Tag Archives: Mary Taylor

Corrie Street May 17/15

Rovers In and Out

all-this-over-a-caravan motorhome says mary“Motorhome!” Mary bellows at Todd when he calls her home a caravan. She has told a crowded Rovers about the council officer who said there had been a complaint and she would have to remove her motorhome.

When Julie comes in, Mary goes on the attack, believing her to be the Judas who betrayed her. Julie has no idea what she is talking about, but she gives as good as she gets. Everyone ducks for cover, except Todd and Sean.

Todd stirs it up as much as he can because, of course, he had made the complaint. Sean believes it’s quite possible that Julie would do something behind someone’s back. She hadn’t waited for permission from him or Billy to alert the newspaper about their incident with the inn-keeper.

Sean is on pins and needles, waiting for Billy to return from meeting with his Bishop about that incident and the subsequent news coverage. When Billy walks in, he and Sean go out back to talk.

Poor Billy says the Bishop gave him a choice, keep his relationship with Sean very low-key, in the closet so to speak, or leave the parish. He confesses that he told the Bishop that he and Sean were finished, that Sean had been a mistake. Sean believes he is being dumped. Billy says no, he lied. He doesn’t want to end it with Sean, he doesn’t want to have to hide, he doesn’t want to leave the parish.

Two lovely scenes back-to-back, fittingly perhaps, both at the Rovers. One a showdown between two individuals with many onlookers, the other between only two people, a private meltdown witnessed by no one.


In the same Wednesday episode, we were properly introduced to a delightful new character. The little dog who stowed away in Steve’s cab. Welcome, Cookie, to Coronation Street! You can read about who she really is on Bluenose Corrie.

It would also be wonderful if the council officer stayed around too. She is a treat. Like Mary (and Julie), she wears pastels like armour. Although by the end of the week, the motorhome was towed away, I live in hope we’ll see all three together.

Corrie Street Mar. 1/15

Talking Stick

Too bad Dev couldn’t have listened to my mother’s advice: you can’t have more than one julie-hopes-they-are-both-hungrywoman running a kitchen. I’m sure she’d extend that to a shop as well.

Dev went to India, leaving Mary in charge of the children and house and Sophie in charge of the shop. He left Julie in charge of a vague everything. So, wanting to do a good and thorough job, she tried to take over everything. It’s soon open warfare between the three women.

The children pointed out the animosity evident between Julie and the others. To her i-was-really-hurt Julie talkingcredit, she listened to them and realized that, whether she liked it or not, things were not going well for her with Sophie and Mary. It was time to make amends.

A lovely meal prepared for them (although with no advance warning and in the middle of Sophie’s work shift), a bottle of wine, and a talking stick. The air would be cleared. And it was.

feel-underminedSophie is skeptical about the stick, mentioning Sally’s not so successful attempt at negotiations using one (a wonderful scene from October 2012). But with a firm grasp on the stick, she articulates her complaints about everyone and everything, including Julie’s interference. It is magic, she decides. Mary listens and talks honestly without needing the stick. She and Julie sort out the insecurities that underlie their jealousies about the children.

am-attracted-to-clever-menJulie broaches the subject of Mary’s possible feelings for Dev. Mary says of course she cares for Dev – then realizes Julie means romantic feelings. This gives Mary a great laugh, which then leads to an explanation that gives all of us (except Julie) a great laugh. “I’m attracted to clever men!” she tells Julie. Poor Julie feels relief, but wonders how it is that she’s yet again been insulted by Mary.

Corrie Street Sept. 28/14

Happy Anniversary

Neil-shows-photoWe’ve likely all known a Neil, or been him. The guy you pray you don’t get stuck beside at a dinner, that you avoid at parties because he stands too close or keeps eye contact just that bit too long.

Should you be so foolish as to befriend a guy like Neil or, heaven help you, become involved with him, you know somewhere inside yourself that you will never ever get rid of him. No matter how ‘busy’ you become, no matter how Steph-brings-champagnemany excuses you make or even however rude you are to him, he will not take the hint. He will not go away.

Neil has said that he loves Andrea and he is not giving her up without a fight. His fight is clearly a passive-aggressive one. He has not taken that step over the boundary into stalking territory, something actionable that could be reported and result in a Happy-anniversaryrestraining order. He simply turns up in the same public space that Andrea and Lloyd are in, and makes sure he is close to them – too close. And he stares, and makes chitchat, and smiles.

