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

Saturday 21 March 2020

Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Week

It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).  Firstly, I hope you're reading this in a safe cocoon somewhere, wrapped up warm and protecting yourself.  Unless you're a key worker in which case, I salute you.  Personally I'm writing this sat on a pile of Asda Smart Price cream of tomato soup; I may have red pee by the end of June but at least I won't starve.  Covid-19 has radically altered the way I watched the nation's favourite soap, turning it into a panicky, nightmarish world of people passing on the virus to one another over and over.  I found myself shouting at the screen.  "Don't group hug, that's horrifically dangerous!"  "Why are you going in the cafe, do you want to die?"  "You can't go to Cyprus anyway, they've closed the borders."  Every tiny interaction came with a horrific overtone that nobody envisaged when they made it.

As for the Stillwaters scenes - all those elderly people shaking hands and sharing drinks and going to fondue parties - it was like watching the first half hour of Outbreak.  I was waiting for someone to collapse, bug eyed and gasping at their throat, and then a stream of hazmat-clad scientists to dash in with fumigating sprays.  Production of the show has been scaled back radically in the face of the ongoing pandemic, with all the elderly actors sent home, which is a relief.  I really didn't fancy a storyline where the bowling green at that fancy retirement community was dug up to serve as a mass grave.  (Incidentally, if you are self-isolating and you need to top up your Corrie fix when it cuts back to three episodes a week, can I point you in the direction of Classic Corrie on ITV3 every afternoon?  Bet just went on a cruise dressed as some kind of bondage leopard.  It was truly a sight to behold).

Money can buy you anything.  Speaking of Stillwaters, exactly how much does it cost to live there?  They have a bar.  They have a lecture theatre with a full lighting rig.  They have fencing, for goodness' sake.  Ken sold a backstreet house and he can somehow afford to live there?  Claudia must be carrying him for a lot of the bills, that's all I can say.

On the plus side, Norris popped up to prick at Ken's "writer-in-residence" pretensions.  I can't help noticing that he decided to read passages from his interminable poor man's Alan Sillitoe novel that he's been working on since about 1964, rather than his saucy sex tales about the racy hairdresser set that were published in the Gazette.  I'd have quite enjoyed watching the old dears turning beetroot pink as Ken got into his fourth paragraph of lovingly-described rutting up against a barber's pole.  Norris reckons there's more to Stillwaters than meets the eye, and that it's actually under the thumb of a single charismatic leader.  Wouldn't it be glorious if it did all turn out to be a cult and Ken had to flee before he was sacrificed on an altar?  Like The Wicker Man, but in bath chairs.

You do get second chances.  Evelyn reacquainted herself with an old flame, Arthur, who she'd planned on running off to Canada with until her father selfishly had a heart attack.  This meant we got lots of lovely scenes where they haltingly reconnected and Evelyn allowed a little bit of light to shine out of her hard carapace.  She went all out, engaging Claudia to give her a new look, and ending up looking like a Barbara Cartland tribute act.  You could've chucked a pound coin at that face and it would've bounced off, repelled by six inches of plaster.

She understandably refused to pay.  Incidentally, did you know that Maureen Lipman and Rula Lenska share a flat in Manchester while they're filming?  If ITV are looking for something to fill the slots vacated by Corrie, can I suggest a fly on the wall documentary of the two of them in their apartment?  Just stick some cameras up in their living room and give them a load of chardonnay and film the results.  It'll be a hoot.

Sadly, it was a lot of effort for nothing, as Arthur stood Evelyn up, even though she'd reserved a booth and everything.  I am, as a rule, against anything that upsets Evelyn, but I'm not entirely unhappy about this.  Firstly, I bet he's still married; he was very vague when she brought it up, and how many single heterosexual men have cockapoos?  Secondly, while Paul Copley is an excellent actor who has been a highlight of many TV shows over the years, for me he'll always be Egg's dad from This Life, and so every appearance brings back the traumatising image of his naked backside as he had sex with Anna.  Some things can never be unseen.

The Mummy Returns.  Oh, yay, Bernie's back.  I thought we'd seen the last of her but no, here she is, fresh from Bristol and talking about hairballs.  I think this gap was meant to make us miss her?  Or at the very least, reposition her character, because the Bernie who's returned is a lot more "grizzly mama" than the uncaring wastrel she was in her first appearance.  She batted for her daughter's side against the evil forces of those posh women from the Baby Choir, who I'm going to call Beatrice and Eugenie because I keep forgetting their names.  It turns out the really snotty one - Beatrice? - lives in Mawdsley Street, which makes her snobbery even more baffling.

You can chuck as much tat from the lower reaches of the Wayfair website as you like in that yard, it's still a brick-lined hole behind a two up two down.  At least Sally has a three bed semi and a conservatory.  Beatrice allegedly has an au pair in that house along with her husband and baby, so apparently Mawdsley Street's houses have the same elastic properties as Coronation Street's (did you notice Ryan has moved in with Alya now?  That's five people in that tiny builder's flat!).  I don't know why she's so high and mighty - at least Coronation Street has a pub and a shop and a hairdresser; all Mawdsley Street can scrape together is an abandoned locksmith.  (Mind you a tram never fell on it so it's swings and roundabouts).

