Wednesday, 30 June 2010

State of the Street - June

The Big Bang this month was the seige of the knicker factory and the demise of villain Tony Gordon who escaped prison to take his revenge. Odd, because when he turned himself in he was quite contrite. I guess prison makes you hard! Gives you lots of time to stew and really, a vengeful Tony makes far more sense than a docile one, doesn't it? He was helped by the deceptively docile Robbie who was a bit hapless in the end, trusting Tony who then not only stabbed him in the back, figuratively, but shot him in the chest! Yes, Tony, who always got other people to do his dirty work for him. It's not without precedent, he nearly strangled Jed Stone though that wasn't premeditated. It does prove Tony's capable of snapping and he sure went over the edge this time! Clearly, he'd lost his mind. Grey O'Brien really made me believe in Tony's insanity, though, I have to say. Excellent stuff.

Plot holes? Oh yes. Tony set fire to the factory. All that polyester and silk should have had the whole factory ablaze in minutes but it took a lot longer than you'd think! And the factory exploded. Now I'm no chemical expert, but I didn't think silk was *that* flammable! Tony did have some petrol in cans but it looked as if he'd used it all when he soaked the place. Maybe he had more behind the door that we didn't see. After all, he did ask Robbie to help him unload and if it was just a couple of jerry cans, Tony could have done that easily. Ah, so what? Plot holes? We gotta million of em but it didn't really matter to me. I really enjoyed it. The aftermath, Nick scrambling to keep the business open, and then clearly he was planning to undercut Carla out of the factory. She's going to be pissed! Tender TooTall Trevor looking after Carla? Awww! He's not supposed to be staying on the show and that's too bad. Not only is he really good to her, but he's cute!

The other major storyline was Gail's trial. More plot holes, of course, but it's television and you have to allow for that. There was never any doubt that Gail would get off. I don't care that they filmed two endings to keep the media guessing. A character like Gail, a long term, long suffering but popular character would never be sent down for something she did not do. If we knew that the actress was leaving the show, then perhaps but she'd have to get sent down for something she *did* do. It's soap law. The innocent are not convicted and the guilty always get their just desserts. Which makes it harder to swallow the spoiler that says Tracy Barlow is eventually going to be back on the Street. She killed Charlie in cold blood and got 15 years. Then she lied on the stand to try to get Gail convicted in return for a transfer to a posh open prison. I don't think she was nicked for perjury but she did pay for it. Prisoners' justice. In real life, had she been beaten up by her fellow inmates, you probably wouldn't have recognized her bruised and battered face for all the injuries.

So Gail's out of jail and trying to get her life back on track. Meanwhile David's life is spinning off the rails again. He was a great support to his mother, we all thought maybe he'd changed or grown up a bit. But he's just found out that his best friend and the ex-girlfriend that he never could forget have just got together. This is going to fester and boil inside him. Spoilers have him sexually assaulting her but if they do that, they can never redeem the character and the actor will have no future. You can't have a long time character do that and be forgiven. I hope the spoilers are exaggerated or skewed as is often the case.

The up side of this is that we've seen lots more of Graeme, one of the best characters to come on the scene in years! He's quirky, he's honest, he's had a dodgey past but is making a better life for himself. He's a bit of a backward, awkward geek, with an air of innocence and a tiny frisson of street smarts too. The downside of this is Tina.

Putting that awful spoiler/rumour aside, I think they've ruined the character. She was sparky and bright when she arrived and she was just what David needed at the time. I do think it was right that they broke up the couple because she couldn't live with David's lies and jealousy. I also think she and Jason were a good couple but it was not all that bright of her to hook up with David's ex-brother-in-law knowing what David can be like. She snogged Nick too but she didn't know who he was and now she's in bed with Graeme. All of her relationships seem very rushed and very slapper-ish, don't you think? I have a feeling we won't have Tina around for the long term because there's only so much you can do with her besides throwing her at every available man on the Street. They won't get rid of her until she's had a stint behind the bar of the Rovers, though. All pretty females seem to end up there eventually, even if just for a short spell.

I did like how they put her in the Kabin as a foil for Nozzer and a faux-daughter for Rita. Rita's had history taking troubled young women under her wing. You may recall Sharon and later Leanne as well.

