Tag Archives: Coronation Street CBC

Corrie Street 15 Oct. 2017

Conflict Management

You could see it coming a mile away. Still it was good. Conflict between the bar staff, and Toyah asserting her credentials: I’ve got a diploma in conflict management. Liz, present customer and former bar manager, rolling her eyes.sean-snipes-about-eva.

Tuesday, Eva and Sean are in a snit with each other. It’s about a lot more than who’s going to replace the empty keg. It’s Eva feeling guilty about Sean and her other mates being out of a job at the factory due to her revenge plot. Although he doesn’t know for sure, Sean suspects that Eva had something to do with the factory break-in and the subsequent loss of jobs. At least she should clear the air, he seems to think, say for sure one way or the other what she knew and when she knew it.

sean-flicks-towel-at-evaSo they’re sniping at each other about bartending minutiae – clearing tables, washing glasses, replacing kegs. Their sniping is not subtle. Both are too much the prima donna to do any performance low-key.

Their spat is embarrassing for Toyah and Peter, still finding their way as pub owners and staff managers. Especially with Liz there. They, you know, can see an invisible clipboard in her hand, checking off what they are doing wrong and how the whole place is going to pot.

conflict management with toyahLiz offers to sort things out with Sean and Eva. No, Toyah says, I can do it. I’m a trained therapist, trained in conflict management. Liz snickers. Come on, Sean, come on Eva, let’s sit down and talk this through.

Toyah put her therapist voice on and tried to initiate discussion. To little avail, Sean and Eva sat sullen and silent. Maybe Toyah would have had better luck if she’d used a talking stick, as Sally has done with her cat pepper mill. This method of facilitating discussion also worked surprisingly well for Sophie in mediation efforts.eva-and-sean-make-up

But instead of Sally and her cat stick swooping in, Liz did. Look you two, leave your differences the other side of the bar, slap a smile on and get on with your job. Now! And Eva and Sean apologized, said they hated liz-with-arm-around-toyahfalling out with each other, babe, and got back to work. Toyah seethed.

Book-learning versus old-school common sense, in the traditional Corrie mode. An easy jab, maybe, but still a funny moment.

Corrie Street 8 Oct. 2017

Wedding Dress

eva in wedding dress about to wed aidenThe star of the Connor double wedding was the dress. Eva’s wedding dress. In the back room of the Rovers, in Adam’s law office, at the altar, in the water fountain and finally on the window ledge. The wedding really became the tale of the adventures of a wedding dress. It was a character in its own right over three episodes at the beginning of the week.eva-and-maria-in-fountain

Eva could wear a burlap sack and make it look good. But the dress did look magnificent on her, and she in it. A lot of story was written around the actual events of the wedding. Tense and sad and funny – a lot happened during a double wedding that didn’t happen.eva-in-wet-dress

But pretty much I just watched the dress. Its last appearance was it falling into a sheet being held by wedding guests. That was Tyrone’s emergency plan to catch Eva if she fell or jumped.

Standing on the window ledge, shouting that she loved Aiden, her foot slipped. She panicked and froze, unable to get herself back in the room. Aiden ran upstairs to pull her in. But the lace on the dress skirt snagged on the window frame.eva-in-window-sill

Eva cared about her fabric comrade in arms so wouldn’t let Aiden just pull it and her through the window. She did not want to rip the lace. So she told Aiden to untie the back and pull her out of the dress back into the room. Without her in it, the lace unsnagged and the dress came loose and fell to safety.dress caught on wires

According to an interview with Catherine Tyldesley in what’sontv, Eva’s wedding dress had five stunt doubles. I hope costume protection observers ensured that none of the six dresses were harmed in the making of these episodes. I hope too that the beautiful location survived as well. It is Kingsley Hall, home of the Earl and Countess of Derby, in Prescot, Merseyside.dress falls

Corrie Street 1 Oct. 2017

Hospital Corridor

Rita flat on her back, eyes wide open, being wheeled in a hospital bed along a hospital corridor. Visible to her only a white ceiling panel, a light panel, ceiling panel, light panel, repeat and repeat. hospital corridor - ceiling and light panels

