I haven’t watched Coronation Streetsince 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.
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.
At 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.
According 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 isCoronation 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.
Look 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.
It’s been just over a year since I stopped watchingCoronation Street. I still record it, and read the on-screen synopses as I delete episodes.
Have I been tempted to watch? Yes. Some days when I just feel like flopping on the couch and not checking on the Donald Trump Comedy/Horror Hour. Or when the two line synopsis makes me curious. What’s happening with Carla, I wonder. But I have not watched even one episode.
I do think about the show and why it’s now okay with me to let it go. After all, Coronation Street has been an important part of my life. Having no profound thoughts of my own, I thought google it. See if there’s any new critical or analytic insights into the show and/or viewership.
Ask Google: “Why watch Coronation Street”
Below is the best of what came up on the first page.
This delightful print is by Cara Kansala of Grumpy Goat Gallery in Newfoundland. Tap for a larger view of it or go to carakansala.com to see more of her work.
Why watch in Canada, British guy asks
The poster on Reddit is surprised that Coronation Street is on prime-time in Canada. Tap to enlarge the image and you’ll be able to read the whole exchange. In short, the answer says that Canada is part of the British diaspora and therefore reminders of “home” are popular. I have no stats on it, but I’d be surprised if it was the reason most Canadian fans watch, even long-time ones.
Well, you could watch from the beginning if you wanted to. Box sets are available. I don’t think they include every episode. But you could get a good sense of the show. Even in condensed form, though, it would be a very big project. And it probably has been done.
These Yahoo answers made me laugh out loud. Especially “the kind of people who have lost the remote.”
“A half hour of my life…”
“Hard to give it up after 45-50 years!” Maybe that’s still the best insight of all. You know the people. So no matter how silly they’re being, or boring, you stick with them.
At the top of the search results page was Milo the dog on YouTube. For good reason. He could quickly and easily answer that thorny question of why we watch. So he can sing along with the theme music.
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.
Since 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.
But 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.
Adding an episode, to six per week, did it for me. Just that extra half hour made watching, keeping caught up, feel like work.
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
Monday’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
David 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 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.
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!
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.
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
Then 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.
But 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 the 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.
But 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.
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.
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 watching 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.
My name’s Liz Dawn. I play Vera Duckworth. I bet all your listeners will recognize this voice!
What’s Vera like?
Well, actually, Jack and Vera, they’re the best – most happily married couple in Coronation Street. Really! Because every time they have an argument, well, it’s a form of endearment! It’s not really like it looks, it’s a caress!
Well, Vera, she’s quite happy. In this day and age, she’s got her job, her husband’s working. I go play bingo with Ivy. Great corner shop, great Rovers Return. I’ve got lots of friends. Really she hasn’t a bad life, don’t you think? Compared to some people. I don’t know what it’s like in Canada, but we’ve got so much unemployment, you know. I’m so happy that Jack’s got this job in the pub. and he don’t really do owt wrong.
He just has these pigeons he loves. I don’t know whether you’ve seen the pigeons. Oh, he loves them. We’ve got them in the yard and every morning he goes out and feeds them. and he listens for them cooing.
Do you know much about pigeons? Well, they’ve got a sound of their own. And they’re filthy! So he’s having to clean the cages out, you know.
She should have an affair
Apart from that, actually, not a lot happens for Vera. I think she should have an affair. With Reg Holdsworth in Bettabuy. Because I worked at this supermarket. He’s a bit manic looking, Reg Holdsworth. But I think Vera could quite feel as if she’s come up in the world, you know, having an affair with a manager. Do you know what I mean – after Jack! She’d think she’d quite done well for herself.
What’s she like really: well, she’s down to earth. She likes a laugh. Some people think she’s nosy but she’s not really. It’s just her way, do you know what I mean?
I don’t think Vera will ever be able to afford to go to Canada. How much is it to go to Canada? [₤300, 400] Oh! I mean, our Jack can’t even get his glasses mended. You know our Jack, he wears Elastoplast around the edge. You see, that is about five pints to Jack, to get them repaired. That’s what he’s like, really, you see. He’d rather spend money for beer than have his glasses repaired.
Vera since 1974
Oh, do you want me to be Liz now? I get mixed up sometimes. I go into an identity crisis. Sometimes I’m Vera and sometimes I’m Liz. Right, well, my name’s Liz Dawn. I’m married, got 4 children. I’ve got 4 grandchildren.
