Saturday 10 October 2009

And verdict on Kevin and Molly is NAY

Wow, there certainly is a lot of strong reaction to the Kevin and Molly storyline, as you can read over in the comments to this post on another blog. Almost all the reaction has been firmly negative with one or two exceptions. I think that's probably reflective of the general viewing public, too. I may be echoing many of the sentiments of the commenters but that's because I agree with their opinions. One commenter mentioned the Jamie/Frankie Baldwin fiasco. Most people were against that but they had their fans as well. That storyline was, at least, mercifully brief. This is set to drag on and on into the New Year, more's the pity.

Actors don't really mind what they have to do most of the time and they're only pleased that they have something challenging to do and something that features them on screen in a front-burner storyline. I'm sure that sometimes even they realize the storyline is out of character and may have a hard time with it but they're all professionals and will do the best with it, whether the writing is bad or the storyline really clunks. We've had phases on Coronation Street in the past where there have been a lot of poor storylines and even not-great writing but a new producer often cleans up the act and things get better.

Producer Kim Crowther has mainly been firing on all cylinders, giving us some great stuff over the past year or two and introducing fab new characters as well. The writing has shone brightly and the performances have risen to the challenge. That makes this current storyline of Kevin and Molly's affair stand out even more like a major dud. The concept is just so wrong! Kevin has been unfaithful to Sally before, with Natalie Horrocks and if you will think back, it wasn't really provoked. Sally was away for some time looking after her ill mother (I think the actress was on a maternity leave at the time) and Kevin didn't have his needs looked after and strayed when Natalie decided she wanted him.

But Natalie was an independent, the mother of his coworker and his business partner for a time. The only person he was betraying was his wife. Bad enough, yes, but now he's also betraying his best mate, coworker and business partner, Tyrone. Kevin has always been a loyal friend to his mates. He just wouldn't do this, ever! He was pissed when Sally had a fling with Martin, his other best friend and they were divorced at the time.

We don't know Molly as well as we know Kevin. She does seem impulsive, and she seems stroppy and headstrong. She did entice Tyrone away from Maria without a blink of an eye and went after Kirk to try to get back at Fiz for bullying her in school. When she found out that Kevin fancied her, I think she decided to encourage it. I don't think it's all that out of character for her even if she was a newlywed. It does seem a bit, though, because she was so crazy about Tyrone. He isn't the most exciting bloke but he's a real keeper. I suppose she's doing it for the excitement.

It doesn't really have as much to do with the age difference because older men/younger women couples happen all the time. There is and was nearly 20 years difference between Deirdre and most of the men she's ever been with, Ken Barlow, Mike Baldwin, Ray Langton and Billy Walker and she was only 18 when she was engaged to Billy and not much older when she married Ray and both men were well into their 30s at the time. It does seem pretty hypocritical that Kevin is blustering about John Stape after his affair with 17 year old Rosie, his daughter, though when he's shagging Molly who is also just about young enough to be his daughter too.

One of the commenters over on t'other blog mentioned that the actors don't seem to be acting this very well, that they seem uncomfortable and I agree. I think they feel that the storyline just doesn't work and the writing seems strained as a result. And as a result their performances are strained a bit. It seems like they are trying to do their best to make the best of an awkward situation and it is starting to show. Both of the actors are talented and they are doing the best they can. Unfortunately, the storyline isn't worthy of their talents and the majority of the viewers feel the same way.

The reveal and reactions of Tyrone and Sally will be good and I hope the fallout really makes them pay. I have a fear that Molly won't really do much pennance. Tyrone will go around looking hurt but will probably not leave her in the end. I hope he thumps Kevin, though. Sally will be all righteous even though she's been unfaithful to Kevin more than he has on her and I hope Kevin throws Ian Davenport in her face. I'm still on Sally's side on this one, though.

Thing is, Sally only remarried Kevin for the girls' sake and it took her a long time to get to where she really regained that affection for him. Even now, she often seems unsatisfied with her life and as a result, her ambitions have been pushed on her children. This could break their marraige for good but Sally is also due to have a bout of illness so she may not have the energy to fight it out. This time, also, the girls are old enough to know what's going on and hear the gossip. I'm betting Kevin will be more hurt by their reactions and rejections of him and that's going to be punishing. I think the fallout will be far more watchable than the actual affair, at least. But it's going to be painful getting to that point.

Some affairs work because the characters have chemistry. They are believable because of the circumstances that lead up to it. They are accepted because the viewers can understand the motivation. This feels like it was done purely for the sensationalism and the shock. It feels like it's taken a page out of the American Soap book of rules but we don't want our show to be like that! If we want to watch an American soap, we'll watch one! This isn't Desperate Housewives, it's Coronation Street!

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