Category Archives: Coronation Street

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Nov. 21/10)

What I really think

Becky shone this week, in every scene with every other character.  aking Kelly on over her flirtation with Steve, taking Steve on, telling Roy and Hayley that her mom had died. Great scenes. Then, Friday, three scenes where I got teary – Becky reading a story to Amy and crying for the loss of her mother; Liz commiserating with Becky over Steve’s behaviour and actually seeming to like and respect her; then the final scene with Becky and Steve reconciling and her telling him she is indeed pregnant.

what I really think - Joe tells Gayle off and Jason and Leann watchWonderful moving stuff. But the scene that has stuck in my head was at the end of Monday’s show. That’s when Joe told Gail what he really, really thought of her. It was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time.

Abandon hope all ye

In good Street style, the argument moved from the house to the street. So everyone got to watch the show. David came to his mother’s defense, as did Audrey who oh deared and tut-tutted her way to Gail’s side. And Joe told them all: Joe pointing to David, while Audrey watches her daughter be told off“When it comes to the male of the species, you’re the equivalent of Tutankhamun’s Curse.” “That doorway should have a sign over it, ‘fellas, abandon hope all ye who enter’.”  “No wonder this one tried to kill you, it was self-defence. The lad deserves a flaming medal.” Poor Gail was devastated, with cause. But it was wonderful hearing the words that so many of us have felt for so long. Even if those words were coming from Joe, another in her series of loser and possibly homicidal boyfriends.

Unfortunately, they made up. At least he told her the truth about his financial situation and the loan shark. But no one on screen has yet asked that question we in the audience have been asking: “Why don’t you sell the boat?” Now that Ted is back, maybe he will be the one to ask it.

People doing stupid things

On the Becky and Steve topic, something I’m glad to see is the portrayal of people doing stupid and socially verboten things. Last week, when Becky returned from her mysterious errand, she sat on a bench with a big bottle of cider and lit one cigarette off the other. Oh, she must not be pregnant, I thought, or she’s decided to have an abortion or has already had it. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be showing her doing that. Earlier, she’d turned down drinks and said she was “cutting down” on smoking. If this were an American soap, indeed most of tv now, there would have to be something wrong with the baby at birth. Just to ensure that the message was clear that drinking and smoking while pregnant is bad.

Steve, in his leathers, drops his bike while "leathered"Then, Friday, what brought Steve to his senses was falling over while attempting to drive his motorbike after getting “leathered” in a bar. We could hear the siren in the background, so presumably Steve could too, as he wobbled astride the bike. Fortunately, he couldn’t stabilize it and he, and the bike, fell to the ground.

Before he fell, I thought oh no, they’re going to have him get in a crash, die and/or kill someone else. Or he’ll get stopped and lose his license. Something bad is going to happen because he’s drinking and intending to drive. We must be given the message in a strong and dramatic way. Instead, he called for a ride. Presumably, he’ll go back tomorrow and get the bike.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Nov. 14/10)

Vera

The 2nd anniversary of Vera’s death. Tyrone is sad. But that morning, he doesn’t know what’s about to hit him. All he knows is Molly is being very difficult to live with. At the Rovers, Jack gives him advice about how to handle women. Betty tells Jack that in her almost 90 years, she’d never heard “such a load of codswallop”.

Betty gives Jack a free pint and a kiss on the headThen, in a week of great scenes, comes the one. It’s a two-parter, maybe a minute. First part: Jack sits alone in a booth, finishing his pint. He’s pulled something out of a paper napkin and is holding it. Betty brings another pint over to him. “I didn’t order that,” he says. Betty puts it in front of him, kisses the top of his head and walks back to the bar.

Jack looks at Vera's wedding ringSecond part: Jack looks at the object in his hand. It’s Vera’s wedding ring. He looks down at it and up at the heavens. “My little swamp duck.” Oh my, I could hardly clip the scene from CBC’s online episode for tears blurring my eyes. Whatever will we do when Jack and Betty leave the street? It doesn’t bear thinking about.

Then, at the end of the episode, Molly begins the “we have to talk” speech with Tyrone. It continued Tuesday. She was leaving him, didn’t love him anymore etc. etc. Why, how can you, etc. etc., poor Tyrone asked. Lines from several hurtin’ songs were used by both of them. “You’re better off without me” and “any girl would be lucky to have you” came from Molly.

Molly telling Tyrone she is leaving himIt was like watching a train wreck. Well, more like being in the train wreck if you’ve ever had a serious relationship end, whether you were the ‘dumpee’ or ‘dumper’. Even though I’ve known what Molly’s been doing the past few months, it still blindsided me. Poor, poor Tyrone.

