Saturday, 17 August 2019

Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Week


Nothing good happens in a lay-by.  Carla and Peter were feeling a little frisky this week, but both their homes were occupied by father figures (real and adoptive).  Peter had the perfect solution: a lay-by on the way to the airport, where he often stops for a pastie but the guy in the van "knocks off at four".  Don't believe him, Carla!  This isn't a chance for a little alfresco naughtiness, it's a dogging site, and Peter is about to drag you into his world of sordid outdoor exhibitionism.  You'll be mid-snog, open your eyes, and see half a dozen sweaty truckers staring at you through the windscreen with their fists in their pockets.


The lies go on... and on... and on.  It's funny how time works on the Street.  Sometimes storylines go by in seconds: Alina's slavery, for example, went from Seb discovering it to the police arriving and sorting everything out in about five episodes.  Meanwhile, we're entering what feels like the fourteenth month of the Robert/Vicky/Michelle shenanigans, and there's still no end in sight.  I think she's got the gestation period of an African elephant.  In fact the reason Vicky's crying up there is Kerri Quinn has been told her contract's been extended and so she has another three months of alternately ordering and cancelling taxis and never leaving that pink and grey living room set ahead of her.  We almost got some closure this week, as Vicky finally did what she should've done ages ago and wandered towards the Bistro to tell Michelle to rack off, but Robert popped up and packed her off back to Macclesfield.  Did we know she was living in Macclesfield?  That felt significant somehow.


Meanwhile Michelle took time out from her busy schedule of being astonishingly gullible to stab her son's girlfriend in the back.  Alya captured Ray the charity man with her excellent food, planned and organised the deals, and only brought in the Bistro as support when she realised her kitchen wasn't quite big enough.  Unsurprisingly she thought she'd get a decent contract out of this but now Ray's employed Michelle he's not bothered any more, and Michelle had no interest whatsoever in helping Alya out.  It feels like now Kym Marsh has handed in her notice the scales have fallen from the writer's eyes and they've realised they no longer have to pretend Michelle is a nice character.  "Am I a bad person?" the Exalted Queen of the Universe sobbed to Robert, and the British Geological Survey reported an earth tremor as eight million viewers shouted "YES!"


They're building a bridge to your hearts.  The only thing I know about bridge is it takes up three chapters of the novel Moonraker and even though it's been thirty years since I first read that book I still haven't got the slightest idea what's going on.  Still, the residents of the Street seemed enthusiastic, devoting an afternoon to tricks and rubbers.  Jenny and Johnny proved surprisingly capable despite the fact that they got absolutely smashed (one of my favourite moments was after the Connors had been eliminated for cheating and Johnny turned up in the back of shot slumped over a packet of salt and vinegar):


Elsewhere Geoff was appalling, because of course he was, but the battle royale was between Ken and Claudia (Team Bouffant) and Brian and Mary (Team Comedy).  It turned out Mary had a secret past as quite the pro, forming the "Shari Lewis and Lambchop of the bridge world" with her mother.  We soon discovered that her failsafe technique was to distract Claudia with various thinly veiled but none the less hilarious jibes about her general personage and demeanor.  This lead to a run down of the things Mary's mother thinks are common:

  • wearing costume jewellery in the day
  • dyed hair
  • umbrellas
  • motorway service stations
  • cheese
I feel like Mary's mother and I would get along like a house on fire.


The con is on.  Hurray, Dev's back!  (Although he only brought one of his twins back with him; I'm starting to suspect when Aadi does return he'll have a different head).  His firing and then re-hiring of Evelyn meant we got some lovely interaction between Maureen Lipman and little Ruby as she used her great-granddaughter as a "business adviser".  She can't be any worse than Michelle, who we were once again told has a brilliant business brain despite all the evidence to the contrary.  The two of them formed a delightful pairing and Dev was powerless to resist their atomic levels of adorableness, giving into Evelyn's demands for extra wages even though she'd run a bookie's from behind the counter.  I'd quite like to see a spin off with Evelyn and Ruby travelling round the north grifting, taking rubes for all they have and living off their wits; a kind of 21st century Paper Moon.  With Hope - the very definition of "a bit of a problem child" - about to return, Fiz and Tyrone would probably be pleased to have Ruby taken off their hands.


Coarseness is the new standard.  Now I like a good dirty joke as much as the next pervert, and Corrie has always mixed innuendo in with its proper Northern wit.  Roughly 45% of Bet Lynch's dialogue was pronounced with a raised eyebrow.  But there's been a move to a far more scatological vein of "comedy" of late, and it's really unpleasant.  This week we got the Further Adventures of Tiny's Urinary Tract as he weed all over Steve's trouser legs again; I think this is about the third or fourth time they've used this gag, and it doesn't get any funnier.  That was merely the hors d'oeuvre (or maybe HORSE d'oeuvre, eh?  Oh, please yourselves) to the main urine-related plotline of the week, which was Bernie collecting Gemma's widdle in a bucket so she could dunk pregnancy tests in it then flog them to women who wanted to trap unwilling boyfriends into commitment.  There isn't a single bit of this plotline I find appealing, amusing or in any way pleasant.  You wouldn't have got a plotline about Annie Walker peeing in a bucket, not least because Annie was so refined I'm not entirely sure she ever used the toilet.  By the time Bernie was sniffing her fingers in the Rovers I felt sorry for everyone involved - the actors, the writers, and most of all the audience.  How vulgar.  How coarse.  How common.  There you go, Mary's mum; another one for your list.

I've not mentioned the Emma plotline for the simple reason that it's far too upsetting.  Nothing should ever make those big eyes of Alexandra Mardell fill with tears, and it breaks your heart every time it happens.  If you have any complaints please direct them to me on Twitter @merseytart.  Alternatively send tissues.






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5 comments:

Sue said...

Oh how much I agree with your views on the coarseness of some of the scenes. It’s like Corrie is trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

corrierules said...

Michelle's "business acumen" consists of dressing up as a ninja and committing insurance fraud.

Anonymous said...

I thought the writers sunk to a new low years ago when they had Tracy dose Roy with a date rape drug as a 'joke' but I was wrong as the writers are sinking even lower with Bernie's scam!
I wonder how soon before Michelle sleeps with Ray because her 'business acumen'also consists of having flings with her clients as she did with Will and the bloke who hired her to organise a birthday party for his daughter while Steve was suffering from depression.

Sharon boothroyd said...

Yep, I too don't understand why Michelle has a good business brain. There's the insurance fraud for a start and why wasn't her wedding planning sideline a success?
What amazes is me is that characters like Carla and Michelle are somehow offered fantastic jobs, despite employment records with lots of gaps,
periods of severe illness, dodgy financial transactions and their own businesses collapsing. I'll be glad to see the back of Michelle, to be honest.
As for the absurd Bernie plot - Corrie are really taking the p***!

Humpty Dumpty said...

I'd like to be a fly on the wall at the Corrie writers conference. Do the writers come up with these storylines or does the storyline editor decide the overall plan. If the latter, I could imagine some of the senior writers despairing at what they have to do. If the former, I'm despairing.

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