Saturday, 26 October 2019

Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Week


If you're going to steal, steal from the best.  The big story of 2019 in the world of continuing drama has been Hollyoaks, as they claimed Best Soap at both the Inside Soap and British Soap awards and swept many of the other trophies.  And clearly someone at Corrie has been noticing, as Monday's episodes were full of the tricks that have made the 'Oaks the success it is today.  There was a weird slimy film effect over the picture, as though someone had dripped olive oil down the lens.  There were dramatic zooms while we heard the characters' thoughts:


There were strange diversions into unlikely events that consumed the whole street:


There were sequences set to music, with bonus points for the music being wink and a nod ironic (Silent Night for a prison riot!  Geddit?!?):


Thing is, that all works in Hollyoaks, because Hollyoaks exists in a larger than life, hyper-real universe.  This is a place where you're driven out of town the minute you hit thirty (unless you're poor Tony, the portrait in Hollyoaks Village's attic, doomed to age while everyone around him stays young) and where there is always at least one serial killer on the loose.  Sometimes more.  Trust me, I worked in Chester for five years, and nobody there is that pretty or that interesting.  Corrie, on the other hand, is a rather more genteel, down to earth place, where small events become significant.  It came out of the kitchen sink movement, out of Angry Young Men, and it very specifically rejected all that frou-frou nonsense.  Seeing 59 year old Corrie acting like 24 year old Hollyoaks is a little bit embarrassing; it's a middle-aged man in elasticated slacks squeezing himself into a Porsche and thinking he looks cool.  There shouldn't be a prison riot set to Sleigh Ride in Corrie any more than there should be a scene in Hollyoaks involving two old ladies discussing their corns over a sweet sherry.  These are two different worlds - let's keep it that way. 


Gail is back!  Back!!!  BACK!!!  Somewhere in Bangkok, Gail's drama-sense was tingling.  As Blanche once famously said, “She loves a drama that Gail, never happy unless she’s got someone else’s hands round her throat.”  She arrived back in the Street just in time to save Bethany from a Sally-Tracy lynch mob (there was a nice moment as Sally reminded us she knows exactly what it's like to be suffering from cancer and have your husband play away).  Gail looked remarkably unchanged; David got a better tan in prison than she got from summering in the Far East.  I do wonder about that hair in the humidity though - surely it's far too heavy to be comfortable, even with her actual Gail Plait?  She'd be better with a nice crop.  Gail seems to have returned with a sense of spirituality and a new centred outlook.  I hope this is part of a new ethos for our Mrs Rodwell, and not just an excuse for the writers to make her look like an idiot again, except this time on a yoga mat.  I suspect I may be disappointed.


Say what you really think.  As a cynical member of Generation X, the many heartfelt scenes involving Sinead left me unmoved.  I've lost friends and family members to cancer, I know how awful it is, but I really can't get emotional about a not-real person dying.  It'd take a lot more than eight minute monologues to penetrate the lump of hard granite that is my heart.  As such, I found my mind wandering during the bedroom scenes, thinking all sorts of random thoughts when I should've been blubbing my eyes out.  Like: why don't her bedside lamps match?  Why would you do that?  And when did Sinead get time to redecorate anyway?  And does Dev mind?  Surely painting a rainbow on the wall violates the lease?  I did perk up when she started recording her video messages, mainly because I hoped she'd take the opportunity to really stick the boot in with Daniel from beyond the grave.  Picture it: Bertie's 18th birthday, and an emotional message from his long dead mother is being holographically projected on the wall.  And in the middle of her monologue about how much she loves him Sinead suddenly drops in "by the way, your dad was cheating on me as I lay dying, because he's an absolute scumbag."  Imagine the carnage!


Dr Gaddas is the best.  Weatherfield's had a chequered history with its doctors.  There was that boring one who got Maxine pregnant; there was Dr Matt, who was at his best when he was shirtless; and now there's Dr Ali, who's currently off his face on smack somewhere.  Or perhaps I should say Weatherfield has a chequered history with its male doctors, because Dr Gaddas has been going through all this being quietly ace.  She was really good with Asha a few weeks ago, she was wonderfully caring with Sinead in her final days, and she is the only human being in the universe who can keep Moira under control.  Maybe she shouldn't play poker though; Daniel whispered to Sinead "these aren't your last few hours" and Dr Gaddas pulled this face over his shoulder:


Alright, keep it light.  She's certainly a more welcome visitor than Billy.  Can you imagine being sick and a priest turns up?  Especially Billy, because his caring whispers managed to sound vaguely threatening.  "I've seen many deaths," he said, "and most of them have been peaceful."  MOST OF THEM?  What did he do to the other ones?  Did he finish them off?  I'm now picturing Billy turning up at the retirement homes with a big knife ready to help the unwilling into the beyond.  His arrival also lead to a discussion about the afterlife and religious concepts of eternity, which, if I'm honest, was a bit heavy for a Friday night.  I was trying to finish off my week with a bit of telly and a glass of wine; I wasn't really ready for a Philosophy 101 course.


