Friday, 23 June 2017

Musing on Dramatic License

Bethany's storyline has been quite controversial. Some viewers think it's gone too far. Some hate that a corrupt policeman has been added for dramatic effect, saying that it could stop someone going for help in "real life". People know this is a fictional drama, and though these things happen in life, most of the police are not going to be corrupt. This kind of situation is nothing new. Pimps have been seducing vulnerable young women for centuries. Bethany might not have been forced to walk the streets for her clients but Nathan is pimping her out just the same. There have also always been corrupt police so why not introduce one to the storyline? Surely people watching have the sense to understand that it's still fiction they're watching on the screen.

Mind you, I should know better than to say that. I used to process the email that came in through the website. Flaming Nora can back me up here. There would occasionally be an email from someone that didn't seem to understand that what they were watching was acting. I remember when Alma died of cancer. There were a half dozen or more emails from people who really thought the actress was dying and how brave was it of her to portray Alma's death on screen. When the storyline aired in Canada some months later, in popped a few more similar emails. I guess there really are some people that get far too involved and confuse fantasy with reality.

Would it really be possible for a mother to disappear without a trace for 7 years, leaving a 15 year old alone as Denise did with Daniel? The financial aspect alone would make it nearly impossible. She had a breakdown, allegedly, so how was she getting the money to put in the bank to pay the rent and bills? Yet apparently she did that. So why didn't Daniel trace her through the bank deposits? Why did not one neighbour or friend find it suspicious that she hadn't been seen for years? Why didn't Denise contact Ken and send Daniel to him if she wasn't going to be around? Daniel wasn't too keen on having his father in his life, as we saw during that last time Ken saw him but rather than leave your child alone, she had that option. Daniel could only lie and cover for her for so long before someone would start asking questions. We complain a bit but more or less accept the storyline as given because it's fiction.

I'm finding it a little difficult to accept that a man diagnosed with terminal cancer only bothered to try to find a guardian for his daughter almost before it was too late. He knew he didn't have much time left, he told that to Billy when he first appeared on the screen about a month ago. Surely if you have cancer, even if you don't know yet that it's terminal, you would scramble to get your house in order especially if you had the guardianship of a child to worry about, and especially knowing she'd either go into care or be given to your homophobic parents if you didn't make prior arrangements or at least write a will and express your wishes there. Social services might still get involved under those circumstances but surely they'd lean towards a big hearted gay vicar over a mean spirited homophobic grandmother.

I can't say yet if this story is going to interest me much but I will say this, if Billy and Todd do end up with Summer, they had better find somewhere to live. I'm pretty sure Eileen isn't going to go for having yet another mouth to feed.

David finally found out Shona's connection to his late wife, the fact that her child is the one that killed Kylie. Naturally he went ballistic, particularly because he was finding that he was attracted to her and it was mutual. She went and ran off but I'm sure she'll be back and in the time honoured tradition of soaps, they'll eventually get together though it's going to be weird that Kylie's kids' step-mother is the mother of the man that killed their mother. My head hurts already!

We all know that Eva's been in full on Bridezilla mode, trying to get Aidan to propose. She's been dropping hints like the flower girl drops rose petals up the church aisle. He's not picking them up. Deliberately. He likes having it both ways, a gorgeous blonde in his bed and another beauty on the side. He can continue to make promises to both of them and probably enjoys the danger zone. Eva took desperate measures and proposed to him in public so what could he do but say yes! Just to cement the deal, Eva is now pregnant though of course, she wouldn't have known that before the proposal I don't think. What I do think is that I wouldn't put it past her to have placed herself in that position of the possibility of getting pregnant because that would be her backup guarantee of a wedding.

Eva's always been full-on with relationships, pushing them into the next step before the fella was ready for it. I think that's why she kept getting engaged and then dumped. When we first met her, she was licking her wounds after a broken engagement and was there not something about when she was staying in France (when the actress was on maternity leave), that she wrote to Leanne that she met a guy and got engaged? When she returned, she was broken hearted again. Those relationships start up and zoom through to that huge commitment stage far too quickly and that's her fueling the zoom bit just like she's done with Aidan. First it was the push to get him to move in and recently it's been the proposal anticipation. But while she's told him about the baby, she's also going to be plotting his downfall while he continues to gleefully juggle both women, making empty promises to each.

 We suspend disbelief in most cases when dramatic license is taken. There's no harm in that. Tv, movies, books, fiction. Sometimes the writers need to throw in a twist or two that might be a bit over the top.

What bothers me is the nit-picky stuff, or if a character is written to do something that we know they would never, ever do. (i.e. when it was discovered that Betty Williams pilfered all those bar glasses) We also stand up and holler if Corrie history is blatantly rewritten (Annie Walker couldn't leave the pub to Betty because the brewery owned it and did until Bet Lynch left and the Duckies bought it from Newton and Ridley.) Would one small neighbourhood have that many people that have had anywhere between 4 and 6 spouses? Would one small neighbourhood have a building bursting into flame every year or two? Sometimes, you just roll your eyes and get on with it.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Saturday, 3 June 2017

State of the Street - May 2017

One by one, Ken's assailants were eliminated. After initially thinking the attacker would be a secondary character, I came to the conclusion that it was Adam. I noticed that Adam was continually focussing on one after the other of the suspects, trying to redirect attention off himself. He didn't want to be blamed for something "someone else did" and at the end, when he realized Ken's memory was starting to return, it took very little to persuade him to make plans leave town.  Of all the family, he had the most convenient opportunity and possibly motive though Rosie thinks his main MO is sneaky and underhanded. But someone else was anxious to get away from the heat and returning memories, as well.

I agree with Rosie's assessment of Adam, but an argument can quickly get out of hand and accidents happen. Ken's memory took a long time to return and when it did, in flashes, and by the end of the month, we *finally* got the answer we've all been waiting for as each suspect was eliminated. Every one of them were questioned and most of them were arrested, making the police look ridiculously incompetent, but that's nothing new for the Weatherfield Police. Craig had better look sharp or he's in danger of becoming a joke on the force, as well. Or he'll end up running rings around them all and become a super-cop! I'd love to see that.

So what do we all think of whodunnit? They pulled a fast one with an about-face at the end, and Daniel was the culprit all along. The scenes with him in his old flat with Ken were very dark and disturbing in that you could really see how broken and damaged Daniel really was for his mother's abandonment and Ken not being there all his life. The huge twist here was the precisely timed arrival of Denise on the scene! I had known she'd be back at some point but had no idea it would be at the climax of this storyline. Well done, ITV for keeping that under wraps. If Denise hadn't come through that door when she did, Ken might have gone out of it feet first! A lot of things kep her away all these years. None of them were very good excuses if you ask me but that's how the storyline was written.

Ken won't press charges  and swore to attest to the same in court, frustrating the police, and he will both forgive and try to help Daniel who has a lot of demons to face. I never did think Daniel killed his mother because that would make him un-redeemable and he'd have to go and Rob Mallard is one of the best additions to the cast in years. He and Daniel must stay! I do hope they keep Denise around to 'splain things even if Daniel might not want anything to do with her now.

Tracy really came into her own, I thought. As selfish as she is and has always been (and isn't really going to change that much), she decided to take the blame for Ken's assault because she worried that Amy was the one that did it. This included being unable to resist the charms of bad boy Rob Donovan, the man that got away. Ok, the man she made go away when she turned him in over Tina's murder. Rob is the love of her life, the one man that really did "get" her and mostly was able to get past her faults. If he couldn't, he'd give her a dressing down for them but loved her anyway. Not even Robert the Sanctimonious was able to do that. Rob also did the right thing and turned himself in to save Tracy and Amy by default (because she'd have effectively lost her mother to prison).

