Thursday 31 May 2007

Exiting Actors

Right off the bat, i'm warning you. This post contains spoilers for Canada, New Zealand and Australia. OK? There's no way to hide these posts behind a link like we have over on Livejournal so you'll have to make do with a warning.

Sometimes actors are only hired for a short term. Sometimes actors are fired and sometimes they want to go of their own accord. They want to try other things like stage and films or just explore other television opportunities. The only things Granada allows their actors to participate in while under contract are either to promote the show or charity related things like Stars in their Eyes or those star-pop-idol shows. When an actor is going to leave the show, they try to think of inventive ways for them to exit. They don't want to repeat the same sort of exit storyline over and over.

Some exits are more or less ordinary. The character gets to go off into a happy sunset or they are upset and hurt or fed up and stalk off to make a new life for themselves. "There's nothing left here for me now" ... that sort of thing. Some go out in a blaze of glory with spectacular, sensational and gripping storylines. That's the media-speak for it, anyway. Car crashes and fires figure strongly in those, sometimes both at the same time! There are some that die of disease where they die tragically surrounded by their loved ones. Once in awhile, there is a suicide, or a sudden heart attack and occasionally there's a murder.

Sometimes the actor wants to be killed off but other times, they have a disagreement with their employers and it seems like they're killed off out of spite. It's been known to happen. Most times, the exit storyline is well written and well thought out even if we don't want to see the character leave. It's always good when a disliked character gets a fitting end, either death or disgrace.

So anyway, I am getting to a point. Really! In Canada we are about to embark on a storyline that will bring about the departure of characters Frankie and Danny. They are popular characters on the show for me. Currently they are divorced although Danny really wants Frankie back. She seems to be wavering at times but is holding fast and dating others. I know because i always look ahead, what their exit storyline is and i have to say i HATE IT!

They're going to have Jamie, pretty much out of the blue, start moping around just when he and Violet are getting closer. She wants more of a committment and he starts backing away but lets her move in anyway. Then the fun begins. We are teased by the writers into wondering if Jamie is actually going to come out of the closet and get together with Sean, his mate. But no. That's not what they're heading for though i really don't see how they decided on that "twist" along the way to where they actually were going.

No. They're going to have Jamie realize he's got feelings for someone else, allright. His stepmother, Frankie!!!!! Back when his alcoholic mother was around, she accused them of just that but they both said she was talking out of her backside. Turns out she's going to be proven right. There is no blood relation between Frankie and Jamie and there's about 10 years difference in their ages so it's not like Jamie's a teenager. He's about 27 i think. Frankie has raised him from the time he was about 7 or 8. As a son. Yet Jamie wears her down and she admits she has feelings for him too.

This is wrong on just so many levels!! Even if she's using Jamie because she can't admit she wants Danny back, it's no excuse. This has to be the worst storyline for the ICK factor EVER! Pure tabloid trash. When did Coronation Street start channeling Jerry Springer? I'd rather have had Jamie realize he was gay or at least think he was but find out he was wrong. Frankie goes from Jamie to Danny and back to Jamie again and when Danny finds out he goes ballistic and he leaves. Frankie finally realizes how it's shattered all their lives and packs her bags as well and leaves Jamie behind. But this storyline, though it's just barely going to start here, is already leaving me with a bad taste in my mouth.

I know it's not technically wrong because they aren't blood related but Frankie has been a far better mother to Jamie than his own and he's always thought of her that way, even as an adult. It came out of the blue because the writers thought the sensationalism of it would be a "gripping" storyline. They are wrong. People just don't accept it. Oddly enough, they kissed at Christmas 2005 and the press blew it out of proportion, the actors later said that it was a storm in a teacup. Obviously even then they didn't know the writers would revisit it.

After they leave, Jamie limps along with no real storyline to speak of until Leanne comes back (the actress was on maternity leave) and even then, he's only on the periphery. I won't be surprised if Jamie gets his own exit storyline soon. There hasn't been much for him lately and he's got no family around for connections really. Even the odious (uncle) Adam Barlow is gone (no great loss there, though).

Sunday 27 May 2007

And the rest for a Sunday....

Lines of the week:

  • Liz about Michelle "If he's (Michelle's son, Ryan) 14, how old does that make her when she had him?" (oh, probably older than the 17 year old Liz McDonald who gave birth to twins!)
  • Betty to Waste of Space "I don't know what you're ready for but it's nothing I'd be interested in"
  • Kirk "I'm bright enough to know i'm stupid"
  • Jason "You owe me 30 quid" Charlie "the price has gone up since the last time i puked in a taxi"
  • Vernon "If the snare doesn't work, bang the tom!" (urgh)
  • Liam into the phone "I'm on me way" Violet (i think) "better not be your wife" Liam "worse than that, it's me mam"
  • Frankie "this is my natural colour... more or less"

Oh i missed something. When did Liz move into the Rovers? I thought Bev would have been made manager when Shelley left but Bev hasn't even been seen lately. Does she still live in the pub? She's not moved in with the Peacocks so she must be.

If Charlie keeps this up, Maria will be locked in the bedroom contemplating plastic surgery before long. What i hate is that we're going through another round of Charlie using and manipulating a vulnerable female. What i like is that when Tracy finds out he's been having it off with Maria, so soon after she thought he had it off with Shelley (well he did, but she believed Shelley's bathroom "confession" to Bev that she didn't), Charlie's *really* going to pay! Easy for Charlie to have the key to Maria's new locks when he fitted them.

Fiz's discontent with her life and relationship didn't last too long did it? Fiz really does have so much potential. It's not that Kirk is holding her back, though. I think she's just in a safe place and Kirk is part of that, and she's not ready yet to take any risks. I don't know why she was that betrayed by Kirk's poem turning out to be an old love song (man does that bring back memories, too!) because it was still really sweet even if he didn't write it.

