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.