Tag Archives: CBC

Covid Corrie

Overnight, Covid-19 will hit Weatherfield. People who had been freely walking around Coronation Street without a corona care in the world will be masked and distancing themselves. Tonight in Britain, and soon in Canada, the residents of Coronation Street will be living like we have been.

Covid Corrie taping photo ITV standard.co.ukExecutive producer Iain MacLeod was on CBC Radio’s q this morning to talk about how the show is dealing with a pandemic that has outlasted their stock of episodes in the can. The virus, and all the precautions, will hit immediately. There’s nothing else they can do, he said. To have a build up to it would require extensive reshooting. So they are asking for a suspension of disbelief from viewers. As he said, the viewers know the reality, so should recognize that the show has little choice.

Taping in a pandemic

Corrie and all the soaps began making changes months ago as the pandemic became increasingly serious. Coronation Street cut back from six episodes to three a week. That bought time with already taped episodes spread over twice as long.

Older and at-risk actors were furloughed. Writers scrambled to explain their disappearance. Social distancing was instituted for actors. Camera people and editors scrambled to make it look as if people weren’t staying clear of others while they actually were.

Steamy romantic scenes stopped. Large crowd scenes stopped. But the show has to look like the show, and street life had to look normal. The constraints imposed by health precautions called for inventive production techniques. Camera angles, for example, could give an illusion of closeness between actors when they were actually far apart.

Production ceased for a couple of months. I think that is probably a first ever in its 60 year history. When work resumed, they decided to bring the pandemic into the life of the street. The distancing they had already been practicing would become part of the story.

Covid-19 production problems remain, however. Within the bubble of our family, we don’t need to stay distant and wear masks. But the actors playing members of a family don’t live together in real life. So camera and editing tricks still are needed to get around that. Stand-ins were used if possible. The real life mother of a child stood in for the screen mother in one scene, Cole said. A mannequin stood in for an actor in another.

The show will go on. But bringing reality in is a good thing, I think. Watching television, I find myself distracted when people are too close together. Get back, I think, don’t you know better! A soap is part of our daily lives, so it’s especially jarring to see its world so obviously at odds with our own. And maybe we’ll make a new game for watching: spot the Covid camera trick.

Corrie 10000

watching corrie 10000 photo-j-stewartI haven’t watched Coronation Street since June 2018. But I watched Thursday and Friday’s episodes. Episode numbers 10000 and 10001. I figured out that I’d watched regularly since about episode 3000. So I couldn’t miss these landmark ones.

Some of the people I didn’t know. Happens when you leave a neighbourhood for any length of time. But there are also familiar faces, beloved faces.

10000 Remembers

I didn’t count the references to Corrie history in the episodes. There weren’t actually 10000. But there were a lot. Right from the first shot. Girls playing ball on the street. Just like the opening shot in episode number 1.

The premise was a bus trip to Blackpool, taken to scatter Dennis Tanner’s ashes. Dennis was a character in the original Coronation Street. He returned several years ago, left, and now – offstage – died. So talk of him, of Elsie his mother, even his sister Linda still living in Toronto decades after leaving Weatherfield.

History, long ago and more recent, was packed in. Is it too much, I asked my husband. He has watched off and on but isn’t that familiar with the backstory. No, he said, it felt natural. Especially, he said, Rita saying to Ken “you’re the last one left now.” Yes, that is what you say of the end of a generation.

rita-behind-rovers-barAt the end of the day, Rita walked through the empty Rovers Return. Remembering everyone. Annie Walker, Bet Lynch – landladies, staff and customers of the heart of the street. As she said, they’re in the fabric of the place. We overheard their voices in her head. It worked beautifully.

Goodbye, old friend

Outside the Rovers, Ken and Eccles stood. He’d done a lot of thinking during the bus trip. He had made a decision: time to move on. “Goodbye, old friend.” Talking to Dennis? To us? “Finally it’s time to go,” he said as he looked down the street.

He had clutched a brochure for a retirement home all during the trip. Talked with Rita and Audrey about what he’d wanted sixty years ago and what had happened. The travel he’d wanted to do had consisted of moving from No. 3 to No. 1 Coronation Street. Maybe finally it was time to move a bit further away.

ken-and-eccles-go-homeAccording to Radio Times, he – character and actor – won’t be leaving Weatherfield. Still, I can’t imagine what saying goodbye would have been like for Bill Roache. He is Coronation Street, there since the airing of the first episode. It’s hard to imagine the show without him.