Vernon didn't take too long to make his move on Michelle even after she categorically told him, no ding dong, buddy! Liz of course believes her gormless boyfriend at first and sacks Michelle. I think Michelle probably would have cause to take Liz to a tribunal for that. Brilliant set up with Sean and Betty though. Not surprised Liz would leap to the conclusion that Michelle would try it on with Vernon though why any sane woman would, i don't know. Liz only went for him because, well, she's Liz. Vernon is right, he's never touched Michelle, only because she wouldn't have anything to do with him. At least Liz saw the light and chucked him out, drumkit and all. You know what really *really* irritates me about Vernon? That wide eyed "I'm innocent" look all the time and spouting all those tired cliches. I gotta admit, though, that was one of the best "clothes and stuff chucking out of the window" scene i've seen in a long time! The drum kit just made it *so* worthwhile! I wonder If anyone actually does that in real life?

What would Jack do without Tyrone to remember his anniversary or Vera's birthday? Steve clearly fancies Michelle. Not sure whether she's interested in him or not. Sometimes she seems to be and sometimes not. But after overhearing half of Steve's protestations that she's Just A Client, Steve hasn't got a chance, in spite of him breaking down and admitting to Liz that he does like her.

Poor Ashley isn't going to have much of his head left if Claire keeps biting it off. Ashley needs to get smacked with a clue bat, though, because it's awfully suspicious that Claire won't allow any contact whatsoever with her ailing mother. I'm surprised Ashley hasn't even tried to ring. But he's just typically naive and believes the best of everyone (come to think of it, he's an awful lot like the male version of Happy Hayley isn't he!) Aw Joshua is starting school! Isn't he growing up!

We discover that Michelle's husband and father of the lad died 5 years ago and we meet Liam Connor (Darts expert), Michelle's brother. Frankie seems rather pleased to meet him, anyway. Cue jealous Danny. Looks like Danny set a few traps and challenges for Adam. Now we find out that Michelle's other brother is in the rag trade too. You get the feeling that the Connor brothers are going to take Adam for a ride, so to speak? Are we going to suffer through more weeks and months of Gail railing at David to go to school? Chesney tries to help by selling something on ebay and all Les and Cilla do is drink the money in the pub! Grrrr... You just can't help some people! Cilla now figures she can sell off all the tat in the house. The sad thing is, there will probably be people that will want it!

So Sunita is seeing someone else, and has been for three months. That didn't take her very long after she left Dev, did it! Can you say "rebound"? Bloody Norris. You know i think he's *worse* than Mavis ever was and that's pretty bad, for wittering over nonsense like a free pen. If Rita wins that weekend in Budapest, there will be no living with him if he doesn't get to go. Actually, BudaPEST is a good place for him, don't you think? ;) Not surprised that former stationary man Norris idolizes the man that invented the Biro (ball point pen to those of us over this side of the pond)

Liz asked if the pub band didn't sing the birdie song. The only one i'm familiar with is completely instrumental! But perhaps there's a different version in the UK? You gotta love Jack and Vera. You just gotta! Yay lots of Betty this week! Steve's hair is getting long, what there is of it. Must soon be time for him to get another buzz cut. Frankie seems to be blonder and has bangs (fringe). Debra Stevenson is looking more like her nasty character on Bad Girls! Now do we think that Bev Callard (Liz) has had a little work done around the eyes, or botox, or is it just all that slap and eyeliner that gives her that "hair too tight" look. She's always had fabulous cheekbones but she's starting to have that tight look around her eyes. I'm really getting tired of characters making cracks at Hayley's expense. I suppose it's realistic, especially with characters like the odious Les and equally odious David but i've heard it from others on occasion, too, like Steve who should know better.

I am a Coronation Street Geek!

Didn't seem to find a lot to write about this week. I don't even know if anyone is really going to be reading this stuff anyway. I do put the link to it on my Sunday posts in the guestbook where i've been posting those for years. Also put the link on my corrie website but not a lot of people really are all that interested in Coronation Street witterings. All my other witterings are on Livejournal.

I dunno. I guess i'm a bit of a saddo having a blog just for Corrie aren't i? lol! Well i never said i was just a casual fan. I've met more obsessed ones in my day, mind you. I can comfort myself knowing it's not my whole life like some people. I met someone once who never even took a vacation because there was nobody they could trust to change the tapes in his vcrs. Yes. plural. He taped several different shows, including Coronation Street, dedicated a machine to each one and taped each show in long-play. He also archived the guestbook several times daily. He has binders and binders of meticulously updated episode summaries. He does have some rare items and tv broadcasts which is always a good thing for a fan but he really does go wayyyyy over the top. It really seems like Coronation Street (and whatever other shows he is dedicated to) is his whole life.

Not me. I love Corrie, miss it when i don't get to see it, I have lots of dvd's, video and books and some memorabilia. I've been to the set twice which was like a dream come true. I go to fan gatherings, celeb events when we have them here. A lot of my friends were initially met through corrie boards and chat rooms. I do have conversations about the show with friends that watch but when i do go to a chat room, we rarely talk about the show. Only once in awhile. We have our everyday lives to talk about. Just like any group of mates.

I'm really not justifying myself :) I'm a fan. I make no bones about it. I've made friends and found love because of a connection with the show. I follow on fan sites. None of that is any different than someone that's into any other tv series.

I am a Coronation Street Geek!

Sunday 20 May 2007

Canada Sunday Omni comments

Lines of the week:

  • Jason to Charlie "just because you treat your women like dirt doesn't mean we all have to" (um, who just skipped out on his wedding?)
  • Norris "The brain never goes on holiday" Amber "Yes it does, Kirk has been sat on a deckchair in Blackpool since the 90's"
  • Norris "Sandals without socks was never really 'me'" (thank god.)
  • Cilla about the electric bill "What's using up so much electric?" (says she lying in the sunbed)

Claire definitely has something wrong. There's no way she'd have left that baby in the car on his own normally. Uh... Duh. Smashing the glass of a window with the baby inside where flying shards could injure him? Wouldn't the taxi office have had a spare set of keys? Ashley went and left Joshua there after all! She's very irritable with everyone, too. Claire puts it all down to worry about her mother. Awfully convenient excuse, doesn't want anyone to know or go to see her, when her mother was there only a few weeks ago when the baby was born looking in the peak of health. Baby noname no more! Thomas Duncan Peacock!

