Monday, 31 August 2009

State of the Street - August

Another McDonald "wedding of the year" and at least the bride stayed sober and they got married. But, thanks to Slug and Hooch, Becky spent her wedding night in the nick. Much like Sunita did. And both of them are innocent and were/are set up. But the hen night was delightful, with Becky and Betty having a cuddle, with Anna and Hayley dancing to Two Frozen Peas and then some heartfelt moments between Becky and Steve out in the ginnel. Liz returned in the gawdiest outfit i've ever seen her wearing, that pink pantsuit, and then wore a Spanish Flamenco dress to the wedding. After it all fell apart, Liz really ripped into Becky, Becky ripped into Liz and Steve actually defended his wife and hollered at Liz for speaking those things to his wife. Has Steve finally grown up? The rest of the month was the quest to find Slug and prove Becky's innocence which of course, they will.

Now Liz is back to face Lloyd and there were some lovely scenes between the two when she bared her soul and confusion and he cried. It was one of the best scenes I've seen on Corrie and the actors really made it work, as I've said before. (Do you think he looks thinner?) And that's the plainest i've ever seen Liz in my life! Black tshirt, no cleavage, no makeup. After all the upheaval of the wedding, i still enjoyed seeing the McDonald clan back together for a short visit.

I really wondered how thick Gail's blinders are. She works in a health clinic, i'm sure over the years she's seen addicts come in for help, or come in to try to get drugs. Surely she'd know the signs. It took months for her to finally figure it out, when Joe broke into the clinic in desperation. Yes, he needs help. No, she's not so sure she can support him. It's no wonder. With everything she's been through over the years with men, it's any wonder she has any strength left to work this hard on a relationship. She doesn't expect it to be easy but i'm sure she didn't expect it to be like Atlas shouldering the world either. Mind you, spoilers say Joe's going to drown. I think Gail needs to seriously consider moving to the desert! And Gary had a mate whip the tar out of David so they're even. Will David ramp up the feud again or will he leave it alone? Is anyone else getting tired of him gazing bitterly at Jason and Tina who, I have to say, are being a bit insensitive snogging practically on David's doorstep every chance they get. Aside from that, though, I actually like them as a couple.

There's been some lovely scenes with Anna Windass and both Chesney and Fiz. Also, Anna at the Hen Party was loads of fun, too! I can't stand Eddie and Len is a waste of skin but I always liked Anna and i like her even more now. And since Gary is the one responsible for the beating on David, i may warm to him as well! (kidding!) I think they're going to make Gary a bit more of a sympathetic character. If they don't, he won't last long on the Street. And maybe with Anna's help, Fiz and Chesney can find their way back to each other but things went kind of quiet after the first week or two after Ches found out about the engagement. The wedding's in September. I'm crossing all my bits and pieces that it won't go through and we can get our sparky Fiz back again.

Maria and Tony are officially a couple and he's got his feet under her sheets, never mind the table and Michelle went ballistic. I can understand it in one way, it's quite quick for someone to find a new love of her life after her husband was killed but everyone is different. Now *we* all know she's cozying up to her husband's killer and she even thought that's what he was a few months ago but she changed her mind and nobody else knows except Carla and she's not around to tell. Yet. Carla's coming back soon and it's all going to kick off, but unfortunately it'll end with Maria's absence from the screen while the actress goes off to have her baby. I am guessing she'll retreat to Ireland or Cypress for a bit to lick her wounds.

Claire has another crusade, to organize a village fete and she got so involved in it that she failed to see that Josh had an allergic reaction to a bee sting. He'll be ok but the truth about the vasectomy will come out now and it'll all kick off again between the Pained Peacocks. Actually, I don't mind Claire but a lot of people seem to really dislike her or find her tedious and boring. I find there are similarities between her and Maxine, Ashley's first wife in that they are both determined and like a dog with a bone when they've got a goal or cause. Claire is just as stubborn as Maxine was. The difference is that Maxine was a bit of a dumb blonde where Claire isn't quite so much. (Dumb. She's definitely not blonde, obviously). Ok, Claire is a bit of a Moaning Mona, but i think she's very well suited to Ashley just the same. He's a bit of a Moaning Mona too!

