Category Archives: Coronation Street Scene of the Week

Corrie Street 23 Apr. 2017

Barlow Fecundity

Friday, Peter encourages Toyah about the baby quest: “You’ve got Barlow fertility on your side now. We’re famous for our fecundity.”beer and pizza - barlow fecundity

True! But, funny and kind of creepy as that remark is, it is not my choice of the week. I kept thinking of the beginning of the week. A scene that spotlighted the fruit of that Barlow fecundity.

tracy-with-beer-bottleThe Barlow kids, grandkids and significant others sitting around the dining room table – in a complete mess. I gasped in shock. In all the years of seeing that room and that dining table, never ever have I seen it look like that. What a mess! Deirdre would have had a fit. Ken too.

sinead looking guilty and daniel rolling eyesIt was funny in a ‘while the cat’s away, the mice will play’ kind of way. Pizza boxes piled high. Beer bottles and cans everywhere.

And them all sniping at each other. Who gets what in Dad’s will? Who tried to off Dad?toyah and peter look guilty

But that scene of the Barlow spawn, along with other recent scenes of them en masse prompts a question for TPTB at Corrie.

What about Ken’s other son and grandson? Remember Lawrence Cunningham and his son James?*Peter Barlow meeting new family in Rovers

They turned up in 2011, a complete surprise to viewers and indeed to Ken. He hadn’t known that Lawrence, Ken’s son with his first girlfriend Susan Cunningham, even existed. But Lawrence does exist, and he has kids susan cunningham with frank and david barlow in first episode(further evidence of that famous fecundity). Ken became involved in their lives for a time.

So where are they? Why has Ken not mentioned them? And are they in Ken’s will? Grandson James could even be a candidate for bashing Ken in the head. He has form, having knocked Ken in the head before.

Barlow fecundity and an apparent forgetfulness on all their parts of James fights Ken to get phone awayjust how many kids Ken actually has. Could lead to more character returns and even more suspects. As Audrey said last week, “There’s more than one member of that family that’s been up on a murder charge before”

*Both characters were played by William Roache’s sons, so having them back would be great at both the fictional and real levels. You can read more in my Scenes of the Week Family Trees (July 3/11) and The Real James (Jan. 8/12).

Corrie Street 16 Apr 2017

Mad Street

Wednesday, Barlows scurry around, all upset about different things. All mad at Ken for different reasons. Pat Phelan like an injured bull – mad at Ken. Ken angry too, with his kids and about a kitchen torn apart for too long.ken-listens-to-music

Finally alone in the house but for Eccles, he sits in his chair and listens to music. Decides to have a cup of tea. Due to construction, he has to take the kettle upstairs to the bathroom to fill it. And ta-dum – a noise downstairs. Who’s there? No answer.

tracy-in-front-of-floristsWe check in on the others. Tracy is looking for Amy. She went AWOL from a recital at the community centre. She’s been frantic to get back to her grandfather’s house to hide money that she’d promised for someone.

daniel-looks-at-giftDaniel is in his apartment, fuming about Sinead. Then he looks at his father’s gift. A poetry book, with maybe an inscription. Two and two add up. He realizes Ken, and Oxford, may have played a part in Sinead deciding to have an abortion. So off he goes to confront Ken.

mad sinead-pounds-on-doorMeanwhile Sinead, drunk and mad, was pounding on Ken’s door, yelling to get in. Pat Phelan was in the Rovers, getting madder and madder about Ken – “that second rate Stephen Fry” – and his complaints.

peter-with-whiskey-bottlePeter is sitting in his apartment with a bottle of whiskey. Looking at it. Feeling it. Smelling it. His father and Toyah accused him of drinking again, wouldn’t believe that he wasn’t. He might as well prove them right. Almost, but no. Instead he smashes the bottle on the countertop.eccles-with-ken

So back to Ken. He’s on the floor, unconscious, at the bottom of the stairs. Eccles tries to rouse him. Daniel opens the door. He is daniel-sees-ken-and-phelanshocked to see his father. Then he gets another shock, as do we when the camera pulls back. Pat Phelan is standing over Ken. He says he just got there, and that he too is shocked. But is he?

Is it another stroke? A fall? Murder or attempted murder? If so, by whom? Family or neighbour? Ken has upset a lot of people lately, All of them were scattered, out of camera sight, during whatever happened.

adam-at-busIncluding one more Barlow. Hurrying to catch a bus, Adam in a hoodie and ball cap. Not in Canada, obviously, and also staying well clear of the family.

Corrie Street 9 Apr 2017

Life Lesson

Ken sits Sinead down Thursday for a talk. A life lesson. It was a spine-tingling good scene. A history of his life and of Coronation Street. Also a glimpse into the future, of what might be for Daniel and Sinead.ken-starts life lesson

More than that, it was an exchange between generations. The discussion that never works, can’t work: don’t make my mistakes. The one where the elder says to the younger, I know how this is going to go because I’ve done it.