Then there's Mad Mary Taylor who didn't exactly tie up Norris and bundle him off to the moody moors for a cottage holiday but she did her best to keep him there, deep into a stack of magazine competitions until he ran for his little life, dragging his wheelie case behind him. He accused her of kidnapping, fearing for his life at one point but the next thing you know, they're sharing sherbet lemons at the trial and making friendly bets on the outcome. We also saw her helping out in the Kabin (but Rita's back, so why was Mary there glaring daggers at Tina when Rita re-hired her?) It makes no sense at all. Norris is not one to let go of a grudge. Meanwhile, Mary is clearly bonkers, and getting moreso as time goes on. We can see that. I mean, a Princess Leia hairdo at her age? As the month ends, she's latched on to Hayley to live out her wedding fantasies. Hayley is too nice to say no and she's going to regret this, mark my words.

Aww, but it's about time Hayley and Roy tied the knot legally! I'm dead chuffed, I am and I can't wait to see the rest of the wedding planner storyline and ceremony. I may even buy a hat!

I don't know about any of you but the duo adoption storyline is dragging and is starting to be boring. I believe Tracy Barlow has a bit more input into that and perhaps we'll get her back again to stir things up, otherwise this is going to be a dead duck of a story. I'd like to see Becky find a troubled kid, maybe breaking into the pub or cafe or something and having that child, a girl like Becky used to be, find a place in the McDonald family eventually.

A few words about Nick (Slap me) Tilsley. The recast with Ben Price is great! It's great to have a Nick finally portrayed by an actor. Who can act. He's very good at making Nick a smug, arrogant, pr....att. ;) Nick is enjoying winding people up, Peter Barlow over Leanne, and anyone else he can get a rise out of. He's making an attempt at stealing Carla's business but he'll find her a formidable enemy, I think. He gave in to Natasha's relentless pursuit, for lack of anyone else around that he fancied but it's clear he's not that into her. Clear to us, but not to her and she's continuing to push him into more and more of a committment while he continues to treat her with a very offhand manner. It's going to end badly but will he take any responsibility? Will he heck!

In many ways he's exactly like his late father, Brian. Self centered and pig headed (well he gets that bit from his mother, too!) We have needed this sort of character since we lost Mike Baldwin. Nick is neither as ruthless nor quite as charming as Mike, though he'd like to be. Mike's cocky, cheeky attitude and shit-eating grin were born out of the east end of London and he was a tough survivor. Pampered Nick just doesn't quite have the cojones or the desperation born out of a deprived background to carry that off but he'll give it all he's got, anyway. With this actor, I think Nick could be a good long term character that we'll see change and evolve over the years if the actor sticks with it.

I don't understand why they've given Dev and Sunita Number 7. They had a huge lovely house with a garden for the twins though I can see that a flat isn't as convenient. And where will Maria live when she comes back? Oh, I know, from the storyline point of view, she's staying in Ireland but the actress is on maternity leave and as far as I know, she's going to be back. I can't see her and Kirk and the baby sharing the little flat over the salon for an extended period. I also wonder what excuse they'll make up to have her come back and stay. I guess we'll find out.

John Stape's schemes and plans are about to come crashing down around his and Fiz's ears. There just aren't enough words to describe how much I dislike this character! He's manipulative, dishonest, passive aggressive, selfish and probably severely narcissistic. It seems like he believes it's one law for him and one for everyone else. Is he a danger junkie? Maybe. He's stolen the identity of a former coworker and didn't think he would get found out but little by little, it's all going to be chipped away. The first strings are being frayed by the presence of Charlotte Hoyle, a former co-worker who has uncovered his secret and is joyfully holding the lever to the guillotine over Stape's head. What is she going to make him do to keep her sweet? She's another one that's completely bonkers and I'm going to totally enjoy watching him get his comeuppance.

The only downside is Fiz, whom they've ruined by making her spineless and at the mercy of Stape's emotional blackmail over and over. I have to say, kudos to the actor, Graeme Hawley, however, he's very good in the part! Any of the criticisms I usually have about characters I dislike are character-oriented only, for the most part. It's usually due to excellent performances by the actors that make the characters come alive. Good writing, too, even if I don't always like the storylines. They usually are appropriate to the characters.

