Thursday, 18 August 2016

Nick Tilsley, Master of Passive Aggression

Watching Nick lay a shedload of guilt on Leanne this week and then proceed to flirt with the hen party, keeping a close eye on how Leanne was reacting had my blood boiling. I've often seen Nick use passive aggressive methods over the years to manipulate Leanne and it is really a nasty side of his personality.

Leanne kept pushing him away because she's pregnant with someone else's baby so he made his speech, forlorn face, resigned to her never loving him back as much as he loves and always has loved her. Never mind, I'll get over it. It'll take time but if that's what you want, I'll go along with it. *sigh*  All the while, Leanne's tearing up and feeling more and more guilty because she does love him and wants to be back with him but can't deal with telling him about the baby.

And that's another thing. I do believe that Leanne is the love of Nick's life. He has loved others, and I believe he did love Carla. She was even more hard work than Leanne could be! But for him, it always comes back to Leanne. But while I do believe she was over the moon about him when she was 16, caught up in the excitement of it all, running away to get married, I also don't believe he was the love of her life. He was just her first love and I always felt that when he insisted on her having an abortion when they were first married back in the 90s, he broke something in her. Add on to that, he put her in harm's way when he set her up to be the one that met the man that killed his father. That hurt and betrayal never really left her and he never truly apologized for it, either.

Every time Leanne went back to Nick after they'd both grown up, it felt like she was either running from commitment (the affair when she was about to marry Peter) or rebounding (after her divorce from Peter). I felt like she settled for Nick. She does care for him, he's familiar and safe in her mind, and she probably does love him after a fashion but Nick pushes and manipulates and uses passive aggressive methods to do that.

Now it seems she's planning to leave town, likely the best move considering she needs that distance from Steve and Michelle and it's not really a spoiler to guess that Nick will come running to persuade her to stay. Then when he finds out about Steve being the father of the baby, it'll all start up again. Snarky remarks, testosterone pushing him to lock horns with Steve on the mountain top, metaphorically, because it's all about him, always has been.

I'm sure there are Nick and Leanne fans out there, but I'm not one of them. If Robert hadn't turned out to be a bit of an arse, I'd have said they would have made a much better couple and I'd certainly bet Leanne could stand up to Tracy better than Carla did. You don't mess with a Battersby. Alas, I think Nick and Leanne are probably Corrie's Ken and Deirdre for the new era, the couple that will go around and around, on and off many times over the years and end up settling for each other in their old age if both characters stick around.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Thursday, 4 August 2016

The Achilles Heel

With the latest rumours suggesting that Charlie Lawson may bring Big Jim McDonald back to Coronation Street, there are fans jumping for joy and other fans cringing. I'm one of the former. People accuse the character of Jim as being a "one trick pony", coming in to do the same things over and over. He'll try to get Liz back, she'll be tempted, he'll mess up, argue with Steve, probably do something stupid and leave. Lather, rinse, repeat.

And maybe it will go down like that, with lots of Jim's sayings to pepper the pot. "The Big House", "So it is", "I'll tell ye this and I'll tell ye no more", "Ach to be sure" and calling Liz "Elizabeth". It ought to be a drinking game! Fans of Jim squeal when one of his familiar sayings slips out. You feel let down if one's missing, in fact.

As far as being a one trick pony, when I look back, there are many, many characters that are just the same. Stan Ogden, anyone? (Drink, cower under Hilda's wrath, cook up schemes, evade work where possible. Repeat. And the same could be said about Jack Duckworth)

But the main reason I would love to see Jim back for a visit is the chemistry that has always been there between Lawson and Bev Callard as Jim and Liz McDonald. It's there with Simon Gregson as his son, as well. They all three just leap off the screen when they're in scenes together. It's not just familiarity that comes with acting together for a long time, either because it was evident even in the early days of the McDonald clan.

Jim and Liz were always a fiery couple. Jim had a quick temper but Liz had a volatile one as well. She was never cowed by him and stood up to him frequently, especially if she was defending one of her lads against their father's rages. It became too much, Liz started to look elsewhere, and they divorced but Jim is the love of Liz's life. He's edgy and a bit dangerous and she likes that in her men. I think that's why she seemed so suited to Tony Stewart. They are exciting and she knows they're probably going to let her down in the long run but she just can't resist.

Jim swept her off her feet as a teenager and they married when she got pregnant. She may have regretted that she was more or less a single parent because of his duties in the army but they had that passion that never really left and that's the passion she remembers when he comes around, even after years away. They fit together like two halves of a pair of scissors. 

Will we see Jim return? There's always a possibility as long as Jim is alive and the producer and writers cook up a story. As much as Steve and Liz keep washing their hands of Jim and his monumental mistakes, Jim is still Steve's dad and Liz will always be in Jim's heart. She'll always be tempted even though she knows he's not good for her. Jim is Amy's granddad and they love each other. I think conversations between Jim and Amy as she is these days would be a joy to behold.

I'm definitely in the Yay camp. I'll tell you this and I'll tell you no more, Bring Back Big Jim!

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Sunday, 31 July 2016

State of the Street July 2016

Kylie's dead! In a media onslaught, the week or so before the event, ITV released a whopper of a spoiler and  revealed that Kylie Platt was going to die. We knew Paula Lane was leaving the show and as far as we knew, Jack P. Shepherd was not so nobody could figure out how she would be leaving. It didn't seem likely she'd leave her family voluntarily again so now that we knew she'd die, it made sense. But how did she die? That was the question and speculation was rife.

I won't go into the episode where she died in too much detail, I've already done that here. I only have to add a few more observations about the way they filmed it. I've seen criticism about there not being very many people around or traffic for that time of evening (the EMTs declared her dead just before 5 or 6 p.m., without going to check, I forget which). In the real world, of course the street would have been busier. But this is television and that's not the story they wanted to tell. The shrank it down to focus on David and Kylie, family, one or two friends and the people who had other involvement in the story.

