Saturday, 22 September 2018

Ten Things We Learned In Corrie In The Last Fortnight

I was away the week before last so I fell behind on my Corrie viewing.  As there are now 8000 episodes a week, this created a backlog, so I couldn't do Five Things last Saturday.  Here's a super special bumper double issue to make up for it.



Tracy Barlow is now using her powers for good, not evil.  As the years have gone on, Ms Barlow has mellowed significantly.  The death of her mother was a serious blow and now Tracy isn't quite the rampaging She-Beast she once was.  That doesn't mean she's lost her talents to be underhand, though, and over the last couple of weeks she's put her skills to good use.  Her Machiavellian plotting saw her trying to persuade Abby to fake saving someone from a canal to get her kids back.  Her knowledge of cyberstalking saw her swiftly uncover Hannah's real identity.  And her past as a murderer came in handy when she wanted to frighten the bejesus out of her future "sister" in law.  It's fun to see the show acknowledge her nefarious past, even if it does repeatedly raise the thought, "so she just got away with murdering Charlie, then?"


Everybody loves the footy-ball.  The final showdown between Alahanchester United and Maxchester City brought the Street together in a passionate outpouring of love for the beautiful game.  While watching Lewis act like he knew what was going on was delightful - urging the boys to "play up" like a 19th century schoolmaster trying to get the best out of Eton's Second XI - more fun was watching the actors who clearly knew nothing about football pretend they did.  Maria talked about Liam's tactics with the confidence of a woman in Beijing who has learned Mandarin from the back of packets of hair colourant, while Billy suggested that Max should buy "Wilfried Zaha" because he had "pace and power."  I am 100% certain that Daniel Brocklebank had never said the words "Wilfried Zaha" before in his life and will never say them again.  In the end, young Mr Connor won the tournament, leaving David to give the most gracious of concession speeches: "Choke on it Liam."


You need a National Treasure to be nasty.  We were promised that Evelyn would be a battleaxe, and it turned out that was an understatement.  She was a snarling ball of hatred and unpleasantness, cursing at pretty much everyone she came into contact with, shoplifting, faking a heart attack, and worst of all, thinking Atlanta was further east than Detroit.  It would be a difficult task for any actress to play this role and not have the viewer lobbing bakewell slices at the screen in anger, so the producers wisely cast Maureen Lipman.  Fifty years of being rooted in the nation's affections means we're willing to let her go a lot further than we would with a mere mortal; on top of that, Chairperson Mo is an incredibly skilled comic actress who can wring a laugh out of the most spiteful insult.  Hopefully in due time she'll be able to give Evelyn a couple more dimensions, because at the moment she's such a cow she's in danger of being lynched by the residents of Weatherfield and strung up from the lamppost.


Somebody needs to unleash the Seddon.  She keeps it quiet now she's a doyenne of polite society, but Sally Metcalfe had a pretty chequered upbringing.  Originally Sally Seddon, she came from a notorious family of thugs and scroungers, and had a somewhat colourful past before she became Mrs Kevin Webster.  It seems thirty years of Street living have knocked the corners off her and she'd been locked up for barely twenty four hours before she became the prison bitch.  She needs to rediscover her shady past and go back to being the scrappy battler she was as a teen.  Sally should be cracking heads and kicking crotches; who wouldn't want to see her dominating B-Wing, snarling "I'm the Mummy round here!" and beating her cellmate with a snooker ball in a sock.  It would be like the much missed Bad Girls, but with the occasional pause for a bit of yogic breathing.


Peter and Toyah once stayed up all night debating Brexit.  I don't know why people say Toyah made him dull; when Peter was with Carla, he was sailing the high seas on a yacht and jetting off to LA, while with Ms Battersby he was having intense discussions about international politics.  Toyah, with her hand woven flowery dresses and hippy vegetarianism, clearly voted Remain, while I could see working class former serviceman Peter going for Leave.  If you were going to divvy up the rest of the Street 52-48, I'd put Beth, Liz and Norris down as Leavers, while Yasmeen, Roy and Carla are almost certainly Remainers.  Kirk probably put his X on the wrong side of the ballot, and Daniel asked why we had to have a binary choice, and couldn't we find some way of compromising that made everyone happy?  Fortunately Corrie tends to avoid political topics, making it one of the few shows on television that doesn't talk about Brexit and as such doesn't make you want to stick your head in the bath to escape the horror.


Mary has done her bit for international relations.  We got more insights into the multifaceted wonder that is Mary Taylor as she related tales from her international travels.  She was apparently ejected from a sumo match in Osaka for her over-vocal support, and had an encounter with the left-back for Olympiakos in an olive grove that involved taramasalata.  I don't think they were dunking celery sticks into it.  This all sounds like the kind of thing that would normally be covered in a Corrie spin off DVD; they usually involve characters larking about in foreign locations.  From the sound of it Mary's spin off would be less Viva Las Vegas and more Emmanuelle in Athens.


