Tag Archives: Rob Donovan

Corrie Street 28 May 2017

To what end?

Ken says to what endWednesday, Ken asked the question I’ve been asking myself about his storyline. “But to what end? It doesn’t make sense.” Ken was commenting on why Tracy would have hit him over the head. I was commenting on the whole storyline since its early days.

Ok, I can see having each of his children a suspect for a time. But my credulity has been strained, as has my patience. Too many people getting dragged into it – to what end? The whole plot has become too busy. So many people, so much sneaking around. It doesn’t make sense.

Ken sees photo of deirdre is goneBringing Rob back? In order for that to explain that, a whole off-screen story had to be told. And why? To put Tracy and Amy in a convoluted, and unbelievable, story that involved a nice location shoot.

Tracy suspected Amy of being the one who had hurt Ken. At the end of the episode, Rob voiced something else I’d been saying to my tv. “I just did what you should have at the start. I asked her if she was the one who hurt Ken. She said no.” That was in answer to Tracy’s question of how he knew that Amy hadn’t done it. Yes, Tracy, it can be that easy! That Tracy would volunteer herself for prison and let her father believe she’d harm him? Without asking Amy for sure? Not easy to believe.

ken looks at stairwayKen’s story started as an exciting whodunit. A large cast of suspects, goody, let’s all be Hercule Poirot! But then the circles started spinning off into new circles. You need a playbook to remember everybody involved and everybody’s story. Now I don’t care who they arrest, just let it end.

Manchester Stand Strong

In real life, the Manchester bombing also raises the question “But to what end?” Twenty-two people were killed and many more injured as they left a concert. One of those killed was Martyn Hett, a Coronation Street, and Deirdre, “super-fan”.

Martyn Hett stuffed marrow videoHe has wonderful videos on YouTube. My favourite is his cooking lesson on making Deirdre’s Stuffed Marrow. Thank you for that, Martyn, and for the the “Audrey Roberts Noise”. My condolences to Martyn’s family and friends, and to all the victims of this tragedy. Like Ken said, “it doesn’t make sense.” And, as Manchester is saying, “stand strong.”

See my Aug. 2, 2015 post for stuffed marrow made by Robert Preston on the show and by Martyn Hett on YouTube.

Corrie Street Nov. 16/14

Poor Tracy Luv

Poor tracy luv lies on couch, wedding presents in frontFirst scene Monday in the Barlow living room, Ken and Tracy amid the leftovers of her 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 rid of and pay for. What she wants to hear is “poor Tracy luv” over and over again.

“He are a large arsehole, missy”

I once read a short story in The New Yorker 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 arsehole.” Those words comforted her. They, or Tracy walks out, saying to ken leave me alonea 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 herself again, 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 back.

Corrie Street Nov. 9/14

Chances and Choices

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-too carla decides to turn rob inonly 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.

Twisting realism

There was time to think and talk before the ceremony because of a little twisting of realism in the story. Tracy’s entry to the wedding horses at entrancehall 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

Five Minutes

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

 final five minutes 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 missed, probably nothing much but we might as well record it todd-against-the-wallagain later.” 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 Rob stressed as cop looks at braceletreasons never adequately explained, they posted the whole week on Sunday. Inconvenient if you miss, say, Tuesday’s episode and want to watch in sequence. But now, thank you so much, we can watch them here any time, in order.

Corrie Street Jun. 16/13

Four for Four

The first four episodes this past week each had more than one contender for “the scene”. Four scenes - Izzy cries able-to-see-him-soonI cannot narrow it down any further than one from each day.

Monday: Izzy’s face as she realizes the newborn is not crying and the nurse hustles him off. Equally good was Izzy standing at the incubator holding the hand of the tiny infant inside it.