Self sacrifice worked. Ken had changed his mind and was going to give her the inheritance early so she could buy the florist shop and he still did it once he knew she didn't hurt him and realized she'd (mistakenly) taken the blame for her daughter. It's good to see Tracy enter her forties with a business of her own and a flat of her own. If she and Amy move out of Number 1, that leaves room for maybe Adam or Daniel to move in. I don't know if Adam and Daniel will be able to share the same flat after all this but I am equally unsure whether Adam and his resentful chip on his shoulder can share a house with Ken.

The existence of baby Oliver has become the turning point for Nick's delusional paranoia. He's never got over Leanne's connection to Peter and now with Steve in the picture as well, he's been pushed over the edge with his jealousy and insecurity into the depths of paranoia and I don't think it's got anything at all to do with his brain injury. David had it right. Nick can't accept and appreciate what he has, a woman that loves him and he keeps picking at it until he's pushed it away. He doesn't deserve the happiness he's been given.

Why is Nick so insecure about Leanne? Because I think he knows damn well that though she loves him, he loves her more. He's never got over her but she had other big loves in her life that weren't him. She seems  to go back to him when she's had a knock back, someone safe, her first love. Then he hurts her yet again. At some point, she's got to end it for good because he's never going to change. He's every bit that manipulative, selfish, passive aggressive kid that he was when he first got together with her as a teenager. He really hasn't changed, just got older and more arrogant. I've said it many a time. That is his downfall. He finally realized it.

Leanne tried a last ditch effort to get everyone to make peace, taking them all to a beach. But Leanne found out he could have given Peter an alibi and didn't and then the men ganged up on Nick and pressed every insecure button he had until he contemplated walking out into the sea like they suggested. I did think Peter and Steve were a bit harsh even if Nick had pushed them too far. Telling someone to walk into the sea, to kill themself really isn't right. He didn't really try to throw himself into the sea but he got stuck in quicksand and it was almost too late. Nick survived, as I thought he would but it was a near miss. I couldn't see them killing off one of the Platts. They've recasted before so they can get away with doing it again in the future and I'm sure we've not seen the last of Nick Tilsley over time.

Nathan put his end game into play and he's farming young Bethany out to his friends, sex for money. She was shocked to her core after the first time, unable to believe that a man that said he loved her could allow, nay, expect her to have sex with someone else, let alone let it continue.  Yet, he's got such control over her that she didn't walk out the next day. The twist that Neil, that friend of Nathan, is a police officer, crooked as a corkscrew, was unexpected and, frankly, not just a little sinister.

Sarah tried her best to get Bethany away but Nathan's hold on her is now too strong. She was pressured into it. Sleeping with strangers is not what she wanted. Nathan even ramped it up to having her in a room with three men! Good grief! That's pretty grim, isn't it? Shona, as we all predicted, finally realized who Bethany was involved with and came out fighting. She got beaten up for her trouble but managed to alert the Platts who rescued Bethany but it wasn't in time to prevent her having to sleep with three men in a row. She's determined to be on Nathan's side and refuses to see him as a villain. Yet. The story isn't over, though it's going to be about realization and recovery from here on in.

Maria has gotten herself tangled up with yet another wrong'un, a love rat who might say all the right things and make all the right promises but is going to hurt her badly in the long run. Eva rushed Aidan into a commitment before he was ready though likely he'd never have been "ready". He strikes me as that kind of man.

Be that as it may, I think Aidan lapped up Maria's crush on him as a way of rebelling against Eva's domestication quest. She's always so full on, is Eva and always ends up getting hurt. She pushes too much too far too soon and then wonders why she keeps getting dumped. Maria always seems to go for men that have commitments or feelings for other women, and even if she only finds out about it after they've gotten together, seems to have the attitude that if the fella isn't cheating on his woman with her, he'd be cheating with someone so it might as well be her. It's led to heart break for her in the past and I don't anticipate any different this time.

Eva is determined to get a ring on her finger and we all know Aidan won't do that. Nor will Maria get one on hers, I'm willing to bet. But when Eva finds out about Maria, and she will of course, it isn't going to be pretty.

Brian and Roy are bickering and rubbing on my nerves, mainly because I really don't like Brian. He's such a buffoon. I put him in the same boat as I used to put Derek Wilton. Both actors are very good but I really detest the characters and only occasionally find Brian funny. I can't see what Cathy sees in him. She's got far more about her, daft as she can be at times, than to hook up with him. I hope they aren't trying to make them into the new Mavis and Derek because they don't have the charm. Cathy was much better with Roy. Too bad Roy just wasn't ready, but it's understandable.

June will be an interesting month. Bethany's story will continue as we see her still under the throes of Nathan's psychological hold over her. Will Steve sell the pub to Peter in the end? I think he will now that Nick is out of the picture. Will Ken throw Daniel to the wolves? Not likely. How will the rest of the family handle the news and will Adam percolate even more resentment towards his grandfather? What about Todd and Billy? Will Todd relent and help Billy raise Summer? Will Anna ever let Kevin touch her again? Will Phelan ever pay for his misdeeds?

Stay tuned for another month of Corrie and find out! 

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Friday, 2 June 2017

The Big Week, The Big Reveal

Wow! ITV really pulled out all the stops this week, didn't they? There were a few smaller fill-in storylines but mostly it was one major surprise after another. Big things were revealed, one or two which were superbly timed.

First we had Ken remembering Daniel was his assailant. The viewer knew by the end of last week and watched as Daniel quickly fell apart, guilt, pain, long held damage and resentment, it was all there as he attacked his father but wait, the door opens, that bookcase blocking the way shudders as someone tries to push through...just as Ken is accusing Daniel of killing his mother, his mother shows up on the other side of the door! I knew Denise would be back in the show but I had no idea it would be just then. Excellent stuff! Now to find out why she left and why she stayed away. A breakdown? That lasted for 6 years? And she had no friends at all in the  world she could send to check up on him?

Denise's reveal was that she'd had a breakdown and stayed away because she thought he'd be better off without her and still believes it. If she could see throught he walls of that bathroom to see her son trying to cut himself, scald his hands and shake and cry in a little heap in the corner, maybe she'd rethink that statement. *I* wanted to smack her for that. Daniel was about to have that discussion with his mother when he finally came out but the police showed up. Sinead had found the bloody book and oh too familiar inscription and the penny dropped there, too. But in the end, it was her that called the police.

Daniel turns himself in. I wonder if he could claim temporary insanity because he certainly is a damaged boy, no thanks to his mother. The detective is  practically spitting coins because Ken won't press charges. I didn't expect he would so that wasn't a surprise. Now the way forward is to find a way to help him. I think this was my favourite of the big stories this week, because I've been following it with great interest from the first, spellbound especially by Rob Mallard's performances.

Next up, Craig inadvertently revealed to Shona exactly who Bethany's boyfriend really is. Nathan was the ex that Shona was running from at Christmas, the ex that she has told people abused her, with at least one burn scar to prove it. When she confronted Nathan, she got away but was attacked and left for dead. Craig proves yet again to be the hero and rescues her, just days after helping a lost Bethany.

Nathan is feeding Bethany drugged drinks, just enough to keep her pliant but she kicked off so he dragged her outside and wielded his control by shouting, physically burning her arm and then blaming his actions on her. Typical abuser. She'll do anything to make up to him now, convinced she caused his anger. This really is painful to watch, painful in that your heart breaks for her.  The next reveal was Shona managing to get out of the hospital to warn the Platts about what Nathan was doing with Bethany sending them running en masse to rescue her.

