Tag Archives: Gail McIntyre

Corrie Street Sept. 11/16

Soap Cliché

liz-fumes-michelle-looks-at-picsIf something makes you think soap cliché, that’s good reason to not do it. Wife and girlfriend pregnant at the same time screams soap cliché. It is one thing having Leanne get pregnant by Steve. And another thing for Michelle to want a last chance saloon baby. But both happening at the same time? Soap cliché.soap cliché with mcdonald and platt womenFrom the glass half full perspective, the Corrie writers are having fun with it. Secretive meaningful looks shoot across rooms. Conversations lapse awkwardly when the wrong person or topic is introduced. Steve and Liz doing Laurel and Hardy as they try to hide their whispered arguments and strategy sessions.

They huddle together, gobsmacked, as Leanne and Nick announce that they are having a baby. Steve trapped in a room with his momma and baby mommas all together. A horrified Liz stands apart from the gail-smiles-at-nick-and-leannebonding taking place on Thursday  between Gail, Leanne, Michelle and, theoretically, her. You can almost see the steam coming from her ears while Gail goes on and on about Platt babies and the special joy of her firstborn’s firstborn.

But it’s not all slapstick and grimaces. Liz cannot believe that Steve can live across the street from his own child and watch it be raised as a Platt. And, perhaps more accurately, that she cannot. He, however, furious liz chagrined stevethinks the arrangement works well for all. He will have a baby with his wife. Leanne will have the baby she has long wanted. Nick will be a daddy. There will be a grandchild for Liz and a grandchild for Gail. Glass half full.

Liz warns Steve that the truth will out. You cannot keep a secret like this forever. And secrets like this should not be kept. It’s not fair to anyone. So, glass half empty.

When the truth is revealed, it will be a big story. A story that could liz-with-happy-face-steve-withoutstand on its own, in terms of what happens with Michelle and Steve, with Nick and Leanne and with Steve and Leanne. It doesn’t need another half, a second baby. Adding a pregnancy for Michelle as well just makes it a soap cliché.

Corrie Street May 29/16

Monday, Gail gets in the posh food for Carla’s pamper party. gail unpacks posh foodThousand Island dressing – check, iceberg lettuce – check. It’s hard to believe that even Gail could argue that those classic culinary items of long ago would meet Carla’s standards of posh. But it was funny, if an easy joke. “Scotch eggs?” Bethany queries. “Extra tasty Scotch eggs,” Gail assures her.

drinks-and-nibblesI was looking forward to seeing the mini marshmallow and pineapple salad come out of the refrigerator. But sadly, in Tuesday’s episode, the party was cut short. Sarah Louise and her unending haunting by the ghost of annex-Callum put an end to the girly fun.

need-to-take-him-to-hospitalWanting an excuse to get baby Harry and herself away from the house, Sarah held a thermometer over a steaming kettle. Look, I told you he had a temperature. They all took off for the hospital and left Carla sitting on the couch.

She probably was relieved. It looked gruesome. First, the Platt women kylie-mops-up-beside-foot-bathbickering all around her while she’s got her feet in a foot-spa. Then, in full party mode, playing party games of awkward questions.  Welcome to the family. This is your future.

platt-party-gamesIt was probably best that this hideous pre-hen-night party was cut short. Carla might well have tried to commit harikari with a can of Vienna sausages had it continued much longer. At the very least, it probably would have caused her to cancel the wedding. Marrying Nick is one thing, calling the Platts your family is quite another. Devon is not far enough away.

Corrie Street Apr. 10/16

Different family stories told in Monday’s episode. First, Kylie at family stories kylie-pulls-out-a-dress Freddie’s house, sorting his late wife Sadie’s clothes for the charity shop. There’s a dress he doesn’t want Kylie to pack up. It’s long and silver and sparkly. He wants to keep it for the story in its fabric.

freddie tells kylie about sleeping-beauty-1973In 1973, as a surprise for her 21st birthday, Freddie took Sadie to London, to the ballet in Covent Garden. Going there was a dream she’d long had. He borrowed a suit from a friend. Sadie packed a skirt and blouse. “I had no idea how dressy the ballet was.” In London with only an hour before the performance, “cursing like a navvy,” Sadie went dress shopping. They had little money left. It second-hand-shop-in-sohohad been spent on the tickets, trains and a b & b.