Jason has some major sucking up to do and it looks like he figures grand gestures are the way to go. I don't think Sarah is going to take him back any time soon. Would you? Why is Hayley so out of her element having Craig in the flat? she's been a foster parent, surely it's not that different. Roy is a firm believer in rotas for the bathroom, probably a good thing. Eileen mentioned it being difficult to get her lads near soap at water at 16 but the difference is whether they were interested in a girl or not. That is what sends a teenage boy into the bathroom for an hour! Eek, Craig left a coffee cup on the top of the computer monitor! So, Um, Bank holiday Monday is Adam's first day at the factory? Yet Fiz at least is away with no mention of having to try to get the day off though everyone else is in working. Seems to me the factory was always closed on bank hols before. Yep, i think Liz has taken a dislike to Michelle. Now, is it because Michelle got the job singing in the band or because Steve has his eye on her? (And Vern but Liz doesn't know that yet)

So now we get to see Charlie playing his games with Maria who's even dimmer than Shelley was so it won't take long will it, before she's wrapped around his little finger. You know, i liked Shelley so that long storyline wasn't quite so hard to take but Maria is just a dim little wit which is probably why Charlie is attracted, that and the thrill of getting it off under Tracy's nose. One thing is for sure, he's got Tracy's number. She's far more concerned with shopping and her credit cards than she is about Amy. Hmmm Charlie has a camera aimed right at Maria's door.

Amber's back and i love it! Dev is a bit flummoxed though and hot to interfere. What difference would it make to him whether Amber works in the garage or the shop? And why should Norris even be bothered that she wants to work in overalls? Feels sorry for her i suppose. Fiz seems to be reaching a turning point in her life. Unsatisfied and stuck in a rut. Poor Kirk, he tries so hard, but then goes and books a holiday for Fiz and decides to share it with Tyrone and Fiz's old enemy, Molly, and Ty's ex finance, Maria! For Fiz, at least having Maria along to make Molly uncomfortable made up for having Molly there. And in the end, Kirk made up for that one and Maria stayed behind. Can't blame Fiz for being ticked when she's on a hol when everyone is content just sat in a pub all day.

Ok, i might not be into a Lawnmower museum but i *could* seriously go to a pencil museum! Even if it means i might share an interest with Norris! Uh oh, Cilla and ebay? a match made in hell! They must have got a free AOL account or something. Loved seeing Chesney and Les together over the computer and then Roy getting to surf the net with Chesney as well! Fancy Roy knowing how the online auctions work? You'd think he'd be highly suspicious of things like that. That or else he'd find it very practical. Molly and Tyrone really do go well together! Yay! Betty's back! I'm sure Betty Driver only does the occasional few shows for pin money but i sure miss her.

Friday 18 May 2007

The show that shall not be named

The main rival for the hearts of the Coronation Street audience is a soap that airs 4 nights a week on BBC and has been since 1985. It's edgier and darker, maybe more hip if you listen to some people. It's got a smaller cast and a different accent. I watch it on BBC Canada where the plot line is a couple of years behind the UK. (Den Watts is still alive (again) but not for much longer!)

It's very different from Corrie. I do like it but not as much as i love Corrie. Maybe it's because i've been watching Corrie a lot longer or maybe it's just that it's not quite as ...hmmm... i want to say "flexible" but that's not the word i'm looking for. Corrie does drama, social issues, and best of all, comedy. It might not be a comic storyline, it might just be a throwaway line or a little scene between a couple of characters that doesn't move the plot along but is very real in an everyday sort of way. It's got it's "sensational" plots too but even then, they are even sometimes played with a side order of camp, though not always of course. You could almost see Richard Hillman twirling a long moustache when he uttered the fateful words "You should have stayed at the party, Maxine!" just before he bludgeoned her to death.

The Show that shall not be named is very rarely funny, rarely do you find a smile cross your face or a chuckle escape. Even when they try to be funny, it usually falls flat for me. You always hear about the cheerful Cockneys yet that London based soap doesn't seem to have very many. Alfie Moon was probably the first really cheeky fellow we had since i've watched.

All their plots are about bad things happening, sadness, violence, depressing subjects. There are fewer likeable characters than there are on Corrie. Someone always seems to be griping or hollering or crying. So why do i watch? I don't know lol! There have been some very good stories that drew me in and some great characters in the few years i've been watching. I never got tired of watching Jeanine Butcher. I like Dot Cotton Branning (but i dislike that waster of a husband she's got). Den Watts is scum but he's an interesting character, too.

Anyway, Corrie still comes out on top. It's friendlier, more neighbourly, the characters are more real i think. The acting is mostly top notch with a few exceptions and the writing is riveting. I think the other show has fewer actors that really shine. Both have storylines that clunk hard sometimes but you can't win 'em all. Corries seems to do better on average in that department. I wonder sometimes if i'm watching more out of habit but there are usually one or two storylines going that will keep me watching to see how it all comes out. Right now it's the lead up to Den's death and the aftermath that i'm waiting for.

We don't get any other U.K. based "soaps" here. We had Emmerdale for awhile on various tv stations but that seems to have disappeared too. I never did get into that one, though. I've watched the occasional episode and it just didn't grab me. People that watched that other show in the beginning have said it's not nearly as good as it was back then. I couldn't really say because CBC only carried it back near the beginning for a short time. I remember watching and being shocked to the core when Sue and Ali's baby died of cot death and shortly after that, CBC pulled the series. I wonder if it was because of complaints?

Well, it is what it is. They have to all be different from each other and that's a good thing. Each will appeal to different people for different reasons. I like Corrie because it shows every day life with every day people. I like the humourous side of it, the writing and dialogue and the acting. I like the variety of types of storylines from social issues to high drama to silly little 2 or 3 episode-long short stories. I don't enjoy every single storyline but so what? It's still "my" show.

