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

Monday 2 May 2022

Five Things We Learned In Corrie Last Week

Women: know your place.  It was something of a surprise to everyone that Amy had a breakdown in school and chucked a cup of tea over the back of some boy's neck.  She'd seemed so calm, so together, so rational about that time where somebody drugged her into unconsciousness for reasons unknown.  It turned out she's been suffering for weeks but has kept it quiet for plot reasons.  This is annoying enough, because - and I don't think I'm alone in this - I thought the whole point of a continuing drama was that we could see how events affected characters in real time and shape their lives.  Having them pop up and say "by the way, I'm horribly traumatised" doesn't really hit the spot.

All that would be annoying enough but it quickly became clear that Amy's psychological torment was entirely in service to the pain of the men around her.  Amy's sudden outburst of fear and self-loathing on Wednesday's episode was purely designed to give Max a moment of humanity.  She got her little speech about how she felt so that we could see Max in torment because, let's be honest, when a woman is hurt it's far more important to learn how men feel about it.  This was exacerbated as the Barlow-McDonald clan debated what to do about the situation, with Amy entirely offscreen.

Then on Friday Jacob (Amy's boyfriend) saved the life of Max (Amy's attacker) so that Simon (Amy's cousin) would realise he was a nice guy really and they could end up in the pub having a few pints and burying the hatchet.  By this point Amy was so unimportant to the plot she appeared in only two scenes in the entire episode, turning up towards the end with a sitcom wife "oh, you men" eyeroll, her worries and fears apparently entirely overcome.  Having Max say "don't worry, I was actually planning to use the date rape drug on your uncle" isn't a cause for massive relief.  Amy ended up in hospital.  She's not known why for weeks.  But this was nowhere near as prominent as how much Jacob's makeshift tourniquet cost, and this is to the detriment of both the characters and the programme as a whole.  I don't like Amy being treated as a plot device, because she's easily one of the most interesting teens on the show, and her experiences shouldn't be used as learning points for the less prominent boys.

We're also reaching a point where the Jacob pudding is getting distinctly over-egged.  He's changed, we get it.  You don't need to give him endless speeches to earn the respect of those around him.  He doesn't need to be the most perfect human alive.  This reached its peak when he revealed on Friday that he'd done a first aid course at some point in his past.  As if!  Jacob is so saintly now, and so utterly different to the rancid little scrote we met last year, that they may as well go the whole hog and simply say that was his evil twin.

Find your limits.  If I was in charge of this programme - and thank goodness I'm not, because I've been the length and breadth of Coronation Street and I've yet to spot a decent wool shop - I would put up a big whiteboard in the writer's room and I would establish, once and for all, how many bedrooms everybody's houses and flats have, and how many people were living there.  Because it does matter.  I know it might seem silly but when you're watching a soap opera you need to know where people are based and who's sleeping where because this is a community and you need to know where people fit into it.

It means that while I have the utmost sympathy for Nicky - who has apparently been kicked out on the streets by her uncaring mum, even though her mum used to literally babysit Maisie while she was out doing sex work - I spent the whole time thinking yes, but where will you sleep? Is it a two bedroom or three bedroom flat?  Is Bertie in with Daniel or is he sharing a room with Maisie now?  Poor Paul is up there paying his fifty quid a week for a room above the shop and finding an ever increasing queue of waifs and strays ahead of him for the shower in the morning.

I also thought this as Alya and Zeedan were allowed out of the plot cupboard again.  Last time we saw them they were in a horrible argument with their gran that left them with nowhere to live.  So... where are they now?  What does Zeedan do for a living, other than wander round the street with his hands in his pockets?  Are they coping?  Are they living together?  It's strange that the priority, plot-wise, seems to be "charity homeless giveaway" rather than "Yasmeen turns her back on her grandchildren" but such is the way of the storylines these days.  After a while it's simply not your turn for a plot so you all disappear for a while and reappear when there's nothing else happening.  And it will involve Stu being unfeasibly cheery, whether you like it or not.

Breathe easy.  I love George.  I love that he's simultaneously a big ball of comedy, fun and lively and charming, and also extremely sincere and caring when there's a funeral.  It must be hard to know you're following in the footsteps of a national treasure like Roy Hudd but Tony Maudsley has carried it off with aplomb.  It's also nice to get a character whose dark secret is something as ordinary as snoring; I was fully expecting there to be a trussed up kidnap victim in George's house, or maybe a sex dungeon.   

The most ridiculous part of the storyline came when Eileen and Sean broke into his surprisingly lovely garden.  Are you seriously asking us to believe that Sean Tully can climb a six foot fence, Corrie?  The man has never done anything more physical than the Tragedy dance routine.  There is no way he could clamber up and over a vertical fence without a ladder, crampons and a safety harness.  

