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Saturday 22 October 2016

'David's Revenge' is Sweet

So, we’ve just witnessed another major week for Corrie. When I viewed all five episodes in Manchester a short time ago, I thought they were brilliant, and was looking forward to seeing how they would be received by fans. In fact, I was still on the edge of my seat viewing last night’s double in which David made his escape by tricking Gail, managed to get the car started and sped it full of petrol down the street as Lily escaped Fiz’s care. It was the sight of his daughter in the road that saw David jam on the breaks and flip the car over on top of her and the heroic Gary Windass. It was a lucky escape for them, but not for Anna who caught fire in what was a rather traumatic scene. It was gripping, shocking and dramatic and very strong stuff indeed.

A number of us have written about the change in the air, including my fellow blogger Clinkers who has also articulated his thoughts today, and which are very much in line with mine.

It was as if this week was a showcase of what we might come to expect from new producer Kate Oates and while cars naturally won’t be exploding in the street every night, the evidence of a positive shift can be found elsewhere in the drama.

For me, the hallmarks of quality were found in the performances, dialogue, direction, pace, characterisation, the sense of community that was created, the return of Peter Barlow and the lack of spoilers. In fact, the only thing I didn’t like was the music at the end which didn’t feel very Corrie, and I don’t think ever will.

This wasn’t just a big week for Corrie though, but ITV in general with Emmerdale also staging a special set of episodes. Like Clinkers, I found myself watching the latter for the first time which had me pondering if I was proof that hype really does work. I thought the overall idea on Emmerdale was brilliant, and that the week had some great moments, but I think I would need to watch regularly when normal services resume to really know if I’ll be adding it to my appointment to view television. This, I suppose, leaves the jury out on whether 'explosive' weeks succeed in winning new viewers. But, what does it matter? Both Emmerdale and Corrie draw in millions of loyal fans for every episode regardless.

The argument against such weeks is that they are sensational, and a departure from the norm arguably for the sake of hype and ratings. But sometimes the hype is deserved, and I have no objection to them, because they are engaging and enjoyable, and a great excuse to show what the programme and actors are capable of. Also, while they shake things up a bit, it all has to go back to normal. It must. And for me, there was even enough ‘normal’ Corrie in there despite the shocking elements to assure me that, exploding car aside, things are very promising. In fact, there was more ‘normal’ Corrie in there than there has been in some time.

The week leaves some characters in interesting positions. How will Anna fare? Gary and Sarah are close relatives of the injured and injurer, will this allow their love blossom, or prove an obstacle? What is Peter Barlow hiding? What will happen to Ken? You’d have to think from the way it ended that David is cured of his desire to die in the pursuit of revenge for the sake of the kids, but what will the consequences of his actions be, for both him and others? What will Clayton’s verdict be, and how will David react?

There is just so much of interest to tune in for, but more than that, this week and those directly prior to it show that it is all likely to be handled very well.

I'd also like to mention that today marks my three year anniversary of being a member of the team on this wonderful blog. I continue to feel very happy and privileged to bring you my thoughts on our favourite programme, and to share in yours, and long may it last.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes
Facebook: @EmmaHynesWrites
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Read my interviews with Chris Gascoyne, Bill Roache, Helen Worth, Jack P. Shepherd and Ben Price.

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Tvor said...

I really think this was the reality check David needed. Nothing else but something like this would possibly get through to him but nearly killing his daughter brought it all home to him, everything everyone's been saying to him all this time. I thought it was outstanding. Im really interested to see what happens next with all of them.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth,I didn't find it 'sweet'that David's need for revenge for the murder of his wife almost led to the death of another mother and his daughter.
I also thought it was ironic that Gail could see that her daughter was suffering a breakdown but couldn't see the same warning signs in David?
It will be interesting how the storyline develops.

Emma Hynes said...

That's why 'David's Revenge' is in quotation marks. That was the name of the week. I'm using a pun to refer to the week, not the actions.