Thursday 17 May 2007


What is a ping? Internet users might explain that it's a sort of electonic touch between servers to see what the response time is and if a server is even responding. Coronation Street fans know better. In Corrie world, a "ping" is a get together of coronation Street fans, be it 2 or 200. This term was an accident. In the IRC Corrie chat room in the mid 90s, chatters served up cyber-pints to each other. "Ping" was a mis-type of "pint" and a get together was then termed a "pingfest" instead of a "pintfest" since, of course, any get together of Corrie fans *had* to involve a pub and a pint or two! "Pingfest" is usually shortened to Ping, and can be a noun, or a verb, as in, "are we pinging this weekend?"

A few people from that first chat room decided to get together in the Toronto area and had the very first "pingfest" to meet each other face to face, talk about the show and get to know each other better. It caught on. Here in Halifax, the first ping was held at the end of June, 1996 (I think, or was it 95?) A local man gleaned some email addresses from people that he knew were in the Maritimes area and organized a ping in a local pub. About 25 people came for it and I was one of them.

I was a bit nervous. I didn't know any of these people, had only seen a few names on the Usenet discussion group. I don't think i was online in the chat room at that time either. But it was in public and if it turned out to be crap, i could leave, so i went and have since become quite good mates with a few of those people.

The organizer went on to set up pings several times a year in the area and they have grown from that small group to regular crowds of anywhere from 60 to 150, depending on time of year and venue. It's not easy to get a venu that holds that many people but we do try for larger pubs or restaurants with video and sound capabilities. We have a trivia quiz, we usually play another game, and have a talk about the show. We sometimes show video, as well. If someone has been on the World of Coronation Street tour, they'll tell the group about it.

The organizer also worked very hard and made his dream come true. He managed to sort out an event that featured an actor from the show to come visit here in Halifax for a question and answer evening, with photos and autographs for a limited number of people. Two events and a financial loss created a non-profit society, the Downeast Streeters, a committee who pulled together to put on the event, put out advertising and since then, have brought three more actors to town. They have made a profit but that just goes back into the kitty for the next event.

In addition to selling tickets, each ping costs every attendee $2.00 and they sell tickets on raffle prizes as well. I joined the committee last year as secretary and though we didn't host an event this year, we're always looking at ways to try to bring it back. In any case, the committee also organizes the 3 times yearly pings.

Our pings are a little different than the original concept which was more a smaller group of people off the net or chat room that all knew each other and got together on a casual basis for a pint and a chat and they tend to last from late afternoon sometimes to closing time! Ours here are more formal, lasting just a couple of hours from lunchtime to mid afternoon, with games and prizes and the crowd numbers are usually such that they aren't very intimate. You see many of the same faces each time though and you do get to know them. I tend to do a talk to the crowd and sometimes do a quiz or game so my face and name are known. I often have people say hello to me in public places. I have often no idea who they are but further conversation reveals that they know me from the pings. I've even had someone approach me on a plane once! No where to escape! I was relieved to find out she was a pinger and not a nutcase! ;)

Back in 2000, a large group of my internet chat room friends decided that we would all meet up in Manchester. For a week, about 18 of us did day trips in the area and on the weekend, the numbers more than doubled. One local lady hosted a backyard barbeque and she was also instrumental in getting the whole group access to the Granada outdoor Corrie set which was like the Holy Ground for most of us! That night we had a dinner and dance for the main ping and brunch the next morning before most people went their own ways. That whole week was one long ping and it was a blast! There were three local members of our group who did all the local organizing, sorting out places we could visit and mini bus rentals that we all chipped in for. Evenings consisted of a theatre night, a Chinese meal out, a curry night out, plus plenty of pub time and casual shopping and lounging in the hotel bar for the ones staying in the same place. The travelogue his here with links to photos.

Since then, i've pinged in Manchester, London and Dublin and in Canada i have pinged from Newfoundland to Victoria in various cities. I've also visited and stayed with good friends that i've met and grown to know well and am even engaged to a man i met in the Corrie chat room and one of the women that attended the first Halifax ping may even be the one to marry us! Coronation Street has definitely changed my life!

Coronation Street (on the internet) and pinging have brought so many friends into my life, some of them quite close ones, too. It's given me travel opportunities and when i do travel, whether for personal or business, i will most often be able to let local internet corrie fans know and have people to meet up with for a meal and a chat.

Tuesday 15 May 2007

The elastic walls of the Rovers Return Inn

Anyone that's been watching the show a long time will have seen many changes over the years at the Rovers. I always watch with interest to see how a new owner decorates the back room, to see how it reflects their tastes. The main bar has changed little since the fire in 1986 gutted it. It was rebuilt and the inside of the bar changed considerably. Before, there was the main "Public" bar, the small Snug and the Select, which was a small function room. Then there was the back living quarters and a kitchen. Granted, the public bar was small, very small, though even then they had room for a dart board and players.

After the fire, the Snug and the Select were all knocked into one large bar with the rest of the pub. The pub now looks larger with a larger bar as well. The dart board is still there but on the far left wall of the room as you come in the front door. There's still living quarters and a kitchen but the stairway to upstairs leads up beside the back door instead of leading away from the doorway into the bar.

The real elasticity comes from the upstairs living quarters. I think it must have at least three bedrooms because the Walkers brought up their two children there, a boy and a girl, and presumably they didn't share a bedroom. There is also an inside bathroom/toilet. During the 1990's, though, at one point, there were four people staying there, each with their own room apparently. Bet, Vicky and Raquel were in residence and i think Bet offered B&B accomodation to Ken Barlow for a short time when he was in between flats.

Then there's the controversy about the toilets in the bar. For years people wondered if the toilets were actually in the front room of next door, No. 1. Eventualy, they changed the look of the outside to show a narrow alleyway or ginnel between the Rovers and No.1 so you could assume the toilet part of the building is there. I can't see it, myself. There still wouldn't be enough room for two sets of toilets.

Ah well. It's all television. We aren't supposed to be so pedantic! I do wish the main bar would get a redecorating, though. The wallpaper is 20 years old and the carpet on the floor must reek of beer and cigs!

Monday 14 May 2007

Just an aside

Not my usual Corrie-related post but i'm posting a "meme" wherein i get to find out which classic Hollywood actress i would be! Someone should do a quiz like that to see what Coronation Street character you are!