Ken and Eccles go in their house. The scene outside their door slowly fades from colour to black and white.

Then the credits. Current names roll over the background images of credits throughout the decades. A lovely tribute. But one that sailed right over CBC’s head.

corrie-10000-cbc-credits-photo-d-stewartLook carefully at the photo, the beautifully crafted Coronation Street credits are that tiny box in the middle at the bottom of the television screen. It’s a reason to watch on line. You can see the credits full size.

Leaving The Street

This week I only watched Monday’s double episode. I decided at the end of it that I’m leaving the Street. Not forever – I hope. But for now, until something changes that makes it enjoyable for me to watch again.

pvr-screen with watched corrie episodes checkedSince the late 1980s, I’ve watched consistently. I have loved it, and I’ve despaired of it. I’ve suffered through executive producers who were hell-bent on remaking it into something else. I have celebrated when it got back on track. Over those decades, I’ve watched it get more like an American soap. Younger and more beautiful actors taking centre stage. More explosive storylines, more action, less nuance of daily life of regular people. And I’ve stuck with it.

rosie-gemma-and-modelBut the past few months, I’ve more often found myself looking at the clock, wondering if it will be over soon. Looking at the remote, particularly the fast-forward button. Realizing I’m a couple episodes behind, oh dear, when will I be able to catch up. Thinking ‘get off my screen’ about too many characters.

Six episodes

Adding an episode, to six per week, did it for me. Just that extra half hour made watching, keeping caught up, feel like work.pat-points-gun-at-gary

Make time for small moments as well as big stories. That’s what executive producer Kate Oates said they would do with that extra episode. But that’s not what I’ve seen. Scads of new characters, high drama and PSA teaching storylines instead. I’m tired of it. Not any of those things individually, just all of them all the time.

Soap + Crime thriller + Sitcom

wedding-guests-in-bistroMonday’s second episode bounced between three different genres. Crime thriller with Phelan free and threatening again. Soap opera with Robert leaving Michelle and their wedding in the lurch. “Just talk to her, ya plank!” I said, without enthusiasm. So many soap clichés lately, you can’t even care. A sitcom scenario with Rosie, Gemma and somebody new planning the entrapment of somebody else new. (See today’s Scene of the Week for these three scenes.)

Public Service Announcements

shona-and-david-discuss-his-rapeDavid and male rape – a well done and valuable education story, yes. But we haven’t even dealt fully with the suicide and mental health PSA of Aiden. The spectre of grooming and sexual abuse still hovers over Bethany.

robert leaving for londonRobert still has ongoing storylines of a) testicular cancer and b) steroid use. (There’s also Michelle’s Lost and Found sons – straight out of How to Write a Soap Opera.) And remember Billy and his pain-induced heroin use? Has he had a miracle cure for both injury and addiction?

Way too many issues to explore in depth and realistically in terms of the characters’ lives. Plus it’s tiring to watch. Particularly now, when watching the news is a full out emotional rollercoaster ride, Coronation Street would be a nice place to go for a bit of respite.

Leaving for a bit of rest

I don’t think it can feel that much different in the UK than in Canada. Here we have Trump and his bully rants about trade tariffs. In the UK, you have that, as well as Brexit. Exhausting just keeping up. So to also need a score card to keep up with Corrie? No. I can’t do anything about real world politics. But I can control entertainment viewing. If Coronation Street has become as frustrating to watch as the news, it’s time to switch it off.leaving corrie with delete recordings tv screen

I am not advocating that Corrie opt out of the real world and become a bastion of old-fashioned cozy Britain. Just slow down a bit and return to your roots – in both story and storytelling methods. Coronation Street is not a crime drama, sitcom or American soap. It’s not a pulpit or a classroom. It’s a neighbourhood. When it goes back to that, I will be back with bells on!

