Tag Archives: Coronation Street CBC

Corrie Street 20 May 2018

Mother and Baby

eva looks at mother and baby photoGlossy 8×10 photos of mother and baby, what Eva believes will be her only reminder of that single day she was a mother. From now on, she says, she’s Auntie Eva to baby Susie.

She had to sneak around to get those pictures. A photographer came toyah-questions-eva-having-photosinto her room on the maternity ward. Did she want some photos of the baby? Yes, he said, camera phones had been very hard on his business. But some nice pics with a real camera? No no, Eva said, not necessary. But later, when Toyah wasn’t there, she asked him to take some pictures.

They are in her purse, not shared with Toyah. Back at the cottage, in eva-reassures-toyah-with-sad-hugWednesday’s episode, Toyah is ready to leave. Baby Susie is packed up in her carrier, baby bag is packed. Eva reaches for something and knocks her purse over. The photos spill out. Toyah picks them up. Sees what they are.

baby-susieShe is upset. Does this mean that Eva wants to keep the baby? No, Eva says, she just wanted to have this little visible memory of what happened. It’s not like she’s can pretend that she didn’t give birth, after all, with or without photos. She’ll get rid of them, she tells Toyah.

But she doesn’t, of course. She looks at them and cries her heart out. Sometime, she’s going to have to come back to Weatherfield. She’ll eva-cries-over-photoshave to meet her ‘niece’ Susie. That’s the plan at least, the way it could work out best. But it’s all going to explode before then, I’ll bet. Mother and baby might be reunited. My guess, based on soap law.

Corrie Street 13 May 2018

Life Sucks

summer - rest of my life sucks“It’s not the hot chocolate. It’s just the rest of my life that sucks.” Summer expresses what recent events have shown her. Life sucks. I felt sorry for her but also relieved to hear her say it. I’ve wondered how she could so blithely accept all the changes in her life in just one year without batting an eye. Or that’s how it seemed.

Her real dad, Drew, died not that long ago. He knew he was dying but did nothing to arrange her future until the last minute. So he shona-asks-do-you-feel-let-downapproached his ex, Billy, and arranged for him and Todd to have custody of her. Billy hadn’t seen her since she was a baby, Todd had never seen her. Todd didn’t know about Drew, and vice versa. Granny, someone Summer did know, made all the trouble she possibly could about this arrangement. Her actions and attitudes effectively killed all affection Summer could have for her – the only familiar person left in her world. (See Nov. 5/17 Scene for a family overview)

But Summer accepted Billy and Todd as her new real dads, and all three loved each other. Then Todd disappeared, with little warning summer lost-my-homeand no explanation. Summer continued to love Billy as her dad. Next he gets hooked on heroin, and abandons her. She’s shuffled off to Eileen and Pat Phelan. She’s happy with them, her new stand-in parents. Then Pat is exposed as a murderer. And Eileen – well, Eileen can barely look after herself let alone a child. Especially a child for whom every adult she has trusted and relied on has disappeared.

Now Billy is back and clean, and Tracy throws him and Summer out of their apartment. Billy assures Summer he will look after her, everything will be fine, just you wait and see. Sure, Summer has every reason to believe that!

shona-says-billy-saved-meSo finally we see this eternally optimistic and trusting girl crack. Life sucks big time. Shona’s talk with her is good. She points out the good points of Billy using her own history with him as illustration. She shows Summer the shades of grey in Billy. Summer understands complexity.

Actress Matilda Freeman shows complexity too in her reactions to him. She gives a lovely nuanced portrayal over this week. Summer not-what-my-dad-wantedtries to believe in Billy and their future together, but the doubt shows in her eyes. She gives up trying and tells Billy that she will be out of there as soon as she legally can. That confrontation is done in a much more mature way than simply screaming ‘you’re not my real dad anyway’. It’s all the more shocking for that.

Another ‘buck up, it’ll get better’ talk from Shona, and Summer tries again with Billy. I’m liking this story – Summer – a lot right now. And I think Shona should adopt her. They’re a good match.

Corrie Street 6 May 2018

Relations

A lot of good stuff this week. Phelan, of course. And especially the reintroduction of Seb’s mother. David unravelling. But my favourite scene was Roy offering to diagram Connor kinship for Jenny. To jenny asks how are they relatedshow the relationship of those having relations, so to speak.

