Wednesday, October 31, 2007
TRICK? Coronation Street, ITV1, 7.30pm
TREAT! Drop Dead Gorgeous, BBC3, 9.00pm
Pumpkins! Satanic overtones! Stupid costumes! Going begging from door to door! Something about All Hallow's Eve brings out the romantic in Weatherfield residents, and who can blame them? It's two years to the day since Jason ditched Lovely Violet at Les and Cilla's shambolic wedding reception and threw it up Sarah, and the fairly happy, quite stupid couple are having a second crack at tying the knot. This being Halloween (and Coronation Street), there's at least one obstacle to the couple's long-term happiness in the shape of David, Sarah's demonic half-brother. Having been banished to the shadows after two years of increasingly sociopathic behaviour, culminating in the accidental poisoning of his wind-up niece with ecstasy tablets, resentful David's attempts to sabotage the occasion have left Jason on crutches and the feuding Platts and Grimshaws on better terms than they have been for years. With his father apparently uninterested (when IS Martin going to get dragged back into a David storyline?), his mother and sister refusing to let him near the wedding, and his serial killing dead stepdad doing the voiceover on the trailer for tonight's episode (nice touch!), David looks set to do something rash.
So, Monday saw Sarah destroy David's suicide note, firmly convinced of his ability for world class manipulation and certain that it was just another trick to ruin her big day. But, look! There's two people in fluorescent jackets at the church, and they're not the ushers (we assume), so something must be up. Possibly involving witchcraft or, at the very least, David's car and one of Salford's beautiful canal basins. Whatever the outcome of tonight's hour-long special, we can only hope that all involved will learn from their mistakes/trauma, take stock and grow into better people. Will Sarah learn to be sympathetic to her brother's problems? Will David learn to stop terrorising his family and being endearingly surly and offhand with the rest of the Street? Will they fuck. You've turned out two diamond kids there, Gail. Well, they can't all be Rickitts.
Further matrimonial delights are to be had over on BBC3 where, true to the spirit of the channel, a repeat run of the brilliant second series of Drop Dead Gorgeous starts barely a week after it finished. Murray's glittering civil partnership ceremony kicks off six turbulent weeks of sex, jealousy, knicker theft, death, deception, dognapping, relocation and, yes, more sibling rivalry for teenage model Ashley Webb, her supremely dysfunctional family and their friends. While blessed with a fantastic cast in the central roles (including Corrie alumni Lee Boardman and Kathryn Hunt as bitchy agent Murray and desperately capable matriarch Pauline), the second series' crowning glory is the subtle, touching relationship that develops between school canteen manager Val and sensitive headmaster Howard. Worth sticking with for six weeks just for their heartrending (yes, our heart really was rended/rent) scenes in the finale. And Murray's 'special relationship' with Ashley's nan, obviously. Bless!