Gritty sagas by Corrie blog editor Glenda Young, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Week

Gemma is Reg Holdsworth.  A year or so ago, I'd have listed Gemma in the top tier of Corrie characters.  She'd been promoted to series regular through the sheer power and charm of Dolly-Rose Campbell's performance and she'd rewarded that trust by being a high point in every appearance.  She was funny, she was compassionate, she was smart - remember Gemma was the one who spotted Rita's decline when she had a brain tumour - we wanted more of her.  She was Mary, or Julie, or Emma.  Well, be careful what you wish for, because Gemma is sadly ruined and beyond rescue.  The producers have knocked her character back to the noisy, stupid scrote she was in her first appearances, removed her spark and wit and brains, and made her clatter round the show trapped in unfunny comedy plots and yelling.  This week it hit me: she's a 21st Century Reg Holdsworth.  Reg started out as an amusing side character, before being promoted to his own plotlines, where he gurned and smirked, ruining everything with his presence.  Watch Classic Corrie on ITV3 and his storylines exist outside the reality of the show; they're a whole weird parallel universe of over the top, unfunny comedy.  Gemma has become that, not acting like a real human being, but instead like a cartoon character who's somehow sprung to life.  Giving her quads - QUADS - was a horrible, horrible mistake, making it a comedy pregnancy made it worse (every time they mention the baby who's not developing it's incredibly jarring) and everything that's happened to her since then has just compounded it.  This week she got stuck in a football turnstile and honestly it was about as amusing and sophisticated as an episode of Love Thy Neighbour.  I feel sorry for Dolly-Rose, whose real promise has been derailed by stupidity (QUADS!), and I sort of hope that she leaves the show once the babies are born, for her own sake.  It'd certainly be a relief for me.

The restaurants have severe staffing issues.  Ryan had to draft Alya in to help out in the Bistro this week as everyone else found something better to do.  Michelle and Robert were on holiday, Kate's gone to the Far East, Daniel was with his sick wife, Faye was babysitting, and Bethany was jogging with James.  Who organised that rota?  The only people left working in the restaurant were those non-speaking extras in black; Ryan had to get his girlfriend in so he'd have someone to talk to.  It might seem unlikely that Alya would help out at Speed Daal's main rival, but the alternative was spending the day with Geoff, and frankly I'd help build Donald Trump's wall with my bare hands if it meant I wouldn't have to spend any time with that vile humanoid.

I've reached the stage where I shout so many obscenities at the screen when he appears I've had to put the subtitles on so I can get the dialogue through the fog of F-words.  He's absolutely vile, and I find it so depressing that a clever woman like Yasmeen can fall for his manipulation.  He's now conned her into buying him half of the restaurant; he doesn't seem to be actually putting any money into it, but he's still getting a share, which seems totally fair.  This does mean that Zeedan's last shred of involvement with Speed Daal is gone.  Remember how hard he worked with that food truck, putting his heart and soul into the concept, so that he could open the restaurant of his dreams... and about four minutes after it opened he ran off to London?  I'd have loved to have seen the face on the producer when he refused to renew his contract just after they'd built a big expensive set based around his character.  Geoff's big idea for Speed Daal is to start serving booze; given that one of the central tenents of the entire restaurant is that it's dry, this seems like a bit of a swerve.  Mind you, that's Geoff all over - take something that's working perfectly fine and ruin it for no reason.  His next suggestion will be getting all that complicated Indian food off the menu and replacing it with burgers and chips, and the place will go under, and he'll find a reason to blame Yasmeen, and I will get even more furious on my sofa.

Some wishes don't need to be granted.  Sinead decided she wanted to have a picnic and even though it was a barmy idea, her family did it.  (That's her family who are regulars on the show - Sinead's mum and gran remain conspicuous by their absence).  Now come on, love; it's October.  It's chilly and wet and you want everyone to huddle around in their overcoats eating sandwiches while the tram parps past?  Not to mention there's a baby in the mix there and Sinead is far more susceptible to sickness in her fragile state so chills probably aren't advisable.  If I were Daniel and she asked for a picnic I'd take her to Sefton Park Palm House, or a garden centre, or the plant section at Homebase.  Anywhere you can lay out a picnic blanket under trees but still be protected from the cold.  Still, it's a better suggestion than naked Twister, which Beth, Kirk and Craig started to act on until she admitted it was a joke.  Daniel objected to the idea of Kirk's dangly bits in his face, but nobody pointed out that Craig getting his mum's unclothed intimates thrust at him was far, far worse.  That's years of counselling with Toyah, right there.

The newest idea to keep Sinead perky is to give her Christmas two months early.  They decided to spring the celebration on her, because the last time they did that it went so well, what with her bursting into tears, announcing she was dying and ruining everyone's day.  Still, Tracy showed a bit of compassion and agreed to cook the dinner.  It's a Christmas miracle!

