Tag Archives: Steve McDonald

Corrie Street 26 Mar 2017

Friends

leanne-and-toyah-badger-peterNice little moments Monday of friends history. Leanne and Toyah badger Peter to speak to Steve on Leanne’s behalf, get him to back off on wanting to be part of the baby’s life.

Peter doesn’t want to be involved. Why would he listen to me, he asks. You’re his best friend, Leanne says. We’re friends, but best friends? So who is, Toyah asks. He runs through the list in his head: Ciaran, he’s my best friend. He was my pick too for Peter’s bestie,

friends steve-and-peterBut, regardless of where on the friendship scale Steve is, Peter talks to him at the Rovers. Steve sees the set-up, recognizes Leannne’s words. Asks how his friend could sell him out like this. A discussion of friends and who’d qualify as ‘best’, who’s just ‘mates’.

Liz comes over to them. Steve tells her in exasperation that his “best friend” is doing a number on him. “Oh, you’ve spoken to Lloyd!”, she liz-with-steve-and-peterbeams. Peter looks disconcerted at being bumped from best mate place.

A way to make you smile, remembering characters and friendships. A small light-hearted joke stream before we hit heavy waters later in the week. New crises, new conflicts and new characters.

I kept thinking back to the friendship ranking. The only adult male I can think of on the Street with no real ‘mates’ to rank is Nick. Why is that not surprising?

Corrie Street 19 Mar 2017

Backup Baby

Michelle throws up in the bistro kitchen sink. Leanne watches, horrified. Steve has just told all that he’s baby Oliver’s dad.Backup baby: michelle sick in sink

He and Michelle were having a ‘just the two of us’ meal at the Bistro. The Platts converged to celebrate the new addition to their family. Chaos, as always with them, ensued. Steve wound up holding the baby. He’s mine, he said.

Everyone thought Steve had lost his marbles. But he explained. The look on Leanne’s face, then on Nick’s, confirmed his story.

Hence, Michelle’s rush to the closest sink. And Leanne right behind her. “A spare,” Michelle spat at her. All this time, he’s had a backup baby.

But despite how truly horrible this is for Michelle, it really is hard to feel sympathy for her for long. Later on she tells at Steve, “I always knew you were an idiot but you were my idiot.” Oh, Michelle, please, just quit with that one. There are so many more insults, more appropriate here.

Corrie Street 12 Feb. 2017

How you doing?

How you doing – Fiz’s concerned face, asking this of Steve at the bar. Steve Alya and Fiz at the barYou know this isn’t going to go well.

It’s Friday, and it’s been a long week of sadness and anger. It’s the day after the baby’s funeral. Steve is working a shift at the Rovers. The factory girls are having a birthday party for Izzy at the bar. Fun, fun, fun – until Fiz noticed Steve.

How you doing Fiz asks SteveYou could see it in her eyes – the mental gears shifting. No more time for fun. It’s time for ‘oh, poor you, I want to make you feel better’. When you see that look, it’s time to run as fast as you can. Too bad Steve didn’t.

Fiz gave her condolences, and stopped speaking. Whew, maybe Izzy and Sinead with sad faces and condolencesthat’s it. But even that made everyone else put on a serious face and acknowledge Steve’s loss (something he was likely trying to put out of his mind for just a bit of time).

Fiz says Michelle is still youngAnd of course Fiz’s roll was just starting. Every bromide not fit for a sympathy card popped into her mind, it seems, culminating with “Michelle’s still young…” Those words, unfortunate at the best of times in this situation, came out of Fiz’s mouth just as Michelle walked out of the back room and into hearing distance.

Steve lost it. Earlier in the week, Michelle had lost it big time so Michelle tells Steve to forget the remarkperhaps she hasn’t had a chance to build up her reserves for another explosion. She dealt with Fiz’s insensitivity surprisingly well. I was grateful, I couldn’t have taken another Michelle outburst.

Steve hasn’t been able to let out his frustration and hurt and rage. So Steve yells at FizFiz’s words pushed all his buttons and she got the brunt of it. She didn’t really deserve it. Insensitive as her words were, and inappropriate as her extended expression of sympathy was in the first place at a lunchtime birthday bash at a bar, she meant well.

