(This post was originally posted by Scott Willison on the Coronation Street Blog in November 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)
GAIL IS ON TWITTER. Forget every other plotline this week; this was the big one. GAIL POTTER-TILSLEY-PLATT-HILLMAN-PLATT-MCINTYRE-RODWELL IS ON THE SOCIALS. I really wish this was true. There are a bunch of tedious "parody" accounts for Gail - as there seemingly is for every single character in the show - but I want one with a blue tick. I'd follow her in a heartbeat. I hope she hasn't made the rookie mistake of using her real name as her Twitter handle; let's face it, @gailrodwell is going to look pretty silly in a couple of years when she marries, oh I don't know, Dirk. In the meantime, Gail, follow me; I'll help you negotiate the fake news and the trolls and we can livetweet Strictly together.
Kevin is a fashion icon. For nigh-on thirty years Kevin Webster has favoured a charcoal grey blouson whenever he left the house. I'm not sure what it's made of - asbestos and unicorn mane, judging by its hardiness - but the other residents of the Street have finally noted its strong style and have begun copying him. First up, Dev, appearing in Friday's episode in a jacket that looked suspiciously familiar. By next week, Rosie will have done a photoshoot for moxy! wearing nothing but the jacket, and then TopShop will be full of them for spring.
Robert definitely wasn't in a private room in the hospital, honest. The problem with every other plotline on Corrie resulting in a hospital visit is that the audience is becoming awfully familiar with the set. I'm considering using that big red Accident and Emergency sign as my Christmas card this year, as I've seen it more often than my own family. As a way to try and counter this, in Wednesday's episode they tried to pretend Robert was in a ward rather than the usual private room by having an old man leaving just as Michelle arrived. It didn't work, and instead created intrigue as we wondered who he was, and what exactly he wanted with Robert. You may as well just expand the set and turn it into a ward; at this rate, half the cast will be in hospital at any one time, so it'll be well used.
Sally now shops at the Co-op. The presence of actual, real-life shopping bags in Corrie represents a seismic shift. For years Freshco has existed as the default supermarket, but the relaxation of product placement laws means we now have Mayor Metcalfe using a real-world shop. Is the Co-op closer? Has Freshco been closed down by the Health Inspectors? Did Reg Holdsworth return as manager, and so everyone is shopping on the other side of town just so they don't have to see his gnomish face every day? It's a little disturbing to see, to be honest, and a fracture in the world of Weatherfield. Not least since, as we discovered with the Nationwide cash machine in Dev's, or Liz suddenly taking Visa contactless payments in the Rovers, the minute the deal ends the show pretends it never happened. Six months of everyone banging on about the dividends at the Co-op, then, for some reason, they'll all just start shopping at Freshco again.
Watching people play cards is really boring. If you are actually in the room, fair enough. Maybe if you've followed every trick and hand. But interminable shots of Robert whacking down a pair of jacks, only to lose another stack of chips, are not even slightly interesting. When Casino Royale did this, they spiced things up with a couple of fights and poisonings between hands. Perhaps think about that next time Robert goes down the casino, Corrie; pause after the first hand for Robert to beat up an African war lord in a stairwell. Hey, if you play it right, you can get another hospital scene out of it!
Seriously, Gail, follow me: @merseytart
Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter