Category Archives: Coronation Street Scene of the Week

Corrie Street 8 Apr. 2018

Martin Platt

martin platt in liverpool homeMartin emigrating to New Zealand. David bemoaning his father’s past actions. Listing off Gail’s husbands, including Martin, by almost everyone. Lots of talk of Martin in the past couple of weeks. But don’t expect to actually see him, I told myself . Still, it’s going to be a let down when, once again, we hear ‘oh your father can’t make it’ or whatever.

The excuses for not seeing Martin Platt have been many over the years since he moved to Liverpool in 2005. You’d think Liverpool was as far away as New Zealand, not an hour away, given the difficulty Martin has had in ever coming back to his old neighbourhood.

martin-with-tea-and-toastSo what a thrill when Wednesday’s episode opened and there he was. Martin, in his bathrobe. I replayed it several times, to inspect him and his house. And then he appeared in the next two episodes; in Weatherfield, on Coronation Street in the Rovers and in his former house. And it was a complete surprise to me, I’m happy to say. No “as we all know…” spoilers this time!

Big news as Martin’s return is, the bigger story is his portrayer Sean Wilson coming back. Mr. Wilson left the show in 2005, after a story that he didn’t like and neither did most viewers. Martin had an affair with sixteen-year-old schoolgirl Katy Harris. He was twice her age.

martin-and-davidThe story didn’t end well. Katy killed herself after killing her father. Her dad, Tommy Harris, was played by Thomas Craig. He later turned up in Canada, a century or so earlier. Thomas Craig plays Inspector Brackenreid in CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries.

Sean Wilson became a chef and cheese maker after leaving Coronation Street. He continued acting, but said of the show on which he spent 20 years: “I would rather walk down any other street even if I had a nail in my shoe” (The Sun). But it appears he and Coronation Street have made up. I, for one, am very glad. It was just wonderful to see him again.

brown-leather-jacketAnd his jacket? This brown leather jacket looks so familiar. Googling it didn’t give me any answers. But I swear I’ve seen it before, on Martin or someone.

It’s also nice that New Zealand is getting a proper shout out. Land of Lorde, lamb and Lord of the Rings.

Corrie Street 1 Apr. 2018

Rehab

They tried to make me go to rehab
But I said no, no, no 
(Amy Winehouse, 2006)

Phelan holds billy down and tells him he is a junkieGive Phelan a few minutes with anyone, and rehab starts to look good. Billy found that out on Tuesday. He started with no, no, no, but after a talking to by Phelan, it was yes, yes, yes.

phelan rehab techniqueSo if the bottom falls out of the building industry, and if Phelan avoids jail, maybe that’s a career path for him. Counsellor at a rehab facility. If he does get caught, maybe it’s still his future. Jailhouse rehab counsellor. He’s good at it.

Billy broke into Eileen’s house, planned to steal the money in the biscuit tin. Got caught by Peter, who tried his hand at sponsorship and counselling. But then he left Billy alone. He did take the precaution of locking him in, but Billy broke out.

billy-crawls-on-couchThey found him again, and that’s when Phelan told Eileen that he’d keep an eye on him. As soon as she was gone, he made Billy wish he’d stayed a long, long way away from that house.

phelan-says-no-more-chancesWhen Eileen returned, Phelan was seated alongside Billy. His hand resting on Billy’s arm, as if comforting and supporting him. Oh yes, they’d had a nice conversation and, yes, Billy was willing to go to rehab. Billy looked willing to go anywhere that Pat Phelan was not. His frantic wish for a fix was well and truly supplanted by fear of Phelan. Good job, Pat. I think he’ll remember you for quite a long time. If nothing else motivates him to get his act together, that memory will.eileen-consoles-billy and pat looks angelic

I wonder what our trained therapist Toyah would say about Phelan’s counselling approach. She is using her professional skills to guide Eva toward healthy pregnancy choices. And that’s working so well!

Shocker scene: mate-rape

Josh date- or mate-rapes David. Josh has become increasingly creepy. With so much talk of Martin and Gail’s other husbands, I wondered if Josh was the son of one of them. There is some reason we’re having this wander down memory lane.david-on-bed-and-josh

It was clear that Josh had an agenda for David and/or his family. His beating up of Lee also showed he enjoys violence. So looking for revenge for his childhood and his dad disappearing? His roaming hands showed the direction he was going. But out-and-out rape? Wow, didn’t see that coming!