Molly seems to have gone walkabout. I guess we'll have to wait for Sally's return (in a few weeks' time) for more googly eyed thousand yard stares she shoots to Kevin across the road when she's fluffling the floral displays. More moping and grumbling from Kevin as he frets about the baby that might be his and all his fancy footwork to keep Sally from finding out. By God, I hope she does and throws Kevin out on his ear! First, though, she's going to have to deal with the fact that her younger daughter is gay! Stayed tuned for that later this summer.

Anyway, June was good, July is going to be fun with Hayley's wedding plans having Mary as the Wedding Planner. Liz is going to find a new fella in Izzy's dad and he already seems like he might be just the right sort for her. I like Izzy so far though there's more romantic chemistry with Gary than there is with Kirk. The Platt fallout to Graeme and Tina's romance is going to be bubbling. Nick is bringing the factory back to life and having to deal with Carla. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Charlotte "Busy on Sunday" ... How close to the edge is she really?

The last new character that came on board the Coronation Street Bonkers train was loopy Mary Taylor who is eccentric and completely off the wall (and getting even more so!). The latest one is Charlotte "Church" Hoyle played by Becky Hindley. She made a brief appearance all decked out in a sari of multiple colours at a going away party, the one where John decided to steal his former co-worker Colin Fishwick's identity papers. She was a bit off the wall then but she's back, bigger, bolder and just as colourful!

April-9-2010-Johns-PartyShe calls herself a Free Spirit as far as her dress sense goes. I guess you could call it that. I bet they have fun dressing her in Wardrobe. You'd just have to hit the cheesiest market stalls or charity shops you could find, pick clothes and random and put them all on her! Some of them actually don't look too bad but she's definitely not a trend follower!

However, the fun in this character is her personality. She's as loopy as a macrame plant hanger!!! Clearly man-mad, she's honed in on John Stape and discovered his secret. And she's using it, boy, is she using it! She's going to be the instrument of his downfall, i'm guessing. She's thrilled with the idea that he's done something so sly and sneaky and now she thinks Colin might be returning from Canada, only because she's been following his Facebook status! Sounds like a stalker in the making, there!

June-16-2010-Colin-CharlotteShe certainly has latched on to John, much to Fiz's dismay. It was bad enough that he did the whole identity theft thing in the first place but for someone else to know the secret, Fiz is going to lose her mind with worry! The longer it goes on, the more chance someone will find out. In the meantime, i don't think it's out of the question that Charlotte is going to try to blackmail Stape into the sack. She just seems that type. If you can't attract them with your natural beauty and sparkling wit, blackmail will do just as well! She's really enjoying winding up John and i'm really enjoying watching her do it! He deserves a little torture! Every time he tries to justify his actions, trying to manipulate Fiz into "trusting" him, i cringe and holler at the screen. There's something seriously wrong with that man.

Now, something just occurred to me. Spoilers say there is a body that turns up and rumours say it will be Colin Fishwick, the one whose identity Stape has stolen. You can pretty much predict that Stape will be found out and arrested for it. I've just had a Road to Damascus moment and I think the real culprit is going to be loopy Charlotte! I'm not wrong, am I?

Watch this space!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Monday's episodes are why Corrie has lasted 50 years

June-14-2010-Tina-MaryI just have to jump in here and say how much I enjoyed Monday's double episodes of Corrie. In contrast to last week's gloom, doom, drama and pyrotechnics, Monday's episodes were filled with fun, weirdness and foreboding (but not in an impending pyrotechnics way). Mary's Star Wars get up and musing about not being allowed to watch those kinds of movies, or pretty much any movies from the sound of it, was just as far out there as the far, far away galaxy. Is it me, or is she getting weirder and weirder? It's almost as if by having her mother living in a home instead of under her roof, the relief of not having that obviously domineering life force under her feet has set her free, dizzyingly so. I don't understand how Norris seems to be friends with her again, even having her working in the Kabin after the whole kidnap debacle, but he was also not all that upset that Rita gave Tina her job back, displacing Mary who wasn't happy about it at all.

The factory is back up and running, in the old Joinery bar. It's bizarre, really. All the fixtures and fittings and empty bottles are still there on shelves and on the bar and the (rented?) machines are lined up in the middle with just desk lamps for light. Surely that isn't really good enough for close sewing work? Kirk is happily running around with bolts of fabric (and packing and shipping, assuming there's a rear delivery door as most restaurants do have that.) At least there is a fully equipped kitchen, not just a kettle and a sink and I suppose the girls could always have their tea break at the bar! Didn't Julie mention something about having a smoothie maker?

