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

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Week

There is nothing like a Dame.  This was, all in all, an absolutely dreadful week on the Street.  Too many criminals, too many stupid plots that didn't make any sense, too may contrivances.  Thank goodness for Maureen Lipman who hoisted the only joyous storyline on her back and carried it from Monday to Friday without any help at all.  It turned out Evelyn was still unsure about the prospect of sleeping with Arthur and was willing to chuck out a perfectly nice caravan holiday in the Lakes if it meant she didn't have to deal with some bloke's cold feet in her bed.  It was all very sweet, so it's unfortunate there's a cloud on the horizon in the form of Arthur visiting Wethy General on the sly.  I maintain that he's definitely married and is probably visiting some dying spouse; whatever it is, it'll probably make Evelyn sad, and therefore shouldn't be allowed.

Incidentally ITV missed a trick by not crediting Dame Maureen as such on her first appearance after the confirmation of her honour.  It didn't have to be a Sir Ben Kingsley-style permanent arrangement but it might have been fun for a one off.  

Don't eat the doughnutsWhen Eileen said Todd was now hiding in the loft my thoughts immediately turned to that classic potboiler, VC Andrews' deliriously terrible-slash-amazing novel Flowers in the Attic.  One of those books that everyone in the Eighties snuck into their mum's room to read, Flowers in the Attic features a group of children kept secretly in the attic of a house with only their mother and grandmother knowing of their existence and keeping them supplied with food and a little light psychological torture.  It was simultaneously terrible and also scandalous and therefore every home owned a well-thumbed copy that fell open at the particularly dirty bits.  Todd's very much in the early stages of the novel, though I hope he stays up there for months with Eileen having to come up with increasingly unlikely explanations for the thumps in the ceiling and the colossal quantities of missing food.  They don't have to bother with the incest-y bits, though let's be honest, at this mad period in Corrie's history it wouldn't be surprising if they did.  Actually, are all the lofts on the terraced side still connected up?  Les Battersby used them to nose on his neighbours in the 90s.  Presumably all this hassle could be avoided if, say, Todd heard trouble downstairs, then simply wandered into Kevin's attic and let himself out through the front door.   

Of course, there aren't any guns in Flowers in the Attic, so the producers probably wouldn't be interested in copying it these days.  I know the reveal of a weapon is meant to thrill and frighten you but in recent times Weatherfield is second only to the roughest back streets in Detroit for gun crime so it's not exactly a surprise any more.  This is the second time it's happened just in Eileen's back room.  Still, she acted very responsibly, dropping the gun in a bin on the Red Rec.  Let's hope it wasn't near the kids' playground eh?  It's all so boring and none of it makes any sense and Mick must have a rubber head because he was smashed round the skull with a lump of wood twice in less than a week and he still popped up without any ill effects and really I hope it all finishes very soon.  When will the producers learn that gangsters in Coronation Street are always a bad idea?  They can't swear and they can't break anyone's fingers and they can't take drugs so they end up so neutered you may as well not bother.  It's far more interesting to have Mary find an amusingly-shaped courgette than have another thug go on the rampage with a "shooter".

Gary is bad with money.  Despite having been bankrupted once already, Gary somehow managed to contrive a way of getting into yet more debt, thus destroying Maria's dream of owning the barber's.  Poor girl, she must've been devastated to lose out on her all-encompassing ambition that she'd had for about eight minutes.  It soon became clear why Gary was so bad at his finances when Ray came sniffing around trying to buy the factory.

First he offered £150,000.  Gary said no.

Instead Gary asked him to double his offer.  Ray agreed, immediately, which made Gary realise that he was desperate to get his hands on the factory.  So he went away and did some more digging and told Ray he knew he was up to something.

Ray responded by upping his offer to £400,000.  Then Gary went to the pub, and everyone was mean to him, so he decided to get in on the deal.  Since he now knew that Ray was planning on buying up everyone's properties, he had Crosby over a barrel, and could pretty much name his price.

He demanded triple what he was first offered.  So... £450,000 then?  Is that it?  Ray went up to four hundred grand without much prodding whatsoever and all Gary added when he had him where he wanted him was an extra £50,000.  So pretty.  So dumb.