Corrie Street 25 Mar. 2018

Fool for Love

Phelan in two scenes. Monday, his ‘so whaddya gonna do about it?’ admission of fraud to Tim. On Tuesday, his ‘I’m a fool for love, I did it all for you’ confession to Eileen.phelan-admits-fraud-to-tim-in-cab

In these confessions, Phelan only admitted to the Calcutta Street flats development, though. Not about the multiple murders. Nothing more to tell, nothing else had to do with him, he assured her.

tim-releases-taxi-radio-buttonInch by tiny inch we are nearing his downfall – I think. But just when you think he’s caught in the net, he slithers out again. Just this past week, he got out of a great big hole filling rapidly with water and concrete. That was thanks to Tim and Eileen. Then he escaped possible police custody, again thanks to Tim and Eileen.

He tells Tim that, yes, the Calcutta Street project was a scam that ripped off many of the nice neighbours on this street. So what, he says. Vinny ripped him off too, he says. A bid for pity? Or absolution? Maybe laying down a false trail for when Vinny’s body is found. Or just having fun. Who knows?

eileen-listens-in-cab-officeTim doesn’t use the material he’s been given – a confession that he had the good sense to share through the taxi radio. He leaves it to Eileen, who heard it all, to do the right thing. And she tries. Sort of.

Instead of going to the police, she goes to Phelan. Confronts him with what he said. Yes, he admits his wrongdoing to her. But he wanted to make life better for her. He wanted to build Jason’s phalen says he is a fool for loveinheritance up – for Jason. On Todd’s involvement, he isn’t so pure of heart. He uses Todd’s history for dodgy dealing, and the fact that Eileen knows that about her son. Just a chuckle and “it didn’t take much dragging, love” is enough to include Todd in any blame that’s going around. So, Eileen, turn in Phelan and you implicate your son as well.

eileen-looks-longingly-at-patFinally, after canvassing nearly the entire neighbourhood, she does go to the police. She’s given Phelan time to think up his next move. He too goes to the police station and intercepts her. It all goes his way. The police have left Eileen and Liz waiting in the hallway, too busy to take their statement. Then Liz does the gracious thing and leaves Eileen and Phelan to talk in private.

But Liz should have stayed on them like a vulture on roadkill. Because Eileen walks out with Phelan. No talking to the police, no confession phelan-looks-downof fraud. Eileen is going to stand by her man. Because he’s just a fool for love and he did it all for her. Yep, someone is a fool for love. Just not Phelan.

Corrie Street 18 Mar. 2018

Heroin

Oh my God! Billy and Lee bliss out in the church. Lying in the aisle, propped up by the ends of pews. All in the name of pain relief, at least for Billy. For Lee, it’s just Monday. ‘Smack. Horse. Heroin.”

billy and lee heroin in church“This must be what heaven feels like,” Lee says in dreamy awe. It’s not the first time he has experienced this. So imagine what it must feel like for Billy. Billy the Vicar, in the church, meeting what may become his new god. What an incredibly powerful image.

I immediately thought of Trainspotting, a great movie from 1996. “Take the best orgasm you’ve ever had, multiply it by a thousand, and you’re still nowhere near it.” That’s how Mark Renton, the film’s protagonist, describes heroin.

That explains the lure of heroin. He also shows the reality of chasing that lure. Renton lives in absolute squalor, with junkie friends who look as bad as he does. There is nothing transcendental about their lives, actions or thoughts.

The way they live shows the real price of heroin. But they also give the reasons they choose it. Both for that über-orgasm, or “heaven”, and because they prefer it to the options they see. “Life” as they see it defined for them.

Billy should have watched Trainspotting. No matter the pain he’s in, he might then have resisted Lee’s offer. Yes, it does relieve the pain – and then there’s a great big “But…”

A fabulously beautiful and chilling scene, immediately followed in the next episode by a more depressing and squalid one. Billy and Lee, passed out, amid a mess of beer cans and leftover food in Billy’s living room. That’s beginning to look more like the Trainspotting guys.

The Heaven/Hell equation begins to go the other way. And, probably like Billy, we didn’t have to wait long. However, according to  Bluenose Corrie, the scene in the church provoked 82 complaints immediately after it aired. Misguided complaints, I think. But then I think Trainspotting is the best “Just Say No” message ever made.

