Category Archives: Coronation Street

Corrie Street 19 Mar 2017

Backup Baby

Michelle throws up in the bistro kitchen sink. Leanne watches, horrified. Steve has just told all that he’s baby Oliver’s dad.Backup baby: michelle sick in sink

He and Michelle were having a ‘just the two of us’ meal at the Bistro. The Platts converged to celebrate the new addition to their family. Chaos, as always with them, ensued. Steve wound up holding the baby. He’s mine, he said.

Everyone thought Steve had lost his marbles. But he explained. The look on Leanne’s face, then on Nick’s, confirmed his story.

Hence, Michelle’s rush to the closest sink. And Leanne right behind her. “A spare,” Michelle spat at her. All this time, he’s had a backup baby.

But despite how truly horrible this is for Michelle, it really is hard to feel sympathy for her for long. Later on she tells at Steve, “I always knew you were an idiot but you were my idiot.” Oh, Michelle, please, just quit with that one. There are so many more insults, more appropriate here.

Corrie Street 12 Mar 2017

Grooming

I learned a new word this week, thanks to Bluenose Corrie. Grooming, as in child grooming. It means “befriending and nathan checks to see if bethany is asleepestablishing an emotional connection with a child… to lower the child’s inhibitions for child sexual abuse,” according to Wikipedia. It is what Nathan is doing to Bethany.

On Tuesday, his creepy mentoring of her paid off. Bethany unwittingly got very drunk at a bar she went to with Nathan’s assistant Mel. Then, when she was staggering around outside the bar, Nathan curb-crawled his way to her. Oh dearie-dearie, let’s get bethany awakes and calls to nathanyou safe, you can’t go home in this state, what would your mother say.

So back to his. He tucked her up on the couch under a duvet to sleep it off. Ever the gentleman. Of course, she couldn’t sleep and so she did what he knew she’d do. He’s professed to be her boyfriend after all. Into his bedroom she went. Didn’t want to sleep alone, she said.

He sneaked out of bed after she was asleep and made a phone call. To whomever he is doing this for. She’s coming along nicely, he said, nathan on phone saying grooming of bethany is going wellall according to plan. But can’t rush it, must take our time.

You hear about this sort of thing, of course, on the news. But this story is really bringing it home. You can see how easy it is, playing on a girl’s naivety and vanity. It’s Bethany’s dream come true – an attractive older man who sees her as an adult – a very sexy and intelligent adult.

She is willingly walking into the trap. When she realizes it is one, it may be too late. Devastated by the betrayal and her own gullibility. And that would be on top of whatever other physical or nathan gets back in bed with bethanypsychological methods of subordination that Nathan, Mel and the handler have available to use. This isn’t their first rodeo. Nathan’s lines has sucked in other young girls.

I just want Sarah to twig to what’s going on. Rana, after seeing the state of Bethany on the street, is uneasy. She told Sarah some of it, but left out the part that the man she saw with Bethany is much, much older. So Sarah has some clues, but not enough yet to connect the dots. And with Sarah, you pretty much have to draw the whole map out before she sees it.

bethany falls back asleepAlso, with Sarah, it seems entirely possible that, if she did meet Nathan, she might fall for him herself. Her track record with men so far seems to be on track with her mother’s. Even her grandmother’s. Ha! They could craft an intergenerational story of Platt women smitten by a professional child procurer. In addition to jail time, that might be a good punishment for him.

Corrie Street 5 Mar 2017

Bangers and Mash

Hmm, what wine goes best with bangers and mash? A question for Ken to ask himself. A much better question than those he was asking at dinner with Daniel and Sinead on Thursday.ken gives pop quiz over bangers and mash

It must take the prize for most hideous dinner party ever. Sinead thought inviting Ken for dinner would put things back on a good footing for father, son and girlfriend. Oh, dear sweet Lord!

Last week, I talked about Daniel seeming to channel the young Ken Barlow. This dinner party channelled over half a century of dining table class warfare in the Barlow household. From Ken’s father sinead looks bored at ken's questionsgetting in his face about his la-di-da attitudes to Deirdre rolling her eyes at what she saw as his pretensions. Now, Ken giving a pop quiz on American history to Daniel over dinner? Why, Ken, why?

