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

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Week

Put a little happiness in your life. 
Friday's episode wasn't perfect, but oh my, wasn't it fun?  Damon Alexis-Rochefort turned out a script that positively fizzed and crackled and was filled with joy.  From Mary revealing a robbery foiled by her mother swearing at Eddie the Eagle, to Sean telling Lenny "I'll just check my gays of Manchester group", to David informing Shona that Huw Edwards "plays right wing for City" - there was so much wonderful dialogue bouncing around that the scenes of rubbish gangsters and Scott And His Terrible Name skulking in the yard were easily glossed over.  The best moment was almost Yasmeen laughing at Geoff; poor Shelley King probably had to rehearse that scene five times over because it's been so long since she cracked a smile onscreen.

But obviously that was just a starter for the main meal of Jenny Bradley trying out some wines - as Emma said, "we're not drinking, this is training."  Every time we returned to the Rovers she was a little bit more paralytic, a little bit more indiscreet, a little bit louder, and it was great.  And then Evelyn joined her and it tipped over into glorious.  We learned that Evelyn turns the CCTV off so she can rob biscuits from the shop, that she doesn't trust microwaves since she watched Chernobyl, and that she is in general pretty ace.  I'm pretty sure that Evelyn's understated "I beg your pardon?" when Jenny shouted "Pinot!" at her was what earned Maureen Lipman her Damehood.

Frankly the only bad part of the whole sequence was that it wasn't half an hour long and uninterrupted by any other scenes.  Of course, the return of Evelyn in itself was a reason to be cheerful.  We all joyously shouted her name when she reappeared after all those months away, didn't we?  Same with Roy and Gail.  Sometimes Corrie is panto, and it is wonderful.

He's BACK!  After weeks of build-up we finally got a look at Todd 2: Electric Boogaloo.  Apparently he's been off using his limited legal knowledge to swindle gangsters with unfortunate facial hair out of their ill-gotten gains; you'd think someone who was living off immoral earnings would have a posher coat but there you are.  His reappearance didn't really make much sense - apparently he wanted to tell Eileen to stop drawing attention to the fact that he was missing, rather than just, you know, remaining missing the whole time?  In the process Todd 2: Here We Go Again has now effectively informed the dodgy psychopath he robbed from that he has a mother he cares about and where she lives and so he's basically slapped a massive target on her forehead so well done.  It's too early to judge Todd 2: Back In The Habit; as with all recasts, for a while he's going to jar, particularly as Bruno Langley played the part for so long.  It's not like when Ryan was recast and nobody particularly cared about the original character so it didn't matter.  

It also helps that Grimshaw Junior has had two distinct personalities in his time in the show: sweet little gay intellectual in his first stint, then swirling vortice of bile and hate in his second one.  Eileen helpfully reminded us exactly who Todd 2: The Squeakquel was, giving a full run-down of his personality flaws while they stood in front of a garage for what seemed like about eight hours.  (Incidentally I'm very disappointed that Eileen didn't return from Thailand with a plait in her hair like Gail).  They finally hatched a scheme to identify a corpse as Todd 2: On The Rocks so that he'd be free to live his life without any psychopaths hunting for him.  That generally only works if you then assume a new identity and don't, say, move in with your mother on the Street where you grew up, using your real name and surrounded by friends and ex-lovers, but we'll see.

Special shout-out to Craig for continuing to be the worst policeman in the world.  "Hi Eileen, I need you to come down to the station.  We've found a corpse and we want you to look at it.  It's highly likely it's your youngest child.  Why are you crying?"

Let no-one put them asunder.  Tim and Sally finally got hitched, properly, legally, this week, which I hope means we can all pretend that horrible bigamy storyline never happened.  For a few panicky moments I thought Geoff was going to ruin everything, which would've been really depressing, but fortunately Super Friend Abi swept in and barricaded him in a conservatory and so everything was fine.  The producers had learned from the disaster that was Maria and Gary's wedding and didn't have a socially distant, kiss-free ceremony, instead having the Metcalfes return from the registry office with all that behind them (though their reception at the Bistro was still extremely poorly attended).  There was a particularly lovely moment where Kevin congratulated Tim on joining the Married Sally Seddon Twice club, especially when she pointed out her first wedding to Tim didn't count so technically he was one up.

The wedding also brought us a reminder that Gail and Sally are great mates and have been for thirty years, a friendship we really don't see enough of.  It was fantastic to see Gail back in the show, even if she was still a bit batty - not the full idiot, but still eccentric enough to grate in places.  Out of respect for Helen Worth, I will not be posting a picture of her in a dressing gown clutching a beer can.  For a terrifying moment I thought her speech to Sally was going to be a poem but it actually turned out to be quite sweet and touching.  Shame about those bridesmaids dresses though.  I realise it's difficult finding a style for three very different women from three different generations, but Sally reached a compromise by finding an outfit that made all three of them look awful, so at least all eyes were focussed on her.

