Friday, 29 May 2015

Hell Week: The Aftermath

Friday's episode on Corrie was there to wrap up the week's stories.

The Nazirs and Leanne are in shock. (Why are they all wearing white except Alya? Surely they would as well or is it only for Muslim men? Yasmeen was in an off white/beige so perhaps it's something the men wear. Anyone?)

Sophie is holding vigil by Maddie's side while we wait to see if she'll survive, hoping against hope. Jenny is heaving a sigh of relief and gathering her scattered wits and shattered nerves while the family is there to support Sophie. It's a nice touch, having Norris in a state over worry for Maddie, harking back to them finding a new understanding a few months ago.

I was surprised at Maddie's injury. I know the actor is leaving the show and I thought perhaps Jenny would be directly responsible or that Maddie and Sophie would break up due to Jenny's interference and Maddie would leave. Getting in the line of a secondary explosion in front of the builder's yard was a surprise. The vigil in the hospital was fraught with gut wrenching emotion and as of this writing, we don't know if Maddie will survive the head injury but it's a pretty good bet that she won't. Maddie hit the cobbles in nearly the same spot Tina did when she fell off the balcony almost the same time last year but then Tina didn't hit her head when she landed. Rob did that for her with a lead pipe.

Blame. Everyone's blaming someone. There's really only one person that should wear this and it's Tracy Barlow. She didn't start the fire on purpose but she did sneak into Carla's flat, up to no good and she left the candle burning and well she knows it so she did everything she could to push the suspicions onto her arch rival, Carla, aided by the fire report which is going to show a candle started the fire.

Carla believes she accidentlly started the fire and she's going to turn into the next enemy of the state as far as her neighbours go. They're never short on turning against someone like a pack of rabid dogs, this time, led by Leanne's rage and grief and Norris' nasty accusations and Tracy is most certainly not going to let her forget it, either. She probably thinks all her birthdays have come at once. Even if it was true, it was an accident. Carla would never forgive herself but Tracy can gloss over it in her own mind. She's very good at convincing herself that her problems are caused by everyone else. Tracy wouldn't have been in Carla's flat if Carla hadn't been her enemy so she'll convince herself of Carla's blame rather than her own. Except probably those long nights when she can't sleep.

As always there were cast members missing, inexplicably. Where were Anna and Faye? They live a few yards from Victoria Court, surely they would have heard the ruckus. What about Steph? Her flat is right over or next to the builder's yard which had an explosion. Maria is within sight of Victoria Court as well. Eileen was at the wedding and reception but then disappeared when Liz needed her mate the most and Erica managed to get across the city in the space of 20 minutes, a near impossibility in Greater Manchester. I know, I know. They usually don't have the whole cast on hand for these things. Move along.

Nick's probably going to have to live back with mummy again unless he bunks with Leanne to support her and Simon and Carla will be bunking in with Roy. Conveniently, Nick was out of town and Sarah and Beth were at Audrey's when all hell broke loose. Think of it. Sarah and Beth left Italy with very little other than the clothes on their back and  a small bag. No mention if Uncle Stephen sent on their things but presumably, he did. Now everything they owned except the clothes on their back is ashes and what didn't burn won't be salvagable. They did have a throwaway line from Nick that Bethany could borrow some of Kylie's clothes though David didn't like that at all.

And best of all, Kylie's back!!! Bethany was absolutely sure, and she said she knew what Kylie looked like except when she went across the road to confront her for watching them, she didn't seem to know who it was. Ok, Kylie was standing back in the shadows.  It can only be from photos around the house, though. They've never met though possibly have talked on Skype I guess.

All in all, a good week. I might bitch and nit pick but really, I loved this week of Corrie! Next week we will likely find out Maddie's fate and the crusade to crucify Carla Connor will probably begin.

