Monday, March 26, 2007
Trial stand by you
TESTIFY! Coronation Street, ITV1, 7.30 & 8.30pm
Soap trials: they've been relatively scarce since Brookside finished, and they're either always boring (rape ones) or not necessarily always boring (murder/attempted murder ones). The nice thing about murder trials is that the victim isn't present to get all self-righteous or sit in the courthouse toilets crying, although a member of their family is usually on hand to make a big, angry, tedious fuss on their behalf. So Tracy Barlow deserves a big round of applause right from the start for choosing to murder Charlie Stubbs, a man who (so far) hasn't appeared to have any family whatsoever, leaving the stage open for the merry folk of Coronation Street to parade through the witness box, attacking reality and fact from all angles and generally lowering local property prices as they pursue various personal agendas or simply portray Tracy as a big old lying cow.
Slick Tracy's initial plan of making the entire community believe Charlie was battering her / ironing her arm has fallen by the wayside somewhat, with both Maria and Jason solemnly swearing that, occasional careless handling of Shelley's earrings aside, Charlie never laid a finger on women in That Way. Wednesday sees Claire take to the stand in support of her pretend friend after weeks of being brainwashed by the sound of Trick Tracy flinging plates at the party wall, but her mid-2006 post-natal mental dip (didn't that get sorted out efficiently!) leaves her evidence open to question. And Friday sees the testimony of everyone's favourite horny, evil and curiously-orange teenager, David Platt, but will his dick swing in Wick(ed) Tracy's favour after she failed to give him her fuck before the trial?
And then there's Deirdre. Poor, confused, devastated Deirdre, who only last night had her suspicions confirmed when Tracy owned up to the whole scheme and asked her mother to commit perjury for her. Of course, Deirdre's a woman who knows what it's like to be on the inside of a prison cell, and naturally she wants Tracy to avoid a similar fate, but can she lie in court, especially with a seething Ken glowering at the proceedings like a man who's just discovered that the stepdaughter he raised as his own and recently remortgaged his house for in order to fund the very expensive defense counsel she requested after committing an act of manslaughter which he's just discovered from his panic-stricken wife was actually (extremely) pre-meditated murder is a murdering bitch? Well, that's up to Deirdre, but whatever she decides to do she'll tackle it like a turkey staring down the blade of a carving knife. Much like the carving knife Charlie wasn't actually going to stab Tracy with, in fact.
Perhaps the greatest joy is the fact that this is the murder trial of a character who, lengthy absences and regenerations aside, has been part of Coronation Street since birth, and who gradually developed into one of the all-time great, completely horrific, self-absorbed soap monsters. Whichever way the trial goes she'll be leaving afterwards, but it's testament to the wonderful people behind the typewriters that after four years of Tracy Barlow (version Kate 4ord.0) tearing holes in the lives of her family and neighbours, they've come up with an exit storyline that outdoes all her previous exploits and dragged in half the cast to enjoy the fun.
Good luck, Tracy! We're rooting for you.
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