Category Archives: Coronation Street

Corrie Street 13 Aug. 2017

New Landlady

putting coin in tampon machineThe closing scene Tuesday: Toyah putting a coin in the tampon dispenser in the ladies’ room of the Rovers. Crying.

That morning, Peter and Toyah started work as publicans. Toyah’s name over the door, landlady of the Rovers Return. Arms around each other, they look up at the sign with pride. And hope – Toyah’s taking a pregnancy test next day and she has “a really good feeling.” Later on, she gets her answer in the bathroom. A dream fulfilled, a dream shattered.

toyah-takes-box-from-dispenserMonday and Tuesday’s episodes were perfect. A new era for the Rovers began and history was remembered. The kind of episode that former writer and keeper of Street history Darin Little did so well. Writers Mark Wadlow and Damon Alexis-Rochefort did an equally fine job.

Monday, Liz lets her heartbreak show in the back room of the pub. She is leaving her home and her job – her profession. But, front of the house, she wears a happy face. At the leaving party, in front of the punters and new owners, she graciously wishes them well. Toyah pays tribute to past landladies: Annie Walker, Bet Lynch, Vera Duckworth and the landlady she learned from – Liz McDonald.

Next day, in the factory, they talk about the party and the changing of the guard at the Rovers. Another owner, Fred Elliot, is remembered. I say, Fred Elliot is remembered.sign landlady Toyal Laverne Battersby

Peter and Toyah, that morning, savour the start of a new life. Who’da thunk it, that when she moved to the street all those years ago that she’d end up landlady of the pub. Don’t tell Les, Peter cautions her, he’d drink us dry in a week. Ha! Nice to hear Toyah’s dad mentioned.

Peter and Toyah happy about new businessA tiny moment of happiness, then the start of pressure building. Leanne needs a place to live immediately. So Peter says she, Simon and the baby can move in upstairs. Nice gesture, but it means he and Toyah won’t have even one day to enjoy their new space alone.

Peter’s alcoholism has been the focus for fears about their ownership of the bar. But there are less obvious elephants in the room. Toyah’s desperation about having a baby is a big one.toyah-cries-in-bathroom

There are also smaller ones. “A stroppy teenager, screaming baby” and sister and ex sharing your living space. Sean determined to show that he’s “the glue that holds the place together.” Unbridled enthusiasm can cause as much friction as no enthusiasm sometimes. I think the odds on whether Peter or Toyah cracks first have just shortened.

Corrie Street 6 Aug. 2017

The Receipt

Brian has added another string to his bow, another arrow to his quiver. He is now a Litter Enforcement Officer. Hands on, not just behind a desk, that’s our Brian. He snags a receipt dropped on the brian-grabs-box-with-grabberstreet. Hmm, peruses its details – a salt and pepper mill.

Later, at Roy’s Rolls and needing sustenance, he spies on the counter a box for a salt and pepper mill. Aha! That’s Roy caught redhanded. Roy is grateful that Brian found the receipt he lost. He needs it for his VAT records. But Brian is having none of the accidental loss story. It was littering and there’s a fine for that. Oh, and I’ll have a butterfly bun when you’re ready.

brian refuses to hand over receiptBrian is such a silly, silly man. Roy is as far from silly as is possible to be. The two of them together are silliness gold. This little scene brings out the best in them, I think, both in the moment and in the character of them both.

To be in conflict with Roy Cropper over littering is the most absurd thing imaginable. The man sweeps and washes his front step and pavement and probably would like to clean all the way down the street. Because of his obsessive tendencies and his principles, he is the last man on earth who would litter.

brian-writes-out-fine But the rules are the rules, says Brian. He is probably so pleased to actually have the chance to fill out one of his forms in his little fine book that he doesn’t even attempt to actually think about what he’s doing, and to whom he’s doing it.

Aside from his personal stake as Roy’s tenant, there is also simply the fact of Roy. Kirk and Chesney point that out to Brian. It’s Roy, the neatest man in Weatherfield!kirk-and-ches-watch-brian-and-roy

I’ve liked this story since it started. A roving Brian, armed with megaphone, a grabber and the authority to issue fines. All his Christmases have come at once. I especially like the grabber. It is not an efficient picker-upper of litter. It doesn’t have the fine control needed for thin items like paper. A stick with a pointed metal end is what street and park cleaning crews actually use. Much easier and more efficient.

