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Saturday 21 September 2019

Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Week

The storyliners have gone too far.  Over the decades, the Corrie crew have asked us to swallow many unbelievable developments.  Jack Duckworth in drag.  The ghost of Martha Longhurst.  Absolutely nobody clubbing Ivy Tilsley to death for being a miserable interfering old bat.  But by making James gay, they've finally crossed over into science fiction.  As everyone knows, there's no such thing as a gay footballer.  There are over a hundred professional football teams in England, each with a squad of at least twenty young men, and not one of them is homosexual.  Not one.  That's not me making assumptions - that is an empirical fact.  You might say the odds on there being two thousand human males in a single profession and not one of them being gay is so overwhelmingly unlikely it's patent nonsense and there must be another explanation.  You might say that the overwhelmingly toxic masculinity of the football profession combined with hostile fans and unsupportive management means that gay soccer players are forced to remain in the closet.  This is all nonsense.  The truth is gays just don't know anything about football, as they are too busy flower arranging and listening to Kylie to pay attention to sport; my boyfriend's pronounced guffawing as I type this definitely isn't because Liverpool FC's rivals Everton have lost to Sheffield United, but is probably because he's reading about Tom Allen or something.  By having a gay male footballer, Corrie has breached the boundaries of realism, and James may as well have come out as an alien from the planet Zephulat for all its relevance to the experiences of actual human beings.  (Please note that this only applies to men: it is a well known fact that the opposite is true of women footballers, and even the ones who are married with children are actually lesbians).  Still, it's good to see Corrie maintain a "one in, one out" policy with regards to LGBTQ+ characters, as Kate's departure was immediately followed up by another character jumping out the closet.  I presume when Sophie leaves in a little while they'll keep the quota by having, I don't know, Evelyn reveal she's bi.

Baking isn't for everyone.  Daniel tried to surprise Sinead with home-made croissants this week, which caused me to raise my eyebrows.  I never bake - there is nothing I can make that will possibly be better than Mr Kipling - but even I know croissants are ridiculously difficult to make.  I saw it on Bake Off; it's a lot of folding and rolling and about eight metric tonnes of butter.  In addition, there's a lot of hanging about - one recipe I found suggests at least half an hour proving between each rolling out, plus an overnight chill for the dough.  Daniel must've worked through the night to make those pastries - no wonder he was so exhausted.  In the end they were more like barbecue charcoals than light French breads, reminding us that if you want something done right, go to Roy's, where they're only 70p and you get to have someone else do the hard work.

Unless Mrs Tembe Aggie's on duty, of course.  Her smashed avocado looked like a sneeze gone wrong, her canapés caused Dev to visibly heave, and her suggestion of "chicken, leek and grapefruit" pies made Roy and Shona recoil in horror.  If Aggie's behind the counter, stick to a cup of tea.  (Does she no longer work at the pharmacy by the way?  Is she doing that as well as the cafe?).

Let it go.  A few days ago, Daniel offered Bethany a few compliments about her writing, and then they stood close to one another for a little bit too long.  They didn't touch, didn't kiss, and the very next day Daniel got married to someone else.  You or I would've taken this as a sign he wasn't interested but not Bethany, who has instead spent all the time since then hovering in his shadow and making puppy dog eyes.  I know literally every man she's ever taken an interest in has turned out to be a bit of a scumbag - with the exception of Craig, and let's be honest, she was never that keen - so I can understand how a man who cares deeply for his dying wife would be a change, but come on girl, have a bit of self-respect.  By the end of Friday's episode she was agreeing to be James's beard and I wanted to give her a shake and tell her to take care of Bethany for once.

She should have listened to her great-gran, who told her, in not so many words, to stop mooning after blokes and instead go and spread herself about.  Listen to Audrey, Bethany; a bit of casual snogging with some random bloke round the back of the Coliseum nightclub after too many snakebites will pep up your self-esteem no end.  Aud spent most of the 1960s doing the twist in a miniskirt up against a series of besotted gentlemen and she waved every single one of them goodbye without a regret, and look what a legend she grew up to be.

Make savings where you can.  It's expensive making a show like Corrie, with all those actors demanding exorbitant wages and time off and so on, so the producers are forced to cut corners now and then.  The guest list for Aggie's housewarming party, for example, shrunk from "the whole Street" in the planning stages to "Dev, Eileen, Mary, Steve and Cathy" in its final incarnation (plus a load of supporting artists who weren't allowed to talk). The writers were forced to come up with hurried explanations like Brian's "Civil War reenactment" to explain his absence (a hobby I don't think he's ever mentioned before, and probably never will again).  She also held the party in the middle of the day, so they didn't have to pay the actors expensive night rates, and the producers refused to pay for anyone to play a DJ, despite the prop men supplying a sound system that had been liberated from Creamfields and which probably needed a full sound crew to work it.  Let's be honest, Gemma and Bernie would've been straight next door for a rave up, and Sally would've loved the opportunity to pass judgement on Aggie's soft furnishings, but they were nowhere to be seen.

