Friday, 31 December 2010

State of the Street - December 2010

Didn't it start off with a bang?! It ended with one too!

The storylines geared up and things were at a breaking point for lots of families just before the crash and then the rest of the secrets burst out of the closet after the crash.

Anniversary week and the tram crash has been blogged and flogged by now so if you want to read my take on it go back through this blog to the anniversary week blog entries here.

In the aftermath of all that tragedy, there's a little hope, and a little Hope as Fiz's baby clings to her fragile life. I know Fiz will be a fantastic mother. She's not had much of an example other than how not to be a parent. It could have gone either way but i think Fiz will learn from her mother's mistakes. Fiz and Chesney both have come out pretty good, really.

Peter has a spine injury. There's always one after an accident, isn't there? Someone that can't walk but it's always temporary. Past similar victims included Ray Langton after a coach crash in the Lakes and Jim McDonald after falling into the skip. I bet his patience isn't going to be in long supply.

As for Teflon John aka John the Deceiver, his deeds have still not been discovered and he's still continuing to lie and live a double life, having had to go to Charlotte's funeral and pretend she was his lost fiancee and then spend Christmas with her parents as well. Why couldn't he just say he was spending it with his own parents? That is incomprehensible that he would say he had to go to New Zealand and then duck out of Chesney seeing him talking to her parents by accompanying them. It's a good thing all three funerals weren't in the same church. The Vicar might have been a bit surprised at one man with two different names! Why on earth would he think none of Charlotte's and his former colleagues would be at the funeral? That, at least, was quite funny really, seeing them wave at him cheerfully from the back of the chapel!

You forget, don't you, that Nick and Ashley used to share a house way back when Nick and Leanne were first married. We were promised four funerals in the ad campaign. That was a hook and they made the fourth death an unknown person. Ok, fair enough. It did keep us guessing. But we didn't get three funerals, we only got two, the two that would have had the most drama, or storyline significance. The significance to Ashley's funeral was about Claire finding out about Nick's part in not reporting the gas problem so there probably wasn't a point to showing the funeral though it's a bit of a let down for Ashley fans. Still, that would be two funerals in two days plus another one on Monday and maybe they thought that was just a bit too much.
Molly's funeral of course, pushed ahead the storyline where Tyrone found out that Kevin betrayed him and had an affair with his dead wife. Much more drama there, right? And i have been waiting for Sally to tear a strip off Kevin and throw him out for over a year and a half and she hasn't let up yet. There he is with all his family against, him, a pariah in the neighbourhood, subject of everyone's gossip and he's got landed with the baby, the innocent child. Even Sally couldn't completely ignore that though I can fully support that seeing that child hurt her terribly. Twice the reminder of Kevin's betrayal.

And poor Tyrone!!! He really has lost absolutely everything. If i was him i'd be going after Kevin to buy out his half of the business, selling up and leaving. I'm half afraid that's what's going to happen at some point because how on earth could Tyrone live in the same street as Kevin?

There was some whacking great acting this month, some award winning stuff. Alan Halsall, Sally Dynevor, Jane Danson and Julia Haworth in particular blew me away. Watching Claire try to make some sense of the accident, blaming Nick, knowing it really was an accident but she's angry and grieving.

Tracy Barlow is back with a vengeance and someone seems to have had vengeance on her, too. Who attacked her? You just know she's going to blame Steve so she can get custody of Amy. Becky, of course, is the most obvious one after Steve himself and soap law says the obvious are never the guilty ones. It'll either be one of the men she's been bed hopping with or... I bet it could have been Kylie! Yes! Defending her sister for once! She's a tough little nut, that Kylie. Maybe Claire? Tracy could have pushed her too far or she over heard Tracy haranguing Steve or Becky and she snapped. I could see that happening too since Julia Haworth is leaving anyway. We will know soon enough.
I can't say i'm happy about Tracy's return. She's far too over the top and far too horrible. I don't even like to hate her like some characters, i just don't like her and she's not got a redeemable quality. Loves her daughter? Perhaps, but she only uses that child for the advantage she can get over anyone else. When a character is unredeemable, there's not a lot you can do with them. They become a one-note character with no depth. She killed someone in cold blood already. She can't be allowed to get away with it. Either her retrial will send her back or she'll get killed and there will be another who dunnit, the guilty party being someone that's leaving or someone that isn't as important. Time will tell and it'll be painful while we wait. The only bright spot was Gail taking on Tracy in the pub on Christmas eve. Gotta hand it to her, she's tiny but mighty!

Poor Gary is going through hell of a different kind. Between the post traumatic stress and the guilt for not helping out the night of the disaster, the poor boy has so much rage bottled up inside he's going to go explode and there better not be any trams or vehicles nearby when he does. Don't you just want to give him a cuddle and tell him it'll be ok? Since we know now that Steve Huison is leaving Corrie, I wonder if this means all the Windasses will be gone? They've really grown on me and i'll hate to see them go, every last one of them. That house, Number 6, seems to have a curse on it for families. Ever since Des Barnes was killed on the premises, no family has been happy there for long.

Usually there's at least one family that has a good Christmas. I'm not sure anyone had one this year. I suppose Norris, Emily and Rita did but pretty much every other family was touched with negativity and/or sadness in one form or another. Christmas was pretty depressing for pretty much everyone else. My heart broke for Tyrone and for Claire and i shook my head in disgust over Tracy and also over Leanne and Nick canoodling in the ginnel. They never learn.

So we end the year and the month on not a very high note. December was full of tragedy in so many ways.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

2010 Awards, Part 2

Here are the second part of the long list of 2010 awards, mostly based on the lighter side of the year's events and characters. Feel free to add your own winners and categories!

Funniest image:
Hayley on the push cart with Fiz and Becky pumping the thing to get her to the wedding
Deirdre ending up with cake-face after she was caught on video snogging Audrey's fella

S/He's not that into you:
Lewis didn't love Audrey
Jesse didn't love Eileen
Liz dropped Owen cold.
Owen didn't fancy Eileen

Worst matched couple:
Carla and Trev. She never should have hired him for Underworld.
Nick and Natasha. He only used her because he couldn't have Leanne.

Well matched couple
Liz and Owen. He had a shade of Jim to him. Too bad Bev Callard disappeared just as Jim returned. Could have done a lot more with this.
Katy and Chesney. Cute as buttons, them two!
Izzy and Gary. They really work but will they survive Gary's post traumatic stress?