A grabber is used by elderly or injured people for objects too high to reach without climbing or too low if you can’t bend over. I like to and-a-butterfly-bunthink that Brian’s tool of his trade came from a city council official who had one unused at home. With it and a megaphone that every council office would have in its storage closet, it’s an inexpensive way of keeping Brian, the Tsar/Czar of Recycling out of the office and away from employees who are actually trying to work.

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Corrie Street 30 July 2017

Poor Kev

Anna dolls herself up, and apologizes to Kevin on Wednesday. Poor anna happy kevin is homeKev. He’s not been getting any. He was on his way to do so – with Erica at a hotel – when Anna called and asked him to come home. She wanted to talk, now, please Kev. Her words were conciliatory, not accusatory. She sounded devastated. So after a debate with himself and a longing look at the hotel upper windows, he left the parking lot and drove home.

What a hero. He even remembered to stop at the garage to pull coveralls over his dress clothes. He had told Anna he was on a call-out for a breakdown. Finished sooner than expected, he said. She bought it.

Kevin listens to AnnaShe asked him to sit beside her, clearly nervous. But she launched right in, saying she understood she had been difficult, distant, it had been hard for her. Physically and emotionally, referring implicitly to the damage done to her legs by the fire and the forever scars she has. It’s been hard for me too, he said. Yes, of course it has and I’m so sorry, she consoles him. Aaagghh!

Look at their body language. She is turning toward him, opening herself to him. He keeps turned slightly away from her. Can’t take constant rejection, he tells her. Pout firmly on face. It’s so anna pleads with kevinhard for me. Oh, I know it is, and you’ve been such a rock, so good to me, I couldn’t have got through this without you. And on and on as if he’d nailed himself on a cross for her. And still he sits, a rock with a pout.

Finally, after her grovelling about how wonderful he has been and how horrible she has been, he turns to her and says I want to move on. Oh, that’s a good choice of words, Kev! He amends it quickly to I want us to move on, but still. If Anna weren’t so busy grovelling, she poor kev puts head down as anna pleadsmight wonder what exactly he means even by that. Us move on together or separately?

He then confesses that he was about to find comfort elsewhere when she called. Was it true confession time or an ultimatum under the guise of honesty? Telling her cough up with your part or else. If you don’t meet my needs, someone else will.

Anna has a lot on her plate already. The physical and psychological damage and pain of being burned. Restaurant work that is very hard on even the healthiest legs. A teenage daughter who has been putting her through maternal hell. Kevin’s financial problems as well as constant household money worries.

anna wonders what kev is going to sayBut now, for him and for her, it’s all about poor Kev and his “needs”. Three years ago, Anna was sexually blackmailed by Pat Phelan. Now she is again, by Kevin. But this time she doesn’t even see it as that. She sees it as her fault, all her fault.

Corrie Street 23 July 2017

Dead Man Walking

Eva asks Leanne why are you hereHe’s a dead man walking. So said Leanne about Aiden on Thursday after seeing him with Maria outside the spa. Ok, let’s see the Battersby girls take him down.

I know, technically, Eva is not a Battersby but I think she is one in spirit. We need Toyah to reappear so she can get in on this too. He doesn’t stand a chance, and neither does Maria. I am looking forward to it.

Eva shakes her head in confusionEva made a brilliant move in the guise of girlie friends and bridal chat. Aiden gave her a day at a spa for herself and a friend. He wanted to get her out of the way so he could spend time with Maria and, by the way, tell her that Eva was pregnant. So Eva goes to the salon and asks her bestie to join her. Maria had no choice. So off they drove for a day of pampering.

Aiden came out on the street just in time to see Maria’s VW bug pulling away, with Eva in the passenger seat. David was happy to fill him in: “Your mistress is about to tell your girlfriend how you can’t leanne looks out window at where aiden had been with mariakeep it in your pants.”

And, indeed, over a glass of wine at the spa restaurant, Maria was just about to do that. But when she told Eva she needed to tell her something, Eva said she also had news. And then both of them were preempted by Aiden coming in with some lame story about thinking she’d brought Sean for her girlie day.

Eva recovered faster than Maria did, so got out her “news” first: that she was pregnant. If Eva hadn’t known about Maria and Aiden make him wish he had not been born - dead man walkingalready, their faces would have told her. Aiden looked like he wanted the floor to swallow him up, and Maria looked horrified and angry. Neither are the reaction you’d expect. Eva didn’t miss a beat; happy happy ‘we’re thrilled, aren’t we babe’.