Next scene, Tyrone twigged in about as long as it takes in these situations: “Who is it?” “There must be someone else.” He’s absolutely right in guessing this, even just from his vantage point as a participant rather than anTyrone in tears, can't believe it observer as we are. There’s always someone else. Speaking from a long history as both dumper and dumpee, there’s always a third person somewhere in the mix. Of course, the dumper always says there’s no one else, “it’s just me”. And, technically, right now Molly is not lying about this. She and Kevin have ended it so, in this tiny frame of time, she is leaving Tyrone because it’s just about her.

Of course, as it always does (and must for soaps to continue with storylines), it will all come out. And if the breakup of Molly and Tyrone was bad, I think the breakup of Kevin and Tyrone will be much, much worse.

Daran Little writing

Both Monday and Tuesday were Daran Little episodes! So happy. I didn’t know there were any more to come of the group of episodes he’d penned after a brief return last year.

Jack telling Tyrone "Vera didn't us to be me and Vera"The loveliest touch of historical analysis he gave us was Tyrone and Molly discussing their relationship in terms of Jack and Vera’s. Like all of us, Tyrone had hoped that he and Molly would be the next Jack and Vera. Horrors, Molly said, that’s exactly what I don’t want to be! Tyrone sees happily married for over fifty years; Molly sees decades of constant rowing and Jack skulking off to get away from her. Both views are correct.

But Molly is using revisionist history to justify what she’s doing, and she must know it. She got to know Jack and Vera well enough to see behind the surface complaining and skulking. She saw Jack when Vera died. So she knows better. But to give her the benefit of the doubt, she’s young and probably still believes in the fairy tales where the thrill of romance remains young and alive forever just as you do yourself. Where settling into a routine of going about your business seems a fate worse than death. On the other hand, she knows better. Disparaging the 50 years of Jack and Vera is a way to justify, to herself at least, what she is doing.

The train wreck spreads the rest of the week. Kev is cast in the role of comforter to Tyrone. And in another beautifully wrought scene, Jack gives his take on the “being Jack and Vera” issue. He says to Tyrone, “Vera didn’t want us to be like me and Vera.” Molly says to Dev, “don’t say anything nice to me”. I say to the screen, “no danger of that, dearie!” Auntie Pam is the only one who seems to share my feelings. In a plea for sympathy, Molly whines, “ Everyone’s already looking at me like I’ve just stamped on a kitten.” Pam’s response?  “Oh, happens you just have.” Thank you, Auntie Pam.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Nov. 7/10)

Private Gary

Private Gary with EddieI shed a tear for the Windasses this week.  Friday, Eddie unveiled the cake he’d baked for Gary’s going away party at the Rovers, the cake Gary said he hadn’t wanted because “men don’t eat cake.”  In honour of his joining the Army, it was shaped like a hand grenade.  Anna, despite her horror at the macabre design her husband had chosen as a send-off for their son, was touched and wanted Eddie and Gary to express their feelings for each other.

A bit of foot-shuffling by Eddie and Gary, looks of horror toward Anna for wanting them to get “touchy-feeling”. Some “yeah, well, that’s what I think of you too” stuff between them.  Then a lovely moment when Gary looks at his dad with real love in his eyes and a kind of “gotcha” grin.  Then each spits in his hand and clasps the other’s in a long handshake cum embrace.

Everyone partook of the cake and pronounced it light and delicious, one of Eddie’s best.  Eddie is sufficiently moved by emotion toward his son, the strong turnout by street residents for their party and by the expressions of goodwill toward Gary that he actually buys a round for everyone.  But one still wonders whose wallet he lifted in order to get the money!

Community acceptance

A bullseye stuck to Gary's back is discovered by his momThis party, with almost everyone on the street there, might be the turning point for the Windasses in terms of community acceptance.  David pulls a prank on Gary – sticks a paper bulls-eye on his back.  When it’s discovered, everyone calls David on it and speaks in Gary’s defence.  Even Roy.  And Chesney tells David that Gary is “worth a thousand of you.”   Janice agrees with him.

In David’s defence, he has good reason to dislike and distrust Gary.   And, by Gary’s leaving for the Army, the street residents are getting rid of a felon who has demonstrated that he’s willing to steal from anyone, even his neighbours.  Still, it’s nice that it is Gary who pretty much says that himself.  In talking with Chesney about why he’s joined up, he points out that he doesn’t have many options. If he hadn’t done this, he’d likely just end up in jail again.