Corrie the Soap

When did Corrie become a soap opera? Here I mean that in the derogatory sense of the phrase, denoting melodramatic, formulaic and often illogical storytelling. About four months ago. That’s when Coronation Street went to six episodes per week.Media-City Footbridge July_2016 Ardfern-wikicommons

Corrie Changes

Maybe it’s coincidence. There have been a lot of changes at the Coronation Street production site in the past year or two. The actual site itself moved and expanded. They are working on further expansion of the set. Actors have come and gone. A new producer, Kate Oates, took over in August 2016.

But only that last one, a new producer, is something that can cause changes that are apparent on the screen. With good producers, historically, changes are seamless. Watching the show, you shouldn’t be able to tell right off the bat that a new person is in charge. That seemed to be Kate Oates’ style. She kept the Corrie tradition going while also doing some spectacularly dramatic stories.

Six episodes per week

pat-after-he-shot-andyThen we added the sixth episode. Storylines began to be very gloomy and dark. Some, like Phelan’s move into murder, were spell-binding and truly horrifying. But others were just horrifying in their petty nastiness. A change in volume, even, people yelling at each other seemingly all the time.

Oh, the humour was there. Dropped in like a brick once in a while, apropos of nothing, amid the snarling and weeping. The necessary flow and balance of mood was not there.

Things will sort themselves out, I tried to convince myself. Accept the stories as what they are, and assume there is a good reason that will become clear down the road.

Soap Clichés

gary-on-phoneBut I started noticing something else: soap clichés. Too many private conversations overheard by someone lurking nearby. Actions that make no sense for a character until you see the result. Aha, they needed to get to B from A and that stupid move provided soap lurking seb-appears-after-eavesdroppingthe most direct route. Characters jumping to conclusions out of nowhere. Oh, we needed a misunderstanding so that x and y could happen. Or we needed something mentioned so that a character could return or be introduced.

Script clunkers, contrived situations. These are not uncommon in soap operas. Also not uncommon in movies, television series and novels. They are more excusable in soaps. American soap opera production people say that they create the equivalent of two movies a week. Five hours of screen time, year around.

Writing and producing this amount of material so quickly also has to take into account real life circumstances of actors. Illness, decisions to quit, being fired, even death – expected and unexpected events crop up and must be dealt with somehow in the story. The show will go on regardless. It is a testament to the skill of actors, writers and production staff that American soaps are as good as they are.

Therefore, the writing and production method is a kind of machine. It’s a system that continues to produce regardless of the specific individuals involved at any one time. That machine keeps the identity of the show, its look and feel, consistent over decades.

The Character of Corrie

Coronation Street is a soap opera in its production and storyline. Multiple episodes per week, year around, with no end foreseen. Stories focussed on personal relationships and emotion.

Granada_TV_studios_Coronat_geograph.org_.uk-1999-wikicommonsBut Coronation Street has never really looked like a soap, at least not the American kind. That’s due both to its production schedule and its ethos.

In its stories, Coronation Street has more comedy and more characters with whom the average viewer could identity. Less dreams coming true, more chuckling through the bad times.

In production, attention to details. History of the show, its people and places, is remembered. And characterization stays true. Characters don’t have to stay static, but changes in behaviour occur in such a way that makes sense to viewers.

There is the time to take that care. Writers have time to say ‘hmm, maybe there’s a better way to do that.’ More rehearsal time, more time for retakes. Coronation Street‘s air time is half that of American soaps. So there’s that bit of time to reflect, to redo.

Speeding up

Adding another half-hour of air time exponentially increases the preparation time. Maybe there has to be more reliance on the formulaic part of the writing machine. The process must speed up. I haven’t noticed glitches in acting. I assume that’s due to the expertise of the actors and directors and long, long hours of rehearsal and taping. The clumsy bits I’ve seen are in the plotting of stories, that creative imagination where time for reflection and rewrites is so necessary.Granada_Studio_Tours_Manchester_2011-Mikey-wikicommons

Maybe it will get better? Coronation Street has faced this challenge before, and risen to it. They went from two to three, then four, then five episodes a week. Each time, there were complaints and fears. The quality couldn’t be maintained. But it was. If there was a period of not-so-great adjustment, I don’t remember it. And I’ve been with the show since it was two episodes per week. I don’t remember feeling like I do with this change to six.

Time to take a break?

