Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 Wrap up and awards

This is a list of off beat awards I find myself making notes on through the year. Most of them are not the usual "Best Actor, storyline" etc. though there are one or two of them. Some have two winners. They're just for fun and my own opinions. Down the post further is just a quick summary of the storylines by family unit, again mostly just to jog my own memory, and not really to touch on every single storyline, just the more prominent ones.

Conversation Street podcast also did a year end awards and wrap up with 2013 predictions, it's good fun and you can listen to it here. 

Shortest marraige ever:
Tracy and Steve. It blew apart at the reception.

Disaster wedding: (Tie)
Tracy and Steve. See above.
Leanne and Nick.

When will it be over storyline:
Karl and Sunita's affair

Creeped out award:
Stella and Jason.
Eileen's relationship with Paul while dealing with his wife's Alzheimer's.

Creating the most havoc award:
Ryan Connor
Eva Price

Best right hook:
Leanne and Carla's most recent fight

Best (Worst?) plot twist:
Tina to be Izzy's surrogate
Marcus and Maria get together

Stupidity thy name is...
Steve MacDonald. How many of his "cunning plans" come back to bite him?

Rewriting history:
Annie Walker could not bequeath the Rovers to Betty because she didn't own it, Newton and Ridley did.
Ryan never once mentioned that Michelle wasn't his real mother during their many arguments

Best return:
Gordon Clegg (but for sad reasons)
Terry Duckworth (I know he's horrible but he always makes things interesting for me)
Wendy Crozier (for giving Deirdre jealous hissy fits)

Most ruined character:
Sunita Alahan

Curly Watts Loser in Love award
Jason Grimshaw (two in one year)
Mary Taylor

Love the one you're with Award:
Leanne got back together with Nick.
Steve got back together with Michelle.

Most enjoyable couple:
Julie and Brian

Best Wedding
Dennis and Rita, even with all the loan shark angst.

Deirdre Barlow "I Didn't Do It" Award:
Peter Barlow who was arrested for killing Frank Foster.

Best suited new couple:
Tina and Tommy (even if they ended the year apart)
Kirk and Beth

Worst suited new couple:
Karl and Sunita

Most missed character:
Becky McDonald

Least missed character:
Rosie Webster

Best new characters
Beth and Craig
Gloria Price

Dullest new character
Rob Donovan

New character with potential:

Bizarre couple:
Tracy and Ryan
Stella and Jason

My Most Embarassing Moment:
Hayley calling out Mary on her crush on Roy

Bad Decision award:
David taking over the Salon when Lewis and Audrey get back together.

Best Actress:
Natalie Gumede

Best Actor:
Alan Halsall

Best Exit:
Becky popped Steve and Tracy's happiness balloon and then jetted off to the Barbados with her handsome prince and little lad.

Best storylines:
Domestic Abuse
Rita and Dennis' romance
Frank's downfall (trial and murder)
Salon Wars

Major storylines:
Becky's Exit
Frank's rape trial
Frank's murder
Peter and Leanne's breakup over Carla/custody battle/
Steve and Tracy's war

Paul and Eileen and Lesley
Katy's Post Natal problems
Gary and Izzy's baby/surrogate
Terry Duckworth's return/Rick the loan shark
Kirsty and Tyrone's domestic abuse storyline
Salon Wars
Sophie's car accident
Ryan's return and drug struggle/Tracy Barlow
Peter and Carla's return/Nick and Leanne's non-wedding
David's baby blues
Marcus finds love with Maria
Lewis' return and potential revenge on Gail for breaking up he and Audrey

Storylines by family:

Barlows of Number 1
Deirdre supports Tracy's lies about Becky.
Tracy and Steve marry but Becky exposes Tracy's lies.
Tracy makes friends with Beth when they are temporary housemates
Tracy continues to chase Steve, gets ill, Steve raises her hopes yet again
Tracy chases Ryan Connor to get back at Steve and Michelle, pretend she's pregnant and dumps Ryan when he proposes.
Ken encounters old flame Wendy Crozier and chooses Deirdre!

Barlows junior
Peter and Carla's affair revealed. Leanne leaves Peter, Simon wars with Carla
Peter on and off the wagon
Peter confesses/arrested for Frank Foster's murder
Peter and Leanne custody battle over Simon leading to...
Peter and Carla leave town for awhile.
Leanne and Nick reunite
Peter and Carla return, Carla leaves, Peter stays for Simon
Peter makes beeline for Leanne
Carla returns.
Leanne still wants Peter who knocks her back for Carla which Eva reveals at Nick and Leanne's wedding.
Leanne re-proposes to Nick.