Granny doesn't know best.  Max's nan Marion has regenerated, and judging by that haircut, she's now in her Tom Baker phase.  Marion had arrived in the show to express her deep concern about Max and the way he's been brought up, a concern that had only manifested itself in the last couple of weeks, because this character hasn't been in the show since 2016.  I'm glad she has turned up because Max's legal status has been a constant niggle of mine.  Both his birth parents are dead, David never got round to adopting him, and right now he's being cared for by a woman who is engaged to his step-dad.  He hasn't even got the same surname as the rest of his family.  Now someone who actually shares his DNA has showed up and the Platts are thrown into a panic.  Of course, he has half-sister Lily and half-brother Harry living with him (Harry is simultaneously Lily's cousin, because the family tree of the residents of number 8 is less a proud oak and more of a vine).  I strongly suspect the writers had forgotten about that particular genetic link because Marion went on long speeches about how much she loved her grandson Max and how concerned she was about his care and then at the end she'd go "oh yeah, there's also Harry," as though Tina O'Brien had quietly pointed it out to the director and they'd had to add something on the spot.  It'd be nice for someone to care about Harry for once.

Bethany's going for the Booker.  Having conquered the world of journalism with her one (ONE) article, Bethany has decided to become a writer full-time, and has moved into short fiction.  James got to read her totally made up and definitely not real story of Beverley Pratt and her unrequited love for Dashiell Barnow and his dying wife Sinead (oh damn, one slipped through there, best get the Tipp-Ex out).  James rightly pointed out that "write what you know" doesn't mean "copy out your diary and change the names".  He's proving to be a surprisingly thoughtful footballer, even if he doesn't seem to be talented enough to play in the first team.  I'm not sure what the problem is given that the entire squad of Wethy County seems to be Tommy Orpington and literally nobody else.  You'd think he'd welcome a bit of help.  Anyway, Bethany is going to enter the story anyway, on the basis that nobody on the Street will ever see it.  I'm sure that is definitely right and won't come back to haunt her at any point.

Did you hear the prison was really tense and overcrowded?  It was only mentioned about four hundred times so you might have missed it.  I really can't guess what's going to happen next; if you have any ideas, please send them to me on Twitter @merseytart.

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Sharon Boothroyd said...

Surely Max would be better off with his gran? He could return in three years totally transformed...does he know Harry is his half brother?
I'm already getting fed- up of David and co in prison, and I'm sorry but I can't get really emotional about Sinead when I know she's going to be in the Peter Pan panto.
It was nice to see Tracey's kind side, though.
As for Bethany- Andy was also a short story writer - look what happened to him... yep, Gemma and her'out for all I can get' mam Bernie are very OTT. It's a shame.

Sue said...

It was bizarre when Shona said that Max had stayed with his gran that David thought she meant Gail. Gail lives in the same house (when she is not on the world’s longest holiday in Thailand) so why would Shona have said ‘stayed’?
Yet again everybody seemed to be wandering around or drinking in the pub with no sense of what time of day it was.

And how I totally agree with you Scott re Gemma, her scenes and storylines are pathetically poor.

popcorn said...

I thought the worst writing on Corrie was that all the women got pregnant the first time they had unprotected sex. Well, this has been topped - QUADS! Do those writers live in the real world?
If I were Dolly Rose Campbell, I would leave Corrie now, while she can still get a decent role elsewhere. What a total waste of a good actress.

Louby said...

I totally agree with your theories about Gemma. That turnstile scene was cringeworthy. I just dread to think what the script writers will come up with when the babies have arrived.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be pedantic Sharon, but it's Katie McGlynn who's appearing in panto, not Sinead

Sharon Boothroyd said...

Yes I know, but that's the reason why I'm not too sad about the storyline. It was the same with the actress who played Kylie, who was written out to due pregnancy.I guess I should be able to immerse myself in the soap and forget about the actors behind the characters - but I'm one of those silly viewers who can't!

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% with your comments regarding Gemma. I cannot stand the character and her mother and really wish they would both leave.
Sinead really should be in the hospice where she would be looked after properly.

Kelly said...

Spot on about Gemma. She started off as the girl from the wrong side of the tracks in the mould of Becky or Tina. Scenes with Rita were great but it all went downhill when they paired her with Chesney, the world's most boring man. They'd have been better off leaving her with the posh bloke, at least they had some chemistry.

70sStreetFan said...

I don’t remember Gemma EVER being anything other than extremely annoying. I think the writers did try to redeem her by pairing her with Rita and by going down the cliched “heart of gold” under the rough exterior route. But,for me,the fault has usually been as much with the OTT performance as the writing for this character. Even when we are meant to love her,I just cringe at her hammy antics.

Newfy Pearl said...

Gemma! Totally agree, When Chesney broke up with her for the good of his son, it made perfect sense. Then back she comes and this time with quads. Oh my. Then the mother who really adds nothing but more annoyance and irritation. I wish they would leave.
I don't think that anyone outside of the close family know that Sarah's baby was Callum's.
Geoff is a character that makes me throw up in my mouth when he comes on screen. It is because of him that I finally like Alya. I cannot believe that Yasmeen is so taken by this guy.
Enjoyed your write up. Good job.

CK said...

I can't get why Sinead's mum and gran don't get a mention in any of this. Wasn't her great gran played by Juliette Kaplan? I'd love to see her again.


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