Monday, 31 December 2018

Ta-ra 2018!

Here we are then. Just a few hours to go before we pop those corks and shuffle around to the maudlin sound of ABBA's Happy New Year. The end of another year on the cobbles too. Before you log off in haste, don't worry! This isn't one of those interminable 'review of the year' pieces that tend to clutter up our newspapers and telly like a fridge full of festive stodge. We wouldn't do that to you. To be brutally honest, many storylines and characters have fluttered by with little impact. Kyla anyone?

Has the Corrie year made for enjoyable viewing? For me, in the main, yes it has. There has been some superb drama and comedy on screen. The scriptwriters, storyliners, directors and production team have done us proud. As for the acting? I still maintain that Corrie has some of the best actors on stage and screen. Very watchable.

The strength of a performance can often overcome a mundane storyline. Exhibit A, m'lud', is the current Prisoner Sally Block H nonsense. It's a dog of a story and one that seems to have been dragging on for decades. The entire thing would have collapsed in the hands of others. However, we had joyous performances from Joe Duttine, Sally Dynevor and Connie Hyde to savour. OK, so the plot has more holes than Jack Duckworth's vest but who cares when you have this trio wringing every emotion out of the script.

Also rising to the occasion in 2018 was Daniel Osbourne, ably portrayed by Rob Mallard. Daniel gravitated from being the new Street 'weirdo' to something far more settled. His partnership with Sinead 'soap' Tinker has been a positive one for viewers as we see him struggle with the ravages and sadness caused by cancer. Aside from the 'veggie cure' nonsense, the story seems to have been handled well and will play out into 2019.

After the bouquets, the brickbats! Not everything on the cobbles is a riot of success. Take the Connors of Victoria Court. Please, someone take them! There is always a feeling that Kym Marsh is being wasted on one silly, melodramatic storyline after another. At a time when Michelle should be establishing herself as one of the Street's strongest characters, we instead see her morphing into the next village idiot. Of course, she doesn't get that title just yet as Gail is still very much in situ. Michelle has spent 2018 being daft. Weddings that never were, guns, dealing with the camp spats between her sons - our Ryan (12) and our Ali (47). Add to that Robert, possessed by the Spirit of Nothing Whatsoever and it all adds up to nowt. Plus the sub-Ayckbourn-esque way in which the entire ensemble stretches out across the full length of the Victoria Court flat set and we're halfway to Acorn Antiques. Michelle is good when she is away from this mob. Ryan's a laugh a times and Ali, in true Corrie style, finds that any status he once had is eroded away to nothing. What is to become of them? Do we care?

Another big, fat flop in 2018 was the introduction of Mary's family. In the same way that the Websters and Claytons failed in the 1980s, the Appletons suffered from having been dropped on us from a great height. They could have been interesting and vivacious. With Mary at the helm, they could have been fun. Instead we stared glassy eyed at a compulsive, child-like liar and his dull wife, the living embodiment of rowdy boredom. Together, they exhibited a dullness in full bloom and not even a bunch of loopy one-liners from Mary could save them. Thankfully, the axe fell.

One of the best, most wonderful moves of the year though was to install Jenny Bradley (sorry - for me she will always be Bradley) in the Rovers as landlady. What an inspired choice. Sally Ann Matthews was to the manor born as she assumed her position as the feisty yet ultimately fragile head of the hot pot. Her vendetta against Liz McDonald and her nasty red stockings established her as Weatherfield's bunny boiler supreme and we love her. Can this really be the same young girl who mesmerised a nation with her rendition of What I did for love?

2018 began with Pat Phelan in full flow and his gradual demise was a pleasure to watch, for all the right reasons. How some of us hoped that Eileen would find herself beneath several tonnes of concrete but alas, it wasn't to be. Despite her terrifying year, she's as lacklustre as ever. Looking at the rota, it's her turn to get comfy on the prison set next years let's hope she gets sent down for hacking off lumps of Seb's hair. Surely Audrey could apply a light perm. Eh? Hmm?