They weren't in time to prevent the 3-on-1 in the bedroom, which was quite chilling to see, those men filing into the room behind her and Mel ensuring she stayed there. I didn't expect that. It's one thing to imply that she's heading into the bedroom and has had sex with a crooked copper, it's quite another thing to put her in a Three Men and a Bethany situation, even if it is after the watershed early air time but they went there, apparently. Bethany was "rescued" though she doesn't see it that way and refuses to take against Nathan. But I wonder if, at the end of the last episode when she looked at the burn on her arm and then her engagement ring, a little flash of doubt passed her mind. Just for a brief moment. One more reveal, Shona told the police that she ran away from Nathan when she realized what Nathan was trying to do so it sounds like she wasn't used sexually after all.

The thing is, now that we know Nathan's cohort in the whole scheme is a police officer, it's going to make things more difficult to prosecute him even when he was arrested at the flat. I'm not sure where the raid came from but I suspect one of the Platts probably called them while on the way. This ongoing story has been very interesting to watch, too, even if the subject matter is difficult. This happens. It's important because it might help someone. And, again, the performances, especially by Lucy Fallon and Chris Harper as the creepy Nathan have knocked it out of the park.

Nick's a good man with the kids, really he is. He did try to help bring them all together for Simon's sake but couldn't resist getting into it with Peter yet again, trying to prove he's the better football player. With Simon walking away in disgust, Nick's in the bad books again. When Leanne overheard that he could have provided Peter with an alibi the night his father was attacked, that was the last straw. He was willing to say nothing if it would get Peter out of their lives, not caring what the effect on Simon would be. He says he trusts Leanne but he feels like he doesn't belong. He would if he was able to accept Peter and Steve and be a decent man instead of someone that always has to have all the prizes.

His lifelong sense of entitlement is his downfall. He's always taken advantage of Leanne when she's been vulnerable, knowing she always leans on him when she's been heart broken or let down. She's continually the one that gets away, that one that keeps leaving him when he messes up, trying to be her one and only. That's what happens when one person loves more than the other, when one person's definition of love is possession and triumph. He lost her again and knew it. Peter was a bit harsh, suggesting he throw himself into the sea. He didn't really consider it but he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and nearly drowned under the quicksand.

Peter was then the one that kept Nick talking, trying to make him angry enough to fight to live. It worked and Nick was rescued just in time. Acrimony aside, there was no way Peter nor Steve would ever let Nick drown if they could do anything to help or get assistance. Nick would do the same for either of them. I think. Nick says he wouldn't but I think if the situation was presented to him, he would. Don't forget that Nick saved Peter's life after the tram crash. Then again, he also lured Peter back to drinking afterwards and had been having an affair with Leanne who was engaged to Peter at the time. Peter, flawed as he is, is definitely the better man.

Previously, as far as spoilers went, it was left up in the air whether he'd survive or not. ITV was very cagey about it. They're getting a lot better and keeping some things back as surprises which is a good thing. We knew the actor was leaving, would they actually kill off Nick? I really didn't think so but it was a close call, wasn't it? Nail biting stuff.

In the end, Nick gave up and walked away. Leanne was ready to stay with him after nearly losing him but she was that close to walking away before that. If he hadn't nearly died, he wouldn't have changed his attitude and even if they got through that day, it would never have gone the distance. He knows that very well. He told his mother that he didn't like the man he was turning into, and he wasn't coming back. I can't think of anyone that needs a fresh start more than Nick Tilsley and maybe he'll even manage to get Leanne out from under his skin. Will he be gone forever? Probably not. I would imagine that they will recast Nick some day and bring him back.

But for now, that's the end of Nick on our screens. At least he said goodbye to his mum! Yet another really good storyline. As much as I really dislike Nick, the chemistry between Ben Price, Jane Danson and Chris Gascoyne especially just leaps off the screen. Georgia Taylor and Jane Danson still have that sibling dynamnic, too. While it might have felt a bit out of character for Leanne and Steve to have sex in the first place, it certainly kicked off a lot of drama and a long running storyline.

In the minor leagues, Cathy finally kisses Brian after him faffing around his superstitions for half the week. I fail to see what she sees in him. It's Anna's 50th birthday and Kevin's organized a surprise party for her with Erica's help in keeping Anna out of the house until the appointed time. Anna's still finding it difficult to get close to Kevin due to her low self esteem over her burns. Careful, luv, Kevin doesn't respond well to partners who find reasons to shy away from his advances, even if they're good ones. Just ask Sally.

What a week of Corrie! I think this was one of the best "big weeks" I have ever seen on Coronation Street.There wasn't a lot of lightness or fun, very little humour and mostly what there was of it, Brian's buffoonery and susperstition, was just annoying. I wanted to get back to the drama and there was plenty of that.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Friday, 26 May 2017

The face of an assailant

When the "Who Attacked Ken" storyline spoilers first hit t'interweb, ITV's publicity machine offered a photo of all the potential suspects including a non-family member, Pat Phelan. They do this. Then, quite often, they throw a twist in the works and the culprit ends up being someone entirely different and "expendable", a secondary character. I really thought that's where this was going and I suspected either young Seb, perhaps caught in the act of robbing Number 1 or Chloe, hoping to set Peter up for it.

In an unusual twist, the identity of the attacker is indeed in the above photo. As the inept DS McKinnon arrested or seriously questioned one after another until she'd hit on every one unsuccessfully, the airwaves were full of red herrings, clues and hints. Amy? No, Amy wouldn't have hurt her grandfather even if she was angry with him. She couldn't have done it and gone on as if nothing had happened after. Pat Phelan certainly had form for it but it wasn't him, either. Amy directed the police to Adam whose fingerprints were on a kitchen worktop while he was supposed to be out of town. Daniel has often shown a sudden and violent temper. Tracy was upset because she felt Ken showed preferred treatment to her blood relatives, which she is not. Everyone had a motive. Everyone had opportunity, or so it seemed.

Little by little, alibis were given and some were proven, some were not. By the end, Daniel's alibi, proven with a tram ticket, was in tatters and the identification of a pair of red trainers as his seemed to have sealed his fate in Ken's memory. But Ken still only remembers the shoes, not the face.

Then Adam decided that he'd leave town after a dressing down by Peter and Tracy. Adam previously pretended to leave town when Ken ordered him out. He'd hit rock bottom and had no other option but he didn't actually leave. I didn't believe he'd have upped sticks and gone so quietly after Peter and Tracy's suggestion. I had been coming to the conclusion over recent weeks that he was the attacker all along, because Adam has been far too focussed on trying to move the attention away from himself, trying to find reasons to pin the blame on anyone else. When one person was cleared by the police, he'd move on to the next and so on. There wasn't any more evidence against him than there was with anyone else, just enough to be circumstantial but nothing really definitive while Ken still had no memory but Adam was determined he wasn't going to go down for it. Why? Because he's guilty, that's why. Or so I thought.

Ah. But Ken's starting to have memory flashes. Was Adam so quick to leave town to escape the inevitable? That's what I thought. Tonight, it seemed Adam signed his own arrest warrant inadvertently. Ken had recognized those shoes and Sinead identified them as Daniel's but she thought he meant the heap of clothes next to the shoes. Ken only said "who owns that stuff?", not "who owns those trainers?". Adam came to say good bye and right on top of his things in an open duffel bag were the shoes in question.  Oh heck. It was Adam! Ken even called the police on him though Adam is insisting it wasn't him though admits he was there but was too angry at his grandfather to call for help when he found him at the bottom of the stairs.