Although, of course, Gary added the rider that he wanted the contract to build the groundworks.  Of a skyscraper.  Which he has never done before in his life.  And couldn't do because he has no equipment, no yard, no expertise, no crew.  It was yet another layer of stupidity on a pretty stupid storyline anyway.  Who would want to live in a skyscraper on a tatty backstreet next to a tram line?  Why would the council give that planning permission?  If, say, Sally refused to sell up, what would you do then?  Why concentrate on the side of the street that's thirty years old and modern rather than the century-old terraces?  Why wouldn't you just buy a brownfield site or a warehouse or literally anywhere else on earth?  It is contrived nonsense and I'm getting quite angry just typing this.  It's clearly being set up as a big "community" storyline ahead of the 60th anniversary.  That would be a good idea.  Get everyone on the Street united behind a single cause, like they did for the 40th anniversary when the council threatened to tarmac over the cobbles.  But why did it have to be some daft nefarious scheme that makes no sense?  It's a bit like the roof collapse, which worked fine as an accident, but was somehow turned into a criminal plot for no reason whatsoever and as a consequence became incredibly tedious.  Couldn't they have just had Weatherfield Council plan on putting a bypass through the Street, or a tram line, or HS2 or something?  And of course, it's tempered with the knowledge that we know it's not going to happen in a million years, so it's all a waste of time, really.  

Oh no!  It's the Bishop!  Finally, some good news for Billy, as he received a promotion to Archdeacon.  Never mind that he didn't seem to apply for this promotion or even realised that there was a job going vacant, woo, suddenly it looks like he's going to be the Bishop's right hand man.  He broke it to Paul that this new job came with a house.  Funnily enough being the local vicar came with a house too; it was the vicarage, and it had lovely wooden balustrades, and for some reason Billy traded it in for a manky old flat over a florist.  Probably so he could hide his filthy gay escapades.  Once again, because this is a drum I seem to keep banging, the Church of England's position on homosexual clergy is that they can commit to a lifelong loving relationship in the form of a civil partnership but they can't get married and they can't have sex.  And actually, these rules also apply to heterosexual couples, so you can't shack up with your common-law wife in Holy Quarters and expect to get away with it.  Billy and Paul seemed to agree that they'd just live in sin and to hell with any objections; I mean, clue's in the "living in sin" bit, fellas.  The problem with television production is that the people who work in the entertainment business are, by their very nature, godless scumbags, and so it's very difficult for them to write for any character with a religious bent.  They may be familiar with the interesting bits of the Bible - Cain slaying Abel, excessive nudity in the Garden of Eden, Salome's dance - but they're not great with the whole piety and purity bit and so they kind of make it up as they go along.  It'd be quite nice if once in a while Billy quoted a parable or a commandment or at the very least didn't act like his parish was quite far down his list of priorities behind throwing some shapes to Dancing on My Own while shirtless on the floor at Via Fossa in Canal Street.  This is all without dealing with the fact that Paul seems to have literally no religious beliefs whatsoever; how on earth is he going to assume the role of vicar's wife organising the parish flower show if the only time he ever goes near a church is to steal the collection plate?  Still, I suppose once you've forgiven a vicar for shooting up heroin in the pews he can pretty much get away with anything.  In a way that's a more damning commentary on the state of the Church of England than a whole series of Panorama investigations.

Police cuts are hitting hard.  Over the years we've seen any number of stroppy fractious ladies with severe haircuts representing Weatherfield Police.  They've turned up, pursed their lips, jumped to the wrong conclusion and arrested someone innocent, and it's all been fine.  However, police budgets are now stripped to the bone, which is why Craig Tinker is literally the only policeman left in town.  No matter that he lives on the same street as half of these people, and he grew up friendly with the other half; if anything happens within a mile of the Rovers Craig is straight in there to be vaguely ineffectual.  Even when Eileen went to the actual police station, the only officer she saw in the whole time was Craig.

It's no surprise really that the Street is suddenly awash with gangsters and murderers when the Thin Blue Line is now that lad who was pretty much silent for his first couple of years in the show.  Can Craig even drive his patrol car?  He seems to have lost his partner who was behind the wheel so I'm imagining him whizzing to crime scenes on a Segway.  It wouldn't be quite so bad if he was actually any good at his job but he's hopeless.  On Friday Gary was beaten within an inch of his life and provided the name and motivation for the person who did it.  Eileen popped up, said Gary was probably beaten up by someone he lent money to so he deserved it, and Craig immediately closed the case and didn't bother investigating any more.  Add to that all the times he's betrayed confidential information for the purpose of advancing the plot and I'm surprised PC Tinker even made it out of the Academy.  

Isn't it a shame that Gail's photograph of the number plate for this van didn't come out, and so they couldn't investigate further?  After all it's such a difficult and complicated licence plate to remember. 

The author is really, really, really angry at how stupid the show is right now.  It's all gone quite Emmerdale-y.  Please send happy thoughts to him via Twitter @merseytart.

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


Sophie Bird said...

Great review again. Re Craig being the only police officer, remember when Martin Platt was the nurse who seemed to work in every ward at Weatherfield General and was always there when his neighbours were admitted whatever was wrong with them.

Sophie Bird said...

