American Graffiti?

25 April2Coronation Street Episode Review – Friday 24 April 2015

Michael and Gail’s second attempt at a wedding has arrived, and while these are normally happy occasions, this one is constantly referred to as something to get through, and it makes me wonder why it’s happening at all. I’m not sure how poorly you’d need to be to miss your daughter’s big day, but Audrey claims to be too sick which at least gives us the pleasure of a rather accurate impression from David.

It’s not all fun and games however as, having told Luke the truth about Andy, Steph watches in horror as her brother attacks him in the street. She’s quick to tell shocked witness Maria that “Gavin” cheated on her, but it doesn’t prevent Luke from being dumped for his show of violence.

After hearing this news, Gail is concerned Luke will tell Maria to try justify his behaviour. She panics, and at the pleasantly predictable time of 7.59pm and mid-vows, says she’s unable to go ahead with the wedding. Surely this is as likely to give Michael’s weak heart a workout as learning the man who he thinks is his son is an imposter, and his bride has been hiding the death of his real son from him? In any event, the wedding goes ahead with a rather unromantic “Let’s get this thing done” from Gail and a humorous kiss that made everyone gurn and groan and me laugh out loud.

Andy’s speech at the reception is from the heart and appears to constitute more of a farewell than anything as he decides to leave the street. I loved Steph’s tearful phone call, his appearance at the apartment door and their passionate embrace, and while for the most part their relationship throughout this story has mainly consisted of sharing suspicious looks, this scene really showed how much they do mean to one another.

I thought Bethany sparkled when she arrived on the cobbles, but her constant sneering and smart comments have begun to wear thin. They certainly weren’t welcome when Michael read out the words of Some Enchanted Evening during his vows, and getting drunk at 14, destroying the buffet and the cake and having to be brought home by the newlyweds was just as unpalatable. Having snuck off to meet Callum, Sarah is just as unapologetic on returning to learn about all this, and it’s not hard to see where Bethany gets her attitude from. Sarah sulks at the news that Gail and Michael are off to the Costa Brava courtesy of Nick, and David says what we are surely all thinking; “you’d have known if you’d have been interested in anyone but yourself.” As Corrie weddings go, it was certainly eventful, but overall, a rather damp squib.

Elsewhere, Norris is firmly on his soap box as he claims to have made glow in the dark buttons for the war effort (despite only being born in 1940), expresses his disdain at Faye’s situation and mocks Jenny Bradley’s father’s death by asking if she’s taking a tram on her day out with Jack.

25 April4

While she doesn’t react to Norris, her behaviour concerning the child is of increasing concern. She lets a customer at Roy’s believe he’s hers, and when she learns from Sophie that the childminder has broken her leg, resigns from her job and makes out to Kevin that she has been let go, leaving her free to look after Jack full time. Sophie gets her dander up by asking if she’d ever thought of having kids of her own, and Jenny’s spiky reaction leaves her and us even more suspicious.

Another one to arouse suspicions is Sinead’s friend Sam. As she prepares to leave hospital, Chesney appears concerned at their close relationship. It’s all private jokes and giggles between the pair which I found a tad rude and immature considering Chesney has been so attentive. Sinead later reveals to Sam that she isn’t looking forward to going home as she can’t take the fussing. He reminds her that the first rule of being a patient is gratitude, but aside from this, his sideways glances and mocking of Chesney make me wonder if he’s as wholesome as he makes out.

25 April3Meanwhile Sharif sets his sights on Cathy’s neglected allotment. Roy is adamant the suggestion is handled with sensitivity and disagrees with his partner’s approach. Unfortunately she overhears them discuss the matter and is incensed at the notion that they have been disingenuous and are only assisting her with their sights on a “landgrab”. Roy, being his honourable self, demands that Sharif return and throw himself on Cathy’s mercy, otherwise he can consider their partnership finished.

Cathy isn’t the only one feeling affronted, as Sally stands appalled before her side wall which has been besmirched with some interesting graffiti. Sophie sees it as artwork and refuses to destroy it and while various other residents voice their theories and opinions, Sally’s gratitude at it not being pornographic is a delight. Will this be the spray paint equivalent of the grotesque Manhattan range sofa which got easier on the eye once Sally learned of its designer status? Does Sally have a Banksy on her hands?

Sally’s snobbery has become one of the street’s most treasured traits and her disdain at Tyrone’s ability to handle a meeting, the likelihood of Jenny bringing Jack back “full of E numbers and fizzy pop”, her reprimanding of Tim for being “uncouth” at the wedding reception and declaration that “It’s Weatherfield not South Central LA, and I have no desire to be down with the house boys” were all a joy.

On the whole I enjoyed both of these episodes which were peppered with animated dialogue and strong characterisation, and I find myself interested to see how each of the little cliffhangers unfold.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

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