Tag Archives: Gemma Winter

Corrie Street 18 Feb. 2018

Soup for Henry

gazpacho-over-henryFriday, Henry and his little game got unmasked. Not a big surprise, but done in a way that I found worth a replay. Soup dumped on his head. Not just one bowl but three. Gazpacho, then noodle soup and, lastly, cream of something.

In the lead-up to this at the Bistro, Gemma had her first encounter with cold soup. Gazpacho, a lovely concoction of cucumber and tomato, served cold. “Mingin”” was her opinion as she spat out a mouthful. Then she told Robert to microwave it.connor-table-watches

i don’t know why a restaurant would have gazpacho on its menu during the cold, damp English winter. But it had to be gazpacho, I guess, because it really cannot be heated up and remain edible. Vichyssoise, also served cold, could be heated maybe, becoming leek and potato soup instead.

Gemma and Henry are on a double-date with his friend Hugo and his streel of a date Carly. The cold soup moment gives Hugo something more to laugh at about Gemma. Turns out the two upper-crust boys have got a £5,000 bet that involves shocking their parents by bringing home unsuitable girls. Chesney overhears them talking about this while they’re at the bar.hugo watches noodle soup throw

Henry ought to know that Chesney is a friend of Gemma’s, and is within earshot. I don’t know if this was a writing oversight or a deliberate way of showing that, in Henry’s rarefied world, little people like Ches don’t matter.

Ches tells Gemma about the bet. She’s gutted. Carly hears too, and is more philosophical about it. Whatever this guys are playing out, she’s getting a fancy meal out of it. Meanwhile, back at the table, Henry has enough of Hugo’s class crassness and his amusement at Gemma’s expense. Henry is indeed falling for her.

Gemma hears Henry’s defence of her but she doesn’t care. She is furious. She grabs the bowl of gazpacho and there it goes, right over his head. Then she reaches around to the Connor’s table and grabs Aiden’s bowl of soup. Over Henry’s head. Excellent, I’m loving it.tracy hands gemma cream soup

Like everyone in the restaurant, Tracy is watching and enjoying the show. Then she steps nearer the action and picks up Johnny’s soup and hands it to Gemma. And Gemma throws that one over Henry’s head too.third-bowl-over-henry

Soup, beer or water, anything thrown over someone is generally always good. But that third move bumped the grade of execution of an old gag right to the top of the scale.

Corrie Street 17 Dec. 2017

Hello Henry

Eva and Rita when Henry walks in the Rovers on Tuesday with a great big bouquet of flowers. Wow – even better than they’d expected.

rita-advises-gemma-at-barActually, they didn’t expect he’d show up for Gemma at all. Rita had just being sharing the wisdom of her years, warning Gemma about great expectations and cads. Don’t get upset but don’t expect to see him again either.

henry walks in roversBut there he is, with brolly and flowers, oozing charm, and asking Gemma out. That was one big surprise for Eva and Rita. Plus he’s at least as good looking as Gemma said, and his charm seems genuine.

And now back to regularly scheduled Corrie. Because this story isn’t it. Another interlude, I think. Filler, perhaps designed to be one of the light-hearted stories and character exploration promised with the addition of a sixth weekly episode.

eva-stares-at-flowersWith our regular characters? Lots of stuff – some sad, some nasty, some you need a score card to keep track of. Too much to care really about any of it.

So this tiny scene was the best of it all. It’s Rita and Eva of course, who can convey miles of emotion and information with the widening of an eye. Gemma too, who can easily hold her own with them. Henry? Yes, he’ll do nicely, I think. But…

rita looks smitten with henryHenry and Gemma. Henry Newton – heir to the Newton & Ridley brewery empire. Gemma – a few steps down the social ladder from even Coronation Street. A Cinderella story. I didn’t have to think of that myself. Gemma’s shoe left at the party. Just in case you didn’t twig from that, Toyah named it when Gemma was at the Rovers telling the story of her posh party. And her posh guy is named Henry – as in Henry Higgins who fell in love with his rough-around-the-edges protégée Eliza Doolittle.

gemma-awed-by-flowers-and-henryEven though I like them, I won’t be investing much in Henry and Gemma. Like Moira and Colin, it’s a side story that doesn’t fit in the fabric of the show.

