Liz McDonald has been away in Spain for ages. Since well before Christmas. She arrived back in the Street this week with a particularly unpleasant hairdo, but otherwise looking all perky and refreshed, and looking forward to catching up with all her friends and relatives, as you do.
Rather than the happy homecoming she expected, it’s been more like stumbling into The Stepford Wives or Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. Things in Weatherfield are most definitely not how they used to be.
The most obvious thing to most people would be that a tram has crashed into the street, necessitating a total rebuild of those Weatherfield institutions, The Corner Shop and The Kabin. Liz, however, is a family woman first and foremost, and is most keen to see her granddaughter, Our Amy, and ply her with straw donkeys and inflammable Spanish leisurewear. Shock number one: Our Amy has moved! Not very far, mind. She’s only the other side of the wall at the Barlows, with (shock number two!) her mum, Tracy. That’s Tracy Barlow, convicted murderer but released on a technicality (the technicality being that Weatherfield was short of a villain, with Tony Gordon gone. There’s only so much evil that Owen the Builder can manage in a half-hour episode).
Shock number three is that Tracy is working behind the bar at the Rovers. “My two favourite women behind the same bar!” beamed Deirdre, oblivious to the fact that Liz hates Tracy and the feeling is bound to be mutual because Tracy hates almost everybody.
The fourth shock is that Steve and Becky seem quite relaxed about this state of affairs. This is because of something which Liz doesn’t know yet, which will come as the biggest shock of all – Steve and Becky can’t defy Tracy, because if they do, Tracy will tell the authorities that Steve and Becky bought Becky’s nephew Our Little Maxie from Becky’s sister with cold, hard cash. Frankly this was a complete waste of money anyway because they hardly ever see him, what with him being stored in some secret annexe of the Rovers for most of the time.
Another thing Liz doesn’t know is about Becky looting the cash to pay for Our Little Maxie from Dev and Sunita’s safe, while Sunita lay wounded in the rubble of the shop following the tram crash (it doesn’t sound very good when you put it like that, does it?). Liz almost found out about this when she experienced shock number five: the previously sunny Sunita was definitely a bit frosty to Liz when she went to buy Jammy Dodgers. It’s not because Sunita disapproves of the jam-filled treats, it’s because she disapproves of the entire McDonald family these days.
Shock number six is that Becky’s sister, Kylie, is now engaged to David Platt. Liz is right to be totally outraged by this one – it is truly one of the most implausible and contrived storylines ever to besmirch the cobbles of Coronation Street.
Poor Liz. No wonder it’s all got her reaching for the Silk Cut. She’s going to need a holiday after all this lot.
Posted by PLA (more Corrie posts here)