So everyone feels uncomfortable and embarrassed. Her friends have to comfort Fiz. And Steve will feel bad about taking it all out on her Fiz says she has the sense of a rocking horsewhen she was just trying to be nice. Steve and Michelle have had their noses rubbed in their loss at a moment when both thought they could try to feel normal for a little bit. Oh Fiz, please, next time just buy a card or flowers! Or just say sorry for your loss. Then zip it.

Corrie Street 29 Jan 2017

Rory McDonald

Little Rory McDonald never took a breath. He was way too premature. Twenty-three weeks. It was heartbreaking.michelle and steve after birth

Michelle felt something was wrong at the baby shower held for her and Leanne at the Rovers. Oh, a lot was wrong with that shower, but that’s a different topic.

Leanne took Michelle to the hospital to get checked out. On Thursday, it seemed she’d be ok. But the doctors decided to keep her nurses take rory to check him outin just to be sure. She and Steve, both worried, tried to talk themselves calm. Steve called his unborn son Rory, the name Michelle wanted and Steve hadn’t. It had grown on him, he said.

Then she went into labour. Hospital policy defines the point of viability of life at 24 weeks gestation. If Rory didn’t take a breath, doctors would not intervene. If he did, they’d work to save him.

After he was delivered, the medical staff held the infant and studied him. Michelle and Steve held their breath as they waited to find out his – and their – fate. Had he taken a breath? A sad, small shake of a head. No.steve hugs wailing michelle

What a gut-wrenching moment. The nurse handed the tiny infant, wearing a tiny blue knitted cap, to Michelle. She held him, willing life into him. But no, baby Rory will not live.

Then she asked Steve, “What do I say to people when they ask how many kids I’ve got?” Not including him means “it’s like he never existed. Like I’m betraying him. I can’t do that. He’s my son.”nurse hands rory to michelle

I had thought that a still-born birth must be the hardest thing in the world. Now I wonder if it is this: having a baby who might or might not live, depending on a single breath. Maybe they can’t be compared, they’re equally horrible.

Micro-Preemies

Rory was what is called a micro-preemie, according to a piece on CBC Radio’s The Current (Dec. 29, 2016). I listened to the story of baby Juniper and was moved by her parents’ description of watching her body actually develop. But I could still think dispassionately Michelle holds baby and criesabout the pros and cons of superhuman efforts to save such early babies.

But watching Rory? I desperately wanted to hear a breath and, failing that, I wanted to see those nurses whisk him off to an incubator and hook him up to all the machines they had.

Corrie Street 16 Oct 2016

Celebrity

Funny how the timing of fiction sometimes perfectly matches reality. Celebrity – its connotations and effects – has been all over the news celebrity pic tim-takes-selfie-with-tommythe past week. And then, on our Canadian screens on Friday, it comes to Coronation Street.

Steve, Tim and Tyrone nearly swoon when they meet Weatherfield County footballer Tommy Orpington at the Rovers. He is there to meet with Michelle about his wedding. They happen to be there when he walks through from the back.

play-sheet-by-tim“Happen to be there,” after spending the day planning how to do that, by accident. Tim even worked out a play sheet on where to stand so that they would accidentally bump into him.

Their mouths hang open when they see him. They can barely reply when he says hello and introduces himself. Then they follow him like ducklings, eyes like huge saucers. He takes it in stride, he’s used to it.tim-steve-and-tommy

Probably the actors knew how to do the look of starstruck fans because they would see it on the faces of people who meet them in real life. The only thing that struck me as unrealistic was that everybody else in the bar wasn’t crowded around Tommy too or at least gawking more openly.

As for Michelle, Fiz and Audrey staying back from the cluster of men tyrone-leaps-from-the-tablearound Tommy, yes, I can see that. Michelle is trying to be professional in her business dealings with him. And although she’s not likely to say it, she believes fawning attention should be on her. Fiz appears to be struggling to deal with the fact that Tyrone slipped his leash. Instead of choosing to sit with her sipping his drink and discussing whatever, he took off like a shot to meet his hero. And Audrey? She’s just sitting back, enjoying the scenery, I think.women-watch-huddle-around-tommy

I googled Tommy Orpington to see if he is a real soccer player. He’s not. He’s actor Matt Milburn, formerly of Emmerdale. I’m surprised they didn’t get a real footballer to make a guest appearance. tyrone-stares-at-tommyCelebrity cameos work well for the celebrity and the show, usually. They can come back to bite you if you don’t watch yourself. Donald Trump and Billy Bush found that out last week.