But Daniel was planning to go off as well. In a very contrived situation, his ex-landlord has waited almost 6 months to insist on a paint job at his old flat which you would think he would have rented out to someone else rather than lose that money for that long. But no. Swallow that one and move on. Daniel is persuaded to bring Ken with him which he did try to avoid but couldn't and Ken offered to help him revise for a poetry exam, using that big book he gave him awhile back, the one he wrote a message in.  You remember, the message had a phrase that Ken used to Sinead who repeated it to Daniel. He realized it was Ken that was the reason why Sinead felt she had to go through with the abortion and he was livid. Remember that sudden, violent temper he's got?

This, then, is the face of Ken's attacker.

And this, then, as we later discovered, is the blunt object used to thump Ken on the back of the head, still bloody. Daniel had to buy another copy and forge the note and now the two of them are in an empty flat alone together. Ken still hasn't remembered the actual incident but as Brian found out, sometimes memories can flash back to you when you least expect them. It's very likely going to happen next week. 

And once Ken remembers, since it isn't a murder charge, Daniel's fate isn't a done deal. I think that since it isn't that sort of crime, Ken can refuse to press charges if he wants and it's possible he might do that. He's been aware that his own interference has caused his son's anger towards him, and he's long felt guilty about abandoning Daniel who probably holds old resentment. But I expect, since Ken was willing to call the police on Adam, he'll do it on Daniel as well. Will Ken withdraw the charges in the long run? Wait and we'll see, I guess.

I enjoyed this storyline. It kept me guessing and I'm glad ITV didn't take the usual safe route of landing us with a secondary character that we don't care for as the villain of the piece though if it had been a murder case, I have no doubt that's what would have happened.

I wonder where they'll take Daniel now. Will he be humbled by his father's (anticipated) forgiveness? Will he become the family pariah? Will Tracy be insufferably smug because there's someone else to take the heat off her criminal past? Will we ever find out what happened to Daniel's mother?  What do you think?

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Friday, 19 May 2017

The Strength of Mary Taylor

We keep losing strong women on Corrie and there aren't may left. As noted here, the writers and producer don't seem to be able to write for the stronger, more mature woman anymore where these characters used to be the life's blood of The Street. Most of the current women that might be considered in this category are either much older, like Audrey and Rita (Oh, Emily, wherefore art thou?) or they've been portrayed as harpies or idiots (Anna, Gail).

Liz still has it in her, though she's not been the forefront of a storyline much lately. She certainly stood up in support of Steve during the Ruairi and subsequent revelations about Oliver storylines but they aren't her stories. The last time Liz was forefront in a storyline that showcased her vulnerability and strength was when Tony Stewart schemed to get the pub from her with Tracy. Her ultimate revenge might have been a bit extreme but it was quite satisfying to watch.

May I suggest another woman that has a lot more strength than we give her credit for? She's a bit younger than the "mature" traditional Corrie strong woman and her strength is often disguised under a quirky, even a bit bizarre shadow. I give you Mary Taylor. Yes, really.

Now that she's past that phase where she was on the edge of becoming a bit of a psycho/maniac, she's back to the quirky, cheery character she was when she first came to Coronation Street. She is in her mid to late forties, never married. She's been burdened with the care of a mother who by all accounts is a dominant tyrant and yet Mary has been able to live independently and has carved a life for herself outside that woman's demands most of the time. There have often been vague references to potential matricide, but so far, Mary's mother continues to exist. And considering the role she played in the birth of Mary's son, Jude, forcing Mary to give the baby away, it's surprising that she is still in this world!

We've heard a lot of stories from Mary about all the strange and wonderful things she's done. The travels, the weird relatives and former friends, the regrets, but through it all we've seen her as a fiercely loyal friend who yearns to be loved, to have a family of her own. Before we knew about Jude, it looked as if she found that with Dev Alahan's children after their mother died. She has been an excellent nanny, being tough yet fair to the children and she's gained their respect and love in return.

We've discovered that she was abused as a teen by a relative and gave birth to a son that her mother made her give up because, what would the neighbours think? When she found her son again after 30+ years and discovered that he was pleased to meet her and that she had a grandchild, it seemed like her heart would burst for joy. Even if she found she couldn't move away from home and her friends to live in South Africa, she surely has been keeping in touch. In this day and age, communication is so easy and convenient. Spoilers say Jude is going to move back to Weatherfield and Mary will have her family close at hand and I couldn't be happier for her.

Mary is a very loyal friend and will defend her friends fiercely.  Most of her friends are much older than she: Norris, Rita, Roy. It's odd to think she's a peer of such characters as Steve, Michelle, Tracy, on the younger side of her, and Sally, Tim, Anna, Kevin and Eileen who are a little older. She's an old soul and all her life, she never really fit in with people around her own age.

But she and Tracy, who is only a little younger than her,  have made an unlikely connection and seeing them recently in the shop hug joyfully after Tracy found out she'd be able to buy the florist's was heart warming. Strange, but heartwarming. Tracy is not normally a huggy, emotional person even if Mary is!

I also found myself touched when Bethany found refuge in the flower shop and Mary offered support, as if she almost knew what Bethany was going through. She didn't say so directly, but since her teenage years were tainted with the shadow of abuse, she does have an understanding and I think she was trying to convey that without frightening Bethany off. Maybe we'll see Mary be a support for Bethany once all this is over and be someone that can help Bethany get her life back on track with some encouragement from someone that isn't a direct family member hovering and fussing over her.

Mary also had her heart broken after the doomed relationship with Brandon. It seemed strange that Mary would start an affair with a married man but on a soap, that temptation happens to the best of them. The heart often over rides the logic chip in the brain and Mary wanted so much to be loved that she succumbed to the silver tongue of a skilled liar. When she was let down, she wallowed but with a little boost from Erica, Mary was able to pick herself up, put on her lippy and march on in the grand tradition of Corrie women, having learned a hard lesson.

Yes, I think Mary, for all her quirkiness, strangeness and off the wall attitude, is one of Coronation Street's strong women and Patti Clare is a treasure!

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Friday, 12 May 2017

Someone to watch over me

Now then.

Single men are starting to pile up on the corner of the cobbles, have you noticed? We have Ken, Norris, Sean, Brian, Roy, Chesney, Craig, Luke, David, Adam and now Steve. There are a number of single women at the moment, as well. Liz, Tracy, Rosie, Sophie, Alya, Cathy, Yasmeen, Kate, Rita,  Gail, Shona, Audrey, Gemma, Mary.

Since soaps don't seem to want to keep anyone single for long, it's a pretty safe bet that a few of those men will find someone to warm the cockles of their hearts before too long. I had time to let my mind wander around on the subject. See if you agree or disagree with my ideas.

Brian and Cathy are already making eyes at each other, we can probably pull them off the list though I really don't think they will go the distance. Brian is far too selfish and oafish. Cathy and Roy really would have been ideal but Roy isn't ready and maybe he never will be and that's ok.  Maria isn't on the list because of her affair with Aidan. We might reserve the more senior characters for the moment as well. Please, Romance Gods, don't put Audrey and Ken together now that Freddie has gone!

There has been speculation that the Powers that Be will throw Shona and David together. I kind of hope not because it would be weird for David to be romantically partnered with the mother of the man that killed his wife. But stranger things have happened. They are about the same age, actually. We were told that Shona was just about 13 when she gave birth to Clayton who was 15 when he killed Kylie. I think I'd rather see David single for a little while longer and then meet someone completely new.