Sally is Gail's best friend. Freddie was Kylie's newest friend and a friend to Audrey. Gail had to be there for her son. Roy is the local first aider but you could see his face drop when he saw Kylie. He knew there was no hope. The few we did see during and just after were shocked to their core, breathless with the profound tragedy of a young woman dying from such senseless violence. Guilt from Craig over what could have been done to prevent it. Relief from Beth that her son didn't try to be a hero and get hurt himself. And Gail's recollection of her own role having to tell her child when his father was killed in a similar manner, urging David to make sure his children understood. It was heartbreaking.

The death was shocking and the aftermath was interesting to watch. Would David go right off the rails? No, he actually held it together, for his kids and for the family but it was eating him up inside.  Jack P. Shepherd had grown up on the show and turned into a real powerhouse actor and his performances this month as he reels in shock and tries to pick up the pieces of his life were superb.

What will happen to Max now? I do hope David goes ahead and adopts him or else Callum's mother might get her hands on him, as Max's only living blood relative aside from baby Harry. I should think if it ever did go to court, they would understand that it would be important to leave Max with the only family he has ever known, close to his sister and baby brother.

Leanne jumped into bed at the end of June and the identity of said man was not revealed to the viewer. Could it be Nick? Robert? Those were the two most likely candidates by all accounts but there's a third man thrown in that mix. It would never have been Zeedan, that was always a big, fat, red herring.

A couple of times in the week before we saw Leanne and Steve chatting which was a bit unusual. They've known each other nearly 20 years but have never really been anything more than acquaintances but with Steve and Michelle "on a break" over her near-fling with Will, Steve turned to Leanne's friendly shoulder. Nothing weird there, you say? Ah, but nothing on a soap happens without reason and that was the clue to the unseen mystery man.

Yep, Steve is the father which makes me laugh. Both times he was "on a break" in the past, once from his marriage to Karen and once from Becky, he had one night stands with Tracy. Tracy never expected to be able to get pregnant because of her kidney but both times she did. Amy was the first result and twins, sadly miscarried, were the second while his serious  attempts at daddyhood with Becky were fruitless. It turned out she was unable to carry a pregnancy though she could conceive. The same thing happened with Karen.

Here's another one night stand for Steve with a woman who didn't think she'd be able to get pregnant or carry a baby successfully. Super Sperm Steve to the rescue just when he's getting back together with Michelle and it looked like Leanne might reunite yet again with Nick (don't get me started on that one!). Leanne is determined to go through with the pregnancy if at all physically possible. Of course, coincidentally, Michelle wants to get pregnant, too, something she was dead set against up until now. And of course, she'll find out about Leanne. That sort of thing always comes out eventually. Whether she has her own baby remains to be seen but there's a very good chance they'll end up pregnant at the same time.

Doubtless, the stress of all that will NOT actually send Steve back into a bout of depression which would be realistic but he'll be twitching and gurning through the next 9 months with Liz shouting and glaring at him from behind the bar. Not a bad thing, I love Liz!

Phelan keeps trying to get his hands on Jason's bank account and continues to be thwarted by Eileen even though she doesn't realize she's in the thwarting business. He's playing a long game, however, and is determined to find a way but both a returned Michael and a suspicious Todd are both keeping an eye on him. Todd might be a bit distracted, though, now that he and Billy have admitted their attraction to each other once Billy and Sean have split up.

Bethany has continued to be bullied and has ruined her GCSE tests because of that and all the upset at home. It's too bad. Young people on Corrie rarely seem to get to university for one reason or another, even the ones that have potential or are even accepted at a school. I have high hopes for Craig. I hope he doesn't let me and his mother down! I know something will happen to give Bethany relieve and triumph over the bitches but I can't think what it will be at this point unless they finally just get bored and turn on someone else.

Sally and Tim continue to delight me. I loved Sally and Yasmeen's ongoing feud. It seemed like Yasmeen was still having a hard time dealing with Kal's death so turned her focus on Sally who was mildly irritating as a neighbour. Yasmeen seemed to decide to put her energies into making Sally look a fool and causing all kinds of trouble. The fun part of it was that often Sally would come out on top and Yasmeen's dirty little tricks would be foiled. It all culminated in Yasmeen holding a rival party which flopped and her subsequent invasion of Sally's party caused an uproar over the Mayor's dog. It all led to the two neighbours finally finding common ground and making peace.

Simon's not an angry child anymore. In fact, he's so completely changed that it feels like the powers that be have completely forgotten his previous anger issues. Counselling is good but is it really a miracle worker? It was with Simon who is helpful, cheerful and a lovely young man with absolutely no spark of temper in the least, even when you would have expected a flicker or two with a subsequent scene of him trying to control and get over the anger as he had been taught in his sessions.  When Leanne told him she was pregnant and wouldn't say who the father was, didn't anyone else expect him to lose his nut and accuse her of being a slag and as slut like he did last year? I still say that kid is going to end up going off the rails by the time he's 18.

Caz's lies were discovered and Kate has finished with her. I've never bought into that relationship, nor were we meant to. It was all a long game to get Kate and Sophie together but it's not over yet. Caz is desperate to win Kate back and she's woven Maria into her web of lies, playing the sympathy card. To tell you the truth, this storyline has been dull as ditchwater though I do have to say I like the actresses playing Caz and Kate quite a lot and would have liked Caz and Kate's ups and downs if it hadn't been so blatant that they were going to split them up and put Kate together with Sophie right from the start. That's not a bad thing, mind you. Sophie has become so dreary over the years that someone fun like Kate is just what she needs to bring some fun into her young life again. Let's just hope it doesn't have the opposite effect and Sophie doesn't drag Kate down into dreary-dom instead.