My gut clenched. I’d been there. Walking alongside a hospital bed along a long white hospital panel. The elderly woman on the bed lying flat on her back, staring up at that same pattern of ceiling panel and light panel. Mewling with fear, trying to turn to see where she was – seeing only long walls of unbroken white. Screaming and struggling to get off the bed, to get away.rita-in-hospital-corridor

Me trying to figure out what was wrong, what was causing such profound fear. Aside from the anxiety that illness and hospitals engender, aside from dementia and hospital-administered sedatives. I looked up and kept my eyes up as I walked along. White ceiling panel, light panel, ceiling panel, light panel. Repeat and repeat, as far as you could see. It was terrifying. And I was walking, not ill, with all my wits about me.

Whoever created that small moment in Thursday’s episode has also been there, I think. Thank you. Hard job, to make something so quiet come so alive on screen. (Especially in the midst of the craziness of such a wonderful hen party as Eva’s!)rita cries

But that sigh -, that stark hospital corridor ceiling, seemingly never ending – conveys everything about the disorientation and fear felt by anyone in pain and anxious about what’s going to happen in a hospital.

For people with Alzheimer’s or any dementia, it must be horrible. Already disoriented maybe and in a new, strange place with no landmarks. Only a white ceiling interspersed with lights.corridor-ceiling

Hospital beds crank up to a sitting position. If the few seconds needed are available, doing so may ease the person in the bed. Seeing the context of the hallway – walls, floor, doorways – not just an unending ceiling going who knows where. Allowing the mind to paint unimaginable horrors on a blank white canvas that is really only ceiling and light panels. But you can’t see the whole when you’re flat on your back.

See my Seeing the World the Alzheimer’s Way for more on the long and winding roads of memory loss.

Corrie Street 24 Sept. 2017

Beer Launch

Thursday, Newton & Ridley held a launch for a new craft beer at the Rovers. More secrets than beer got spilled.beer launch at rovers return

Tracy and Ken arrived just in time to see Peter holding a pint up to his lips. They went into full ‘no, no, no, how could you Peter, I knew ken-and-tracy-walk-in-roversthis would happen’ mode. ‘Eh? What’s the problem?’ from the brewery rep. Evidently, Newton & Ridley doesn’t do extensive background checks on their licensees. They did not know Peter’s history with alcohol. Nor did they know about his time in jail. Steve, ever helpful, let that one slip.

Evidently, surrogacy agencies also don’t do extensive background checks on their applicants. In the background of the chaos that was jackie-listens-as-peter-explains-pintthe Rovers’ launch sat a potential surrogate mother for Toyah and Peter. She had come to meet them so she could decide if she wanted to carry a child for them. So the process had moved past the administrative level to the actual nuts and bolts of surrogacy, the woman with whom you’d be sharing a joint pregnancy.

Toyah and Peter are not going the private route that Izzy and Gary did, with getting their mate Tina to carry their baby. Toyah and Peter peter-sees-tracy-and-kenare doing it the official way, through an agency with presumably vetted surrogates and parents-to-be. The individuals’ backgrounds, family structure, support system, skeletons in the closet – I’d think the agency social workers would check all that out, not the surrogates themselves. A lot of omissions on Peter and Toyah’s application form seem to have slipped past the administrative office.

toyah-hears-surrogate-has-leftSo the surrogate, Jackie, get to see Peter and Toyah and the fam in their natural habitat. Leanne snarling, Ken preaching, Tracy snapping, Steve being – well – Steve. That makes it a lot more fun for us to watch, but I would stay away from that agency on either side of their service provision.toyah-runs-after-jackie

Jackie decides to be their surrogate after all. Maybe, after hearing just a fraction of the tangled hedgerow that is the Barlow-Battersby family tree, she figures a kid born by surrogacy will feel that he or she has the most normal and boring ancestry of them all.

Newton & Ridley too maybe should review their vetting process. If only the licensee’s suitability is significant, then only Toyah’s background should matter. If the licensee’s partner and/or family is brewery-reps-aghastconsidered to be part of the pub management, which is reasonable, then Peter’s history should not be a surprise to the brewery at this late date. And if the rep at the launch just isn’t in the brewery information loop, then alcoholism, baby daddies or anything else is not any of his business.

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.

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