Gary hugs his dad goodbye outside the RoversIn a follow-up scene, the taxi waits for Gary and everyone is outside the pub to see him off.  Gary hugs his mom, then turns to his dad.  Eddie hands him an envelope, says “don’t laugh”.  It’s what he wrote to Gary telling him how he feels about him.  Gary does a little awkward “man”  shuffle then throws his arms around his dad in a big hug.  I felt affection for a person who usually is truly “a little toe-rag”.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Oct. 31/10)

C

There was a lot of good stuff this week.  Carla hauling the vodka bottle out of her desk drawer and telling Sally Carla-talking-with-Sally“orange juice in the fridge” after Sally has told her why she needs time off work.

Also excellent is the ongoing storyline with the dueling grandfathers in the Barlow family: there’s a lot of show – and English – history with Ken and George battling it out over education options for Simon.  Have a look at the first episode where Albert Tatlock gives Ken a little lesson in class consciousness when the young university student is feeling caught between two class worlds.  Also in that episode, a bicycle is being repaired in the Barlow living room, just like last week.  But that time Ken wasn’t doing the fixing, rather he was mortified about it.  But for the scene of the week, I stand by the decision I made early in the week.  (Sun, Oct. 31st)

Tuesday – C scene

I’m writing this Tuesday.  I’m sure I’ve just watched “the scene”.  Bill comes by Kev and Sally’s to see how Sally’s visit to the oncologist went.  Just Kevin is there, Sally is upstairs having a long soak.  Bill kind of shuffles from foot to foot and tries to look cheery.  His body language is that of visiting “the sick room” – that not knowing C - Kevin explains lymph node surgery to Billwhere to look or what to say.  Kevin tells him what the process will be, his lips uncomfortably forming the words “lumpectomy” “lymph nodes”.  His speaking manner is a bit stilted, like he’s reciting or practicing a phrase in a foreign language.  And he is:  he’s repeating the words of the doctor, words he may have heard before but never had them apply to his own life.  C words, the vocabulary of cancer.

As Kevin talks, Bill’s face transforms.  He’s listening, hearing and understanding the words but he’s going back in his mind.  Looking at Bill, I could see his wife and Bill, hearing the same words in their doctor’s office years before.  He never mentioned his wife, he said hardly anything at all other than the usual words one offers.  He asked if the girls knew yet.  No, Kevin said.  After giving best wishes, chin up etc., Bill leaves.  End of scene.  I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.

Bill listens to Kev tell about Sally's surgery - CCancer has not affected me directly in my own family, so I wasn’t remembering something familiar and sad to me.  Maybe I’m wrong on the powerfulness of this scene; maybe if I had more firsthand knowledge I wouldn’t have found it so evocative.  But I don’t think so.  I think it was beautifully and knowledgeable written and acted.

Also it speaks to the history of the show with a deft touch.  I’m beginning to feel I know Mrs. Webster the Elder.  I don’t even know her first name, I don’t remember Bill as a younger man.  But I’m starting to know that man and his wife.  I always loved the episodes written by Daran Little, long time programme archivist and later writer.  If I hadn’t caught the opening credits, I knew as soon as I heard a reference to the past that it was a Daran episode.  “Oh goody,” I would think, “they decided we’ll get a history lesson”.  I loved how Daran wove the long-ago history of present and past characters into present episodes.  His writing always added depth to the episode, giving more dimensions to what was happening on screen.  No other writer did it, perhaps because it was Daran’s specialty.

Unfortunately, Daran has moved on from Coronation Street, and I miss his “history lessons”.  I’m delighted that other writers and directors (Damon Rochefort and Durno Johnston in this case) are strengthening today’s stories with understated reference to the past.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Oct. 24/10)

Trifecta

No one scene jumped out at me this week.  But three spoke a bit, for different reasons.  The Becky after pregnancy test scenepenultimate scene with Steve and Becky. A close up of Becky looking back at Steve, worried, pensive, scared, maybe all of the above.  She had been in the Rovers’ bathroom earlier, taking a pregnancy test out of the box.  She’s been like a frightened rabbit since.

When she learned Claire had told Steve Becky didn’t want kids, she told Claire off in no uncertain terms.  No ‘bezzy mates’ if you blab.  She had a long talk with her real ‘bezzy mates’ Roy and Hayley, about kids and marriage but didn’t tell them the results of her pregnancy test.  Steve has got very broody all of a sudden and is pressuring her to have a baby, even without knowing she thinks she’s pregnant.  That’s the only part of this story that strikes me as rather contrived, indeed “soapish”.  I could accept Steve getting broody and wanting a baby with Becky and her resisting.  I could also accept her thinking she might be pregnant, not telling him, taking the test and not knowing what to do with the information (assuming it’s positive).  But having the two things happening at the same time, without Steve knowing that Becky is at the stage of taking a pregnancy test?  It says American daytime to me, not Coronation Street.

