Tag Archives: Joe McIntyre

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Jan. 9/11)

Ashes to Ashes

Platt family ready for Joe's funeral - ashes to ashesWhatever the Joe McIntyre storyline was like, his death has been perhaps the most entertaining I’ve ever seen. The funeral Monday was a gem. From the gathering of the mourners on opposite sides of the street when the cortege was forming, and Norris and Dev, like a Greek chorus, Grimshaws & Tina ready for Joe's funeralintoning “decorum” as they observe the hostilities. Then, in the chapel, the interruption of the solemnity by the noisy arrival of Graeme, late because he had to catch a bus to the chapel. Next, the almost as noisy departure of Tina because she couldn’t stand the sight of Gail in the pew across from her.

David & Jason fighting in churchThen the cat fight between Gail and Tina, with Audrey taking up the “decorum” motif.  Then the moment at which I broke up laughing – the physical fight in the aisle when David is going for Tina and Jason is trying toMinister singing despite everything stop him. And the poor minister, hissing “start” at the organist and trying to get everyone singing nicely. Oh my, too funny for words. I watched it in two time zones and again on tape. Church events often are very good in Corrie, but usually the chaos occurs in weddings. (Remember Karen and Steve’s?) This time it was poor Joe’s funeral. And Gail doing a little public service announcement for mental health issues in her impromptu eulogy! If I were Tina, I’d have gone for her just for that.

Simon and Rita home

More impressive scenes, also on Monday – Simon turning up at home safe and sound. A relief certainly, also a Simon in Peter's arms, Leanne relievedsurprise. I don’t want to complain about a missing child story having a happy ending, but. The subsequent wrap-up was very quick, with Simon’s “two trains and a bendy-bus” explanation of how he got back, and George’s contrition and promise to leave Simon and the Barlows alone. After the previous days of mounting tension in Blackpool, I felt like telling Simon myself, “don’t ever ever do that to me again! I was worried sick.”

The story seemed truncated to me. I’d thought maybe there had been a last minute reshoot or cutting of whole scenes, and maybe there was according to what I read on line from last year. Anyway, Leanne leaning against the doorframe crying with relief and Peter hugging Simon to his chest saying “my baby” brought me to tears.

Rita, back on Coronation Street cobblesAnd a black taxi pulling up on the street, and the glorious Rita getting out of it. Looking fabulous in her white furry coat, saying “it’s good to be back.” All I could say to the screen was “well hello Rita, it’s so good to have you back where you belong.”

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Dec.12/10)

‘Bob’ jokes

There was one brief, shining moment this week on Wednesday. As I said to my husband when updating him, Joe popped up.Joe popped up
Then I almost fell off the chair laughing as he looked at me searchingly, perhaps a bit fearfully. I do hope I’m not alone in finding it funny: the beautiful calm lake at night, silvery in the light spilling out from a cottage window, then sproing! “Hi, my name’s Bob.”

Lost and Found – Joe McIntyre

Poor Joe. Even in death he gets no dignity. Pawed by a Border Collie trying to get him back with the flock. Ostensibly sending flowers to his daughter, and the flowers being the kinds she most dislikes. Ever more convoluted stories being told about his absence, surpassing even his considerable ability to spin complicated and silly lies. You’d hope at least your one talent would stand out at the time of your passing and not have to compete with the efforts of Johnny-come-latelys. It’s just awful, and I’m sure it’s going to get worse, much much worse.

Corrie Crazy on CBC

In happier news, we had Corrie Crazy on CBC this week. So wonderful to see Tony Warren and hear the largely unknown story of original producer Harry Elton’s part in the creation of Corrie Street. When I talked to Mr. Elton many years ago, he was proud of his role in it, but didn’t regret leaving when he did either. He believed, I think, that he had done his part in it. That’s pretty much what Tony Warren said to me too. They created it, saw it successfully on its way and passed it on to new people. But I don’t think they, or anyone, ever expected it would last this many years.