Molly and Tyrone returned from holiday. Molly was supposed to have been topless tanning but she had tan lines anyway. Back to the dreary life of laundry and cooking. But does she think it would be any different if she married macho mechanic Kevin? She'd be washing his dirty coveralls and socks and grubby underpants just the same as she's doing with Ty's now. Sadly, that break didn't cool off the affair. It almost feels like Molly only went for Kevin because she found out he fancied her but when he decided to back off after the first shag, she didn't like that one little bit. It's only over if she says it's over and Tyrone is boring the bits off her. They celebrated their fun run with more exercise in bed. I wouldn't have thought they'd have had the energy! Have I mentioned that i really dislike this storyline? Thought so.

Who would have thought Emily was going to find a fancy man so late in life? But it was not to be. Ramsay got on the plane back to Oz and dropped dead. I blame Norris, you know and so does Emily. He really is a detestable little weasel. If he had relented even a little bit to Ramsay's olive branch, he'd have stayed around. However, we do discover that Ramsay had a brain tumour so it was only a matter of time anyway. Hmmm... this sounds familiar. Rita married Ted knowing he had a tumour and limited time. I suppose they couldn't go that same route with Emily. Some lovely scenes though, with Rita telling Emily that she helped make Ramsay's last few weeks happy and then Emily calling Norris every strong name she could think of. Of course *we* saw that Ramsay's death affected Norris more than he let on but he won't let anyone else see that.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Norris Flamin' Cole!

If you're a fan of Norris Cole you aren't going to like this. I have never liked the character of Norris. Ever. Not this time around and definitely not the last time around when he was first introduced, rescuing a stranded Derek from a motorway rest stop. He was obnoxious then and he's obnoxious now. He was even more obnoxious than Derek and that's saying something. He may have mistook Derek's name at first but surely he would have learned otherwise but he insisted on calling Derek "Dirk". Probably did it because it annoyed Derek so much, I figure. Now, granted, Derek was easy to wind up as Des Barnes had already figured out. Norris was also behind the gnome-napping which was probably the ultimate wind up ever!

I didn't like Norris, partly because of his looks. He physically repulsed me. I do apologize to Malcom Hebden for that, he can't help it, but his hairstyle and pursed lips and thick rimmed glasses just gave me the willies. To be fair, since he's now older and grayer, his looks have softened and he doesn't creep me out anymore. Norris was never meant to be likeable that first time around. He was arrogant, sneaky and annoying. There really wasn't anything about him that was remotely comical. He was a foil for Derek and Mavis.

When he returned, jobless, wifeless, a broken man, he was set up to be humbled. A mere shopkeeper after falling from the lofty heights of executive-dom looking down his nose at everyone else. They turned him into a gossipy, nosy "old woman" of a man. He may have a few funny lines or situations now and then but he's petty, picky, nasty, sarcastic, ungenerous, fussy, close minded, judgemental (oh boy, is he judgemental!) and gossipy (and not in a good way). He does have a soft side, he does respect and care greatly for Emily and Rita but that's the extent of it. I rarely find him or the situations he gets in funny though i did find the scene where Mary tries to seduce him and he scrambles out on all fours pretty funny.

But even then, he had a lovely woman who wanted him. He definitely gave her mixed signals when, if he wasn't interested, he should have made it clear from the start. His treatment of his half brother Ramsay has been appalling and atrocious. Carrying a grudge for 50 years, unreasonably so, is unfathomable. Ramsay might have given his birth mother a shock when he returned to find her (and it will become clear that she didn't want to find him either), but it didn't do her in. She didn't die for a year after that so the responsibility can hardly be put at Ramsay's door. Yet, Norris has put the blame squarely on his brother. Ramsay has been trying and trying to appease, suck up and make up for it all but Norris is having none of it.

He's only pleased because Ramsay is leaving but it's going to turn to dust when Ramsay dies suddenly. Will Norris have any regrets? I certainly hope so because he's almost unredeemable after all this bullying. He's also ruined Emily's chances and maybe that's been part of his reasoning. If Ramsay takes "his" place in Emily's life, he'll have to leave Number 3. I think he might have relented and warmed up to his brother if there hadn't been a spark with Emily there. It's not that Norris fancies Em, because he doesn't, but he's very protective of her. I bet he was the same with his mother and resented any intrusions such as long lost sons showing up on her doorstep and threatening to push him out of the way then, too!

edited: I must add, as i meant to in the first place, that i find no fault with Malcom Hebden's portrayal. He's an excellent actor with superb comic timing. He does Norris justice but I just don't like the character.