Jenny and Johnny may be considering a reboot of The Spy Who Loved Me! They're on and off and on again all month, including an unseen shag on the factory floor apparently. We only got to see the big kiss by the sewing machine. They're going to keep things under wraps and Jenny is going to be Johnny's eyes and ears with the rest of the staff. This is more like the old Jenny of long ago. Mischievous and a bit scheming, liking the challenge. It feels like she's back to her old self again and she's going to be fun to watch.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Friday, 15 July 2016

RIP Kylie Platt

I've just finished watching two very emotional episodes of Coronation Street. I don't think I've seen better performances all year.

As I speculated yesterday, Kylie got stabbed while defending Gemma from Clayton. I was leaning towards David being threatened but it was Gemma after all and the yobbo tried to rob the shop after Gemma gave him short shrift earlier on, full of the confidence that Kylie'd given her. He returned, tried to rob the shop and Gemma wrestled him out the door, getting knocked unconscious for her trouble but Kylie came charging around the corner to help her old mate and got it in the chest. No surprise that Clayton was carrying a deadly looking knife. His sort usually do.

I thought, Oh heck, that stab wound is right at the area of the heart, she won't last long. Surprisingly, it wasn't instantaneous and she had enough time to tell David everything she wanted to tell him, pouring her heart out with his tears washing her face. That sounds so dreadfully theatrical, doesn't it? My tears were flowing, too, I am not afraid to admit.

It seemed to take forever for the ambulance to come. But wait, she fell about 30 feet from the medical centre. Surely they have doctors in there? I don't think they could have done much either, but perhaps they could have eased the pain a little if nothing else.

When she died and David howled, I gasped and was in floods. I've seen the best performance from Jack P. Shepherd in particular tonight and I've seen Jack P. Shepherd put in some mighty ones over the years.
All around, everyone was amazing. Between Gail's heart breaking for her son and the daughter in law she grew to love to the neighbours being profoundly shocked. Roy attempting to help but seeing there wasn't a thing he could do. Craig feeling horribly guilty that he didn't do more when it kicked off. We all know he's just a kid himself and I bet Beth is thanking all the Gods and Goddesses her son didn't try to be a hero. I hope he can help and be a credible witness but Gemma survived so she will be able to tell the police Clayton's name.

I'm also very glad that Gail brought up the similarity to Brian Tilsley's death and how she made a mess of telling Nick about his father. Nick was about the same age as Max and Sarah Lou was probably close to Lily's age. Gail is going to have flashbacks about that one for some time to come. She admitted she didn't handle telling Nick the right way and urged David to be very clear about Kylie's being dead, not just gone away. I think he did a pretty good job. He did tell the children she was dead though in heaven waiting for them. There may or may not be a Heaven but children don't have to think about that aspect.

This is the kind of Coronation Street that we fans want. I know they can't do high emotion like this all the time, but it's what they do so well. When we see the mundane and the rushed, the over-sensational and the underwhelming, we get frustrated because we know it can hit these stupendous heights of greatness. And it was great. Top stuff.

David has to find a way to carry on. He's got kids to keep him going, often that's the only thing that gets a person through something like this. I expect he'll go off the rails at some point, raging against the night in his grief.

Well done to all involved. Rest in Peace, Kylie.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Thursday, 14 July 2016

More Kylie Speculation

The last blog post here was speculation on how Kylie will die. I'll admit, and it was obvious, that my guesses were all in fun. This time, I'm using my imagination and educated guesses based on soap cliches and laws.

Let me say right here and now, I have absolutely no idea how Kylie will die. ITV are being very cagey about it, even in future spoilers. I do wish they hadn't spoiled that she was going to die at all but they did and cats that are out of the bag cannot be put back in.

Soaps follow a pattern, and there are clues you can follow if you want to guess what's going to happen. There's the Phrase of Doom where someone expresses hope for the future, or how happy they are, or how happy they are together and will be together forever. Uh oh. That's it, they're doomed. Something's going to happen and it isn't going to be pretty.

If someone faints, they're usually pregnant. All sorts of situations that are unusual pop up which are out of character or out of the ordinary. You can bet they're contrived as a means to an end. That brings me to my speculation on Kylie's death.

It wasn't surprising that Callum's druggie sidekick Macca showed up at his funeral. But since then, he and his ne'er do well brother Clayton have been mithering Gemma in the kebab shop. Since she hasn't been out of touch with them all along, mentioning nights at the Dog and Gun frequently, they would have known where she was working in all likelihood so why show up now? Because somehow, their presence is going to contribute to Kylie's death.

Kylie's been feeling more and more guilty about the effects that her killing Callum has had on her family. Sarah's had a breakdown. Bethany has been bullied and hasn't be coping well trying to keep it to herself. She's now living in the annex where they stashed Callum's body and seemingly feeling unsettled. Even little Max seems to be out of sorts though he said he wasn't bothered that Callum had died. Guilt, upon guilt weighing heavily on her shoulders.

I don't think she's going to commit suicide. She wouldn't leave her family on purpose again. One idea I had was that she might turn to drugs and accidentally overdose, drugs she could get from Macca but that doesn't quite ring true either.

I think this is what will happen. I think Macca and his brother will threaten Gemma in some way,  or possibly David, because Gemma still suspects he was the one that killed Callum. That actually makes more sense because there really doesn't seem to be a reason they would be out to kill Gemma at this point.  There will be weapons or violence involved and Kylie will get in the middle of it, defending David and get killed by one of them. Possibly it could be one of the men attempting to run David down with a vehicle and Kylie pushing him out of the way.  It is possible that last scenario could happen without the intervention of the "Chuckle Brothers" and Kylie could be pushing David out of the way of a generic car or bus but the interviews and media are saying it's something we've never seen on a soap before.

I'm skeptical about that, and even Kylie dying while defending or saving David isn't really new but it's the only scenario that really works considering the introduction of the two scallys.

We have two more days to wait!

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Monday, 4 July 2016

How Will Kylie Die?