The wedding that was being taped when Debbie Travis was there was pretty much given away. I was avoiding thinking too much when the first scenes were shown because I didn’t want to know. But she gave it away near the end. Too bad. Doing so wasn’t necessary for the doc at all.

Debbie Travis in front of Rovers in Corrie Crazy docI loved seeing the Canadian fans, especially Corrie Street society such as the viewers’ club and the Ping that Travis visited. I’ve never been a “social” Corrie watcher, but it looked like a lot of fun. Hearing that indeed CBC knows how much fans hate having the schedule disrupted made me wonder only, well, then why do they do it so often!

Why we watch

I’d have liked to see something new on why people watch, other than “they’re people just like us”, but maybe that’s the sum total of it. It’s certainly what I’ve been told and maybe it’s no more complicated than that. Tony Warren told me that people come back to it, maybe during low periods in their life when the familiar faces and places give comfort. Certainly the BC journalist fan who was interviewed found that out, both for herself and from the response she got from readers after writing about her Corrie watching. So maybe that’s it: it feels like ‘home’ and sometimes we really need that. It was a joy to watch. Now, if we can get CBC to bring us the recent BBC movie, The Road to Coronation Street, about the beginnings of the show! That would be wonderful.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Dec. 5/10)

"Corrie Crazy" airing on CBC TVBefore getting to this week’s episode on Lake Schtupid: Set your pvr, tvo, vcr, whatever you have, and make sure you’re home next Thursday evening. Canadian Coronation Street fans hit the small screen on CBC TV.  “Corrie Crazy” airs Thursday, Dec. 9th at 8 pm (8:30 in Newfoundland, I assume). Debbie Travis is the host, and I know from reading her blog that Nova Scotia’s proud Corrie fan “Tvor” will be one of the people featured in it. It’s CBC’s contribution to the 50th anniversary celebration of  The Street.

Coronation Street is not the longest running show on television. Guiding Light, cancelled a year ago, still holds that honour. But 50 continuous years of entertaining and moving storytelling – that’s an incredible feat by any measure. Thank you, Granada Television, for giving us this. Thank you, Tony Warren, for creating a world of people who have become like friends to so many of us. And Bill Roache, who fifty years ago introduced the character of young Ken Barlow, university student. Thank you all.

Lake Schtupid

Now back to Scene of the Week, in Canadian time, which is 10 months before the big anniversary. Valentine’s Day 2010, where romance blossoms and so do colossal emotional meltdowns on the Street and in the Lakes District.

Suicide by stupidity: that’s the theme of this week. Or, another name, Dumb and Dumber. By Wednesday, when you add Gail to the mix, it’s “Dumb, Dumber and I can’t believe she’s that dumb!”

Dumb and Dumber, of course, are Joe and Peter – different storylines, different kinds of stupidity. For those of you unfamiliar with the Darwin Awards, check them out. They are “awarded” posthumously to people who do the human race the favour of taking themselves out of the gene pool. To be eligible, you must kill yourself in some spectacularly stupid way. I thought of them often while watching this week.

GailForce sailboat at night on lakeThe scene. The breathtaking beauty of a lake in the Lake District on a cold winter night. White sailboat reflecting off the water in the moonlight. Onboard, Joe putting his “solution to all our problems” into effect. His cold hands fumble with the dinghy rope as he’s trying to tie it onto the sailboat. He drops it. The dinghy floats away free. He has to get it back; it’s the key to his floating away free. He uses an oar to retrieve it, almost gets it. The sail comes around and knocks him overboard.

Joe slides down side of boat into waterHe flails in his heavy clothes.  The boat sits in the background, serene on the silvery water. Picture postcards of a cold beauty, except for the roiling water in the foreground. Joe struggling. He manages to swim back to the boat. He’s going to make it! But how will he get away? It’ll be only him and the Gail Force, not him and the dinghy to Ireland. And his hands let go and he slips down the side into the water. And keeps sinking.

So he’s set up Gail to report him in the morning as missing while, in the plan, he’s rowing his way to safe anonymity in Northern Ireland. You could see a hundred things wrong with this plan, even if it went accordingly. With it gone horribly wrong, especially for Joe, there are another hundred things. And Gail, within a day, manages to find a good few of them. There’s a scene the next morning when David actually talks a lot of sense to his mother, but she doesn’t listen. It’s pretty bad when David is the only one living in Sanity Land.