So out the door goes Maria. And Aiden after her. That’s when Leanne arrived, just in time to see a very emotionally-fraught eva looks resolute in plandiscussion between the two of them. She had come there to stop Eva playing her game of deception and revenge. But, after seeing Maria and Aiden, she’s in. “The two of us are gonna make him wish he’d never been born.”

Corrie Street 16 July 2017

Pregnancy Test

Eva goes into her bathroom on Wednesday to take a pregnancy test. We go in with her. It was one of the most intimate moments I can ever remember on Coronation Street.

eva sits on tub edge with pregnancy testAs Eva sat on the edge of the bathtub waiting for the results, we could have a look around. Lots of shampoos, conditioners and body wash bottles in the shower caddy and tub edge. What you’d expect for Eva and Aiden. Crowded, but all neatly arranged. Also what you’d expect for Eva and Aiden.

Dev renovated the apartment fairly recently. The bathroom looks right for its history: a flat above a shop redone to rent out. Nicely done but not fancy. I recognize the sink, and know where to buy it in Canada. It’s not expensive, but looks good and doesn’t take up a lot of room.

The set design and prop people turned around what I feared would be a horribly cheesy soap “twist”. An unexpected pregnancy at the exact moment that somebody is going to dump somebody. I had figured that either Eva or Maria (or both) would get pregnant. Then I read “as we all know…” that Eva was. Knowing beforehand, I dreaded the big revelation even more.

But being inside the bathroom with Eva changed my feeling about the story. I liked nosying around the room as she sat waiting. I like the little touch of Eva-glam she added to an ordinary room. The black and white photo in its sparkly frame.

aiden-and-eva-glam-photoThen a twist that hadn’t been shared happened. That made it more interesting. She isn’t pregnant, at least according to the test, but is pretending to be. Just to make Aiden squirm.

Eva’s decision to play Aiden turns a predictable plot into one of revenge. If it’s how it continues to play out, it will be fun to watch. Both Aiden and Maria deserve everything that Eva can throw at them.

Props and sets provide a context for the characters and action. Tony Warren told a story about Coronation Street at its beginning. Two stagehands arguing while dressing the corner shop set. ‘You don’t put salt next to bacon in Salford shop windows,’ one said emphatically.

eva-in-bathroomSuch attention to detail, thankfully, is still alive and well. We learned about characters with this bathroom scene, getting a glimpse from a different perspective into personalities and housing.

Corrie Street 9 July 2017

I need help

Bethany says I need your help“Please, I need your help . My name’s Bethany Platt and I need you to call the police.” A gasp of relief could be heard across the nation, I’m sure, on Wednesday when Bethany uttered these words. She is at a roadway service centre, away from Nathan for a moment .

What would happen? The woman she asked looked shocked. Would she gather in her kids like a mother hen pulling her chicks under her feathers and say ‘get away you freak’? Would Nathan see and pull Bethany back to the car? Or would Bethany chicken out and pretend, haha, just a joke.

woman and kids look at BethanyBut no, next episode, Bethany was sitting in the little family circle. Nathan did see and did come rushing in to get her. But police rushed in right behind him. It was so good to see them hauling him out. He showed his true nature too, by threatening Bethany and the woman who helped her.

The story is far from over. Neil the nasty cop is still involved and is even more threatening than Nathan is. Because, as a “respected” police officer, he has the power and the authority. Bethany wants Nathan and all the men nailed. Neil doesn’t care if Nathan goes down for it, but he threatened Bethany and her family, especially baby Harry, if she implicates him in any way at all. Hard balancing act for Bethany to do.

Bethany asks them to call policeEarlier, driving on the motorway to escape to Belgium, Nathan lost it when Bethany told him she didn’t have her passport. He frightened and confused her when he said he was not coming with her. But his explanation – he was breaking bail by being with her – would have worked before. Especially his assurances that he loved her and would join her as soon as he could.

Mary’s words earlier made the difference, I think. Mary told Bethany what had happened to her, and how she had tried to rationalize it. How she had tried to turn rape into romance, but then saw there was nothing romantic about it. That what Nathan did to Bethany woman shockedwas also rape. Maybe saying that straight out was even more effective than telling Bethany her own story.