Now that the spoilers have hit the media about Paula Lane's exit and the death of Kylie Platt, the speculation begins. I'm kind of ticked off that ITV decided to spoil this one. I really did think she'd end up having to go to jail but I suppose if the actress was not planning to return, they couldn't have her away for life. Her crime wasn't killing Callum, that was self defence, but the treatment of the body afterwards, that's the biggie.

Logically, you couldn't see Kylie leaving David and her kids again, not permanently and since we haven't been told that Jack P. Shepherd was leaving, it was also a given that it would be only her leaving the show. Death is probably the only possibility, then. But I still wish ITV had kept that as a surprise.

Duncan Lindsay at the has put forth 15 theories as to how Kylie might die.  Some are a bit silly and some are a pretty good guess. Odds might favour the car crash. Publicity and interviews from Lane herself say it's going to be something we've never seen before. While I have a hard time believing that since pretty much everything has been done, I'd be interested to see what that is. We've seen car crashes. Revenge at the hands of Callum's mates might also be a possibility though again, nothing new there.

My imaginative guess: There have been rumours for months that Callum really isn't dead in spite of all the statements from ITV and the actor himself to the contrary. But maybe Callum really is alive. Maybe Callum lurches around a corner just as Kylie and David and family are loading up into the cab that's going to take them to their new start in Barbados, points a gun at her and kills her. I don't think we've seen that before, a supposed dead character return to kill someone. Returning from the dead has been done but not quite like this.

My absolutely stupid guess: Ok, just for fun, here's another one that's really stretching credibility. Nick has another psychotic episode and strangles Kylie. Since he has brain damage, no real motive is needed and he isn't responsible for his actions. He will only spend some time sectioned in a hospital in the room next to Sarah with Gail drifting woefully between the rooms of her two children.

What's your theory?

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Saturday, 2 July 2016

State of the Street June 2016

I do apologize for not getting last month's State of the Street posted at the end of May. If you're still interested, it's here.

June on Coronation Street, as you might expect, was dominated by the murder investigation. As expected, many fingers were pointed. The police, consisting of one rude and annoying female detective and one very silent male detective were leaning towards Jason as the culprit until Todd told them that Tony confessed to him on the night of Callum's death. Why did he do that? Two fold. He wants to protect Jason and he wants to protect Sarah.

You see, Sarah is distraught. Her worst nightmare has come true and she's a gibbering wreck. She didn't exactly tell Todd she killed Callum but she did say it was her fault and she believes it. If she hadn't lured Callum to the house that night, he would not have attacked her and Kylie wouldn't have had to kill him. Todd took it the wrong way and assumes she actually did it. Even if she had, it would have been clearly self defence, as clear as it was when Kylie weilded the wrench. Todd then confessed to Billy, putting Billy square in the middle between God, honesty and protecting a woman that was abused by Callum.

Between that,  and his brother Lee lurking around, hounding him for money and having overdoses. Billy is near at the end of his tether. Having to conduct Callum's funeral pushed Billy into a heap in the corner. Todd has been a support, having found out about Lee as well as all the other stuff. What's going to happen next? As expected, Billy is falling for Todd though really, it's probably more of a reaction. At least by the end of June, Sean knows about Lee, that's something. There was no reason why Billy should have kept that a secret from his partner and it was an endless source of frustration for me. The best part of this storyline has been Billy and Daniel Brocklebank's wonderful performance.

Across the road, after the funeral, Lee held Sarah hostage and had her believing that Callum really wasn't dead and that sent Sarah completely down into the black hole of a breakdown and she's landed in hospital. It was a nice turn around that it was David that called the ambulance, finally realizing she needed help and his plan of ignorning it wasn't going to work this time. And he was upset about Sarah's condition. They don't normally show much affection for each other so that was something a bit different.

Elsewhere, a heartbroken Nick is spending his days drinking and taking verbal potshots at Robert who refuses to let him buy back his share of the Bistro. Leanne is on Nick's side but even though she quit her job in solidarity, she ended up going back because she needs the money. Nick still has a hefty bank account after the sale. He also seems to be almost completely removed from what his family is going through. I very much feared he was going to rebound to Leanne yet again. He nearly did, too, with that tired old speech about her being the one he always returns to. I'm glad she rebuffed him. I never bought into that relationship. Other than them being teenage sweethearts, she never seemed to be interested unless she was on the rebound herself. He loved her, but he was her go-to guy when she was hurt or lonely.

But Leanne seems to have had a fling with someone unseen by the viewer. Was it Nick after all? The day after, there were several awkward encounters with men, none of which seemed to be the morning after the "what have I done" regret. Leanne was also seen chatting with Steve a couple of times in the days previous and that's unusual. They don't normally have much to do with each other even though they've known each other 20 years. Steve also had a possible rebound under his belt, literally, since he thought Michelle had left town. And Steve has form. His first fling with Tracy was while Karen had gone off after they had a big row.

Now here's the thing. It's not really a spoiler. You all know soap law and you've seen every soap cliche there is.  You all know that having sex with someone you shouldn't usually ends up with a little stick with a plus sign on it even if the owner is unlikely to get pregnant in the case of Steve's one night stands with Tracy that produced Amy and years later, Tracy's twins, the ones she miscarried. Kylie had a fling with Nick and got pregnant with his baby. Maxine consoled herself with the too-tall doctor and Joshua was the result. It's a soap cliche and the chances of Leanne finding that little plus sign on a stick will pay you good odds. I'm fully expecting it. Pun intended. Whether she keeps the baby or miscarries is another matter.

Loving Gemma. Her funeral outfit was awesomely tacky. Bored with Sinead and Chesney who overreacted again over a small kiss and this one an ill advised drunken one when he put grieving Gemma before Sinead when he finally returned from Portugal and Sinead got bladdered and tried to kiss Aidan. Sally continues to delight and the antics around Tim's home brewery in the conservatory and "summer house" are giggle-inducing. I'm also enjoying the rivalry between Mrs. Metcalf and Mrs. Nazir. I like Yasmeen and I'm glad they're giving her more to do. I continue to be bored with Zeedan and Rana. I just don't buy it and I just don't care.