Your Score: Katharine Hepburn

You scored 23% grit, 19% wit, 47% flair, and 21% class!

You are the fabulously quirky and independent woman of character. You go your own way, follow your own drummer, take your own lead. You stand head and shoulders next to your partner, but you are perfectly willing and able to stand alone. Others might be more classically beautiful or conventionally woman-like, but you possess a more fundamental common sense and off-kilter charm, making interesting men fall at your feet. You can pick them up or leave them there as you see fit. You share the screen with the likes of Spencer Tracy and Cary Grant, thinking men who like strong women.

Find out what kind of classic leading man you'd make by taking the
Classic Leading Man Test.

Link: The Classic Dames Test written by gidgetgoes on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Sunday 13 May 2007

Canadian Omnibus round up, May 12

Lines of the week:

  • Ken to Adam "You can't just hang around and do nothing all day" Adam "You do" (hello, idiot? Retirement? senior citizen?)
  • steve "I'm very fussy about my women" Eileen "Oh i forgot, you only go for ones with borderline psychotic disorders"
  • Sarah "For God's sake Mother, shut up!" (Woot!)

Well the mothers made it to the wedding after all their misgivings but guess what! Jason did a runner! That makes no sense at all to me. He showed absolutely no doubts at all and it really seemed to come right out of the blue. Surely one question from Charlie asking was he sure couldn't have stoked up the fire? Well, so much for a temporary suspension of artillery fire back and forth between Number 11 and Number 8. I just love the colly wobbles between Gail and Eileen! Gail thinks Jason just wanted what Todd had, but i disagree. Sarah threw herself at him and Jason was never one to bypass that sort of thing. Since Violet didn't want him, he figured he might as well be with Sarah and i think he did come to love her in his way but i don't think he is mature enough to really make a true committment. He didn't stay away too long and on his return, he had the troops out for blood on both sides! Wait, let me get this straight. He got scared because everyone pulled together a wedding and were all supportive and loving and even his mother came in the end?

As predicted, Roy and Hayley have taken Craig in just at the time when Rosie seems preoccupied with new friends in the "in" crowd. Regrets, anyone? David seems to have a full blown crush on Maria. Let's compare. Strong, macho, older Charlie, skinny, shaggy, pimply, surly teenager. Now who would you prefer if you were a 20-something young woman? Ok, yes, Charlie is a manipulative, cheating son of a so and so with a vengeful girlfriend (which makes the danger more attractive) but young David is a psychotic, spoiled, little snot. No contest given Maria has about as much sense as a soap dish. This isn't the first time she's jumped into bed with someone else's man. A moment of madness? Considering the end effect Charlie can have on his women, that's probably more appropriate than Maria knows! She's not strong like Tracy, she could very well end up in the same shoes as Shelley.

Speaking of Tracy, don't you just love how Claire stands right up to Tracy and throws her bitchiness right back at her? I did wonder how Maria was going to be able to afford the rent. all that gobbing off and she can't afford it on her own and misses having a roomie. Stupid girl. No question Charlie put the kibosh on the roomie business. Oh yeah, and did you notice a lot of new artwork on the walls and tables and it even looks like Charlie's furniture was moved to the new house so all that stuff in the flat must be Maria's. So where did she get it and if she can't afford the rent, how did she afford all that decoration?

Adam always was a lazy, spoiled git and he's still proving himself to be. All he seems to want is getting one over on Danny but he couldn't really care less about inheriting his father's business, just the money. And speaking of which, Danny gave in and handed over 40% of the business. No buyout for the villa, no buyout for the flat, no buyout for the cash and investments. I don't think Adam or Ken even thought about that but the solicitor surely should have. I hope Danny isn't going to be away too long, Adam could run that business into the ground for all he actually cares about it.

Liz wasn't too keen on Fred hiring Michelle behind her back and she's going to like it even less now that Vernon thinks he can get his leg over. And Liz obviously feels very threatened by Michelle. Not only is Vernon scratching at her skirts but Steve is slobbering over Michelle too. Molly's moving in to that narrow little bed in the Duckies' and the dog actually got a mention!

Why does Steve think Claire's got a "condition"? Dare i say it? Men! Well, give me a break, you would *never* hear a woman tell another woman who's given birth over a month ago that she can't do something like sit at a switchboard in her condition. I think...yep, just checked, that episode was written by a man. Ashley is acting a bit of a sexist which isn't really like him. Claire is acting really oddly. Post pregnancy hormones must really be playing havoc. She wasn't that bad while she was carrying the baby (yet unnamed!) and for her to leave the baby in a locked car? Maybe she does have a condition!

Aww, Rosie's going to be away, so are Sally and Sophie. Kevin's going to be all alone! Ooh Amber's back! I really like her and i love how she can wind up Dev so easily!

Saturday 12 May 2007

Spoilers - a discussion

I was going to write about a different subject but i'll leave that for another time.

Spoilers. Do you who watch Corrie in other countries like to know what's going to happen? If you participate in Corrie boards and forums, chances are you will run across storyline spoilers now and then. Some boards have a no-spoiler policy, some urge posters to warn first and some are no holds barred, particularly of course, the UK based ones. Does knowing what's going to happen spoil it for you?

The people that avoid spoilers say yes. And fair enough to them but it's hard not to catch one once in awhile, even if you're not on the internet because so many people are. We hold "pings", or fan get togethers, three times a year here in Halifax and we always avoid discussing spoilers with the group because we feel that if there's even one person that doesn't want to know, we won't ruin it. What they all discuss at the tables among themselves is up to them. When we have a visit from an actor, however, it's hard to prevent spoilers though some of the actors have been fairly reticent about the big plot lines.

Canada is about 9 months behind the UK. New Zealand is further behind and Australia is more than a year back. Those are the main non-UK and Ireland countries that get the show though i know someone in Germany that watches on a satelite feed a week later than the live broadcast.

