Saturday, 22 March 2014

Male Members of the Cast

What kind of fool would leave their luggage out on the street anyway?

 Oh, Kevin’s back. Right.

No sooner than he’d landed back on the cobbles Kev left his bags unattended outside his old home. He was getting a bit of welcome-back-to-Weatherfield succour from Rita in the Kabin. And it was at that precise second that his daughter’s homeless girlfriend happened by, and found herself too tempted by the abandoned holdall. I can’t think of anything less appealing than what Kevin Webster might have in his hand luggage. Sticky engine parts, perhaps.

Kevin was back from Germany in the series and back from real life tribulations, which seemed to be flagged up by the warmth with which other characters greeted him. It was a Friday night episode full of contrivance, though – from the bag-snatching to the scene where he got Sally’s new boyfriend Tim in a headlock, thinking him a burglar, after finding him fiddling with her digibox under the telly. These scenes actually made me warm to Tim, for the first time.

Elsewhere, Peter Barlow is being just downright sinister, winning back his secret girlfriend Tina’s trust, and peering over her shoulder (past her huge earrings.) He’s smirking to himself in that back ginnel we’ve seen so much of in recent weeks.

I felt for poor Stella. Putting herself out there for the sake of the bloke who’s about to open the gym. (I forget his name. When he’s with his mate Dev, the two talk like characters who think they’re in Scorcese’s ‘Mean Streets’.) He let her down reasonably gently, but immediately started prowling round after Stella’s daughter, Leanne – eventually propositioning her in the kebab shop. Leanne regretfully turned him down – wincing. She winces a lot. So does her estranged, brain-damaged husband Nick. They have spent months and years wincing at each other. When they were separate, when they were together and when they were separating again. They wear expressions like they’re trying to eat pickled onion crisps while they’ve got mouth ulcers.

Nick’s brother David and his skanky girlfriend were, meanwhile, trying to find the time and space to have dirty sex. Audrey’s salon seemed a likely place, and we were treated to one of those scenes where a young male actor pretends to be in the nude, standing behind a jumbo can of hairspray or a pile of towels. And then they get an unwanted interruption, this time in the form of Dev, who did some of his splendid over-acting. That’s twice that such a scene’s been played in Corrie this week – with Todd and Marcus it was high-drama, and here it was sheer comedy. But all the while I couldn’t help wondering what it is David reminds me of – with his strange hair and aggrieved expression. It’s something out of Dr Seuss, I’m sure, or Maurice Sendak.

We seem to be having a bit of a resurgence of male characters in Corrie. For years they’ve been a bit overshadowed by the larger-than-life ladies. But just recently they’ve been coming to the fore – hitting each other with planks of wood, getting up to saucy shenanigans and starting up gyms. Men never have an easy time of it in Corrie – which is always a Matriarchal society, in essence. The men tend to wind up as bloated eunuchs, mass murderers or officious blimps. A bit like in antiquity – ‘I, Claudius’ or something. I’ll be interested to see what happens with this current crop of blokes.

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