Marion is not big on self-awareness.  Shona, Sarah-Lou and Adam met up with Max and Harry's nan in the pub - an ideal spot for a meeting, what with her being convinced that Shona is permanently drunk in charge of her grandkids.  She obviously went off on one, though for some reason, nobody has pointed out that the mother of a drug dealer probably shouldn't be throwing stones around in a greenhouse.  She finally agreed to visitation rights... with Max; while he got a PlayStation game and a weekend away, Harry was left at home.  Presumably he's too much effort.  I really am starting to feel sorry for Harry.  While in terms of invisible children, the winner is still Jake, because he simply doesn't exist, Harry is regularly talked about, only to be ignored when it's convenient.  Who was looking after him while they were in the pub?  Exactly.  On the plus side, we got a new variation in the Hide Julia's Bump Game: balled up coat on the lap.


There was also the old favourite - hug a cushion:


And of course the classic laundry basket.


That's three points for your scoreboard.  Extra marks will be awarded if she gets a job in the kebab shop and stands behind that high counter and/or she walks around with Lily six inches in front of her at all times.

That was all a bit much, wasn't it boys and girls?  I don't know about you but the prospect of another week of that is quite off-putting.  Please send reasons for me to carry on via Twitter @merseytart.






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13 comments:

Sharon boothroyd said...

I'm glad I'm not the only viewer who found the Sinead scenes unmoving. To dedicate so much airtime to one character is rather OTT.
When Deirdre died, the character had been in the show for around 40 years, and she was given a rather hasty, shabby funeral.
Sinead isn't a main character with a long Corrie history, so I was at a loss to understand it.
It was good to see her mum and grandma, but I doubt we'll see them again.
I've noticed the absence of many characters: Moria, Liz, Steve, Vicky,Simon,Harry,Cathy, Mary, Rita and Brian. I say never mind dreary Gail - bring back Debbie Webster!
Next week, the Gemma and Chesney show is back.

David said...

She wasn't givwn a shabby funeral, her death was the result of Anne Kirkbride dying so they had to kill her off screen.

Sharon boothroyd said...

I realise that David but the character had been in the show a hell of a long time. I don't think the Corrie team paid full tribute to this long standing character.

Smiley said...

Matt was the one who gotten Maxine pregnant? You are thinking the boring one - Oliver Mellor? Or he is the shirtless one?

In today’s climate, mismatch lamps are far better than matched because it means recycling and reusing. Sinead and Daniel are not rich enough for a brand new matching ones.

To balance it out, I enjoy Sinead’s final storyline, a young person who lose the battle to cancer. I do not recall a storyline like that for a while?

Anonymous said...

Compared to Sinead's long drawn out death [and the funeral still to follow]I agree with comments that in comparison Deirdre's death was shabbily done and disrespectful to Anne Kirkbrides memory as the Platts' Callum storyline[which also included Gemma ]took over the episode and overshadowed Deirdre's funeral.
I like how Sally pointed out she too was betrayed by Kevin after recovering from cancer hence her understandbly going after Bethany who I hope does not attend Sinead's funeral.

Tashacat said...

Thank you, Scott. I thought I was the only person on the planet unmoved by Sinead’s demise. I have watched a dearly loved young person die, but this is a fictional character, and I can’t understand those who say they cried and cried. I, too, was distracted, wondering who has been bathing Bertie if not Daniel? What do they dope Bertie with to keep him quiet? Will Katie Mcglynn get royalties if they show her video messages in years to come?
I am looking forward to seeing Rob Mallard getting his acting teeth into some strong stories.
I agree with all the comments regarding the proper lack of tribute to Anne Kirkbride.

David Hughes said...

Maybe for the first time ever - I’ve been watching for so long I may be wrong - I started Friday’s hour and then thought’I really can’t be bothered’. Sinead has been so deeply insignificant a character and her departure seems to have gone on forever. What’s happened to the speedy disappearance in a Streetcars cab with a black bin liner....that’s the way we like actors to say farewell on our Street. Anyway, let’s just be grateful she’s finally gone and hope against hope there’s now a brief cheerful interlude before the annual festive gloom and disaster!!

Anonymous said...

There have been two Dr Matts - one was boring and got Maxine pregnant and one was Oliver Mellor and he took his shirt off a lot!

Tashacat said...

Anonymous at 8.43. Why don’t I remember Oliver Mellor?? 😂.
Another Sinead deathbed distraction was I thought Dr Gaddas and Lawyer Paula would make a nice couple.

annieann said...

It's the most moving scene I have ever seen hats off to them.they played an excellent way.This does happen in real life.it was played to perfection.They should both get an award.It must have been such a hard thing to play.I could not have done it.so BRAVO

Anonymous said...

Sinead,Corrie's very own 'Little Nell'- how Charles Dickens would have revelled in Soap World!

David Hughes said...

Dickensian - hadn't thought of that! I hope Katie McGlynn was leaving because she had a bunch of better offers lined up. I fear for her.

Bobby Dazzler said...

tashacat...I thought the same, two professionals with more in common, age appropriate.
Great review of a very boring week...God I miss Blanche!

I fear Corrie is taking a nose dive trying to appeal to a hipper, younger crowd, and screwing up my favourite program in the process.

I've never in my life "skipped through and episode" until this year..nice review of a lousy episode.
Now Corrie...you didn't win...learn from this ya wankers!

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