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

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Five Things We Learned From Corrie's Ten Thousandth Episode

When the Party Bus comes calling, you get on board.  I'd planned on writing a regular Five Things this week, covering the many different stories over all of the episodes, but after watching Friday's 10,000th that went out the window.  What would I rather blog about?  Maria recovering from a miscarriage, or Maureen Lipman telling dirty limericks?  Yasmeen being physically and psychologically abused, or Nina going full "ok boomer"?  There was no contest.  Damon Alexis-Rochefort's wonderful script was light and frothy while still containing actual proper drama and changing the status quo.  This wasn't a one-off special, like the straight-to-video movies, but a proper episode of Corrie, with some kind of resolution for Tim and Sally, Eileen both prodding at Yasmeen (though I wish she'd stop calling her "Yasmin") and bonding with Sean again, and Ken making decisions about his future.  It was shot through with references to the past, but not in a contrived manner.  And it had a banging soundtrack.  Nobody died, nobody was beaten up, nobody slept with anyone they shouldn't.  Why can't it be like this every week?

Go with the good ones, not the logical ones.  Quick: come up with your half-dozen favourite characters on the show at the moment.  I bet at least five of them were on board that bus.  When the reports of the filming came out at the start of the year I was trying to imagine the circumstances in which Evelyn, Carla and Yasmeen would all be on the same trip.  The answer was, Damon Alexis-Rochefort wanted to use the best characters and to hell with actual sense.  Now admittedly, I'd have shoved Liz, Steve, Leanne and Roy in there, and Sean would've been dumped at Charnock Richard services, but let's not be greedy.  Let's enjoy the simple pleasure of Gail and Sally getting hammered together, and Emma being dizzily delightful, and Audrey drinking too much and accusing Rita of being a trollop.  Make this an annual trip!

Dennis Tanner will be part of the A583 forever.  In the meantime, raise your glasses to the dearly departed Dennis, one of Corrie's original characters whose ultimate fate was being smeared all over the tarmac by an ambulance.  I'm not sure it's what he would've wanted.  Rita was melancholic about her dead ex, on the one hand complaining bitterly about him fleeing with Gloria (she never mentioned the fact that he actually came back and lived with Julie for a while, trying to reconcile with her), while on the other hand she wanted to give him a proper send off rather than chucking him down the bog as Jenny suggested.  It was good to have some closure on the character - and we also heard that Linda Cheveski is still alive, though don't go hoping for her to make a return - and I hope this means Philip Lowrie can return to his other great soap character, Roger on The Mall ("the silly thing is, by the time I realised it was a misunderstanding, I'd already taken the overdose.").

Listen to the voices.  Rita wandered around the dark Rovers, listening to the sounds of Alec, and Bet, and Hilda, and Betty, and Mavis, and it was quite lovely.  She realised how special the place was and how much she was loved, which managed to retroactively demonstrate what a load of old cobblers that story about her being lonely before Christmas was.  A bunch of people were willing to drop everything to go to Blackpool with Reet, but she couldn't find someone to feed a cat?  Dame Barbara Knox gave her all and rose to the occasion magnificently, though there was a brief moment during her final monologue when the accent slipped and La Knox's rather more refined tones slipped out from under Rita's.  We'll forgive her, though, because she's Rita, Grand Dame of the Street, Queen of the Cobbles, Ruler of the Redheads.

Say goodbye Ken.  It's possibly the most drawn-out joke in television history: Ken Barlow really wants to leave Weatherfield and make something of himself, but instead he's spent 60 years clattering around the exact same back street and never managing to drag himself away.  Finally Claudia has broken the steel chains and it looks like our Kenneth is off to Manchester's equivalent of Shady Pines to live out his final years amongst like-minded people.  It sounds like he's hoping for a quiet life, but I wouldn't hold your breath; these retirement communities are hotbeds of scandal and debauchery.  The few men in the building tend to be passed round the old widows like a greased up Chippendale as all sense of responsibility goes out the window.  Actually Ken will probably fit right in.

Not very funny, this week, was it?  Well, it's easier to pour scorn than praise.  Sorry about that.  I'm sure things will be back to normal next weekend after Gary, I don't know, builds a nuclear missile under his lock up or something.  In the meantime let's chat about how great this episode was on Twitter @merseytart.

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Sharon Boothroyd said...

Great post. Yep, it was fab episode and it made me cry at the end.
I would have liked to have seen folk on the roller coaster in Blackpool, but never mind!
Ken has left the street before - I'm sure he lived with Wendy Crozier in her home.

coconno196 said...

Yes, a great episode. Classic Corrie. I don't think they got anywhere near Blackpool, as I often drive up there and didn't recognise any of the roads, but at least they got the A583 right.

Anonymous said...

Best episode in a long time....Classic Corrie.
Loved the reconnection of old friends and the hint of new friendships that could be. Thanks for that one writers.

Anonymous said...

So Bill Roache has always said he will not retire. Is he leaving or is this just a rogue storyline. With the hype leading up to the episode, I expected poor Rita to sit down in a booth and die in the Rovers while hearing the voices of people from the past. Wow! That would have been something wouldn't it. lol

Anonymous said...

Won't miss Ken.


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