Cosy crimes and gritty sagas by Corrie Blog editor Glenda, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Thursday 26 December 2019

Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Christmas

Fire and forget.  Crafting a Christmas episode of a soap opera is a difficult job.  On the one hand, regular viewers want something special as they burp up their Baileys.  On the other hand, there are a lot of people crammed into that front room who have never watched the show before, who need to be entertained and, hopefully, seduced into watching the next episode.  You really want to demonstrate all the strengths of your show during this once-a-year opportunity.  Rather than show off its comedy and rich characters, Corrie decided to do an action thriller, which is an unusual choice: Die Hard, but in a backstreet winter wonderland, and with Gary Windass in a parka instead of a sweaty vest.  While there were some good moments of tension - Derek opening the boxes one by one with Shona hidden inside was properly nail biting - it was in the end all a bit daft and unpleasant.  The only drunk man wandering around with a gun the British people want to see on ITV on Christmas Day is James Bond.  What we want from Corrie is a warm bath of loveliness and nostalgia and comfort, with characters having amusing antics with their turkey and getting comedy presents from battleaxe wives.  I can't help thinking that any Uncle Simons whose interest was piqued by this action packed runaround and who tune in on Boxing Day for more of the same will end up disappointed.

Carla is experimenting with no-alcohol beer.  I've lost count now - can Carla drink booze or not?  She was an alcoholic for a while, but she was soon back on the red wine; she had a kidney removed, then carried on propping up the bar of the Rovers; and now she's on her anti-psychotic meds, but I can't remember if she can carry on with the Merlot.  She certainly wasn't drinking at Christmas, though that may have been because she was cooking the turkey, quite the most unrealistic part of the whole episode.  I can totally believe in a pitched battle at the top of a helter skelter; I can't really believe that the fragrant Ms Connor spent her Wednesday afternoon with her hand jammed up a dead bird fiddling with its giblets.  To try and mollify her booze-free Christmas, Adam thrust a 0% lager at her and she agreed to try it.  I wouldn't bother.  The problem with alcohol free lager is you get all the taste of weak fizzy beer but with none of the buzz.  It's like having sugar-free chocolate; what's the point?

You don't get the birthday presents you want.  Did you watch the Coronation Street at Christmas special?  It was quite lovely, even if ITV's terror of people switching over meant they tended to avoid much of the stuff in black and white.  One highlight of the show was Jack P Shepherd and Helen Flanagan discussing "their" births in 1990.  Helen couldn't remember if Rosie was born on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, and they ended up googling it, and I was impressed that she obviously goes full Method to portray Rosie as a dopey idiot.  Anyway, Rosie was the Christmas Eve baby, and David was the Christmas Day baby, and that was why Shona gave him a special scavenger hunt in the winter wonderland, taking the opportunity to cover up her baby bump with a massive present.

It says a lot about how terrible the show's attempts to cover up Julia's pregnancy have been that when Shona got shot in the stomach I was momentarily shocked that the show had killed an unborn child before remembering that it was just the actress that was pregnant.  Shona is now in hospital to go through a perfectly routine procedure, which I really, really, hope puts her in a coma long enough to cover her maternity leave, because that would be hilarious. 

Now wash your hands.  While trapped in the Winter Wonderland, Adam was so traumatised he temporarily lost his mind and asked Sarah-Lou to marry him.  She said yes of course - she's her mother's daughter after all - but I wouldn't go buying a hat for the wedding yet.  After Gary saved them all (from a situation that was entirely his fault, but leave that aside) Sarah-Lou looked at him with a hunger not seen since Cerberus found the Christmas ham defrosting.  I bet she had to fetch a mop when she took those ski pants off.  Word of advice, Adam; if she asks you to dye your hair ginger and snarl during the lovemaking it may be time to quietly call the nuptials off.  Besides, I'm not sure we should really be encouraging the Platt and Barlow dynasties to join together.  That feels like the Borgias marrying the Lannisters; a child of that union could bring about the apocalypse.

The baton has been passed.  As usual, there was a bit of a sing-song, though it was a bit different this year.  Firstly it was in the Bistro, because the police were swarming all over the Rovers; they said it was because it was a crime scene but I bet Jenny will get back to find a load of dirty glasses and empty bottles of Scotch.  Secondly, and more concerning, it wasn't Rita leading the singalong, but Edison.  I know she'd just come out of hospital, but come on, this is Rita.  A tram fell on her head and the only consequence was her wig had to be sent to the workshop to get the dents hammered out of it.  A little tumble off a footstool isn't going to stop her from belting out Jingle Bells while shimmying in a spangly cocktail frock.  She looked all sweetness and light as Ed began to sing Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas; the camera cut away before she whipped round and hissed at him that he was in the wrong key and a professional would know that.

The death of Robert means we are mere moments away from Exalted Queen of the Universe Michelle Connor finally departing the show.  Celebrate with @merseytart over on Twitter.

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Louby said...

It looks like your wish about Shona has been granted!

A warm bath of loveliness (great phrase) is exactly what I wanted on Christmas Day, and the reason why I watched on ITV2 this morning, favouring Gavin and Stacey last night for some warmth and humour.

If Sarah marries Adam won't that make Daniel a sort of step great uncle to Bethany?

Sharon boothroyd said...

Great post, but I wondered who was looking after Liam when Maria was out and about? It couldn't be Emma or Bethany as they too, were in The Rovers.
And when the new factory was revealed the workers, where was Beth?
I'm glad Rita was rescued and it's nice to see a feline on the street.
We haven't seen one since Eva's grey cat - and what happened to that?
The Bistro was very sparse with the singalong, wasn't it? You'd think they'd rope in few more cast members for it and have the camera linger a wee while longer.

Anonymous said...

I too thought the turnout was very meagre. Also- did any one else find it interesting that the writers gave Tracy nothing to say about her ex-husband getting shot! Odd.
The prove you're not a robot is very tedious and does not seem to be working properly...three times!


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