Ryan returns from uni, struggles with cocaine addiction, causes Sophie to be hit by a car.
Carla's brother Rob gets out of prison, runs factory with Michelle
Rob dates and dumps Eva, chats up Stella
Rob sabotages factory accounts to get a low evaluation in order to buy it
Carla and Peter's affair
Frank's rape trial
Carla contends with Frank back in the factory
Frank's murder - Carla and Peter both suspects but his mother did the deed

Gary and Izzy reunited, miscarraige, surrogate (Katy, Tina)
Anna and Owen breakup over his rough handling of Faye, reunite at Jubilee party
Faye bullied at school
Katy's post natal depression

Lewis Archer returns, makes up with Audrey, instigating the Salon wars
Lewis and Audrey broken up by Gail and Gloria's scheming/Lewis plotting revenge on Gloria and Gail
Kylie and David deal with Brian re Max's school lunches
David at war with Audrey over the salon, Kylie and David temporarily separate.
Nick and Leanne reunite and almost marry.
Kylie wants to make something of herself but David wants a baby
Kylie's one night stand with Nick

Sally and Frank's affair
Sian and Sophie breakup
Rosie and Jason breakup, Rosie leaves Weatherfield
Sally and Kevin almost reunite but Sally can't accept baby Jack
Kevin buys Number 13.
Sophie car accident with back injury
Sophie's crush on physio Jenna

Stella supports and advises everyone
Karl's gambling escalates
Karl and Sunita's affair/ Stella and Karl's breakup
Eva and Nick breakup
Eva and Rob breakup
Eva working at factory
Stella's mother Gloria arrives, enters Rovers in Pub of the Year contest
Eva breaks up Nick and Leanne by outing Leanne wanting Peter

Katy struggles with motherhood, later offers to be surrogate for Izzy.
Fiz supports Tyrone
Fiz and Tyrone affair
Fiz gets carbon monoxide poisoning

Amber leaves
Sunita's affair with Karl
Alahans break up

Tyrone and Kirsty pregnant and engaged.
Baby Ruby born
Kirsty manipulates Tina and Tommy out of Tyrone's life
Kirsty abuses Tyrone.

Eileen moves Paul and Lesley in
Jason and Rosie break up and Rosie leaves.
Jason moves into his flat with Tommy and Tina
Jason sells flat to Julie and Brian
Sean and Marcus break up
Jason and Maria reunite
Julie has cancer scare, operation, cannot have children.
Eileen and Paul together after Lesley dies.
Jason and Maria break up.

Steve and Tracy at war because she won't agree to an annullment.
Steve reconciles with Michelle while helping her with Ryan, moves in with Michelle.
Lloyd returns and he and Steve partner up again after a brief falling out.

Rita and Dennis become engaged and marry

Sylvia meets Milton, nearly leaves with him but stays in Weatherfield
Sylvia flies to U.S. to nurse Milton.
Mary crushes on Roy
Roy and Hayley visit California

Tommy and Tina get together and break up over Surrogacy
Tina supports Tyrone's affair with Fiz
Terry Duckworth returns, runs off with Tommy's money and much of Tyrone's
Tommy and the Loan Shark
Weatherfield in Bloom
Cafe theme nights
Lloyd finds old flame Mandy and daughter he didn't know he had, Jenna
Kirk and Beth get together.
Beth and son Craig move onto the Street, Beth works in factory
Death of Betty Williams

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Corrie Christmas

My Christmas this year, as usual, had a Coronation Street element to it. In addition to the 2013 calendar, I also found these under my tree. They're made by Lilliput Lane and the detail in them is exquisite! They each sit up to 2 inches high and have detail all around front and back.

The corner shop has the pillar post box and a cat lurking. The back "yard" is empty.

The Kabin doesn't have anything behind besides the bricks and doesn't have the side doors to the flats but there are lots of little bits in the windows at front as you can see.

Now here, you can see the Duckworth house in all it's yellow and blue glory. The back is exquisite, with the little pigeon loft and a few birds on the ledge.

Last but not least is the Rovers Return. The signs, the windows, the frosted glass. Lovely! In the back is the yard with the empty barrels. No smoking shelter but this is the classic pub!

Each of the houses comes with a little deed and description of the houses. Unesco sells the houses and you can get them from H. Samuel which is where these were purchased. Other good gift stores that carry the Lilliput Lane brand will also carry them and there are various places online that sell them including, Edwards China and Gillygifts. There are many other sites as well, just put "lilliput lane coronation street" into your favourite search engine. There will be a few more released in 2013.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Peter's Choice

It was a rough old week on the cobbles for Peter Barlow. He's returned with a Zen attitude and found himself right in the middle of a conundrum. He's had to choose between his child and his partner and it's a tough spot to be in.