There is so much more we could rattle on about. The steady rise of Evelyn, Claudia's face full of flowers, the chronic underuse of Carla and Peter, the chronic overuse of Rana and Kate, Tyrone's unmentioned six-pack (pie and chips seemingly have a healthy effect on his physique), Steve and Tracy-luv's Carry On wedding, an 86 year old woman running a toffee shop single-handed, the preservation of Emily's house as a museum, Aidan's shocking suicide, David's battle against his horrific rape, the return of Gail's 60 year old son, Gail's hair getting its own Equity card . . . on it goes and for that we are thankful. For 2019 we are promised a collapsing factory, a serious breakdown and the return of a familiar face. Bring it on!







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13 comments:

Humpty Dumpty said...

Lovely write-up, David. Have you been absent for a while? I know I've missed several eps and not cared. I agree with your bouquets for Sally and Jenny, both played by outstanding actresses in mediocre storylines. If there should ever be a blog on 'Who do we care about in Corrie?', I'm sure only a few names would appear which is a terrible comment on such a large cast. Acting skills can overcome dreadful scripts but sometimes the task is too much even for veterans. Evelyn and Roy should be a great double-act but it hasn't happened yet. And I don't like Peter's new hair cut. Huge thanks to the blogging team and Happy New Year to everyone!

Jan said...

Bit random that 'I don't like Peter's new haircut' Humpty!( but funny).

Clinkers (David) said...

Happy New Year to you both! I currently live in Essex and have to say that Peter's hairdo would fit in quite nicely around here :)

coconno196 said...

Glad others dislike the haircut. I think it's horribly unflattering on anyone, but on a man in his fifties it just looks ridiculous. I wonder whether the new image is for Peter or for Chris Gascoyne?

popcorn said...

A totally brilliant review, David - many thanks! I agree with everything you said, except for the bit about Eileen, who I like in spite of everything. Happy New Year to you!

maggie muggins said...

Ooh, a Clinkers blog for New Year's Eve! Love the rattling on in the last paragraph. Big smiles and giggles here. All the best in 2019!

I think Peter's hair is supposed to be part of the hipster styling that is now blighting the entire world at the moment. Even news presenters and serious political researchers are getting in on it. Many with the beards too.

Clinkers (David) said...

Lovely to hear your comments as always. Happy New Year!

Emma Hynes said...

Hoorah for a blog from Clinkers with which to start the New Year! They never disappoint. Having read the comments however, stand by for something controversial....

I love Peter's new haircut!

(Ducks behind the Kabin counter for the foreseeable)

Happy New Year everyone!

433stanley said...

Am I alone in hating the Michelle Connor character, I often think it has turned into the Michelle Connor show she seems to figure in so many stories. I like Gail I think she is a funny character, same with Audrey who is very underused the pair of them could bring some more humour in. Mary's character seems to have lost something now maybe it will improve when the family goes. Characters are brought in with what seems like no idea how to use them, Vic Reeves' character I think more could have been made of his supposed relationship to Norris. Louis Emerick seemed to pop in for a brief visit then disappeared only to reappear for another brief visit. Did Nigel Havers have to come back as the con artist again couldn't he have reformed and been a new partner for Audrey, who got the money from Archie's will in an amazingly short time. Last but not least Kate & Rana please send them on a very long holiday

amanda50 said...

Happy New Year everyone and thanks for the excellent work Clinkers.I've got to the stage where I have my finger poised over the mute button on my remote whenever it looks likely that Kate or Rana are about to appear.Please make them go away.Toyah is starting to get on my nerves too, and how she's with Imran is a mystery to me.
Jenny Bradley is a legend in the making, she's always been fabulous in Corrie.I have a lot of love for Tim, Daniel and the awesome Evelyn.Peter's haircut not so much, but he does have lovely eyes.
A new year begins on the cobbles, let's hope it's a good one!

Anonymous said...

Too bad all that time was wasted on Mary and her doofus son. Surely she was meant to be with Roy but that ship has sailed, what with David N bowing out of the show.

Tom Gray said...


2018 - All of that time wasted on a pointless Phelan storyline and the introduction of the almost as pointless Evelyn character

Taffy said...

443stanley: you are not alone in disliking Michelle. Here in Canada, she is not very popular. It's all about her. Everyone was disgusted with the way she treated Steve when she was with him. But what does Steve do? He gets involved with Tracy. Out of the frying pan and into the fire!!

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