Sadie found her dress in a Soho secondhand shop. She could then enjoy every minute of Sleeping Beauty. Freddie wants to keep the dress, a reminder of that night of elegance and magic. Of his Sadie’s dream come true, of his dream come true in freddie says it is the people you lovesharing his life with her. The silly little rows don’t matter, he tells Kylie, it’s the people you love and those who love you.

Contrast that evocative story of a marriage, embodied in a dress, with the Platt family in real time. Freddie drives Kylie to the hospital when she checks her phone and find many messages. Sarah is having her baby, early.

Platts all-you-care-about-isA family argument has been brewing in the waiting room, and it explodes with their arrival. Kylie and Freddie stay out of it, as do Todd and David. But Gail, Audrey and Nick don’t really need anyone else for a good fight.

call-yourself-a-birthing-partnerGail is the worst of the lot. She turns on Kylie for letting Sarah down as her birthing partner. She pouts that it should have been her. “Oh yes, if she’d fancied giving birth in a multiplex” – Audrey’s little dig at Gail for being at a movie when she was needed.

Nick tells his mother this isn’t helping Sarah, and comes under fire for halfway-across-the-countryhow will he be helping when he’s moved halfway across the country. He says who could blame him, “try and be 35 with your mum breathing down your neck.” Gail’s answer? “Try it when you’re nearly 60.” Audrey sputters with astonishment.

My husband said it reminded him of a time when the Platts were discussing some trashy family, and David said “we are that family.”

Corrie Street Jan. 3/16

Wednesday the Platt ladies lunch at the Bistro – grandmother, mother and daughter. Bethany bursts through the door. How nice, Platt ladies lunch at the BistroAudrey holds up her glass to clink, we’re four generations.

Bethany ignores her and zeroes in on her mother, and the new addition to the family tree. She had just overheard David, Kylie and Todd discussing Sarah’s pregnancy in the salon.

Andy comes to take drink orders. “She’s pregnant” says Gail. “With steph-says-no-shellfish-thenCallum’s baby” Bethany adds. “I could do you a non-alcoholic fruit cocktail?” says Andy to Sarah without missing a beat. Steph comes to ask what they’d like to eat. “She’s pregnant” Andy tells her. “No shellfish then,” Steph says.

The Bistro is crowded. Billy and Sean eavesdrop on Billy asks Sean do you think-i-should-go-over-therethe discussion at the nearby Platt table. Sean’s ears are almost wagging back and forth. “Do you think I should go over there?” Billy asks Sean who assures him, “No need, I can hear them quite well enough from here.”

The discussion grows heated and loud quickly as Audrey and Gail assimilate the fact of Sarah being pregnant by Callum. Billy summons gail-tells-billy-none-of-his-businessup his vicar courage and goes over to ask if he can be of help. No thank you, Gail tells him emphatically. After he slinks back to his table, she exclaims “The cheek of the man!” Audrey agrees, “Yeah, stickin’ his nose in!”

Evidently the concept of a vicar’s work including counselling and gail-says-the-cheek-of-the-manmediation in family matters is a foreign one to the elder Platts. Sarah knows why Billy came over, but her attempt to defend him are pooh-poohed. Gail informs her with pride, “We make our own mess and we clean up our own mess.”

Continuing her effort to look on the bright side of life, Sarah says that maybe the baby is a good thing. “Up the duff by the monster who gail-reacts-to-sarah-saying-it-may-be-goodterrorized our entire family!” is Gail’s summation.

The Noel Coward-ish lines were beautifully delivered by the actors. Timing and expressions were perfect. Just watching the extras was fun, as other diners in the restaurant looked over to the Platt table then quickly looked away in case they too came under fire.