Most Relevant storylines:
Gary joining the army and suffering traumatic stress from his wartime experiences.
Sophie and Sian falling in love and demonstrating the hurdles to acceptance within their religion and within their community and families. And it wasn't all smooth sailing.
Peter's alcoholism. He drinks, he's sober, he falls off the wagon, he's sober again but sometimes still tempted.

My most embarassing moment award:
Deirdre being caught on CCTV kissing Lewis! OOPS!

Best confrontations:
Jackie Dobbs taking a chunk out of Molly
Gail taking a chunk out of Tracy Barlow

Best return
Vera Duckworth from the Great Beyond

Worst return
Jim McDonald. All set for a rivalry between Jim and Owen, it fell flat due to Bev Callard/Liz McDonald's disappearance.

Pointless return
Ciaran McCarthy. He drifts from job to job, ends up with Michelle but they really can't seem to find anything much for him to do.
Sunita Alahan. They really haven't done much with her, either.
Maria Connor. They haven't done much with her either, yet.

Best hen night: Hayley's.
Worst hen night: Leanne's
Worst stag night ever: Peter's in the Joinery which exploded and collapsed. (This just edges out the previous winner which was Liam's where Tony arranged to have Liam killed)

Best (Worst) wedding:

Roy and Hayley: About time they got married legally. The whole wedding with Mary the UberWeddingPlanner plaguing Hayley and then nearly ruining the day and the wedding with the train and all. Magic!
Peter and Leanne, with the groom gasping his lengthy vows with what was almost his last living breath.

Fashionista award
Julie just has to get the style award for the year!

Most improved couple:
Anna and Eddie Windass

Short term characters I enjoyed:
Charlotte Hoyle
Kylie Turner (i don't know if she's long term or not, she's not been around long yet)

I don't/won't miss you award:
Ryan Connor
Claire Peacock (well, except for the amazing performance in her last month)
Janice Battersby. They've pushed her to the back so much and she's pretty much just a fringe character now unless she's slagging off Sally in the factory. 

I do/will miss you:
Eddie Windass. He's turned into a really brilliant character! I certainly changed my mind since i wrote this! Classic Corrie stuff!
Kelly Crabtree. Not a nice person but never boring.
Liz McDonald. I hope she goes off into the sunset with Jim!
Teresa Morton. She was never boring either!

Trooper award:
Betty Williams (and Driver) is 90 and still coming to work!

Clever casting award:
Although having yet another Barlow child (and grandchild) crawl out of the woodwork fell a bit flat due to it being so short term, it was pretty neat having William Roache's two sons play his on screen son and grandson. Short but sweet.

2010 Awards, Part 1

You know what it's like when you start thinking of all the storylines during the year, all the characters and situations and  you start to make those year end lists, right? The list gets longer and longer until you have to break it up into two parts. With that in mind, here's part one of the year end "awards", focusing on the mad, bad, and dangerous.

Pariah of the year:
Kevin Webster. Can it get any worse? Kevin's former lover has his baby, delivered by Kevin's wife. Then the Websters are asked to be godparents. Kevin only stayed with Sally because she was ill and the whole truth came out in front of everyone at Molly's graveside. Nobody can hardly look Kevin in the eye now and he's still living under his own roof *with* the baby that his ex best friend and business partner has dumped on him.

Biggest Loser:

Poor Tyrone. Lost Jack, his erstwhile dad, lost his wife to the tram disaster, but she was leaving him anyway, lost his son because it turns out his wife was  shagging his best friend and business partner and the baby isn't his biologically and pretty much lost his job since he how is he going to be able to work with that ex-best friend anymore? But at least he has his health! 

Best funeral drama:
Tyrone knocking Kevin into Molly's grave when he figured out Kevin is baby Jack's father

"Best" deaths
Jack dying in the same chair Vera did, with Vera on hand to take him with her.
Ashley's heroics allowed Peter and Nick to escape before the viaduct crashed.

When is it going to end storyline:
The whole adoption business. Dull, dull, dull.
Joe's loan shark, Joe's death and weeks of lying afterwards, right up through the trial.
Claire nagging Ashley... about pretty much anything ending up with the move to France business.

Dullest new character:
Cheryl the stripper.
Dr. Carter. He's pretty much been a spare part aside from holler at Gail now and then. 

Loopy award:

Charlotte Hoyle, obsessed with John Stape
Runner Up: Mary Taylor obsessed with Norris Cole

Horrific revelations
Molly's death"bed" confession to Sally that Kevin is baby Jack's father.
Natasha having an abortion and then finding out that Nick wants her back and wants the baby.
Audrey finding out Lewis scammed her for all her savings.
Jack finding out that Molly cheated on Tyrone (Yes, Jack. He wasn't strong enough to handle it like Tyrone is)

Bitch of the year:
Kylie taking money for Max, then taking him and letting Becky think he could be hurt in the crash because she wanted to get more money out of Becky and Steve.
Tracy Barlow offending pretty much everyone,  using her knowledge about Max to get Amy back,  then sleeping with two men, getting bashed on the head. All in a week. And earlier in the year, lying at Gail's trial to get her convicted and get herself a deal. No dice.
Carla: for using Leanne's affair with Nick to move in on Peter. Also for lacing into the factory workers randomly or when drunk or when rejected by Peter.
Molly. Let's see... Leaving Tyrone, going back to Tyrone because she was pregnant not knowing who the father is, treating both potential fathers like something she brushed off her shoe, leaving Tyrone after finding out Kevin was the father but didn't want her, telling Tyrone he isn't the father, telling Sally who is. (as her dying words, meant as an admission of defeat)

Gone and forgotten storylines:
Eileen has been stealing from Owen... I think 2011 is not going to be her best year.
Colin is still buried under Underworld and John did kill Charlotte. As bad as 2010 was for Stape, I think 2011 is going to be worse.
David Platt has epilepsy. That seems to have been forgotten. No further reference at all. 
Carla is supposed to be an alcoholic but she's still drinking and nobody, not even Michelle who knows about it seems concerned at all.

