Coronation Street

Whistling the People’s Tune

22.01.161Coronation Street double episode review, Friday 12 February 2016

Confessions were rife on Friday’s Corrie, so I’ll begin with one of my own; the episode previews didn’t have me overly excited to see them. I haven’t enjoyed the Simon story, and the prospect of Beth slogging it out with Kylie, upset Izzy and Mary and Norris arguing didn’t fill me with enthusiasm. Even so, it’s how events are portrayed that can prove pleasantly surprising, and I wasn’t watching long before Sally Metcalfe’s poster caught my eye, and her slogan, “whistling the people’s tune” had me laughing out loud. As is often the case these days, the scenes involving her, and those in her orbit, prove to be the most enjoyable.

With Ken standing down on family grounds, Mary and Norris are ready to step into the role of campaign manager. As observed in my last review, Mary is over Brendan now, and is not the only one to revert to type as the Norris who championed his injured friend just two weeks ago has crawled back under his bridge. As Mary declares, “Strategy is my middle name”, the Kabin dweller retorts, “As is evidenced by your highly successful life.” How dreadful.

Realising their political persuasions are too different, both insist that Sally must choose between them. Her decision raised the roof in my house as she selected Norris on the basis that Mary’s affair could link her to a “sordid scandal”. A delicious irony there – perhaps when it comes to slogans, Mary’s suggestion of “the woman you haven’t met yet” isn’t far off the mark.

Tim’s eye-rolls amuse, but make no mistake, he is fully behind his wife as he staunchly defends her in the Rovers. It’s a pity Sally didn’t hear him, as he’s accused seconds later of failing to be supportive and muddles off like a kicked puppy.

With regard to Mary, I hoped her bad experience would give her a new lease of life. I’m not sure flaunting her new-found status as a “woman of the world” constitutes that, and in the style stakes, she’s left her beautiful outfits behind for her oversized mac. A scene between her and Gail in the Bistro was nevertheless a triumph as she laments the role of Valentine’s Day in reminding single ladies of their status, and criticises Michael and Brendan via some wonderful dialogue from writer Ella Greenhill.

MARY: “If they wanted to tame a strong, independent woman, they should have got down on one knee”
GAIL: “Well, Michael did get down on one knee”
MARY: “Yes, but then he got up and staggered over to Eileen”

Brilliant.

12.02.16Despite having the support of Ken and Zeedan, Leanne should’ve shared her decision to go to the police with Simon long before they arrived at the door, and manhandled him into the car.

Ken accompanies Simon to the station where he admits to being unable to control his anger. It isn’t long before the police see the red mist descend for themselves when he feels nobody believes him.

Meanwhile, Zeedan is there to comfort Leanne, and echo Ken’s sentiments, that a rap on the knuckles might be just what Simon needs. His consistent support, along with that of Eva and Ken, continues to be a highlight of this storyline.

Once released pending an investigation, Simon insists on staying with Ken. Leanne is later stunned to discover from Tom that video footage of the incident with Kyle proves Simon’s innocence. While he did claim to Zeedan to have injured him on purpose, it seemed rash for Leanne to act as she did on this basis alone without at least attempting to talk to other witnesses; after all, Kyle’s family obviously didn’t see fit to call the police over it. It’s hard to see how their relationship can come back from this.

Meanwhile, David and Kylie are involved in another cover-up. David knows Beth’s rash is his fault, having applied hair dye while failing to do a patch test, but she’s blaming Nick’s Bistro and calls Environmental Health to investigate. Conscience-free Kylie encourages David to say nothing until Audrey forces him to confess. All convene at The Bistro where they sit about over a prolonged period as if it’s a doctor’s waiting room. The result is a slanging match between Beth and Kylie which involves jumping on seats in view of the customers and Nick grimacing that he’s trying to run a business. In the end, so aggrieved is Beth that she accepts free hairdos for a year from the place which she claims nearly killed her.

12.02.161Contemporary Corrie tends to bring in short plot lines from time to time to facilitate bigger ones, and then the lead-in issue disappears, having fulfilled its purpose. Anyone else wondering how Rita’s foray into social media is going? Has Carla gambled since she slept with Robert? Of late, we’ve gotten to know Erica better, and I love what I see. Her positive outlook is refreshing, she doesn’t worry about much, and is a risk-taker always up for a bit of fun. I’m hoping the emergence of these qualities hasn’t been to set her up as the model candidate for the purchase of cannabis for Izzy who is struggling to cope with the pain caused by dislocating her hip. Optimistic, carefree Erica needs to stay!

Elsewhere, Tracy is disgusted to hear from Todd that Carla and Michelle plan to stay overnight at a wedding fair she’s attending with Robert. I’m all for the Todd and Tracy double-act, but it feels as if some scenes are forced for our amusement, such as having Todd rehearse what to say to someone ordering flowers for a funeral. His general irritation at Tracy is amusing though, as is his escape to the Rovers to avoid her.

Finally, we never did see Sally tuck into Tim’s supermarket dinner for two. Heaven forbid he has plumped for Freshco’s Fundamentals.

By Emma Hynes
www.emmahynes.wordpress.com
Twitter: @ELHynes

This review originally appeared on the Coronation Street Blog on Saturday, 13 February 2016.

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