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

Monday 31 October 2022

Preview of tonight's Coronation Street - Monday 31 October 2022

Monday 31st October 2022

FIZ AND TYRONE ARE HUNTING FOR A MOLE At No.9, Tyrone shows Fiz the first extract from the John Stape book in the Gazette. Fiz’s heart sinks and she quickly hides the paper from Hope. Fiz suggests to Tyrone they call the journalist who worked on the book with Phill and set up a meeting with him. But is the culprit closer to home? 

SEAN IS OBLIVIOUS TO LAURENCE’S SECRET As Sean, Laurance and Dylan ready themselves for their evening out, Sean asks Todd to take a picture of them on Laurence’s phone. As Todd does so, a photo pops up on the phone which shocks Todd. Will he say anything? 

Glenda Young
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
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Sunday 30 October 2022

Five Things We Learned From Five Years Of Five Things We Learned From Corrie This Week

In August 2017, Grand High Poobah Of The Blog Glenda messaged me and asked me if I'd mind covering the regular Five Things blog for her that week.  I said sure, and began years of writing a mix of insults about Sean, lustful thoughts about cast members, and increasingly dumbfounded critiques of the storylines in the Nation's Favourite Soap.  But now it's coming to an end, so here's a farewell post to cap it off.

Practice self care.  At some point in your life you have to look out for you.  You have to sit back and look at your life and realise, no, this is not healthy, this is not helping you, you need to stop this.  Remember Billy taking heroin in the pews of his church?  Or David shouting at scallies on playgrounds in the hope they'll beat him up?  That sort of self-destructive behaviour cannot end well.  You need to stop and look at the source of your pain and say "I must stop".

This week, I reached that point with Corrie, that final end point.  I wasn't enjoying it.  I wasn't having fun.  It was yet another week where I had episodes building up on my Virgin box and no real desire to watch them.  I was sat with my partner as we decided what to watch and he said, "shall we get Corrie out the way, then we can watch something entertaining?"  And then I saw the previews and got "Max in a racist grooming gang" and... nope.  If this was any other programme in the world I'd have stopped a long time ago.  But Corrie is clever; it knows that if it feeds you a load of tripe, it has to occasionally chuck in the bit of truffle to give you hope.  You get a load of people being murdered, but they you get Mary's amateur dramatics.  You get the sexual exploitation of a young girl, but you also get Steve and Tim sat in the cab office chatting about nonsense.  You get a small child dying horribly, but you also get Ryan posing in a pair of blue boxer shorts.  

This is a show I've watched, on and off, since I was a child.  My mum and dad settled down for Corrie back when it was on Mondays and Wednesdays with me lying on the carpet watching too.  I have weirdly strong memories of Gail and Brian's house because it was so different to everyone else's.  Renee Roberts dying gave me lifelong roadwork anxieties, and I distinctly remember Sally Seddon getting splashed with water by Kevin Webster.  I remember all that, so I'm officially old.  And the show isn't really interested in me any more.  Even when it hit lows before, when there was Derek's gnome and the Battersbys and Reg flaming Holdsworth in every other episode, I still had hope that it was a momentary lull.  It'd get better.

I don't think that way any more.  This programme is not very good, and rather than it being a lull, it's a downward path.  The storylines have got more and more ridiculous.  There are murderers and perverts and criminals all over the place.  The emergency services are a constant presence.  The Rovers is barely in it any more. I don't like this show and I don't trust that someone's going to take over and make it better.  It's going to stay bad, so I'm checking out.  This is a different Corrie - one I don't want to watch.  If you do, that's great: ITV will love you.  But it's not for me.

Six is too many.  The show moved from five episodes to six not long after I started writing these regularly, and at first the show seemed to cope.  There was Eva and Aidan's disastrous wedding, there was Rita's brain tumour, there was Michelle getting stalked; things were happening and the show was managing to deal with it.  We also got that whizzy extension to the set with the totally wrong tram stop which I am still not over.  It soon became clear, though, that filming this many episodes was going to be a strain.  Multiple units filmed simultaneously, which meant characters vanished for months on end.  The cast swelled and swelled, although nobody seemed to move into the swanky new apartment block they'd built and carried on overfilling the two up two downs in the main street.  