I've been a spoiler fan for years. I can't imagine not knowing the future plots and developments. I check out each episode on the ITV site where there are screen captures and plot summaries, i read the written episode updates and weeklies sent out by Glenda Young. I discuss it with other fans at times. It doesn't ruin it for me. Seeing screen caps and reading written summaries does not capture the nuances, the glances, the throwaway lines and reactions and the superb acting of the talented actors presenting it. You don't get as caught up in the emotion as you do seeing the actors give it back to you on your screen.

When BBC Canada started showing old Eastenders episodes, i avoided spoilers there for a long time so i do know the other side of things. We're watching scenes now leading up to Den Watts' (second) death. A year or so ago i broke down. I bought an anniversary book for EE and it went ahead of where we were by about a year or so and i succumbed to the spoilers. Now, on occasion, i read ahead on a written update page and get an idea of what's going to happen. Since i'm not at it every day, i don't always remember a lot of details which is fine. Most people i know don't watch it so there aren't many i can discuss it with anyway aside from one online friend in Ontario and one in Australia.

It's too late for me. I'll be a spoiler queen forever where Corrie is concerned and now writing for Corrieblog you can't avoid them.

Friday 11 May 2007

See the Set

Well, you can't anymore. Not without knowing someone. Granada used to have tours of the set but ended that in 2000. They decided it wasn't making enough money but really, i think the actual reason was that they wanted to build some new sets and now of course, with Coronation Street on the screens 5 episodes a week, they need to be able to film all week long rather than using the outdoor set a couple of days a week like they used to. They've built a large new building, Studio 2, on the area of the outdoor set that used to house the Victorian Baker Street set and many of the Corrie sets are there now. In older Studio 1, they have built the new larger Underworld set which used to be on the outdoor set behind the actual Underworld door. It was small and cramped and the actors always complained that it was freezing in winter and hot in summer.

I've been on the outdoor set twice and was lucky enough to be on the indoor set just last year. I have a friend who had a contact and was going to be in Manchester the same time i was and she offered to bring me with her when she went to the set. She didn't need to ask twice!
The full description of the visit is here on my website, scroll down to May 25. There are photos here and you don't have to sign in to Kodakgallery to view them. The photo here is of the three of us, me, my fiance Graham and Christine who was the star of the day for bringing us along. We're behind the bar on the tiny set of the Rovers. The colour is miserable because the set was lit for filming and we were told that the lights would play havoc with our camera's light meter and it did. This is the best "fix" of the photo i could manage.

Our visit was a bit rushed so we didn't get to do much more than pose behind the bar. Would have been nice to sit in the booth too! The walls are all moveable and the set itself is smaller than you think. All of the sets are, in fact and it's amazing when you think about how many people can be in the Rovers or in the cafe in one scene yet they don't bump into each other or knock things over!

I remember the first visit, to the outside set only, back in September 2000. We were a group of about 45 and walking through the darker Baker St. set into the sunshine and seeing the cobbles and the Rovers? Awesome! Actually you came out of the covered Baker St. set onto the Victoria St. area, walked down there first to Rosamund and then on to Coronation St. proper. We didn't know which way to look first and every single one of us, even those that had been on the set before, were grinning ear to ear. Pretty much all of us headed for the Rovers first, for photos and group photos and then scattered to walk around and explore.

When i went back last year, we did walk through the outdoor set though didn't have much time to wander. We were taken down the street, between the two studios and into the new police set which is where Underworld used to be. We did get to take pics on the outdoor set and in the back alley, the "ginnel" as well as over on Rosamund and Victoria Streets. I like comparing the pictures from the two visits, nearly 6 full years apart and seeing the changes. Victoria Street had a bakery in 2006 which was the DIY shop in 2000 and in 2000 the Butchers was just being built. Wong's wasn't there, it was the old chip shop and Alahan's store in 2006 was post-fire from the Mad Maya story so it was all different on the inside and the outside now has the door on the corner of the shop instead of beside Number 13. Number 9 now has the Old Rectory sign up. The back yard of one house, i think it's Emily's at Number 3, now has a lot of greenery grown up where in 2000 there was only the beginnings of it.

Of course the first visit didn't include the inside studio sets and it was very cool to see that! We saw the Rovers bar (but not the back room), the cafe, Number 1, 11 and 13, we saw a bit of the Kabin but couldn't go right in, Underworld, Number 4, 6, and 8 on the new side, Charlie's flat, the Italian restaurant, Streetcars, the Rovers toilets, the police station, and the outdoors of everything. A lot of the sets are not permanent and are pulled apart to make room for others. They also use large painted backdrops so that when you are inside and see the Street through the window, you're actually looking at a backdrop. Staircases only go up a little way to a platform. It's also interesting to see all the props on shelves and tables such as family photos, books, dishes, phones, ornaments on the tables and walls, artwork etc. they try to reflect each house owner's personality a bit, too.

Anyway, I could witter on about that all day. Enough to say

Tuesday 8 May 2007

Return to Corrie

(This post contains non-UK spoilers!)

One of the best things about Coronation Street is that it's been around so long and there is so much history to draw on. I love it when bits from the past are put into the dialogue. Not just the character's own past either, though that's really nice when something that happened long ago is referred to in passing. These things aren't elaborated on, just referred to and long time viewers will remember the situation or incident. Sometimes past characters are mentioned such as a reference to the old battleaxe that used to live round here, Ena Sharples, or when Vera and Jack bought the pub, she wondered how Annie Walker ever managed to keep up the pace in her advancing years. Annie Walker hadn't been in Weatherfield for over 10 years at that point. Rita often goes to visit Mavis in the Lakes or mentions she's spoken to her on the phone.

Sometimes, former characters are brought back on the canvas for short term stories. Bet Lynch has been back twice and though I don't think Bet would work if she was back full time, it *was* great to see her involved in a short visit. Ray Langton came back to mend fences and provide closure for Deirdre and Tracy before he died, at Deirdre and Ken's wedding reception. Eileen fell in love with a man she met through Emily who had met him at church. Turns out he was the man who accidentally shot Ernest Bishop.
(It did irritate me when Emily went on and on about Ernie being murdered as if it was cold blood when, if you'd seen the scene originally or in various compilations over the years, it was clearly an accident when Mike Baldwin entered and bumped into the gunman and caused the gun to go off. Ok, he shouldn't have had the gun in the first place but the shooting wasn't intentional. But i digress...)