Even more egregiously, they simply paid two extras to sit around in masks pretending to be Beth and Sinead while they dubbed their voices over the top so they could save a few bob on proper actors.  Look at that picture; those two could be anyone.  Later in the scene they peeled the masks off but that was for the emotional funeral conversation, where actual acting was required, so Katie McGlynn and Lisa George were coaxed out of the Green Room for those moments.  They've also saved money by refusing to get any of Sinead's other family back, so we have no idea what her mum and Doreen Corkhill think of her terminal diagnosis.  Mind you, that might be in character, as they only ever seem to visit Sinead when there's a free bar; they might be waiting for the funeral so they can fill their handbags with vol-au-vents and get wasted on Scotch.  (In fact, I'm surprised they haven't done an Ashley/Fred style revelation about Sinead's parentage, but I suppose Emma being Steve's secret daughter has put paid to that).  Watch out for more of this in future, as ITV forces more cost-cutting on the show.  Hallowe'en will see everyone go trick or treating in full masks, even Roy and Ken; a new fashion trend for burkhas will sweep Weatherfield, meaning many conversations in the factory will take place between people with only their eyes showing, while the Christmas special will take place in the Rovers during a power cut and will be a black screen for an hour with a series of voice overs.  There will be a single candle lit after fifteen minutes, but then someone will point out a naked flame is dangerous in a room that contains both Audrey and Claudia's bouffants, and it will be rapidly snuffed out.

Forgive and forget.  "Oh hi Billy, remember when you killed my mum in a car crash after an armed robbery and were never brought to justice?"

"Hahaha, yeah, and remember when you got me addicted to opiates and I was reduced to taking heroin in my church?  That was so funny."

"We can laugh about it now.  Pint?"

"Don't mind if I do, mate!"

The author was shocked to see Jenny Bradley buying a birthday card from the Co-op rather than the Kabin.  Rita will be livid, and will  give her one of her "now look lady" talks when she she finds out, so if you can get me an e-mail address for Reet so I can tell her, please forward it to me via Twitter @merseytart.  I'll bring the popcorn. 

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


popcorn said...

Your piece here on gay (or rather, non-gay) footballers is legend, and should be up for some kind of award.

David said...

Justin Fashanu

Robbie Rogers

Thomas Hitzlsperger

Glenn Hysan

Anonymous said...

Having the party at that time of day was just weird.
Speaking of extras, they manage to have plenty of them working in the background at Speed Daal so why not the bistro.

Scott Willison said...

Thanks for the links David! But you've linked to four out gay players in the last thirty years (out of 156) of English professional football, only one of whom was actually playing in the UK at the time of his outing, and whose career suffered as a result. Of the other three, one never played in England, and the other two only came out as gay after retirement. As of the time of writing there are no out professional gay players in the English men's football league among the, as I said, 2000+ professionals in the sport. So my point still stands.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. When the reviews for these episodes were released, there was a comment it's not a problem in today's society to come out. There was one reply which stated that it was in professional football. That comment was so true

Sharon boothroyd said...

Great post Scott!Always makes me chuckle.
Like you, I wonder where Sinead's mum is. I also wondered why half the street were missing at Edison's party - as you say, Gemma and Bernie would be there like a shot.
I also wonder why the Bistro manages to serve lots of meals when there's never a chef in the kitchen. And if David is in an all male prison, why did we see ladies loos when Billy visited? Just to add - I'm sure Izzy can do a lot better for herself than dreary Derek!

maggie muggins said...

Oh, Scott, you've done it again! Made my brain go round in laughter spirals! Your skill in ludicrous and escalating fantasy scenarios, based on the episodes' real daftness, and also serious issues too, is a thing of elegance and beauty!

Yes, please let Bethany become Bethany! And I have to say, I've enjoyed Corrie this week more than I have in a long time. And that seems to be happening more and more lately. Whatever is causing this, keep it up Corrie people!

Anonymous said...

So awful comment about gay footballers. I am bi and I play football. Definitely there are more gay or bi footballers, but what gives you the right to know who is gay or bi or not. None of your business. Usually I find your posts funny but not today, just plain distasteful disrepect and so stereotypical. Not all gays have to be so camp or non sporty.

Newfy Pearl said...

Not everyone is in on your private joke...for that is how your post read to me. I love the updates on this site...but I could not relate to your type of 'humour'.

Louby said...

I totally get what you're saying re the football and I think you're spot on.

The Billy and Adam scene illustrates my biggest annoyance with Corrie; that they have a big storyline, then after it finishes, often quite abruptly it's like it never happened.

Catsmom said...

Speaking of the scene with Sinead and Beth wearing masks reminds me of the poorly done scene with Katie McGlynn supposedly crying over her prognosis. Not to take away anything from Katie McGlynn, but she didn't really look like she was crying, just looked like someone put eyedrops in her eye so they would run down her cheek and give the appearance of crying. When people cry, their faces get all red & kind of crumpled. And most telling of all is, tears run from BOTH their eyes, not just one. Note to makeup people or whoever is responsible for that: if you want it to look like an actor is crying, you need the eyedropper for both eyes.

Gilles27 said...

You are bi and you play football. I assume it is not your profession, or is that why your post is anonymous? You are right that people's sexuality is their own business, but Scott is quite right to point out that of the 2000 professional footballers in the UK it is ridiculous to believe that they are all straight. Of those that are gay it is reasonable to assume that some of them would like to be out and proud and would not feel the need to hide their sexuality if they had a different job.


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