Gail standing on dock, looking out over lakeJoe managed to make a bad situation far worse. I hadn’t liked the thought that he was going to kill Gail in order to collect the insurance money. Then, at the end of last week, I thought he was going to kill himself or ‘disappear’ himself in order to end his problems and help Gail by having the insurance money for her to collect. I felt bad about that for his sake. I could also see logistical problems, like insurance won’t pay on a suicide real or presumed. But I never foresaw a totally bollixed job such as this has become.

Back on Schtupid Street

Peter drinking from bottle of Scotch outside George's doorAnd back on the Street, while Joe is inadvertently committing physical suicide, Peter is committing social suicide. You’d think, even drinker that he is, he’d have learned by now to not turn up at people’s door, weaving and slurring his words with a bottle in his coat pocket, demanding to see his son.

But he Barlow family "intervention"does, at Grandpa Moneybags’ door at that. And just as fast as money can get your precocious youngster into the private school system, it can also get you into a private rehab clinic. Peter, of all people, ought to know that George believes in acting swiftly and has the money to do so. And this time, George is getting no argument from Ken on the philosophical importance of supporting the state-run health system.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Nov. 28/10)

And he’s back!

There were a lot of “should be” scenes this week.  Some fell short, some have built over time, and an unlikely one happened right near the end.

The glorious Ciaran

At a restaurant, Ciaran toasts Peter's sobrietyThe thing that signaled ‘uh oh’ the most was the appearance from behind a restaurant kitchen door of the glorious Ciaran.  You knew his return was bad news for Peter and for whatever woman or women he encounters this time.  He is so lovely to look at and listen to, but he leaves a swath of destruction behind him.  And all the while, he just smiles with a “what – who, me?” look.  A poster on Corrie Canuck perhaps summarized him the best:  “As for Ciaran, he is not use, but he IS ornament”.  I would go further:  he is more than not “use”; he is a one-man wrecking crew of people’s lives.  But he certainly is ornament.

So you knew as soon as he appeared that Peter was going to fall off the wagon.  But, of course, it wasn’t really Ciaran’s doing.  Once he realized that Peter’s problem was serious, he vowed to help him keep the pledge.  But, I think, just his presence made Peter think it was time to test his recovering/recovered status.  “Hmm, yes, I took a drink and then didn’t take another, so I’m ok.”  Then, at the new bar pre-opening party, he drank many glasses of champagne and seemingly thought of them all as “justPeter back home, telling Leanne everything will be ok one drink”.

In a “scene contender”, he came home after spending a long time in a bar supposedly trying to convince a journalist to not report his spectacular drunken display at the hard-hat party.  Leanne had fallen asleep on the couch.  He wakes her, telling her in a drunken fashion, that he’s ok, he’ll be back on the wagon tomorrow, everything will blow over.  No it won’t, she says, it’s over; the bar and, I assume, their relationship and his life as he knows it.

Betty’s birthday

What I expected to be the big scene was Betty’s 90th birthday bash.  It was ok, but not as much history as I’d hoped for.  The introduction of the other elderly barmaid drinking milk stout was a nice reference back to the days of Ena Sharples and her friends.  I doubt if anyone has drank milk stout since then.  But I’m not sure if it’s going anywhere, other than just a little interlude of battling pensioners.

Betty, Steve & Liz celebrate, while the 91 year old disputes Betty's claimI was astounded to learn that Betty Driver, who plays Betty, actually turned 90 just a couple months after her character did.  I had thought the show’s attention to historical fiction accuracy had put them in a bit of a bind. Now, forty years after introducing a character as being a certain age, she’d have to be a barmaid of 90.  So I thought the actress was perhaps 80, and even that seemed like a stretch.  But, according to Wikipedia and Coronation Street sites, Betty Driver was born in 1920 and has been performing since she was a child.  What an amazing woman.