And yet, weirdly, even though there was more time than ever for the show, the amount of actual character in it plummeted.  I've long had a theory that the rot for Corrie started when people stopped ordering drinks in the Rovers.  For decades, Alf, for example, would walk into the pub, and something like this would happen:
ALF: Evening Betty.  Pint of bitter, please.
BETTY: Alright lovey.
Alf looks down the bar; Ken is reading his paper.
ALF: Evening Ken.  Can I get you another?
KEN: That's very good of you, Alf.  I'll have a half of bitter.
Betty returns with Alf's pint.
ALF: Same again for Ken please Betty.
BETTY: Alright lovey.
Then Ken would ask Alf how his day was, and Alf would tell him, and you'd get the meat of the scene.  That doesn't happen any more.  Pay attention and you'll see that most of the time when we cut to the Rovers, people are already sat at their tables or stood at the bar with a drink in their hand.  We've lost that little bit of business.  You could say that it was pointless anyway, especially Betty basically saying the same thing fourteen times an episode.  What it actually did was add character to the programme.  It showed people were friends.  It established what their regular tipple was.  It was... nice.  It added to the sense of community.

Community has largely gone from Corrie now.  Because of the relentless filming schedule, you're only on set when you have a proper plotline.  People mainly hang out with their relatives, because those people also share a house with them, so they can film a whole bunch of scenes at once.  Nobody is simply in the pub, having a pint, when other characters are in there.  Has Tim ever talked to Nicky Tilsley?  Does Yasmeen know Aggie?  Kevin and Sally barely talk any more because they both have their own little plot bubbles that don't intersect; same for Tyrone and Kirk.  People turn up, say their lines, vanish.  Every plotline is IMPORTANT and nobody's just hanging out having a chat.  You get couples who have a meet cute, hook up, then don't appear for three months, at which point they have a crisis that tears them apart while us audience members didn't even know they were still dating.

The other problem with six episodes a week is... that's a lot of telly.  That's three hours of telly.  I watch way too much telly already; three hours of a soap opera is a commitment.  Especially if you, say, go out on a Wednesday night, and you realise you have to watch the next episode on Thursday, or you'll have two on Friday - except there's loads of other good telly on Thursday, so a backlog builds up.  Three lumps of an hour every other night; fortunately I'm not into any other soaps or watching them all would basically be a full-time job.  I'm not exactly a party animal but honestly, who has the time?  

Joy is underrated.  Television should be pleasurable, and sometimes there are people who embody joy.  Emma.  Mary.  The Blessed Evelyn.  Roy.  Nina.  Tracy Barlow, now she's just a bit of a cow rather than being evil.  Tim and Sally.  There are characters who are effortlessly funny and happy no matter what happens.  One of the pleasures of chronicling Corrie over the past five years has been the progress of the Alahans.  When I started, they were a bit of a rag tag family, still recovering from the death of Sunita, still mainly focused on the antics of Sir Devendra.  By 2022, however, they were an absolute ball of happiness, central to the street with their unique energy and pure chemistry.  I could watch Jimmi Harkishin deliver any line in history - once more unto the breach, Bond, James Bond, that's no moon - and he would find a unique and thrilling new angle for it.  Meanwhile, Adam Hussein taking over for Zennon Ditchett proved a game changer for Aadi, as he suddenly blossomed into an adorable nerd with terrible taste in girlfriends.  And we must mention Asha, who is so much more appealing now she's not being lumped with Horror Story Of The Week and is simply allowed to be a lovely queer girl larking about the Street being adorable, and who is portrayed by Tanisha Gorey with exactly the right mix of cynicism and amusement.  I love the Alahans and in a just world there would be an entire episode devoted to them watching lesbian cinema while Aadi ate the good crisps from the bureau and Mary made supportive yet inappropriate comments about scissoring.  (Now bring back Amber, she was ace).

I loved so much about the show over the past five years; mainly the stuff about Mary or Jenny Bradley being astonishingly camp but I'm only human.  It still manages to bring in great characters.  George is a triumph, as is Glenda, and Dee Dee promises so much.  Whenever Corrie embraced its silly side over the past five years I've been so happy.  I loved it when it went daft.  It's a sitcom that's been wrestled into continuing drama form and that is why it's lasted sixty-odd years.  That's its legacy.

Also Imran was ridiculously handsome.  This should never be forgotten.  

