Friday 29 July 2011

State of the Street - July 2011

July was full of Barlows which is never a bad thing. James proved to be quite the opposite of his upstanding father and pillar of community grandfather and gave charities a bad name. He dragged Sophie down with him too. Everyone is shocked that Christian Sophie could possibly steal from her father but she did have every expectation of returning the money. Remember, it was only meant to be a short term loan to help get the new house for the shelter, so she thought. It also shows up how young and naive she still is. It also showed up Kevin as the obnoxious bully that he his. Ok, he's allowed to be pissed that he lost that much money, who wouldn't be? But he could be a little more understanding of his daughter after the initial shock wore off. He treated her like she was a habitual criminal and he also took it out on Ken and Deirdre and Peter which wasn't called for.

As for James, he's a sneaky so and so isn't he? corrupting young teenage girls, scamming his grandfather, threatening children, lurking on the doorstep with shifty eyes waiting for the postman and being completely unrepentant. Tracy's suspicions twigged though, and as awful as Tracy can be to her parents, if she catches someone doing the dirty on them or on her kid, they won't know what hit them! James had better hide the statues and other heavy objects.

And Tracy is after Steve as well. As always. But this time she made serious inroads. What is it about Steve always turning to a woman to make himself feel better after losing the one he really wants? And with Tracy of all people? You might know. And knowing how Tracy feels about him, you would think he'd know better if he has no intentions of being with her properly. It's no wonder she continues to have feelings for him if he's giving her signals like that. Scarpering off to London with Amy is not that nice but it's certainly understandable after him using her like he did and then dumping all over her when he thought she told Becky about their one night stand. Her reputation preceded her and she probably would have in yet another confrontation with Becky eventually.  I'm not saying I'm warming to her at all because I'm not. But even so, to be fair, she didn't deserve this.

The month was full of Stella too, interacting with the junior Barlows. Yes, she is indeed Leanne's birth mother and said she'd had a baby too young, had to get away from Les (that, I *do* believe), with him and his family keeping her away (that, I don't). A bit of a retcon there, methinks but all in all, ok, we'll just tuck that to one side. It seems like Stella has a lot of regrets and Leanne isn't so quickly inclined to accept her mother back into her life so easily. Those cracks in her and Peter's relationship that they patched over are showing the strain, too. It takes a miscarraige for Leanne to crack and accept her mother's comfort. I saw that coming but it was touching just the same. It doesn't mean it's going to stick, though. They may get to a good place eventually but it won't be for awhile.  As always, Jane Danson never ceases to amaze me. She and Chris Gascoyne were the powerhouse stars of the month.

There's been a lot of stick about Michelle Collins' accent but I don't find it all that awful, not to my Canadian ear. I can't say I think highly of her acting though. She feels a bit stiff and any attempt at emotion is just painful, for me! I just don't understand why actresses (mainly) feel the need to get face lifts and Botox. I suppose the pressure is great on them and the competition fierce but I would much prefer looking at a normal aging face like Sally Dynevor or Helen Worth or Anne Kirkbride than one that's barely able to crack.

But I digress...

I just wish this all wasn't going to lead to another round of Peter and Carla but I suppose, there really is unresolved stuff there and it isn't going to make Frank very happy either. More conflict. I hope Peter doesn't start drinking again but it would be realistic if he slips. It happens more often than you think in real life.   

Carla has already made her play for Peter, taking advantage of his vulnerability. Leanne had thrown him out of the hospital room, he had serious doubts about the baby anyway and he wanted a drink badly. He was tempted, that was quite the snog they shared, but he really does love Leanne. Unfortunately he's also got Ken's genes. This could be bad. Looks like he's going to be struggling with his demons for awhile, especially if Leanne can't stop pushing him away and now he's given Carla a bit of a ray of hope no matter what he says to the contrary.

Right. So Jerry's selling his house, the one that Anna lives in and rents, and she told Owen. Who couldn't see this one coming? Owen buys the house and next thing you know, he's sniffing around Anna and the month nearly ended with a snog! I bet Faye isn't going to like that. Frankly, though, I think Owen and Anna make a better looking couple than she and feckless Eddie. At least Owen is a bit more stable and successful. Drawback is his temper. But maybe Anna would soften him a bit. Mind you, that temper was of good use when he had to kick down Izzy's door when Gary freaked out. What amazing stuff it was watching Gary break down, heartbreakingly sad, too. 