Corrie Street 19 Nov. 2017

Benign

rita-relieved-gemma-notDoctor: “The tumour was benign.” Gemma, head down: “Flippin’ heck.” Rita: “No, that’s good news.” Gemma: “Oh!” And then the tears and hugs and laughter. Wonderfully touching. Brought tears to my eyes, so happy that our Rita is okay.

benign is good newsOne of the best moments between her and Gemma too. Gemma barging into the doctor’s office, claiming to be her “daughter”. Rita apologizing to the doctor for her “daughter’s” behaviour, making invisible air quotes around the word. The doctor recognizing Gemma’s lie but knowing too that it really isn’t fiction.

gemma-throws-her-arms-around-ritaThey go from the doctor’s office to the Rovers, ready to celebrate. Already there, just by happenstance, are Gail, Audrey and Jenny. They talk about how worried they are about Rita and how they should react to whatever her news is the next day, when she’s said audrey-and-jenny-contemplate-bad-newsshe has her doctor appointment. A party is called for. Obviously, if the news is good. But what if it’s not? What if the tumour is not benign? What then? Audrey gives it a think, decides a party will still be okay. Rita will want her friends around her, will want support and cheering up.

Then Rita and Gemma come in. The others hold their breath when they realize she had lied and has already got the results. You could almost feel the exhalation of pent-up breath when Rita said she’d got audrey-reacts-to-newsthe all-clear. The rejoicing starts, and party plans are on.

Later in the week, two more moments of significance. Ones that should have been at least as emotional for characters and viewers. Norris’ last shift at the Kabin, and the celebration in the Rovers of his retirement. All the right people were in both scenes, all the right words were said. But somehow both fell flat for me. It was as if the writers had a checklist of “characters needed for momentous occasion” and cinematographic shots needed.

celebrating-good-news-in-roversLeaving the Kabin, Rita gave the lingering look at her little empire, eyes scanning the shelves and jars of sweets. Then eyes forward, to the street and her future. At the Rovers, Ken Barlow gave the obligatory quote from Shakespeare. But he looked as uncomfortable as everyone else. That the others did is not surprising – Ken’s declamations can have that effect on people. But him looking like a schoolboy forced to recite words at the front of the classroom? Not like Ken at all.

On Friday, we saw the new Kabin management in action. Colin. I haven’t liked him so far. But I thought the exchange between him and Moira was brilliant on both their parts. And then Rosie! Absolutely fabulous rita-calls-for-a-party by her, Colin and Moira. They were the bright spots of the week for me. That’s aside, of course, from Rita’s tumour being benign. And, flippin’ heck, that’s good news.

Corrie Street 17 Sept. 2017

Notes

I was going to pick the scene with Rita saying Len would be home soon. But then Friday, we saw her notes. Reminders to herself about who is who and important bits of information about them. Norris is allergic to nuts, Jenny is marrying Johnny.notes in cupboard

So Rita knows what’s happening to her. She won’t acknowledge it, maybe thinks it’s just normal forgetfulness. I thought that too, when her confusion and forgetting things started. But no, this week’s incidents seem to point only one direction – to Alzheimer’s or similar dementia.

rosie-reads-notesThe only people who are picking up on it are Gemma and Rosie, the two least likely to be listened to by anyone else. But maybe it’s good that it’s them. They both are compassionate. Both know how it feels to be dismissed and looked down on by others. They will take care of Rita, I think, and preserve her feelings and her dignity as best they can while also facing facts.

I like Gemma and Rosie together. That surprises me because, on their own, I find them exhausting to watch. So when they teamed up, I expected them to be doubly wearing. But that’s not the case. Their thickness rosie-and-gemma-read-remindersand their enthusiasm play well together. Maybe it’s because neither is always the ‘straight man’. Each of them can be the smart one compared to the other. Whatever it is, it works brilliantly.

The Lady of Law scene at the beginning of the week, where Rosie scared off Gemma’s horrible friends, showed how effective – and hilarious – their partnership can be. Now, with Rita, we’ll see new facets of Rosie and Gemma individually and together.

rosie-and-gemma-hear-rita-come-inIf it is an Alzheimer’s story, it’s going to be disturbing and very sad. But I’m happy if it plays out with Rosie and Gemma being the guides into it for Rita and the others. Maybe it’s because, of everyone on the street, Rosie and Gemma are most aware that they do not have the answers. And that is maybe the most important thing to know, and remember, when dealing with Alzheimer’s.

rosie-and-gemma-greet-ritaYou can’t change it, fix it or explain it. You can just go with it. Rosie and Gemma are already used to doing that in their own lives. I think they’ll be able to help Rita do it too. I hope so anyway.

