Category Archives: Coronation Street Scene of the Week

Corrie Street 17 Sept. 2017

Notes

I was going to pick the scene with Rita saying Len would be home soon. But then Friday, we saw her notes. Reminders to herself about who is who and important bits of information about them. Norris is allergic to nuts, Jenny is marrying Johnny.notes in cupboard

So Rita knows what’s happening to her. She won’t acknowledge it, maybe thinks it’s just normal forgetfulness. I thought that too, when her confusion and forgetting things started. But no, this week’s incidents seem to point only one direction – to Alzheimer’s or similar dementia.

rosie-reads-notesThe only people who are picking up on it are Gemma and Rosie, the two least likely to be listened to by anyone else. But maybe it’s good that it’s them. They both are compassionate. Both know how it feels to be dismissed and looked down on by others. They will take care of Rita, I think, and preserve her feelings and her dignity as best they can while also facing facts.

I like Gemma and Rosie together. That surprises me because, on their own, I find them exhausting to watch. So when they teamed up, I expected them to be doubly wearing. But that’s not the case. Their thickness rosie-and-gemma-read-remindersand their enthusiasm play well together. Maybe it’s because neither is always the ‘straight man’. Each of them can be the smart one compared to the other. Whatever it is, it works brilliantly.

The Lady of Law scene at the beginning of the week, where Rosie scared off Gemma’s horrible friends, showed how effective – and hilarious – their partnership can be. Now, with Rita, we’ll see new facets of Rosie and Gemma individually and together.

rosie-and-gemma-hear-rita-come-inIf it is an Alzheimer’s story, it’s going to be disturbing and very sad. But I’m happy if it plays out with Rosie and Gemma being the guides into it for Rita and the others. Maybe it’s because, of everyone on the street, Rosie and Gemma are most aware that they do not have the answers. And that is maybe the most important thing to know, and remember, when dealing with Alzheimer’s.

rosie-and-gemma-greet-ritaYou can’t change it, fix it or explain it. You can just go with it. Rosie and Gemma are already used to doing that in their own lives. I think they’ll be able to help Rita do it too. I hope so anyway.

See my ‘Look at Bingy’: Alzheimer’s and Distraction for more. Also, if you’re on CBC’s Coronation Street episodes site, be careful! The one marked Friday is a double. Monday’s first episode is in there too. Remember, we’ll now be getting two episodes on Mondays. 

Corrie Street 10 Sept. 2017

Chocolate Eclairs

Phelan goes into a dark, dingy cellar at the end of Monday’s episode. phelan holds eclairsHe carries a grocery bag. He pulls out a box of chocolate eclairs. He’s talking to someone, telling them how nice it is of him to bring them food, to look after them. Then he eats the eclair.

The eclair reminds him of his mum, his childhood. She sometimes would buy a few chocolate eclairs from the posh bakery. They, and what they represented, made him want the good things in life. He found the easiest way to get them, however,  was by doing bad things.

So now, he tells his unseen audience, he’s at a crossroads. Good phelan-sits-talks-to-personthings in his life – his newfound daughter, Eileen presumably, life as a nearly respectable resident of Coronation Street – make him want to not have to deal with the bad things still remaining – his unseen audience in that dank cellar being one of those. He quotes Fagin in ‘Oliver’, “I am reviewing my situation.”

phelan-leaves-cellarWithout saying whether he’s choosing the left or the right path, he heads back up the stairs. Does he toss the food within reach of the person in the room? Or does he take it with him? Don’t know.

A lunge, and a chain clinking as it pulls to the end of its tether. Then a face – Andy. Remember him? Eight months ago, he disappeared after discovering too much about Phelan. (Also see my Dream Sequence.)chains-on-feet

Andy was trying to get away, packing a bag as fast as he could. But Phelan caught him and clunked him over the head with a laptop. We haven’t known if he was dead or alive.

andy-in-anguishAlive, and not actually looking that much worse for wear after eight months of being chained to a wall in a cellar. No light. No room to move. Phelan brings food, but it seems he also eats it while telling Andy how very delicious it is.

I’m of two minds about this story. What happened to Andy had to be resolved at some point. Six months earlier would have been better. By now, it’s almost like an American soap where somebody miraculously returns from the dead with whatever silly explanation is deemed to test audience incredulity the least.

Phelan has to be caught. He must pay for his misdeeds. But I like Phelan, and he’s been edgy but good Phelan for long enough now that I’m willing for him to just continue that way.phelan-kneels-by-garbage-bag

I’m not buying the story, but I loved the scene. It was a glimpse into Phelan’s mind and soul. You could almost see that little boy, and his anticipation when he saw his mother come home with the posh bakery box. Chocolate eclairs – a delicious treat and the good life.

Corrie Street 3 Sept. 2017

Man U

kirk says eva is man uKirk to Jenny: “Eva’s Man U and you’re Weathy County.” He totally nailed it but, oh boy, what a thing to say.

Eva suggested a double wedding for her and Aiden and Jenny and Johnny. Not something Jenny would want ever with anyone. It’s her day and she wants to be the star. Sean says, if it were him, he’d only agree “if the rival groom were absolutely hideous.”

jenny-glares-at-kirkKirk agrees it would be hard for anyone standing next to Eva because she is “like a goddess.” Having already made things bad, he then digs himself in further with his soccer league analogy about Manchester United and Weatherfield County teams.

Then Johnny tells her, that like it or not, she has to do it for Eva’s sake. No!!! She agrees in the end, but hardly graciously.