Just fitting that extra episode into my Corrie routine has made watching feel like work. So that plus dissatisfaction with the stories? Maybe time to take a break. Remove Coronation Street from my pvr record settings. That’s a big decision after having lived with a show for so long, gone through highs and lows with it. But when you’re Coronation_Street_Sign-Andrea_44-flickr-wikimediawatching and thinking you’d rather be cleaning out a closet?

Since the new year, in Canadian air time, it’s been a bit better. Still some cringe-worthy moments. But I’m not looking at the clock every couple of moments, wondering how much longer I have to endure.

The Uncles’ Great War

Charlie-Scanlon-1950-London-ONAn uncle and two great-uncles are my touchstones for the First World War. The one I knew best was Charles Scanlon, husband of my mother’s older sister Ada. He was 20 years older than she.

Uncle Charlie told wonderful stories, but I don’t remember any being about the war. I knew only that he was a veteran of the war before the one in which my father had been.

2nd Battle of Ypres

Looking through my aunt’s photos and papers recently, I found out Uncle Charlie had been wounded at the Second Battle of Ypres, in April 1915. That was the battle in which the German Army first used the First World War London Free Press 1997 re 2nd Battle of Ypresweaponry of poison gas. At Ypres, it was chlorine gas. I remember the tone of voice adults used, whispers almost: “he was gassed, you know”. Although I didn’t know what it meant, I knew it was awful and that it explained a lot. I don’t know if Uncle Charlie had been gassed. I don’t remember him having the chronic lung or eye damage that I’ve read are major effects of it, if you survived the initial blast.

Lymburner brothers

My mother’s mother had two brothers and both were in World War I. I knew one of them, Uncle Otto Lymburner, from visits to my grandparents’ house. But I never knew his brother Edmund. I mistakenly thought that he had died in the war. But Uncle Eddie came home, married and had a family. He had been wounded, and he died in 1948 at the age of 49.

They both Otto Lymburner 1960 First World War veteranjoined the Canadian Expeditionary Force early in 1916. I don’t know what they did in the war. Maybe my grandmother told me, or would have had I asked. I just remember her with eyes filled with tears, saying “poor Eddie.” It was a sorrow that came from the war, I knew, and it scared me seeing her sad.

We learned about the world wars in school. To me, they were ancient history. If we did any projects that connected us to veterans among our families or friends, I don’t remember them.

If we’d had such projects, or if I had paid attention if we did, maybe I’d know the cause of my grandmother’s tears. I might know if Canadian Army physician John McCrae had First World War monument with In-Flanders-Fieldstreated Uncle Charlie’s injuries. I remember memorizing the poem In Flanders Fields in school. Lt. Col. McCrae wrote it during the Second Battle of Ypres, where Uncle Charlie was wounded. I loved the poem’s sad beauty, but I never in my wildest dreams connected it to my uncle’s life.

Canada entered the war 100 years ago Monday, August 4th. CBC Radio is airing a 10 part series about Canada’s war. The Bugle and the Passing Bell, produced by Steve Wadhams, is here.

On eBay – Canadian Expeditionary Force WWI items

 

Corrie Street Aug. 25/13

Facing Consequences

David saw Nick, and saw what his vengeance had wrought. He likes playing out the nasty facing consequences David-sees-Nickgames he thinks up in his head but doesn’t imagine how serious the outcome might really be. He saw his brother all bashed up, in critical condition after brain surgery. All because it had seemed reasonable in his little head to exact revenge for what Nick and Kylie had done to him.

His game didn’t go according to plan. The consequences were far greater than he had intended. He might end up without a brother, he realizes.

Nick unconsciousIt is always about David for David. He’s like a cat with a mouse; the cat’s fun is over when the mouse dies. Seeing an unconscious, battered and bandaged Nick made him realize his Nick-baiting days may be over. And he has the problem of avoiding questions about “what happened”. He may be sorry for what he caused, but he isn’t about to take responsibility for it.

Someone else’s fault

Leanne presses him about what caused Nick to drive erratically, as David said he had. He says Nick’s phone rang and that must have distracted him. Oh no, Leanne realized, she had phoned Nick.

his-phone-rangMy husband thought that David’s choice of that explanation was an innocent clutching at straws, finding some reasonable sounding excuse. But I don’t trust David as far as I could throw him. I believe he well remembers that Leanne called Nick as they sat by the side of the road arguing. He knew full well, I believe, that saying maybe it was a ringing phone would shut Leanne up and make her stop the questioning.

