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Monday 26 December 2016

Christmas Corrie: How was it for you?


I never really write reviews of Coronation Street episodes, that's the strength of many other wonderful bloggers here. However I wanted to jot a few lines down about this year's Christmas Day episode of Corrie. I watched it later in the evening after it was broadcast and although I'd had several glasses of Christmas cheer by that point, I genuinely enjoyed the hour long episode.

The main theme of the episode was the return of Georgia Taylor as Toyah Battersby. I was really looking forward to seeing Toyah again as I enjoyed the character a great deal during her original stint back in the late 1990s. Georgia has gone on to act in a wide range of productions and has really matured as an actress. She always had tremendous chemistry with her on-screen sister Leanne, played by the great Jane Danson so the chance to see them reunite after thirteen years was one not to be missed. I can't wait to hear more of Toyah's back story in the intervening years and it's already set to be a dramatic time for the character given yesterday's big reveal. Yes Peter Barlow's up to his old lothario tricks again.


Another highlight for me was the reigniting of the Nick and Peter feud. Until last night I'd found the whole thing extremely tedious, unsure of how much of this was down to Nick's brain injury and how much was down to him being an insecure, middle-aged prat. I feel little sympathy for Nick as anything that's been done to him over the years we can be sure he's also dolled out to others. He's hardly the innocent party. I don't mind Ben Price in the role, despite the significant ageing up that's gone on, however I can't help but laugh at "Angry Nick". This worked out fine with last night's scenes though as their scrapping in the street was fairly amusing, with Peter destroying Sally's front bush (Matron!) and lamping a retreating Nick on the bonse with her Mr Tufty! It made me laugh out loud and went a long way to balancing out Nick's smugness. Of course Nick has the wrong end of the stick where Peter and Leanne are concerned although the revelation when it comes will not spell the end of their troubles with Peter B. 

Another aspect of the episode I enjoyed was Christmas lunch chez Roy's Rolls. The reintroduction of Brian Packham has been very well received by yours truly and the band of awkward brothers formed of Brian, Roy and Norris is Corrie gold and I love it. I instantly feel more at ease with Roy scenes now Brian is replacing Cathy and Alex, it just works so much better and feels much more Corrie to me. Norris has been shown in a new and more pleasing light in recent weeks as his involvement in Mary's storyline has developed. For too long the writers were taking Malcolm Hebden's character in an extremely unlikable direction as he became nasty, spiteful and plain old rude to all and sundry. Showing the humanity underneath the cantankerous old newsagent has worked wonders and the scenes of late between Mary and Norris have been genuine, touching and beautifully played. The end of last night's episode, focusing on Mary, was great and left a great hook for viewers to see what happens next.


Did the Christmas episode feel festive enough? Well there was plenty of classic Corrie drama and touches of down to earth comedy featuring Tim, Sally, Michelle and Steve, but for me the episode lacked enough scenes featuring the regulars gathering in the Rovers for a traditional knees up. I could have done without the Phelan and Andy hospital scenes for a start. Andy is a drip of a character and I'll now be glad when he departs. I'm no fan of Phelan but Connor McIntyre continues to do an outstanding job as the villain of the piece. And I still have absolutely no sympathy for Eileen, ploughing on with her wedding plans like a blinkered overgrown school girl. 

Which brings me to the Sarah and Bethany dramatics. When will Sarah learn that embarrassing, humiliating and shouting at her teenage daughter will not get her to open up and engage in adult conversations? I feel much sympathy for Bethany and Lucy Fallon is doing a great job of carrying this rather difficult story. I fear for where it is heading with the arrival of the creepy Nathan. I found the Shona/Todd/Billy story to be pretty tedious and it felt a bit odd having church scenes in Corrie at Christmas without the presence of the lovely Eileen Derbyshire as the much-missed Emily. I cannot invest in Billy's storyline as I've never bought his character as a vicar in the first place. It just doesn't work for me and I'll be glad when the moment passes.