Corrie Street June 14/15

gavin-photosMichael flipping through the years in a photograph album of his son’s life, starting with baby pictures. When he reaches the preteen years, he starts to wonder. Granted, he didn’t see Gavin during those years, but the boy in the photos has absolutely no resemblance to the man sitting next to him.

photo-albumThe man he knows as Gavin is sweating it. He knows for sure the next pages, the adult Gavin, will give the game away. Behind them, Gail desperately seeks some way to stop Michael from looking at the pictures or somehow make what he’s seeing seem to fit the story she has helped spin about son Gavin.

david-when-he-was-9Michael says it’s hard to believe how much kids can change. Gail seizes the opportunity. She grabs a photo of young David and shows it to Michael: “This is David when he was 9 or 10. He’s completely unrecognizable.” Michael looks and says “that looks exactly like David.” Gail studies it, as if she’s trying to see it through that-looks-exactly-like-davidMichael’s eyes, “Give over, they’re like two completely different people.”

It was a good payoff for a long wait. The Gavin identity story has been going on for a long time and it’s strained the limits of credibility. It’s hard to believe that they managed to keep the real Gavin’s death a secret from Michael. It was in the newspaper – didn’t someone besides Gail see it? How could Michael not wonder why-not-have-a-break-from-all-thisabout the secretive talks between Gail and Gavin/Andy and Steph? The man is not obtuse, but somehow he’s missed tension snapping around that household like lightning.

penny-drops-for-michaelAn audience will suspend disbelief, even to an extreme degree, in order to get caught up in a good juicy story. But it was hard to picture big dramatic fireworks happening with Michael and Gavin/Andy. They’re just too nice, too ordinary.

It’s not over yet so maybe the big drama is yet to come. But, for me, Warren-Jackson-NickGail’s attempt to save the situation with David’s photo was very funny. The joke also worked at a meta level of television construction. Hey Gail, you should have grabbed a photo of Nick when he was young, I thought. Then she could have proven that someone can grow up to look like a totally different person.

Corrie Street May 24/15

gail-comes-downstairsDavid on Monday, at the kitchen table late at night, thinking. Gail comes downstairs with advice: go to bed, you need your rest. With perspective, reminder, accusation: I barely slept last night not knowing if I’d see you or the kids again. And, finally, with motherly optimism or motherly delusion.

“Oh, that’s not true,” she says after David speaks aloud a truth he doesn’t want to know. Max that-is-not-truewould rather be with Callum.  But it is true, at least at this moment in his life, and her reassurances cannot jolly David out of looking that reality right in the face.

It’s Callum who Max calls ‘Dad’. He calls David ‘David’. There are reasons, ones that don’t mean he loves Callum more or that he truly has a deeper bond with Callum than with David. But those reasons, even if yeah-it-isGail had or could articulate them to David, wouldn’t mean anything to him right then.

What does strike him, with sad force, is that when Max was lost, it was Callum he phoned. He didn’t call David even though he knew for sure David was nearby.

David’s sadness fills the room, as does his air of resoluteness in facing facts. He had gone over the events of the day and looked straight at what it showed about Max’s choices. Gail’s offering of “that’s not true” seemed paltry, delusional, avoiding what is david-sighs-and-looks-awayreal, seeing the fiction you want to see.

Replaying the scene in my mind, though, I wondered if maybe Gail’s perspective, delusional though it may be, is maybe what is needed. Short-term delusions in order to keep long-term bonds.

In spite of every destructive act of David’s, including to her, Gail persisted in seeing him as ‘a good boy, troubled, but he’ll be all right.’ And you know what? She was right.

max-with-callumWhat David did is good, I think, seeing events and motivations as they are instead of how he wants them to be. The logical outcome would be giving Max to Callum. Is that best? Maybe David should borrow Gail’s maternal blinders. Maybe he needs to stuff his encounter with reality in his pocket for a while and see only the Max he wants to see, the Max who is his son for better or worse.