In other news, Beth and Kirk split up for a brief moment leaving Kirk to room with a lonely Norris for a few days, spending his time beating Norris at board games. Tracy's kidney is giving her gyp but nobody wants to know except Beth, especially Robert who thinks she's faking it to get him back. 

Caz is still hopping around on crutches. It didn't seem to be that serious an injury. She didn't have pins put in her ankle or plates in her leg. You'd think it would be healed by now and Sophie thinks so, too. Sophie seems to be getting Luke on board too and Caz has slipped up once or twice where Luke has noticed. There you have it. Caz is faking the length of her injury to keep Kate under her jealous thumb. It's been slow building up but it'll probably heat up over the summer. I hope so otherwise it's dull as a dull thing, too.

Steve and Michelle busted up after Will reunited with Saskia. He probably went running back to her because Michelle didn't want him. It never did feel like a long lost love in the first place. I said it before and I continue to believe that Will was having a pre-wedding wobble and Michelle was lonely with Steve away so long. Will lied and Saskia believes there was an affair. Even if Steve believes there wasn't, he's gone off the wall about a kiss. I'd say he has a little more reason than Chesney because Michelle nearly went through with a full on affair. It was a bit more serious than a drunken pass. Even so, he did seem to drag out his cold shoulder and silent treatment a bit too long and Michelle walked out and pretended to leave town. He thought she did, anyway, though she was only cowering in Carla's empty flat.

The two of them really did need their heads banging together and it was infinitely frustrating watching both of them not talking to each other or saying exactly the wrong things. It just went on and on and I had lost the will to live weeks ago as it was. Finally, they got back together. Sheesh. 

Lastly, Jason was bereft and angry when suspcion for Callum's murder landed on Tony. Phelan hid the toolbag but Jason finally started to believe that his father just might have done it and turned it in. The police have found traces of Callum's DNA and Tony's prints on the weapon and that's that as far as they're concerned. Kylie managed to clean her prints off but remember, Tony used the tool after that. Gemma warned Jason that Callum's mates were out to get him in retaliation but the only retaliation actually came from a works van in flames courtesy of one of Phelan's mates. He was very, very good, very subtle and managed to influence Jason into a decision to leave town for an indefinite time.

So that's the last we'll probably see of Jason Grimshaw. I'll miss him. He was a real steady sort of character and a thoroughly nice bloke.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Saturday, 25 June 2016

The good, the not-too-bad and the ugly on Corrie

 This week was quite a good week overall on Coronation Street. We started off with an hour on a Sunday, then had to wait for another hour on Thursday with the usual double episode on Friday. Didn't it feel like a long time between Sunday and Thursday?

The main focus of the week was Sarah's breakdown and wasn't it excellent stuff? Really heart-catching performances by both Tina O'Brien and Daniel Brocklebank in particular but from several others as well. Watching Sarah descend into paranioa and madness was difficult to watch and heart breaking but the performances and the writing were superb! On top of that, Billy's clash with his brother and his own faith being shaken up were interesting to watch, too.

We've seen Sarah teetering on the edge ever since last fall when Callum attacked her and was killed by Kylie. She went through with the pregnancy and had Callum's baby, experiencing some severe post natal wobbles over the baby, and whether Callum's evil spirit could inhabit the innocent child. She finally settled down on that point when Callum's body was discovered and it all started up again only fourfold.

Down and down she went. She was barely holding it together, confiding in Todd that she was responsible for Callum's death. Todd read that as a confession of guilt. It was, but only because Sarah felt responsible. If she hadn't lured Callum to the house, he wouldn't have died. Todd in turn confided in Billy and Billy was torn between doing the right thing and protecting a woman he believed was abused by Callum. He couldn't tell Sarah he knew what she'd told Todd since it was in confidence. Add on a healthy dose of guilt with his brother Lee lurking about and pushing all his buttons to get money for drugs and you've got a vicar in crisis.

It all kicked off for Billy at the funeral and he fell apart, to be put back together by Todd and then it was Sarah's turn. Lee clocked Billy being good to her and decided she might be useful to get to Billy. He lured her to his flat to use her to get Billy to bring money but he didn't realize just how big a piece he bit off, far more than he could chew when he picked up on Sarah's fears and pretended that Callum was alive and coming for her. When he grabbed her around the waist from behind, she freaked out. I can't blame her. It was a rerun of the night Callum did the same thing. Even in a stronger state of mind, it would have been a major traumatic thing to have happen.

So there's Lee with a hysterical woman on the floor and the rescue posse beating down the door. He and Billy had a major falling out, both of them deciding the other was out of their life for good. I felt so bad for Billy, it was one of the moments that brought tears to my eyes this week. As hard as it must be, he should have used "tough love" on Lee weeks ago and not given in time and again. He also should have told Sean weeks ago about his brother. It would have saved a lot of problems there too but in soaps, people keep secrets al the time. It's one of the more frustrating aspects.

Sarah was sliding over the edge and now Kylie and David can see that she really is ill. David is still in self preservation mode, trying to keep his family safe but when Sarah barricaded herself in the house and was in a complete state of mania, he finally realized he had to get her help. I liked that it was him that called the ambulance. It took Sarah to get to this point before her mother and daughter could really see that there was a major problem. It always surprised me when Gail never detected that any of her children were off the rails. Sarah hid it a bit but it was still easy to tell she wasn't herself. Gail barely questioned it but she was too preoccupied with Nick's wedding and then the post-wedding disaster to really pay that close attention.

