Sunday, 20 August 2017

5 of the best from Corrie's History this week

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog August 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Corriepedia is a wonderful site. If you haven't visited it, please do.

Every day on Twitter the guys who run Corriepedia look back at a handful of storylines which took place on this day in a different year of Coronation Street's history.

And so each Sunday I take  a look at my personal favourite five storylines from those which Corriepedia have alerted us to during the week.

I hope you enjoy these short and sweet looks down memory lane

August 14 in 2009
Becky is arrested for drug possession hours after marrying Steve

15th August in 1990
Peter Ingram suffers a heart attack while arguing with Mike Baldwin and dies in hospital

16th August in 1989
Gail has her first kiss with Martin Platt, who is ten years her junior

17th August in 1987
Alec and Bet return from Torremolinos and announce their engagement

18 August in 2014
Ken takes Deirdre on a caravan holiday in North Wales

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Drew's Choice

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog August 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Guest Blog Post from Lesley Katz
Fancy writing a guest blog post for us? All details here!   

When we, as viewers, first met Drew and Summer, I agreed with many here who commented that it wasn't realistic for Drew to ask Billy - an ex he hadn't seen in years - to become guardian to a kid he'd only met once. Even Drew seemed to wobble slightly on meeting Todd, who, as Billy's new partner, came across as less than solid. For the most part, Drew stuck to his guns, never apparently questioning whether Summer would get along with Billy, or whether, after meeting Summer – in her 12-year old incarnation – Billy would have qualms about taking her in.

As for Summer, she too seemed to act under Drew's spell, never questioning his choice, only affirming that if her father had selected Billy, it must be for a good reason. Admittedly, the storyline had an off-kilter quality, skating on a thin premise. Who were these people anyway? Surely, Drew had other closer friends, friends better known to Summer.

With Drew's death, the story has taken on new life, allowing us to understand some of Drew's and Billy's backstory, or at least to fill it in. With the introduction of Drew's mother, Geraldine, we get a good sense of the homophobic home Drew grew up in, the challenges this posed to his coming out, and why he would not have wanted to place his daughter in the grandparents' care. More, however, emerged in last week's showdown between Billy and Geraldine,

Apparently, three days before he died, Drew reached the decision to change his will and make Billy Summer's legal guardian. Maybe he thought there would be time for the idea to grow on Billy, or, conversely, maybe he thought time was running short and he'd make the decision easier for Billy by simply ringing up his solicitor and changing the will. Throughout this storyline runs the idea that Drew knew things about Billy beyond what we - or even Billy - knows about himself. “Drew wanted me to be part of Summer's life for a reason.”

At some point in the past, we learn that Billy served as Drew's sounding board. “Oh, years ago, Drew told me about some of the things that you said and did to him.” Daniel Brocklebank puts a chilling pause between “said” and “did,” suggesting that Geraldine's sadism extended beyond emotional cruelty to physical acts. Even Geraldine looks momentarily caught off guard, before pulling herself back into steely, self-righteous mode. What did Geraldine do to Drew as a kid coming into his own sexuality? Was Drew approximately Summer's age at the time? The hints of abuse that run through Billy's first hand testimony - “Oh... Drew told me,” shift the balance of authority, both moral and legal, in the conversation. I love how the camera keeps returning to granddad Angus's expression as he witnesses the showdown. Did he not know about Geraldine's abuse of Drew? Did he know but let it pass? Is either worse than the other?

In this brief but brilliant scene, Billy and Todd's once reluctant adoption of Summer turns into a rescue op. Billy: “Summer deserves the life [Drew] wanted for her and I won't rest until she gets it.” He and Todd go from lower-case guardians to full-on Guardians of a glorious Corrie tradition of exposing bigotry as a fatal flaw. Billy: “Now that we've spent some time together – and this has nothing to do with the collar I wear – I don't hate you Geraldine, I pity you.” That “I pity you” is an effective put-down for Geraldine, whose naked twistedness stands exposed. While her husband silently watches it all go down, Geraldine's world view is doubly KO'd by Todd's no-nonsense “You need help,” and Summer's mic drop: “Gran, I know you care about me, but the way you talk, the way you think, it's not normal.”

Angus, of course, has the final reveal, pulling a copy of Drew's revised will from a convenient drawer and telling Summer that the final decision lies with her. I fully agree with a comment Tvor made about this storyline, noting that Drew's solicitor would have contacted Billy directly to inform him about the change, but – let's admit – neither was Shakespeare known for overly realistic storyline wrap-ups.