Corrie Street May 3/15

Along with Michael, I got teary-eyed as he recited the lyrics of South Pacific’s “Some Enchanted Evening” to Gail during their wedding. It made up for a lot about this long, drawn-out, convoluted story. Then Gail knocked the whole thing in the head, for Michael and me, by saying sorry, can’t do it. And Michael stormed off again. Please, when will it be over?

There was, however, an enchanted evening this week. Roy and new acquaintance Cathy having a cup of tea at her new fold-out table in the allotments. They have adjoining garden plots and, like Roy, she is recently widowed. She tells him that her husband always said he had three loves: her, his ale and his allotment. She is not much for gardening herself, but she wants to keep it in good shape in his memory and it’s a place she feels close to him. Roy understands her, maybe better than she knows.

They drank tea from Roy’s flask and talked about things mundane and important. They each seemed aware that this comfort in the company of another was something they hadn’t had for a long time. It was a lovely, and needed, break for them.

It gave us a break too, a moment to sit back and reflect on the pleasures of ordinary conversation and normal life. That’s something in short supply on the Street right now. platt-kidsThe Platts are sharing their nasty little three-ring circus of deception and crowdedness with almost everybody, Jenny isn’t sharing anything with anyone, Todd is messing with his mother’s love life just for fun, Sean and Billy are headed for a huge and public fight thanks to Julie’s sense of justice, and Tracy is wrecking other people’s lives because she hasn’t got anything else to do.

Michael gave us the words to Some Enchanted Evening, but the expectations of one for him quickly became derailed. Let’s hope Sharif “my middle name is sensitive” Nazir doesn’t derail the enchanted times that Roy and Cathy may have.

Corrie Street Mar. 22/15

gail-arrivesIf I were Gail, I think the bell would have gone off when Michael had a major hissy fit in the registry office. Yes, he had cause to be angry. She was so late that they missed their wedding appointment. But he went way over the top. How do you go back to happy-happy after that? She had an escape hatch handed to her on a platter. Being Gail, however, she didn’t take it.

Gail and Michael are likeable people – where-the-hell-have-you-beenseparately. Together, their cooing and billing makes them the sort of couple that I want to stay as far away from as is possible. We know Gail’s history with men. Her romantic life is a trainwreck.

Michael seems nice enough. But wouldn’t most people seriously consider the thought process that what-were-you-doingwent into his decision to turn to burglary? Gail excuses it as understandable desperation on his part and it’s become their ‘story of how we met’. Michael excuses anything dubious that he does or says with ‘how can I believe she really loves me? I broke into her house, and I have a dodgy ticker.’ That’s the cue for Gail to start cooing about how wonderful he is.

The day after their wedding fiasco, uncomfortable coziness at the breakfast table, eating know-anything-any-moretoast and reading the paper. Michael questions his luck in having a cardiac test that day, Friday the 13th. A joke, he tells an upset Gail, to cheer you up. Yeah, that should do it. Then a knock at the door. “Another long-lost husband you haven’t told me about?”, Michael asks. Another joke! Funny! A new string on his passive-aggressive bow.

You’d think by now Gail would have bat-like detection abilities for anything even gail-and-real-gavinslightly off about a man’s personality or background. Evidently not. But there’s still time. Now you’ve seen Michael when things don’t go his way and you’re embroiled in the nasty story of his son, run Gail!

Corrie Street Sept. 7/14

all-the-help-he-needsThursday, two mothers, both mad as hatters. The scary scene was the return of hovering, smothering Gail. It’s been nice recently seeing Gail having something to do other than “protect” and “help” the two twisted men who are her sons. Since the arrival of Michael, she seemed to have seen Nick and David as people independent of her. She has even stood up to them when she didn’t like what they were doing.

from-meBut that all went out the window when Nick confessed that he had been faking his “spells” in order to get back at Leanne. Audrey suggested that maybe he ought to see somebody for counselling. And at that, hovering mamma incoming. “He doesn’t need anyone, he’s got us, his family, me.” Circle the wagons, folks, nobody’s getting at that boy’s head – except mamma!

