Monday’s episodes this week were pretty damned good, I thought. And yet there were no tram crashes, no fires, no minibuses going off road and no murders. What was included was plenty of sharp, convincing, dialogue. It is this dialogue, this interaction between people, that is Coronation Street’s heart and soul. Mary’s lines were spectacular - sadness, poignancy, insight and humour.
Long ago though it may be, one of the best pieces of dialogue was Blanche Hunt speaking to Deirdre.
‘Good looks are a curse, Deirdre. You and Kenneth should count yourselves lucky.
And the inimitable Blanche again - this time it is Liz McDonald who cops it.
‘Skirt no bigger than a belt, too much eyeliner and roots as dark as her soul.’
And once more - this time to Tracy.
‘You’re remarkably chipper. Trod on a snail?’
Rita is always able to come upon a suitable comment when required, especially when it involves Norris.
Rita: Did you ever run away from home?’
Norris: No, I certainly did not!
Rita: That must have been a great disappointment to your mother.
Eileen too can produce the words when needed. Of Tracy Barlow she says:
‘Even her initials are a killer disease!’
It is, then, the sparkling wit of the dialogue that makes the show, along with great actors who can deliver the lines with conviction. It is the engine from which the show achieves its brilliance.
Sally and Tim work so well because of the connection between them, helped by the terrific dialogue written for them. It is the way the two characters contrast too. Tim is largely easy-going and unconcerned about social standing. Sally is deeply concerned about social status and how she is viewed by the outside world and revels in her position at Underworld, which often has her making unpleasant and patronizing comments to Alya, the young pretender. Private schools, sofas, Banksy, quinoa, kale are her concerns, even though she thinks a Vienetta has class. Long may these two continue to amuse us.
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