“Drew wanted me to be part of Summer's life for a reason.” We can assign all sorts of posthumous wisdom to Drew's choice, but in the end, it's down to the writers.  It was all “for a reason,” but one which I, for one, did not see coming: to make these three over – Billy, Todd, and Summer - not as a randomly cobbled-together family unit, but as a threesome fused around a strong core of progressive like-mindedness. They may very well be the second coming of Roy and Hayley Cropper, just not in the shape we anticipated.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Who's the real target, Robert or Michelle?

Michelle has been throwing Phrases of Doom all over the place over the last few episodes, thinking everything is going to be ok, all the troubles are over now. It makes me shudder when I hear all that. It only means the worst is yet to come.

Macho man roughs up the apparent culprit behind all the aggro but Rich insists he's not to blame. What if he isn't? Who else has it in for Robert, who else might be mounting a campaign to scare Robert into submission over some imagined slight? The only other one I could think of might be Adam, trying to scare Robert into a bigger settlement for Chesney but that seems a bit extreme, even for Adam.

What if Robert isn't the target at all? What if Michelle is the target? The graffiti was generic enough, "R.I.P.", the fire "bomb" only damaged the sign outside the restaurant where she worked and wasn't tossed through a window or the door. The flat was overturned but nothing was taken and the back window of her car was smashed while she wasn't in it. The car, by the way, that nobody knew she owned. I suppose that was bought with her divorce settlement. Apparently she's going to be kidnapped or suspected to be.

If she's the true target, who would it be? My money's on Will. Does anyone else find it odd that he's reappeared just before all this started? He would certainly be holding a grudge. He told Maria he regretted his silly crush on a married woman but many a man who starts off seeming reasonable has turned out to be off his rocker.

What say you, kind folk? Could Michelle be the real target? If so, who and why?

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Sunday Comments August 20

Poor Toyah. It's a lot of stress and she's already lost one relationship over the failure of IVF and her need to have a child, constantly disappointed. She can't get away from babies or people talking about them and that makes it even worse. As she told Liz, it isn't easy giving up your dream. She had a long talk with Leanne about it all and she knew exactly what to do, she's going to find somewhere else to live. Peter proposed other options but Toyah has reached a breaking point. But after a conversation with Izzy, Toyah seems to be considering a surrogate. I wonder if anyone will tell her about how things went with Tina? Izzy did mention it was a hassle. i.e. Gary getting a crush on Tina who fell for Peter and then fell over the railing and died at Rob's hand. Izzy did give her some good advice and she's changed her mind. Peter's pleased and is willing.

Sounds like Erica is still ambivalent about her relationship with Dev. She has no compunction for letting Liz stay with her and putting Dev on the sofa. You can tell Erica's last nerve is being rubbed raw. Sounds like that "we need to talk" conversation Dev was trying to avoid is forthcoming.

Kevin has someone in line to buy the second garage under the viaduct. Dev seemed very interested. Let's not forget he's trying to sell off the gym premises. Turns out he's had an offer, too, from the same people and if he takes the offer, he's screwing over a mate. Moral dilemma. I don't think Kevin would think twice about undercutting Dev, do you? Erica thinks business is business. She's right but Dev still wants to be fair and let Kevin know what's going on. She's also right that Kevin just might not be fair if the shoe was on the other foot. And she doesn't want too much confrontation between the two men because her secret might get out.

But she's backing away from breaking off with Dev again. She's back and forth more than a fiddler's elbow, that one. He's proposed she can be the project manager when he starts to expand his empire which appeals to her but as Liz points out, it won't make a relationship great just because he's offered her a good job.

Kevin is unaware that his potential buyer is also courting Dev. But Tim has guessed that something went on between Kevin and Erica so Kevin confesses the whole ugly truth of the near-fling. I really like that Tim, while he's Kevin's BFF, is also loyal to Anna, and tells Kevin off for his disloyalty. It's all contrived so that Mary overhears, especially the bits where Kevin makes a point of saying it was Erica doing all the running, and goes running to Dev, which is where her loyalty lies. He sold the gym and thought his future was looking up until Mary told her what she overheard though she thought it was a full blown affair.

Dev went straight across and confronted Kevin. Even if he found out it was only a near miss, he still felt betrayed especially when Anna told him Erica did all the running. And even though that's true, Erica being the instigator, Kevin still has to bear some of the blame and I'm pleased that Dev isn't backing away from letting Kevin off the hook but he still feels a mug. He's had a shock and after what he went through with Sunita and Karl, it's going to hit even harder.

I guess Liz staying with Erica at Number 7 didn't last very long did it? Now she's back bunking at the flat *with* Erica since Dev threw her out. So if she's back in her bedroom with Erica, did Steve give his up for Leanne or have they installed bunk beds? Anyway, The twins overheard Erica and Liz and now they know Dev has kicked Erica out so they're taking matters into their own hands. They engineer a public disaster, throwing cold liquid at Mary but they got Liz instead.