Also, see Monday to Thursday's recap with photos here

Friday, 22 May 2015

Wedding Week from Hell

A wedding on Coronation Street is normally a reason to celebrate. Also, normally, something's bound to go wrong. Jiltings, disasters, delays, rarely does a Corrie wedding run smoothly. Steve McDonald's sixth attempt at marrying was no different but in the end, he missed all the mayhem which is probably a good thing. He's still so fragile that he would have "done a Gary" and been found huddled in a corner shaking.

To start the slide into that mayhem, last week, Tracy and Tony's plan to take over the Rovers was thwarted  at the last minute by Carla who pulled enough money together to buy Liz's share of the pub. I guess that means Carla's Tony's partner in the business. Steve sold his share to Travis Ltd, aka Tony and then Tony, aka Travis was going to buy Liz's half of the pub and oust all the McDonalds and install Tracy and himself behind the bar only now that won't happen and Tracy's pissed. And when Tracy gets pissed, people get hurt.

The week that was:

There were five episodes across the week, but I'll stick with the first four here.  (I'll blog the aftermath later). The wedding day started off bumpy when the woman scorned, Tracy Barlow, outed her affair to her rival, Liz who was the first victim, heart broken by the realization that her man took up with the absolutely worst person possible. The evidence spoke for itself but Liz is determined to get through the wedding so it isn't spoiled for Steve. Gotta be difficult with so much love around. Carla knows, though, because she found Liz shaking in the back room and Liz had to unburden herself to someone. Carla is probably the next to absolutely worst person to know, though, because she confronts Tracy who has felt like her nose has been rubbed in it all day. Vows of making everyone pay are uttered and even Carla looks like she thinks possibly Tracy means it.

The wedding itself actually went off without a hitch! Unusual for Corrie weddings. Interesting vows, though. And it was nice to see that blonde actor that has often been the registrar in a number of weddings on screen. Michelle looked lovely and I liked her headband a lot. Even Liz looked a bit better than she often does at weddings and I did like her fascinator. Poor woman could hardly keep herself together and you could see her shudder every time Tony touched her.

Liz managed to get Steve and Michelle off to a probably hastily arranged honeymoon in Spain. She said she didn't want them around in case Tracy ruined things but I think she probably figured it was a good idea if they were out of the way, anticipating that she and Tony would have it out. As luck would have it, the neighbours weren't about to let a buffet and a bar go to waste and they decided to continue the party anyway.

Tony never came back from the airport. I wonder if Tracy texted him to let him know because it seemed like Liz didn't until she left that phone message later on. Crushing Liz was only an appetizer for Tracy. Carla was going to be the ultimate victim. There was a distinct waft of deja vu in the air at Carla's flat when Tracy let herself in after lights out. Dark in the flat but Tracy spotted the tall candle straight away and conveniently, since Carla had it lit earlier (while she and Amy had their hot chocolate), there were matches beside it. Yet the candle looked brand new instead of being burned down an inch or so as it would have been. Never mind.

Tracy loves blunt objects, you may recall.  Find the nearest one and... Oooops, there's someone else in the flat! Tracy has no idea that Amy is there (I did not see that coming!) and she left her candle burning near a lampshade which started to sizzle and burn! I didn't really think they would have Tracy kill Carla or even hit her because then they'd have to get rid of the character (Tracy) and they're not ready to do that, but Tracy came close and she knew it. It almost seemed as if she was a bit scared at how close she came. I wonder if she'd have gone through with it had she not been interrupted? I have a feeling she wouldn't have. 

Liz, in a rage, pretty much destroyed most of the crockery in the Rovers kitchen until she decided to go out and break Tracy. Luckily, Sean had called Erica who drove from wherever it is her mother lives instead of calling Eileen, Liz's other BFF to walk a few yards to the back room (or from Number 11 if she'd already left the party). Doh.