I started off singing in working men’s clubs, you know, to earn a bit of money, extra money. Then I joined Equity to do ‘extra’ work. But when I joined, it was just around the time when we had a lot of Northern directors, and story writers that wanted the real thing. So anyway, I landed on my feet. It just happened the right time. And I had quite a few cameo parts in good plays.
So then I ended up in Coronation Street. And that were 1974 when it was Ken Barlow’s old factory. He managed the factory, and that’s where it all started really. And I’ve been in it ever since.
Next Ena Sharples
I’m hoping to be the next Ena Sharples, you know. I want to be in the snug, with an hairnet, drinking milk stout, with Ivy and a few other old cronies. Wearing big bloomers. Because I just love the programme.
[Did you watch it before you were on the show?] Yeah, I thought it were brilliant: oh, look at this! It’s so different than the programmes that were around at that time. Everybody spoke ‘very nice’, ‘very posh’. Weren’t a bit like real life, not in the North anyway. And that’s how I started.
I think It’s more of an institution now. It’s not a soap really, is it. After thirty-two years, I think it’s part of people’s life. If it came off it’d be like taking the 9 o’clock news off. People have just grown up with it.
The Duckworth Doorknob
We have a tour – Granada Tours – here, and people come round, there’s thousands come round a day, from all over the world. And they keep pinching my stone cladding! I don’t know, it’s a bit of memorabilia or whatever it is.
And one week they took the doorknob. What they thought they were going to do with the Duckworth doorknob I don’t know! They sent us out to do a scene, it was in the old factory. I came out of the factory, walked over the road, and I said to the prop man where’s my doorknob? He said them bloody tours again! I said what do you mean? And he said somebody’s took your doorknob. I said the doorknob! Can you imagine, it’d be stuck on somebody’s mantlepiece. They’re having cups of tea and boiled ham sandwiches and say ‘oh look, did I tell you that’s the Duckworth doorknob?’ Oh dear!
Duckworths visit Canada
I went over with Easter Seals, in Ottawa. Me and Bill. It were hard work. We were only there a week, 6, 5 days, something like that. But we raised a lot of money for charity and that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it.
[Why do you think people in Canada and other countries watch?] I think it’s memories isn’t it, well, people that’ve gone over. People who’ve gone over to live there. I think it’s a piece of home, don’t you?
So that’s how it started, yeah. Time flies, doesn’t it. People say to me, did you think you’d be in it so long. Well, it’s just part of my life now. It’s hard work, it’s a fast show, it’s a 3 half hour programme a week. So you haven’t really time to look around. In my head sometimes it’s 1982, you know.
[Do you do any other work, other acting?] No, not acting, because our contract is very binding. You can’t do other things, and quite rightly so. Because that’s what makes the characters believable. I mean, they’re a bit unbelievable aren’t they if you see them on other programmes.
And I think Granada has always had the right idea about how things should be. You know, the programme and how it should be run. I think it’s always been looked after, people kept their eye on things. ‘Hang on, you can’t do a pantomime and be in this.’ Well, you can’t anyway, it’s too – you couldn’t do a lot of things in this programme. It’s too time-consuming, you know.
Well, I’ve got to go. Because my husband’s waiting for me. But I’ve enjoyed talking to you and I’d like to wish your listeners all the best. When you go home, just say Liz Dawn, or say Vera says, look after yourselves.
In March 1992 I was lucky enough to meet actor Liz Dawn in her dressing room in the Granada Coronation Street studios. This is a slightly condensed transcript of our conversation. There is a lot of laughter in the actual tape. A lovely woman who made you feel right at home. Thank you, Liz – and Vera. (Meeting Jack Duckworth has more on my interviews with Liz and Bill Tarmey, our Jack.)
What about what Roy said on the dictaphone? He and Cathy are about to say their wedding vows. She hardly looked like a carefree bride on the happiest day of her life as she walked down the aisle. But that can be ascribed to nervousness. If you didn’t witness what we, the viewers, did in the parking lot.
Cathy pulled out her dictaphone to go over her vows one more time. She heard what else had recorded on it. Roy telling Brian and Tyrone that he may not want to marry Cathy, but he had given her his word so he would do so.