I think I agree with Ken, that Sinead is going to drag Daniel down. Although I like her and at first liked the idea of them together, she is overplaying the “I dunno all that fancy stuff, I’m just a faktry girl” schtick. Daniel may enjoy seeing the literary lineage of the beauty of the simple maid and simple life brought to life in her. He may also just be horny. Whatever, her eye-rolling, “dunno” responses and neediness will wear thin soon.

Meanwhile, finding that out will likely mess up his graduate studies daniel answers jfk question correctlyplan. His new emotional life with Sinead has already cost him a chance to get to know a prof outside the academic setting. It’s also made Ken doubt him, at a time when Ken is getting royally ticked off with the flaws of his recently returned children. He already knows well the flaws of the other ones.

Tracy and Peter also well know Ken’s flaws, and to some extent accept them. The new sons are discovering them for themselves. One that must have been driven home with a sledgehammer for Daniel is his father’s sometimes totally inappropriate pedantism.sinead gets up from table

If ever there was a time to not discuss American history, English literature or anything that resembled schoolwork, it was this first dinner with Daniel and Sinead in their home. Although Ken shouldn’t have needed a clue to know that, the bangers and mash should have given him one. Even Deirdre wouldn’t have made that kind of “this is me” statement. She would have gussied it up in honour of her guest with her speciality, stuffed marrow.

Corrie Street 26 Feb. 2017

Channelling

Rosie itemizes suitcase contents - channelling herselfWednesday, channelling by characters of other characters, even other shows. Daniel and Rosie in particular; good and (channel Rosie eye roll here) kinda weird.

When Rosie first returned, I wasn’t sure she was “the real Rosie”, i.e. Helen Flanagan. She seemed like a very similar looking actress who had diligently watched Helen Flanagan’s tapes, perfecting and surpassing Rosie’s signature moves. It was a Rosie caricature, which takes some doing.

Another character popped into my mind too: Alexis from CBC’s Schitt’s Creek. Rosie was funny, in the way that Annie Murphy as Alexis is. You watch, enjoy, and are very glad that your time with this person is limited.

Realizing this actually was Helen Flanagan, and aware that her character has been living in Miami with the Beautiful People, I could believe. Rosie would soak up the fluff like a sponge. And she already had the vacuity and self-absorption. So what would you expect her to be like when she returns home? Exactly as she is.

rosie shrieks at narcsHowever, add to it that she is an unwitting international drug mule just makes it seem more like another world than that of Weatherfield, or of Coronation Street. Rosie and all of the Webster-Windass storylines are channelling American soaps. Too many big, nasty, evil plots, too many crises. Too many people yelling, too many secrets and plot-points hinging on misunderstandings.

On a side note from earlier in this story, Anna going off on Kevin websters and anna watch as narc carries off suitcasebecause he took money from Sally for half of Sophie’s medical costs made no sense to me whatsoever. Other than to set up conflict between them. Shouldn’t Sally share the costs for her children? Why wasn’t Anna saying long ago, ‘what about Sally? Why isn’t she helping out with this?’

After seeing Rosie’s parallel universe Wednesday, Daniel took me back in time. Channelling the young Ken Barlow, he looked through sinead reads heaney poemhis literature prism at his back street world. Ken then, Daniel now, trying to explain the view to someone who sees spud-digging as digging spuds. Who sees sewing buttonholes as making a fastener for clothes, not as the life-force of creation.

I’ve only seen some early episodes of Coronation Street on video, so don’t know Ken from then. But I felt I was seeing him when Daniel sinead smiles at daniel as he explains poemshowed the poem to Sinead and talked about it. It is “Digging” by Seamus Heaney. And it is everything Daniel said about it. Daniel would have a more intellectually fruitful discussion about its meaning with his father, but it seems to have served its purpose with Sinead.

Corrie Street 19 Feb 2017

Sally’s Check-up

Sally impressed me so much with her grace and maturity. That’s not a statement you say very often!

sally at rovers after health check-upThursday she went to her doctor for a breast cancer check-up. She got the all clear, she is still cancer free. She was visibly relieved. So, I think, were we all.