See my ‘Look at Bingy’: Alzheimer’s and Distraction for more. Also, if you’re on CBC’s Coronation Street episodes site, be careful! The one marked Friday is a double. Monday’s first episode is in there too. Remember, we’ll now be getting two episodes on Mondays. 

Corrie Street Aug. 7/16

Kylie Died

It is fitting that Kylie died protecting her friend. Her loyalty was fierce. Her defence of those she cared about was also. She killed for Sarah’s sake, and died for Gemma’s.david-holds-kylieI didn’t see it coming. Seeing her with bloody hands clasped over her chest, I thought it was Gemma’s blood. I thought Clayton had attacked Gemma with the knife. So thank you, those who knew, for keeping online lips zipped.kylie-tells-david-she-loves-himHer death was a powerful scene. Long, but that was okay. We needed time to think this through, to come to terms with it. I knew that actress Paula Lane was leaving but didn’t know how she was going to be written out. I didn’t like the thought of her going to jail for killing Callum, but it would mean she could return.david-looks-for-ambulanceGoing to Barbados? Much better. It was nice to think of Kylie and Becky on the beach, sipping umbrella drinks. Even if Kylie and David split up, there still was a way back for them and for Paula Lane.kylie-looks-at-davidAs she lay dying, I didn’t even mind her not telling David a key point – who did it. Not once saying, by the way, Macca’s friend Clayton did this. Gemma knew, Craig saw the whole thing. It was okay that Kylie spent her last moments telling David that she loved him, loved the kids. Take all the time you need, David and Kylie, to say goodbye. This is sorted.gail-with-david-and-kylieBut I forgot a key element – class history. The writers did not. Gemma clammed up, no way is she a grass. Craig planned to tell what he saw, but his mother stopped him. Beth is familiar with the code of survival: you saw nothing, you know nothing. The way to take care of yourself and others is by yourself, so you do not bring the authorities into what is your business.kylie-criesIn the end, however, the old boundaries gave way, At David’s urging, Gemma agrees to help bring Clayton to justice at the hands of the state. She fears retribution from her old friends and, on principle, hates grassing them up. But Kylie died for her. Gemma has no other way to repay that.

Craig went against his mother’s advice. He wants to do right by Kylie and her kids. He believes the police are best equipped to find her killer. What he saw will help them.  His conscience will not let him keep quiet.kylie diedDavid catches Clayton, and nearly kills him. A shout from Max makes him stop, and that pause gives Clayton time to escape. Soon after, the police catch him. And Max has got a lot for a child’s mind to absorb. A violent bio-dad – murdered, a mother – murdered, a step-dad brought to the point of murder himself.

Corrie Street July 3/16

gemma in funeral clothesWhen one of the chief mourners dresses like this, you know it’s going to be an interesting funeral. Gemma is in funereal black, and that is the only item that can be checked off in the ‘appropriate’ column.

Having a cuppa at the café beforehand, she stands out like a Victorian peacock of mourning. Alex asks her if she’s a Goth. No, she says, she’s going to a funeral. She does not take umbrage. Given the look she has created, his question makes as much sense as her answer.

pallbearers-processionAt first, the funeral for Callum is just sad. Macca and the other pallbearers follow the robed Billy up the church aisle. The church looks huge – and empty. Such a lot of ceremony before anybody else is even in attendance, I thought. But then I see there are a couple of people sitting up front in the pews. That’s all. The service has started. This is really the high point of the funeral.billy leads procession in church aisle

The cops follow the pallbearers in, then sit behind the mourners so they can watch them all. Callum was murdered, and they are investigating.

sarah enters churchBilly begins the service, still looking like he is facing his executioner. But he muddles through, until the church door opens. It’s Sarah. She has escaped her keepers. The funeral service goes downhill from there.

And, just because she is so wonderful, here is a look at Gemma as she sits in the café mourning the loss of her friend.gemma-sits-in-cafe