I did love the extended Barlow family all round the table at Ken's. It was great to see this pivotal house on the street full to bursting again after some lean years and notable departures. The new arrivals will never, ever replace Maggie Jones as Blanche and Anne Kirkbride as Deirdre but they keep the legacy alive. I am loving Rob Mallard's performances as Daniel and see great promise in this very different character for Corrie. Less interested, I must admit, in the return of Adam. I didn't like the character the first time around and I see little improvement so far on his second go at it. I get that they are trying to bring back a touch of the Mike Baldwins but it's nowhere close at present, despite the heavy symbolism of the camel coat, the cigar and the rented Jag. 

Two minor points, where did that choir come from at the start of the episode? Was it ever explained and I just missed it? They were good but it seemed a little out of place. Also, we saw a continuation of the incidental music which has peppered a few other recent episodes. I don't know if the production team are just experimenting with something a little different or if this is a new style for Corrie, but I'm not keen and I don't think it adds anything.


Other than these niggles, I really enjoyed this episode and can't wait to see what happens next for Toyah, Peter and Mary. And will Peter fork out for a replacement Mr Tufty?! 

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Anonymous said...

I didn't enjoy it at all. Nick v Peter - been there & done that, fight was pathetic.
Not buying Peter & Toyah.
Sick of Phelan.
Billy & Todd have become very irritating.
This Shona character is not something I want to watch.
I don't believe Jude turning up like that.
Hated the professional sounding choir.
Hated the incidental music.
Touching moment with David on the phone to Kylie, and enjoyed the Barlows otherwise.
Sorry, it just didn't do it for me.

Anonymous said...

the incidental music is giving corrie a hollywood melodrama feel - not corrie at all, get rid!!

Tvor said...

I didn't mind the choir, or the incidental music. Unbelievable that Phelan is still in hospital. Unbelievable that Andy is turning murderous.

Even though Nick has been acting stupidly childish, I enjoyed Peter getting the better of him. His two punches did far more damage than all Nick's pushing and shoving and Peter's last shot about the stress not being good for Leanne was a nice parting shot.
I don't think Peter and Toyah believable yet but willing to give them a chance. Seems odd she'd take him on knowing his and Leanne's past but it's a soap.
Wondering if Shona and Nathan were setting up a scam with Billy and the Grimshaws.
Loved the scenes with Norris and his friends behind Mary's home and her forgiving Norris. Yes, Jude came out of the blue but I think it was lovely. Why not?
Platt Shenanigans, some of it was ok, the bits with David and the kids and the "phone call" from Kylie, but the Sarah and Gary stuff was annoying. I did feel bad for Bethany and it's so typical of a hormone fueled teenager, I thought, making a big drama out of everything.
The scene with Michelle confronting Sally and Tim felt very awkward and the dialogue was horribly clunky.
Eva bought Aidan a kitten?? Sheesh.

John said...

Seriously Nick has always been a childish arse, right back to the early 90s.

Anonymous said...

If you really enjoyed the episode then I would love to know what your couple of glasses of Christmas cheer was. I need some of that.
I was disappointed - there was no peace or love among men and for a Christmas episode that was really awful and sad.
Yes, the choral singers at the beginning of the show pretty much set the depressing mood which nobody wants on Christmas.
The highlight was Peter boinking Nick on the head with Sally's gnome.
As much as I hate to admit it, I couldn't imagine Peter with Toyah, but to give credit to the 2 actors, they actually managed to pull it off. Somehow they work better together than Peter & Leanne ever did. So hopefully that will be a shining ray on the street. Although I'm sure there will be more harsh words & misery to come once they announce to the street that they are an item.

Louby said...

Loved the Roy/Brian/Norris parts. Jude turning up might have been a little unlikely, but was still a nice thing to happen.

I wondered why Gary wasn't with his child on Christmas day, and surprised at him and Sarah all loved up with recently bereaved David there. Also Gail just disappearing when she's usually so clingy with her kids.

The fight did make me laugh though, especially the gnome.

PoidaPete said...

I enjoyed it, the scene with David and the kids in the phone to 'Kylie' actually brought a little tear to my eye. It was very well done.

Anonymous said...

Come of the fence and tell us what you really think!

Anonymous said...