"Was that really a good idea?" aka I'm In a Pickle award
Steve and Becky buying Max from Kylie. He's already seen Tracy try that and it blew up at his wedding to Karen. Why does he think it's going to work this time?
Peter, the alcoholic, helping Leanne open a bar.
John Stape stealing Colin Fishwick's identification because he just HAD to teach.
Joe McIntyre deciding to fake his own death, resulting in... his own death. Gail lying, hoping to keep him from getting into trouble and getting arrested for his murder!
Audrey Roberts for falling for a smooth operator, male escort Lewis!
Runners up:
George Carmichael taking Simon to Blackpool, planning to keep him from Peter permanently only for Simon to run away.
Graeme falling for his best friend's ex-girlfriend, the ex-girlfriend his best friend still loves.

Death and Destructions of the year
The Tram crash. Obviously.
Tony taking hostages, confronation with Carla and eventually blowing himself up in the factory. End of.

Monday, 20 December 2010


With Tracy Barlow's imminent arrival, and the obvious threat to Steve and Becky's marraige, you just know there's going to be more than one confrontation between the two women.

Think back to Tracy's ongoing feud with the last Mrs. McDonald, Karen. Karen was pretty gobby and tough but Tracy still got the best of her and was the last woman standing. Steve couldn't take Karen's off the wall choices when it came to fighting back and finally just had enough. Karen walked away and we've not seen her since.

Becky might be just as likely to go off on one as Karen did and Becky, though she's softened over the years, is not mellowed so much that she won't fight dirty if she has to. Tracy was mainly all about mind games and provoking and unfortunately, Becky tends to rise to provokation like an angry bear poked with a stick. Tracy is just as determined to do what is necessary to get her daughter back and cause as much trouble between Steve and Becky as possible. Even better if she can manage to break them up!

It may or may not happen, depending on whether Katherine Kelly decides to leave at the end of 2011 or renew her contract.

In a physical fight, I think Becky would have the upper hand. Tracy may have spent several years in prison and might have hardened up a bit but I think Becky still has the advantage here. In mind games, though, Tracy is the expert. Becky is full out, in your face and doesn't think and plan things out. Tracy is about cause and effect. Becky is about impulse.

I really don't want a replay of the Tracy/Karen scenario. I would prefer to see Steve and Becky up against Tracy and having each other's backs but I doubt that's what's going to happen since Steve isn't all that strong and will inevitably get caught in the middle, trying to keep Amy's welfare a priority. Unfortunately, with all this upheaval, Amy's going to be the real loser and if Corrie is around long enough, I think the odds are increasing that she's going to turn out just like Tracy at this rate.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

I'm Corrie Crazy, this proves it

Everyone knows I'm Corrie Crazy. I've even been in a documentary about crazy Corrie fans. My fiance, Graham, aka Gramie Dee is a fan of the show but agrees, i'm closer to the original definition of fan, aka a fan-atic than he is. Still, we met because of the show (met in a corrie chat room) and we discuss the show sometimes, have visited the set and have lots of corrie friends in common.

He's a musician and graphic artist and every year for Christmas he writes me a song. Usually they are songs about us and our relationship. You can hear them all on the "jukebox" player on my personal website here.

This year, because we both participated in the documentary, he's written a Corrie song for me called Corrie Crazy. The photo here is the "cd" artwork he's done and below are the lyrics. You can hear the song either on that player on my website or
follow this link.

Because he lives in Salford, near Manchester and the Granada Studios, and i live in Canada, we open our Christmas pressies a bit early, watching each other on the webcam. This year was a Corrie Christmas all around nearly, he sent me a lovely coffee mug with leopard print and Bet Lynch on it with the slogan "I've got tights older than you!" and he sent me a clock for me wall with Hilda Ogden on it, very useful as my old clock doesn't work anymore!! You can see it below sitting on the TV Times for Corrie's 50th that the lovely Flaming Nora sent me! He also gave me an ebook reader. Now if i can just find out if i can get the 50th anniversary book in epub format, I can carry Corrie with me all the time! ;)))) Just kidding!

Corrie Crazy


Ever heard of Ken Barlow?
Or Kevin Webster does he ring a bell?
How about Roy and Hayley?
Maybe Sunita do you know her well?
I know someone
Who can name everyone
Of the people on that famous street
What she doesn't know
Ain't worth getting to know
Her expertise can knock you off your feet


Remember Ena Sharples?
And Minnie Caldwell as her faithful tug?
But can you name the third person
Who used to join them in the Rover's snug?
The gargantuan task
Of all the questions you'd ask
Can be directed to the one I know
From the hard to sublime
She'll get it right every time
And then she'll even add a little bit "to go"


She's Corrie Crazy
There's nothing that she doesn't know
Corrie Crazy
She should be starring in the show
She's Corrie Crazy


Talk about Alan Bradley
Making sure that Rita's fate was sealed
Then we had Richard Hillman
The Doctor Lecter of Wetherfield
Bradley got in a jam
When he caught the wrong tram
And on the Promenade gave his last wave
Richard Hillman went down
With a terrible frown
As he drove in to a watery grave

Thursday, 16 December 2010

The many loves of Sally and Kevin Webster: Part 2

We're back for part 2 of the loves of Sally and Kevin.

The DIY shop is an albatross around Sally's neck and she sells the stock just in time for Jason to put a wrong fuse in a radio which burns the place to the ground. Between the financial pressure and the stress of being a single mum, Sally finally allows Kevin to return, more for the sake of the girls than out of actual burning love. Kevin doesn't mind. He's back where he wants to be.

Minutes after they've resumed marital duties and make plans to get remarried, Sally falls for the decorator, Alex who strips her walls right down to the old Oggie muriel! She considers running off with him (he reminds me a little of Danny!) but decides she needs her family more and confesses all to Kevin. As the relationship never did move to a sexual one, Kevin forgives her and they go through with the wedding but you know Sally really just did it for the children.

As the girls grow into teens, Sally becomes ambitious for Rosie and wants to send her to a poncy private school, Oakhill. As the fees are high, she gets a job in the car dealership owned by the parents of one of Rosie's new posh friends, the Davenports. Ah but it isn't long before Sally's knickers hit the ground when smooth Ian beckons. He more or less makes his attentions a job requirement and since Sally is happy with the resulting bonus paycheques, she eagerly agrees. It's not love by any means but it serves the purpose.
Kevin does have his suspicions and even thumps Ian at one point. After a family holiday, Sally returns to work to discover that Ian has turned his attentions to her temp replacement and when he makes her job intolerable for her, she quits. Kevin was never 100% sure of Sally's affair even though Rosie was in on her mother's secret. Personally, I think down deep Kevin knew but kept it to himself so he wouldn't lose face or his family and I think Sally knew he knew. They said no more about it.