The drugs do work.  Obviously the biggest interruption to humanity in the last five years was the Covid pandemic, and Corrie was no different.  It coped surprisingly well; besides VE Day turning up in June and a lot of sudden hairstyle changes you'd never have known it happened.  Which was, in some ways, a problem.  Corrie embraced and also retreated from the pandemic.  Overnight everyone was two metres apart but nobody ever mentioned why.  Suddenly Sally was wandering around in rubber gloves 24/7 and Debbie was turning up in the corner shop in an amazing face scarf but otherwise they all pretended life was going on.  Maria and Gary got married while staying two metres apart at all times which was, on some level, absolutely hilarious; their refusal to kiss in the ceremony would've only been better if they'd celebrated by spraying one another with antibac.  I'm not sure how you cope with a global pandemic on a silly little continuing drama without simultaneously devaluing and over emphasising the perils; the real time to make a drama about a global crisis is when we know how it ends.  

It meant that the sixtieth anniversary storyline, where Coronation Street was due to be demolished for a skyscraper hotel complex, sadly ended up hopelessly fudged.  Some people sold up, some people didn't; a sinkhole was somehow created in David's back yard; there was a weird planning meeting that was sort of dodgy but also not.  Then Ken Barlow pretended to be the Tianenman Square Man and it all became a bit tasteless.  Personally, I'll remember the sixtieth anniversary mainly for that episode earlier in the year where Rita took a ragtag band of characters - aka all the best ones, but also Sean, for some reason - to a layby to chuck Dennis Tanner's ashes all over the tarmac.  That was exactly what I wanted from Corrie, and it still makes me smile.

Breaking up is hard to do.  I wish I could find a way to say goodbye here that wasn't a bit rubbish.  Much like my relationship to Coronation Street itself, I feel like I should shrug and simply say it doesn't work and that's it.  I wish it was some big event that was ending it but it was mainly a realisation that we're just not compatible any more.  So I'll say thank you for the good times.  For Bet and Alec, and Gail, and Sally and Kevin.  For Deirdre and Emily and Norris and Phyllis.  For Jack and Vera and Tyrone and Molly.  For Mike's big cigar and Rita's papers; for the Rovers and for the Kabin.  For so many more fun times and small character moments and general places of entertainment I won't forget and I'll always love.  I'll say thank you for being funny and entertaining and I'll wish you well.  You can be great Corrie, and loads of people love you.  I'm not one of them any more and that's just how things go.

My Twitter handle is @merseytart, though since I'll no longer be talking nonsense about Corrie over there, there's probably no point following me.  Thank you for reading, thank you for being lovely, thank you for everything.

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Coronation Street Episode Review, Friday 28 October 2022

As we know, Griff may or may not be a right-on activist but he certainly has some seedy-looking friends who are all going to a gig.  Peter has been hanging around with Griff and Spider (much to Carla's annoyance) in recent weeks and thinking that the band may remind him of his youth he decides to go with them.  Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Spider got Toyah to accept that this was a boys-only event and she is looking after some children, but he also manages to tell Carla that Peter is not on an airport run but is attending the gig.  

Peter leaves the gig early once he hears the overtly racist lyrics - much to the anger of Griff and co.  Spider is in a bind.  He leaves with Peter overtly to calm him down and to avoid police intervention.  More seriously he knows Peter will tell Toyah about the band's views and Spider seeks to pretend he could not hear the words due to audio distortion. She is not sure that she believes him. Meanwhile Spider's police handler calls him Geoff and assures him that something is going down soon with Griff and Geoff need to report on it.  So Spider returns to Griff and Co and blags that he had to take action to ensure his sex life did not dry up - an explanation they just about accept.  But he looks worried.

And there is a huge moving day happening. Daniel and Bertie think they are moving into the Rovers with Daisy allowing Daniel to rent out his room above Dev's to Dee Dee who arrives pays the deposit and rent to Daniel, which he promptly spends and then starts teaching Paul to dance.  Daisy thinks she is moving into Daniel's house with Daniel and Bertie as his tenants have departed.  She does not know that Daniel is doing his bit for refugees who have been advertising at play group for somewhere to stay - so he is getting no income at present.  Daisy finds an instant taker for her room in the ever wonderful Glenda (no not R'Glenda - the one on Corrie) who needs to abandon the cockroaches so delights in telling her landlord where he can put the cockroaches.  Daisy and Daniel meet each other outside Number One each carrying boxes in the other direction and daylight dawns on the complete mix up.  