See also Adam and Imran who deal with every type of law.

Louby said...

Yes, it's stupid and irritating and you didn't mention Johnny's "dilemma" which is yet more nonsense. Just tell Jenny!

PS thanks for reminding me about Flowers in the Attic, that plot would seem sensible compared to current Corrie storylines.

Sharon boothroyd said...

I agree.
A sky scarper in Wethy?Come off it! A new tram line would be far more convincing.
Despite Craig being a rubbish copper, Shona's silly behaviour, Audrey's non- party, Gary's bad maths and yet more baddies in Scott and Ray, the thing that irked me the most is that never in a million years would the charming previous Todd have looked twice at at that ugly lump of fella who strongly resembled Albert Steptoe.
Why did they need to be ex lovers?
The old Todd would have got out of it by using his wits, instead of rushing off to hide in the attic and plead with Eileen to keep quiet.
On a light note, I loved Evelyn and Arthur's scenes.

CK said...

And don't forget Todd hit Mick in the head and robbed him while dumping him. Rubber head indeed, like Gary! How many times has he been bonked in the head? Solid bone I guess. Great review!!

SimoneJenifer said...

“If, say, Sally refused to sell up, what would you do then?” Good question. Johns Hopkins University was in a similar position many years ago, and rather than try to overbid on all of the homes that they wanted to acquire, they bought up as many houses as they could, at market rates, then boarded up each and every one; leaving the half-populated community of terraced houses to languish. Eventually people were so desperate to leave that the school was able to buy the remaining terraced houses for next-to-nothing. Hopefully, this Corrie storyline doesn’t last a decade.

I LOVE all of the Gary Windass screen-time—even with all his poor judgement. Perhaps this real-estate deal is yet another opportunity for him to become a legitimate baddie (as loan-sharking didn't work out so well).

Louby, too true about the Johnny story. Surely he can tell his wife that this guy took the rap for him and wants him to break the law...she will definitely be on his side. Maybe they're working from a different dictionary definition of "blackmail"

Humpty Dumpty said...

I've only just caught up with Mick the gangster. Very funny to see him peering through the window of the Grimshaw house. Perhaps it's already been said but he looks so much like Marv in Home Alone, the one who trod on a nail. Think that actor is called Daniel Stern. Hard to take Mick seriously now.

Anonymous said...

Agree with everything you said, Scott. Corrie’s the worst I’ve ever seen it.
Evelyn and Arthur’s story is nice enough, it’s the most realistic and heartfelt, though I suspect it’s about to take a tragic turn with Arthur revealing he’s dying, or got a senile wife, because who needs happiness when we can have more heartache and hospital scenes?

I’m convinced the writers (intentionally or not) are turning this gangster storyline into a comedy. Ray wanting to buy up the street is daft for all the reasons you listed (I’m still waiting for an explanation on how he created a sinkhole). We all know Ray’s not going to succeed with his plans so where’s the suspense of it all?

The anniversary episodes are going to be centred on the community teaming up against Ray, but I don’t know well they’re going to pull this off because for the longest time I’ve felt no sense of community spirit whatsoever on that street. On second thoughts maybe Ray bulldozing the entire street might not be such a bad thing, given the show seems to be getting worse and worse with no sign of improving.

Todd’s recasting just isn’t working for me. Imagine if Carla Connor left the show then came back with a different actress - people would be in outrage, it just wouldn’t work. I really wanted to like this new Todd but they’ve given him a joke of a storyline. All he’s done so far is gulp dramatically and run up and down the stairs. Sorry new Todd, but it’s a no from me.

Unsurprisingly Geoff’s storyline wasn’t featured at all this week. Neither was Oliver’s, or Michael’s, and Carla and Peter were MIA despite it looking like they were finally coming back to the forefront. But that’s okay because who needs all that when we’ve got sinkholes, fake funerals, plastic gangsters and more of Shona acting like a three-year-old!

God, this week’s episodes were like watching a Carry-On film.

I’m going to stick it out for the anniversary episodes and if things haven’t improved by then, then I’m switching off for good because right now the only thing entertaining about the show is your weekly review!

Unknown said...

It's funny how Shona remembers names place's and people.E

Either kill her off or bring back her memory, one of the worst story lines ever. Come and speak to me, I've got some real life stuff you can have!!!


i'm counting the minutes to the day shona falls in the sinkhole and suddenly remembers who she was. gail's little girl voice is sickening. anyone else? did audrey, ken, rita, norris, and the little lady in Peru suddenly get sent to a covid- rich nursing home? i'm glad they put a break period on leanne and her strange upper plate. her anger issues make me nuts. i was almost hoping that tracy would sneak into oliver's room and playfully switch off the juice then turn it back on again. lol.


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