Things went smoothly for a few years after that. Sally was the next one down again, however, when she developed a one sided crush on teacher John Stape who was helping to tutor her for some adult education classes. She was horrified when she discovered he was actually having an affair with her 16 year old minx daughter Rosie!

The most recent infidelity was, as we know, Kevin's and probably the most serious yet. Molly Dobbs, the wife of his best friend and business partner, attracted Kevin's attention. He seemed to develop a crush on her. When he admitted it to her, she pushed him back but was secretly flattered and started flirting with him for a laugh. It turned into a full blown affair and the two allegedly fell in love though I always thought it was more infatuation on Kevin's part. He was going to leave Sally but found out she had breast cancer and realized how much she really meant to him. He finished abruptly with Molly and as many times as Molly tried to get him back, he stayed fast to Sally even after she recovered. Molly found herself pregnant and the baby, named Jack, turned out to be Kevin's. Sally found out about the affair and the baby's paternity from Molly's dying lips and she chucked Kevin out.

Where do the Webster's go from here? Will they find their way back to each other? I kind of hope not. I think this should be the end of them but with these two, you never know. What is going to be the reaction of Rosie and Sophie? They adore their dad and it's going to crush them. Sally is rumoured to have at least a snog with Tyrone in the New Year but whether it will be a proper affair, is yet to be known. I'm guessing not, and it will just be a bit of comfort between two wronged friends. Time will tell.

You can read a full character study about Sally here.
You can read a full character study about Kevin here.

The many loves of Sally and Kevin Webster: Part 1

This latest and entirely unsuitable affair of Kevin's with the late Molly Dobbs is only the latest in a long line of affairs and infatuations but both Sally and Kevin. While they are in no danger of breaking the record of Ken Barlow, they've racked up a respectable number between them. They've actually cheated on each other twice each, with a couple of near misses on Sally's part. (i.e. crushes or affairs while separated but not yet divorced).

Through the years, then, these are the loves that have touched the Websters:

When we first met Kevin, he had a girlfriend called Michelle but once he met Sally, there was nobody else for him. Sally liked Kevin but had a thing for handsome Terry Duckworth at one point. They were necking in the pub once, resulting in Bet Lynch snapping "This is the Snug, not the snog!"

Still, Sally and Kevin were destined to be together and married in 1986. They were Love's Young Dream for awhile, becoming parents to baby Rosie on Christmas Eve in 1990. In 1993, Sally started minding a little boy who's dad, Joe Broughton, developed a crush on her. He even wanted her to run away with him. This was entirely one sided and Sally had no intentions of leaving Kevin, as annoying as he could be at times.

Kevin was never tempted until 1997 when Sally was in Scarborough nursing her mother. Natalie Horrocks moved in for the kill and seduced him. He fell hard and when Sally finally did find out, Kevin was out on his ear. It wasn't quite so much fun once Kevin moved in with Natalie. No more sneaking around meant no more thrills. There were temporary separations and Sally begged Kevin to come back but he and Natalie had made up by the. Not long after, Sally formed an attraction to Kevin's employee, tall and handsome Chris Collins who had recently finished with Angie Freeman. Kevin thumped him when he found out but really, it was none of his business, was it?

Alas, the ardour between Kevin and Natalie went cold and eventually Sally took Kevin back, mainly for the sake of their two girls. Sally was working for Mike Baldwin by this time. Also working for Mike was Les Battersby's tricky son, Greg Kelly. After Sally's mother died, she inherited a good size chunk of money. She refused to give it to Kevin to buy the garage outright and Greg, with pound signs in his eyes, set about wooing Sally to get his hands on the cash. Kevin threw Sally out when he discovered the affair. She moved in with Greg but had to leave the girls with Kevin.

This was an ill-fated affair to say the least. Sally used her money to set up Greg in a new business and worked in the office for him. She managed to get the girls living with them and this didn't sit well with Greg. Tempers flared and Sally ended up with a bruise when Greg lashed out at her. He convinced her it was a one-off but you know how these things work. He hit her again and she left him and moved in with Rita while the girls went back to Kevin. Greg continued to harass her and came after her one last time but she managed to escape a beating and Greg soon disappeared from Weatherfield.

Just as Greg disappeared at the end of 1998, Kevin meets Alison Wakefield, one of the factory workers. He sues Sally for divorce and intends on getting custody of the children. Sally, by this time, has met a nice young man, Danny Hargreaves, who has a stall on the market where Sally has been selling Underworld seconds. Greg Kelly makes a reappearance to terrorize Sally but she manages to bash him over the head with a chair before the police cart him off. Whew! Sally almost loses Danny to Sharon Gaskill because she had been waffling about whether to date Danny or not but she decided she did want Danny who was only making do with Sharon anyway. Danny moves in and he and Sally are all loved up. Or are they?

Alison thinks Kevin really hasn't got over Sally and leaves him but when Kevin finds her on New Year's Eve 1999, he also discovers she's pregnant and he persuades her that he really does love her and wants to marry her. On the night before he gets wed, however, he has a one night stand with Sally but it doesn't mean anything, and Sally sends him back across the road to marry Alison, which he does. Sadly, in June 2000, their tiny baby Jake is born, contracts an infection and dies. Alison is so distraught that she steals Sara Louise's baby Bethany. Bethany is recovered and Alison chucks herself in front of a lorry and dies!

Meanwhile,Sally and Danny decide to open up a shop and rent one of the new premises on Victoria Street, calling it D&S DIY. Danny isn't really happy and is out of his depth. The shop doesn't do all that well but they make plans to get married anyway. Even that isn't as smooth and romantic as it sounds. Sally delays answering Danny's proposal and when she does, Danny wants them to move away and she's reluctant to take the girls away from Kevin. There's lots of arguing  and jealousy between Danny and kevin and by the Danny finds out about Sally and Kevin's one night stand he jilts her and walks away from the whole mess leaving Sally with the shop which is a struggle to keep open with the help of Jason Grimshaw who developes a bit of a crush on a horrified Sally.