The fire takes hold really quickly. It was all very exciting, wasn't it? Leanne dragged Carla out but because she wasn't conscious, nobody knew Amy was inside at first. Less smoke in the bedroom because the door was closed and Amy was smart, even though scared, and blocked the door with pillows and stayed down low. Brave little girl!
Little by little, people find out about the fire and there are other attempts at rescue. Kal and Leanne are now trapped in the flat with Amy, though, and it doesn't look good. Tracy's reaction to a fire in Carla's flat was one of curiosity but it quickly turned to horror when she found out Amy was inside. Karma's a bitch, isn't it, Trace?
It's episode four, will Kal, Leanne and Amy be rescued? It was all very exciting and you knew that propane tank was going to be trouble, didn't you? I did wonder why it took everyone so long to remember the builder's yard a few feet away to fetch a ladder and I wondered why someone didn't scoot up to help Amy down. She's ok, then Leanne stopped halfway down to tell Kal she'd marry him. It was almost as if she knew he was going to die, I thought.

Leanne and Amy got out alive. I have to confess, I knew the actor playing Kal was leaving so it was a pretty safe bet he would be the "expendable crew member" this time around. Very sad for his children, though, to lose both parents and it's no surprise that Zeedan blames Leanne. And the explosion started a fire in the builder's yard around a lot of flammable material which then blew up and took Maddie down. I didn't see that coming, well, not that way anyway. I also knew the actress was leaving the show and expected something to happen though I thought it would be at the hands of Jenny Bradley.

Completely aside from all of this drama was the goings on in the Webster house where Jenny was getting ready to do a bunk with little Jack under one arm and a suitcase under the other. Capped in a black wig for a disguise, she nearly made her getaway but Maddie caught her before she got out the door. Maddie now realizes that Sophie was right all along and Jenny can't have that. We still don't know what happened in Jenny's past to send her over the edge but it clearly has and it has to do with someone named Tom and someone may think Jenny killed him.

All this loved up Sophie and Maddie stuff, though, had me very uneasy. It was close enough to Soap Opera Phrase of Doom that the two of them making plans for their future virtually guaranteed, in traditional Soap Law style, that something was going to happen and it did. Maddie managed to get away from Jenny, ran down to find Sophie and got caught up in another explosion from the builders' yard which caught fire from detritus after the propane tank exploded at the flats. I suppose it must have been internal injuries from the impact of the blast. We will have to wait until tonight to hear of Maddie's fate but I fear it won't be good.

It was nice to see Zeedan finally admit that he likes Leanne which confused him and made him feel like he is betraying his late mother. Of course he'd feel like that. But Kal understood and in the end, Zeedan gave his father his blessing to ask Leanne to marry him. Poor Kal. It was ok to give Simon the advice to "Be a man and just ask" but he had quite a time asking Leanne, didn't he? She kept thwarting his attempts and then he forgot the ring. Ultimately, they all got trapped in the fire when she went to look for him and discovered Carla's flat aflame.  After Kal was brought out of the fire, Zeedan turned back on Leanne in a totally expected reaction. You can't help feeling for him, though. He'd taken his mother's death so hard and now this.


Other observations:
It was a joy to see Mammy and Daddy Connor again, Mammy at her critical best, heckling her husband and deciding Michelle should have gone with a Juliet cap for her headdress. Holy 1970s Batman!

Why on earth is a nearly 80 year old Ken Barlow up a ladder helping to hang bunting!

Wasn't it nice that Sinead offered Steve genuine congratulations and even started up a chorus of For He's a Jolly Good Fellow. Not a grudging bone in her broken body, that one. Except it was one of her candles that started the fire. I suppose she'll blame herself. They were too tall!

I did not see it coming, where Amy is in the flat that's on fire. Nice touch! But you knew she'd get out ok. I say it serves Tracy right, though, yes? And that's the second time that Tracy thought she lost Amy to a fire, the first time being when Karen McDonald torched a car that had baby Amy in the back earlier.

Tim and Sally have officially started a wedding tradition of their own, getting all passionate and missing the event nearly altogether! Love it! I hope the writers continue this!

You'd think there would be a lift in a posh block of flats, wouldn't you?