“Choose Life” by Renton

Corrie Street 11 Mar. 2018

Danny Zuko

brian-enters-roversFriday, for the first time I ever remember, someone walked out of Audrey’s salon looking different than when they went in. I was so amazed by seeing actual evidence of a haircut that I didn’t get the Danny Zuko joke at first.

Brian didn’t get it either, apparently. I guess we both missed Grease its first time around. But Bethany, whose mother was not even born until 9 years after the movie came out, knows it well enough to play a joke on Brian.

audrey-looks-at-haircutAudrey, however, got the reference immediately and wasn’t pleased. She knew Danny Zuko was not “some Greek singer that all the kids are mad after”. I googled to check that Audrey and Brian were talking Greece and Grease. I would expect that a teacher would google a name now associated with his hair. But with the teacher being Brian, it isn’t that far-fetched that he wouldn’t. ‘Curiosity’ is not Brian Packham’s middle name.

brian-shows-off-manicureAnd, after six half-hours of Corrie this week, that’s the best I can come up with for a scene that stood out. Oh, there were moments for sure. But something took the edge of perfection off them for me.

Moments that hit or missed the mark

Phelan was perfect, especially in his moment of confrontation with Nicola in the hospital. But I’m weary of the extended permutations and ‘almost’ moments of that story. So I’m happy if we’ve seen the back of Nicola and Seb.

Jenny feeling excluded as the murder of crows called the Connors descended on her living room. That brought a little lump to my throat, and I am not a Jenny Bradley fan. But then she went off to Kevin and they commiserated. I don’t like even having to think about a repeat of them together, or any more secrets and sneaking around.

Johnny and Roy bonding a bit outside the hospital entrance while the transplant surgery was taking place. Great too was the guy in the background, having a smoke right by the No Smoking signs. I loved the scene, but I have nothing other than that to say about it.

greek singer called danny zukoSo Danny Zuko and Brian’s new look it is. The only downside is the appearance of Bethany’s friend at the salon. Because that foreshadows the return of Tassels and the lap dancing story. Gak!

Corrie Street 4 Mar. 2018

Helpful Hints

Monday and Tuesday episodes were like Hints from Heloise – what to do and what not to do.

1. Empty pockets before doing a wash.helpful hints summer puts hoodie in washer

Summer puts clothes in the laundry, including Billy’s hoodie. We know he never lets it out of his sight. It’s comfortable and it’s also where he keeps his painkillers. But he’s asleep. After he wakes and she’s gone and the laundry is done, he finds it in the washer. Only the pill package remains in the pocket. The painkillers dissolved into the water system.billy-finds-dissolved-pills

2. Why let perfectly good flowers go to waste?

craig-bins-rosesCraig put the beautiful roses he’d bought Bethany in the garbage bin. And just then Jude came along, holding a couple Valentine’s balloons.

jude-with-rosesWhat would go well with red heart-shaped balloons? Red roses. Will they do it? Yes! Next we see him, Jude’s walking off-screen with the balloons and the roses. Good man! Just don’t tell Angie!

3. “Proper disposal” of medication is not down the sink.

eva-holds-pills-that-billy-wantsEva finds the dodgy pills that Adam gave Billy. He says they’re an old prescription he found way back in the cupboard, way way back. He’ll put them in the bin, he says. She’s not letting him touch them, so says she’ll do it properly. Down the sink. No no no! See #1. They contaminate the water system. Take them to a pharmacy where they will do whatever they do to safely dispose of them.

4. Keep track of your kids so we can too.

liz-surprisedLiz is shocked to see that the new doctor at the medical clinic is Michelle’s son. So am I. I had to google to find out which one Alex is. Is he the biological son or the one she raised?

alex-or-aliEither way, I’d hoped we’d never see either of them again. It was a horrible ‘switched at birth’ story that was soapy both in construction and presentation – complete with recasting at the time and again now. So the present face wouldn’t help even if you could, or wanted to, remember Alex.

Corrie Street 25 Feb. 2018

Living Donor

Thursday, a transplant unit assessor talks to Aiden about being a living donor. “We do like to shower people with pamphlets,” he chuckles when Aiden says he’d read all the pamphlets.assessor explains living donor process

It was a PSA, to be sure. Getting the information out there about the importance of being an organ donor. But also the risks and the seriousness of such a decision. A well done scene, and a well done public service announcement.