Still, the fictional star footballer Tommy Orpington has made me a fan of the fictional Weatherfield County team.

hilda-coronationstreet-wikia-com_wiki_muralIn sad real life, Jean Alexander died Friday at the age of 90. She was for many years the incomparable Hilda Ogden. The rollers in her hair and the flying ducks on the “muriel” on her wall will never be forgotten. (A Guardian tribute)

In sad Corrie life, I was wrong last week about Maria’s reaction to Ozzy’s death. She and all did it beautifully. We will miss you, Ozzy,

Corrie Street Sept. 18/16

Writing on the Wall

Writing on the wall literally and figuratively for Steve. Graffiti was the apt background for a shifting of his world, which would now be controlled by Nick.steve-and-nick-graffitiLet’s go for a drive, Nick said to Steve. Then he parked beneath an overpass. Time for a talk about what’s what and what will be, he told Steve.

The talk spanned Wednesday and Thursday’s episodes. Likewise, the graffiti spanned the bridge and covered every girder. It was so much there that it almost overshadowed what was happening between Nick and Steve.steve-and-nick-girdersI don’t know if this was a location or if set designers created it. It was like an artist’s rendition of an architectural plan – the idealized more than the real. If that overpass doesn’t exist somewhere in Greater Manchester, it should.

It set the mood perfectly for an almost surreal scene between the two men. Their discussion, complex and lengthy, was about the future life of an unborn child and all the people who would be part of that child’s life – or wouldn’t be. They battled and negotiated as if in summit talks over policy and procedure.nick-and-steveAnd they were, I guess. It was a summit on claiming and rearing a child: how, where and with whom. Steve was surprised. So was I. I hadn’t really thought about where Nick fit in this little drama of family secrets. I don’t think Steve had either. He, like me, has been preoccupied with Liz and how long she would be able to keep quiet about who was Leanne’s real baby daddy.

I, unlike Steve, was also worried about him. How long could Steve maintain a neighbourly interest only in Leanne’s pregnancy and baby. And, of course, even if they all pulled it off, when would some medical emergency happen that required the child’s biological parentage to be investigated?nick-with-cellphoneWhat I hadn’t thought about was what kind of power this situation gives Nick in the short and long term. He can keep everybody’s lives just as they want them – or he can blow them apart. And he made that very, very clear to Steve under that bridge, amid the graffiti.nick-walks-away-from-steveThe t-shirts for this storyline wouldn’t be about whether momma was happy. Instead, they’d read “If putative daddy ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

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 July 17/16

steve tries to talk to annoyed michelleMichelle decides that if she and Steve are not going to get back together, she might as well leave. She gets a cruise ship job. Doesn’t want to leave, but what’s the point in staying, yadayada. Liz, Maria and Tim try to get them back together. Come on come on, I think, let’s get to the leaving part!

maria with frying panThe black taxi takes her away. Next day Maria checks on the flat. What’s that? Someone is there. The bedroom door opens and Maria, armed with a frying pan, sees Michelle. Surprise, I’m back! Nononononono! I scream silently in my head.

It’s wrong to feel that way, I suppose. Michelle and Steve have shared custody of a child, they have a business and neither of them are spring chickens. They have a life together and they ought to build on maria-asks-why-michelle-is-backthat. They should sort out their problems rather than just get mad and walk out.

The cruise job entailed her being Sporty in a Spice Girls tribute act, Michelle tells Maria. That I’d pay to see but Michelle won’t do it even for pay. She’s still leaving, for Ireland to spend time with her parents while she sorts herself out. Lucky Connors.

Maria and Amy get Steve on side to save his marriage. He goes with steve and amy wait as maria and michelle leave flatMichelle in the back seat of a Streetcars cab. They can talk on the way to the train station. He talks and she softens. The car drives only as far as the Rovers. Home. Amy and Maria stand at the pub door, a happy and excited welcoming committee.

