Tag Archives: Rob Donovan

Corrie Street Nov. 16/14

Poor Tracy Luv

First scene Monday in the Barlow living room, Ken and Tracy amid the leftovers of Tracy better-in-timeher wedding. He’s trying to make her feel better. Telling her how it would have been worse if the wedding had gone ahead, how she ought to be glad that Peter is getting out of prison and Rob going in, as soon as the police find him. Things could be worse. She isn’t alone, she has Amy.

She does not take comfort from his words. In fact, she gets extremely angry at him. I feel sorry for Ken, he’s trying his best to give her perspective, to make her see the good rather should-be-necking-cocktailsthan just wallow in the bad. But I feel sorrier for Tracy. She doesn’t want to hear that right then. She doesn’t care that her brother is exonerated, that she still has her family.

The life she thought she had ahead of her is gone – in an instant, poof. She is alone, and a laughingstock whose fancy wedding was totally destroyed, with an almost-husband who is a murderer. She’s back to being a single mother living with her parents. And she’s got wedding presents to return and a pile of wedding stuff and arrangements to get how-i-should-feelrid of and pay for. What she wants to hear is “poor Tracy luv” over and over again.

I once read a short story about a woman just dumped by her boyfriend, riding in a New York City cab. She told the cabdriver the whole story, at length, and cried. He probably didn’t want to hear it, didn’t really understand what she was even saying, and had to navigate traffic. All he said, every time she paused for breath, was “he are a large arsehole, missy, he are a large leave-me-alonearsehole.” Those words comforted her. They, or a Ken variation of them, were what Tracy needed to hear right then.

Later in the week, to my great surprise, I felt sorry for Tracy again. She turned Rob in. She did what is easy to call ‘the right thing’, but it broke her heart all over again. Friday, she was back to herself, opening and criticizing wedding gifts (with no plans to return them) and blaming Carla for everything. Another surprise: I was glad to see the real Tracy.

Corrie Street Nov. 9/14

It was Ken really, talking about Peter in jail, of Simon growing up without a dad and he-is-innocentcarrying the shame of his father being a convicted murderer. Perhaps not the time nor the place, but it got the job done. Until then Carla hadn’t summoned the courage – or disloyalty – to turn her brother in. She had not succeeded in convincing him to do it himself.

Let him have his day, Rob had asked, let him marry Tracy, let the horses and carriage not go to waste. Let him have his whole life in fact. He would make better use of freedom than Peter would. Peter would drink his life away in six months, Rob predicted. What would Carla be left with then? If he stayed out of prison, Rob promised her he’d have a good and long life and produce nieces and nephews to make up for the baby she lost. If tough-on-you-tooonly she would keep quiet about him killing Tina, it would work out best for (almost) everybody.

Carla knew just forgetting was impossible. So too was tapping out the number for the police, until she saw Ken and heard his words. Still, she gave Rob a fighting chance. She warned him the police were on their way. He could decide whether to stay or run. He chose the latter.

There was time to think and talk before the ceremony because of a little twisting of horses-at-entrancerealism in the story. Tracy’s entry to the wedding hall was delayed because Amy forgot her flowers in the carriage. She realized it just after the horses had left.

It’s a bit unbelievable that the horses would leave immediately after dropping Tracy off, with nobody to see her in her princess coach and matched greys. But the need to retrieve the forgotten bouquet gave time for Carla to make her decision, call the police and break the news to Rob.

michelle-in-fieldIt also gave us the opportunity to see a stocking-footed Michelle running full-tilt across a field. And that was worth a great deal.

Corrie Street July 27/14

In the final five minutes Wednesday, two scenes we’ve all been waiting for.

where-did-you-get-the-braceletRob squirms as Tracy tells the cops that he gave her the charm bracelet that Steph claims was stolen from her apartment the night Tina was murdered. Steph barges in and gives the story of each charm, and notices one is missing.  Where did you get the bracelet, Mr. Donovan, asks the police officer.  Rob looks like he wishes the floor would swallow him up.