Mediation is not capitulation.  I have given Corrie the benefit of the doubt for a lot of its Corona-corrupted storylines; it must be difficult to plan out a year's storylines and then have a global pandemic chuck them all out of whack.  However, I feel like that two month filming break may have been an opportunity for the writers to get together on Zoom and come up with an alternative to the Oliver storyline.  Kill him off quick and find something else to do with Steve and Leanne for three months.  Because this current storyline of Leanne fighting against the doctors to keep him alive would have been somewhat distasteful at the best of times, but when the Street is still decorated with NHS rainbows it's flat out terrible.  You could argue that the programme is showing both sides, but when the people fighting to keep a small child alive are beloved characters Steve and Leanne sobbing in a back room, and the people saying he should be allowed to die are Guest Star Doctor Howarth and Actual Murderer Tracy Barlow, the scales don't feel equally balanced.  Suggesting the National Health Service might be some kind of cash-obsessed behemoth, far more interested in concealing their own mistakes from scrutiny than actually providing clinical care, is especially grim at a time when it is literally keeping the country afloat.

Tracy made a lot of very valid, very sensible points about Oliver's quality of life and the opinions of experts but even though she was absolutely correct, everything she said was tainted.  She has spent the last two decades being a money-grabbing bitch, and when Steve pointed out she only cared about the bottom line, he had a point.  I don't believe that's why she said all these things but it did mean she didn't come to the table with entirely clean hands.  Urgh, just end this storyline and we can all go back to forgetting Oliver ever existed.

Incidentally, has Simon Gregson ever done the CBeebies Bedtime Story?  Because his reading of Not Now Bernard! was brilliant.  The CBeebies studio is right next door to the Corrie one - get him to nip round.

Meet the family.  Do you know where the absolute best place to take a nine year old is?  The paediatric ward of a hospital where, if he's lucky, he can see his dying step-brother hooked up to a breathing apparatus through the glass.  I'm not sure why Natasha agreed to take Sam in to the hospital, especially as it seemed to ruin their trip to Saddleworth Moor.  After all that build up, he never managed to go stargazing at all, though he seemed very ok with that.  He is, after all, a relentlessy chirpy young man, and long may that continue.  Even Leanne seemed charmed, and she absolutely hates his existence.  Sam also got to meet Gail, albeit over Skype, with her popping up in the background and trying to introduce herself as Nanny.

Nicky found all that very irritating, by the way, once again proving that the Platt children are awful and they don't deserve Gail.  David even suggested the only reason Nicky didn't meet his child before now was because Gail "drove Natasha out of town", glossing over the part where Gail was livid with her because she tried to entrap Nicky with a non-existent pregnancy.  We got a glimpse of Sam's bedroom, which looked remarkably similar to Jack's at number 13, but with more books.

I had that exact edition of the Children's Factfinder when I was nine years old which makes me slightly concerned that he's not getting a full education.  I worry that he's going into school and confidently telling everyone about East Germany and Yugoslavia and the Mir space station without realising they're all long gone.

If any friendly wine merchants want to send me a box of their finest to be sampled, contact me on Twitter @merseytart.  All donations gratefully received.

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Louby said...

Lots of reasons to be cheerful this week; Gail, Evelyn, Roy, drunken Jenny and laughing Yasmeen. But especially Geoff locked in the conservatory.

I've no complaints about the new Todd, but this reintroduction storyline is a bit so-so. He whacked the bad man who collapsed and they didn't bother to check if he was still alive, they just carried on with their conversation.

I will be interested to see how it develops though. Coming up with a good explanation for his lengthy disappearance must have been quite a challenge!

Sharon Boothroyd said...

Fab post Scott, with some very valid points.
I loved the Evelyn and Jenn scenes, they made me smile.
I agree that timing is not on the Corrie's side, with the Oliver plot.I don't feel the viewers will be on Lee-anne and Steve's side with the pandemic as it is.
Dev is having some bad luck. I wonder if this is the build up to his exit?
Yes, those bridesmaid's frocks were awful!
It's great to see Roy back (with a tan). The return of Gail was kind of bland. she isn't given storylines now, she's just there to prop up the family.I noticed that she had absolutely nothing to say about the sinkhole, either.
I'm in 2 minds about the new Todd. It'll take time to get used to him.

CK said...

I lived the scenes with Jenny and Evelyn. Jenny finished Emma's wine from her glass! I guess that's why they are closing the bars again where I live.

Anonymous said...

Steve's bedtime reading to Oliver made me think of when Simon Gregson was on the Canadian\British series 'BOOKaboo' about a puppy drummer who refused to go on stage until he's read a a story and Simon was brilliant!

perkysmom said...

Because of hockey playoffs in Canada, I have missed a lot of Corrie since I watch it on Canadian TV. Wow, Adam and Bethany broke up? That didn't last long. Nobody has suspected Gary yet? Thought what's his name was buried in a not too deep grave. They are still dragging out the Oliver story. Guess I really didn't miss much.

Anonymous said...

In Canada you can watch corrie on Click on Menu, Watch, Shows, Categories, Drama and scroll down to Coronation Street. We are about a week behind here.
FYI perkysmom it was Sarah not Bethany that Adam married.


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