Back together. Happy?

So they’re back together, and one hopes they will indeed discuss maria and amy watch as steve opens cab door for michelle in front of roverswhat caused the rift between them. One also hopes that at some point, and the sooner the better, she will stop talking down to him, stop belittling him. But she just can’t seem to help herself.

Earlier, while moaning to Liz, Michelle can’t resist a demeaning dig when Steve does try to talk. Liz is coaching her and Tim is coaching Steve. It’s going not badly, all considered, when Michelle stomps off again saying Tim and Steve are acting like a pair of juveniles. Oh just back together and michelle tells steve to not stand there looking gormlesswonderful, Michelle, and why exactly does Steve and everyone else think you are so good for him?

So despite some great visuals of their return to the Rovers, I couldn’t get past the thought that Steve is back to a life of being nagged, henpecked and lorded over by Michelle. And being told how lucky he is.

Corrie Street Nov. 22/15

Steve tiling the ladies’ washroom in Tuesday’s episode was funny. I tiling ad break photowasn’t the only one to think so, I would guess, based on the production team’s decision to use it as the still prior to the commercial break. It is rare that shots taken from the actual episode are used instead of one of the stock shots of the street or pub.

steve watches tiling videoUsually, Michelle and Liz laughing at Steve’s efforts is annoying and uncalled-for. But in this case (sorry, home handy persons), it was understandable. The situation was pretty funny.

tiles-fallingThey even tried to be supportive after the great fall. Michelle said, yes, the wall did seem to have a curve in it. And she managed to keep a straight face as she said it.

If Steve had let common sense overrule emotion, he might have looked at Tony repairing the loo as only right. Tony owns half the pub. Michelle, Steve and Liz watch tiles fallHe makes no contribution to its operation at all. I hope he is not getting half the returns from it. But as his share of the workload, and as penance for his fraud, having him do repair work for free makes sense. But doing that repair work means his presence in the bar and Steve, with cause, does not want to see him near the place.

Having done some tiling, and learning it isn’t as easy as it looks, I dab andy tiling video screencould sympathize with Steve’s plight. But still, like Liz and Michelle, I couldn’t help but snicker, indeed laugh.

Corrie Street Feb. 8/15

Once I was prescribed pills for severe stomach pains. The doctor told me to eat “a bland diet”. I thought milk and cream soups qualified as bland. The pain, despite the pills, Michelle-and-Stevegot worse. Later, another doctor told me to avoid food high in fats, like milk and cream soups. Then the pills worked fine.

I think Steve too is caught in conflicting “remedies”. He’s got pills to counteract his depression. But he’s also got Michelle. Oh, she wants to help him. Poor man. Much more of her help and he’ll be teetering on the upstairs window ledge.

After she finished with her own indulgence about “should have seen the signs” (yes, Michelle, you should have), she started watching him like a hawk and quizzing him. Have you taken your tablets, how do you expect to get better, and on and on until I wanted to jump out a window myself.

Norris-about-bad-drivingThen it got worse. She defended him. Norris was picking at him to others at the bar, about his driving, about sitting like a zombie while injured people needed help, about Sinead maybe paralyzed. His audience, Eileen, Nick and Leanne, were actually sticking up for Steve. But Michelle couldn’t let it go. She got right in Norris’ face: Steve’s got problems too you know, he Steve-watches-Michelleis clinically depressed. Oh great, exactly what he had asked her to keep to herself.

Maybe the others ought to know and it is not something he need feel shame about. But he should have a chance to come to terms with his diagnosis, and the accident, a little bit by himself so he can handle the questions and opinions of others. It is not her story to tell. Tracy made that point abundantly clear when she barged in the back Tracy-asks-if-Steve-is-gagaroom, asking Steve if what she’d heard was true, that he had gone “radio gaga”.

Steve is starting therapy in addition to the anti-depressants. That’s good. But Michelle will be there, hovering. What I think would help the most would be if Michelle went away, with poor Hamish or whatever. And, of course, for Liz and all to stop telling him how lucky he is to have someone as great as Michelle. It’s little wonder he’s depressed, she’s like a great vampire sucking out his lifeblood of self-esteem.