Saturday, 10 August 2019

Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Week

The Baileys are BACK!  This week saw the triumphant return of James to the Street.  You remember James?  The youngest Bailey?  The seemingly permanently injured footballer who has, somehow, become bezzie mates with Evelyn?  I wouldn't blame you if you didn't because he hasn't been in the show for weeks.  All of the Baileys have been decidedly absent from our screens since they first smashed their way into Ken Barlow's back room.  Ed has mainly appeared as a supporting builder to other character's projects, Michael pops up with weird non-sequiturs, and Mrs Tembe Aggie's last appearance was staring at Kirk's backside.  I get that they don't want to overwhelm us with these new characters but it'd be nice to see them interact with one another now and then - Ed keeps talking about how fearsome Aggie is but we never see them together.  Give us a family outing to the pub, a Sunday dinner, anything.  Having said that, every time James turns up the rest of the cast start talking about nothing but football, so maybe have him break his leg and go into teaching or something.  There was so much Weatherfield County chat in Friday's episode it was like being stuck in a Rover 400 with Jeff Stelling and Robbie Savage.  Coronation Street's audience is 90% women and gay men; we watch this show so we don't have to hear about sport all the time. 

Mary is the light in the darkness.  The show was a bit of a slog this week with lots of interminable discussions about Underworld that were simultaneously confusing and really boring, plus that trafficking storyline sucking the joy out of the programme because it's hard to make the enforced exploitation of young women fun and jolly.  Thank heavens then for Mary, who did her usual job of making every scene 1000% better just by existing.  She accused Evelyn of "corporate fraud" (i.e. sticking reduced stickers on pilchards), she demanded that Gary take his hand out of her drawers, and she slapped Tim with such joy and comic timing that even Joe Duttine couldn't keep a straight face:

Patti Claire is a treasure and I hope her contract with ITV is for thirty years and pays her millions.

Consciences come and go.  A few weeks ago, I noted that nobody had mentioned the bail hostel for ages, so I assumed they'd just dropped that whole plotline.  It came back with a vengeance this week as Claudia decided to flog her flat so she wouldn't have to look at it.  Claudia seemed to be the only person in the Street who cared about the bail hostel, and since it's now not happening, part of me wonders if she invented the whole thing so she could finagle her way into number one.  Because who wouldn't trade in a newly decorated penthouse for a two-up two-down filled with Barlows?  Maybe she was swung by the sight of Ken's surprisingly large telly.

I bet he pretends he got it so he could see the nature documentaries in HD but we all know it's so he can watch Strictly in all its shiny-floored glory.  Imran tried to get the flat at a knock down price by concealing the bail hostel's cancellation but Toyah's basic goodness and strong sense of right and wrong meant that she had to tell Claudia she was being fleeced.  That's the same Toyah who spent a large part of her relationship with Peter concealing the fact that his baby was dead and she was going to replace it with one she'd bought off Eva.  Moral compasses are funny things, aren't they?  (Although none of this answers my other question in that blog - if this bail hostel isn't being built, then where is Paul living?)

Arthur Negus is alive and well.  Gary's life got even more complicated this week, with him branching out into real estate, blackmail and safecracking.  I don't know where he finds the time to be honest.  As Glyn (@glynellishughes) pointed out on Twitter, the technical term for this is BarryGrantIfication, named after the Brookside scally who somehow turned into a kind of Scouse Blofeld, murdering, stealing and beating up most of Merseyside.  This time last year Gary was a perfectly nice young builder, now he's basically a ginger Kray.  I'm not sure why he's bothering because it's clear from his lock up that his true passion is antiques.  He started off flogging some second hand furniture dragged out of a destitute's living room and now he's dealing in stately home clearances.

Contemporary sofas mounted artfully on the wall!  Antique firearms!

Hefty wooden desks!  Display cases!  Leather armchairs!

Priceless typewriters!  A GONG!  Seriously, Gary needs to drop the scally thug act, get a bow tie and a poodle, and open a nice little shop on the Rows in Chester.  All the profits but with rather less smashing people over the head with a crowbar.