It's not too long before Sally has a new fella. On a family camping holiday where she and the girls tag along with Martin and his lot and Roy and Hayley, Sally and Martin discover that they have a mutual attraction. They embark on an affair. Well after all, they're both divorced, aren't they! Mind you, when Kevin gets whiff of it, he does what he does best, and goes after Martin with his fists. Kevin still loves Sal, you see, and never did get her out of his system.

It doesn't stop Kevin from making friends with local nurse Molly Hardcastle and eventually having a fling with her. But yet again, Molly becomes another woman that knows she can't measure up to the ghost of Sally in Kevin's heart and she's off in a taxi. Sally and Martin's relationship ends when she is not ready to let him move in with her and he takes a major wobbler.

So now Sally and Kevin are both single again. Check out Part 2 to find out the rest of the story.

Character Study: Ashley Sibilius Peacock

On this, the day of Ashley Peacock's funeral, may i present to you the life of a butcher.

Ashley Peacock is an all around nice guy. He's unassuming and quiet, not really very volatile but loyal to those he loves (mostly) and always tends to try to do the right thing. He first appeared on our screens in 1996 as an assistant to Fred Elliott, the local butcher. Fred, Ashley's uncle, was a tall, large and brash man, the complete opposite of Ashley. Back then, Ashley was more naive and he didn't have a lot of gumption to stand up for himself. He often seemed to find himself in conflicting situations but over the years, he grew to believe more in himself and with that confidence, a man who knows who he is and what he wants out of life and who is mostly true to what he believes in. He's slipped off the pedestal now and then but after all, he's only human.

Ashley has always generally been a voice of reason, sometimes baffled at the insanity and confusion he seems to find himself caught up in. Not the bravest of men, normally,  Ashley is terrified of flying, of needles and doctors but those are just little phobias.

In spite of his generally shy demeanor, he never seemed to have a problem finding girlfriends though tends towards women that are on the bossy side. His first girlfriend on the Street was Kelly Thompson. Kelly was the nanny that Ken hired to mind Daniel after Denise left him holding the baby. Ashley moved in with Don Brennan as a lodger but soon found himself being questioned by the police when Mike Baldwin's factory burned down. Don was the culprit but Ashley was blamed initially. It was soon sorted out and Don went to jail, leaving Ashley homeless.

Not long before that, he found out that his Uncle Fred was actually his biological father. His mother is Fred's sister and when a one night stand resulted in Ashley, and the biological mother was planning on having the baby adopted so Fred gave the baby to his childless sister, Beryl and her husband Sam, now deceased. Ashley had a hard time accepting Fred as his father at first but eventually warmed to him. After Don was sent to prison, Ashley moved in with Fred who'd bought Number 4 for a new bride who ran away with another man shortly after the wedding.

Ashley and Fred worked together in Fred's butcher shops, moving from an unseen shop to a butcher department in Freshcos and later, to a shop on Victoria Street, which Ashley inherited when Fred died.

Ashley's next girfriend was the vivacious Maxine Heavy, a local hairdresser. Maxine thought she could do better than a butcher so it was an on-again-off-again relationship for a while. Ashley adored Maxine, a fact which she did enjoy. Trouble arrived in the form of waif-like runaway teenager Zoe Tattersall. Ashley felt she was wrongly done by and took her in when she had no place to go. She'd "sold" her baby to the Malletts but when she wanted the baby back, Ashley stood up to them and allowed mother and baby to stay. Maxine wasn't too happy about this but Ashley was developing feelings for the girl, probably based more on his protective instinct than anything. Zoe's baby died of meningitis and in her grief, she turned to a cult-type organization for comfort. She left Ashley and there wasn't much he could do to stop her going.

Eventually, he and Maxine reconciled and he was thrilled when she agreed to marry him. She was a force to be reckoned with, but Ash just went with the flow as she set about organizing the wedding of the year. Maxine generally approached her "quests" in such a manner, and Ashley always went along with whatever made her happy. She turned vegetarian which was a bit awkward with a butcher for a husband. Ashley even went along with that, much to Fred's chagrin but eventually Maxine realized Ashley wasn't really cut out for it full time and they found a happy compromise.

Maxine's next project was baby-making but they had some problems with that. Ashley needed a minor corrective operation and on the night he was hospitalized, Maxine got drunk and had it off with the neighbour, Dr. Matt Ramsden. As luck would have it, she got pregnant by him and not Ashley, but Ashley didn't find out about the fling until Maxine was about to give birth. He resolutely refused to find out at first if the baby, Joshua, was his or not and forgave Maxine. But alas, Maxine was tragically murdered by Richard Hillman. That was probably the worst nightmare of Ashley's life. It was after that that he had the tests done and knew that the baby was Matt's and he vowed never to tell or treat the child as anything but his own son.

In order to cope, he hired a nanny, Claire Casey, who was a sweet woman, a girl-next-door type of person, almost everything that overtly sexy Maxine wasn't. One thing they do have in common is a stubborn streak. Claire also has a red-headed temper when she has a mind to and will stand up to anyone. Ashley and Claire fell in love and eventually married on a snowy Christmas Day, 2004. They have a son, Freddie, born shortly before Fred died. Claire experienced severe post partum depression and rejected the baby for a while, but after a brief sojourn in hospital, she regained her old self. Through this all, Ashley stayed supportive even when he was grieving for his beloved father.

In the aftermath, Claire decided to help other young mothers by volunteering for a help-line. Through this she met a woman, nicknamed KC, who'd miscarried. KC became obsessed with Claire's life and managed to drive a wedge between Claire and Ashley, promoting doubts in Ashley's mind about Claire's sanity after their house caught fire. KC started the fire but made it seem like Claire's depression had returned and she'd done it herself. Claire was devastated that Ashley doubted her and she left him for a while. During this time, KC managed to worm her way into Ashley's bed and planned to take over his life. Ashley quickly realized he'd made a mistake but when he tried to break it off with her, while attempting to reconcile with Claire, KC kidnapped Freddie who was soon rescued, but this broke the secret of Ashley's affair. Claire returned to her mother's house for a while but eventually she returned and she and Ashley worked on building up the trust again.

Ashley has sometimes got caught up in other people's schemes, primarily Fred's, because he could never say no. He'd dress up as a Christmas elf, he went along with Fred's attempts at selling reindeer meat at Christmas, and even took up boxing when Fred got into a row with a rival butcher. Ashley and the other butcher's son held a grudge match in the boxing ring and Ashley had to train hard, not being a natural athelete. The match began but Claire and the opponent's girlfriend got into a fight themselves and when all the onlookers descended into fisticuffs and hair pulling, Ashley and his opponent just stopped their match and watched with astonishment.