With the police still sniffing around and the possibility that Todd's lie about Tony confessing possibly giving them all an "out", David and Kylie might yet get away with things. If they can keep it together, Tony being dead would be the best solution to the problem. We know it was self defence and the major crime committed was interfering with the body and not reporting it. Jason has finally accepted it could be his dad's fault and brought the tool bag to the police. Thing is, if Kylie washed the wrench as well as she says, there will be no evidence to convict or condemn Tony so we're no further ahead.

And what's with that creepy male inspector, by the way? The woman does all the talking, questioning etc. while he just sits there staring out from under those Thunderbird-like eyebrows, blinking a bit. If he ever speaks, I'm expecting his jaw to drop and his arms to wave around on strings.

Whew, all that, all week. It makes the other storylines pale in comparison. The Not-so-bad storyline that was watchable was Kirk and Beth's (hopefully temporary) split after she first lied about their posh lifestyle and then admitted to the bitch that her Kirky wasn't too bright. He didn't hear her continue to praise him as a good hearted man that she loved. Now he's rooming with Norris which could be quite amusing. I love Kirk and it's been too long since he's had his own storyline. He might be a bit goofy, but Kirk is a good and honest bloke wtih a big, big heart.

Also no-so-bad in some ways, though leaning towards ugly is Roy and Cathy's upset over Alex taking Roy's car without permission and getting a speeding ticket. Cathy saw the black and white side of Roy for the first time, and we all know that Roy can be rather rigid in his "do the right thing" way. All of this upset over a 2 mile an hour over the limit, you say? But remember, Alex doesn't have a license, won't be insured and could have really hurt someone. Roy, as the owner of the car, would be liable. Yet Cathy came down hard on him, and only gave Alex a stern scolding. The near-ugly was that Roy should have known that Alex would have only received a caution and could have added that to his explanation of his intentions. That is, in fact, what happened when Alex turned himself in and then, Roy completely turned a 180 and offered Alex lessons if he got his learner's permit. Eh? I shook my poor, confused head over that one.

The ugly was the ongoing split between Steve and Michelle, both of them too stubborn to talk to the other to work things out and when one or the other tried, there would be some other obstacle thrown in the way. I did enjoy Tim pretending to be traumatized by a flashback of Kevin and Sally kissing to make Steve realize that his situation was no different. But Tim had also signed Steve up for multiple dating services and when Michelle tried to approach him, the text notifications put her off and out the door yet again. Now she's taken a job on a cruise ship and I can't wait to see the back of her. That probably means that she won't go after all but I'm well and truly sick of it. I never bought into them as a couple and I still don't. She always has dragged him down, in my opinion.

Other storylines were under the radar for me. Leanne stuck in between Nick and a bank account that's slowly draining. Simon, who's had a personality transplant back to a cheerful teen again. Phelan is continuing to manipulate, bide his time and keep all his ducks in a row. Sally parading around, bullying Tim and getting herself shown up in front of the council coworkers. Ok, that *was* quite funny when she brought the coworkers round to the house and found Tim and his mates having a beer bash in the garden. Then the council couple thought the beer was great and Sally had to wear egg on her face.

The last observation is that I've noticed that Todd is giving Billy and Sean a strange look when they're cuddling together. After he expressed anger over Billy's confession of growing feelings for him last week, is he now starting to return the sentiment? I think so. That brings us to perennial loser in love Sean. Everyone will see Todd as doing this on purpose, you know that, stealing Sean's boyfriend and we'll go through yet another round of family angst.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Sunday, 19 June 2016

State of the Street - May 2016

Sorry that this is late. I only just realized I hadn't finished and posted it!

May is turning into a blockbuster month on Coronation Street. In order to cash in on the viewing numbers of Britain's Got Talent finals and vice versa, they have been scheduling big showstoppers over the past few years in May. Major storylines break, big disasters hit, murders, weddings, the lot. A few years ago it was Tina McIntyre's murder at the hands of Rob Donovan. Last year, Victoria Court went up in flames and took Kal Nazir and Maddie Heath with it. What have we did we get for this year? Yet another wedding disaster and the discovery of Callum Logan's body under the Grannex.

Both storylines have been simmering for a long time. Carla had a one night stand of self destruction with Robert who was having a hissy fit with Tracy. They were on a break, as the cliche goes. Tracy didn't like Carla and in the past has blamed Carla for a lot of stuff, stuff for which Tracy herself was responsible but could never accept the blame. It seemed to have chilled out a bit so the powers that be decided to push it to another limit. Tracy found out about the fling with Robert and proceeded to blackmail Carla.

Nobody that watched this show for the past 10 years would have believed that tough Carla would have crumbled and given in but that's exactly what she did. Maybe Carla's getting old, she's losing her edge. Too may times she's loved and had her heart stomped on. She's pulled herself through one too many disasters and let's face it, 2015 was a rough year for her. First there was the mini-bus crash and then there was the fire that she thought she'd started which resulted in two deaths. Tracy let her think it, too. She just found her footing again after that when she went off the rails again when she found out that Johnny Connor, a long time family friend, is her biological father. Maybe Carla just didn't have any fight left in her.

She loved Nick Tilsley and they were going to be happy ever after but that's not really allowed in a soap, especially if the actor is leaving the show. It's a given that something would happen and here we were on the day of the wedding, with Tracy still intent on ruining the day for Carla who was the glummest looking bride ever. Carla finally buckled under and admitted to Nick that she'd had that one night stand with Robert but didn't get the chance to tell him about Tracy's blackmail. Tracy took care of that but Carla's begging and pleading tearfully worked and Nick finished tying that knot, much to Tracy's chagrin, because that's just the kind of nice guy he is.

But Nick has turned Nice Guy into a science and he's been a doormat for more than one woman. This time, though, he said he'd be willing to forgive, it wasn't long before all the upset and stress brought on symptoms from that brain injury that keeps rearing it's ugly head (see what I did there?).  During his speech, he flipped out and decided he couldn't accept the infidelity, blackmail and betrayal after all. Well, you can hardly blame him.