Emma is criminally underappreciated.  It was bad enough when Maria and Gemma both exploited our favourite crimper as a cheap babysitter.  I'm sure the boys had a lovely time with Emma because she's a treasure but it wasn't exactly a great night out for a young girl.  However their lack of care about her own trials and tribulations is absolutely tragic.  She returned from visiting her dad in hospital with her eye make-up streaming down her face like the Joker mid-murder spree and Maria looked up from her snogging session to casually ask "How did it go?"  I mean, come on Maria.  Someone get her some flashcards that show how to understand human emotions.  She sort of made up for it by buying Emma a drink in the pub, subtly interrogating her about her past life, as the writers tried to lay the groundwork for That Upcoming Storyline.  Apparently her dad was married to her mum in Australia, but then they divorced, and Emma lived there for a while, but then she came back and that's why she's got a Northern accent thicker than a barm cake?  It doesn't really make sense, not least because I'm sure she was living with her mum when she first appeared in the show, but this is the trouble when a guest character is so good you keep her on and then need to contrive a back story.  You end up tying yourself in knots.  Just ask Julie Carp.  Anyway, let's hope her family - whoever they may be - appreciate her a lot more than her so-called mates and treat her as she deserves.

While the author is very much pro Jenny Bradley turning the upstairs of the Rovers into a B&B, he can't help thinking that her proposed safari-themed guest room would result in some very low TripAdvisor scores.  Contact me on Twitter @merseytart, Jenny, and I'll point you in the direction of some nice Pinterest boards.

All original work on Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License


Louby said...

Never mind the Baileys, you're back with your cutting wit and the world is a better place.

Paul has been living in Rita's flat for quite a while I think, since Gemma took pity on him.

We can overlook any mistakes in the script about Emma's past if it means she's staying. What happens next should be very entertaining.

Looking forward to your classic Corrie review!

popcorn said...

Another classic - - - "Ken's surprisingly large telly." I am wondering why it is that Steve is necessarily Emma's father. Why not Jim? Thanks for another Saturday morning's entertainment. I missed you last week!

Mikey said...

Paul definitely lives with Rita, not sure where you got the idea of him living in the bail hostel from.

From what I can understand, Emma’s parents have been together up until last year when her mum moved to Australia.

Anonymous said...

Did Maria actually do anything to Adam's hair at his 4.30 appointment? It looked worse than ever when he was in the pub.
Why did 4 of the underworld work force decide for all the rest of the workers ((debatable term I know) what the future of he factory was going to be?
And what is this weird non sequential flexi time that seems to affect Coronation Street?
Just 3 of so many questions about this week.

Anonymous said...

Do the silent non speaking workers have a share in Underworld? If not, why?

Gary Windass is getting on my t**s. I wish they would axe him and that godforsaken awful terrible producer Iain MacLeod.

And Gemma is a two bit bint for abusing Emma's better nature.

David Hughes said...

Brilliant as always and I especially agree about the Baileys. If the idea wasn’t to bring a full fun family to our Street, then why bother at all? Maria has to run two salons single-handedly it wonder she forgot about Adam, the greasiest sleaziest solicitor you’ll ever have the misfortune to represent you. Oh, and why hasn’t there been an outcry about the community centre being full of boxes and a sewing machine.

Sharon boothroyd said...

Great post - missed you last week! It's silly Steve being Emma's dad - maybe they only decided on the storyline because fab actress Angela Griffin happens to have a spare few months? I don't think they know what to do with Toyah still, and oh how I wish Carla would tie her hair back while working in Roy's cafe. Those 2 builders who were waiting ages for their their fry up probably found big long hairs in it too!

Anonymous said...

I'll give Toyah the benefit of the doubt as I think her telling Claudia about Imram's scam was her way of making amends for her cruel lie about little Susie?
We've already seen Toyah help Carla get a doctor when she was having her breakdown as a way to make up for keeping Aidan's child for herself while watching Johnny struggle with his son's death.

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