But you know, I think Shona might make a good partner for Steve even if she's almost a generation younger than he is. (and a couple of Coronation Street Blog commenters seem to have agreed with me just as I was writing this!) That never stopped a romantic pairing on Corrie. Most of Deirdre's men were yards older than her! Shona has that earthy no-nonsense attitude and she's not self centered or a drama queen like Michelle. I think she could suit Steve very well and throw in the added bonus that a new partner, a much younger model,  would put a knot in Michelle's face even if she does say she doesn't want Steve any more.  I like her, I do. There's something about her. What I don't want is for Steve to end up with Leanne with the only thing they have in common being wee Oliver. Leanne needs someone responsible, someone that isn't jealous and insecure. I used to think she and Robert would have made a good couple but I don't really like him much anymore. Leanne and Peter are water under the bridge, too.

I think Rob Donovan was the love of Tracy's life. He really "got" her, accepted her for all her faults and they really worked well together. They also had more than the usual things in common. Murder, much? But since that's a no-go now that Rob is back inside, I wonder if Luke can forgive her? They weren't a bad couple though Luke is probably too honest for Tracy. I think we should suggest that Luke and Alya get together. Alya has ambitions but maybe she'd like a steady guy who is good with his hands, eh? They need to use Alya or lose her because on the rare occasion we do see her these days, she's got her nose in the air or a scowl on her face. They've made her dislikable and I'm afraid she probably isn't going to be around long if they can't think of something soon.

I would have suggested Gemma and Chesney get together but I really don't think they would make a very good couple. Gemma would have him for breakfast. I'm pleased that Gemma is trying to gain some confidence and turn her life around, I really am, but she's far too much for Chesney and he's too much of an old soul for her.

I don't think Kate and Sophie should get together but what happened to their friendship? It seemed to go the way of the dodo after Caz left and Kate got embroiled in her father's fling with Jenny Bradley and is now pursuing her father's health problems. Mind you, when Kate first arrived on the scene, I did think she would be a good partner for Sophie. She has a sense of humour and is a lot of fun and would bring Sophie out of her surliness.  Rosie should not be with someone like Adam because he wouldn't treat her well. He'd look down on her and treat her like an object. She and Jason were really good together. Jason adored and cherished her and They were pretty much equal in the intelligence department. I do think Rosie needs to mature a bit, though, because she's getting too old to be this daft bimbo. She's got to find a direction for her life or a hidden talent.

I'd also like to see Sean find someone that truly appreciates him. I did think he and Billy were good together but I'm sure there's a match out there for Sean somewhere. Maybe someone a little older who can give him a bit more confidence in himself so he won't be such a slave to his own insecurities. It would be nice to see him reconnect with his son, Dylan, too. Maybe find some who has a child of his own, something they'd have in common.

While it's lovely to see some of the senior characters find love, it feels too incestuous for any of them to fall for any of the others. They've all been friends for far too long for it to  believably morph into love.

Finally, it seems very much like Nick is spiralling into his jealousy again over Peter and Steve both. Nick's jealousy and insecurity is going to be his downfall I think. Leanne is already showing signs of him being instrumental in putting her between a rock and a hard place constantly by not being able to compromise.  Leanne should stay single for awhile, please. Don't put her with Steve just because she's got Steve's baby.

Who would you like to see some of the Corrie singles matched up with? Someone current or new? Someone unexpected?

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Saturday, 29 April 2017

State of the Street: April 2017

 By the end of April, we're still no wiser as to who it was that attacked Ken Barlow. Or are we? All the Barlows are pointing fingers at each other and they're all baring their teeth with suspicions. It's quite funny to watch. I think almost all of the prime suspects were arrested or were a serious consideration for the attacker, weren't they? Peter, arrested. Daniel, taken in for further questioning. Adam, arrested. All of them had opportunity and somewhat of a motive.

Tracy probably had the lesser motive. She was disappointed in her father and crushed, thinking he was putting her last, favouring his blood relatives but I don't think she was in a murderous rage. You may say she's got form, after killing Charlie Stubbs but she planned that for weeks, setting him up to look like an abuser so she could claim self defense. But she suspects Amy because of Amy's lies about the money she was going to give Adam. My money was going to be on someone like Seb who could have been in the house trying to steal something. Phelan was  too obvious, too. If it's going to be a surprise and one of the family, I'd go with Adam. He's probably the most expendable of the lot.

But. But....there's a wrench thrown  into the mix with the return of Rob Donovan, escaped prisoner. Tracy was separated from Luke on the night of the assault, the police wanted to talk to her but not about the assault though we never found out what that was about. Then Craig mentioned a prison van crash and a missing prisoner presumed to be dead and Tracy going around looking for antibiotics. Yep, She had Rob stashed in the remains of the gym which had been shut down. So it's also quite possible that it was Rob that tangled with Ken. Someone was coming in the back door, you may recall. That could have been Rob and though he's listening to Tracy's worries about who hurt her father, including her suspicions about Amy, he's not giving anything away. We already know he's a cool customer, though, and is a very good liar, just like Tracy. I think we're going to find out very soon one way or another.

I do have to hand it to the new producer, Kate Oates, she's managed to keep a few secrets under the hood so even releases to the media don't contain them. Sometimes the papparazzi catch photos of filming and that might spoil things but even then, not always. One thing is for sure, ITV has a history of presenting a group of characters as key in a storyline and there's almost always someone else thrown in as the actual keystone, i.e. murderer, for instance. Remember, Who Killed Frank Foster? Peter, Carla, Sally were all in contention and it turned out to be his mother, a secondary character. That's why everyone is betting on Seb or Chloe but Rob is a strong contender now, too.

Kevin's money woes continued. Rosie was going to do some glamour modelling to help out but that was kiboshed. David inherited a goodly sized chunk from a client and decided to give it to Anna as a sort of settlement. Gary was being a bit sulky though, shouting at David for giving Anna *only* 19 thousand pounds which is 19 thousand more than she had the week before. Yes, if she sued, she could sue for a lot more but she'd have to whistle for it because David wouldn't have the money. He did the right thing giving Anna what he could and it's saving Kevin from bankruptcy although that's Kevin being a bit presumptive. What if Anna decided to keep it for her and Faye? But she won't and she didn't. He and Tyrone made up finally, as well. Case closed. Can we move on now?

The other main Webster-related, (ok, Metcalf) storyline has to do with Sally's troll. The troll's vindictive and frightening attacks have left Sally nervous and scared to go out in public and Tim is worried someone may actually physically try to hurt her. Trolls don't tend to do that and Sally hasn't actually had a death threat because if she has, the police would most definitely take it a lot more seriously than they are.

But this is developing into something quite interesting. Rosie and Sophie tracked down the address of someone that is allegedly doing the harassment, to a young woman called Leah who protests, it's her step-mother, no really it is! But it turns out her step mother is none other than Sally's sister, Gina! Wow, that's a turn up for the books! Is her sister doing all these nasty things or is it the step-daughter, resentful of how much Sally's family seems to have vs. perhaps her own family being down on their luck? Intriguing, to say the least.

Brian and Cathy continue to make lackluster attempts at dating. I don't care. I think Brian's a brilliant character even thought I really dislike him. I do enjoy watching him and he does make me laugh. As a person, Brian is a greedy, selfish, snobby prat. In a relationship, I think he'd end up being a taker, not a giver. He has the capacity for romantic gestures but I don't think he'd sustain it over time. And her job in the kebab shop is faintly ludicrous, frankly. Mary and Tracy are opposites and Mary is definitely an oddball. I wonder if they were trying to recreate that magic with Gemma and Cathy? It doesn't work. Gemma and Rita are magic. Rita gives Gemma confidence and support for her quest to turn her life around. Cathy seems too daft and somewhat foolish and it doesn't work a foil for Gemma's wild and crazy gal. Why do we never see Cathy and Chesney in the kebab shop working together? It's always Cathy and Gemma. I think because there would be no comedy in Cathy and Chesney.