Jenny certainly took her time packing up and getting ready to leave, didn't she? Hours!! How did she know Kevin would stay out so long? He nearly came home a few times and kept getting persuaded to stay. Then of course he was waylaid by the fire but she wouldn't have known that yet the cab came for her after 11 p.m. Where did she think Kevin would be under normal circumstances? And...that wig.

I guess she wore a wig in case the police were called to find a red headed woman and a child. That's the only reason I can figure for it. But she was ready to get in the cab once she picked up Jack from Rita's. Was she going to wear the wig across the road? That would kind of give the game up, wouldn't it?

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Things that irritate me

I love Coronation Street and I'm pretty forgiving of it for the most part. Sometimes, though, little things really rub me the wrong way.

Like "Out of Sight Out of Mind". What I mean by that is a character that has left the show is most often never or rarely referred to again even when they normally would be. In the case of Michelle's switched at birth sons, her biological son, Alex, has been forgotten completely. I get that, though, because it's clear the powers that be realized they made a big mistake and would just rather we forget all about it. Ok. It's forgotten. But what about darling Ryan?

Michelle almost never mentions him, not a call or a text. She's getting married and Ryan and Steve got along really well. Why isn't he mentioned? Is he coming back for the wedding? Is he 'eck. Surely if he was, Michelle would have mentioned it by now. Instead, we'll probably get a lame excuse why he couldn't leave the sun and sand for his mother's wedding. Or we'll get some reference to him living in a place to where we were not aware he'd moved, similar to Cilla suddenly pitching up in Wolverhampton after being last seen on the back roads of South Africa.

It bugs me that characters that have left the show are not brought back for special occasions, funerals at the very least. Wouldn't Curly Watts have returned for both Jack and Vera's send off? Wouldn't Hilda have come to Betty's funeral? In the real world, of course they would but at least in this sort of scenario, I do understand that the actors aren't always available or the studio doesn't want to pay extra for it. In the second instance, shame on them. Would it break the bank to have one or two actors who are willing to return for one or two episodes? Apparently, Chris Gascoyne is making himselef available for Deirdre's funeral as it should be! Still, if the studio didn't want it, it wouldn't happen and that's a damn shame.

Corrie is often good at giving a call back to something back in the show's history or a character's history, but not always when you would logically expect it. A child has given birth. That happened 15 years ago, too. Why hasn't Gail offered any sort of support or understanding to Anna? Why hasn't Sarah spoken to or offered to speak to Faye? Sarah would know what Faye is going through all too well. Even Bethany, much nearer to Faye's age if vastly different in personality could speak to growing up as the child of a young mother.

Neither Michelle nor Carla seem to bother at all with Maria when she is, in effect, part of their family and her son is their nephew. I wonder if Nick and Maria remember that they nearly got married once upon a time?

These are just recent nit picks and, ok, it's not a major issue, it just seemed like it was time for a little rant. There are always storyines I wish would go away, but I enjoy the show overall. People complain that it's not the same as it used to be. No, it's not. But though I can appreciate the older shows, when I watch them now on DVD, I also think how dull they often are. The humour is more forefront and I miss that. In today's world, though, gentle little shows that depict day to day life without too much sensationalism thrown in don't last very long.

There were always affairs, (*coughKenBarlowcough*) and always scandal brewing. There was even the very occasional murder, kidnapping or accident/disaster. There's just a lot more of it these days but competition is fierce and Corrie has to keep up. People have so much more choice on television and online. Gone are the days when the ratings reflected 13 and 18 million viewers, back in the days of just a handful of television channels available. Numbers will never reach those dizzying heights again.

I enjoy Coronation Street even as it evolves and becomes a somewhat different animal than it used to be. Mostly the characters are still reflective of the show's tradition, portraying people you know. The humour is still there, even if in smaller quantities. The quality of writing and acting is still miles better than other soaps most of the time on the whole. There will always be miscasts, and stories that miss the mark but then there always was. I love the show. And I will continue to find little irritations but that's just the way it is.

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