Monday, the nice dinner party at Michelle and Robert’s ended abruptly. Michelle saw Ali and Carla canoodling in the hallway. Her son and her best friend, sister-in-law and cousin. So she exploded at them. Everyone else scuttled off quickly.

roy says i can draw it out for youIn the safety of the Rovers, Jenny said “how are they related again?” Roy said the words so welcome to the ears of genealogy researchers. “I’ve got a paper and pencil, I can draw it out for you.” But Robert stopped him. “I don’t think it’s quite the time, Roy.” Oh Robert, of course it’s the time. Let’s see it so I don’t have to do it myself.

robert says not quite the timeI was trying to remember how Carla and Ali are related when Jenny asked Roy the question. So, with Robert cutting him off, I got out my pencil and paper and drew the family tree. Michelle’s dad Barry and Carla’s dad Johnny are first cousins, according to ITV. So here is the chart that Roy would have made, given half a chance.

connor family tree by d stewart - corrie relations(Whether you call Carla and Ali second cousins once removed or third cousins is discussed on the Coronation Street Blog. Look in the comments.)

In short, Carla is both cousin and aunt to Ali. She is his 2nd cousin once removed through Johnny, her bio-dad. Through her late husband Paul, Michelle’s brother, Carla is Ali’s aunt by marriage.

There’s an ick factor there, but they didn’t grow up knowing they were family. Ali is Michelle’s bio-kid but she didn’t raise him. Carla is jenny asks what was for dinnerthe child of a long-kept secret affair between her mother and Johnny. She grew up thinking of another man as her father. So maybe that’s the greatest ick factor – all these people carrying on with each other not knowing that they’re related. Having relations with my relations – could be a country and western song.

Corrie Street 29 Apr. 2018

Reading

Sitting in comfortable chairs, reading. A pleasant, relaxing break at the end of a busy day. That was the case for Carla and Roy, and me, on Tuesday. Busy day? More like busy week on the Street. So how nice to just chill for a bit.carla and roy reading

Such moments of downtime, of pure nothingness, have become rare enough on Coronation Street to be noteworthy. Maybe Carla and Roy are now among the very few people we see doing essentially nothing.

Well, not nothing. Carla was reading her trashy romance novel. Roy was learning about the process of turning pig iron into wrought iron and the effect of that development in the Industrial Revolution.

Carla was also thinking about the mess she’s getting herself into. Wanting to talk to Roy about it, but not wanting to tell him any carla-talks-about-her-book-and-lifedetails. She wanted him to reassure her. Just tell her she’s “doing the right thing”. So he did. He realized she did not want to discuss what it is she’s doing. She didn’t want to analyze it with him. She just wanted his support. He’s learned a lot from Carla, and from Hayley. He did as she asked, then went back to his book. Both were content.

The elements on Carla’s ongoing story with Ali were in that little roy-asks-what-she-is-talking-aboutscene. That is the situation she wanted reassurance on. What to do about her sleeping with her best friend’s son. She knows it’s best to end it. It’s not a situation that is going to end well. She knows that is what Roy would tell her, so she doesn’t tell him. She doesn’t need to. But she needs to feel his friendship and strength behind her.

carla-looks-at-roy-as-he-readsSo it wasn’t simply a scene – or a conversation – about nothing. It wasn’t played for laughs. It was just a nice breather, with things thought about, even discussed without words. But done in a quiet way in a quiet space. A small moment of peace before climbing back on the roller-coaster. For Carla and Roy, yes, but also for all of us getting tired on the ride along.

Below is a link to the book by Christian Wolmar that Roy was reading.  Unfortunately, Carla’s book – The Tempted House by Edwina Haverson – seems to not exist.

Corrie Street 22 Apr. 2018

David lectures Sarah

David-calls-sarah-a-sapDavid stopped me in my tracks Thursday. He lectures Sarah about Gary and about trusting people. About what people will do to you, given half a chance, about hurt and hurting.

Part way through, it became clear that he was not talking to Sarah and Gary, who was also there. He was talking to, and about, himself. Well, it was clear to everyone except Sarah and Gary.

sarah-asks-what-is-wrongAfter David left following this meltdown, they sat and ate their sandwiches. Trying to puzzle out ‘what was that all about’. If they put their brain cells together, they still wouldn’t have enough to spark a synapse!

