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Saturday 20 April 2019

Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Week

Time is elastic.  Sally took time out from attending to Tim's tingles in the shower to start work back at Underworld.  Quite what good a one-armed woman will be in that working environment is another matter; perhaps she was answering the phones while Sarah-Lou stalked her boyfriend.  Anyway, she said she'd never been glad to work on a Bank Holiday before - because obviously yesterday was Good Friday.  But hang on: in the same episode, Chesney and Gemma were also waking up from their first night in the caravan, when they went away on Wednesday.  And in Wednesday's episode, it was mentioned that Carla had run off the day before yesterday, which in Monday's episode we were told was the day before, while actually happening last Friday.  Meanwhile, Bertie's hurriedly arranged christening is happening "tomorrow" and being shown in the episode on Easter Monday.  WHAT DAY IS IT?!?!?!  Someone fetch me a Tommy Orpington calendar and circle the date before my head explodes.  (I'm glad Billy found time to do a Christening this weekend, by the way.  As we all know, vicars have absolutely nothing to do over Easter.  Poor love must have been bored out of his mind).

Worship THE REPORT.  Imran clattered around Monday's episodes swearing revenge and threatening violence, all in the name of Wayne and THE REPORT.  Everyone said it like that, in all caps, and it was treated as the most reverent text since the New Testament.  Imran accused Wayne of dragging his feet over producing it; I'd say a comprehensive investigation into a complex tragedy turning up a month later was pretty good going, but I'm not a highly trained lawyer like Imran.  Similarly, I'd have thought THE REPORT wouldn't be the kind of thing you have to smash up cars to get your hands on, what with it being a matter of public record and likely to be submitted to the Health and Safety Executive and the Police at some point, but clearly I'm underestimating the value of THE REPORT and its magical properties.  That single copy of THE REPORT has a value beyond all accounting, and definitely isn't stored on Wayne's laptop and able to be e-mailed to anyone who wants it at any time.

Still, it meant we got to see the back of the shops, which was a first for me.  Look!  It's Roy's bins!

Never mind the quality, feel the width.  Chesney and Gemma's homage to Carry on Behind was, ultimately, exhausting.  I'm happy for a good comedy plotline, but this was relentless.  It wasn't just a bad caravan, it was a filthy, smelly mess that had been used as a cannabis farm, had purple lighting, a hole in the roof, and dodgy electrics.  It wasn't just raining, it was an absolute apocalypse of relentless hammering precipitation.  Gemma didn't just get drunk, she got absolutely wasted, dragged a load of gullible villagers into her circle of decadence, and knocked back half a bottle of rum.  It was all too much; it was like a clown waterboarding you with his seltzer spray for two hours.

And if you're following the well-trodden path of Bad Caravan Holidays, it's probably not a great idea to put in reminders of other, much better comedies.  I like Gemma but she works best in small doses when she's being written as a sympathetic character, not as a tornado of chaos and selfishness (taking a seven year old's pocket money off him at poker is indefensible).  Her demand that Chesney "love her as she is" was appalling.  He wasn't asking her to change her entire personality, just stop leaving pizza in the toilet.  The one bright spot of the whole farrago was Joseph, who is a lovely little actor and was doing far more subtle work than the grown ups.

They really should put a roof on the set.  When Corrie was on Quay Street, it was relatively sheltered from the elements by the warm city around it.  Now they're out at blustery Salford Quays, with all those open docks, the wind gusting across the set has become a problem.  Poor Toyah was trying to have an intense conversation with Imran on Monday when she got caught up in a strong breeze...

...and unfortunately...

...she ended up looking like Cousin Itt.  I'd suggest they either wait until the worst of the weather has died down before filming or get the hairdressing department to invest in some really strong kirby grips.

Cellmates make great mates. Who'd have thought, back when we were trapped under that whole Mayoral fraud storyline, that it would produce one of the best comedy partnerships on the Street?  Abi and Sally were brilliant this week, with Sal adopting a kind of Professor Higgins role and trying to get her friend to improve herself.  She volunteered her pantsuits when Abi wore a skirt that was "on the economical side" then, later in the pub, she shangai'd Brian into tutoring her for her GCSEs.  (I can't help thinking her choice of Brian as teacher was deliberate, given that when Sally tried to get some extra qualifications, she ended up hurling herself at the schoolmaster).  Abi gave as good as she got though, constantly winding her up, and their effortless banter was delightful.  Get Abi back in the garage where she belongs and have her hook up with Kevin and I'll be very happy indeed.

Has there been any single shot in the history of Corrie more disgusting than Ken Barlow putting his foot in a dog egg?  I think not.  If you have any other suggestions, let me know on Twitter @merseytart - but I beg of you, no pictures please. 

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Humpty Dumpty said...

Agree with everything! I started a comment a few blogs ago about Wayne so conveniently leaving his report in a public place, suspending disbelief and all that, but lost the will half-way through. Gemma is too much and while some fans obviously love her free spirit, I find her exhausting to watch. She's OK with Rita and Jenny but Chesney is too weak. Sally and Abi are great to watch. Sally Dynevor should get a stand-alone piece. To my mind, she knocks spots off Alison King who could do with losing the growl and injecting a bit of humour in her eventual recovery. Sally and Tim's scripts were written straight but the actors found the humour. Here's a suggestion for a new female gang in the Rovers, observing and judging: Sally, Abi, Jenny and possibly Evelyn.

Anonymous said...

I liked the scene with Imram and Toyah battling the elements as they were talking as it added a touch of realism that in lacking in many of the story lines these days such as Sarah owning and driving a care when she's supposedly broke and was always expecting someone else to pick up her son from nursery school.

maggie muggins said...

Oh, yes, Humpty, Gemma is too much of a free spirit now. I too liked her for quite a long time, until recently when her out of proportion free-spiritedness started flowing out through her hair, giving us some of the most unsightly stylings ever gawked at on Corrie! Not the actresses fault. It's all waaay too over the top and bores me to tears, not laughter.

Oh, and I do like the 4 members in your female Rovers gang idea!

Scott, your Five Things is, as always singularly funny and insightful. One oddity about Wayne and any secrecy about The Report was how he kept telling various street residents that they needn't worry about guilt, very early on. Like Roy. Shouldn't he have kept his mouth closed till The Report was done? One minute he was grumpily telling people to stop asking questions, the next he was advising some not to worry as they were off the hook. Not very pro!

Your whole write-up is spot one. "A clown water-boarding you..."! LOL! I just have one question. What is Gemma holding in her hand in that photo in the camper-van? I played back that scene 10 times and can't make it out!

Gav said...

It's a wee cow, Maggie.

Louby said...

In Corrie history, there have been characters that have worked very well as occasional appearances, but gone downhill rapidly when given a much bigger part. I would definitely put Reg Holdsworth in this category. And imo, Gemma should have stayed in that category too. Moira is such a character and I hope she stays this way as her occasional appearance is very amusing.

Anonymous said...

We've seen Kitchener Street on screen before; it appeared when David and Nick broke into Nathan's flat when he had a 'party'.

Secondly, assuming it's a Fire Exit, Mr Cropper is breaking the law with the gated door!

Gilles27 said...

I enjoyed the Father Ted reference with the cow in Gemma's hand. It was on the table earlier in the episode and I was hoping that they'd do the famous scene. In the end what Gemma did was more subtle and funny. Yes, I used the words 'Gemma' and 'subtle' in the same sentence!


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