This wedding, if it happens, is going to be fun. It has all the potential jenny furiousanyway, and Kirk just topped it off. If there might be any way on earth that Jenny might ever willingly share the stage with Eva, Kirk’s words, Man U – Weathy County, will keep popping back in her mind. Bridezilla will not be an adequate term for Jenny.

Add to that Maria as Eva’s unwilling and unhappy bridesmaid, and both the wedding itself and the lead up to it should be wonderfully bitchy. Unfortunately, Maria is suspicious of what’s up with Eva and Adam. I so hope that those suspicions, which she has shared with Aiden, don’t derail the wedding.

eva-walks-through-factoryEva is going into this for revenge and public humiliation of Aiden and Maria and, now, his entire family. And she has the wherewithal to do it. Spectacularly, like a goddess. Like Man U at the top of their game.

Corrie Street 27 Aug. 2017

Car Trunk

michelle locked in car trunkTry as I might, nothing the rest of the week dislodged the sight of Michelle locked in the trunk of a car. Not that I liked seeing her held captive. You would be horrified for anyone bound and gagged and locked in a car trunk. It was more my thoughts about story and screen time while watching those scenes that stuck with me .

First: Oh no, poor Michelle! Then: hmm, will this last a while? Will she be off screen during most of it? When a character goes to prison, either because the actor is leaving or taking a break, we see a few prison scenes with them. Then they’re gone. Maybe actor Kym Marsh is taking a break. So Michelle will stay in that trunk for awhile and we won’t see her. That could work.michelle's car in parking garage

Just as I thought that, a Helpful Hannah came along and popped the trunk. Close it, lady, and walk away! But no, Michelle is front and centre on the screen again, snivelling and wanting revenge. Rich will pay for this! Oh thank you, Robert for pounding him to a pulp. You are my hero after all!

But it seems someone else wants revenge – Will. He is her high school boyfriend with whom she sort of had an affair last year. Now he is back and dating Maria. He’s also acting as other male protector of Michelle. If he had a moustache, he’d be twirling the ends evilly. It’s all a bit contrived, I think. But I can’t even work up any real outrage about such contrivances, just that the storyline exists at all.woman-opens-trunk

I guess we’ll find out why Will is doing this. Maybe because she dumped him years ago or last year or didn’t rekindle things when she saw him a few months ago. Or maybe it’s revenge for that almost fling of theirs costing him his planned marriage to whatever the name of that awful fiancée was.

It’s a story of High Drama. Because we haven’t had any of that in, what, a month or so? But it involves characters with whom it’s difficult to empathize. Michelle – is Michelle. Crossed arms, superior attitude and constant carping. Robert – does anyone really care? Will – why? Maria – the interesting story involving her is the one with michelle-savedAiden. With that one, I’m waiting with bated breath to see them both brought down. Her involvement in this storyline just adds to the ‘oh lordy, please make it stop’ response.

Fingers crossed, Robert and Michelle will go to Brighton as he suggested Friday. It’s not a car trunk but could do the trick. Oh please, stay a while.

Corrie Street 20 Aug. 2017

Romeo in Overalls

Yes, Dev can be a buffoon. But love and loyalty run deep in him. Erica dev calls kevin romeo in overallsand her Romeo in overalls, his friend Kevin, hurt him to the quick.

Dev can be full of himself and neglectful of others. His image of himself often doesn’t match the reality. Insecurity? I think so. But it doesn’t take much for him to realize that his self-absorption is hurting others. Maybe he doesn’t know how to handle it but he does know how to acknowledge it. And he tries to make amends.

Erica has been dissatisfied with him and their life for a while – too settled, too ‘ok’. Tending the counter in a backstreet shop isn’t for her. Being taken for granted. Like Dev, she wants to shine, be the star of the show.

So she sought a new stage to showcase her awesomeness – Kevin Webster. You may well ask, why him? He was around and was readily available. That’s the only reason I can think of.

Kevin was dissatisfied with his home and love life because Anna is still dealing with physical and psychological trauma. In short, he ain’t getting none, physically or emotionally. So his eye started roving, dev says mary cannot believe erica caresand there was Erica. Looking good, wanting him and not backward about coming forward.

But when it came to crunch time – a rendezvous in a hotel – a phone call from Anna caused Kevin to go home. Nothing happened with Erica. But the intent had been there. Anna found out and pretty much took the thought for the deed. But she forgave him.

That left Dev being the only one in the dark. Erica was going to end it with him this week. Probably not tell him about Kevin, only that it dev-puts-hands-over-facewasn’t working. Then he got a buyer for the gym, which gave him the cash. He could build a new empire. Expand the kebab shop business, and put her in charge. No, never mind, she had nothing to tell him, everything’s fine. Business expansion? Sounds great.

Then Mary overheard enough to figure out what had happened with Erica and Kevin. She told Dev. He was devastated. But he also saw quickly that she would have been willing to stay with him and be happy as long as she was benefiting from his business plans. And he saw that she had been quite willing to sell Kevin out for those plans. dev-gets-up-to-leaveHis gym buyer is the same guy that had talked to Kevin about buying the garage. That conflict between business and friendship bothered Dev. But not Erica. Kevin might be her Romeo in overalls but, as she said, “all’s fair in love and property sales.” Dev didn’t know then how much of her truth she was speaking.

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.

(The 2018 Coronation Street Calendar is out! Amazon link is below and in sidebar.)

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.