Ashley truly regrets his affair and has devoted his attentions to his family and the shop, which has recently fallen on tough times. In a cost saving measure, he agreed to Claire and Sally Webster's plan to swop houses and it seems to have done the trick. He also laid off Kirk whom he was training.

Things were quite for awhile. As things picked up financially, Ashley took on a new apprentice, young Graeme Proctor. Graeme was a true eccentric and his antics and sense of humour often had Ashley bewildered and befuddled but the two rubbed along well. Graeme looked on Ashley as his mentor as well as his friend and became close to Claire and the boys as well.

Ashley and Claire's marraige suffered another glitch. Claire got pregnant but due to a miscarraige and aneurism that nearly killed her, decided she didn't want more children. She insisted that her husband have "the snip" and Ashley was just as insistent that he wouldn't. He did finally agree to it but bottled out of the op, scared at the prospect of the needles. He let Claire believe he'd had it for weeks and when the truth came out, he was frozen out of the bedroom until he finally went through with it. 

After an incident at the Peacocks where Aadi Alahan was injured by another child, Claire, who was initially accused but later cleared, was so upset that her neighbours thought she was guilty that she decided to move away. Her mother was moving to France and wanted Claire and Ashley to go with her and her new fella. Ashley did not want to move and things between the couple broke down. It looked as if Claire would leave Ashley and go on her own but they eventually made up and started making plans to sell up and move.

Fate had other plans. During a stag do for Peter Barlow, an explosion ripped through the Joinery bar under the viaduct causing a tram to crash through the viaduct and into the Kabin and corner shop. Ashley, Nick and Peter were trapped under the rubble, Peter seriously injured. Nick and Ashley worked to move Peter and try to get him out. A beam fell but Ashley managed to hold it up so Nick could get Peter to the opening that the rescue workers were creating. Ashley knew he was seriously injured by this point as he had started to cough up blood. He insisted that Nick get out even though the whole viaduct was about to collapse, which it did, fatally crushing Ashley who died a hero.

Ashley's portrayer, Steven Arnold has always been consistent in his characterization. When Ashley was first introduced, he had a high squeaky voice. Over the years, Steven has toned that down and the voice you hear now is very close to Steven's real life voice and accent. Steven's character was given a fittingly heroic exit, which suited such a nice and upstanding character. One can only hope that Ashley and Fred were reunited in the hereafter while Claire and the boys make a new life for themselves.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Soap Laws

You hear me wibble on about "Soap Law" now and then. I've been watching soap operas since I was a kid and over time you get to know how they work.

Soap Operas and dramatic serials started out on radio and had a definite religious and moral slant. Many still do in America though on the UK soaps, it's less "preachy" and I'm glad of that. I don't mind religious reference now and then, because each character generally has a belief or spirituality of their own. For instance,  Dev and Sunita may make a comment about not eating beef due to their religion. I like the storyline that Sophie has been in, where she's started going to church. It gives us another point of view.

Anyway. Soap Laws don't really have anything to do with religion though they do have something to do with morals and justice at times. When you start to realize that there is a code of laws, you can get pretty good at predicting the outcome of a lot of storylines, more or less.

Here's a partial list of the most common ones I've gleaned over the years:

If two people meet and hate each other, they will end up being the loves of each other's lives. They will be hot and steamy, will break up and make up numerous times.

Few couples can stay happy for long. (Even Roy and Hayley have had some whopping crises that nearly split them up!) Something or someone will endeavour to break them up, sometimes permanently, sometimes not. Star crossed couples usually end up back together in the end because the viewers demand it if both actors remain on the show or can return to the show.

Drunken one night stands can often lead to love and marriage. (Steve and Becky!)

If a third party connives and tries to break up the loving couple, there may be some doubts but the loving couple will see the conniver (who is sometimes a psycho) off or may temporarily break up but the conniver will be caught out eventually and be put out. (Ashley and Claire broke up and Casey moved in on Ashley but was exposed as a nutter)

Some people are perennial losers in love. They will never find "The One" and if they do, they won't keep them. Fred Elliott died on his wedding day. Curly Watts (revealed in the Knight's Tale dvd) is divorced from Emma. Eileen can't find a decent man for love or money!

Murderers (or other major crime):
If there's a murder *mystery* (or other major crime/assault etc)  where the viewer does not know who the perpetrator is, you can be sure of this: the person arrested is not the one that did it. They have been arrested because they either have a very good motive or have been overheard saying "I'll kill/get you for this!", or have been very cleverly set up.

If the guilty party is the one arrested, it is usually self defense or a moment of madness/passion and they get off lightly. There will be a dramatic trial. Sometimes this is where the real killer will be revealed but sometimes there is a wrongful conviction. Most of the time, the guilty party is a minor cast member or a new cast member. This is the "Expendable crew member" corollary. (Toyah's rapist was a minor, incidental character, not the main suspect, Peter Barlow)

If the guilty party is a major cast member, then it's one that we already know is leaving the show. If the arrested but not guilty person goes to prison, they are unjustly convicted and it won't be long before they are free. It comes down to this: The murderer will never get away with their crime, regardless of whether they are a major or minor character. They will either go to jail or will be killed in some dramatic fashion. But it comes down to this...

If the viewer does know who the murderer/perpetrator is (i.e. Tracy Barlow, Tony Gordon), it's only a matter of time. There will be consequences. They'll get caught in the end and pay one way or another, imprisonment, or death. If there are no consequences, there is usually an extreme extenuating circumstance or it is a popular villain that will go on and on getting away with things on technicalities. That's usually mostly the realm of American soap villains.

If a woman faints or swoons, she's pregnant.

If a woman has sex with someone she shouldn't, either an affair or a drunken one night stand, or has sex with two different men in a short period of time, odds are very good she'll get pregnant and, in that last case,  not know who the father is. (Molly Dobbs, most recently) It doesn't always happen but the truth of the affair/one night stand will always come out eventually, especially if there is a betrayed partner involved. The paternity of the baby may depend on what's going to cause the most trouble long term.

Only a small percentage of babies are born in hospitals, mainly the premature ones or very lucky ones. The rest are born in remote uncomfortable, unsanitary, and possibly dangerous locations, in cars, on living room floors, in pub booths. You get the drift. (Sally gave birth to one of her daughters in the back of a taxi, so her other child had to be born safely.)