Michelle's back and Robert wasted no time in giving her a job even though Leanne is his manager, albeit on maternity leave at the moment. I'm sure both Leanne and Nick should have had stronger objections. (round 2 of her nasty invictive? I sympathise for her loss and the way she found out about Steve's new baby, bad situation all around. I guess you can't really blame her for going off the rails a bit but I still detest her snarky, sarcastic attitude towards Leanne and Steve. )  I wondered how long it would be before she was in Robert's bed and it was practically a minute or two after she got back! He's certainly willing to take her on the rebound and that's faintly abhorrent and it makes him seem like a man that's willing to take advantage of a vulnerable woman. He did the same thing to Carla, jumped in bed when she put it out there for him after she had a shock about Johnny being her father.

The sale of the pub seems to have taken a bit of a back seat lately. I wonder where that will go. Meanwhile, Steve is finally getting to spend time with baby Oliver, much to Nick's frustration. If Nick keeps letting his jealousy and insecurities weigh him down, it could spell the end to Nick and Leanne. She always seems to try to be the peacemaker. I'd like to see her put her foot down and tell him to put up, shut up or go away. Nick is selfish and he's passive aggressive and he's sneaky. He had it in for Peter for years and now he's turning his attentions to Steve.

Speaking of Peter, somehow this business with Chloe has to work itself out. On the surface there doesn't seem to be any way to prove or contradict Peter's truth with what she says hers is. I still wonder why she left her house in a wreck for two weeks before she had the cops come. She said he trashed the place on the night he supposedly assaulted her but of course, she did the damage herself a long time after to prove her point. Why aren't they questioning that? It's one of the bigger loopholes. Someone has to catch her out somehow.

I'm not impressed with Toyah's return, either. She used to be a lot more feisty. I suppose if you've been trying for a baby and having it fail time after time, it wears on you and changes you and yes, it's entirely likely you will become obsessed. But obsessed isn't pretty. I hope she doesn't go doo-lally and walk off with baby Oliver. That would be a very soap-like thing to do.

Bethany's association with the creepy Nathan is turning into a spider's web. He really is insidious, isn't he? What great casting they did. It frustrates me that Sarah won't or can't do more to prevent the relationship. She doesn't want to lose Bethany and yes, the more she forces the issue, the more Bethany is going to cling to Nathan unfortunately. She's 16, almost 17 and I don't think it's illegal, at least the sexual relationship. I think 16 is the age of consent? On the surface, anyway. Does it also mean she can live where she wants outside the family home? I'm not sure of all the legalities.  But as it gets darker and darker and he starts letting his friends have sex with her, presumably for money, then there might be legal recourse.  I think this one is going to run most of the year.

I do think Shona must come into this at some point. Not only does she have a connection to the Platts which she revealed to Gail but she has a connection to Nathan. She referred to an ex when she first arrived and she seemed anxious when Gail spoke about Bethany's boyfriend, Nathan but since Gail hadn't met him at the time, she didn't know how old he was.

Has Sarah told Gail or any other of her family anything about Nathan yet, like his age? I don't think so and I want to know why she hasn't. If she wants to get Bethany away from Nathan, you would think she'd have all hands to the pump, so to speak. David, Nick, Audrey, Gail and even friends like Craig,Todd and some of the big lads on the street, like Robert, Tim, Tyrone, Luke and even Phelan. Phelan might be a lot of things but I think he'd tear apart someone like Nathan that was preying on a kid.

I think Shona will ultimately be one that saves Bethany from the evil, oily Nathan in the end. It will certainly redeem her in the eyes of the Platt family. Craig is starting to reach out to Bethany, too, and he might be Johnny on the spot when it comes to rescuing her, now he's a constable.

Johnny may or may not be having health issues in the lead up to his wedding to Jenny who seems to be oblivious. Kate has noticed her father being rather reticent and isn't sure if it means he doesn't really want to get married but it may have to do with health issues more than anything else. I do hope we won't lose Johnny, I do like him.

The odious Seb is in Juvenile hall after attacking Jackson but Faye is still sneaking around to see him. At first, it was clear he wasn't particularly nice to Faye but in the last few weeks, he has been showing signs that he's having a problem with rejection. It's ok if he strings her along but the minute he thought Jackson was a threat that might take Faye away from him, he lashed out and he's made other remarks that actually seem sincere about her not leaving him.  Are they going to redeem him and have him be the victim of a bad home life? Anna sure isn't going to approve of her daughter hanging out with Phelan let alone Seb.

There are rumours about Seb who will turn out to be Phelan's grandson by a daughter he didn't know he had. That could be interesting and it means that the actor playing Seb is making a very good impression on the Powers that Be. They've already hinted at this by having Phelan working with Seb and seeing a lot of his own characteristics in Seb, I think. He seems to be taking the lad under his wing and promising to teach him to be smart about being shifty! I think that's a hint that Seb is a chip off the old block so to speak. And if Seb's mother, Phelan's daughter is a chip off her old man, she probably does leave much to be desired in the parenting world.

I'm loving having Rosie back. She's daft as a brush, the actor isn't all that great but she's such a breath of fresh air and I laugh at her silliness all the time. Yet, Rosie is fierce when defending her family and her heart is in the right place. I'd love to see a storyline that actually gives us a more mature Rosie, as perhaps she's been all along but has just been putting on the bimbo as a "front". We need something that could be the making of this woman. She'll be getting close to 30 in a year or two and this vapid persona is going to get old really quickly after that. Maybe if we ever get Jason back, they'll reunite. I always thought Jason was the love of Rosie's life.  Perhaps that's what she needs, a serious, grownup relationship to show us a new side of Rosie Webster. Now, if we can just find something to put a smile on Sophie's face.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Storyline rambles

A few random thoughts, theories and little amusements have been rattling around in my head lately and I've just got to write about them so that they won't keep nagging me! Yes, I'm that much of a Corrie-obsessed nutter. That, or I've had too much Easter chocolate.

This past week, Maria told David about her fling with Aidan and he said something to the effect that she doesn't go around nicking other women's blokes. Um. yes, yes, she does and David should remember it very well. He nearly got drowned in the bath by one of them after Maria was shagging Charlie Stubbs who was living with Tracy Barlow at the time. We've had a recent reminder that she had an affair with Toyah's boyfriend once, a university professor. She got pregnant and had a termination that time. In a way, she took Liam off Carla. She was with Liam before she knew he fancied Carla but she then did everything she could to keep them apart and get him for herself. It kind of counts. She was also obsessed with a Fiz-committed Tyrone after she had a breakdown when Marcus left her, she certainly encouraged Marcus away from Sean and now she's all over Aidan.So yes, she has made a habit of going for men already in relationships with other women (and men!)

It also made me chuckle when Anna decided to sell her clothes to help the financial woes in the Webster house. I thought "How is a tenner going to help in any way? It's only going to buy a couple of loaves, a bottle of milk and a packet of coffee". It's not as if Anna has been swanning around in designer gear, is it? She probably buys most of her clothes off the market or the charity shops. Even her few nice dresses are likely only from a high street shop.

So now that Kevin has been given 19 grand from David, is that it? Crisis over? We'll say no more about it? Probably, in true Corrie form, it will now all be forgotten and swept under the rub. I did wonder. Kevin's debt was partly personal due to Sophie's bills and partly professional because the insurance wouldn't pay out on the fire for the other garage. If he went bankrupt, I wonder how that would affect Tyrone. Tyrone owns half of the garage and if Kevin had to sell his half, Tyrone would still be ok though probably couldn't afford to buy Kevin's half. Maybe Luke could have obtained a loan, even if with his father's backing.