Joe’s farewell

So with history being celebrated through Betty, the big crescendo of Peter and his sobriety crashing down, literally, and the pleasure and trepidation in seeing Ciaran again, it surprised me that a little scene with Joe Joe hugging Tina goodbye, almost in tearstouched me the most.  Joe comes to Tina’s flat to tell her that he and Gail are going away for a few days.  His goodbye is very emotional, more so than Tina expects from her dad for his just going on a short vacation.  He tells her how much she means to him and says goodbye.  It sounded like a real goodbye, not a “see you soon”.

He’s been googling topographic information on depth of water in the Lake District. That caused Gail to say she thought it was a romantic getaway, not a natural sciences expedition.  She seems uneasy, reminding him she’s frightened of water (due to a previous psychopathic husband who also found himself in a financial bind).  So we’ve all been thinking it’s the newly life-insured Gail who will not be returning from this trip.  But Joe’s demeanour with Tina suggests he’s the one not coming back.  He also insured himself, I think.  Maybe he’ll solve his debt problem permanently by removing himself.  I don’t know, but his love for his daughter as he said goodbye felt real.  It was a touching moment between the two of them.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Nov. 21/10)

What I really think

Becky shone this week, in every scene with every other character.  aking Kelly on over her flirtation with Steve, taking Steve on, telling Roy and Hayley that her mom had died. Great scenes. Then, Friday, three scenes where I got teary – Becky reading a story to Amy and crying for the loss of her mother; Liz commiserating with Becky over Steve’s behaviour and actually seeming to like and respect her; then the final scene with Becky and Steve reconciling and her telling him she is indeed pregnant.

what I really think - Joe tells Gayle off and Jason and Leann watchWonderful moving stuff. But the scene that has stuck in my head was at the end of Monday’s show. That’s when Joe told Gail what he really, really thought of her. It was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time.

Abandon hope all ye

In good Street style, the argument moved from the house to the street. So everyone got to watch the show. David came to his mother’s defense, as did Audrey who oh deared and tut-tutted her way to Gail’s side. And Joe told them all: Joe pointing to David, while Audrey watches her daughter be told off“When it comes to the male of the species, you’re the equivalent of Tutankhamun’s Curse.” “That doorway should have a sign over it, ‘fellas, abandon hope all ye who enter’.”  “No wonder this one tried to kill you, it was self-defence. The lad deserves a flaming medal.” Poor Gail was devastated, with cause. But it was wonderful hearing the words that so many of us have felt for so long. Even if those words were coming from Joe, another in her series of loser and possibly homicidal boyfriends.

Unfortunately, they made up. At least he told her the truth about his financial situation and the loan shark. But no one on screen has yet asked that question we in the audience have been asking: “Why don’t you sell the boat?” Now that Ted is back, maybe he will be the one to ask it.

People doing stupid things

On the Becky and Steve topic, something I’m glad to see is the portrayal of people doing stupid and socially verboten things. Last week, when Becky returned from her mysterious errand, she sat on a bench with a big bottle of cider and lit one cigarette off the other. Oh, she must not be pregnant, I thought, or she’s decided to have an abortion or has already had it. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be showing her doing that. Earlier, she’d turned down drinks and said she was “cutting down” on smoking. If this were an American soap, indeed most of tv now, there would have to be something wrong with the baby at birth. Just to ensure that the message was clear that drinking and smoking while pregnant is bad.

Steve, in his leathers, drops his bike while "leathered"Then, Friday, what brought Steve to his senses was falling over while attempting to drive his motorbike after getting “leathered” in a bar. We could hear the siren in the background, so presumably Steve could too, as he wobbled astride the bike. Fortunately, he couldn’t stabilize it and he, and the bike, fell to the ground.

Before he fell, I thought oh no, they’re going to have him get in a crash, die and/or kill someone else. Or he’ll get stopped and lose his license. Something bad is going to happen because he’s drinking and intending to drive. We must be given the message in a strong and dramatic way. Instead, he called for a ride. Presumably, he’ll go back tomorrow and get the bike.