Now we're seeing a blast from Ken's past just at the time when Ken and Deirdre's marraige is hitting a patch of road rougher than the high seas in a hurricane. Denise Osborne is back for a short term storyline and with her, is her son by Ken, Daniel. We remember when Ken struggled to try to look after the baby when Denise left and later just found it too difficult to travel to Scotland to see the lad. He stepped back out of Daniel's life and the longer he was away, the harder it was to reconnect even when he knew that they had moved back to the area. The upset in the aftermath of Tracy's trial and conviction and Deirdre's reaction has him reaching out to get to know the child he left behind. I'm going to enjoy Denise's return because I always liked her character. She was meant to be the "new Elsie Tanner" back then, and it could have succeeded i think, but they seemed to button hole her when they put her together with Ken.

It wasn't planned, Anne Kirkbride was ill so they had to scramble to do something else as they were planning to get Ken and Deirdre back together at that time. I don't think Ken and Denise were all that believeable. It wasn't the age difference, it was the difference in personalities. Ken always preferred subservient women or women who had a vulnerability or women who would not have the gumption to stand up to him or put him in his place. They could be career women as long as they weren't all that independent and the ones that were, didn't last too long. Denise just seemed too feisty for Ken. It didn't seem like they would have had anything in common to even start the relationship but in the end, that lack of commonality did split them apart, even if the man she left him for *was* an accountant (and her brother-in-law!)

Anyway, I think that's another one of Corrie's strengths, drawing on the history and bringing back characters for short term visits. Sometimes even longer more permanent returns are good, like Liz McDonald's most recent return. Now that's she's the Rovers' Landlady, I think we'll see her around for awhile. Now if we can just get Jimbo back to stir up a little trouble....

Sunday 6 May 2007

This week in Canada, Sunday May 6

Lines of the week:

  • Maria about Charlie "I think he's dead sweet" (uh ohhhh)
  • Eileen to Gail "If you're getting half the earache I'm getting, you could use a drink" Gail "you could twist my arm" Eileen "Don't tempt me!"
  • Jason "I'm going to give you a day tomorrow that you'll never forget"
  • Kirk "I wouldn't mind a quickie" Norris "It's pronounced 'quiche'"

D'you think Danny can keep up the bluff that he didn't know about the will? If anyone can, he can. Leanne will keep herself out of sight if she knows what's good for her. There's no way anyone but Leanne can prove Danny knew about the will (that is, if they don't go through the rubbish and find the shredded original) and she's not telling because she'll go down too. I wouldn't have told Danny that i heard from Leanne at all. I have no idea why Janice would. Adam ends up with 40 percent of the business. That'll be Adam under Danny's feet and on our screens front and center now, more's the pity. I think i'm going to have to give the Mute button a good workout. Danny still works the patter to try to impress Frankie, doesn't he? Thinking Frankie will soften up if he looks like he's feeling sorry for what he did to Adam. Looks like he might be making inroads, too. Good start to the partnership, get the staff bladdered on the company's profits and have them all in the next day with hangovers. Adam really isn't that interested in participating in the business, he just wants to mither Danny and take the money so he join the French Foreign Legion? What was up with that outfit he turned up in?

Cilla's funny, she will defend her child but could still be suspicious that he could have stolen the money, probably because she would have. I am surprised that Sophie would let her friend take the blame for something she did though. I'm glad she owned up *and* in front of Cilla so that Sally was humiliated. Sally needs a dose of that every now and then to knock her off her high horse. Then Rosie "disappears" all night and the truth about Craig's squatting in the bakery comes out. Well, Rosie got a rollocking and deservedly so even if it was an accident that she fell asleep. And didn't i say he'd end up with Roy and Hayley? I'm surprised Sally would be willing to leave town and leave Rosie under the dubious supervision of Mr. Lenient but at least Sophie is going to get some Mom time for a change.

Gotta feel sorry for Sarah, all this excitement and community support for her wedding but her mother's glowering thunderstorms at every corner. I think Eileen will give in before Gail does and probably talk Gail into backing down too. Eileen doesn't want Jason to get hurt and as Jason pointed out, she was the only one hurting him. Charlie is right, much as i hate to admit it. You just never know with relationships. Haven't we all been saying that Gail is turning into Ivy? Martin's said it before and Audrey threw it at her today. The only difference is Gail's lack of religion. She's got the judgment part down pat. As Lori-anne pointed out a few days ago, how come Martin wasn't even mentioned at all? If he couldn't give the bride away, leaving Audrey to do it, what harm would there be to put in a throwaway line saying why not? Stay tuned for the wedding of the week!

Vernon is going to drive a taxi. I can't picture it. Is it me or is Liz's jaw looking awfully large and square at the moment? Charlie is slowly charming Maria, moving in for the "kill". He's really working her isn't he? Now that she's kissed him when she was a bit drunk, he can now turn it around on her and say she made the first move! He is playing in the flat so she'll come running. Why wouldn't Tyrone continue to see Molly just as often? She works at the kennel and that's apparently not that far away. Well they're going to live together at Vera's and squash into a single bed together. Nice.

New barmaid alert. And why was Vernon so hot to get her into the Rovers? Hmm... she can soothe the savage Betty *and* take the P*** out of Norris. I'd say we have a keeper, ladies and gentlemen! I did wonder why, when Maria was only supposed to stash the bags and meet Jason and Sarah in the pub, she put the kettle on for a brew (thus finding out the electrics weren't working)

Saturday 5 May 2007

Corrie Blogging

My Corrie mate, Flaming Nora, edits Corrieblog, a blog over at the Shiny Media site. I've known her for a good 10 years or more. When i first got access to the internet, through work, the only thing i had access to was email and newsgroups and i found a coronation street group on there. "Nora", aka Glenda Young, was a poster then and shortly after that she started writing weekly summaries of Coronation Street storylines. Occasionally over the years we've corresponded on various issues as well as participated in online discussions in the newsgroup and in the irc chat room. We met in person in 2000 and again in 2001 and over the past year or two have become regular emailers. In January, she asked me if i wanted to contribute to Corrieblog. The articles could be anything i want, mostly just short blurbs and photos but i could do longer ones too. The best thing? You get paid for it! Just a few quid per post, she said, not much. Well the thing is, a few quid is more than doubled in Canadian dollars. That adds up!