Mary was honest with Erica and if Erica really does love Dev, she wouldn't have been chasing Kevin, would she? But Erica didn't like to be criticized. Truth hurts.

Leanne has decided it really is better to leave the pub, it's too difficult for Toyah to have baby Oliver around so she asks if she can stay with Eva. She leaves the baby with Steve while she moves her things. Steve is concerned that Oliver is stressed due to moving homes so much, no wonder he cries all night! He wants to talk to Leanne about "controlled crying" but she's not got the time. Of all people, Tracy actually has a modicum of sympathy for Leanne, not that she'd let her know but she does point out to Steve that Leanne has been dumped, kicked out of her home and is raising a baby on her own on 2 hours of sleep a night. This gives Steve something to think about and he invites Leanne to move in with him, asking Liz to go with Erica in a house that's already bursting at the seams. Leanne is surprised but agrees. It just might work, they can share child minding duties.

So much for controlled crying. Steve's idea but he hates to let the baby cry! They do share a laugh over a chuckling baby. Isn't he cute!? Liz noticed that Steve and Leanne get on quite well together and put a few not so subtle hints out there about them being a family. I'm not surprised Oliver is having trouble sleeping though it is likely not just moving house a few times. Leanne has been under a lot of stress since Nick left and he's probably picking up on that, too. In any case, that baby is still not sleeping through the night and now both Leanne *and* Steve are suffering for it.

Liz keeps on hinting that Steve and Leanne might make a good couple. But the more she drops hints, the more Steve seems to be picking them up. He's very impressionable is Steve. He's not a bad bloke, though. He's minding the baby while Leanne goes out for drinks with the girls. Her night didn't start off on the best foot but Eva got her all decked out and looking fine. It was a bit strange that Eva's dress fit her perfectly across the chest when Eva's chest is about 4 cup sizes bigger! She did look nice and Steve thought so, too and laid on the guilt to make her stay home with him. She did and then by the end of the evening, things were going so well, he proposed!

Nobody got hurt in the fire at the Bistro, and even the Bistro didn't get that badly damaged. Finally the police are called in and Robert also thinks his mugging is related but he can't prove Rich is behind it all. Later they discovered the flat was broken into. Michelle is a wreck and sooner or later she's going to blame Robert directly. It's pretty scary, three things like that in the course of a 24 hour period.

Rich has an alibi for the night of all the aggro at the Bistro and the flat. So if it wasn't him, did he hire someone? No proof yet. Later, Robert meets up with Adam and Chesney to negotiate a compensation settlement. Adam pushes for 10 grand but Robert goes for 5 and Chesney decides that's fine with him, he just wants it all over. It's clear Chesney's still nervous and on edge and that feeds Robert's guilt. But Robert doesn't even have five thousand. What's he going to do? Well, he lies to Michelle and says he's got a meeting when what he does is take money from the till and head to the casino where we see he's not having much luck. Naturally Michelle finds out and chases him there just as he's emptied his bank account in one last desperate measure. She shouts at him but he bets it all anyway.

That last gasp worked. Robert must have won because he handed over five thousand to Chesney with an apology. Blimey! Then Robert discovers that the bogeyman has struck again and the window in Michelle's car has been smashed. Anyway she's narked that he paid off Chesney even though she's the one that started it all when she gave him a bit of money. She thinks he paid Chesney off so people wouldn't go digging in his past. She's narked that he keeps her shut out of things and lies to her. She's really gone against him now hasn't she? He agrees in theory and then goes out to get her car fixed but doesn't tell her that it's been broken into. I see the Rebound cracks are appearing.

Michelle decided to drive to Leeds to visit a friend and luckily, Luke was able to get the car window fixed overnight. I thought Robert was going with her but he didn't. Instead, he got all macho and roughed up Rich down in the ginnel for threatening and upsetting Michelle and for the fact that poor Chesney is scared stiff. Rich keeps insisting he's not to blame for the various incidents. Michelle then caught Robert and Rich leaving the ginnel and realized there was still things he wasn't telling her and Robert even said he wonders that Rich might be telling the truth. You know, it might not be someone that has something against Robert, it might be someone that has something against Michelle! You never know! But either way, every time Robert promises to keep Michelle in the loop, and we all know he's still hiding things, things that she finds out within a matter of minutes and then shouts at him all over again, I roll my eyes and wonder why she keeps taking him back after ever lie she catches him telling.

Please make this storyline go away! I really hate it.

Craig has a meeting at the station later and he's doing everything he can to avoid it. He's pretty sure he's going to lose the job because of the illegal way he got the evidence against Neil. So when Dev is short handed, he trades with Sophie and cleans windows while she works in the shop for Dev for a few hours.

That's because Erica is starting work at the Bistro. Sophie scolds Dev because he's not even wished her good luck so he picks up a card and he and Mary plunk themselves down underfoot at the Bistro in support. Erica is not best pleased. Probably because she can't continue to flirt shamelessly with Zeedan which, franky, is creepy.

Back to Craig, Sophie, Gemma and Bethany are worried about him and none of them think it's fair that he might lose his job. Bethany feels particularly guilty but as Gemma points out, Craig is her mate and he was never going to back down because that's what you do for your mate. In the end, Craig got off with a warning! Brilliant!

Rita's worried that Mary and Norris marrying for a competition is only going to end in tears. Later she forgets that she has bought Gemma her bright and cheerful tea mug. Is that something we should worry about? Are they going somewhere with the memory issues? She *is* in her mid 80s after all, some memory loss is probably inevitable.

Alya and Luke are still circling around each other. Luke ends up having to make her dinner because it's his turn on a rota. Luke even made Alya's favourite, risotto. But Robert needs Michelle's car fixed and ends up paying through the nose for it. Alya will have to eat alone.

Amy and Summer didn't seem to get on too well. I think, though, they could end up being really good friends. Or Frenemies. We didn't see it, but Amy obviously ran her mouth off too far and got a smack for it. Billy is horrified, Todd is amused! Oh dear.

Todd, Billy and Summer are starting to work out how to get along together. Tracy throws empty threats around because Summer slapped Amy who probably had it coming and the girls aren't shy about insulting each other, too. Later, Billy snoops in Summer's private decorated box, the one she smacked Amy over and finds lots of photos of her and her dad. Billy immediately assumes Summer doesn't feel like she's at home yet. Well, duh. They frame and hang some of her photos and she wasn't too happy that they were snooping in her stuff. Todd seems to be able to connect with Summer better. The poor kid is grieving.

Billy's next attempt at distracting her is to help her build a robot. Summer didn't want to bother but when the lads got stuck in, she couldn't resist! But she's still got a long way to go to really feel like the three of them are family and that's nobody's fault. They just have to all get to know each other and help her deal with her grief.

Liz is struggling at the medical centre so Steve thought he could ask Peter to hire Liz part time. Peter did try but Liz wasn't having any of it. Favourite scene of the week: Liz smacking Steve for interfering. But then "Moo-ra" came in and told Liz to wear beige clothing. Sophie managed to get her share of that bonus money Gina got from the factory, which was most of it. So Chesney has his payoff but he's still nervous. He's not looking forward to the court case and Gemma's scare mongering doesn't help when he has to walk down the street alone. Adam is trying to get more information on the factory and wants Eva to remove the hard drive from the computer. I think he's forgetting who he's talking too.

Maria has signed herself up for a dating app, probably insurance against Aidan never leaving Eva and oh look who's on there, Michelle's ex, Will! Michelle even encourages Maria to connect with Will. He's a nice guy and it's no skin off Michelle's nose. She approves so Maria does just that. She's not quite sure if she should actually say yes to a date but Erica grabs her phone and does it for her. They meet in the pub, right under Aidan's nose and Maria is rather smug about that. In fact, it was probably her intent all along. Maria's still not sure about dating will but Michelle encourages her.

The DNA results are in and nobody's surprised to find out Nicola is Phelan's daughter. He's chuffed to little mint balls. It's really thrown him for a loop. She seems a bit iffy but open to it. Then the next day, Phelan gets all neighbourly with Gail. Strange. You wouldn't expect that. The reason was so that she could hand out a dose of guilt over her grief for Michael. Looks like they're giving Phelan reasons to want to reform for Nicola's sake. He's now realizing that he's not really a good man and wants to be for his daughter. I'm afraid it doesn't change overnight and he's got a lot to answer for.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Elvis Presley and Coronation Street

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog August 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

This week was the 40 year anniversary of the death of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. Let's have a look at ten of his best-loved songs, Coronation Street style.

Can't Help Falling in Love with You (and You and You and You and You and You....)

You Ain't Nothing But a Hound Dog

Jailhouse Rock

Heartbreak Hotel

Suspicious Minds

In The Ghetto

A Little Less Conversation (A Little More Action)

Way On Down

Love Me Tender

Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Robert and Michelle: A Poem

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in August 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Robert and Michelle, they're so boring
That current storyline leaves me snoring

 Michelle with Steve was barely viable
Putting her with Robert is totally risible 

Please Kate Oates, make it stop
I can't decide which character I'd rather you drop

Arms folded; dead-eyed stares
All those impossibly black dyed hairs

Come on Corrie Street, bring it to an end
Before you send this viewer completely round the bend 


By Graeme Naylor (Channeling Pam Ayres).

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter
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