Wednesday 30 March 2011
Graeme and Xin...it's just so wrong!
This has to be one of the lamest storylines ever.
Janice's contrived exit was bad enough. Who would believe that Tall Trev would return and, after a drunken snog with Janice, decide he fancies her rotten and asks her to go off traveling with him? Seriously, he's been with Carla and now he thinks Janice is his dream girl? Really????
But putting Xin and Graeme together in an 'illegal immigrant' scam storyline to facilitate the exit of the marvellous Craig Gazey is just wrong.
I am glad they're portraying Graeme as totally uncomfortable with it. He's quirky and eccentric but he's also honest. This storyline seems to have sucked the last of the quirk right out of him. Quirk which was already slowly draining as he sat, all loved up, on the back burner of the Storyline World with Tina. He's has been a hugely popular character, totally off the wall and delightful and it was sad seeing him go more or less mainstream.
Now, the actor has chosen to move on. It's something we face often when watching our very long lasting favourite show. Actors often want new challenges and fair enough but it's hard when you've become attached and invested in a character. At least Corrie doesn't just recast on the fly like American soaps do. Oh, they may recast a character a few years later but it's not so jarring as seeing one face on Monday and a different one on Thursday.
The actor's leaving storyline was ill thought out, though. Xin was supposed to be Tina's great mate when really, she was just a former coworker. I really find it difficult to believe that qualified psychiatric nurses are so thick on the ground that there just is no work for another one. If she's a qualified nurse of any sort, she should be able to get at least part time work, whether in a hospital or with a home nursing service or in a senior's residence even if it's not specifically for psychiatry. Has she tried elsewhere in the U.K.? Thought not.
Seeing Xin and Graeme pretending to be a couple just doesn't work. It's clear to anyone with eyes that they're faking it. They are uncomfortable when they pretend to be affectionate, stammering to get their stories straight, and there's absolutely no chemistry. This particularly applies to the actress playing Xin. She's wooden and flat, no depth at all. It feels like she's reading her lines from crib notes under the teapot. I don't know if that's due to her lack of ability or if she's supposed to play the character that way. It feels like the former. Gazey's performance is a bit better, his character's discomfort with the plot is a bit more believable in that he, as always, plays it bewildered yet with sharp observations, which is part of Graeme's appeal but even the talented Gazey sometimes seems to be phoning in his performance.
Classic Soap Plot #328 *should* have them pretending a little too well and discovering there really is a mutual attraction. The alternative classic soap plot would, and probably should have them back out of the marraige at the altar. If the first is the way they're going, then perhaps after the wedding, they really will fall for each other for real and Xin will get a job in London and they'll leave Weatherfield behind.
Can't come soon enough for me though I will miss Craig Gazey, just not this stupid storyline!