David-enters-NIck's-roomI do feel sorry for David in the same way I feel sorry for children who are upset after they pull the wings off flies and then see that the fly will die. He is truly distressed about what he has caused. But, unlike children who learn from their cruel mistakes, I’m not sure that David will ever stop holding a grudge against Nick, Kylie, his mother and the entire world for anything that ever goes wrong in his life, regardless of whether he has caused it.

Corrie Street June 23/13

What happens with Rita

Rita-and-Tina-in-hall what happens with rita“What happens with Rita stays with Rita” is what Tina wanted to hear.  Tina needed to hear what she’d said moments earlier when they talked beside baby Jake’s incubator. The baby is not yours to keep, Rita told Tina. It’s quite natural that she would have a strong attachment to the infant she carried, but he is Izzy and Gary’s baby. End of.

take-your-word-for-thatRita is the only person who could say these things to Tina without ticking her off. Even so, Tina managed to hurt Rita by reminding her, perhaps inadvertently, that she could not know how it feels to give birth to a child. Rita rallied and let Tina know that she supported her but that she needed to get over her feelings and remember that she was a temporary mother for the child of what-you-saidother people.

This was a powerful and nuanced scene between two women who are friends and, themselves, kind of a mother-daughter surrogacy. Tina’s confusion and defensiveness was obvious, as was Rita’s deep affection and her trepidation about raising a difficult topic.

Emotional cavalry

Tommy was glad to see the cavalry arrive. A bit earlier he had said the same thing to just-in-timeTina but she was not taking it from him. In order to show his love and support for Tina, he had go along with her idea of keeping the baby. He cannot find the right balance between support and uncomfortable truths in addressing Tina’s wishes and intentions.

Even if he did, he is her boyfriend and is of the same age. It’s a different relationship dynamic than with Rita. Tina will listen to her, a woman and older, with more deference than she would to anyone, male or female, of her own age. The two scenes nicely counterpointed each other.

Owen-entersJust when maybe Rita was getting somewhere with Tina, in walks Owen. My husband said the Armstrongs and Windasses are like blackflies in a Canadian summer – everywhere, all the time. You can’t get away from them.

Acting brilliance

All the actors in this story have been brilliant and Tina especially so. Her facial and body language alone convey the torment she is feeling. There have been inconsistencies in what she has said, as there likely would be in such a situation.

She told I-can-see-whyTommy that she realized the extent of her love for the baby when he became ill. Moments later Tina told Rita it had nothing to do with his illness, that she had felt it since he was born. Both statements are true but, of the two, I suspect what she told Rita is truer. With Rita, she can be completely honest. Rita demands honesty from her and returns it even when she knows it isn’t what Tina wants to hear.

Tina-looks-at-babyRita’s initial doubts about the surrogacy are proving justified. Standing in the nursery with Rita, Tina said “I always thought I was the least maternal person in the world.” Therefore, she left unsaid, giving up the baby would not be a problem for her. “Now look at me,” realizing that time and a tiny baby change you. Her words to Tommy showed the price of trying to straighten out that confusion, the pain of “hating yourself for loving your baby.”

Corrie Catch-Up

CBC’s Coronation Street is now only two weeks behind the UK. Wow! We’ve never been Rovers Return photo CBC on RCI Corrie Catch-upthat close before. In an RCI interview with Carmel Kilkenny, CBC Executive Director of Content Planning Christine Wilson said that we had got nine months behind (I think it was 10) because of accumulated time loss due to preemptions of the show.

Preemptions have certainly increased the time distance between UK and Canadian airtimes, but there has always been a difference. It is my understanding that an agreed-upon minimum airtime difference was part of the terms of purchasing rebroadcast rights. There still is that, now 2 weeks for CBC. Preemption adds to the time lag. So I hope CBC keeps its promise that episodes will be rescheduled if need be instead of preempted.