What do you do then? There is no time to think it over or talk to Roy about what he says or how he feels. The minister, guests and groom are inside, awaiting the bride. Cathy can’t really call a ‘time-out.’
What she heard…
She walks past all the smiling faces to the altar. Then as the minister begins, she tells Roy and all what she heard on the tape. She asks the minister to get rid of everybody so she and Roy can talk.
Theirs is not the first Weatherfield wedding to come to a screeching halt at the altar. The ministers likely pull out their evacuation and containment plans every time they get a booking from someone resident on or near Coronation Street.
Compared to those, Cathy and Roy’s cancelled wedding was the model of decorum. Cathy stated the facts of Roy’s feelings as she had heard them on the dictaphone. She also got her digs in at Tyrone and Brian (“Usain Bolt, there”), the two who forced the questioning of the marriage.
Roy did not disagree with her. After the people had been cleared out, he and Cathy sat in a pew and discussed what had happened, what hadn’t happened and what they would do next. All very civilized. We’ll see what happens next.
For me, I hope they try again. Cathy is not Hayley, and her relationship with Roy is not the same. But that doesn’t mean it is not equally valid and good for both of them. Will Roy see that?
St. Jude, patron saint of lost causes. And of hope. Mary has a son named Jude. “A nurse called Maureen Nuttall found him on the steps of St. Jude’s.” The nurse named the foundling after the hospital.
When Mary was 14, she was raped by a family friend, a member of the clergy. She babysat his and his wife’s children, and when driving her home one night he forced himself on her. During her pregnancy Mother hid her in the house, telling people that Mary was visiting an auntie. Mother, presumably, then left the newborn on the hospital steps.
Sitting amid the boxes and tissue paper behind the counter at Preston’s Petals, Mary tells Norris this part of her life. She has told no one before. But finding a lump in her breast made her think of her own mortality. It made her think of her family, especially the son she had seen only one time.
Mary has been trying to find the nurse Maureen Nuttall. Hers is the only full name, and the only link, she has to the child.
The baby Jude was born 32 years ago, so 1984. At that time, there was no longer such a stigma attached to teenage motherhood and having a baby outside marriage. Hiding pregnant girls, sending them to relatives far away or to Homes for Unwed Mothers had pretty much stopped.
Mary’s story would have been the norm a few decades earlier. But then Mary herself seems from a different era. It is not surprising, then, that her mother too would be.
The story of Jude feels almost Victorian in its cast of characters and its evil. A clergyman, trusted member of society and family friend. A mother who feels only the shame that her daughter has brought to their home. So much so that she does not even ask how her teenage daughter feels about being raped, being pregnant, or having her baby disappear. And the child, wrapped in warm blankets and left outside a hospital. Someone will find him quickly there, and care for him. The choice made for relatively compassionate and guilt-free abandonment.
Even the name of the hospital, St. Jude’s. The saint to whom you pray when you’re hoping for the impossible. When you need a miracle.
I didn’t see it coming, although I should have. It has passed through my Facebook newsfeed enough times. How to get the police to dig a garden for you, or chop your firewood.
When Tim spots the pottery urns that Tyrone and Freddie have salvaged, he has an idea. They are props from a local production of Aristophanes’ comedy Lysistrata. Tim offers to buy one of the pots. Freddie breaks it so Tim gets it for 50 pence. Good deal for him, he wanted it broken anyway.
Sally has dreamed up a new project for Tim. He’d like a garden allotment, she has decided. She tells him he will enjoy it. Next year, she tells him, they both will enjoy picnics there with salads dug straight from the garden. He looks thrilled.
So he puts the pottery shards in the garden soil. I thought he was going to try to convince Sally that their allotment was the site of an ancient ruin, and therefore could not be dug up for vegetables. Sally might well for fall it, but it would be very cruel. She is, after all, a city councillor.
But Tim’s plan was simpler and less cruel, at least toward Sally. A call to the Weatherfield Amateur Archeologists Society. And presto! On Wednesday, a small army diligently dig up the entire garden plot.
The guy who was heading up the dig didn’t look too pleased when nothing of consequence was found. But perhaps he has learned a valuable lesson: check the “find” before wasting your time. Either the prop person at the theatre is extremely good at his or her job, or these archeology enthusiasts have not yet even reached amateur status.