Darling Ken (above) offers them refuge as apparently Amy and Jacob have moved out in a story I must have missed. Initially they refuse but their replacements (Dee Dee and Glenda) refuse to relinquish their new pads and Tracy has talked Ken and Steve into accepting the new tenants providing they pony up for the household costs.  Within minutes of moving in Daisy is trying to get an extra shift at the Rovers as she needs saving!

Eileen has been so nice since her near death experience (including espousing the purchasing of wonky vegetables which she used to say were for wonky people - but they are in fact soup which Eileen is making for the soup kitchen) that Todd thinks that the truth needs to be told about her "experience".  When she arrives in the Rovers for a drink over which he breaks the news Gail gloriously knocks red wine all over her denim jacket.  Eileen takes it on the chin and assures Gail that her magic stain remover will sort it.  Todd explains about events when she came round and within seconds the old Eileen is in full flow throwing a drink over Todd and marching up to "Gail More Surnames than Hot Dinners" in the Street and just stops short of fisticuffs (I assume the insurance premiums are too high these days).  However it would appear that she has reverted to normal and is no longer mrs nice woman.

In a very minor side story this week Max remains upset by Daryan having allegedly stolen his place at school.  As we all know it is not quite that simple but no doubt a bigger story will follow.  However due to the usual banter along the Street Peter is aware of Max's discontent and it comes up in conversation with Griff later - just grist to the mill for your everyday racist.

Sam has decided that the best place to see the Northern Lights is Canada and Audrey decides that Stephen can lend them one of his properties as the air fares would be more than Norway.  Stephen knows the money cannot stretch that far and goes into panic mode to get them to revert to the old plan telling Gail of the risks to elderly and children from the intense cold in the Northwestern Territories.  Gabrielle departs with Max observing that you can never be friends with an ex - whilst Stephen opines that he only ever wants a quiet life.

A journalist has approached Fiz - there is a new book about John Stape about to be published - but not by Phill Whittaker who denies (off screen) that he has any involvement.  In a completely unrelated event it appears that whilst Sam is trying to stop any letters arriving from prison whilst in Canada (or Norway) Hope's mysterious internet correspondent is now blanking her and they have not been in contact recently. Fiz and Ty tell Hope that there may be some unwelcome publicity and questions about her father at school - but Hope is up front - her dad did what he did and he cannot do it any more because he is dead.  Meanwhile Amelia's dad is drunk every night and that is way worse.

The Stape story stumbles on.  Always revisit the best killers if you can. Stephen's quiet life would be achieved if he left the Street.  I am going to miss nice Eileen as will George, Gail, Mary - indeed just about everyone other than Todd!  And if he has an overdraft and no work how is Daniel surviving without the income on the house?  Answers on a postcard to the storyliners.  And where are Amy and Jacob living and on what?  Answers on a postcard to the storyliners.  Please let me know responses on Twitter!

Written by Debbie Oates.  Directed by Mickey Jones.


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Saturday 29 October 2022

Conversation Street Podcast Episode #546

On out latest podcast, we chat about all things Corrie between the 24th and the 28th October (Episodes #10777 - 10782).

This week, Stephen continues to bumble from one disaster to another, desperately trying to cover his tracks after binning off Leo last month. At least with Gabrielle now heading back home (and surely we weren't the only ones surprised that she's made it out of this alive?), his nefarious dealings with Audrey's equity should be easier to keep a secret - but for how long? Also this week, things take an unexpected twist in the Spider story when it turns out that Griff's interests are a lot more sinister than anyone had expected. Meanwhile, Daniel and Daisy move into Number 1, Fiz gets a shock when she's asked to do an interview about John, and Eileen gets a whiff of heaven - and it smells like vanilla slice. 

Turn out the lights and lock the doors, for we have a fearsome tale for our bonus podcast this week, dear listener - a tale of misery, mystery... and murder. Although some may say that all residents of Coronation Street have suffered in some form or another during their time on the cobbles, it is perhaps those who dwell under the roof of Number 6 whose lives have been most cursed. Is it just a coincidence, or are there more malevolent forces at work? Listen carefully to these tales of woe, and decide for yourself...

You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, stream all our old episodes on our own site here, or click the play buttons above to give it a listen from the comfort of this very blog! 

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


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