Catch-Up due to internet

Ms. Wilson said that the internet has made a time-lag of many months untenable. Viewers find out online what’s happening in UK Corrie then have to wait months to see Betty with Rovers hotpot from backonstreet.blogspot.cait. The recent death of actress Betty Driver is a case in point. It was big news in the real world and, while UK viewers had to wait until the story of the character’s death was written and aired, Canadian viewers had to wait months beyond that to pay their respects. In reading news reports of the real Betty’s death, finding out about UK storylines was almost unavoidable. Not a big deal if you’re relatively current in storyline airing, more so if you’re almost a year behind.

Coronation Street Hinterland

The internet certainly has made it easier to know what’s happening on the Street in UK time. But that has always been a part of the Corrie Hinterland, long before the word “spoiler” had anything to do with tv. I was introduced to Coronation Street in the 1970s in New Zealand by an English ex-pat. She explained and interpreted the show and The Street issue 6 magazine coverwould have told me what was going to happen. In letters from England, she would get news about what was happening on the Street.

Subscriptions to English magazines provided Street news. They were shared like a piece of meat among jackals. And woe betide someone coming from ‘home’ who didn’t bring information about ‘Coro’! It was like currency. Anyone with up to date details was fêted like royalty so they would share. Although why it mattered to a NZ viewer, I don’t know. What was happening in the UK was over two years in the future for us. I had enough trouble wedding album page 50th anniversary special Mirror magazinefollowing what was happening in the here and now, let alone two years ahead. I didn’t want to know the future.

My attitude to spoilers has remained the same. Visiting the UK, I avoided watching Corrie. I didn’t want to plunge ahead then have to backtrack when I returned to Canada.

In researching my weekly scene, I’ve become adept at googling and doing the keyboard equivalent of sticking my fingers in my ears and ‘la-la-la’-ing so that I don’t read everything while looking for something specific. I learned how the hard way: by accidently reading too much and finding out someone was leaving the show or a character had died. You never really can put it back out of your mind. So it’s much better that we are now so close in time. Only weeks of waiting and wondering when you find out something you didn’t want to know instead of nearly a year.

NZ still 18 months behind

50th anniversary issue MirrorAccording to the internet, New Zealand viewers watched the 50th anniversary special only this summer, So still about 18 months behind. Googling anything about the show, and social media, must be horrendous if you don’t want to know what’s ahead. Time for your broadcaster to play catch-up too!

A Local CBC Solution

Stick with what you do well and others can’t do – that’s my suggestion for CBC Radio. CBC Museum in Toronto broadcast centreAn example, from this past week’s Sunday Edition, the story of The Investigator, a 1954 CBC Radio play about the McCarthy Communist “witchhunts”. Two important points: one, the power of drama as social and political commentary and, two, the power of a broadcast being heard across an entire nation at exactly the same time. CBC Radio can do that, your hometown radio station cannot.

So if programming must be scaled back due to less money, cut what others do and keep what fulfills CBC’s mandate as a national broadcaster. If I had to do a quick and drastic cut, it would be local programming: the morning, noon and ‘drive-home’ time slots. I’d keep national and international news, documentaries and drama.

Local information is valuable if you live in the locality. In southern Ontario, “local” programming comes from Toronto. It doesn’t matter even a tiny bit to me what traffic in Toronto is like. And while it can CBC sold mock newspaper headlinebe entertaining hearing what Toronto City Council is doing, I can live without it. If it’s deemed necessary to keep regional programming, cut each time slot to one hour and have production staff and hosts work part-time or split shifts.

A Facebook friend’s comment on CBC Radio was that he’d listen more if it had local news relevant to him, in London Ont. Doing just that was the reason for the much ballyhooed local news break on the half hour inserted by CBC into its programming a few years ago. All that has done for me too often is interrupt the thread of interviews and documentaries for a weather “update” six or ten hours old. Being in touch with regional communities is a good idea, but that way of doing it hasn’t worked. I don’t know how much that 90 second break costs, but it’s not worth it.

Local is good if you are local to CBC station

When I lived in St. John’s, I enjoyed the CBC St. John’s local shows. They were informative and entertaining about my community. Keyword: my community. If I lived Mar 2012 full page ad from Friends of Canadian Broadcastingin Gander, it wasn’t relevant.  I remember when CBC Newfoundland planned to shut down regional stations and programmes across the island. There was outrage. Gander, Grand Falls, Corner Brook all wanted to keep their own CBC local programming. Traffic reports weren’t going to make that much difference to the day’s decisions, but people wanted their broadcaster to reflect their lives. Valid point.

