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

Saturday 20 June 2020

Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Week

Work it.  Feast upon that view, folks.  Yes, about six months after Underworld reopened, we finally got a glimpse of two people sewing.  I know, it's astonishing.  Ever since Sarah-Lou came up with her brilliant plan to produce artisan British pants and flog them on the internet we've seen far more of the sales office than the sewing machines; last week's episodes featured whole scenes with Paul and Kirk in Packing, and I'm not even sure that's a real place.  I think it's just a bit round behind the bins they tell Kirk is his Special Area to keep him happy.  Here though were two machinists, holding lacy fabrics, chatting (while Sean stood around doing nothing as usual).  It was like Baldwin's Casuals all over again; it just needed Ida Clough scowling in the background!

Incidentally, why is Izzy such a cow these days?  She popped up to wholeheartedly support Geoff, even offering to buy him a drink, and in her appearances over the last few months she seems to be far more keen to offer nasty comments and insults than to be cheery.  Is she off her meds again?  Should we club together and get her a couple of joints to mellow her out?  

How to be a happy hooker.  Now I'm no expert in the field of sex work, but I would imagine that a prostitute's time is precious.  She's offering a valuable service and so needs to be compensated accordingly.  Nicky clearly hasn't learned this, because she tried to get Daniel to cough up for a night of her services after several hours of boozing, only to be rejected because he thought she was just a nice girl who liked spending time with a very boring man banging on about his baby.  (Fat chance).  Next time, Nicky love, put down your terms and conditions right at the start at the evening; maybe print them on a card and get them laminated.  That way if your potential client isn't interested you can move onto someone else without having wasted hours getting him leathered on Porn Star Martinis for no reason.  (Incidentally, 1000 style points to Nicky for responding to Adam's query, "Are you a solicitor?" with "In a manner of speaking.")  Really the biggest surprise was that Daniel turned her down.  He is his father's son, after all, and the Barlows have always found the best way to get over one woman is to get on top of another one.

Look but don't touch.  The impending return of Shona got David running round the Street giddy with anticipation.  He laid down the ground rules with Max, telling him not to rush up to Shona and shout "MUMMY!", a tender moment that made Sarah-Lou lean over and peck him on the cheek.  He was understandably confused.  The Platts are many things but overly affectionate is not one of them.  They're far more likely to sit across the dinner table simmering with barely-controlled loathing than indulge in a group hug.  

The awkwardness over cuddling continued in the cafe flat as David tried to find a way to show his thanks to Roy.  "You're not a hugger, are you?" he rightly concluded.  Instead they awkwardly shuffled out of the front door together.  I hadn't really thought about the comedy potential of Roy and David being mates, and now I'm giddy with the prospect.  Hopefully they'll have a daily meeting to discuss Shona's progress, their very different personalities clashing in ever more delightful ways, Roy completely failing to pick up on David's latest sarcastic remark, David going off on one because he'd misunderstood Roy's super-logical way of speaking.  Have that as a post-lockdown two-hander.  

Time is elastic.  For the most part, the spreading out of the episodes hasn't proved to be too jarring.  Ok, some storylines seemed to go on forever - it felt like Leanne was squatting over a hospital bed for the entire month of May - but otherwise it was easy to look past the fact that these were no longer happening in real time.  Until this week, when Ken invited Daniel onto the "VE Day Committee" and it became clear that we're very, very far behind.  If there's one thing worse than seeing everyone waving Union Jack flags and dressing like a Land Girl and eating potted meat sandwiches, it's them doing it six weeks after everyone else in Britain did it and promptly spread a lethal disease around the neighbourhood via ill-advised congas.  I want to reach into the screen and shout "stay at home Ken, you're an octogenarian, save yourself the risk!".  Preview pictures for next week have shown that the Rovers is going all out with the bunting so it's only going to get worse.  The sooner we get onto socially distanced episodes the better.

Blackmail depends on secrecy.  Carla spent most of this week wracked with anxiety and horror over the threatening behaviour of two smackheads and really, there was absolutely no need for it.  Everyone on the Street knows Carla had a breakdown last year; everyone on the Street knows she ran away and lived rough for a while; everyone on the Street knows she had to go into hospital to recover.  Telling the neighbours that she also (a) threw away some drugs and (b) was exploited by a druggie will do nothing but increase their compassion for her.  If they believed their story in the first place, of course, because I'm sure most of her friends would've assumed they were simply a pair of grifters.  I realise she probably didn't want to face up to it, and when she finally got the Rovers on her side it was a great moment, but really, it could've all been over and done with in about two minutes in Monday's episode.  Carla could've just gone full Peggy Mitchell, shrieked "gerrahtmypub", then called the police when they turned up again.  The police are actually more on the side of people who throw away drugs than the people who sell them, funnily enough.

To be honest the most exciting part of this storyline was the unusual reverse angle glimpse of the pub kitchen.  It's unbelievably tiny.  I know the layout of the Rovers makes no sense whatsoever but that kitchen is actually worse than the one they had in the pub thirty years ago.  Bless her heart, there's no way Betty would've been able to cook in that tiny space; she'd have stormed out in a huff and refused to come back until they bumped up her wages (again).  Here's how it looked in Classic Corrie only last week:

Can you imagine catering for an entire pub lunch service with only one wall of workspace?  No wonder the Rovers no longer does a full menu.  Back in Alec Gilroy's day they were doing egg and chips and chilli con carne and all sorts.  Now it's hot pot or nothing, not even a sandwich with a few ready salted on the side, and if you don't like it you can go up the road to the Bistro and buy a poulet breton off a sex pest.  Maybe they should press that weird flat that was upstairs for a couple of years back into service for the catering.  

The frequent mentions of Stu Francis in this week's episodes gave the author a shudder of horror as he remembered the agonising dullness of early 80s Crackerjack.  Trust me, the Sam & Mark version is so much better.  For more forty years out of date observations about children's television follow me on Twitter at @merseytart.

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