What I'd like to know now, did the marriage of Nick and Carla last longer or shorter than the marriage of Tracy and Steve? Both were blown out of the water during the reception. I have a feeling Nick and Carla's will have been the shorter of the two since the wedding and reception were held in the same venue so there was no travel time between the two which cuts down on the duration between start and finish. Ladies and Gentlemen, I think we have a new record holder for the shortest marriage on Coronation Street.

Nick wasn't the only one that flipped out. Carla did, too, and chased Tracy with her car, intent on murder. When I saw the trailer for this the night before, I had a thought. Maybe Carla crashes into Gail's annex and the ensuing damage is what brings Callum's body to the surface. I waited out the next 24 hours to see if I was right.

Here are the day by day commentaries I wrote for the wedding episodes.
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4 which leads into the next section, the discovery of Callum's body on
Day 5

Our other breaking story has been over a year and a half in the making. A potted history for those that might want to be brought up to date:

Kylie, upset that Max had ADHD, thought she should look up her ex, Max's dad, to see if, genetically, that's where it came from. Bad idea, Kylie. Callum Logan swaggered back into her life once he found out he was a dad, curious but not all that paternal at first. Kylie got hooked on drugs, something that she'd done in the past, due to the pressure she was under with Max and Callum enjoyed watching her squirm, enjoyed watching her relationship with David develop cracks (pun intended!) until Kylie spun out of control and left her family for their own good.

Callum proceeded to make the Platts' lives miserable when he decided to get custody, or at least regular access to Max and we were subjected to months of his poking big sticks at David who didn't seem to be very good at getting his own back in spite of him being a near-pscho not all that many years ago. He tried but Callum usually got the better of him. It was very tedious to watch but once Kylie came back, clean and ready to fight back, things got interesting. Sarah Lou came back from Italy and decided that being the girlfriend of a drug lord was a great way to wind up the brother she wasn't very fond of though Callum did have her believing it was all lies. He was a good boy, really. Until he wasn't and Sarah backed of very firmly.

It was too late by then. With a drug lord  boss closing in, Callum was desperate to get his hands on some cash and get out of town and he blackmailed David and Kylie who weren't able to come up with the dosh. Sarah thought she could persuade him to leave anyway and ended up nearly getting herself killed but Kylie showed up in the nick of time and crow barred Callum upside the head. They were all too scared to call the police and David had the bright idea of putting the body in the dug up foundation in the garage, soon to be a room for Gail. He didn't plan on leaving it there, but Tony and Jason ended up cementing over the hole, unaware of its contents and the body under the floor turned into a nightmare, especially for Sarah who has spent the last few months freaking out.

Everyone who watches soaps knows such things will get discovered sooner or later and we've come to it. The body was uncovered when the heavy vehicle Tyrone was driving went through Gail's wall and broke through the manhole and fingers started pointing, alibis started forming and nobody could look anyone else in the eye.

Much of May centered around preparations for Carla and Nick's wedding with Tracy glaring from the sidelines under orders from Robert to keep away. She couldn't stand seeing Carla happy, though, so she had to have one last attempt. Sarah, having given birth to Callum's baby, was experiencing post natal depression of the paranoid kind, seeing and hearing Callum's ghost around every corner of her mother's house and has been sure that evil would somehow seep in through baby Harry's pores. I also think we haven't seen the last of Bethany's bullies, either, even though Luke's intervention a couple of times seemed to cool things down.

Elsewhere, Tony Stewart died off screen. Sometimes, when experiencing a loss, people get angry and Jason went into a rage, first blaming Liz and then his mother. All the while, Pat Phelan has been using everyone's vulnerabilities and especially Jason and Eileen's to get his feet under her table and his mitts on Jason's business as a way of pulling himself back up on his feet. He was a big fish in a little pond and is determined not to spend the rest of his life like a guppy. The master manipulator ends the month with the information that Jason has inherited the business outright along with the flat and a boat load of cash. We know he's going to find a way to get his hands on that, don't we? I'm enjoying his return. What a fantastic villain he is and it's all down to the actor Connor McIntyre's excellent skills.

Reverend Billy hasn't been resting on his laurels, either. After his involvement in the Polish slavery storyline, he's slipped into another storyline of his own this time. There's a scruffy young man following him around and insisting on cash handouts. Turns out he's Billy's younger brother Lee and he's a heroin addict. He's also very good at pushing Billy's guilt buttons. After all this time, I'm thrilled that they've given this actor more to do! But as much as I like Sean, I still don't think there's a lot of chemistry between them as a couple. I would have liked to see Marcus (remember him?) and Billy together. Billy has taken to confiding in Todd instead of Sean which is kind of telling about the solidity of that relationship.

I do worry that they'll end up pushing Todd and Billy together which will break Sean's heart. The problem with that is that it's already been done when Todd seduced Marcus out from under Sean's nose. They might twist it around this time and have Todd fall for Billy for real but it's too close to a repeat storyline for me, *if* that's where they're going with it.

Steve finally got back from Spain and just in time. Michelle had been tempted by the blue eyes of a boyfriend she had when she was 14. He and his fiancee hired her to do their wedding. The two of them reminisced for 5 minutes and then Will was dumping his fiancee and Michelle was terribly tempted to console herself in his arms. You see, Steve was in Spain and had been there for a good six months or more, living it large while she had the responsibility of keeping the pub, the taxi office and her own business running. Resentment grew, her nights were lonely and she was turning 40.

In spite of the fact that I didn't buy this long lost love rearing it's ugly head after 25+ years, someone who was not more than a school girl/boy crush, I could see how it happened. Will was probably having cold feet and Michelle was lonely and angry. The Conversation Street podcasters suggested that it would have been a lot more interesting if it had been Ciaran McCarthy that had returned and I agree. Michelle and Ciaran nearly got married and it wasn't all that long ago. It would have been a lot more believable. Anyway, Steve's return seems to have stemmed the rebellion but Michelle hasn't told Steve about what nearly happened with Will and secrets always fling themselves out of closets so I'm sure we haven't seen the end of this yet.

