Hey folks. I’m back from the auld country where I attended the Royal Birth (well, not really but our hotel was close to where Prince George was born and we had left London by the time he arrived). I was in a bar in Edinburgh when I learned of the birth. I had a glass of Laphroaig to toast the wee bairn. I saw a couple of episodes that are now airing in Canada but mostly I’ve been relying on Mare’s meticulous updates to keep me up to date. Thanks Mare!
I’m off to NB this week for my sister’s wedding so I won’t see the show tonight so I thought I’d get the update up.
Well, let’s face it. This week was all about Hayley.
Well began the week with Hayley learning that she has pancreatic cancer and that her chances of survival are 20% (and of that 20%, the long term chances aren’t high either).
Hayley breaking down as the reality of her situation hit home was tough to watch but kudos to Julie Hesmondhalgh for playing it so well. Fortunately she had a good friend in Carla who took her to the hospital and, when learning the news, attempted to keep things normal at work by playing Carla the taskmaster.
Hayley tries to keep the news from Roy for as long as she can but Sylvia convinces her to tell Roy the truth. Roy tries to help by diving into every half-baked theory about cancer prevention and treatment that he can find on the internet. Clearly the news has clouded Roy’s judgement as he’s normally a pretty sceptical guy. On the other, he was extolling the virtues of aromatherapy earlier so maybe Roy’s going new age. Sylvia prescribes a “bit of what you fancy” for Haley but Roy becomes overbearing and even confronts her doctor at the hospital about treatment. He tries to force Hayley to change her diet and avoid alcohol when all she wants to do is go to the Bistro for Audrey’s birthday. When Roy finds her drinking champagne and he blurts out to all who can hear that she is gravely ill.
Later, Sylvia talks to Roy that it’s not his half-baked medical advice that Hayley needs, it’s Roy. He takes the advice to heart and by way of apology, makes cheese on toast and builder’s tea, just like she likes and promises to leave the cancer treatment to the NHS.
Hayley tells Roy that there is a good chance she will die (and for anyone who has lost someone to pancreatic cancer, this is very true) and she breaks down, saying “I don’t want to go.”
On a related note, there is a relevant article at the Globe from a few years back about how we talk about cancer and why terms like “battle” are unhelpful.
In other news, in lieu of the cash he owes Rob, Peter has given the bookies to Rob, intends to turn it into a pawnbrokers, I assume using the items Rob repossesses (or is he not doing that anymore). People think they’re taking advantage of the poor but Rob counters that the bookies was worse. And on a sliding scale of moral relativity, Marcus agrees that gambling is worse than a pawnbrokers.
“We’re doing a public service!” Tracey says.
“It’s capitalism!” Roy says.
“And look where that got us!” Gail says, waving her copy of the Communist Manifesto at him.
Peter meanwhile has taken up Carla’s offer to go work at the factory which is what happens when you lose a job and have nowhere to turn. Michelle thinks it’s highly irregular even though that’s how she ended up working there. Still, Peter agrees and decides to start work in the delivery room with Kirk. And because Carla is a modern kind of lady, she proposes to Peter and they could off shopping for a big ol’ rock to seal the deal. Peter balks at the price but he relents and agrees to buy it just the same.
The racism storyline continues. I think it started off alright but it’s sort of gone off the rails. Paul feels he’s been unfairly branded as a bigot and Mandy thinks Lloyd is bringing up the issue because he wanted to show Jenna that he doesn’t take that kind of crap. But Mandy points out that Weatherfield 2013 is a far cry from Alabama 1960.
But it’s Sophie who gets particularly self-righteous and places a call to the fire station.
I mentioned this on Twitter but I think it wasn’t well handled. The show, when it’s good, incorporates social themes into the storylines without being preachy. But I think they’re walking a difficult line. Racism exists and they want to show it but there’s a risk to the show if a character is an outright racist. In real life, we all have friends and family members who say things that make us cringe but much of the time we let it slide for the sake of social peace. Do a Google Image search for “That’s Racist” and weep for humanity. But in handling this story the way they have, the show is implying that Coronation Street is largely free of racism. But who would want to watch a show with a racist character.
What if Paul was a racist? What if the thing that comes out of this is that he flatly states that he doesn’t like black people? What would Eileen do then? An interesting story would be how Paul thinks he can say certain things without censure because he’s among like minded people.
Anyway, I’m not sure where this story is going but I hope the conclusion fixes a lot of the issues it’s been causing.
In other news, the Audrey’s damp wall is worse than she thought.
Faye has come home.
Baby Jake will soon be home. Tina wants to go on holiday.
And on that note, have a nice weekend everyone!