Saturday, 13 October 2018

Bouquets and brickbats in Weatherfield

Saturday afternoon then and we can all settle down with a nice big mug of tea (other beverages are available) and ruminate on the past week in Weatherfield. Did we enjoy it or did it set your teeth on edge?

This is, of course, soap world so there was a hint of the 'same old, same old' as the prospect of another Corrie wedding hove into view. Admittedly, this latest Barlow-McDonald coupling was tattier than most. Not only did a handful of residents decide to stay away but it also appeared that the majority of cast members hadn't even been rostered on for the episodes. Instead, the wedding venue was peopled by extras and not even the familiar ones at that.

Another tiresome wedding day that didn't go to plan then. The shock factor for most viewers would have been if it had all proceeded normally. Thankfully we had Mary, her earpiece and her clipboard, directing the entire shambles with all the ferocity of a city centre bouncer. She must have been ticking off every cliche in the book. Angry bride? Tick. Ruined dress? Tick. Punch-up? Tick. Cake fight? Tick. Tracy and Steve were both gloriously funny though and Tim and Dev proved to be 'Ena & Minnie: The Next Generation'.

At least for Steve he was spared participation in the ill-advised Katie storyline. Uncomfortable and just downright horrible, this slice of awfulness seems to have been polluting the show for ages. Could Jim really be that callous? Was Liz so desperate to believe that her daughter had survived, despite the flimsiest of evidence? For this viewer, the entire plot just felt wrong and seemed to be a slap in the face for the emotion invested in the original story of Katie's death twenty six years ago. As always, the performances of Beverley Callard and Charles Lawson saved the day but it's goodbye and good riddance to a load of nonsense that just didn't work.

Friday night's first episode provided a scene that had the entire household guffawing. Like something worthy of Victoria Wood's spoof Acorn Antiques, viewers held their collective breath as Michelle sped down a country lane . . . at around fifteen mph. Yes, hang on to your hairnets boys and girls as La Connor gently takes in the dry stone walls and bucolic vistas. It wouldn't have been too much of a surprise had she quietly pulled over to one side and hauled out a picnic hamper. Michelle could have sat the boys down at the gingham rug, hailed Cormac over to share in the scotch eggs and ham sandwiches as they discussed why one of her sons appears to be the same age as her.

One recurring theme over the years has been why Michelle is constantly thrown ridiculous, melodramatic storylines. Kym Marsh is a fine actor and with different direction, Michelle could quite easily be the 'heart' of the Street. Every show needs that central, sturdy figurehead. Instead, we get some middle-aged woman with knee-jerk reactions to everything that goes on around her. Michelle is a constant whirl of hysteria and hair. For the love of our Ryan (14) and our Ali (48), calm her down and let her breathe a little.

Did your heart break for Jenny? You could visibly see her world crumbling like a vegan cake on a summer's day. The lovely bit - and kudos to Sally Ann Matthews for this - was the way in which Jenny, shell-shocked behind the bar, suddenly channelled the landlady within, metaphorically applied a bit of lippy and sallied forth. Classic 'Boss of the Rovers' stuff. It could only have been topped by Jenny whipping out a microphone and giving us a chorus of What I did for love.

Daniel and Sinead got married in a corner of Victoria Street just by Costa Coffee. It was a lovely ceremony, presided over by Kirk dressed as a warlock. Kate was at a loose end so she turned up and such was the random nature of this that I half expected Reg Holdsworth and Maggie Clegg to be cheering from the sidelines. Something has changed within the dynamic of the newlyweds though. A few months ago their relationship seemed a little unbelievable. Now they are a twenty first century Ken and Val. Whatever needed to click in order to make them work has done so.

An entertaining week then. Laugh-out loud funny in places and with the feeling of 'old skool' Corrie in places. With half-a-dozen episodes a week to fill, it's inevitable that the same themes are always going to recur. However, Ian MacLeod - please, PLEASE can we have a break from daft weddings and murderous crime bosses? Thanking you in advance.

By Clinkers to Riddle






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2 comments:

Humpty Dumpty said...

Great write-up and it mirrors my thoughts. I've been away on holiday but was back in time for the wedding. I chose not to watch and did the washing instead because I assumed it would be a better use of my time. Reading the reviews since, I was right. I watched yesterday's second episode and the stand-out performance was Sally Ann Matthews, followed by Ali (actor's name escapes me). His torment was understated and I'm intrigued where this character goes. As for Jenny, from not thinking much of her return, she's now my favourite character. Her storylines with the amazing - again understated - performance take her way ahead of any other character. I hope Jenny retains a quiet dignity in public: I've had enough of cliched catfights in the Rovers. I'd like to see a heart-to-heart with Carla where she's not in floods of tears but declares her love for Johnny will get them through. Yes, she started off as a gold-digger but she's become a multi-layered character. As for the Katie storyline, I feel sorry for Charlie Lawson. His return storyline was rewritten because of a prior theatre engagement from which he's had pull out due to illness. This dreadful storyline means it's impossible for him to return. I wonder what the original one was.

Clinkers (David) said...

I wondered that too. Possibly more to do with him trying to gain re-acceptance by his family. I guess this would have played out over a longer period with the resulting reunification of Team Mac! As for Jenny? She delivers in spades. Sally Ann must love the arrival of every script.

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