David was talking about Josh, about believing someone is a friend. Then being drugged and raped in return for that trust. He has pushed Shona away because he feels he can’t tell her what happened. Also he fears passing on to Shona any infections that Josh may have passed on to him.

david-lashes-outHe is carrying around a huge load of guilt and anger. And to make it even worse, his household is full of people equally damaged by sex and love. His sister, with Gary’s two-timing resulting in a baby on the way. His niece, with Nathan’s grooming then the lap-dancing club. At least his mother and grandmother, for now, are free of emotional and sexual entanglements.

Later in the episode, David sees the next part of his nightmare coming true. He sees Josh all palsy-walsy with Chesney. Josh even david-puts-hands-over-faceinvites Chesney to his place. Then David sees Josh very close – too close – with Alya. He sees that Josh is inclusive in his targeting of victims, selecting only on the basis of vulnerability. That is putting even more stress on him, taking it outside himself and into his neighbourhood. And he hasn’t even yet seen Josh cozying up to Shona.

Teaching Stories

This overwrought man, family and street, isn’t by accident. The gary-tries-to-console-davidwriters have created it. All part of the education of the public. Of course, education and awareness is an important part of continuing stories. Sometimes deliberately, sometimes accidentally, soaps have always shown other ways of living and thinking to audiences.

david-pushes-gary-awayBut there are dangers in educational storylines, or ‘public service announcement’ stories as they’re sometimes called. They can be clunky if just dropped in to make the point. They can be heavy-handed, even preachy, if the emphasis is too much on the message and not the story. If there are too many, they become irksome.

Coronation Street for many years avoided teaching storylines unless david-says-stay-awaythey could embed them well in their characters. Now it seems the philosophy has changed. There have been a lot of issue-oriented stories of late, from Bethany’s sexual grooming to Robert’s testicular cancer. They have been done well. But there have been so many that I am wary when another one starts.

gary-and-sarah-confusedSo far David’s rape story has been done well. In no small part, that is due to the talent of Jack Shepherd. And Ryan Clayton, as Josh, is also brilliant. He’s just slimy enough.

Corrie Street 15 Apr. 2018

Watery Grave

Pat Phelan went to a watery grave Thursday. He fell off the pier, then pat-hanging-off-pierclung desperately to a rope pleading with Eileen to pull him up. She didn’t. He almost made it on his own, then she stomped on his knuckles. And that was that. He plunged into the icy cold water. He couldn’t survive. Could he?

Beautiful scenes, at night on the pier, looking out over the expanse of sea. Also tension. Was Pat planning to kill Eileen? Would she realize the danger she was in? Would the people in Weatherfield figure out where she and Pat were? Would either she or Pat get enough bars on their phones to make or receive a call? Yes to all, although it does seem Pat really didn’t want to kill Eileen. But needs must.pat-pleads-for-help

I am glad Eileen is safe. I’m glad that Pat has paid for his sins. But. I like Pat and will miss him. Not the truly evil, moustache-twirling schemer, but the funny and conflicted family- and businessman. The man who cares for others but will do whatever he believes he needs to do.

No body means options

pat-pulls-himself-upWe haven’t seen his body. Therefore he may have survived. In soaps law, if you don’t actually see someone die, they can still be alive no matter how unlikely the recovery. It’s mainly an American soap thing, but we recently saw it on Coronation Street with Billy surviving that horrendous fall off a cliff.

eileen-stares-at-pat-strugglingSo, in my future storyline, Pat survives his would-be watery grave and makes landfall somewhere. He is so thankful for his life being spared that he dedicates himself to the Lord. Truly repentant, he seeks to right the wrongs he has done. He becomes an evangelist, gathering a large flock of sinners and downtrodden around him.pat falls to watery grave

His personality is the sort that would be equally successful as secular conman or big-time preacher. So we wouldn’t have to suspend disbelief too much for that part.

The problem is how could he be visibly present in England and avoid prosecution? He did kill three men and watched another die. There is no statute of limitation on murder.

eileen-snarls-at-falling-patMaybe he could rescue someone so heroically that his sentence would be shortened or commuted. That might take some serious suspension of disbelief to successfully pull off. But I’d be willing to do it.

This location reminded me of Joe McIntyre and his accidental suicide. He is another Corrie character who met his end in beautiful Lake District waters.

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