Neil is there – all the time

He is driving them crazy. He is unfailingly polite. Their angry responses just roll off him. He is simply dropping into a pub for a pint, or having a meal, or standing Lloyd-tells-off-Neilin a public street. It is not his fault if they happen to be there as well. His very presence becomes a kind of Chinese water torture – driving you mad simply by being there, never-ending.

My husband and I like Neil a lot, but certainly wouldn’t want to know him. Watching his stealth campaign to get Andrea back is very funny, when it’s happening to fictional people. Whether it’s Andrea telling him she hasn’t loved him in years or Lloyd threatening him, he is unflappable and unrelenting in his presence in their lives.

Lloyd-questions-NickThe anniversary dinner threesome at the bistro was hilarious. Without causing a huge scene, what could Lloyd and Andrea do about someone sitting at the table next to them? Neil was doing nothing wrong. He was simply making conversation with people he knew.

Mary, on the course of love

Andrea-twirls-hairThe week’s commentary on relationships was topped off with Mary’s astute summation of the course of love. As Andrea twirled her hair, Mary said “I bet you think that’s cute”. Lloyd said yes, he did. “Two years down the line, you may find yourself fighting the urge to want to break her fingers.” Andrea’s twirling and giggling came to an abrupt halt.

Mary-talks-love-and-hateAt some point past, Andrea probably thought Neil watching her, his eyes filled with devotion, was thrilling. Now she does not.  Mary could have told her that.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Nov. 11/12)

Greek Night

Tuesday:  Roy looking through the debris of Greek Night, picks up a broken object.  It’s a Roy holding broken model train carmodel train car – a 5th anniversary gift from Hayley.  Mary says “I’ll replace it”.  He explodes that it can’t be replaced, that she violated his and Hayley’s home, their belongings and memories.  Mary says “I did it for you.”  Holding the broken model in his hand, he says “Or is it just a convenient excuse so you could Greek Night - Roy asking Mary to please leaveselfishly enact yet another bizarre fantasy of Mary the restaurant owner?”

Mary, much as I like her, does seem to embody some sort of passive-aggressive narcissism. What she wants to do takes precedence over any one else’s wishes. Indeed, it takes precedence over decent behaviour and common sense.  And it always ends up, somehow, with her blaming someone else for the fact that her plans for herself or for them didn’t quite work out.

Some on the street recognize this Roy challenging Mary's self-justificationin her.  Norris does and, after the past few weeks of working with her, so too does Anna.  Hayley knows it and, I predict, Nick soon will.  But no one has put it into words, especially in direct confrontation with her, any more astutely than did Roy.  And he is the man who doubts his ability to communicate.  He communicated the Mary leaving as Roy sits devastated at his tabledevastation he feels over her tromping over his café, his home and the trust that he placed in her.  He made it clear he won’t not buy into selfless ‘only wanted to help’ justification for selfish and deluded obsession.

If we could only turn Roy’s acuity on Michelle and Kylie

Michelle disbelieving of Ryan's excusesThanks to Kevin, Michelle realized that poor widdle upset Ryan was responsible for Sophie being hit because he was playing in traffic while stoned.  And for a split second, she lost her sympathy for his “I’m sorry” routine.

Michelle saying Tracy is to blameBut then she had a moment to think, and, in a justification of self and child worthy of Mary herself, she proclaimed that really it was all Tracy’s fault.  If Tracy hadn’t lied about a baby, hadn’t dumped him – whatever – then he wouldn’t have been so upset and Steve looks disbelievingly at Michelle blaming TracySophie wouldn’t be severely injured.   Yeah, Michelle, that works.  It can’t be Ryan’s fault, can it?  Even Steve, deluded as he is about both Michelle and Ryan, looked at her like “whah??”

And for our third denizen of de land of delusion, Kylie admitted to Nick that she had Roy apologizing to Nick and Kyliecalled the council on Mary selling liquor and that she had no evidence.  She had listened to Roy apologize for Mary’s dinner wars and his saying that he was liable if charges for selling liquor without a licence were upheld. If she didn’t realize the seriousness of that, Nick’s reaction to Roy’s words and later to her would make her realize this wasn’t petty neighbour squabbling.