Norris will never change, regrets or no, and i will never change my opinion of him either.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

High praise indeed

I've just *got* to bestow my praise and kudos to four actors in particular that have absolutely shone like a very shiny thing for me in recent episodes of Coronation Street.

The first storyline concerns Steve and Becky's current predicament. Now, logic tells us all that this will have a happy ending because, as far as we know, neither actor is leaving the show. In the meatime, we have to watch the frustration and pain of their backs against the wall in between where that rock and that hard place are. Becky went from feathery exuberance on her wedding day, determined not to mess up like the last time to about the lowest place she's ever been in her life. The rug was well and truly pulled out from under her white satin stilletos and add to that, the betrayal that the love of her life, her shiny new husband, didn't believe in her innocence. Steve, knowing how easy it is to fall back into shady deals and illegal measures, assumed the worst but when push came to shove, he realized she was set up and had a huge amount of groveling and making up to do. He was sincere about it too.

Becky spent her wedding night in the cell, had to endure Hooch's emotional torture and then had to face Steve in the morning. Steve and Becky sat in the car, he apologized, explained and groveled and she was very, very quiet. There was no shouting, no screaming recriminations. Just pain on both their parts.

Simon Gregson and Katherine Kelly were magnificent in both the wedding episode and in the aftermath, in my humble opinion. She was radiant in Friday's eps, just as her father-figure Roy said she was. She shook with pre-wedding nerves, held Roy captive with those big blue eyes when he had to convince her she wasn't ill nor dying, silently begging him to be right (he was, of course!). She practically danced down the short "aisle" of the registry office, excited and exuberantly giggling "I love it when he's gaggin' for it!" as Steve pulled her to the front so they could tie the knot. Simon played it just right. He and Becky have spark and fun together and this wedding certainly showed that up.

Later, when she was taken away in cuffs, as white as her dress, his face was grey with shock and you could almost feel that sick feeling in his gut when he seemed to think the worst, putting the wrong 2 and 2 together.

In the car the next day, they played it quietly. Katherine hardly looked at him at first, but had her face turned towards his side of the car, though looking past him to the back, towards where one of the cameras was. You could tell when he was finally getting through to her that he really did believe her and he really was sorry. She started glancing at him through her eyelashes and finally did look at him face to face, but you could feel the doubt, the weariness, the fear all etched into her expression. She put every ounce of vulnerability into that scene. Simon never took his eyes off her, pleading for her to forgive him but never whining, never in desperation, just earnestly and honestly. He wasn't blustering his excuses, he was stating where he was coming from and pledging to her that he really did believe her. He played it like a real grown up, something we haven't always seem Steve be when under pressure like this. He accepted his betrayal and was very sorry for it. He was gentle. He was patient. She had her defences up but didn't completely shut him away by turning her back on him. They didn't rush the scene. They nailed it.

The second storyline concerns Liz and Lloyd's breakup. The relationship was unexpected for both of them, starting off as two lonely friends reaching out. Lloyd is younger than Liz and is her son's best mate but he's older than Steve, too, probably about half way between Steve and Liz's age. Don't forget, Liz was only 17 when she had the twins so she really wouldn't be that much older than Lloyd, less than 10 years, is my guess. Still, she was never comfortable with the age difference since she was the older of the two. It mattered not at all to Lloyd and he seemed really taken with her, even moreso when she finally seemed to relax and enjoy their relationship. Even Steve seemed to come to terms with it and it all looked good. But then, Liz went to Spain to look after Andy and his bar while he was ill and stayed. And stayed. And it didn't look like she was going to come back. She stopped returning Lloyd's calls and messages leaving him bewildered and confused. Finally, she appeared in time for Steve and Becky's wedding and the stalled relationship whimpered to an end.