I’d like that in St. Thomas too. But I’ve never got it from CBC in Ontario. In St. Thomas, London, Windsor or Owen Sound, you get Toronto. Faced with the choice of Don Valley Parkway traffic reports and who’s singing where in Toronto or in-depth national and international news and socio-cultural analysis, I’ll pick the latter. CBC Radio should put its resources into what other, local radio stations do not do. If I want to hear St. Thomas news, I’ll switch to 94.1 myFM for its hourly news, then go back to CBC.

CBC is where I’ve been able to hear documentaries, political and cultural analyses, literature discussions and radio drama.  cbc funding graph 2011 from Friends of Canadian BroadcastingMake Radio Two a definable station as it used to be (i.e. not a mishmash of music genres you can hear elsewhere). Also keep RCI alive. Make greater use of existing regional facilities and staff for national programming from areas outside the Toronto broadcast centre. Play RCI programmes like The Link if more repeat broadcasting is necessary on Radio One. (Also see my praise for RCI The Link here.)

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Apr. 15/12)

Sin

Deirdre's guilty tears at Tracy's hen night in Rovers“Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). Words that Tracy, Faye and Deirdre would do well to remember.

Friday saw the start of the unraveling of the lies surrounding two monstrous acts. One by Tracy with Deirdre’s collusion. The other by Faye all on her own.

After her insane jealousy brought about a miscarriage, Tracy had seen the silver lining in that cloud. She could blame it on Becky, thereby ensuring that Steve would turn against “baby killer” Becky and stay with Tracy. And she got her mother to go along with the lie. I’m not sure which one of them I find more repellent for their actions in this. Tracy has a purpose for hers, no matter how twisted it is. Deirdre? Protecting her child? I’m sure serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s mother thought that there was good in him too.

2 + 2 = Tracy

Becky saying to Deirdre you know somethingBecky started putting two and two together and getting four. Steve paying her off for her half of Streetcars, saying that Deirdre had urged him to give Becky a good settlement.  Deirdre’s visit to Becky in hospital. To both things, she asked herself why. And she gave Deirdre a chance to come clean, ambushing her out behind the Rovers and pleading for the truth. I thought Deirdre would crack, but she’s a better liar than I thought.

Tracy and Deirdre leaving RoversFinally, Becky’s new man completed the adding up for her. As manager of the hotel where Tracy had started to miscarry after running around like a madwoman, he had called the ambulance for her. But he hadn’t connected Tracy with Steve and Becky.

Finally while dropping Becky home, he saw Tracy leaving the Rovers checking appointment calendar for Beckyafter her hen night.  “I’ve seen her before, she…”. And the pieces fell in place for Becky. Oh, I look forward to seeing Deirdre’s face when this comes out!

Faye’s revenge

And the other monster of the week: Faye, willing to kill just because she didn’t get her own way. Someone poisoned the fish by putting creosote in the pond water. Owen Owen sorting Faye's laundryaccused David and Kylie. They, to him and each other, were appalled to think that he would accuse them of killing as part of a prank. Faye’s little smirk, after Anna broke the sad news about the death of the fish, showed she had no such qualms.

I still believe that Owen and Anna should have had the sense to build her a shed instead of or in addition to the fishpond. But killing fish to spite someone else? Sin. I hope only that Anna does not decide to get Faye a kitten.

Owen smells creosote on Faye's sweaterWhile Anna is away overnight and Owen is looking after Faye he washes her clothes and smells creosote on her sweater. Two and two get added correctly again. He is furious, about her wanton killing as well as the destruction of what he had made with Anna’s consent. I wish only that he had not laid a finger on her. Not that she didn’t deserve a good spanking, but because I’m sure Owen spanks Fayeshe’s got Children Services, the police and probably Madame Defarge from beside the French guillotine all on speed-dial. He, I fear, will end up in much more trouble than she will. I do hope that Anna realizes she has a psychopath-in-training in her care and that she takes care herself around little Faye.