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Thursday, 24 April 2014

A thing I never expected to see...

...Phil Mitchell giving mouth-to-mouth to a newborn puppy, while Shirley looks on with desire in her eyes. 

EastEnders offered the above scene as part of their recent package of clunking contrasts, structured around the death of Lucy Beale. 

While Ian was receiving news of the discovery of his daughter's body on Walford Common (by a little girl wearing a very nice yellow cardigan; I think she was on an Easter Egg hunt), the rest of the Square was gathered in the pub, ringing the bell with wild abandon and doing shots to celebrate the birth of Lady Di's puppies. A classic soap birth/death episode.

Earlier we had also heard Ian's voice saying vaguely positive things to Peter, mixed over images of crime scene investigators dressed in paper suits passing in and out of Lucy's corpse marquee. I like it when EastEnders goes a bit freeform; such montage and voiceover scenes are enjoyably Hollyoaks via Home&Away in style, and something of which I approve. Though Coronation Street did a Christmas carol happy/sad montage in its Xmas day episode last year I think, which left me a bit displeased. Corrie should not be experimenting with its classic form as far as I'm concerned. 

Talking of Corrie, I am really enjoying it at the moment. The scripts and performances are on top form; it's very pacey and engaging and funny and dramatic and brilliant. Of particular brilliance lately (and for various reasons) are Carla, Eva, and Steve. 

Carla's attempts to appeal to the life-addled (and highly irksome) Simon are very endearing, especially as she keeps kicking off at him every five minutes. I'm glad Peter's done one to rehab, I hope he stays there a while. 

Eva has some great lines and good comedy timing. She seems to be thriving now she's out from the shadow of recently-departed Stella and Gloria (who were both great, it has to be said).

Steve's a long-term favourite of mine, but has been even more brilliant recently as he struggles to keep his temper around Tina, alongside doing his usual comedy japes like making a surprisingly good cake for Michelle's birthday (which was a much better scene than I just made it sound).

I'm absolutely ready for Tina to drop dead now. I wish her death storyline had been fast-tracked like Lucy Beale's. I'm also bored of Maria, though I enjoyed the scene where David confronted her about the texts she's been sending to Tyrone. I quite like David now; that scene a few weeks ago where he and Kylie went to a hotel and pretended to be French was incredible. 

So hopefully Tina will pop off soon enough, and we can do a compare/contrast of her and Lucy Beale's funerals. I haven't been a regular EastEnders viewer for quite a while, but I've been drawn back in by the Lucy storyline and might stick around to see how it pans out. I think Ian did it. He kept saying "She died!"... almost as if he wanted to say "She died when I hit her over the head with a framed photo of my nan!" but thought it best not to mention the second part. 

Edit: I forgot to mention Denise's day trip to Oxford to see her daughter whose name I can't remember but who is basically Saffy from Absolutely Fabulous. Denise did some pondering by a big tree, took a selfie near Saffy's office door, had a small cry and then vowed to dump Ian. But now she can't dump him because Lucy's dead. I liked how they did needless but nice on-location shooting in Oxford for this (or was it just an Oxfordian-looking part of London?).

Oh and deep-voiced Peter's amazing roar on being told of his sister's death. Cue classic EE crane shot. I love soaps. 

Saturday, 12 April 2014


Last night's Corrie saw Anna reluctantly accepting Phelan's indecent proposal. I was drinking orange liqueur and eating a mini buffet at the time of watching, so unable to take a photo of the best part, which was Phelan, after Anna had zipped up her parka and departed Room 123 of the Hotel Dinge, rolling around on the bed and whooping, kicking his legs with glee while wearing a peach shirt over a white vest.

Meanwhile Anna went home and tearfully told her family she had to have a shower as she smelled of chip fat. It made me sad; I like Anna. And I like Owen too. He's become kind of hot.

I don't read previews so I don't know how this storyline will develop. I expect there are more tears to come. Possibly some more whooping from Phelan too, though I expect he'll get his comeuppance eventually.

Sunday, 6 April 2014


Coronation Street
Friday 4th April 2014

Forgive the four-year hiatus; life is busy, even for potatoes. But let's get down to business.

Hair is very important on Coronation Street. Bet Lynch's incredible do is testament to that. I don't want to make an entirely hair-based post (though I can't rule out a fan letter to Rita's wig at some point in the future), but I do want to talk about the hair factors at play in the Tina-Peter-Carla marriage/ affair/ pregnancy/ non-pregnancy tangle. 

Tina's hair is brilliant. But her chignons and up-dos have become a bit dishevelled lately, as her non-relationship with Peter fizzles out. I thought the scene between the two of them in the second of Friday's episodes was the best thing written for them for a while: Tina's desperation to hold on to Peter, even if that means only ever meeting him in the ginnel, was well expressed and actually made me like Tina a bit. I've been so disappointed with the direction her character has gone in; she used to be great. I suppose there's a message there about toxic relationships (I saw that phrase on the front of a dire-looking magazine once and have always wanted to use it). So as Tina's life flops, so does her hair. I hope Steph can provide her with some Sunsilk as well as a shoulder to cry on.

Meanwhile, Carla's amazing vamp hair has been what I believe a salon expert might call "softened". It's got some sort of feathery layers and caramel tones, the perfect hair for new, unexpected Maternal Carla.

Carla's recent scene at the clinic with Michelle, where she was considering getting a termination, was completely predictable and boring, and not a patch on the early-90s Neighbours termination clinic storyline featuring Phoebe and Todd*. I mean, we knew from Carla's new kindly-looking hair that she wouldn't go through with the procedure. Michelle's previous comments about having a child being the "best thing" she'd ever done had obviously hit home. You know, that child Michelle had that got swapped at birth and then swapped back again when he was a teenager and then swapped back yet again and now I'm confused about who he actually is but I remember Michelle got all annoyed at him when he moved away to university which I thought was very unfair.

Michelle's hair has gone very flat-looking, and her clothes are very ageing and brassy at the moment. It's a transformation I enjoy. Michelle being brassy is brilliant. The highlight in Friday's episode came when she dragged Steve along by his ear, telling him off as he faked a hangover to cover up for Peter. The couple have become a bit like Jack and Vera, which is very pleasing.

The scenes between Steve and Peter as they planned their alibi were well-written and well-performed. I look forward to seeing how the imaginary plant pot full of vomit comes back to bite them somehow.
I have also been thinking about something else which might come back to bite Peter... Ages ago, maybe in January, he and Tina were having a kitchen-sink-based snuggle, and she broke a glass, cutting her finger. We all know that Tina's getting murdered soon, and perhaps the spots of her blood which got onto Peter's shirt during the smashed glass aftermath will be taken as evidence of his murderous guilt. 

And if Peter is to be blamed for the murder, we can only assume that he won't be the actual murderer. I really hope it's Carla, and she gets away with it. She does have a look (and the attitude) of Velma Kelly, after all. 

My ideal scenario: Carla does Tina in, Rob helps Carla frame Peter for it, Peter goes to clink, Tracy gets mad at Rob for framing Peter (not because she likes her brother, just because she likes engineering fiendish schemes and has been left out of this one), Rob and Tracy break up, Rob has rebound sex with Mary in her campervan.  

And Carla gives birth to a child with amazing hair. 

Desiree xx

* Who of course was subsequently hit by a car.