This scene encapsulates Coronation Street at its finest. While  incorporating its own history, it speaks to universals. It should be on the best clip reel for actors William Roache and Katie McGlynn and Coronation Street itself.

throw-away-his-futureKen tells Sinead what Oxford University means in his world and Daniel’s, also what refusing it will mean. He is blunt, even cruel. But he is desperate to keep his son from the path that was his own. His life journey that “can be covered in ten paces”, from No. 3 to No. 1 Coronation Street.

But you had Deirdre, Sinead says, you loved Deirdre. Yes, Ken says, but it’s not enough. “Not the life I would’ve chosen at 22.” “Does it matter?”, she asks. “Of course it does. That 22 year old had such sinead-in-shockdreams. Now he weeps over his squandered potential and wasted years. Sometimes I sit here with him.”

Now Ken is seeing the future: his son, exceptional enough for Oxford, joining the spectre of his own young self at that dining room table, weeping over what might have been. He tries to tell Sinead. But she has no idea what he’s talking about.

You can almost see the glass wall between them. It’s not a wall of education or class. It’s age. He is looking back, able to see all the circumstances and choices that led to his future – now his past and present. But too late to change them. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.tracy-and-amy-in-hall

For Sinead, however, it starts and ends with ‘love will keep us together’. Oh, and I’m carrying his baby, your grandchild. And that does give her a vested interest in Daniel’s decisions.

more-to-life-than-loveAnd who knows? Everyone has something they regret, some path they wish they had or had not taken. Maybe, if he shed Sinead and the baby for Oxford, sitting at his dining room table late at night, Daniel would weep for the chance at fatherhood.

Another powerful intergenerational scene was Jack Duckworth and Molly (Sept. 4/11). It was just before Jack died.

Corrie Street 2 Apr 2017

Remittance Man

adam-in-hospital-bedAdam Barlow is in trouble, worse, bringing trouble to the family. So, here’s your bag, here’s some money, now go. A modern day remittance man. A way the colonies traditionally helped solve family problems. Out of sight and mind, with payments sent to help the unwanted one establish a life somewhere else. Swim or sink, but do it far away. Lucky old Canada!

It was a bit sudden on Tuesday, Ken sending Adam off like that. Realistic? Perhaps, in light of Adam bringing risk to Amy and Tracy. ken-shows-bag-to-adam remittance manBut we viewers saw much more of the risk than Ken did. Seemed like more talking about what happened, some verifying, might be wanted. Not just here’s a change of clothes, I’ll send the rest. And there’s enough cash to buy a plane ticket. Cash? Very much a ‘here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?’ exit.

It’s a great opportunity for a Corrie spin-off movie, though. please-granddad adam says to kenRemittance Man:  Son of Mike. Have Adam bounce right across Canada, from lawyer office to street dealer to cop shop in town after town. A sesquicentennial celebration in a camel coat. I do hope the coat was packed in that bag.

The Barlow boys are falling apart rapidly, or maybe falling into form. Peter, as usual when he comes to a fork in the road, is trying to take both paths. Once again, two women want him and he’s doing his best to accommodate both.

Daniel is heading down the same path as his father. But it’s not the path he or Ken had planned on or hoped for. The letter from Oxford, maybe of acceptance, has to take second place to a surprise baby on the way. And also a life on the Street with Sinead – ‘I dunno, I’m just a fak’try girl who does, like, craft stuff’ – Tinker. Just like Dad.

ken-leaves-hospital-room distraughtAnd Adam, now presumably gone with his remittance. I doubt, however, that Ken has the money to continue paying Adam to stay away. Even if he does now, his other kids will soon relieve him of that.

It’s a pretty dim outlook for Ken when Tracy appears to have the best grip on her life and future prospects.

Corrie Street 26 Mar 2017

Friends

leanne-and-toyah-badger-peterNice little moments Monday of friends history. Leanne and Toyah badger Peter to speak to Steve on Leanne’s behalf, get him to back off on wanting to be part of the baby’s life.

Peter doesn’t want to be involved. Why would he listen to me, he asks. You’re his best friend, Leanne says. We’re friends, but best friends? So who is, Toyah asks. He runs through the list in his head: Ciaran, he’s my best friend. He was my pick too for Peter’s bestie,

friends steve-and-peterBut, regardless of where on the friendship scale Steve is, Peter talks to him at the Rovers. Steve sees the set-up, recognizes Leannne’s words. Asks how his friend could sell him out like this. A discussion of friends and who’d qualify as ‘best’, who’s just ‘mates’.

Liz comes over to them. Steve tells her in exasperation that his “best friend” is doing a number on him. “Oh, you’ve spoken to Lloyd!”, she liz-with-steve-and-peterbeams. Peter looks disconcerted at being bumped from best mate place.

A way to make you smile, remembering characters and friendships. A small light-hearted joke stream before we hit heavy waters later in the week. New crises, new conflicts and new characters.

I kept thinking back to the friendship ranking. The only adult male I can think of on the Street with no real ‘mates’ to rank is Nick. Why is that not surprising?

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.