Party down.  Toyah's hen do was astonishingly tragic, consisting of her, Sarah-Lou, Sean and Faye.  When you're inviting Faye to a party you know you're scraping the bottom of the barrel.  Leanne refused to attend because she still hasn't forgiven Imran for having a drunken one night stand and getting a woman pregnant behind his partner's back.  How exactly was Oliver conceived again, Lee?  She finally made things up with Toyah, which is good, because we've had no mention at all of Janice or Les so it looks like Leanne is going to be the only family at the wedding.  I did enjoy Toyah's decision to dress as a go-go dancer for the event, but my favourite part was when she suggested she could "bob a cardi over the top".  "Bob a cardi" is a brilliant phrase.  

Mind you, Toyah's bash was the last days of Sodom compared with Imran's stag party.  Adam was a guest, which is fair enough, but Craig?  Has Imran ever actually talked to Craig?  And who has a stag do in a place that serves only soft drinks?  What sort of raucous bawdy fun can you have on a mango lassi?  It all petered out in an extremely dignified fashion, denying us the sight of Imran stripped naked and tied to a lamppost.    

Abi soon showed up for her takeaway, because even though she lives in a flat in the precinct and is a social pariah on Coronation Street, she still comes all the way over to Speed Daal for her curry.  She revealed that she can no longer afford to pay the barrister in her case and it doesn't matter because she would absolutely get legal aid but I guess we're on this train now and we'll have to ride it to the end of the line.  She watched Toyah and Imran from the shadows in a melodramatic fashion, while presumably her lamb karahi congealed and cooled in her bag at her feet.  Can they all sit down and agree to shared custody and we can move on with our lives?  

Talk behind people's backs, it's more fun.  This week we learned that Maria is running around introducing herself to people as "Councillor Connor" and I'm sorry it's going to take me a while to adjust to Maria the Politician.  It's like seeing an overenthusiastic labradoodle rise up on its hind legs and start doing trigonometry.  I do like the idea that she's getting ideas above her station.  Perhaps her new high office will turn her into a roaring social climber like Sally and the two of them can indulge in competitive snobbery and delight me utterly.

She's not so high-class that she's above indulging in a bit of gossip with Fiz in the Rovers.  The two of them snarked about Nicky and Daniel, boggling that he had two women fighting over him, and it was lovely.  We got a few scenes of women gossiping this week and they were all great.  It turns out Sally and Aggie are still mates, for example, and they sat in the arbour and laid into Gail for some reason.  It was mean spirited and totally undeserved but it was enormous fun.

And then Rita showed up to insult Daniel.  (He got insulted by a lot of ladies this week but honestly, fair).  It seems that she's getting on like a house on fire with Daisy, doling out advice, and this makes perfect sense; Reet loves a bolshy young girl.  We should treasure any appearance from the fragrant Mrs Fairclough, and if they're unnecessarily bitchy, all the better.
The week ended with Max clinging to life in hospital but since my notes for that episode mainly say "let the little brat die" I decided not to mention it.  Tell me I'm beastly over on Twitter @merseytart.

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Anonymous said...

Those stag and hen doos were a joke and thats largely due to so few people on set as soaps still think we have covid restrictions. In the old episodes every man and his dog would have been at a stag doo, regular characters and extras alike

Louby said...

The phenomena of houses with elastic walls in Corrie has been going on for years but this latest one is just beyond stupid. I thought that Nikki had mentioned that she lived in a flat, in which case she would surely have had a bit of the current month left before she had to move out? .....I know, the plot required that she move in with Daniel, for whatever comes next. Credit where it's due though, she did have a realistic amount of luggage with her!

Charles said...

I absolutely agree with you about the way Amy's story was handled!

That being said, I like the fact that Corrie is capitalising on the relationships between the Barlows and the Platts, who are undoubtedly their most important families these days. Max and Amy, David and Daniel, Sarah and Adam, and Peter and Nick all have complex and interesting dynamics which make for good drama.

Watching Classic Corrie recently has made me think that the return of Mike Baldwin's son Mark Redman would make for an interesting storyline. Although his dad is long dead Mark is Adam's half brother, Leanne's ex-boyfriend, and Nick's childhood friend, plus Ken was his teacher and briefly dated his mother. Lots of dramatic potential there and as he's not been in it for years it would be easy to recast if necessary.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Elle Mulvaney is a great actress so, although I agree Amy's melt down was a plot device, it was good to see it so well done. Jacob's complete personality change makes me think the writers will do the same with Abi. The character really should have no way back if she doesn't get custody. Being Corrie, this could be her 'wake-up call' and she has a long speech about how she's going to change. She actually does change and co-parents with Toyah. Or, possibly, nobody gets custody and the baby is quickly forgotten. Not very interested in any of the storylines at the moment. I find tuning in to the last half hour of the hour-long episode is enough for me and probably enough for the ratings which will show the whole episode was watched.

maggie muggins said...