To be fair to Gail, David has form when it comes to behaviour which is a cause for concern whereas Sarah doesn't.

Emma Hynes said...

Definitely, Tvor. That's exactly it. It was superb.

Anonymous said...

Emma Hynes,Gail bugged me pressuring David to 'move on'when it was obvious he was in deep grief over Kylie being murdered whereas she seemed more concerned about Sarah's breakdown was due to Callum's death who was murdered by Kylie during his murder attempt on her!
David was in deep pain losing the love of his life but Gail couldn't see that would lead to a mental breakdown being more concerned about Sarah's breakdown over the death of a drug dealer whom she was warned to stay away from!

Humpty Dumpty said...

The acting was superb but I have mixed feelings about this storyline. Given David's track record of doing bizarre things when pushed to the edge, I can't see why Gail didn't call the police once they'd locked him in the cellar. Even when he told her his plan, she didn't call them. I feel irritated not with Gail but with the writers. Gail isn't the mother of a criminal whom she doesn't want to grass up. At a much earlier point, she would have gone for tough love and reported David for the sake of his children.

PoidaPete said...

Totally agree Tvor

maggie muggins said...

Congrats on your 3rd Blog-a Versary , Emma! Nice write-up.

Improvements with the new show-runner seem harder to write about because there's less to kvetch about. Overall I thought this week's special build-up of eps was really well done. The direction, camera work and other behind the scenes stuff I'm not even knowledgeable about seem much more up to date, or cutting edge. Yet the heart of Corrie is still here & beating loud, nodding to the past enough to get many mentions already.

I am a big fan of murder and detective shows / books, so am not averse to intense scenes. I do prefer when they're done to develop the story & characters, more than for shock appeal. In other words, I don't like blood & violence. The crash was done well, but I thought the exact same events could have been presented without seeing Anna literally on fire. I have a relative who died from burns, so that was hard to see. I could also have done with a lot less of Lily being seen under the car. It takes skill to tell an honest story without violence. These specials are rare and so is graphic suffering on Corrie. When it does happen, I hope better ways of depicting it are developed.

I liked the song 'All We Do is Hide Away' at the end. It reminds me of certain evocative music used in Scandi-noir shows. I doubt this type of music will become common usage on the show.

But what was that sound from out of the blue, when David suddenly opened his eyes when Gail went into the basement room to see if he was OK? Did anyone else notice it? I had to play it back to make sure it wasn't a glitch, but a deliberate sound effect. It was like a "boing"!

Actually, I'm changing my mind slightly. I think there will be lots to talk about with Kate at the helm, with such energy and whatever new talent she's gathered round her in production. A lot of character development went on elsewhere while David was the focal point all week. And several other storylines as well. I don't think even Tram Week did that. Rock on Corrie with fewer spoilers!

Emma Hynes said...

As crazy as it may have seemed, I honestly think she believed if they could just manage to keep him detained until after the trial, they would be able to talk him around Humpty. It wasn't just Gail either, Nick insisted they didn't call the police when Robert attempted to. It was believable to me at least. Yes, the acting was superb.

Emma Hynes said...

Thank you so much, Maggie. The Anna scene was a difficult watch, and I'm so very sorry to hear about your relative. I too heard that sound when David's eyes opened after feigning unconsciousness. It was probably added to give a horror feel, perhaps to ensure we jumped. I too think there will be plenty to talk about with Kate at the helm.

Anonymous said...

David and Kylie raised the alert on Sarah's breakdown....Gail did not recognize that one either.

MartesBC said...

Great stuff. Awesome production value. Fabulous acting. But it's not Corrie. Too sinister overall. They are taking too many characters down the dark path at once. Producer is playing Barbie dolls in destructo mode with these iconic and longtime characters. It's too bad. This is no place to escape to for sure. Sign of the times I guess. Good bye.

Anonymous said...

Noooo, please don't start doing the "sappy song at the end" thing that every other show in the world does. Please tell me this doesn't become a trend. I agree, doesn't feel like Corrie and never will.


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