Coronation Street double episode review, Friday 1 April 2016.
There is a bit of April Fools shenanigans in tonight’s Corrie with Audrey telling Ken that David came out, and Amy spinning a yarn about getting detention for yawning in assembly. Audrey’s face as Ken speaks of the Canterbury Tales being the origin of the April Fool is a picture, as is Amy’s when she successfully tricks her granddad. Elle Mulvaney is a great actress and Amy’s disappointment at feeling abandoned by Steve is a nice counter to her ‘Blanche mark II’ routine, not to mention the shades of mini-Tracy.
Ken may not have gotten to write his strongly worded letter to the school, but he managed to pen a card for Harry. Heading home from hospital isn’t a happy occasion for Sarah though as she seems very concerned about his wellbeing and worries it’s too soon. It doesn’t help that everyone else opts to do something trivial rather than pick them up or be home to welcome them. She remains on edge and is rude to well-wishing Ken before refusing him a hold of the baby. As she later stands alone in the house staring at him in his basket, it’s clear all is not well.
On a positive note, Bethany’s character continues to make turns for the better, and is much more endearing than the girl we met over a year ago.
Liz doesn’t have much sympathy for Michelle’s plight even after she learns Steve would rather play golf than talk to his wife on the phone. She’s more worried about her getting close to Will, especially after finding out from Sean that they went out together, and she sees her heading off to the Bistro with him for a tasting looking fabulous. Erica is on hand to calm her down, pointing out Michelle’s done nothing wrong, and talks her out of marching over to confront the pair.
Will is an endearing chap, cheerfully wondering if his fiancée is too posh for him and reminiscing over old times. But it’s not long before Michelle crumbles over the canapés and confesses the lot to him about Steve. It certainly sounds like he’s made himself at home in Spain as she reveals he’s the life and soul of brother Andy’s bar while she is stuck in Weatherfield struggling to keep everything afloat.
Their conversation helps her feel better, and the old connection between the pair comes off well. They arrive back to chaos at the Rovers where Erica tries to cope with a stag, and Will rolls his sleeves up to help out. Liz is off at a brewery function as the drunk-acting rabble take over, but Erica is her ever-cheerful self and takes it all in her stride.
Attacking the bar in alphabetical order, they make it as far as grappa before a kerfuffle breaks out in which Audrey’s drink is knocked over and the culprit refuses to replace it. We see another side to Freddie who pulls a masterstroke by threatening him into buying her a drink while at the same time becoming a favourite of the group. He’s not the only one, as Mary shares in the revelling and goes home adorned in one of their t-shirts. I can’t help but think not all stags would’ve been as kind to her as she rambled on about mother.
When all is over and cleared away, Liz returns to find Will and Michelle over a whisky and is not impressed. “Don’t mind me, I only live here” she sneers with no appreciation for what they’ve done. With Will out of the picture, she confronts Michelle, demanding the truth and quoting her wedding vows back to her. An almighty shouting match ensues in which Michelle vents everything she’s wanted to say but felt she couldn’t, and it’s one of those rare occasions where Liz is out of order and you can feel Michelle’s frustration clearly. I was never a fan of the way either of them used to treat Steve, but Michelle did change her ways, and doesn’t deserve this. Throughout both episodes and at the end of the second, alone in the bar crying, you can’t but feel for her.
Anna insists Izzy look for legitimate methods of pain control and she agrees to talk to the doctor where a solution is sadly not forthcoming. Gary continues to be a great support, even offering to get her more drugs, and move in. While she refuses to go either route, she thanks him for being there for her.
Councillor Metcalfe didn’t lie when she said local issues were paramount, as next door neighbours the Nazirs get a visit from the Environmental Health Officer at her behest over their chicken coop. Yasmeen is furious while Sharif keeps the linguistically florid Officer sweet as he waxes lyrical about the “Four Seasons of poultry hospitality, the Hilton of hen-based habitation”. It’s a delight when they catch up with Sally in the street to deliver the happy news that they’ve passed, and her distaste as they thank her for her efforts is most satisfying. I’m a fan of the Nazirs and love the authenticity of the relationship between Yasmeen and Sharif.
Sophie Webster’s awe at Kate in a wedding dress is as subtle as a factory run by three Connors and it’s a wonder the bride-to-be doesn’t notice. She admits to dreaming about not turning up to the wedding, but Sophie convinces her it’s nerves. After Sally pops around to make alterations, Caz phones from Cyprus and is not happy to learn that Sophie has seen her fiancée in her wedding dress. I haven’t gotten good vibes from Caz, and the pair have never appeared suited so I’m hoping this wedding doesn’t go ahead.
Rather cringey stag aside, I liked the conversation and feel of these episodes which were dialogue heavy in parts and nicely paced to allow for sufficient resonance where needed. Again, some nice normality which is always welcome.
This review originally appeared on the Coronation Street Blog.