Bethany rationalized her situation at the time – it’s different with me and Nathan, etc. And she grabbed her suitcase and left. Mary was disconsolate. She hadn’t been able to save Bethany, due to Bethany’s own choice and to Nathan’s not-so-veiled threats. But, as Norris told Mary, she heard you and she will remember what you said.

bethany pleadsNorris was right. Nathan’s anger and his sketchy plan made Mary’s words resonate. And memories of what had already happened to her in the name of Nathan’s love, maybe. Put that all together and, first chance she had, Bethany sought help.

Corrie Street 2 July 2017

Dancing to disaster

eva dancing to disasterThe last moments of two episodes: two characters dancing to disaster. Both visually just wonderful. I didn’t think anything could top Eva’s dress and mariachi band on Tuesday. But, wow, Daniel at least matched it on Friday! Cocaine with vodka chasers. Both wildly partying, for wildly different reasons. Both headed for disaster.

Eva’s mariachi band

Eva decided to take the bit in her teeth and propose to Aiden. mariachi parade outside bistroJohnny innocently suggested it. But, oh, I wish she’d thought a moment about it. About Aiden’s very very obvious reluctance to marry her. It’s not like she’s been exactly subtle about wanting a ring on it.

Aiden didn’t turn up for dinner with her at the Bistro. That’s because he was busy with Maria in the men’s toilets at the Rovers. Oh, icky beyond belief.

eva and band in roversBut Eva didn’t know that. She learned only that he was at the Rovers, so she moved the party there. In a flamboyant red dress, dancing down the street, leading the mariachi band and dancing supporters. Oh, she is just too wonderful. Even knowing she was dancing to disaster, the little parade was fabulous to watch.

Daniel’s ‘stuff’

daniel snortingFriday, while Daniel was waiting tables at the Bistro, Tracy managed to completely wind him up. After he told her that she was a vile cow, Robert told him to go home. But before that, he’d overheard a customer talking to Robert. An old friend, reminiscing about their good old druggy days and suggesting they resume them.

Later, and well in the bag, Daniel sees the guy on the street. Robert sent him to daniel with buzz onget some ‘stuff,’ he says. He’ll pay you later, he says. Ok, guy says.

Scene switch to Daniel’s flat. Self-loathing, drugs and rock and roll. Daniel partying all by himself. Scary, and fabulous. Finally he flops on the sofa, gets the shakes and passes out.

Down below, Ches and Kirk come out of Dev’s shop. Someone’s having a good time, Kirk says, due to the music blasting out of the daniel dancingflat. End of episode.

Googling, trying to find the song playing, I saw that Coronation Street received complaints about this scene when it aired in the UK. Too bad! It was a jarring look at self-medication by a person in pain.  It sends a message while staying consistent with the character and story. And that’s the most effective way to do it.

Corrie Street 25 Jun. 2017

The Golden Child

Wednesday, Ken convenes his children. Only Daniel knows why. Ken is going to tell the others what Daniel did, and that he lied to protect him.adam and peter attack daniel

When he does, they turn on Daniel. Then on Ken. And then on each other. They realize that Adam had seen Ken at the foot of the stairs and had left him there. Adam defends himself in Trumpian fashion: deflect it to someone else. Granddad let him rot in prison but, for the golden child, he will perjure himself.

golden child daniel frightenedCan’t you see Daniel is ill, Ken asks. Peter argues the same point as Adam. Making up an illness for Daniel to get him off the hook. Implied is when would Ken ever do that for him, or Tracy or Adam.

Ken has enough. He tells them that he had been suspicious of all of them, all four of them. What does that tell you, he asks. They’ve all made mistakes, himself included.ken says he had doubts about all four kids

But he’s had enough misery, he’s tired. He forgives them all for what they’ve done, past and present. He asks only that they — a pause, what’s he going to say? — in return, forgive Daniel.

In that pause, I filled in what I expected him to say – ‘please forgive me.’ So I was surprised to hear him ask them to forgive Daniel. My ken asks kids to forgive danielfirst thought was that Ken was absolving himself. That he was saying; I’ve made mistakes but never mind about that. Let’s forget that and move along. And here’s where I can be the hero, the big man, the all-forgiving and all-protective father. Look after your rather pitiable brother.

My husband came in during this scene so we watched it again. Wow, he said. Ken did the right thing, he said. Ken is telling his kids never mind about me. If you can’t forgive me, all right, but please daniel behind ken peeking out at siblingsforgive your brother. Do not allow anything I do, or you do, to break your bond. That is what a parent wants; their kids to stay united, to stay a family, with or without the parent around.