Accident aftermath:
If a character has been in some sort of accident, chances are good that they will have one of the following results: Amnesia, blindness, paralysis. It will be temporary with a "miraculous" recovery or with a brief period of physical therapy. If someone is near-fatally injured, if they survive surgery (depending on if the actor is remaning on the show or not), they will recover, though likely with one of the above temporary disabilities. (Jim McDonald was paralysed after a fall and it seems Peter Barlow may be as well, post-tram crash). It is unusual for an injury to be long term but it does happen from time to time.

Funerals are often be interrupted by drama but are usually fairly respectful.

This mainly applies to American soaps. If someone dies, chances are pretty good they didn't actually die, even if you see the body and the death. They may have amnesia, they may have been kidnapped by a dastardly villain and held hostage for years, they may have faked their own death. It all depends on if the character is played by a popular actor who can be lured back to the show. If the original character is, in fact, dead, the returned actor will be their identical twin/lookalike.

Will always be of opposite temperment. One bad, one good. One troubled, one on the straight and narrow. This is especially true if they are of the same sex, otherwise, boy/girl twins can be of similar temperment, usually high spirited, troubled, or trouble-making. One will always support the other and even cover up for the other or take the blame for the other's crimes and misdemeanors but may be swayed to the good and away from the dark side, especially if the bad twin is psychotic.

Soap opera weddings are usually elaborate affairs, even when they're low key and "intimate".

The road to the wedding is not going to be smooth.

Chances are the wedding will get called off at least once and there's a very good chance the wedding itself will be interrupted . Jiltings are common, often with a dramatic announcement in front of the Registrar and all their family and friends. (Jim McDonald exclaiming the he loves bride Fiona Middleton and please don't marry that plod, DCI Alan! Tracy Barlow retrieved her baby and revealed the groom is the father and it very  nearly got her spiked with a red stilletto. Abused bride Shelley roundly dumped nasty Charlie Stubbs at the altar.)

An interrupted wedding may or may not finish or it may finish and then disaster will hit. At the very least, the bride or groom or both will be scrambling to get to the wedding on time. If it all goes according to plan and the happy couple are knotted together, there will be other circumstances elsewhere...a wronged lover, a death, or the wedding has gone ahead though one of the couple has had serious doubts or a big secret yet to be uncovered. Smooth and effortless weddings may have a nasty surprise at the reception (Becky and Sunita were both arrested of false charges at theirs). Deathbed weddings mean the survival of the ill.

Other random laws that come to mind:
- If a woman has to do some major running, she will be wearing high heels and have to quickly take them off or she struggles and stumbles during the escapade.
- If there is an argument with someone and anywhere near is a cold beverage, it will end up thrown in a face or dumped over a head.
- Mothers-in-law rarely approve of their son/daughter-in-law.
- Parents usually have blinders on when it comes to their children's faults.
- In Coronation Street, at least, most people will find living accommodations and/or a job within the immediate area of the neighbourhood

These are just some of the Soap Laws. There are always exceptions to the rules, of course. But on the big things, they don't vary too far from the standards.

In addition there are SOPODs, aka "Soap Opera Phrases Of Doom".

Basically, they work like this:  someone will say how happy they are, or comment that nothing could come between them and their loving partner. Maybe they'll say "We're/I'm so lucky/blessed". Uh oh. You've just jinxed it. Bad Relationship Luck will come down upon you like a ton of viaduct bricks. You can always spot a plot twist coming when you hear a SOPOD.

Feel free to add any Soap Laws you've observed!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

50th Anniversary Week: Recovery

That was the week that was. I thank you all for reading and commenting and allowing me to share it with you. There's been such a huge surge of media focus on Corrie this week, even over here in Canada where we are currently 10 months behind in the storyline and won't see the anniversary week on our screens until next fall. Those of us that cheat will see it all over again. ITV should really release this week's episodes on dvd with a few cast interviews talking about behind the scenes while filming both the episodes and the live episode. I'd buy it!

I won't summarize it in too much detail. You were all there, you saw it, or you read about it. You know we've lost Molly and Ashley and Charlotte. There are secrets told and lives and families and friendships blown into as many bits as the viaduct. Next week will likely be a bit more upheaval while we wait to see for certain if Peter recovers (I think he will), if tiny Hope Stape can continue to cling to life (50/50 chance i reckon), if Rita can rise from the rubble like a phoenix (how could she not!) and if Sunita will be ok, too.

Ah. Sunita. We are wondering for who the fourth funeral will be held. There's been no mention of Shobna Gulati leaving the show but this could be the surprise twist. There was talk of an unknown man in a car that was at the wrong place at the wrong time and that *might* be counted as the fourth but that's going to make fans feel a bit ripped off. Why the big media campaign about four funerals and a wedding if the fourth one is someone we don't even know?

But we do know Sunita and she was badly injured, too. We didn't really see much of her in hospital and she seemed somewhat perky enough though still not that well i wouldn't think. She lost a lot of blood. Will she take a turn for the worse? Always possible. Or baby Hope might be the death. I really would like to see her be a miracle baby, however, because when Stape gets caught, and sooner or later he will, at least Fiz will have her little baby.

I've continued on my Corrie marathon this weekend. I've downloaded the various specials and am making my way through them. The first part of the 50 scenes one was really good. I've watched the dvd Fifty Years Fifty Characters which was also great, and often showed some of the characters' very first scenes! Some i've seen in other clips before but some i had never seen.

It feels like it's been all Corrie All the time this week, between the UK episodes, blogging it, reading blogs and reviews on various websites, and then watching the Canadian episodes as well (we're just in the immediate aftermath of Joe's death). It was an emotional week and i'm still trying to catch my breath. I want to rewatch the entire week's shows but I'm not sure i'm ready for that yet. I will have to though, because i have to write an episode summary of Monday first part and Tuesday, which is the immediate aftermath of the crash. I better find my thesaurus so i can come up with different words that mean shock, horror, horrified, scared, etc.

This week will be filled with uncertainty and sadness, i have no doubt but as always, little bits of normality will start creeping in as people pull up their socks and keep on living as best they can. People have to start dealing with loss and with their lives that have crashed along with the tram, for various reasons. And i will probably stop dreaming of Corrie characters and cobbles and start looking forward to Christmas.