I am glad the writers thought to throw the word “amateur” in, though. The scene might still have been funny, but it would have been way over the top unbelievable otherwise. Also very funny to see another version of the garden-digging or wood-chopping joke.
I had to look it up. A tombola is “a lottery in which tickets are drawn from a revolving drum.” In the case of Mary’s mother at the Scout Jamboree, it was food items in the drum rather than raffle tickets. Lucky for her. Tinned pilchards kept her alive when she was trapped overnight under the tombola.
Norris is wrong to cut Mary off in her storytelling. That was one of her best ones ever. Mother blindly reaching up into the drum, rooting around for a tin, then opening it with her teeth. It’s an image that will stay with me for a long time.
A lovely scene, indeed a laugh out loud one. Brian, Norris, Rita and Mary all sat in the Rovers, talking about essentially nothing. What they can do with nothing!
Then they were joined by Ken. A good way to reintroduce him to the community of the street. Old friends. And, for him, a good way to get away from his lunatic family. It was nice, later, to see what Peter had done and to see Ken acknowledge it. Peter had used Ken’s absence to sort out his siblings about their incessant bickering and find alternate housing for the two new ones. So Adam and Daniel will be roomies in Dev’s flat over the shop. That gets the house back to normal, with only Ken, Tracy and Peter there and makes room for Amy again.
The Front Room
We got an explanation this week of how so many people can get squashed into small houses. The front room. I’d forgotten about it. Ground floor, front of house – sometimes also called the parlour. We saw it in the Barlow house. It was Blanche’s room. When Kevin and Sally lived at No. 13, we occasionally saw the front room when someone wanted more privacy than the kitchen gave.
I can’t think of ever having seen the front room at Eileen’s house. But according to Norris, that is where Sean slept. I’m sure I remember seeing Sean coming up or down the stairs to or from his room. Maybe some of them swapped rooms at some point, I don’t know. But it makes me feel much better, knowing that there is another room that can help accommodate the many people who happen by to spend the night under Eileen’s roof.
Maybe now we’ll see Emily’s front room and piano. With Sean and Brian in a bidding war, Norris has decided that they can have the two bedrooms. The extra money means he will be perfectly comfortable budged up by the piano.
Brian Packham is back. A question he has for Roy: is it Czar or Tsar? Roy is flummoxed, and that’s a rare sight. He’s rarely had occasion to spell it, but thinks either spelling is acceptable. Of course, I googled it. Roy is right, and there are many lengthy discussion threads on the origins and usage of each. (My spellcheck chooses Tsar.)
Brian is back without Julie, but with ambition to take a prominent place in the Weatherfield Council bureaucracy. At the moment he’s the Environmental Health Officer. But his aim is to revolutionize the city’s recycling programmes. Hence his dilemma: should his stationery say Recycling Czar or Tsar?
Prior to discussing the nitty-gritty of his title, Brian was flummoxed when he met Cathy. He expected to see Roy still single and grieving Hayley’s death. So he was astounded when a woman emerged from Roy’s flat and planted a kiss on his cheek.
Brian astutely picked up on Roy’s ambivalence about marrying Cathy. He suggested Roy ask himself why he wants to marry. Then he gave some good advice about navigating the wedding itself. It’s for the bride, he said, not the groom. So let her have the disco, the pink wedding cake, even the wedding count-down clock – whatever makes her dream day. You focus on the groom’s speech, he told Roy. Ever the teacher, Brian later peeked to see how the assignment was going. Not well, he saw, so he gave suggestions for improvement.
The good and bad elsewhere
The problem with Tuesday’s episode was with the scenes bracketing Brian’s. Michael and Anna were doing things that made no sense in terms of character history. Michael going to Phelan’s building site alone to check it out. Foolish, but maybe believable. But Anna asking Phelan to come to her place? Without telling anyone or having backup? It wouldn’t happen, not after the last time she did that. I saw, ok, it’s a way to get to the plot culmination. But clunky! They might not have jarred so much if they hadn’t been next to the smoothness of Brian’s scenes.
There were other great moments this week. Tracy and Peter after she says Daniel is just like Ken – a look that says ‘we’re out of the will!’ Vinny’s neighbour lady, played by Jacqueline Pilton. And Phelan watching Michael die, telling him about watching a rabbit slowly die after he had injured it.
Newfoundland Mi'kmaq, family history, Coronation Street, etc.