Nice change of pace for Five Things this week, Scott. Love your sociological tear-downs, especially for Amy's suffering vs the importance of every single male in her radius. All true. Was throwing a coffee over a boy supposed to be the equivalent of the cliché of a beer over a head in the Rovers? Strong Corrie women have more to 'em than this.

A labradoodle doing trigonometry - nice one.

Anonymous said...

If they bringing spider back then its possible mark could come back. The show has gone right down the pan and bringing back some names from when it was on top form could be what it needs. Les and janice battersby are long overdue a return too and how about curly and martin platt

Anonymous said...

The show really has lost its way. Look at any post Corrie does on FB or Insta and the amounts of comments criticising the storylines is astonishing. This has been going on for months but ITV constantly insist that TV viewing habits have changed and there's a different audience.
Such a shame. Watched some old Classic Corrie the other day - Blanche thinking Ken was gay. Simple plot. No murders. Understated humour. The writers seem to have forgotten the beautiful drama of the everyday - instead thinking the audience want more murders, more rapes, more anger.
Unfortunately, I can't see a future for Corrie the way its going.

popcorn said...

Re: your comment at the end about Max - - - I think we all agree with you!

coconno196 said...

Wow! You've really nailed all that's wrong with Corrie these days. Characters forgetting their own misdeeds - Tracy murdering Charlie and spiking Roy's drink, Leanne being a prostitute, junkie and arsonist plus her one-night stand with Steve who she'd never spoken to before.
The elastic walls isn't just about who sleeps where, but all their possessions. As Louby says, at least Nicky had luggage.
Thanks goodness for humour from Mary, Rita, Jenny, George, Eileen and Todd.
"Curly" has said he'd come back. "Martin" is busy making cheese but could make a brief visit, as he already has. Les and Janice - no thanks. I think the Les actor was involved in a scandal anyway.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comments about Jacob as it did seem to be that he was being pushed down our throats about hoe he's 'changed'.
I also didn't think it was fair that Simon whom had every right to be angry was being porteayed as the 'bad guy'while Jacob was the 'victim'.
I'm disappointed that the fact that Daniel was Max's intended victim was glossed over and forgotten by his family as Amy [who seemed more concerned about sneaking around with Jacob]seemed more upset about Daniel keeping quiet about her being drugged then the fact Daniel was Max's intended target!.

Bobby Dazzler said...

@Louby....absolutely right. Her rent would have been paid up until the end of the month surely!She didn't have to move in the next day. Don't people also pay a last month deposit? I don't know, maybe rental laws are different on your side of the pond

Anonymous said...

Me neither. They are trying to appeal to the younger viewers who frankly aint intrested in it these days

Anonymous said...

The only thing I learned this week is that Carla Connor's wardrobe team need to have a word with themselves. That leather jacket and those big squeaky boots aren't doing anything for her... a business woman wouldn't dress like this, sort it out.

Anonymous said...

Agreed there's way too much focus on the teens now and the adults feel like supporting cast. Characters we used to see all the time like Peter, don't get a look in these days. He had his liver story which abruptly ended. Have we seen him since? Where does he live? What does he do? Thought he wanted a career change? Very odd...

Bobby Dazzler said...

It used to be that the street followed the story of the lives of the people who lived on the it is all about sensational storylines. Life isn't always "living on the edge"....the odd comedic bone is thrown but nothing like the natural humour of say...Fred Gee wearing a hairpiece at the Rovers...

coronation Street has turned into the very car crash that is often portrayed on the screen now a days.
Are all viewers 23 now? 'Cause I know many who are tuning in to the old programs.

The crushing of Deirdre's specs!! Can't see how they'd play that one our in 2022..and it's a shame, because THAT was CORRIE

Tarrah mates..I'm outta here after 53 years of watching..sniff sniff

coconno196 said...

My comment seems to have got lost so I'll try again.
Well done Scott, you've nailed all that's wrong with current Corrie.
Max not intending to spike Amy is irrelevant, it was still a criminal act.
Nicky must be the first person to arrive with luggage. Elastic walls aren't just about who sleeps where. What about folk's belongings?
Characters forgetting their past misdeeds. Tracy murdered Charlie to get his house, spiked Roy and pretended he had fathered Amy / Patience in order to sell her to him. Leanne was a prostitute, junkie and arsonist, and had a one-night stand with Steve who she'd barely spoken to in 20 years.
Thank goodness for classic Corrie humour with Rita, Jenny, Mary, George, Eileen and Todd.
Les and Janice to come back? No thanks. But Curly has said he would. Martin Platt is busy making cheese but an occasional visit would be good, and credible.

Anonymous said...

Craig used to live with Imran and Toyah


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