I don’t think I’ve ever before seen CBC put a ‘viewer discretion’ advisory at the beginning of Coronation Street. They did Monday. And with reason. Bethany and Nathan. And Neil. All building up to the very end. The final shot.
Bethany, quietly crying, looking at the closed bedroom door. The door not opening. Nathan not coming through to save her, to throw his “friend” out. So she quietly submits to Neil. Submits to rape.
At the same time, in the Rovers, Mary and Norris discuss methods of parenting past and present. Because Sarah has told them she’s worried about Bethany. Sarah texts her, but Bethany doesn’t hear her phone. It’s in the living room at Nathan’s, while she is in the bedroom with Neil.
Norris has argued for taking a firm hand with children, teaching discipline and right from wrong. Mary counters that the old style often was not so good for the children themselves. And she does know the bad consequences. Norris knows that she knows. He says to Sarah, “What do I know? I’ve never had any children.”
But if Norris, Mary or Sarah knew what was happening at that very moment with Bethany, I think they’d all agree on the merits of the stick in the carrot and stick approach to childrearing.
The long inexorable lead-up to Bethany in that bedroom, being raped, was worthy of a viewer advisory. Even worse was that she thought she was doing the right thing. She thought this was what an adult, a girlfriend, should do. As frightened and disgusted as she is, this must be okay in grown-up land – so Nathan has convinced her.
Nathan and Mel are her benchmarks for what is cool adult behaviour. Sarah, Gary, the other adults in her family? They are old, they don’t understand. They think she’s a kid. But Nathan and Mel – they see her maturity, they don’t want to hold her back. At least that’s what she believes, what she wants.