So two different interpretations of a few words. My husband’s is more charitable toward Ken than is mine. Which is more accurate, I don’t know.

Corrie Street 18 June 2017

Slam Poetry

Daniel looks dead-eyedSlammed by a poetry book. Poetic justice? Poetic irony? Possibilities for wordplay are endless. But the dramatic tension was very real. This week Ken’s attacker was revealed. It was indeed Daniel. The weapon? That huge poetry book that Ken gave him as a congratulations on being everything he ever wanted in a son.

Now Ken is alone in a flat with Daniel, who is unravelling quickly. Might he just finish the job? He even has the poetry book there. Ken doesn’t know it’s not the copy he gave Daniel – that one had blood all over it. But Daniel copied Ken’s inscription into one he bought. Ken’s Daniel holds poetry bookgift is hidden under the floorboards in Daniel and Adam’s flat.

On Wednesday, actors Rob Mallard and Bill Roache were fabulous. The make up people too. Daniel’s face did a Jekyl and Hyde as his stress and desperation increased.

You knew Daniel was guilty as soon as Adam was carted off to jail. Camera cut to Daniel, flinging his arm over Ken’s shoulder, watching the police car leave. You knew too that the whole thing would come out when Ken went to Daniel’s old flat with him. But someone would Daniel chokes Kensave him, someone would figure it out before long.

Ches was voicing suspicions of Daniel. Sinead was wondering what was going on, starting to get a sense something was wrong. They will come to the rescue, I thought.

Just as Daniel is seriously losing it, a knock on the door. It’s mum, back after all these years! And that’s where I suddenly felt deflated.

Denise looks through door at DanielI knew Denise was returning, thanks to an online “as we all know.” But it wasn’t unexpected. There had to be a resolution to what happened to her. I can see the dramatic value of her return right at a critical moment. But that is also maybe the worst time and manner of bringing her back. It’s asking way too much of suspension of disbelief. Too contrived, yet also too easy. How do we get her to see Daniel? I know, let’s just plop her at his place. No!

Have her go first to Ken’s house. There’s a greater likelihood that he Daniel shocked at seeing mumwould still be in the same place than that Daniel would be. Have Daniel and Ken discovered by someone more probable – Sinead, Tracy, Peter. Have Denise turn up with them. Anything except her suddenly appearing at that exact moment as if she’d just returned from the corner store.

Aside from that, this storyline has been great this week. As too have the others – Shona, Bethany and the creepy men getting creepier, and three dads on a day out.

Corrie Street 11 Jun 2017

A Room of His Own

A room of his own, I bet that’s what Daniel wanted on Tuesday. It’s what I wanted for him! Last minute cramming for an exam that sinead brings tea and sandwichesafternoon. At the kitchen table, too close to the tea kettle.

Sinead making tea, then doing tea and sympathy. I know today is important, but you need to eat something. Maybe you should get some rest. You look stressed. Then why don’t you bugger off and let him study? That’s what was going through my mind. In that brief moment, Sinead demonstrated her potential to be a huge liability to Daniel. Nobody should need Ken’s words to see the truth of his prognosis.adam asks who wants tea

Thankfully, we moved on to other scenes, leaving that cramped little kitchen with Sinead hovering. And then they were back. Sinead gone, Daniel still trying to study. With Adam standing in the doorway watching him! Then commenting on his diligence and the importance of this exam. For Daniel’s chance at Oxford, for his adam-in-doorway-watches-danielacademic future, for his own self-worth. Yes, it is important, so get lost!

Now, we know that Adam just doesn’t care. He suspects Daniel as being responsible for pushing Ken down the stairs. But, aside from that, he just doesn’t care. Annoying Daniel is entertainment for him.

adam-bugs-danielI could only wonder why Daniel didn’t take his books and go to his bedroom, the only room of his own he has at the moment. By the end of those two brief scenes, I was as antsy as he was about his exam.

And yes, he blew it off. In the examination hall, staring at the paper in front of him. Other students busily writing their answers. He got up and walked out. Maybe he has many other weighty matters on his mind, like pushing his father down the stairs. I don’t know. Even if not, I could see why he just walked out. Just keep walking, Daniel.

daniel tries to concentrate, needs room of his ownI don’t know why he really is moving back to his old place, without Sinead. But I wouldn’t blame him if he’d made up the whole story about the landlord just to get away from his roomies. A room of his own – he can have that there.