Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Coronation Street Review





Warning: This article contains discussion of suicide, which some readers may find upsetting.

Tonight's Coronation Street was absolutely soul crushing. Absolutely terrific acting performances from every single actor features in tonight's hour long special, and of course the writer.

As they had previously stated no part of the actual suicide was shown, nor was his body. But Johnny's devastating screams as he walked into his son's room, and Carla making her way to the flat and seeing the discovery for herself is something that will probably stay with you for days. Every single reaction from every single character was completely realistic and so brutal.

No-one can quite believe just what Aidan's done. No-one can quite understand it and Kate is in complete and utter disbelief on receiving the news, refusing to believe her brother's dead.

Gail delivers a heart-breakingly beautiful monologue on Aidan's death which is intercut with more reactions of characters finding out what's happened. This may honestly be one of the best episodes that is ever produced by any show on television. It gets at our emotions, it tells a brutally honest story, but none of it ever feels 'scandalous' so to speak, done for the sake of grabbing a few headlines and a ratings pull.

Eva understandably is not only in shock but partially blaming herself. She can't understand how Aidan could've killed himself when he only visited her the day before, and she notes some of his cryptic speak to Shona who assures her she's not to blame. In the coming days as is another understandable reaction, characters such as Johnny will look for someone to blame, a way to explain just why Aidan did what he did but the truth is no-one including Aidan himself is to blame.

A number of characters stated just what exactly Aidan had done, which in terms of television was extremely brave of the writers. Suicide is one of those things that no-one in society likes to talk about, and so a soap like Coronation Street doing this type of storyline? It's obviously opened them up to a lot of criticism but they are completely right to do it. Suicide isn't spoken about, let alone male suicide, because unfortunately we live in a society that proclaims men who speak about their feelings as not being tough. Storylines like this can break that barrier down.

We do of course get characters like Beth slamming Aidan's actions as being selfish. She is condemned for this, but again it's an understandable reaction to have. She is soon wondering whether Aidan's death will impact on her job, and met by icy stares in the process.

Again paralleled to Aidan's death is David's rape storyline. he is particularly shaken up to discover what Aidan has done, and seeing Josh as Imran was driving him to court didn't help matters. Gail continues to comment on how he hasn't seemed liked himself recently, and we all know the reason of why. She continues to be at a loss as to how exactly to help her son. Fortunately when Imran sounds the alarm bell Shona is quick on the case to find David and he does finally tell her what Josh has done to him.

The words just stumble out of David's mouth and Shona's face falls horrified. Aidan's death has obviously given David food for thought, and I am glad the writers didn't attempt to milk the first time he spoke up by making it such a dramatic moment. It's just him finally telling his truth and getting the weight of the world off his shoulders as he reveals all to a speechless Shona. She is completely understanding, completely supportive and tells David she believes him.

Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) also has helplines available from 5pm to midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58 (nationwide) and 0808 802 58 58 (London) (www.thecalmzone.net/).

Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 or visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.