Even David looked at her as if she’d become unhinged. And he has benefitted and been damaged by david-looks-at-gailher overprotectiveness. Somehow he seems to have come out of the psychological wringer called Mum knowing just how twisted it is. Doesn’t stop him from switching into psycho-Dave, I’m sure, but at least he has some awareness of the Platt family neuroses. I had thought Gail had started to see glimmers of the family dynamics as well, but no, not when the chips are down and somebody suggests that maybe her boy might need someone or something outside the family circle.

sally-looks-at-maddieThe other mad mother of the day was Sally inappropriately and ineffectively speaking on Maddie’s behalf regarding the use of Carla’s car. Maddie had taken the car from the garage, without permission to drive Eccles to the vet. She knew she shouldn’t have done it, but it was an emergency. Eccles had been hit by a car.

personally-speakingSally was worried primarily for herself, that Maddie’s action would jeopardize her position as PA at the factory. So instead of letting Maddie speak for herself or, even better, go to the office by herself, Sally did all the talking. Grovelling to an extent that would have embarrassed Bob Cratchit, probably even Mr. Scrooge, she did Maddie no favours nor herself.

you-do-mean-hermaddie-explains-about-ecclesMaddie acquitted herself well when, as she said, she got a chance to get a word in. Maddie is Carla’s kind of person, I think, and their relationship is one I will be watching with interest.

Corrie Street Jan. 26/14

Gail’s parenting style, of helicoptering and martyrdom, gives me nightmares.  So too do gail-reads-listthe products of her mothering.  David has long been the most overtly, and dangerously, screwed up of the three offspring.  But during his recent crisis, Nick’s injury and then Kylie falling apart, I thought he had gained some maturity, insight into himself and others and, dare I say it, empathy.  I liked how he was with Kylie, encouraging and loving.  He also seemed changed toward his mother – appreciative of the difficulty of her position, caught between two warring sons, and thankful for her efforts in caring for his wife and children.  I was happy when he and Kylie reconciled, both of them seemingly a little wiser, a little more humble.

Then he knocked it all in the head.  He no more than had his feet back under the family table than he suggested kicking his mother out.   It wasn’t said in an angry tone, just as a matter-of-fact solution to a slight inconvenience to him and Kylie.  He said does-have-her-good-pointsit in the same tone one might use about a chair that no longer fit the décor or had a spring come loose.  Kylie lamented the lack of privacy that they had as a couple, what with kids around and Gail.  “Do you think I should ask her to move out?”  And Kylie considers.  But then she has a second thought:  no built-in babysitter if Gail left.

And thus began the list making.  The pros and cons of Gail’s presence.  They had fun, dissecting Gail’s personality and actions.  So it defused the heightened emotion of their reconciliation and all the reasons for their original separation:  they were kids enjoying themselves by looking at how another person fit, or didn’t fit, into their lives.

listWe don’t know if they made a decision based on their scorecard.  But they were too thoughtless to destroy it or at least hide it well.  Left half under a magazine on the coffee table, Gail saw it as soon as she walked in.  Of course she read it.  It’s not clear if she knew why, but she certainly knew she was being rated.

She shared it with her mother, which became a funny scene.  Audrey certainly has her own difficulties with Gail and she couldn’t repress her amusement at some of the that-is-completely-untrueobservations made.  Also, Audrey’s light-hearted teasing took some of the sting out of it for Gail and made her see the funny side.  But still!  Audrey might want to reflect on what this says about her grandson and the dynamics of the family of which she is matriarch.  She might want to think about herself, and what might be his assessment of her should she be at his mercy.  What would her future be if David had control of it?

What David wants, when he wants it, is his right, in his opinion.  Yes, Gail made him what he is, as he is wont to remind her she-does-have-a-sense-of-humourwhen things are not going well for him.  But he quickly forgets the good she has done him.  Like this recent crisis he caused and Kylie contributed to:  if not for Gail, there wouldn’t be a well-looked-after little family for him to return to.