "I'm telling mum on you..." People grow up and mature, clearly not this lot. I was rolling my eyes more than Bethany! Incredibly immature that not one of them deserves to raise children. It’s difficult to tell who is the mum and who is the daughter between Bethany and Sarah between looks and behavior. Is this to be Coronation Street's equivalent to EE's shouty, noisy, overcrowded family and Stuart Blackburn’s copycat hope of winning the same awards by over stuffing a family in a house and making them scream and shout at each other? If so, thank goodness for the ffwd button.

    And if anybody else calls Callum THE DRUG DEALER "Fit" one more time, I will scream. What's the matter with these people that they even allow him anywhere near their community!

    Thank you Emma for your write up it's always hugely appreciated.

  17. Callum is fit regardless whether he is a drug dealer or not. I don't see how it is a factor. Bad boys get the heart going.

  18. I agree with Nikki NZ, Faye obviously does not want the baby. I think Owen is right in wanting to give the baby up for adoption. He seems to be the only adult with Faye's best interest at heart.

    - Shannon E.

  19. @ Frosty: "Anna and Tim's reaction was ridiculous." Does Frosty really have no heart? One of the first times the grown-ups act like grown-ups, putting judgment and accusation behind them - couldn't Frosty at least give them a curmudgeonly pat on the back with a "I'm not buying it, but good try anyway" sort of thing?