I don't think Sarah has told Gail or Audrey how old Nathan really is, has she? Rana has seen him and I think has noted that he was older but hasn't really said anything to anyone besides Sarah. I keep waiting for Shona to find out because we're all pretty sure he was the abusive boyfriend she got away from and I'm dead curious to find out more about her story. It's a good storyline mainly because Chris Harper is so very good at playing Nathan. He's very believable and making Nathan really creepy. Bethany has had so much self esteem knocked out of her  after all that bullying that it's made her a perfect target for him.

It does irritate me that there are so many near misses. Nathan has been curb crawling around Bethany in his car for months, and popping in and out but Shona hasn't seen him, nor has Gail got a glimpse. It's always like that on Corrie when there are secrets. In such a small neighbourhood that normally has people out and about and looking out windows, nobody ever sees anything they shouldn't until it's time for a secret to come out. That's just the way soaps are, I know.

As for Ken's attacker, ITV are now pushing Amy out as another suspect but I really can't see it. They could go that way but I think that, while Amy is quite a little madam, I don't think she's cold enough to whack her grandfather over the head and not show more signs of being upset after. Even if it was accidental struggle and fall, and his head injury is only from the fall, Amy would still be upset especially with other members of the family being accused.

Regarding this week's episodes, the spoilers say "Amy phones the police, telling them to check the fingerprints on the new kitchen worktop that Phelan fitted on the night of Ken's accident. " which then gets Adam arrested on the fingerprint evidence.  That is very easily disproven. Adam has been working on the kitchen and all the rest of the Barlows can testify to it. I think it was all set up so that Tracy is suspecting Amy but Amy probably did it to deflect suspcions from her mother and neither is revealing it to the other.
Who dunnit? I am still going with a secondary character, probably Chloe.

The story about Sally's troll is also very good and is keeping me interested. This past week, the troll upped the game with the obituary and the gruesome gift and you have to assume this person really is suffering from a mental health issue. Being nasty online, hurling insults is one thing but this is going the next step into stalker and there are definitely laws against that. Again, spoilers are pointing to Sally's sister, Gina as evidenced by her step daughter, the one Rosie and Sophie track down but I wonder if it doesn't turn out to be the step daughter after all. It will be interesting to see how it comes out. I love seeing Rosie and Sophie involved in trying to help. Rosie even seems to be the more aggressive of the two and I love that. She might be daft, but she's determined. Sally Dynevor really is putting in another powerhouse performance, in any case.

Don't get me started on Michelle's rebound with Robert. I sympathise with her on one level, after losing a child and finding out her husband had another child with someone else, and it wasn't even a grand love affair which, at least, might have been more understandable. I can understand her bitterness and rage and wanting revenge but since I've never really liked Michelle, it's difficult to be on her side and the less reasonable she is over the divorce, the less sympathy I have for her.

Producer Kate Oates says there will be a new name over the Rovers' door. I think that leaves Michelle out of the picture because her name is still over the door as co-licensee. That would be nothing new, just leaving Steve's name off it. I would like to see Dev buy Steve's share and put Erica in as co-manager with Liz. Aside from the Connors, nobody else really has the money along with any inclination. Dev might have lost out on the gym, but he still owns the flat Nick and Leanne live in, doesn't he? And the shop and number 7 so he's got the collaterol. Or perhaps Erica's mother dies and leaves her enough to buy it. I'd enjoy seeing Erica and Liz run the bar together.

That's enough for one session, I think. Coronation Street has been very good lately and I'm really enjoying it. So far, the new producer is getting good marks from me. Keep it up!

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Let's Play Detective - Who tried to kill Ken Barlow?

Ken nearly came a cropper again but it wasn't a stroke this time. Surprisingly, really, considering the stress and shouting going on there over the past month. I really did expect another stroke. He's been losing his temper left, right and centre. Adam and the drug dealer, Daniel chucking Oxford away, Tracy giving him grief, Peter maybe drinking and cheating (he wasn't but Ken thinks he was). It hasn't let up.

But no, all these people are building up grudges against him and he's landed at the bottom of the stairs in a right old mess.The police have been called to the hospital. They say he's got bruises on his wrists consistent with a struggle and a bash on the back of the head that looks very much like someone hit him. He bruises easily due to medication but I think someone still has to have grabbed his wrists tightly and I think that leaves off Amy at least.

But who could it be? The publicity photo above shows all the suspects that ITV is suggesting. I don't think it's any of them. The most likely suspects would probably be Peter, Phelan, and maybe Daniel. They were harbouring the most anger.

Sinead was drunk but she was on her way to see Ken to give him a piece of her mind. No, it wasn't her. Tracy was angry that Ken wouldn't back her and help her buy the flower shop from Peter but though she might have struggled with him, I don't think she'd have bashed him over the head no matter what she's done to Charlie Stubbs in the past. She was out looking for Amy and didn't have an alibi but I think she's off the list, too.

Phelan says he came in the back door to shout at Ken and found him at the bottom of the stairs just as Daniel arrived. I know he's got history, having left Michael to die and having presumably killed Andy but I think he's too obvious.

That leaves Daniel, Peter and Adam. If any of those actors were known to be leaving the show, I'd have said that would be the person. But as far as we know, that's not happening. Adam has a grudge and Amy was going to slip him some cash. Adam knows where the spare key is and was going to go in and get the money. Did he? Did Ken find him at the top of the stairs? Adam pretended to get a flight back to Manchester the instant Tracy texted him and timed his arrival at the hospital to make it seem like he did just that but we know he was skulking around the night before. I don't know if he'd have shown up at the hospital if he thought Ken might remember it was him, though.

That could be said for Daniel or Peter, too. Daniel has a temper, we've all seen it. But Daniel was on his way to Number 1 after seeing an inscription from Ken on a book. That doesn't seem like a guilty man. Peter was pretty close to the edge over the Chloe stuff. He nearly drank and it looked like he was about to do a runner when he saw the ambulance. He didn't look guilty to me though in the hospital the next day when the police got involved, he did look worried. He does blame his father for ruining his life yet again. He does have the best motive of all of them.

But that's the thing. In soaps, the most obvious or likely usually isn't the perpetrator of a crime though they're usually the one arrested. Therefore, Soap Law says it can't have been Peter.

So who was it?

I have two suspects with a third runner up in a pinch. The guilty party is almost always a secondary character, an expendable  crewmember that we can lose easily unless we know an actor is leaving the show. Barring that, and we haven't heard anything to that effect, there are two.

Chloe. She is obsessed with Peter. She could have done it to set Peter up in revenge. Another one it might have been is that young whippernsipper, Seb. He might have got into the house to try to steal something. He's tried that before. Ken might have caught him. Either of those chartacters are unnecessary to the plot. Chloe's involvement would stitch up Peter so that might be the more likely. The outsider is Adam, in spite of what I said. Or maybe it's wishful thinking because he's not a character I enjoy at all.

The next few weeks or months will tell. I don't know how long it will take. The new producer has been quite good and springing surprises on the viewers and that's a good thing.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Saturday, 1 April 2017

State of the Street - March 2017

This month, many of the characters on Coronation Street seem to be angry and unhappy. The ones that aren't just seem a little glum.