Nick asks Kylie if she called CouncilBut still she was willing to let Roy be collateral damage – too bad, can’t do anything about it now.  Well actually there is, Nick pointed out to her.  He ordered her to get herself to council offices first thing on Monday and fix the mess.  And she gave her ‘poor maligned me’ pout and flounced off to wipe glasses or something.  Because like Mary, Michelle and Ryan, it can’t possibly ever ever be Kylie’s fault!

Bill Tarmey

Bill Tarmey in 2010 with his dog SaatchiOn Friday Nov. 9th, Bill Tarmey, our Jack, died.  He was on holiday in Tenerife and there’s something wonderfully Corrie about that.  I hope it’s ok with Mare’s Dad if I post his Oct. 3rd take on recent goings-on in Jack’s house on Coronation Street. “This entire situation with Tyrone, the Girlfriend From Hell, and Tommy would have been all straightened out in ten minutes if Jack were there”.  It’s a fitting tribute to Jack, and the character was very much the man Bill Tarmey.  Thank you, Bill, for the gift of your voice and the unforgettable character of Jack Duckworth.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Sept. 2/12)

Eve at an eat as much as you like buffet

Soap operas are about emotions, relationships and the vicissitudes of human interaction. Roy and Hayley as motorhome returnsSo there are many powerful scenes that involve love and loss. As a viewer, you expect to be moved.

Tuesday and Wednesday had some of the most moving and thought-provoking scenes that have been on recently. And I think, on balance, the past months have been excellent with many good and emotionally gripping stories. But the tales told by four characters this week was extraordinary.

Mary and Roy and Hayley and Norris

emotions - Mary and Roy outside church for concertTuesday I thought I had my scene when Mary realized that no subterfuge was going to keep Roy in her motorhome overnight. When she realized that all he wanted was to be with Hayley after her dance competition. And was even willing to walk out of the encores for the Elgar performance. Like Anna, we knew what she was trying to do with her chess games and invitations to concerts and maybe booking hotel rooms, maybe not.

Mary and Roy going to motorhomeBut Roy talked so clearly and feelingly about why it was important he be there for Hayley that she folded her tent, so to speak, and gave up her assault on him. Nothing can top that, I thought.

Then Hayley, realizing that her suspicions about Mary’s intentions are justified, goes to confront her. Another absolutely Mary telling Hayley her feelings for Roybeautiful piece of theatre – the two of them in the motorhome, Mary talking about her feelings of invisibility, her longing for someone to think about her as Roy does about Hayley. Hayley’s delight in hearing what she means to Roy from someone else. Nothing could top it. And I don’t know if anything did, but two more scenes on Wednesday matched it.

Mary telling Norris she is leaving WeatherfieldMary, tired of losing at love in Weatherfield, decides to leave and tells Norris. Norris, who likes her despite himself and despite her actions, clearly not wanting her to leave but not able to tell her. Mary clearly waiting only for a word, a syllable, a pause at the right moment – anything to show her that he wants her to stay. But he doesn’t give it.

Hayley hears that Mary is leaving and knows it’s because of their talk. Again she goes to the motorhome. The two of them in the front seats, drinking coffee or something. Talking about emotions, life and love and relationships. They forge a friendship and quietly do wonders for each other’s self-esteem.

Emotions and misfits

Hayley wanting to talk to MaryAll four of these people are misfits. They have quirks, old-fashioned standards, all are laughed at by many in the street. All have been, or are, desperately lonely. It hasn’t been easy for any of them.

Norris with his dreadful ex-wife the late unlamented Roy explains his love for Hayley to MaryAngela, Roy with Aspergers or whatever it is, Hayley having started life as Harold, and Mary with her Mary telling Hayley about feeling invisiblemother and the burden of being Mary. Yet all of them this week had so much to say about loneliness, love and the human condition. The acuity of their observations about themselves and each other spoke to the heart of the need for human contact. And it was polite and with Mary tells Norris why they returned early from concertrestraint, befitting the personalities of the characters.

It is too bad for Steve and Tracy’s new domestic mess that it was sandwiched in between these other scenes. Without the counterpoint of the Roy-Mary story, they would have been fine. But as it was, for me, they were just dross.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Jan. 29/12)

Sitcom du Jour

A double-date at Roy’s Rolls, or four platonic pals enjoying a meal as Norris preferred party of four dining at cafeto think of it.  Either way, Mary was spectacular.  Her partner in spectacularness was Sylvia, known for that evening as The Waitress.