So ok, i decided to do it. There were teething pains, getting used to the interface and the rules and regs for posting but by George i think i've got it! I really love writing about Coronation Street. I look through the magazines and books i have for ideas, i draw on my fairly extensive trivia knowledge, having participated in hundreds of trivia quizes over the years and i have quizes i've written that i use as a source for a weekly post of 5 or 6 trivia questions as a mini-quiz. I love the history of the street so i write articles focusing on a particular storyline or character. We also have themes during some months so that gives us all ideas for posts to write about. I find myself surfing the web for old photos of actors or for ebay and Youtube clips that i can post.

What's really great is when i post an article that really goes over well. I recently did a profile on character, Sally Webster that got a few really good comments so i'm going to do more character profiles like that. Today i posted an article on the ITV series Bad Girls because a handful of Coronation Street actors have appeared on it and i think that's going to go over well too.

The payment is usually later than it's supposed to be but it does get through eventually though i've only had one so far. Another one is due, hopefully this week or i'll start nagging them again. You get paid over a month later from when you submit the invoice. That's partly because it takes that long for them to get their money from their advertisers. It's frustrating though, having to wait. I'm saving all the money i make this year for a few days' side trip to Paris in November when i'm going to be in the UK anyway, visiting my fella who lives in Salford, just a stone's throw from Granada studios.

I make a New Year's goal every year to try something new. It's not really a resolution, just a plan. This is my something new for this year and so far it's a success!

Friday 4 May 2007

Corrie in Canada, April 29

Lines of the week:
  • Danny "It's not about how many times you get knocked down Lippy, it's how many times you get up" And Danny always gets back up!
  • Betty to Rita "Were we ever that young and stupid?" Rita "That's why they call it madly in love" Betty "I was talking about Gail and Eileen sat there like a couple of sulking kids!"
  • Gail "At least i've *been* married" (um. 4 times!)
  • Tracy "That's the thing about being a mother. Always have to put yourself last." (and you would know that, how?)
  • Dev "treat 'em mean to keep 'em keen!" (yes, and that's why you're getting a divorce and have a litter of other children scattered about Greater Manchester)

So Adam now has a photocopy of the Spanish Will which nobody expected (sorry, weak Monty Python reference). What *was* expected was Adam ready to jump down Danny's throat without even finding out if the will is legal and enforceable. Thing is, Mike was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's even if it wasn't until after he came back from Spain (i checked). Surely that alone was worth a solicitor contesting the will Danny had Mike sign. Danny even questioned Mike's state of mind when he was in Spain, but that was only a week after the previous will was signed! And as much as i think what Danny did was wrong? Wishing that smug prat Adam would get his smirk smacked off his face would be soooo worth having Danny win in the end. I suppose Danny will have to settle out of course to come out of it with anything at all, not even the wisp of a hope of getting Frankie back if she finds out he knew about the Spanish will before the other one was read. Frankie's really giving him mixed signals though. The storyline is a good one but the problem is we're going to have to suffer the slings and arrows of excruciatingly bad acting from the youngest Baldwin who is going to be winding Danny up at every turn. Do you think Adam will take the 10% cash payoff? It doesn't sound like a lot considering Adam would have inherited controlling interest.

While the cat's away, the Charlie Mouse is going to play. There's some serious flirting going on between he and Maria and the only surprise is why did it take him so long? Having Maria move into his flat seems a bit like the spider inviting the fly into his web! Craig has his old job back. Now if he can just find a regular shower seeing as he's squatting in the bakery. Somehow i don't think Sophie is going to turn into an axe murderer because she was watching a horror film.

Sarah said yes! No surprise there. Let's see if they can throw a wedding together in two weeks. Wonder if they'll go through with it if the mothers aren't there like they say and they're determined not to cave. The mothers are going to look like bitter old hags when everyone else rallies round to help the young couple have a nice wedding day, even Audrey financing their deposit on the flat! Sarah sure put a flea in the collective ears of Eileen and Gail for objecting when everyone was helping them.

Do i detect a bit of jealousy between Bev and Audrey? So Claire is going to just paint over the wallpaper? Is that legal? I'm amazed at the energy Claire has post-birth. You'd think she would just want to sit and cuddle the baby, it being her first one, rather than leave him with all and sundry. And doesn't she work fast? My heavens the walls are all painted and she was only testing out colours that morning. Rosie's back and Craig's happy! You wouldn't be surprised to know all Rosie wants to do is tell Craig all about it. Her family comes a distant second. That's what it's like when you're 15. Looks like she's given up the ghost of the Goff, and it sounds like she's all enthralled in the afterglow of her trip and new friends. Craig is going to be feeling left out. Sally could get her wish yet.

Ohmy Goodness, Fred wants to sell up and retire! I think Sophie is back to acting out now that Rosie has returned and Sally has all her attentions on the older daughter. Poor Sally, first she had the unsuitable Craig after Rosie and now the unsuitable Chesney has been banned from being friends with Sophie and poor old Chesney keeps getting the short end of the stick from Sally.

Here I am

I'm not really sure why i've started up a blog here. I keep a journal over on Livejournal where most of my near-daily posts will continue to live. I have a few friends that keep blogger blogs though, so i thought i could join up and maybe do something different with this. Since i'm a major Coronation Street fan, i might use this blog for Corrie-related posts for a start. I post comments on the week's episodes that air in Canada on the guestbook and i will probably post them here, too. I also post regularly on Corrieblog. I may post some of the more involved posts here that i put there, such as character studies and Corrie history. We'll see. For now, i've started with the Sunday Comments and have added and back dated some starting April 1.
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