Saturday, 5 November 2016

A new era on the cobbles of Coronation Street?

(This post was originally posted by Clinkers (David) on the Coronation Street Blog in October 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

What a difference a week makes. Only seven days ago I served up a healthy portion of pre-weariness at the prospect of another crash, bang, wallop 'explosive' week on t'cobbles. Today I'm feasting on humble pie.

Arise Dame Kate Oates! Well, maybe a bit early for heaping on the awards but by the 'eck Minnie Caldwell, this lady knows how to produce. The best bit of all though, the treat dealt out to us  sometimes cynical viewers, is that the venerable Kate did what she did without signposting every single move. Let joy be unconfined. A few years ago, the TV listings would have carried something on the lines of "... and there's concern for Anna when she erupts in a ball of flame". Instead, we found ourselves gripped by the twists and turns of the story. Okay, it all pretty unfeasible but this is soap and here was a seemingly bonkers story told well.

We've been treated to a number of subtle character changes. Gail discovered a backbone after umpteen years of playing the ninny. Tracy luv stepped up exactly when it was needed. No major histrionics at Ken's bedside, as would have been the case only a few months ago. Instead, a hint of Deirdre as she took control and kicked Peter into touch. Yes he's back and obviously has a story to tell. Who else is looking forward to finding out what that's all about?

Elsewhere, new alliances were being formed. It was lovely to see Eva and Gemma having a bit of a bonding session. Unlikely friends are always welcome in Weatherfield and in true Corrie style, Gemma has transitioned from gobby spitbag to friend and neighbour. Oddly, she seems more stable than Kylie was and so maybe Dame Kate will not have to hit the 'revert-to-type' button. Mary seems to be blossoming too. She provided kind counsel to Tracy and helped Beth out in her hour of need. Bless her, Mary also gave us the one comedy moment of the week as she hurtled headfirst into a wheelie bin.

The element of surprise will, hopefully, not remain a stranger to Corrie. This week, the programme felt much stronger for not having spoon-fed us every plot line and nuance. It altogether felt more 'grown up', leaving us to enjoy the twists and turns as we might in the likes of House of Cards. I haven't watched sister show Emmerdale for many a year (the last time I was a regular viewer it was still called 'Farm' and the most exciting thing to happen was Amos dropping his pipe) but I've just taken a quick peek at their 'explosive' week. Speaking to devotees of the show, I'm assured that it was handled much the same as Corrie - no-one knew what was coming next. Bravo ITV Drama!

What could have been another dire week of tiresome, doom-laden stories turned out to be something much more dynamic and watchable. Maybe you disagree but I'm jamming on my 'hopeful' hat like a well-weaved hairnet and will be keeping my fingers crossed for interesting times ahead. Just don't tell us about them, Kate . . .

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