Monday, 31 December 2018

Coronation Street Review: "Happy New Year"





Yes it feels like a billion years since my last review. Owing to illness, the holidays and an unfortunate injury, my reviews have been on a little unexpected hiatus of recent weeks.

Considering Coronation Street's recent offerings have been Gina's meddling finally revealed, Jenny convincing herself that Johnny & Liz were still having an affair and drunkenly running her over and of course everything relating to Kate & Rana, viewing of late has been a massive chore.

Since it's almost 2019 and tonight is all about the happy vibes, I'm not gonna go in on THAT storyline which took place recently. It was completely uncalled for, offensive, disgusting and Corrie would be wise to never repeat it in future, but it gave us more superb acting to add to the showreel and of course.

Since breaking up with Kate in yet another gut wrenching scene earlier this month, Rana and Kate haven't really said a word to each other. Kate spend some time over Christmas with Eva and Susie, returning to the street to be told of Johnny's legal worries. Rana has briefly popped up in her nursing capacity because with Ali having been struck off, the writers have remembered the street has a practice full of Doctor's and Nurses who are actually good at their jobs. Their first sighting of each other since the break-up took place last Friday, where Kate and Sophie were talking in the cafe, Sophie offered a friendly shoulder, Imran put two and two together to make 100, got a prompt telling off from Rana and Toyah, and later they took Rana off to a gay club where she would of course have to bump into Imogen.

As soon as Rana informed Imogen and her lovely ginger friend that Kate was her ex, the battle royal began. Imogen couldn't resist commenting on the fact she knew Rana had a thing for Kate, and she truly does deserve the credit for getting those two #soulmatesgonnasoulmate together because without Imogen's helpful prompting post break-up? Well it probably would've taken Rana another month to work up the courage to kiss Kate. She is a wise old gay and Imogen can tell despite Rana's protests that she is indeed not actually over Kate.

Now this is the bit where I'm gonna call out bad writing for exactly what it is; inconsistent, terrible, bad writing. Imogen Pascoe is no fool. For a brief refresher, she walked into the Bistro kitchen to find Zeedan and Kate laughing and joking about texts and calls that Imogen had been doing, which she really didn't appreciate. That led her and Kate to have a heated discussion, which turned into an argument, which turned into Kate breaking off their relationship and leaving Imogen an extremely unhappy lady.

So why, why when she was treated so badly towards the end of that relationship, and when she's seen Kate's social media to know how totally in love with Rana she is, why on earth would Imogen be coming back to the street and genuinely showing an interest in rekindling things? Why tell Kate that Rana was chatting up her friend at the club, when that's very much being economical with the truth? How can Imogen pick up the blatant tension between them both, yet question whether Kate is still hung up on Rana and genuinely think she has a chance with her? Why bring Melissa John's back to Coronation Street for 2 episodes where Imogen got a total of 2 minutes screen time and in truth wasn't even needed?

It was supposed to be a romantic reunion, something out of a romantic comedy but it felt like a massive dud. The emphasis being placed on Rana I can understand. She is the one that broke things off, and made it clear to Kate that she had no interest in getting back with her. In the immediate aftermath Kate did somewhat acknowledge that her grief over Aidan had caused her baby spiral, but since then there's been absolutely no follow-up. Instead tonight was about Kate being annoyed and on the defensive over Rana hitting a gay bar, Rana's protests proving futile as Kate proclaimed she didn't care anymore and just as Toyah had persuaded Rana to walk over to Kate and declare she still loved her and wanted to be with her, Imogen arrived.

Rana continued to drown her sorrows as Kate got Johnny to agree to let her get off early so she could go into town with Imogen. After another quick pep talk, Rana rushed outside only to find Kate and Imogen were already speeding off, so Rana was left all sad on the curb. Except she wasn't, because seconds later Kate miraculously appeared and drunken Rana declared her love in the only way drunken Rana could and everything is fine and dandy.

NOPE.

Rana is still under the impression that she can't give Kate what she wants aka a baby, and doesn't really have seemed to have processed that Kate's baby craze was driven by grief. Kate may be able to talk about Aidan and spend time with Susie, but she still hasn't apologized for the heartache she inflicted on her fiance when she did try to trick Adam into giving her a baby. All of it is left feeling like an incredibly cheap ploy, drama for the sake of drama, and something the viewers are supposed to lap up because Kana re back together.

Doesn't work that way.

If you're going to pursue a storyline where a character is hit by delayed grief, and as a result becomes obsessed with having a baby because they want that to replace their dead brother, and that leads them to not only lie and go behind their partner's back, but try and persuade them to persuade would be sperm donor Robert that having a baby with his girlfriend aka Kate's cousin is a bad idea, then take 'I need space' as Rana breaking up with her and then trying to seduce Adam when it's completely and utterly impossible for a lesbian to ever find a man attractive, let alone wish to sleep with them? You've got to do much better than an extremely flakey defense of the year being hell, not being able to help wanting a baby and when confronted seem more offended by your partner wrongly accusing you of sleeping with a man than the fact Kate would've if he hadn't caught on. That of course led Rana to question Kate's sexuality, and it's almost as though the writers knew what they were doing in that situation was wrong, and wanted to reassure us that they are hip with it by having Kate deny that she's now bisexual and reaffirm she was willing to have sex with a man she wasn't attracted to.

All of this viewers have had to sit through, and make complaints over to the watchdogs because it was truly sickening behaviour to come from a lesbian character, and a half baked reunion is the viewers reward?

NOPE.

The other storyline to take centre stage tonight was Peter & Carla's will they/won't they relationship which will probably still be going on long after the robots have risen. There really didn't need to be so much storyline dedicated to them or even them tricking Kirk and Dev into believing the snooker hall was haunted. At least 5 minutes of that storyline could've been given over to Kana instead, so that Imogen's return actually had purpose and the reunion had a bit more be livability to it.

Instead we're supposed to lap up the fact that they are back together, and just move on to the wedding preparations and then of course the eventual wedding, because TV writers think LGBT viewers are that simply and easy to please. Quite rightly fans have reason to complain about how this how storyline has unfolded over the last month, and Corrie must surely be counting their lucky stars to have such wonderful actresses carrying this storyline because in lesser hands it would've all fallen flat eons ago.