It’s not something we think about much, unless we’re faced with the situation. What would you do if your sibling or friend needed a part of you? And you could give it. Getting tested is one thing – then hoping against hope you’re not a match. But Aiden is a match for Carla. He can give her one of his kidneys. If all goes well, he will live just fine with one kidney and she will live just fine with the transplanted one.

If all goes well. That’s what the assessor is talking about. It might, but it also might not. There’s the operation itself, filled with risks as all surgery is. Then there’s the after. His health and abilities could be compromised. Carla’s body might reject the kidney. Even if it goes well, she could still have problems. And there’s the psychological aspects, before and after.

Do the right thing?

assessor-asks-if-any-pressure-put-onIs anyone pressuring him? Does he feel pressured by himself to ‘do the right thing’? Legitimate questions, and ones that might be overlooked in the midst of the trauma of a loved one facing death or long-term hospital treatment such as dialysis. You just want to help however possible as soon as possible. So these are good questions the man is posing. Do you feel obligated? How will you feel afterwards? And you can back out at any time prior to surgery without having to justify your change of mind to anyone, including the recipient.

Important information to convey to the public – the viewing audience – and to the character in the story being told. Coronation Street did it very well, I think, as did Tom Carter, who played the counsellor.

aiden-says-he-wants-to-do-itHis points are reinforced at the end of the episode, when Aiden tells Carla he’s good to go. She thanks him and promises “I will look after that kidney, you know. No late nights, no boozing sessions, no binges on pizza.” Paying respect to the magnitude of his action. Then she reestablishes their separate lives, despite anticipating having a shared organ. “Actually, who am I kidding? I’m going to drive that kidney like a Formula One race car.” Funny, and realistic. They’re going to have to negotiate the big issue of whose kidney is it. Carla is making a start at that already.

Corrie Street 18 Feb. 2018

Soup for Henry

gazpacho-over-henryFriday, Henry and his little game got unmasked. Not a big surprise, but done in a way that I found worth a replay. Soup dumped on his head. Not just one bowl but three. Gazpacho, then noodle soup and, lastly, cream of something.

In the lead-up to this at the Bistro, Gemma had her first encounter with cold soup. Gazpacho, a lovely concoction of cucumber and tomato, served cold. “Mingin”” was her opinion as she spat out a mouthful. Then she told Robert to microwave it.connor-table-watches

i don’t know why a restaurant would have gazpacho on its menu during the cold, damp English winter. But it had to be gazpacho, I guess, because it really cannot be heated up and remain edible. Vichyssoise, also served cold, could be heated maybe, becoming leek and potato soup instead.

Gemma and Henry are on a double-date with his friend Hugo and his streel of a date Carly. The cold soup moment gives Hugo something more to laugh at about Gemma. Turns out the two upper-crust boys have got a £5,000 bet that involves shocking their parents by bringing home unsuitable girls. Chesney overhears them talking about this while they’re at the bar.hugo watches noodle soup throw

Henry ought to know that Chesney is a friend of Gemma’s, and is within earshot. I don’t know if this was a writing oversight or a deliberate way of showing that, in Henry’s rarefied world, little people like Ches don’t matter.

Betting on class

Ches tells Gemma about the bet. She’s gutted. Carly hears too, and is more philosophical about it. Whatever this guys are playing out, she’s getting a fancy meal out of it. Meanwhile, back at the table, Henry has enough of Hugo’s class crassness and his amusement at Gemma’s expense. Henry is indeed falling for her.

Gemma hears Henry’s defence of her but she doesn’t care. She is furious. She grabs the bowl of gazpacho and there it goes, right over his head. Then she reaches around to the Connor’s table and grabs Aiden’s bowl of soup. Over Henry’s head. Excellent, I’m loving it.tracy hands gemma cream soup

Like everyone in the restaurant, Tracy is watching and enjoying the show. Then she steps nearer the action and picks up Johnny’s soup and hands it to Gemma. And Gemma throws that one over Henry’s head too.third-bowl-over-henry

Soup, beer or water, anything thrown over someone is generally always good. But that third move bumped the grade of execution of an old gag right to the top of the scale.

