Corrie Street May 26/13

Workin’ 9 to 5

day-after-he-nearly-cutMy ‘aha’ moment this week was Wednesday, when Rita wondered why David was so exhausted. “But he’s a young lad, he should be able to manage a blow-dry and an hour or two waiting tables.” Yes, Rita, thank you! I’d been thinking the same thing.

We never actually saw David finish a double shift. Maybe he did so in days we missed on the street. What we saw was him starting his evening shift at the Bistro, doing something low-blood-sugarklutzy or looking tired and Nick sending him home – with pay – to get some rest. Then Audrey sent him home – with pay – from his day job at the salon after he nicked Dennis’ ear repeatedly during a hair trim.  She then popped in to check on him less than an hour later. And woke him up from the sleep she had recommended he get! Probably David would be a lot less exhausted if his grandmother, mother and wife just let him alone to work and stopped fretting at him.

Anyway, I was at the screaming point before Rita gave voice to my objections. He wasn’t actually finishing any of his double shifts. What is the problem here? Or, as Rita put it, “Does a day’s work, half kills him!” So what is going on?

Then it was as if the writer of the next episode read what Rita had said. Hmm, that person may have realized, yes, David is a strong young man and he hasn’t appeared to be actually working even one job, let alone two. And, even if he had, why would this be so difficult for him so proves-what-we-have-been-sayingquickly? We need a reason for his extreme exhaustion (apart from the relentless nagging from Gail and Kylie).

David’s epilepsy vis à vis the baby

So David’s epilepsy is revisited. That is good. He was diagnosed with the disease after he appeared to have deliberately tried to run down his best friend Graeme Proctor. That got Evil David off the hook for attempted murder, but then his epilepsy was never again mentioned. Until now. David, reasonably enough, is wondering if there are tests so that they can know if the baby also has epilepsy. Kylie, Nick and Gail don’t want the baby tested at all for anything at any time.

david's epilepsy - david-having-seizureWe all, viewers and writers alike, have known that somehow the baby had to have tests that would show paternity. David was diagnosed with epilepsy and has been living with it since late 2010, so why not use that from the start of the current storyline? It would be a realistic continuation of character history.

It is awkward, if not sloppy, writing to dwell on his overwhelming exhaustion with no adequate explanation. Just a line from Gail to David or even Audrey or Kylie about the worry of stress compounded with epilepsy would have sufficed.

Corrie Street May 19/13

Horses for Courses

With the longshot Oxbow winning yesterday’s Preakness over the favourite Orb, it’s time to 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 shop, not an independent bookie with a single backstreet shop.

love-the-new-coffee-machineIn 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 offshore manufacturers 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.

Creative Consultant

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!

Old style bookies versus new

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.

Barlow's-Bookies-new-signBut the dramatic point is to have two massive male egos, 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 that they can keep Barlow’s Bookies, a lone bastion of a past age, alive and thriving.

Corrie Street May 12/13


oh Eileen says DeirdreFriday episode, Eileen in despair. Paul is leaving for Yorkshire. There’s nothing she can or will do about it. Jason asks Deirdre to see her, maybe cheer her up.

Afternoon, a scene of long-time friends commiserating. Deirdre sized up the situation on entry: Eileen feeling sorry for herself, still lying on the couch. Deirdre opens a bottle, pushes Eileen over so she has room to sit beside her and pours two glasses of red.

deirdre-and-eileenThey talk about Eileen’s bad luck with men. Eileen gives a synopsis of her relationship history. That is useful for newer viewers who may not know the story of the fathers of her sons or remember the wonderful Dennis. For viewers like me who do remember, it was nice to hear about them again. But it was especially nice to see a simple quiet scene of two friends just being with each other.

That’s what friends are for

second-bottleWe haven’t seen Deirdre and Eileen together much recently and it was a reminder that they are good friends and have shared a lot over the years. We haven’t seen many quiet scenes of any two people lately so this one was a pleasant interlude between the strife and action that love-of-my-lifefollows most of the characters.

The wine, the talk, the reliving of past experiences prompts Eileen to action. So the last we saw this week was her running down the station platform looking for Paul on-board the Yorkshire-bound train. Depending on how that turns out, she may need Deirdre’s shoulder to cry on once again. Like the song says, that’s what friends are for.

get-to-the-stationAnd the line of the week came from Deirdre when Jason stopped her on the street. “Just the woman I’m looking for,” he said. She replied, “Can I have that on film and play it back on a daily basis?”

Coronation Street May 5/13

Other People’s Kids

Friday, in the café Anna comments to Tina about both of them having “other people’s kids, hope you have better luck than I’ve had.”

owen faye and anna - other people's kidsThe story of the week was Anna and Faye and Tim – and police and social workers. Tim having bought a sofa bed, Faye took that as her cue to have sleepovers at Dad’s. When Anna refused that, Faye escalated it to moving in to Dad’s. After Anna refused that, Faye alleged Anna had hit her. After having been removed from her home during the investigation, it finally dawned on Faye that she was being taken very seriously and maybe this was going to have consequences greater than just her getting her own way with her mother.

faye-giving-statementWaiting at the police station, Izzy, Faye’s temporary guardian, responded beautifully to a difficult situation. Asked by Faye if Anna would go to jail, Izzy said “that depends on you.” Faye retracted her allegations, and all agreed that Faye was a very troubled child. I’ll say! I’d go back to sleeping with one eye open.

Faye got her way in the end, and Anna really had no choice. Faye has moved temporarily to Tim’s sofa bed. We’ll see how that goes. Very real issues affecting adoptive children and parents are being raised in this story. A Guardian article talks about the new minefields presented by social media like Facebook, which of course was how Faye found Tim in the first place.

Tim gives my husband and me the creeps. But then so does Faye, so maybe it’s just a family trait. So as of Thursday, my only dilemma was which gut-wrenching scene to choose.

Other people’s unborn kids

izzy-gary-tinaThen Friday the story moved to another complicated parentage story – Izzy, Gary and Tina. Tina had a prenatal class and Izzy and Gary were going with her. Makes sense they’d go, even though Beth questioned why Izzy was taking time off work for it. After all, she pointed out, it was Tina who had to know about childbirth.

people-moving-for-izzyBeth’s words came to Izzy’s mind, and ours, when they were actually in the class. Pregnant women and partners all sat on the floor and Izzy in her chair. Tina and Gary sat on the floor. Tina, like the other expectant mothers, needed a partner for the exercises and, of course, for the forthcoming big event. Izzy realized she was in the way, so she had to navigate her way across a floor filled with pregnant women-and-their-partners to sit in the back, out of the way, out of sight, out of mind.

Tears came to her eyes as she sat off to the side like a fifth wheel. Beautiful camera work and acting in too-late-to-change-your-mindconveying the emotion. Leaving aside where this story looks to be heading with Gary getting too interested in Tina, this moment was heartbreaking. Izzy, feeling extraneous to her child’s development, watching her partner busy partnering with the woman who is carrying the baby. What, she must be wondering, are the next months going to be like?

izzy-leaving-roomAnna’s comment about other people’s kids was fair enough, but she might find she could also extend her sympathy to Izzy. She too feels like ‘her’ child is not really hers after all.