Everything was irritating...disappointed yet again...totally agree with other comments about Peter and Toyah...unbelievable and NO chemistry. Billy the vicar is unbelievably stupid and immature....hard to believe he is or was a vicar. Todd hanging around him makes it even more unbelievable. Sarah and Gary are irritating and cringe-worthy.

Ok...I did like the bit with the three bachelors Roy, Brian and Norris. Roy is so much better without Cathy and obvious when you watch.

Anonymous said...

this is so weird - I just finished watching a tribute to George Michaels who just passed away and I never realized that one of his top songs was the same song that the charolers were singing at the opening of the Christmas Day episode - now how weird is that?
Did Corrie know something the rest of us didn't or did they just tuck that in at the last minute? Didn't anybody else recognize it??

Rapunzel said...

I watched Fri, Sat & Sun together, after hearing about George Michael. They had Last Christmas playing on the radio in one of the two earlier episodes as well as the singers at the beginning of the Christmas episode. Perhaps they got a "buy 1 get 1 free" royalty package but it was still very poignant

abbyk said...

Well, it wasn't a memorable one. I think the little bits were more endearing than the main stories. Daniel, Adam and the Platts ringside reactions were more entertaining than the fight of the century. Brian having to be reprimanded several times not to pick at the good before it's served. Norris being a VERY good friend to Mary. Tracy cooking. Amy. Eva! These bits were charming.

Did like Mary and the bachelors (but wish they had invited Yasmeen). Will give Toyah & Peter a chance because they can both act their socks off. The rest of the main event, meh. Billy in particular, he moons Andy (who he's never met) then spends the rest of the day pining to be back in the church. For a character who has always been well grounded and thought long and hard before he made a stand, this makes no sense. The phone thing was cute, for Lily, but where was Max and David's breakdown? The gift mishap -- Steve the sophomoric fool is soooo tired. I don't like the Sarah/Gary/Bethany thing on the other 364 days, so why should this have been different? And sucking each other's faces off at a family do? Gross! Cassette tapes, really?

Anonymous said...

Cassette tapes. It was an irony thing. Peter found out that Toyah loved Bros when she was growing up so give get an old cassette. Why would David and Max have a breakdown? It was a lovely touch that they played along with Lily and joined in. No breakdown needed. Just take it at face value, no hidden meaning

Anonymous said...

Wasn't much impressed. Upset that Mary the character is being pushed so unceremoniously out the door, with an accelerated, unlikely fairy tale ending to keep her fans from feeling she's been ill-used. Andy in an equally preposterous, out the door story-line slinking here and there, eyes darting shiftily from side to side, attempting murder. Insipid Maria with her random behavior, first the hairdresser, then Caz, now flings with Aidan and Adam--there is just no consistency to her behaviour; it's horrible watching the actress try to make sense of it. Finally-Peter--can't stand the guy's smugness and that ever-present smirk. He's such a total and complete loser, waste of space, yet swaggers around like he's god's gift to the world around him.Can't wait till he cheats on Toyah and stabs her in the back, as he did with Carla, and Leanne, and Michelle, and Shelley... Not to mention the constant betrayal of his son. I don't understand why Nick gets all the hate on this site when Peter Barlow is so foul. I'd rather be a successful middle-aged prat, than a middle-aged loser-drunkard whose solution to not living with his dad is to evict (with 1, 2 weeks' notice?) a single mother recovering from serious burns. Where would she have gone, if she hadn't had Kevin as back-up?

Anonymous said...

Oh excellent post Anon 14:54 above, absolutely agree with everything you said. I neither understand the flack that Nick gets nor the adoration that Peter Barlow gets - he's such a skanky old man.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Glad to hear I'm not the only one who doesn't like Peter Barlow. Jeanie (Anon 14:54) I found Leanne's reaction to the drone Christmas present pretty rich. How dare Nick show Peter up like that?!

Anonymous said...

Maybe people like Peter better better than Nick because the actor who portrays Peter is so much better than the one that portrays Nick.

Anonymous said...

Was –†eter with Michelle? I thought it was a one-night thing


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