Outside on the street, Todd saunters arm in arm with his new man. Marcus comes around todd-says-nothing-going-onthe corner with little Liam in tow. Todd and new guy kiss. It’s not a ‘good to see you’ cheek peck. Hard for even Todd to sweet-talk his way out of this. Marcus leaves Liam in the dust and runs across to knock Todd against the wall and tell him what he really really thinks.

Liam headed out almost to the street, and maria-sees-liam-alonefortunately Maria appeared from the salon in time to grab him. And she didn’t go off the nut about it afterward to Marcus, who indeed had totally forgotten that he was minding a child.

If you pvr episodes, it would be easy – and unfortunate – to have missed these. Corrie Street started late that day due to the Commonwealth Games running overtime. “Hmm, just a couple minutes left, probably nothing much but we might as well record it todd-against-the-walllater.” After watching those missing end moments, we thanked CBC for their late night rebroadcast.  There are some things you really want to see.

More thanks to CBC for now posting episodes online daily. When they started putting them online, that’s what they did. Then, for reasons never adequately explained, they posted the whole week on rob stressedSunday. Inconvenient if you miss, say, Tuesday’s episode and want to watch in sequence. See their website for details, next week’s social media “Corrie Week” and video specials.

Corrie Street May 19/13

With the longshot Oxbow winning yesterday’s Preakness over the favourite Orb, it’s time to-my-way-of-thinkingto think about betting.  Peter and Rob are using the betting shop as their venue for butting heads.  In the course of that, some discussion of the bookmaking business does occur.

Barlow’s Bookies is as much an anachronism in today’s real England as Underworld is.  In reality, Carla would be having knickers stitched in Bangladesh, not on the street near where she lives, and Peter would be manager of a Ladbrokes betting love-the-new-coffee-machineshop, not an independent bookie with a single backstreet shop.

In both businesses, Rob has given voice to the new economic reality.  When he set up business on his own after Carla returned, he was soliciting orders and filling them without having a bricks and mortar building.  Was he using manufacturers in the Third World or hiring local seamstresses on a piecework basis?  Carla soon brought him back into Underworld so we don’t really know how his independent business panned out.

Barlow's-Bookies-old-sign-coronationstreet.wikiaNow, after buying out Leanne’s share of Barlow’s Bookies, Carla installed Rob as Creative Consultant to improve Peter’s rapidly failing business.  Rob was the one to mention the competition given by on-line gambling.  The popularity of internet betting has contributed to the financial woes of large bookie chains in England for quite a few years.  Internet betting, along with the large chains themselves, would cause major headaches for a small independent bookie like Peter.  It says a lot about the unseen gambling habits, and lack of luck, of the citizens of Weatherfield that Barlow’s Bookies is still in business at all!

peter-pulls-computer-cordThe conflict between Peter and Rob is between old ways and new.  This was illustrated by Peter unplugging the new computer and handing Rob a pad and pencil to figure out the payout on Steve’s each way bet.  Since taking over in 2009, I doubt Peter has ever calculated odds and payouts by hand.  The point that he is trying to make, however, is that pad-and-penhe can and Rob ought to be able to.  Rob gets him back later in the week when he calculates on paper Tommy’s accumulator winnings on a 50 pence bet.

In modernizing the business, Rob is probably right.  In respecting the basics of bookmaking – horses, courses and mental acuity – Peter is right too.  It would be nice to see them succeed as a team, Rob upgrading the ambience and the technical equipment and Peter keeping the traditions of betting and betting shops.  This bookie shop could use both horses running both courses.  But the dramatic point is to have two massive male Barlow's-Bookies-new-signegos, and two massive adult crybabies, clash.  Still, I will hope that each can see the value of the other’s “skill-set” (a term Rob probably loves) and they can keep Barlow’s Bookies, a lone bastion of a past age, alive and thriving.