She’d earlier had a bit of a snipe-fest with Jenny at the factory when she wanted to ensure she had the okay for the time off she needed. Jenny is throwing her weight around as the boss’ girlfriend, and that weight has increased by one carat. She is now wearing an engagement ring from Johnny.

sally asks kevin about financesLater, after her check-up, she goes to the Rovers to chill a bit and relish her good news. She meets up with Kevin. And she does what I and others have been wondering about. She tells him she will pay half the cost of Sophie’s hospital bill in the USA. Kevin thanks her, says he’s chuffed for her, and leaves.

Jenny passes him on her way in, to Sally’s table. Sally groans, expecting more of the same nonsense from Jenny. But no, Jenny apologizes for her behaviour earlier and asks – sincerely – after sally tells jenny it is big and little thingsSally’s health. Sally is gracious to her. She doesn’t play lady of the manor or mouthy factory girl, just tells her how the check up went and how relieved she is. Sally also tells her what her fear feels like, and how hard it is having breast cancer, then the treatment and the aftermath. She tells her about a young woman she saw in the waiting room, trying to cope with her illness and with her worries for her children.

It’s the big worries but also the little things that get you, Sally says. jenny gets ideaSomething as simple as trying to find a good mastectomy bra, for example. And the lightbulb goes off in Jenny’s head. Back to the factory she goes. And the beginning of a very good storyline, I think, and a new product line, I hope, for Underworld.

Corrie Street 12 Feb. 2017

How you doing?

How you doing – Fiz’s concerned face, asking this of Steve at the bar. Steve Alya and Fiz at the barYou know this isn’t going to go well.

It’s Friday, and it’s been a long week of sadness and anger. It’s the day after the baby’s funeral. Steve is working a shift at the Rovers. The factory girls are having a birthday party for Izzy at the bar. Fun, fun, fun – until Fiz noticed Steve.

How you doing Fiz asks SteveYou could see it in her eyes – the mental gears shifting. No more time for fun. It’s time for ‘oh, poor you, I want to make you feel better’. When you see that look, it’s time to run as fast as you can. Too bad Steve didn’t.

Fiz gave her condolences, and stopped speaking. Whew, maybe Izzy and Sinead with sad faces and condolencesthat’s it. But even that made everyone else put on a serious face and acknowledge Steve’s loss (something he was likely trying to put out of his mind for just a bit of time).

Fiz says Michelle is still youngAnd of course Fiz’s roll was just starting. Every bromide not fit for a sympathy card popped into her mind, it seems, culminating with “Michelle’s still young…” Those words, unfortunate at the best of times in this situation, came out of Fiz’s mouth just as Michelle walked out of the back room and into hearing distance.

Steve lost it. Earlier in the week, Michelle had lost it big time so Michelle tells Steve to forget the remarkperhaps she hasn’t had a chance to build up her reserves for another explosion. She dealt with Fiz’s insensitivity surprisingly well. I was grateful, I couldn’t have taken another Michelle outburst.

Steve hasn’t been able to let out his frustration and hurt and rage. So Steve yells at FizFiz’s words pushed all his buttons and she got the brunt of it. She didn’t really deserve it. Insensitive as her words were, and inappropriate as her extended expression of sympathy was in the first place at a lunchtime birthday bash at a bar, she meant well.

So everyone feels uncomfortable and embarrassed. Her friends have to comfort Fiz. And Steve will feel bad about taking it all out on her Fiz says she has the sense of a rocking horsewhen she was just trying to be nice. Steve and Michelle have had their noses rubbed in their loss at a moment when both thought they could try to feel normal for a little bit. Oh Fiz, please, next time just buy a card or flowers! Or just say sorry for your loss. Then zip it.