Tuesday: Owen giving way to his fear and sadness. “Vulnerable and venerable” my husband called Owen after seeing him lose his carefully constructed and maintained façade of bravery and bravado. With Anna, he can give voice to his inner fears and self-see-him-lying-in-the-incubatorrecriminations. He blamed himself for “pushing” Izzy and Gary into this surrogacy. Of course he didn’t. He was adamantly opposed when they said they were thinking of it and he gave valid reasons for his objections. But he did make it possible. They had the idea and he had the ability to figure out how best to do it as well as the resources to make it happen.

Owen is the quintessential male in the schema of gender roles found in Men are from Mars, Women… Venus. Mr. Fixit, taking a problem and solving it. Now, with the baby’s prognosis for survival not great and the mess Izzy and Gary have made of their relationship, he blames himself for taking their hare-brained dream and making it a reality.

Wednesday: Tina entering the nursery where Izzy and Gary are fighting beside the baby’s he-might-have-your-eyesincubator. She lays down the law to them.  They will sort out their problems somewhere else and, until they do, neither of them will see the baby. She has deliberately tried to avoid bonding with the child she was carrying. But she will defend him against anyone, including his biological parents. Good for her.

Thursday: Carla telling Rob what is going to happen in order for her to not report his theft to the police. Her performance, as the character, belied Tracy’s earlier jibe that loser-I-grew-up-withbeneath the designer clothes and six inches of makeup, you’re nothing. You could see Carla collect herself, and her strength, and say everything quickly before she lost her resolve.

She needed that focused composure in light of what Rob had said earlier to her, when she caught him out at the warehouse with the stolen silk. Showing himself to be a master manipulator, he turned everything Carla said on its head. He knew exactly where to poke clear-your-lockerto hit her own self-doubts and her love for him, the little brother she believes she abandoned long ago. In the Bistro you can see the look of confusion on Rob’s face. His tricks aren’t working on her. Rob’s scenes this week have been the best I’ve ever seen from him. I like him even less. But I’m fascinated with watching the narcissist, verging on sociopath, side of him reveal itself.

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.

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

Trouser Press

Eva getting information from hotel clerkLike others, I didn’t see the point of Eva Price when she first appeared on Coronation Street. But over the months I have come to see that there is more to her than the strutting and flouncing and that wonderful way she carries her purse. And Raquel behind Rovers barTuesday she was absolutely brilliant. Indeed, as a blogger notes, she is reminiscent of the glorious Raquel.

When she and Steve barged into the Sheffield hotel room, expecting to find Rob with Michelle, they initially thought they’d got it totally wrong when Michelle came from her room – across the hall.girl emerges from bathroom to room full of people

But then who was in the bathroom showering? A towel-clad girl came out, surprised to see a room full of strangers. And the pennies all clinked into place for Eva.

Trouser and press

Eva knees RobShe walked up to Rob, carefully positioned herself and kneed him in the groin.  After he recovered, and Michelle and Steve had left the room, he tried to make amends.

Flashing his best smile and waving a bottle of champagne that they “shouldn’t let go to waste”, he told her that girl meant nothing to him, Rob holding champagne and smilingmight as well have been the trouser press in the corner. After what Eva had done to him, I’m surprised he could put the words trousers and press in the same sentence!

She smiled warmly, walked to him, took the bottle in one hand, put her other hand on his arm and poured the bottle over his head. Then turned on her heel and walked out.champagne dripping off Rob's head

A lovely one-two action that showed a delightful side of her – at least as long as you weren’t Rob.

Eva eats chips and watches Nick and LeanneBack home, she showed the other sides of Eva Price. The ‘why does every man do me dirty?’ one. The rivaling sibling with Leanne. Wishful seductress of Nick. And lonely girl watching as Leanne and Nick kiss and make up.

Nick advises her to pick herself up and dust herself off. So onWednesday, she did just that.

Eva in red dress at factoryIn keeping with her insecurity, though, she takes it a little too far. She overdoes the makeup and the dress by more than a tad considering she’s going to work. Still – wowza!!

I don’t like what she’s doing to break Nick and Leanne up, though. You don’t want him that bad, Eva! Look a bit further afield than your own backyard.