Beatrice and Eugenie made it up to Gemma by plying her with prosecco, though it was one bottle and there were three of them so I'm not sure exactly how plastered she could get.  Ok, she hasn't had a drink for a year, but this is Gemma; you and I both know she's been inhaling booze since primary school.  Her bloodstream is three parts WKD.  It certainly wasn't enough alcohol to attract the attention of the actual police, who took her back to her house and interrogated her like she'd just puked in the middle of Piccadilly Gardens after fifteen pints while her kids sat watching.  Her Majesty's Constabulary do their very best under difficult circumstances, but seriously, maybe go and see if you can find where Rick the Loan Shark is buried rather than harassing mothers who've had a cheeky spritzer on their lunch hour.

Protect Emma at all costs.  Now I like Alina Pop!, former slave manicurist turned sales whizz.  She seems like a very nice girl.  And she drinks pints of bitter, which is not what you'd expect from a tiny little elf child like her.  However she's about to break Emma's heart and therefore she is an absolute monster.  She can pretend she's backing away all she likes, but after her little display in the pub, linking arms with Seb to drink shots, we all know she's a harlot who needs to back right off.  She could start by moving out of the hairdresser flat, because now Emma's confronted her with her concerns, it's surely a little awkward?  Unless she has plans to wander round freshly out of the shower wearing nothing but a silky robe and just happening to walk in front of Seb.  I really don't want to see Emma giving up a man gracefully again because just once I'd like her to be happy.

Having said that, if trauma for Emma means more gossip sessions in the salon, maybe it's not all bad.  She sought advice from her peers, with Audrey, Maria, Fiz and Jenny all putting their two-penneth in, and it was lovely.  Just women chatting.  More of that please.  When the coronavirus crisis is over, obviously; until then you can all maintain two metres distance and skip those hair appointments.  I'm looking forward to when the show comes back to full strength and everyone has raggedy, badly-dyed haircuts, all too long or too frizzy or with their roots showing.  Except Rita, whose hair will look exactly the same.  For some reason.

The author is fine for loo roll, thanks, but now the pubs are closed he's severely lacking in alcohol.  Please contact him via Twitter @merseytart to donate bottles of Newcastle Brown Ale and vodka.

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


Sharon boothroyd said...

Fab Post Scott- it made me chuckle - it's what we need in these bad times.
Yes, the events people at Stillwaters seemed remarkably impressed by Ken.
Despite him not having that much material actually published (apart from the saucy tales!) they gave him the grand title of Writer- in- Residence and made him sit rather artfully on a specially lit stage.
Everyone was agog by Ken's ramblings, so I felt quite pleased when Norris popped up to ruin his talk.
I'm puzzled why this kind of upmarket place would appeal to Norris and Freda - the least loved- up couple to ever grace the cobbles.
I'd pictured them in a nice bungalow by the sea.
Norris is moaning, but I've never regarded down to earth Freda as snobby and snooty.
I agree, I'd love to see the Maureen Lipman/ Rula Lenska flat sharing set up!It sounds like a 1980's sitcom. Agony crossed with Rock Follies!
(Only those of certain age will remember these vintage progs).
There's going to be a 3 way love triangle with Seb, Emma and Alina pop! but doesn't Alina pop! become involved with David Platt?
Pop!and Platt - sounds like a comedy act!
Both guys are surly and sulky, neither of them are great catches as far as I'm concerned.

Humpty Dumpty said...

There's too many mash-ups between Corrie and Last Tango in Halifax for my brain to cope with. Not too surprising as Sally Wainwright wrote both and has kept a Corrie rep company in business ever since leaving the Street. I guess you're right, Scott, Arthur probably isn't a free man so that will make it different from Last Tango. Wonder if Covid-19 has made them write out his character as he must be one of the over-70's actors being sent home.
Everything's in the writing and Bernie has returned as Mama Bear. I realise Gemma having quads was meant to be a comic storyline (wasn't it?) because it was in no way believable. It would have made much more sense for Gemma to have twins, which would mercifully have done away with the Freshco nonsense, and we could have watched her deal with post-natal depression ad isolation.
Stillwaters can't stay on our screens for much longer as those actors will mostly be in their 70's and I'm not sure they know what to do with it yet. Unless Ken and Norris escape back to the Street to share a flat. Now, that could be fun, The Odd Couple.

MartesBC said...

Great Post! Stillwaters could be a spin off. Yes! to the live action snippets of Maureen Lipman and Rula Lenska co habitation. The LipSka Quarentine! Wasn't Sally from Mawdsley Street?

Jo said...

Absolutely brilliant! Thank you so much! This is the first time I've laughed out loud all day. More,please!

Anonymous said...

Ken could have savings? Since his house mortgage must have been all paid off, and Blanche and Deirdre died, so their money could have gone to Ken. So I am sure he could afford Stillwater.

Anna, said...

I thought Blanche left the house to Tracy ,so i am puzzled why she had to buy off Ken..

coconno196 said...

Didn't Ken remortgage the house to pay Tracy's legal fees?

dhvinyl said...

Brilliant as always, Scott...I’ve just read it all to my wife, who pretends not to like Corrie but seems to know more than me! We’re currently fazed by watching Zoe and Becky in ‘Liar’.


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