And with my last paragraph, let me congratulate the cast and crew of Coronation Street. You were all superb as you all stepped up to the plate, and thank you for this week!

Friday, 10 December 2010

50th Anniversary Week: Day 5

And so we reach the end of the Anniversary Week. With a crash, carnage, and fire, with birth and death, trauma and dark, dark places. I don't mind saying i shed tears more than once and completely lost it at the end during the U2 musical "montage".  What a week! Not a lot to smile about, aside from the occasional line.

Opened with Sally holding a devastated Tyrone. I cried. After handing him over to Maria, his former fiancee, she went and sat in a dark house while Kevin looked all over for her. Kevin didn't even seem like he was pretending to hold back his grief for appearances sake when he found out. It would have been ok for him to show a bit of emotion, wouldn't it? Everyone would have believed he was grieving for a friend. I'm sure Kevin must have some caring feelings left for Molly at least. He didn't hate her.

When he found Sally, she looked at Kevin with utter betrayal and i think she's haunted by sitting there watching Molly die. Sally's little eulogy about her was also pointed, meant to make Kevin uncomfortable a bit too. All that talk about marriage and the baby's real father? Dig, dig. and finally she lowers the boom, she knows it all and Kevin's face drains.All their scenes were mesmerizing, they really were!

 Sally came up one side of Kevin and down the other. She called him on every single lie he told, called him on every excuse he tried to use. She accused and she castigated him. She knew exactly what happened, why he stayed and boy, is she bitter! She's not stupid, is our Sal. She figured it all out and chucked him out on his ear and I cheered!!!!!! I've been waiting for this since last year!!! Life's too short, as she said, to waste it on someone that betrays your trust like that. And by the end of the night, her world was shattered. But she'll be ok. She survived cancer and she'll make a good life for herself without Kevin. You won't see her take him back again. The girls are grown up so aren't an excuse like last time.

Claire finally broke down altogether in Becky's arms and Graeme's completely gutted. Ashley was probably even more of a best friend than  even David. Probably because Ash was Graeme's mentor, too. As he'd said the other day, Ashley was the first person that ever really believed in him. I think Graeme will do Ashley proud as he matures and gets on with life.

Becky the thief!  I still can't get over her walking into the back of the shop and nicking the cash when the front of the shop was totally destroyed and they were in there helping free Molly. That shop isn't that big and Molly ran back towards the back office when the tram crashed into the side of the building. She couldn't have been more than 10 feet away from where Becky was yet there was no sound, no noise of the equipment or the rescue workers while Becks was in back with the safe. Anyway, Steve was right, Kylie will only come back for more and more money.

Ken keeps vigil while they wait to hear if Peter survives surgery. I have to say, I've never found William Roache to be that good an actor. Well, i should say when it comes to emotional acting. He rarely shows it other than, on occasion, real anger which he can do well. Emotions? He's utter crap. It's always a deer-caught-in-the-headlights look. One pundit described it as looking slightly pained.

Peter's in surgery as the episode opens and Carla's had a bracing brandy (or four) before heading back to hospital but now Leanne realizes there's more to Carla's grief over Peter than just as a friend. She figured it out, Carla was "Carl" and the herd of cats have leapt out of the bag, a friendship has been blown to bits, quite spectacularly, too. Not a great stunt job, though, Leanne smacking Carla. You could tell she was miles away and the sound people didn't really get a good *smack* sound in there.

Rita! It was Nick that'd seen her before the crash! I couldn't remember but i knew someone did and hadn't gone back yet to rewatch and find out. I had faith that they wouldn't do in Rita, I think she's tougher than old boots, is Reet and Emily agrees! She also threw out the line of the week! "What is it wi'me an' trams!" It was one of the few smiles in the episodes tonight.

Oh there's Betty, too! What a rock she is! I expect Betty Driver probably wasn't up to the live episode but it's so good to see her be steady and holding Claire like a granny would. (Where's Claire's mother? Maybe she's already in France)

John nearly had his mucky hands all over the plug and now Charlotte's parents caught him with her. They think he's Colin, but surely some of the emergency room staff know who he really is. Or maybe not, i suppose he's spent most of his time in the maternity ward. John managed to "kill" Charlotte anyway, agreeing with her parents to let them take her off life support. D'you know i really think Stape has a disorder of some sort. He was absolutely unperturbed about Charlotte, didn't even look fazed at all. Oh yes, unplug her. Well of course that solves all his problems. He thinks. He had one weak moment when he almost called 999 but he was saved from the final confession just in time by disaster and disaster saved his sorry ass. For now. But it ain't over til it's over.

Finally! Mary's not smiling or giggling but she looked a bit jealous of his feelings for Rita. Ciaran was a real rock and a comfort. Roy and Hayley, too, dispensing soup and hot drinks and providing refuge. Gail reappeared, and didn't even have more than a quick hug for Nick. I suppose she'd already been told that he was ok, wherever she was hiding. With the doctor, helping out i suppose. Bill and Pam finally appeared. It feels like people have been taking ages to show up when really, the whole week probably only took place over the course of about 3 or 4 hours, it's still dark outside with no dawn even threatening to break by the end of tonight. I'm sure traffic in the area is snarled and streets are blocked off so it would take people longer to get back to the neighbourhood. When Pam found out about Molly, my heart broke for her and i cried. Again.

Wait, if nobody was allowed to go home, how come it was ok for the pub to stay open and have people in it? No electricity there, either,  or even over on Victoria Street but surely over there would be safer. Janice could have gone back to her flat with a few people, too as she lives over the butcher shop.  I can see the first couple of houses past the shop and Number 13 but the other houses on the new side are stand alone and were structurally ok, and if the pub was ok, surely the first few houses were as well. That wouldn't have been as poignant though, would it? Picky, i know!

Line of the week
Rita "What is it wi'me and trams!"

Lines of the night
Tyrone "She's dead, Maria!"
Kevin "No lectures. Not tonight Dad" (you've got the mother of lectures coming your way later, me laddo)
Carla "You didn't choose Peter. You married him for his expiry date" (Ouch)
 Sally"What's Tyrone done to deserve this?" (and she means more than the obvious.)  and "Did you bother running or was that just fancy dress?" and "Nothing like a tumour in your wife's breast to shake you out of a midlife crisis!"  (and pretty much all her painful invictive)

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