Many times when a couple breaks up there are rows and sobs, heart rending drama or cold, unfeeling declarations. This breakup was a little different than you usually see on telly. No rows, no name calling, but there were tears. There were tears, not only from Liz but from Lloyd, also unusual. Maybe that's because of the skill of the actor involved. Crying on screen is difficult for many actors and it doesn't always look very realistic. Craig Charles doesn't usually get dramatic scenes so you don't really realize how good an actor he can be. Lloyd is usually joking and silly with brief glimpses of anger depending on the situation. Bev Callard has always impressed me with her capabilities. This time she was playing it vulnerable, a bit confused, sad and maybe a little unsure she was doing the right thing. She bared her soul and was as honest as she could be, right down to having no makeup on and a very reserved tshirt and comfy trousers instead of her usual mask of makeup and tarty clothes. The tears on Craig Charles' face did look real and he put a truckload of emotion into their final breakup scene in the empty Rovers, the feathery, sparkly remains of the aborted wedding reception still on the walls around them. He gave Lloyd that reluctance to accept the end, the heartbreak of it and maybe, a little spark of hope against hope that someday she might change her mind. When Liz reminded Lloyd that Jim would soon be coming round, there was no puffed up blustering about being unafraid of the beligerent ex, just confidence and surprise that she might think he would be fearful. You get the feeling that he wouldn't be cowed so quickly as Vernon was by the face of Jim in a temper and could give as good as he gets. Lloyd might be a lover rather than a fighter but he'd be an even bet in most, I think.

That aside, it remains to be seen whether Lloyd and Liz will get back together though I'm guessing not. Steve and Becky will probably defeat Hooch and go at least some of the distance. I've long thought highly of Simon Gregson who has grown up into a really solid actor and he's really jumped up another level in my estimation lately. Craig Charles has jumped up several levels for me. I never thought he was a bad actor, but stretching to the emotional stuff really shows his acting chops off in a shining light. Bev Callard has always been solid and has always given us many sides of Liz. In one episode she showed her vulnerability and her rage and resentment towards her new daughter-in-law. Katherine Kelly just goes from peak to peak in her ability to portray Becky Granger McDonald as a loose cannon, a rough diamond who seems to gain confidence and self esteem only to have it thown out with the trash, sometimes by her own doing and sometimes not. She's cut from a similar cloth as Karen McDonald was but has a fiercer edge, a bit more desperation in her grasp to find some good in a life that didn't have a lot of it now that she realizes there are people who do believe in her and love her.

If you now ask me who my favourite character is, I will not be able to name just one. It'll be any one of these four though maybe Katherine Kelly has a slight edge.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Character Study: Steven James McDonald

To celebrate Steve McDonald's wedding this week, Here's a character study of the groom.

The McDonald family arrived in Coronation Street at the end of 1989. Ex-army Sargeant Jim and Liz, a couple in their thirties, were parents to 14 year old fraternal twins, Steve and Andy. From the start, the lads were high-energy tearaways initially causing aggravation for Alf Roberts. Steve and Andy got up to a lot of mischief, including a joyride in an industrial earth mover, breaking Alf's shop window (not for the first time, either!). Steve tended to be the one that came up with the ideas but Andy wasn't short of one or two himself.

Thus, it was established that Steve and trouble were no strangers.

The lads were brought up mainly by their mother because Jim was in the army and away more than he was home. When he was home, the hot tempered Jim, who's tirades were often fueled by whiskey and beer, had boys fearing and resenting him. Steve grew up with little respect for his father but a great deal for his mother. It didn't stop him from getting into scrapes, no matter how much it worried his mother. Schoolboy pranks turned into illegal activities when Steve was sure he could pull off a scam or two only to find out that the long arm of the law was only a few steps away. Perhaps the excitement and challenge of that was part of the attraction.

Steve was caught selling stolen car radios, and falling into a bad lot which got his brother, Andy, beaten up. Steve ran away with a teenage love to the Lakes and had to be retrieved and defended against Jim by his mother. The McDonalds didn't have a lot of money and this seemed to fuel Steve's ambitions, always looking for a way to make a quick pound. Or maybe it was just that money schemes were more thrilling than those that didn't involve it. Steve was always one to go for a thrill and a challenge.

He married young, the granddaughter of Alec Gilroy, who had come into a bit of money when her parents died. This seemed to be nothing more than another scam to get his hands on the cash, something Alec could never convince Vicky of, but, as predicted, it didn't last long. He got caught in possession of stolen booze and this time, he went to jail. Vicky divorced him and left town. Did Steve learn a lesson from his sojourn? Well, yes and no. He did try harder to avoid the illegal but didn't always manage it. Jim's drinking, jealousy and temper often caused great upheaval in his marriage and later, in his divorce with Liz. This didn't help Jim and Steve's continually rocky relationship. Steve usually took his mother's side but he was never a "mama's" boy. He still went his own way but was always there for her when needed.