What did have that sense of foreboding for me was the increasingly clingy Natasha. Now she's lent Nick the deposit for the lease, money she'd been saving for their own place. Um. Really? She's going to be borrowing a page out of Mary's wedding book soon and we'll be seeing a meringue type dress on a hanger behind the door of the salon pretty soon. And Nick, it's so obvious, honey, he's just not that into you! He's going to let her down with a huge thump, she's going to crash and burn. Well, maybe not burn, we've already had our share of that this year. But it isn't going to be pretty.

And Peter's jealousy just got inflamed well and truly. It seems like it came out of nowhere, doesn't it? Or is it just me? After everything that Leanne has gone through with Peter, you'd think he would have more trust in her. Why on earth would he think Leanne still has feelings for Nick after all these years? Mind you, Nick seems to quite enjoy winding up Peter. Nick is a smug git, isn't he? And for those of you that remember, he does seem to be his father's son. Brian was a smug, arrogant git, too.

I can understand Peter's feelings toward having anything resembling George anywhere near him and Simon but I don't think George will be back lurking on street corners trying to get a glimpse of Simon. I think George has an empty premises, an investment that isn't making him any money and this is a good chance to recoup. I'm sure they will rebuild Underworld once the insurance money comes in. A good chance to spruce up the old set.

It did strike me odd that Paul Stokes remarked that Nick had never let him down before but I thought this was a new Underworld contract? Nick came from Nottingham previously. Maybe Stokes is a contact and Nick had worked with him before when he lived there.

It was nice to see Tina and Gail making up and it's nice to see Tina smile, even if it was at Ciaran's daft flirting. Did he really ask her what her sign was? (Speed Dating, starring Graeme and probably Mary. That ought to be hysterical!) And so nice that Roy and Hayley are going to make it legal, finally! Again, Julie manages to put her daft foot into it wondering about Hayley's bits and pieces but she's daft as a brush anyway. Julie. Not so much Hayley. I would be very afraid, though, if I were Hayley, what with Mad Mary looming over her with her wedding planning advice.

Anyway, I quite enjoyed the Monday episodes. This is the kind of thing Corrie does so well. High drama and tragedy is good, but Corrie became famous for it's slices of everyday life like this!

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Mad Mary

We all know that Mary is obsessed with Norris. We all know the reality of their little sojourn in the Dales. She very definitely sabotaged the motor home and she very definitely ripped out the phone from the wall so it wouldn't work. She broke his glasses which made him vulnerable and she brought a wedding dress with her. I don't know if she thought he'd run away with her. In her fantasies, she certainly did. She is an expert at twisting words to her own ends.

We didn't see her interviews with the police after Norris had her arrested for kidnapping him. It seems her mother is still alive and therein lies a big clue to Mary's state of mind. It sounds very much like Mary's mother is a very dominating woman and has spent years destroying Mary's self confidence. As much as she often does seem confident, in spite of her mother, it also seems evident that her mother is like a thorn in her side, a rock in her shoe, and she is a damaged woman.

I absolutely love the character, though. She was just odd at first and now we're getting more layers and seeing that she really is a bit bonkers. Patti Clare plays her with just the right touch. She's not putting the "crazy" in, she's playing it straight, a woman with vulnerabilities and years of trying to shed the millstone that is her dependent, dominant mother and whose hobby has turned into an obsession, a way of escaping her dreary life.

It was wonderful when Mary got to go on the road in the motorhome. She probably felt the free-est she's ever felt with no responsibilities and could go where she wanted when she wanted. I wonder if it was her responsibilities to her mother that finally brought her back or was it the call of Cupid? She seemed edgier and more "stalkerish" when she got back. Maybe having all that freedom gave her a sense of determination which, she hoped, would come to fruition on the moors of Yorkshire. Yet we still saw that her mother continued to harangue her by phone while she was away.

Now that she's off the hook, legally, she's coming around again, hanging out trying to insinuate herself into Norris' life, most recently attending Gail's trial with him. Norris is horrified and terrified and is sure that she won't leave him alone. And you know that? I think he's right. I think there's going to be more to this story, don't you?

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