Corrie Street 5 Feb 2017

Dream Sequence

A dream sequence Tuesday, first time I’ve ever seen that on Corrie! It was well done, but I hope it doesn’t get repeated. dream and episode start Andy runs down street

I have always liked that fact that on Coronation Street viewers and characters see the same ‘reality’.Andy scared

The only time I remember something like this was when Jack Duckworth died, and Vera came back to accompany him to that stone-cladded castle in the sky. And that was fine because it sent Jack and Bill Tarmey off in very special style. (See my Goodnight, Jack Duckworth 4 Sept. 2011.)Phelan on street looking angry

Departing so far from the show’s style by showing viewers Andy’s dream? I don’t think so. Doing something like that, if deemed advisable at all, should be reserved for landmark events in the history of the show or long-established characters. Andy and Phelan’s story of villainy and bullying, in my mind, does not qualify. While I like the actors and their characters, I don’t have enough invested in them or their story to suspend disbelief that much.looming phelan

Instead of feeling emotionally caught up in the dream sequence, my mind immediately connected it to the use of incidental music that we have seen lately. Music playing throughout multiple scenes like a movie score, and therefore not conveying realism of a scene. The music in Coronation Street, with rare and again momentous exceptions, always fits with, and derives from, a particular setting.andy hits phelan with board

Another “innovation” for Coronation Street, we’ve seen musical overlay too much already in my opinion. Music and dream as conveyors of interior emotion are not innovations in the world of soaps. American daytime serials have long and extensively used both. One of the very good things about Coronation Street has always been that they didn’t use them. We the viewers were eavesdropping on the lives of the characters, we weren’t entering into their minds.andy helpless and terrified

The saving grace with seeing Andy’s dream was that it wasn’t shot in soft focus. But it wouldn’t be, would it? This was a nightmare, so it should be in stark relief. It was, and as the opening scene of the episode, it was effective. Visually, I loved it!phelan smiles at andy

On Phelan’s storyline with Andy and Steph and Anna and Kevin, even his nice-guy persona with Eileen? In the words ascribed to P. T. Barnum, the greatest showman ever, or President Abraham Lincoln:

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

It’s a small street, Phelan and his actions are larger than life. His time for getting away with villainy must be running out.

Corrie Street 29 Jan 2017

Rory McDonald

Little Rory McDonald never took a breath. He was way too premature. Twenty-three weeks. It was heartbreaking.michelle and steve after birth

Michelle felt something was wrong at the baby shower held for her and Leanne at the Rovers. Oh, a lot was wrong with that shower, but that’s a different topic.

Leanne took Michelle to the hospital to get checked out. On Thursday, it seemed she’d be ok. But the doctors decided to keep her nurses take rory to check him outin just to be sure. She and Steve, both worried, tried to talk themselves calm. Steve called his unborn son Rory, the name Michelle wanted and Steve hadn’t. It had grown on him, he said.

Then she went into labour. Hospital policy defines the point of viability of life at 24 weeks gestation. If Rory didn’t take a breath, doctors would not intervene. If he did, they’d work to save him.

After he was delivered, the medical staff held the infant and studied him. Michelle and Steve held their breath as they waited to find out his – and their – fate. Had he taken a breath? A sad, small shake of a head. No.steve hugs wailing michelle

What a gut-wrenching moment. The nurse handed the tiny infant, wearing a tiny blue knitted cap, to Michelle. She held him, willing life into him. But no, baby Rory will not live.

Then she asked Steve, “What do I say to people when they ask how many kids I’ve got?” Not including him means “it’s like he never existed. Like I’m betraying him. I can’t do that. He’s my son.”nurse hands rory to michelle

I had thought that a still-born birth must be the hardest thing in the world. Now I wonder if it is this: having a baby who might or might not live, depending on a single breath. Maybe they can’t be compared, they’re equally horrible.

Micro-Preemies

Rory was what is called a micro-preemie, according to a piece on CBC Radio’s The Current (Dec. 29, 2016). I listened to the story of baby Juniper and was moved by her parents’ description of watching her body actually develop. But I could still think dispassionately Michelle holds baby and criesabout the pros and cons of superhuman efforts to save such early babies.

But watching Rory? I desperately wanted to hear a breath and, failing that, I wanted to see those nurses whisk him off to an incubator and hook him up to all the machines they had.