Mary, Norris, Emily and Dennis enjoyed a three-course meal courtesy of Roy.  The free meal was the price Mary exacted for Sylvia having locked Norris, deliberately, in the café washroom overnight.  Sylvia as their waitress, hand and foot, was the penance Mary exacted of her.

Sylvia glaring at Mary and Roy placating bothEmily offering to pay for her meal since Dennis had joined the original aggrieved three.  Roy, white towel over arm, graciously saying you all are welcome.  Mary in grande dame fashion, eagle-eying Sylvia just as Sylvia was eagle-eying her.

“Locate your inner cow”

soup du jour Mary asks Sylvia about menu“What is your soup du jour?”  Sylvia refuses to answer Mary’s question if it’s not in “the Queen’s English.”  Roy says “leek and potato.”  “I want to hear it from The Waitress,” Mary trills, gimlet eyes on Sylvia.  “It’s up there, sur le board” is as far as Sylvia will go in reply.

When Emily tsks tsks, Mary suggests, “for tonight leave your Christianity at home and locate your inner cow.”   When Emily continues being apologetic to Roy and Mary telling Emily to locate her inner cowSylvia, Mary whispers “imagine John McCarthy.”  “Hostage John McCarthy?” asks Emily.  The British journalist held hostage for over five years in Lebanon by the Islamic Jihad.

The scene was a good payoff for a week of OTT plots.  Truly enjoying Sylvia, I’d looked Sylvia putting priced sachets on counterforward to her taking over the café.  “I survived the Blitz and four Labour governments” she said when Roy asked if she could handle it.  A new classic!  Carping about portion sizes and about Becky laying about the café as if it were her living room was believable and funny.  But charging for condiments and milk for tea?  Nah.  Even if she tried, Roy would have stopped it immediately.  It got too silly.

Norris looking through washroom window at SylviaOf course, the writers had to do all that to get to the big event – Norris flouting the new rule of paying for washroom use.  And Sylvia locking him in all night, hence the free dinner.  I’m glad the dinner scene was worth it because I hadn’t been too happy up to that point.

Julie and Brian OTT

Even with my other favourites, Julie and Brian, I felt let down.  It started wonderfully, Julie in that fabulous ’40s dress and hat needing Julie in Bistro accusing Brian of flirtinga bit of Rovers’ courage to get her through her date and plan to get Brian into bed.  And she was great in the Bistro, the unsteady walk, the near miss with the chair when she sat down.  But again, it then went too far in silliness.  Not the actors’ doing – they were brilliant.  But it seemed like the writers were writing for a laugh track.

Julie and Brian’s date spiraling out of control was plausible.  But it became a sitcom scene.  Sylvia instituting new rules in the café –not even plausible, at least not beyond snatching back a strip of bacon from a full English breakfast.

Norris Poirot

Norris ColeDavid Suchet as PoirotBut a new image stuck in your mind forever?  When thinking of how to find the missing Norris, Mary suggests a recreation of the scene.  “Who should play Norris?  One of the Suchet brothers, I think.  The one who plays Hercule Poirot.”  Emily:  “David, but he’s a very big actor now.”  Bwahahaha.  Watching Poirot will never be the same.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (June 19/11)


This week, Mary.  She is wonderful.  Scary and wonderful.  Coronation Street has a treasure in her.  I keep wishing she’d go away because she frightens me.  But every scene she does is superb.

Mary, watching the partygoersShe’s a very economical actor.  She can create a whole scene with one look or one action.  Perhaps because she’s established her character as a woman clearly on the edge so well, she really doesn’t need to give anything more than that first visual trigger and you, the viewer, can fill in the rest.  On Thursday, we had four moments of pure Mary-ness.

Her look of longing and animosity at the ladies getting ready for Hayley’s hen party.  Who hasn’t felt that when other people were having a good time and excluding you?  I felt Mary ordering dry sherrysorry for her, and I also felt fear – what is she going to do to them?

Her clearing a path like the Queen Mary steaming into port, through the hen party attendees, to the bar to order her dry sherry.  “I don’t want to interrupt…”

Mary declines invitationSo, at Hayley’s urging, Becky reluctantly invites her along for the hen party.  Mary refuses, saying that on the last Friday of every month, she dines only on fish.  So while the revelers are out condemning their souls to eternal damnation, she “will be tucking into a veritable feast of aquatic life”.  Pity the poor fish.