Corrie Street 11 Feb. 2018

Secrets and Lies

Thursday’s episode starts with two stories packed full of secrets and lies. One is working for me, one is not. The one that works is Nicola conspiring with Gary and Seb to bring Phelan down. The one that doesn’t is Toyah and Eva deciding to pass Eva’s unwanted baby off as Toyah’s much wanted one.

gary-sees-seb-with-nicolaNicola returned to the Street this week, surprising Phelan and Eileen and me too. She says she got it all wrong about him and begs his forgiveness. Very disappointing because a) I thought she had figured him out and b) if he gets another supporter there’s going to be that many more people shouting at each other and his comeuppance is going to take that much longer.

Secret Agent Nicola

nicola-explains-planBut no! Next we see her she’s spiriting Gary off. She’s got a surprise for him. Seb went to ground at her place, and she believes what he tells her about Phelan. So she wants Gary’s help in bringing Phelan down. To that end, she will cozy up to dear old dad and get the dirt on him from the inside.

nicola-asks-are-you-certainGary wants to tell Sarah and Faye so that they won’t worry. They can keep a secret, he says. Ha! Sure they can! Nicola puts it a bit more diplomatically, and Gary gets the point. He’ll keep his mouth shut.

gary-wonders-about-danger versus secrets and liesI feel nervous for Nicola, and fear that it won’t go smoothly for her personally and for the plan. That’s how it should be. Although Nicola hasn’t been on the show long, she and this story are being written so that we do care and do fear for her. We also know there will be a lot of twists and turns and Phelan cold stares. It will be exciting, I think.

Baby Secrets

toyah-suggests-she-take-babyThe secrets and lies in the back room of the Rovers, however, I’m not looking forward to. Like a figure skater telegraphing a jump, you could see this baby swap coming a long way off. Except, evidently, for the principals.

It had to get right down to her being at the abortion clinic before Toyah suggested it. The suspense in this case was not killing me, only the dread that they were going to do yet another soap opera cliché. At least the writers had the decency to have Toyah say that she’d started thinking about it as soon she knew about Eva’s pregnancy.nurse-calls-eva-in

Toyah finds out their surrogate mother has lost the baby. So Toyah is grieving for that baby and any future baby. Then she finds out that Eva is pregnant by Aiden. Eva can’t see any good way of having, and raising, the baby of the man she defrauded and made a fool of. “I can’t have the baby you want,” she said to Toyah. Oh yes you can, I thought to myself, it happens all the time – in soap operas!eva-cancels-abortion

Already the secrets and lies have started. Toyah to Peter, and Eva to Shona, and plans are afoot for how they’re going to pull this off. Watch television or read a novel, I want to tell them, this never works!

Corrie Street 4 Feb. 2018

Metaphor in a T-shirt

Monday’s second episode, a bar fight. Must be on the production to-do roster, I thought. So now they can check that item off. Then it became a bit unusual, relatively highbrow. “Oh look, the bimbo used a metaphor,” Toyah sneers at Carla’s assertion that she is not interested in Peter.been-there-got-the-t-shirt

“Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. In fact, he was sick on the t-shirt,” Carla had said to her. “It wasn’t a metaphor, he actually did that,” she says as she throws a drink at Toyah.carla-throws-beer-on-toyah

So Toyah throws one back at Carla. Ken Barlow would be proud. The tutoring he gave Toyah all those years ago paid off. She can chuck drinks at someone while debating whether or not something is a metaphor.

In this case, it’s about Peter Barlow so it is both literal and metaphorical. Women and booze, the central parts of his life, consumed and flushed.peter-watches-fight

His relationships and his history, laid out right in front of him by his current and former squeezes. He’s got to be loving it. Four women fighting over him, the local king of two-timing, in his bar.carla-yells-michelle-glares

The fight was also a nice return to their roots for the Battersby and Connor women. They’ve dressed themselves up, literally and figuratively, but they all – Toyah and Leanne, Carla and Michelle – are hard cases. bimbo used a metaphor

Gemma Winter, the current Street guttersnipe, could take lessons from them. Gemma might be able to fight but she wouldn’t know a metaphor if it slapped her in the face. The Connor and Battersby women not only know, but can discuss what is and isn’t a metaphor while brawling in a bar. Toyah even owns the bar so she doesn’t have to throw herself or her sister out of it. Movin’ on up!toyah-throws-beer-on-carla.