Corrie Street 22 Jan 2017

Shona the Needy

Todd enters kitchen where Billy is making teaAn interesting scene Wednesday was Todd and Billy and their takes on helping the needy. The needy in this case being Shona – a presently homeless scam artist and thief.

Billy: “Where’s your social conscience? Your heart?” Todd: “At the bottom of David Platt’s wallet.” (The wallet that Shona stole.)

Shona rolls eyes as Todd confronts BillyShe is bringing out all Billy’s instincts to HELP people. This despite her not actually asking for help. She is also bringing out all Todd’s instincts to be on guard and safeguard the silverware. I think Todd’s approach is the better choice and probably of more use to Shona in the long run.

Billy means well but, aside from the risk of getting ripped off by her, he maybe is objectifying her. He sees not Shona, but ‘person in need’ todd says it is time for her to leave– vulnerable and at risk. All very nice, but it translates as seeing her as helpless, and him as having the strength of morality and love that can save her.

Shona does not strike me as helpless. Nor does Todd look at her that way. He doesn’t trust her, like her or want her around. Not the milk of human kindness, for sure, but it does respect her. Todd sees an individual, not a social category. He considers Shona to have a mind of her own and the ability to look after herself.

Shona walks to doorBilly has gone through a crisis of faith in his church lately, not in his deity but in the earthly representation of it that he chose for his belief system and his vocation. His options, other than cleric, were in the social work line. A suicide hotline counselor I think was the job he had an interview for.

He decided to return to the church. But maybe the “social worker” mindset is still predominant in his head. A lost waif crosses his path and he’s all over it, wanting to save her.

Billy goes to door, looks back at ToddHe even spends the night sleeping in a bus shelter with Shona so that she will come to no harm. Sorry, Billy, but I think if something bad had happened that night, more likely Shona would be saving Billy.

Shona, I think, is tough as nails. Todd knows that. Billy, overcome with Christian mercy and charity, doesn’t want to see it. He just Todd watches them leavewants to save someone. Even to the point of bulldozing over the fact that it is not his house to offer as shelter. Todd rightly points out to him that it is Eileen’s house, and therefore Eileen’s decision on who stays there. And it’s Eileen’s silverware in the drawers.

Corrie Street 15 Jan. 2017

Christmas Vigil

Amid the turkey dinners, Christmas crackers, laughter and caroling, an outdoor vigil on Tuesday brought a belated Christmas tear to my eye.Christmas vigil by Roy, Brian and NorrisNorris, Roy and Brian camp out in Dev’s back yard. Norris wants to see Mary, and Roy and Brian join him in solidarity. Mary is furious at Norris. She refused to join them for Christmas dinner at the café. So if the mountain won’t come to Muhammad – Norris will go to Mary. And he has no intention of leaving, he tells her through the closed door.

Roy tells Norris he will bring him provisions. He does that, and he also brings himself and a probably unwilling Brian. Christmas dinner was on the table at the café. Brian was happily digging in, filling his plate. He probably had time to get a few mouthfuls in before Roy dragged him away. But even Brian knows when something is more Norris talks about what Mary means to himimportant than food and he joins the vigil for Mary without grumbling.

To fill the time, and explain to Roy and Brian why they’re sitting outside in the cold, Norris tells them what Mary means to him.

“I know I have a caustic manner. People say I sit in judgement. Yeah, I often do. It’s safer, isn’t it. To watch from the touch line rather than get involved in the field of play.

Ah, but not Mary. She lives. She gets knocked down, sometimes trampled on. But she always gets back up. She never pulls on a protective shell. She goes out into the world. As innocent as a newborn baby. I think she’s one of the bravest people I know.”shot of backyard with roy brian and norris

Mary hears what he says and her heart melts. So does mine, so does everyone’s I should think.

Christmas dinner is back on at Roy’s Rolls, with all four friends partaking. Then there’s an even happier ending. Gemma’s online plea for Mary starts to smileMary’s son found its mark. Jude saw it and comes to the café door. He meets his mother.

However, the bad thing to come out of all this is that he is going to take her away with him: to South Africa! But no, please, she can’t go. Like the twins said to her later, we’re your family, Mary.