Victoria Street is on the way up.  When it first appeared, the set extension was a run-down back street.  Apparently this was because half of it was empty, because this week Claudia and Maria decided to open a salon in the former estate agents' and Peter made enquiries about the old snooker hall.  That's without mentioning the unit that's going to be turned into Sinead's vintage frock shop.  Meanwhile, across the way, Yasmeen was herding volunteers into the Community Garden to do some planting, even though it's Autumn.  This is what happens when a tram stop opens in the area; the property values shoot up and everything gets gentrified.  Before you know it Roy's will be a cereal cafe and Simon will have grown a handlebar moustache and started riding around on a unicycle.


Ken Barlow remains an awful person.  Watching Classic Corrie on ITV3, it's been a shock how unpleasant Ken used to be.  He's in the middle of his Wendy Crozier-diddling stage, and he's a patronising, sanctimonious arse; when he got punched in the face by Mike Baldwin, I cheered.  It was hard to reconcile the 1990 version with the 2018's wise old grandpa.  Thankfully this week we got a reminder that he is very much still the same obnoxious character as he unleashed his short fiction on the world.  He's still mining his life story for inspiration, but rather than using the interesting bits, like when he was locked up for protesting the Vietnam War or when he snogged Joanna Lumley, it was just a load of barely-disguised moaning about how he'd wasted his potential and all his family were awful.  Daniel suggested he stop using ten-dollar words to show off, and he refused, saying "I'm not going to lobotomize it for the sake of appealing the masses," missing the point that your writing has to appeal to someone.  Then he criticised Claudia's fun-sounding serial set in the heady world of hairdressing as "a vanity project... you might as well send them Spot the Dog."  If I'd been Ms Colby I'd have jammed my scissors in the back of his hand and flounced out.  Maybe the rest of the world isn't missing out on your genius, Ken; maybe the rest of the world saw what you have to offer and just didn't like it.


Books are the key to profitability.  There were many surprising aspects to Ali and Ryan's quest for their crypto-currency fortune.  First we were expected to believe Ryan gets paid five thousand pounds a gig, then we were expected to believe he had at some point read a book.  That was nothing next to Ali's preposterous promise that he'd hunt down the prized Gazza book by talking to every single patient in Wethy General.  Didn't he have, like, a job to do?  Lives to save, stuff like that?  But the most shocking revelation was that Cathy simply chucked away books when she'd finished them.  Now I know a footballer's autobiography isn't exactly high literature, but books are to be venerated, not lobbed in a skip with the mouldy lettuce when you're done with them.  Pass on the knowledge, Cathy; I'm sure Yasmeen would've been happy to stock it on the shelves of the community centre.


Nobody wants to live in a self-help book.  Once, people used to put pictures on the wall.  Perhaps a crying child, or a nice blue-faced Asian lady, or, in the case of Hilda Ogden, a glamorous muriel.  It was art.  Somewhere along the line fashions changed, and now half the rooms in the Street are smeared with inspirational quotes and terrible puns.  The walls of the Bistro are covered with awful jokes like "a penne for your thoughts" and "I won't be impressed with technology until you can download food", the kind of stomach-churning nonsense that has any sane person hammering the one star button on TripAdvisor.  Fiz and Tyrone's home, meanwhile, is coated with canvases shouting "Home is where the❤ is" so that burglars know which wall to daub with excrement first.  Thank heavens, then, for Evelyn, who rightly sniffed at their "student" taste in decor.  By the following week the poster had been replaced by a black and white picture of a Victorian child with some dogs, and the world was a better place.


The author is quite exhausted after writing all that, and is going to have a lie down in a darkened room.  Send healing vibes through Twitter to @merseytart.




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6 comments:

popcorn said...

I love your musings, Scott - - - Many thanks.

Louby said...

I don't care how many times Maureen Lipman has been a good actor in dramas and comedies, she will always be the BT woman to me. I haven't really taken to her new character yet. And I can't be the only one who thinks that she's not really Tyrone's Nan?

Anonymous said...

Didn't Cathy used to be a hoarder? Thereby, finding it difficult to throw anything away?

Er in Canada

Sharon Boothroyd said...

Thanks Scott! yes - what happened to Cathy's hoarding and her house? Has her house been sold? I'm also wondering what's happened to the allotments? Yasmeen's hubby had one, so did Roy and Cathy.
I too, don't like Eveleyn and I'm wondering why the heck Tyrone doesn't get a DNA test - would anyone invite a relative into their home without one? It seems rather silly.
Also, why haven't Dev and Roy moaned about the Costa cafe and the co- op taking their trade?
I'd like to see where Leanne and Toyah are living, plus a peep at Cathy and Brian pad's too. Are Beth and Kirk still living in the upmarket flat for the next 5 months now Beth is no longer spying on Alya in the factory?

Laura said...

I thought the same thing about Cathy and her past as a hoarder! She kept newspapers, but threw away books?

Thanks for another great write up!

Gilles27 said...

This had me LOLing at my desk! "Fiz and Tyrone's home, meanwhile, is coated with canvases shouting "Home is where the❤ is" so that burglars know which wall to daub with excrement first."

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