Steve never seemed to have that many regrets about his checkered past but three things did give him a guilty conscience. Steve always felt responsible for the death of his baby sister, Kathleen, to whom Liz gave birth to prematurely after worrying about Steve's latest scheme. Later, Steve started working with Jim in a building business but Jim was drinking a lot and during an argument and scuffle on scaffolding, Jim fell into a skip and was paralyzed for a time. After Jim's recovery, things started to improve between father and son. They seemed to come to an acceptance of each other. The last incident that Steve will always have regrets over is his involvement with Jez Quigley, from whom he borrowed money to invest in a mini cab firm with mate Vikram Desai. When he couldn't pay it back when Jez demanded it, Jez had him beaten up very badly. Jim went after Jez and gave him such a pounding that Jez later died from his injuries. Jim confessed and went to jail where he is still serving time. This seemed to be the point where Steve really started to turn his life around.

He had taken over the building business and made a fair success of it, being involved in the reconstruction of Victoria Street and later, a renovation of a block of flats that Richard Hillman bought. (but that's another story!) The taxi firm, Streetcars, although it's had a few bumps along the way, has been a success too. He now owns the Rovers Return Inn as well, with his mother as the licensed landlady (he can't own the license because of his criminal record).

He still hasn't been any luckier in love, though. He had a volatile relationship with sexy factory worker Karen, whom he married on a bet, divorced and remarried. He had a one night stand with Tracy Barlow which resulted in a daughter, Amy. After initially rejecting the baby, Steve has come around and become a very good dad when Tracy had allowed him to be. Now that Tracy is in prison, he's a single father but fatherhood has added another new side to Steve and it looks like he's going to cope ok.

Steve McDonald has grown from a scallywag to a troubled young man to a responsible businessman and father in his 30's. He almost seems to be as sensible as his twin, Andy, always was, the (dare I say it?) Voice of Reason when all around him seem to have run amuck. Well, sometimes. Witness how he just couldn't help messing up his relationship to Michelle! He'd mess up and lie about it compulsively and it always makes things worse in the end. He hasn't learned that lesson yet. Michelle's own personal problems seemed to drag Steve down and now he's with live wire, Becky, who has brightened him up. He had a bit more fun with Becky at the start but it all went pear shaped after she found out she couldn't have children.

Her sister turned up and Becky met her nephew Max and the whole child-buying business ended up blowing their marraige sky high, with a little help from out-of-prison Tracy Barlow who couldn't help poking the bear with a big stick.

Steve jumps from one volatile woman to the next and before long, Tracy has him manipulated back into her life. You've heard how a lot of men end up with women like their mothers. I don't think that's too far off the mark with our Steve. Liz was fiery and tempermental and most of the women Steve has been with have been trouble with a capital T.

It's been an interesting ride watching Steve grow up. I hope he's around for a long time to come.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

It's so frustrating

Sometimes Coronation Street can be so frustrating to watch. Sometimes you just can't look away! When it's good, it's very, very good but when it's frustrating, it's painful and lots of people I know have actually lost patience with it and given up or taken a break from watching. I don't think I'll ever do that but there have been times when I've wanted to shake the producer and writers and wonder what they're thinking? Corrie has lasted nearly fifty years and it's gone through many ups and downs. There have been periods of very boring storylines or absolutely absurd ones, and not in a good way.

People complain that it's not like it used to be but nothing ever is and Granada/ITV is in the business of making money. They have to keep attracting new viewers, preferably younger ones to hook them and keep them. Younger viewers aren't going to watch a show where the most exciting thing that happens is watching someone put out the milk bottles on a rainy day. There's also a lot more competition for the soap viewers than there was in the 60s and 70s. Thus, we now have more "gripping" storylines than ever before. Corrie has had to change with the times or it never would have lasted this long.

Having said that, I quite enjoy some of the "gripping" and sensational storylines. The Richard Hillman saga had me on the edge of my seat and I'm quite enjoying Tony Gordon's reign, bullying the factory bees worse than Mike Baldwin ever did, (though he still gives jobs back after a sacking, just like Mike used to do) murdering and near murdering, ruthless and nasty, and now, with Maria, showing a softer side. But it makes us all wonder what his real motive is! It keeps me watching.

