Should Auld Acquaintance be Forgot?

Coronation Street Episode Review – New Year’s Eve 2014

The residents of Coronation Street may have bid farewell to 2014, but it sadly appears that anything but a Happy New Year lies ahead for most of them with last night’s episode fraught with pain and tears and barely an ounce of light relief.

The Street is surprisingly divided where Roy’s actions are concerned. While we know he has the support of Chesney and a number of other residents, with Jason and Tyrone happy to help him clean the graffiti from his café front, it’s very disappointing to see him rejected by fickle friend Mary. While similarly deflating, it’s less of a surprise to find Anna being entirely unreasonable, viewing the whole sorry mess through frustratingly rose tinted glasses, and even allowing it to drive a wedge between her and Owen. Regardless of what others think of him however, Roy’s harshest critic is himself and his reaction to what has happened is entirely characteristic, as his honesty and integrity see him determined to plead guilty on Friday.

Gary is similarly eager to take full responsibility for his actions, and it is a testament to both their good natures that each tried to defend the other, and are willing to accept whatever punishment they are given. Gary visits Roy alone in the café in what is a moving scene and the best of the episode. Just as Coronation Street is divided with regard to Roy, the viewers appear to be split with regard to Gary, but his determination to make peace, his sincere apology and pledge to be different from now on is a testament to his strength of character and proof of his good heart.

Alya calls in to the flat to wish him a happy new year, and there is a lovely bashful awkwardness and chemistry between them which I find endearing. She knows of his failings but believes in him which speaks volumes concerning her own character. Despite the horrible circumstances, the Roy, Gary and Alya scenes were the ones I enjoyed most in this episode.

Circumstances are similarly dour at Platt towers where Michael announces he’s been evicted, and Max blames himself for his mother’s departure. David agrees to let Michael stay there temporarily, and assures Max that Kylie loves him and that her leaving had nothing to do with him.

Steve is relieved to hear Liz can give him the money he needs to set things right at Streetcars. A ray of sunshine, she also encourages him to give Michelle the gift he had bought for her, and tell her how he feels, but after overhearing her say she and Steve are done and she wants to put everything behind her and move on with her life, he gives up.

Erica and Nick continue their cringe inducing fling, but each one fears the other is looking for more than just a bit of fun.

Gavin shows a glimpse of his true colours when Steph accidentally sends him a text about what she thinks it would be like to kiss him, and he finds her trying to delete it from his phone. While he apologises to Steph and all is well between the pair, he succeeds in making Leanne more suspicious of him.

As midnight arrived I surveyed the scene before me. While there was a snog fest afoot in the form of Alya and Gary, Steph and Gavin, Leanne and Kal and Nick and Erica, none of them with the exception of Alya and Gary warmed my heart, especially considering everything else that was afoot.

Roy, alone in the flat, his cardigan buttoned incorrectly, touches the box containing Hayley’s ashes before going to bed alone in what is a heartbreaking scene. Steve is similarly tortured as he cries uncontrollably on his bedroom floor as downstairs in the Rovers they ring in the New Year. What should perhaps have been a scene of merriment and joy didn’t ring true for me however. At the centre of it all was a jubilant Mary, but I couldn’t enjoy her enthusiasm because of her treatment of Roy. As Tony raised a toast, I thought of his infidelity, and as Michelle cried behind the bar, I couldn’t sympathise. Nor was Anna a welcome sight as she threw back glasses of champagne in anger while Roy sat alone during what was always going to be a difficult time for him, irrespective of the break in. As they all joined hands to sing Auld Lange Syne, I thought of the meaning of the song; raising a cup of kindness to the memory of old acquaintances and times past. I thought that many of them had done little to demonstrate kindness to one another, and I wondered why the ghost of Blanche was the only one actually mentioned in the episode considering both Tina and Hayley had passed during the year.

There were some pertinent words of wisdom from Michael who observed, “It’s easier to get through the day if you’ve something to believe in”, and Liz who asked “Who wants ‘what if’ on their headstone? Seize the day.” As 2015 begins, it is these words that I will take from Corrie’s 2014 finale, and hope that things are brighter on our beloved cobbles beyond the spring. And to our editor Glenda, my fellow bloggers, readers and commenters, may the New Year be your best yet.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

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