First we have Michelle, who, it has to be said, does have a pretty good reason to be pissed off. She was grieving for her stillborn baby boy when she found out that her husband fathered a healthy child with a neighbour after a one night stand. The heir and the spare, so to speak. How could he possibly feel the loss of their child as much as she did if he knew he had another one? That's not fair, mind you, but she's so hurt and betrayed that she'll say and do anything. She's determined to take Steve for half of everything he's got. She even tried to get back at Leanne by shagging Nick but he rejected her advances after a kiss so she fled to Devon to see Carla.

Why do people think that's the thing that's going to hurt them the most? It's only money. Yes, it's Steve's business and really, Michelle only has a claim on his half but Liz is going to sell her half as well to support him. I wonder if that means Michelle would get half of Liz's half? I hope not. And I hope the sale of the Rovers doesn't happen. Because...Peter Barlow? Seriously? If he wasn't an alcoholic, I'd say he might actually make an ok landlord but not with his tendency to slide back into addiction, even if this time could very well kill him after he poisoned himself on Jim McDonald's prison brew. I think Steve and Liz have made great pub owners and I'd be sad to see that era end.

The fallout from the paternity revelation is affecting Nick and Leanne, too. Leanne doesn't know what the right thing to do is. Should Steve stay away from baby Oliver like they originally planned? But if the secret is out anyway, why not let him see his son now and then? Personally, I think that's the right thing to do in this case. Nick needs to suck it up and grow up but Nick is ever the spoiled and entitled brat that Gail brought him up to be. He'll sulk and be sarcastic and moody, using every passive aggressive tool he's got in the box to manipulate Leanne's emotions, already in a mess due to post-partum hormones. He's already used to sharing Simon with Peter, it shouldn't be that far a leap. I guess he doesn't like being the perennial bridesmaid instead of the bride.

Baby news is also germinating for the Barlow family. One shag in the factory storage closet and Sinead's in the club, too. She did say they tried to be careful. I do wonder how that happened, though. Does she carry condoms around in her pocket? Did formerly virginal Daniel carry one in hope? I don't really want to know, too much information. Let's just go with the Oops method of birth control and leave it there. After all those years with Chesney, you'd think she'd have been on something more permanent like a pill, an injection or an implant, though. Even if they hadn't been sexually active for a few months, you don't stop taking a pill if you're in a relationship, just in case.  It would just seem a bit odd that a committed couple would be relying on condoms for years, knowing they're not the most reliable method, as she soon found out.

What to do? They talked about it sensibly and decided on an abortion but Daniel ended up changing his mind because he is pretty sure she actually does want the baby and maybe she'd end up resenting him for pressuring her into it. You know, he also looks a bit trapped. He had his future all mapped out with university and then finding a career and now he's got to be responsible for a child which could seriously curtail his plans, especially after being accepted to Oxford. Now he's going to turn it down, much to his father's dismay. Ken thinks he's just ruined his life, much like he did sticking with Deirdre. Uh oh. That rant is going to cost him.

But the rant also hit home with Sinead who came over all noble and told Daniel she had a miscarriage and he should go to Oxford after all. She lied, she had a termination and her lies didn't last very long. When Daniel found out he really lost his temper and I can't really blame him. They're done and she blames Ken for making her feel so guilty that she went through with it. They had kind of mentioned her moving to Oxford but Daniel seemed intent on staying put and raising the baby. Really, though, they could have moved to Oxford and she could have had maternity benefits. But it's over now, no baby, no relationship. I hope they don't get back together, this issue would be hanging over their heads and the resentment would grow to huge proportions. 

Then there's Peter Barlow. He's no stranger to juggling two women, is he? He's just the boy that can't say no and has a long history of it from that aspect. Lucy and Shelly and bigamy, anyone?  All because he couldn't bear to tell one or the other that he couldn't make a committment because of the other one.  Let's see. Then there was Leanne vs Carla, and Carla vs Tina and now it's Toyah and Chloe who really just tells him what he wants to hear, not the way things really are. She doesn't call him on his unrealistic crap, she flatters and flirts and he eats it all up. Of course he keeps going back for more only this time it's going to bite him in the backside.

She's turning into a proper stalker. She's tracking his phone and telling believable lies about him and like the boy that cried wolf, nobody believes him when he contradicts her lies. He's not drinking and he's not having an affair with Chloe. Not technically, anyway. He blames his father for believing her and spreading her lies and he's pretty angry about it. He was on the verge of leaving, from what it looked like, on the night Ken was injured.

There were lots of people angry with Ken. Tracy overheard him being dismissive about his relationship with Deirdre and she's feeling like he prefers his blood relationships. I can see how it looks from her point of view but then, as Ken said, she has always been self absorbed. Adam certainly has a reason to hold a grudge. He didn't actually go to Canada even though Ken gave him money and ordered him away after he got beaten up by the drug dealer. Even Phelan got the short end of Ken's temper and he was about to go give him a piece of his mind. We saw Ken head up stairs to fill the kettle in the bathroom (the kitchen still being under construction). He heard someone at the back door but kept going. The next thing we know, he's been found at the bottom of the stairs with Phelan standing over him. The police think he struggled with someone and went down that way, either fell or was pushed. Who dunnit? that will be April's story.

There are a lot of theories out in the web world that have Peter being the father of Leanne's baby due to her taking Simon to see his dad around that same time. Is it possible? Maybe so. Steve never asked for a DNA test. Leanne *seems* to believe the baby is Steve's but what if she's saying that because if it's really Peter's, it causes even more trouble than if it was Steve's though I'm not quite sure how that would be considering the earth shattering implosion it did cause in McDonald Land. But while Nick is not happy about Steve being the dad and he has had his jealous moments, he knows Leanne and Steve have no romantic history. He's very intimidated by Leanne's past with Peter and always worries that there is unfinished business and a lingering love between them. If the baby turns out to be Peter's, Nick is going to lose his rag altogether but at this point, it doesn't seem likely.

Maria's out of prison already. That didn't take long. She's still got to wear that ankle monitor for a while longer. I wonder if they deported poor Pablo? Anyway, she's had nothing but time to seethe and simmer that grudge she's building against Aidan, the man that had feelings for her but wasn't going to break up with Eva because Maria would be in jail anyway, right? And he did have feelings for both women. Weak and spineless are the names of the game here and Maria seems ready to bubble over like a glass of warm champagne. It's not going to be pretty.

As much as I love the Platts, it's kind of nice that they've been scaled back a bit and let the Barlows take the front burner but there's still Bethany's dark storyline ongoing. Nathan and Mel continue to work on Bethany and manipulate her. She's so young even if she thinks she's all grown up. She won't even be 17 until June while that ratbag is 35 and as oily as they come. Sarah's in a tough position because if she forbids Bethany from seeing Nathan, she knows she'll only push her daughter right at him. Bethany is over 16 so I don't think the police can do anything about the relationship. You know, in one small way, I almost wish Callum was still on the scene and partnered with Sarah because he'd take Nathan down a dark alley and have his henchmen (and Gemma!) work him over.

There seems to be a connection between Nathan and Shona and I suspect in the long run, Shona will be the one that saves Bethany though it won't be soon enough. I think Nathan will be pimping her and manage that a few times before this is over yet. Creepy storyline, isn't it? The actor playing Nathan is spot on and cast very well. He's very believable.

Sally went on campaign to defend her chick from the obnoxious wolf whistling builders and was successful. If only Rosie hadn't undermined her by giving a naive interview to the press who twisted it for all it was worth. The internet trolls came out from under the bridge and targeted Sally which isn't very fair but that's what they do. The ultimate prank was calling her, pretending to be the hospital and telling her that her cancer was back. Some people really are sick. And I don't mean that in the new,  trendy "good" meaning of the word.

And so it goes.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

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