Roy Cropper was away but he's back and it seems like he and Cathy might actually go the distance. She's the one he wants to be with on a day that's difficult for him to get through, Hayley's birthday. That's always a good sign. With all the wedding events going on, it's given Cathy ideas and she ended up proposing to Roy who said yes!

Jenny Bradley is facing her ghosts in Blackpool and ended up saving Jack Webster's life. Even that didn't stop Sally  bitching at her and insulting her all the time. Sophie did sincerely apologize and so did Sally, grudgingly, but only because she couldn't have Sophie showing her up. She reverted right back to her nasty ways. But if Jenny and Johnny do get together, having Sally insult the boss's girlfriend isn't going to win her any points.  There's Jenny trying to play hard to get at first, to attract Johnny and it kind of worked but the next minute, she's throwing herself at him and, frankly, it's not working. I'm interested to see where this is going. I think I would like them as a couple.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Thursday, 26 May 2016

The Body under the Grannex - Day 5's revelations

While this was also the final exit of Carla Connor, most of the episode focussed on the discovery of the body of Callum Logan.
The stench from that dead body is already permeating the room. I thought David was going to hurl into the hole.

Carla is getting out of Dodge, probably to Devon but where will she live? Not in the restaurant she was buying with Nick, that's for sure. She's way more upset about Roy cutting her off than she is about Nick at this point. But it looks like Cathy isn't dead, at least.

David's telling Sarah and Kylie the bad news.

Oh don't make it about you, Michelle. Nobody gets you like Carla does? Not even your husband? Oh, she annoys me. Carla's determined to leave and it's not as if Michelle can't go visit and Skype her all the time. Understandably, Carla really thinks she's burned all her bridges and at this point, she probably has.
Tracy is definitely making it all about her. Locked up. Nearly killed. Poor thing. Amy! You rock. yes, get your violin. Fiddle while Tracy's life goes up in flames. Johnny's not going to admit holding her in the storage room and everyone else will lie to back him up!

Platts en masse look at the damage in the light of day. David runs away to get teas and coffees. Now David thinks Nick should leave as well, even if just to escape the pity party. Go on your honeymoon alone. No dice, He's going to stay around and take the pity, I guess.

Now. Robert has had enough. He admits making a mistake but Tracy took it and ran with it. He already knew that but let himself be talked into going back with her when he dumped her a few weeks ago. Maybe this time will stick. I certainly hope so. Never liked them together. Even Amy's jumping ship, doesn't want to be with her mother. At least that's one thing that can make Michelle smile today. Amy really told Tracy a hard truth. She knows exactly what her mother's faults are and she's not having it anymore. Yep, the ship is sinking all right. Will Ken throw her out? It wouldn't be the first time.

Still no body discovered. But the breakdown truck is finally extracted and the workmen found a body under the truck. Poor Tyrone probably thinks he ran over it! He did say last night he thought he bumped over something. It wasn't of course, but he did say. Meanwhile, Kylie and Sarah are bricking it!

Oh look, Cathy's awake. She's more concerned about the failed marriage proposition and Roy's ignoring the subject. Carla.... probably shouldn't have come but I think Cathy won't be too hard on her. Roy isn't going to be so forgiving. Cathy's trying to make peace. He's saying things that make it seem like he might forgive though he's still angry, it's clear. I don't think he realizes she's not just leaving the hospital, though.

And there we have it. There's a body under the breakdown truck and Gail's going to have nightmares about that body under her bed. Tyrone is relieved it wasn't him that ran over the body, at least. Eileen cracked a joke about it being one of Gail's husbands which was pretty funny but under the circumstances, probably not the best thing to say. Tyrone is relieved he didn't kill anyone and David, he came back and ran off again. What's he up to?

Jenny has given up the "hard to get" method, it seems. It's full out flirting between both sides.

Maybe Roy does realize Carla's going for good and there's Cathy knowing he'll regret it if he doesn't see her off. He is angry enough to have had a gut full of her crises. Still, I'd be surprised if he doesn't show up at the last minute.

Meanwhile, it looks like Carla might just get out of town momentarily. At least her family cares and they're seeing her off. Nick just ran past. I feel the worst for Johnny. He's just been able to acknowledge his daughter and he's losing her. And that's the first time she's called him Dad. Michelle didn't stick around after that, off in a flood of tears instead of seeing her BFF off. I understand what it feels like when your best friend moves away, I really do, and you do feel like you're being abandoned, but you keep that to yourself and wish her the best, promise to come, cry just a little and wallow afterwards. It's difficult enough for the person leaving.

David took the tickets to Paris off Nick and thinks they can escape. What, and leave Sarah behind? Yes, that's what he was going to do but Kylie thinks they should all confess. David still wants to go, Kylie wants to stay and face the music. Sarah thinks she's been through the worst and can be ok as long as they all stick together. Somehow I doubt that.

Oh but there's still one more person to confront. Maybe Tracy did want to be Carla. She's won in the end as far as her quest to get rid of Carla, but it looks like a very hollow victory.

Ohhh. Roy got home on the bus in time!

And here come the police. They found a credit card and they are pretty sure it's Callum. Kylie's reaction was good. Could even seem like genuine surprise.

Roy seems to accept Carla after all. The moment that got to me, though, was him suggesting she should try to love herself as much as "we all" do. That's really what it comes down to. He's right. And she can go away knowing he doesn't hate her.

I do think it's kind of sad that the great Carla Connor left with her tail between her legs, totally defeated. I suppose one woman can only take so much and knowing her habit of self destruction has been the ruination of her life not just this time, but a series of times, did her in. I also question her retreat to Devon where she was going to start a new life with Nick. Isn't it going to feel like rubbing that sea salt in the wound?

In any case, that's the last we'll see of Carla. Good luck, luv.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

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