Soap Operas have a lot of Standard Plotlines...affairs, love stories, births and deaths, even crime and punishment, with revenge coming near the top. There's only so many plotlines so you have to think of new ways to tell the stories. There are rules, too, like a murderer not being allowed to get away with their crime unless there is an extenuating circumstance such as self defense. One of the current storylines that has me frustrated is the Kevin and Molly affair. It's so out of character, so cliche and so icky!  Molly shags probably the one person on the Street she really, really shouldn't (her husband's best mate and boss) and then goes on holiday with her husband. Now what do YOU think is going to happen? Standard Soap Opera Plot #239, she gets pregnant and doesn't know who's the daddy. We don't know if this is going to happen to Michelle Connor but she's on the slippery slope as well, having had sex with Peter Barlow and Luke Strong within a day of each other. You just throw your hands in the air, tut tut and go make a cup of tea while they're on the screen these days and wait for Tony's scenes instead.

Frustrating plot lines often happen when it's out of character for the people involved. Another frustrating standard soap cliche is lies, lies and damned lies, to use a popular saying. There is no unearthly reason for people to lie or hide the truth from their friends and loved ones except to keep the viewers waiting to see when it's all going to hit the fan. Ashley Peacock and the cocked-up vasectomy, anyone? How about Fiz lying to Chesney and most of her friends that she's not involved with Prisoner 666 (John Stape) again? That secret has just come out but Ashley's secret will be dragged out a bit longer. When Hayley found out about her son Christian, she didn't tell Roy for ages and then wasn't going to tell Christian she was his biological father, so that, of course, caused Roy to be twice as disappointed in Hayley when she finally did tell him and it caused Christian to freak out when he discovered the truth. (While a lot of people thought that storyline was ill thought out because it rewrote Hayley's back story, and it did, I still thought it was worthy and gave Roy and Hayley some good stuff.)

Some lies just seem so unnecessary but others are just par for the course, like Joe hiding his addiction or Ken lying to Deirdre because he's having it off on a canal boat with a Bohemian actress. You expect those lies, you get frustrated at the stupid ones.

It's frustrating watching Steve McDonald get himself in hot water over a stupid lie but enjoyable watching him squirm because he's lying to save his ass. Steve is one of those characters that's fun to watch no matter what.

Then there's the frustration of too much of a good thing. David Platt going off the rails was good to watch for the first 6 months or so but it's getting boring now. Every time he puts on that hurt look when he sees Tina or insists that Joe make Tina come back to him or he doesn't get the drugs David is hiding, I cringe. Get over yourself, lad! Move On! It's also very frustrating watching Gail make excuses over and over and over again for David/Sarah/Joe/Nick/Martin/whoever. How stupid can that woman be? (Though I do like Gail as a character overall).

It's frustrating when storylines drag on and on and are endless, pointless and are then dropped, never to be heard from again. Hayley never mentions Christian, not even a sigh and a glance at a hidden photo. Michelle seems to have forgotten that her biological son, Alex, exists and when she went on tour with the band, wouldn't it have made more sense for Ryan to stay with his biological dad, Nick rather than a mate? Speaking of biological fathers, Matt Ramsden is never, ever mentioned by the Peacocks anymore. Josh was only sent off with Matt for a holiday a couple of summers ago so that Ashley could have that affair with KC when Claire was ill. Before that, Ashley would never have let Josh spend more than an afternoon with Matt. (Yeah, that was another Who's the Daddy standard plot. Someone has sex with someone they shouldn't? Whammo! Baby time! You can see it coming a mile away!)

It's frustrating when you don't see characters for weeks and months on end. Sometimes it's due to an actor's illness or maternity leave so you accept that but when there's no fathomable excuse, it seems odd. Logically, we know that the actors are contracted for a certain amount of episodes per year but sometimes, especially at occasions like weddings or funerals, the absence of some of them is glaringly noticed.

Corrie is good most of the time. They do dramatic very, very well. They do humour extremely well, too. Even just a random conversation, scene or reaction can be hysterically funny. Their sense of everyday type scenes and conversations may seem like filler between the main plots but they're what everyone can relate to the best. Passing the time of day in the Kabin or the Rovers, a gossip over the sewing machines, or silliness between mates in the taxi office all make Corrie more realistic, more identifiable. I don't know about you, but there are very few serial killers on my street but there is a corner shop and I have great crack with my coworkers.

So when you get frustrated, focus on the little things, quirky characters, the great dialogue, the fab acting, occasional nods to all that Corrie history, the double acts, the friendships and know that this too shall pass.

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