Family history scene

Kev and BillSecond “almost” scene was earlier in the week – Kevin telling his dad about Sally’s cancer, and their talk about the death of Kevin’s mother from cancer.  I don’t remember Kevin’s mother so don’t know if this was an on-screen story or not.  Still, it was moving to see the two of them talking about their shared loss, and to hear Bill talk about how he coped with losing his wife and caring for two children.  From reading the comments at Corrie Canuck, I see this scene was a big hit with many of them.  As some people there said, it was nice to get some of Bill’s backstory.  Also nice to see Corrie writers using their history and putting present stories in the context of stories and characters from the past.

God-awful Scene

Connor family discussionThird “almost” – for sheer awfulness – was New Year’s Eve and Michelle coming home with her cute little roofer pick-up guy.  She wants to get a few things for a surprise sleepover with him at a ritzy hotel.  What does she find when they come through the door?  Her teenage son and his girlfriend in the middle of their own “sleepover”!

But that wasn’t the awful part.  That came when, after a weird discussion about teenage sex, Michelle gets her stuff together to go to the hotel for her overnighter with Bob the Builder.  I’m not sure that woman should be allowed to raise a goldfish.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Oct. 17/10)

Molly’s Turkey

Molly pulls the Christmas turkey out of the oven. The pan tips and the turkey slides out on the floor. Oh, the poor girl.

Molly pulls turkey out of ovenI haven’t had a lot of sympathy for her in this whole affair with Kevin, but my heart bled for her in this scene and the one leading up to it. That’s where Kevin breaks it off with her. What I liked in the follow-up scene was there was the turkey on its platter in the middle of the table, with Tyrone, Jack and all tucking into it.

Molly did what I’d hoped she did when I saw the turkey laying in the middle of the kitchen floor. She picked it up, wiped it off, put it on a platter and served it – ta da! – telling no one of its little side trip en route to table from oven.

Pick turkey – and yourself – up

Now, girl, that’s what you have to do with yourself.  Pick yourself up, look your best and carry on!  Easier said than done, when your “great romance” has just told you that you’re childish and selfish and acts as if you were the only one with delusions of leaving partners and going off to a new and wonderful life together.  At the best of times, that is difficult to hear from someone who has said he or she loves you.  But when an hour before, it’s him who has persuaded you that it’s time to up stakes, tell the spouses that you’re leaving them and damn the consequences.  All on Christmas Day?  Even Molly, deluded as she is about the ease with which a marriage or two can be ended, seemed not entirely sure that Christmas Day, before the turkey dinner, was the best time to do this.

She really is still just a girl without a lot of experience in adult relationships.  But she’s learning fast, as her look of hurt and stunned disbelief showed when Kevin lectured her about why he could now not leave Sally.  That he had to stand by his wife, now she’s been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Earlier he’d also told Molly that he had to stand by his family until Sophie was through her school exams.  Molly said ok to that. But, after finding out about the romantic weekend in Paris Kevin and Sal had, she said ok, enough!  Good for you, Molly!

But Kevin couldn’t leave it at that.  No, he persuades her running away is a good, and romantic, thing to do.  She falls for it – of course she would!  She loves him or at least is infatuated with him or the thrill of an affair.  Then, when he does the right thing and says he’s staying with his wife, he has to belittle Molly.

Power imbalance

There’s already a power imbalance between Molly and Kevin.  She’s a lot younger than him, so he can feel good about having a young woman fawning over him.  But he can also turn it the other way around when it suits his purpose; she’s silly and immature, too young to understand these things.  And, being young, those words will hurt her without her realizing what it also says about him and his level of maturity.  Molly has just learned an important lesson about relationships; whatever someone says they like about you can be used against you in bad moments.

Meanwhile, she knows that she came within a hair’s breadth of destroying her life with Tyrone.  It probably is already destroyed. But at least now she won’t be letting it happen because of the promises of a fool’s paradise with Kevin.  Unless, of course, he decides he can’t cope with Sally and her cancer without the support of his “real love” Molly.  Then he’ll put her through the emotional wringer again and again.  If she lets him.  I hope the dropped turkey and her fast coping with that shows her she’s got the emotional strength to deal with her other “dropped turkey” – Kevin.

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