Fiz is in the nick. She's at the end of her rope and all the circumstances are loading up. Sally is having a field day but everyone else is supportive. The police say that Colin had a fractured skull, I can't remember... did Chesney witness when that guy came to the house in a rage looking for Colin? That would lend credence to Fiz's story. Some people are sick and tired of Fiz and her moaning but I continue to enjoy the storyline. Of course Fiz is always upset and crying, wouldn't you be? Is it a predictable story? Of course it is, it's a soap standard, whoever gets arrested is very rarely the actual guilty party and is either cleared in the trial or set free by some other circumstance. Guilty people always pay. Everyone out there is now shouting Tracy Barlow's name. But she did go to jail for several years so she didn't get off completely even if the verdict was turned over on a technicality. Since Jennie McAlpine isn't leave the show, we'll be in for the summer of Fiz and into the fall as we start to see what life in the Big House (copyright J. McDonald) is like for her.

There's Gail and Kylie wars brewing and it's dead funny. I knew I was going to enjoy seeing Kylie wind up Gail. I really think David and Kylie should move in somewhere on their own, they must both get a salary from the salon, enough to pay rent. If Tina the barmaid and Graeme the window cleaner could afford the shop flat, surely David and Kylie could. 

So Audrey has a new fella. But she's still got better dress sense than he does. I like that she's got her own storyline and I even think the storyline is a good one for her to have. I just think it would have worked better if Marc didn't have such a very deep voice! I do wonder why so many  tv shows have cross dressers with such awful sense of style and terrible wigs. There's no excuse, you know. There are shops that sell women's clothes in larger or taller sizes and they're very nice and very stylish. Audrey could at least take Marc in hand there. They got together properly on her birthday. Makes a change from last year's when Gail found out Lewis was a male escort!


Llywela said...

You know, what bugged me more than anything about the James storyline was the way after the fact Ken kept saying that Tracy had had her suspicions about him from the start. Except that she didn't, at least not that we saw. They shared exactly one scene when he first moved in, when they were first introduced, and then weren't seen together on-screen for two months until the storyline reached its closing stages. If we are supposed to believe that Tracy disliked him all that time while the rest of the family were adopting him as one of them, it would have been good to actually see a bit of that on-screen! Ditto Peter coming to accept James as part of the family after being antagonistic in the one scene they'd shared before this month, way back last September.

Stella's backstory is a retcon of what little we already knew, but the bit about Les and his mother not letting her see Leanne isn't so hard to believe if you take apart what she told us and then flip it around to look at their point of view. This girl ran off with another fella, leaving Les alone with the baby, so he took her home to live with his mum. We don't know how long it was before Stella came back but it could well have been quite some time, long enough that they had got Leanne settled and in a new routine, which Stella then threatened to disrupt - with no guarantee that she wouldn't just run off again the next time she got fed up, with Leanne old enough this time to really feel the loss. And Stella admitted that when she came back, she came with attitude - shouting the odds, making demands and threats and offering bribes...when you look at it from that perspective, Stella looks like the feckless and irresponsible one and it becomes easier to understand why they'd say no when she demanded to see the baby she'd previously abandoned. Just look at some of the squabbles we've seen between Becky and Kylie et al over Max - I can imagine a very similar situation in which everyone was hurting and everyone handled things very badly based on their individual hurt and anger and prejudices.

I really don't want Peter to fall off the wagon again - some alcoholics are able to stabilise and stay sober for years, we've done relapse stories, let's see some stability for a while - and I really don't want him to have an affair with Carla. I would like to see some of the imbalance in his relationship with Leanne ironed out. But I suppose we'll have to wait and see!

Tvor said...

You've got a good point about Stella. It makes sense that way.

Though we didn't have much interaction between Tracy and James, I did get the feeling that she never liked him. She repeatedly made snarky remarks over the breakfast table etc. Mind you, she does that about nearly everyone including her parents anyway. It could be that Ken was referring to Tracy's suspicions from that start of the charity theft business.

I really don't want peter to have an affair either but as a soap staple, with Leanne in a state with the miscarraige and her mother and Carla about to marry a man who is going to prove dangerous, and we have seen *that kiss*, it may be inevitable.

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