Mary chugs her sherryShe takes her drink back to the safety of Norris and Emily’s table. There, she chugs her sherry in one spectacular gulp. Norris and Emily watch with looks of shock and awe.

Mary in the motorhomeThen the final one, the one that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  Mary behind the wheel of the motorhome, eating candy, watching the hen partyers spilling out into the roadway from Roy’s Rolls.  You could feel her tension, wanting to start the engine and mow them down.  But the moment passes and her eyes Hayley, in salsa dress, with Javierregain a semblance of sanity.  For tonight, they will live.

Oh, and someone must have bought Hayley the red salsa dress she had returned in a fit of pique.  The fishnet stockings too.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (May 1/11)

The Wedding Planner

Mary telling Hayley nonono to small event roomMonday, Mary leaping at Hayley in the fancy hotel’s small event room when Hayley says she prefers it to the large ballroom.  Hayley is especially pleased to see the steam train yard outside the window, remarking that Roy would like that.  ‘Who cares?’ is Mary’s reaction.

“It’s your wedding day, not a trainspotters’ outing.”   It’s your day, it doesn’t matter what he thinks, it’s about you, you, all about you, your chance to shine, Mary tells Hayley it's your day, book the ballroomyour chance to be the princess, the fairy tale dress in the fairy tale ballroom, “the day you’ve thought of since you were a little —  since you were small.”

Even before her  ‘your day’ tirade, she had summarily dismissed the small room.  Not the Cinderella ballroom, so not good enough.  “Intimate is sales speak for you couldn’t swing a cat, but by the look of the décor they’ve had a damn good try at it.”   The poor hotel manager!  He looks offended, but also terrified.

Mary leads Hayley away from hotel managerMary is brilliant.  It must have been hard for anyone on the set or near it to keep from laughing out loud during the taping.   She is positively frightening.  You knew, when Hayley agreed to look at Mary’s wedding planning book, that it was going to become hideous.  Mary outdoes herself in this scene.  Considering how scary Mary is at the best of times, that’s saying something.  Run Hayley run!

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Feb. 20/11)


Audrey & Lewis, the morning afterSo many strange pairings this week, so many good scenes.  Lots of story building.

A biggie with Audrey and Lewis.  What is he doing?  Is he smitten or is he taking her for a ride?  If so, what kind?  Is he tired of the escort business, of being nice to people like that dreadful accountant lady with the twins?  Or does he have a sideline in emotion-driven financial fraud?

Natasha at Rovers, stood up againSian & Sophie - see you, girlfriend  Gary & David, in Platt kitchen

Natasha and Nick.  Is he smitten or just unable to avoid her?  Girlfriends Sophie and Sian.  Is Sian really smitten or is she just between boyfriends?  Gary and David.  Not smitten, but some powerful moments in beautifully staged scenes.

Mary: Smitten or scary?

And the couple that has to take the prize for weirdness:  Mary and Norris in Brontë country.  Mary is becoming more like Kathy Bates’ character in the movie Misery than she is Cathy in Wuthering Heights.  But she’s funnier than both characters.

Norris & Mary leaving in RVWatching her and Norris on this vacation has been frightening and entertaining in a ghoulish way.  Every scene has been so wonderful it’s hard to pick.  Leaving in the motor home with Mary’s choice of music, of course, being Kate Bush’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ – a wonderful eerie song made terrifying by it being Mary’s choice.

Mary’s dinner served in resplendent style in the Brontë-esque Mary serving dinner - toad in the ole!cottage:  toad-in-the-olé.  The two of them happily working on magazine puzzle and slogan contests.  Norris, of all indoor people, going stir-crazy wanting to go out and walk in the brisk country air.  And Mary wanting no part of it, only wanting him to keep working on contests so they can win vacations to other wonderful lands.  “We can walk in the Florida Keys.”  Mary breaking into song, Susan Boyle’s ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ .

Norris sleeping, with puzzles, Mary smitten or scaryAnd Friday’s finale, when it gets truly scary.  She hides the laces to Norris’ boots so he can’t walk.  Then she, oops, accidently breaks the wiring box for the telephone.  And remember, Norris was complaining when they got there about only getting one bar on his cell phone.  “There’s a land line,” Mary said.  Run, Norris, run, with or without  your boot laces.