He wanted to see Simon for Christimas and that was that so Carla came with him, against her better judgement. As she accused him, it's always what he wants. It does seem to be that way, too. One whiff of a little boy's puppy dog tails and Carla was hitting the bottle though Peter seems to be doing well on that score. She spent most of the next two days on the sauce including a rerun of the plot where she goes to the school to pick up Simon while drinking. He grabbed her keys and ran off like a smart little boy. Peter hollered at her, why did she take the car when it's only around the corner. Indeed.

I did think the fight between Leanne and Carla was a good one. Lately a lot of the squabbles on the cobbles have been a washout but this was right up there with Sally and Natalie and the classic one between Gail and Eileen in their dressing gowns. No, nothing can really beat that one but Leanne really did round on Carla and wallop her. You can't take the Battersby out of the girl and Leanne was furious that Carla was going to drive drunk (or near enough) with Simon in the car and you don't rile a mother hen, do you! Carla also made things worse and pretty much had that left hook coming. 

Why does anyone pick up their kids and walk them to and from school when it's only around the corner and they're not 5 years old? That's one thing that's long irritated me.

But I digress.

Carla can't take the pressure and there are a lot of bad memories for her in Weatherfield, to be sure. I wonder if some of it isn't the spectre of Leanne. Surely someone like Carla can handle a child not liking her. The feeling is mutual with most children for her anyway but having Leanne around is another thing. After all, if they run around on their spouses with you, they could very well run around on you and Leanne and Peter have unfinished business and unresolved feelings, it's pretty clear. She's more of a threat to Carla than Simon.

Then again, an awful lot of new couples have a very rocky time when it comes to step children who put the natural parent in a tight spot. Children should be the priority but a lot of kids know it and play on it, like when Simon got angry that his father was leaving again and said that Nick was his new dad. He knew that was the worst thing he could say. Add to that the healthy (or unhealthy) amount of guilt Peter has about leaving Simon and you have a recipe for disaster. Peter has let down Simon more times than Carters has little liver pills in his short life and well he knows it.

Again we have Ken's abandoning of Peter making inroads as well. Peter doesn't think him leaving Simon is the same thing. It isn't, but it is, too. Maybe Simon has a mother to care for him where Peter didn't but after all the times Peter's let Simon down, with this on top of it all, doesn't Peter think that Simon would group up resentful every bit as much as Peter did? Don't repeat the cycle, man!

Simon is very good at playing Peter and did so when he ran off to find his dad at the airport. It came down to a final choice and Carla knew it as soon as Simon ran through the doors. Peter had to put Simon first and  Carla made him do it. Simon had no empathy whatsoever when Peter saw Carla off tearfully.

I did have to laugh though, after Carla and Peter checked in and later, Carla was running for the boarding call? They filmed that in the walkway between the terminals at Manchester airport. She was still outside of security, in the next terminal actually. She had quite a hike to the terminal from the look of how much moving walkway was behind her, and from the terminal, a good distance from the gates once she got through the lengthy security lines. Trust me on this.

Anyway, now Peter is staying in Weatherfield, in Carla's flat, I assume, for now, and Nick isn't going to be too happy about it. He knows down deep Leanne still loves Peter in spite of the hurt and pain though he won't admit it. Peter might be all calm, cool and California Collected but I happen to think he's also had a Zen course in smug. He smirked when he found out the Vegas wedding was off and had another one of those smirks when telling everyone he was staying. With Carla out of the picture, is he going to try to work his way back into Leanne's heart if only to get his own back on Nick?

Nothing would surprise me. 

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Is Eva the new Raquel?

If you watched Corrie in the 1990s you may remember Raquel Wolstenhulme. She's the tall, leggy blonde barmaid that enchanged Curly Watts and eventually broke his heart when she finally grew up and wanted something of her own, something he couldn't give her. Raquel had a misguided sense of style with tight tops, short skirts and little fripperies in her hair.

She had airs above her station, with a burning desire to be a model though never really made it past Miss February on a lads' calendar (with her clothes on, mind.) Raquel also always fell for the wrong men, men who desired her but never loved her and the one man that did love her, Curly, was her safety net when she couldn't have the one she really wanted, Des Barnes.
More and more, I'm seeing parallels with our Eva Price. She's blonde, she's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, she falls for men who don't really want her, she's their "Miss Right Now" instead of the love of their life. Her sense of fashion is getting more and more "out there" with bows and decorations in her hair that are starting to worry me and dresses that are only half there. I'm not the only one to notice the similarities. Flaming Nora blogged it and David has also become a fan on the Coronation Street Blog as well. I forgot about those posts when I started to write this!

Mind you, she fills out those dresses like liquid and she looks great in them, but it does detract when she turns around and you see the whole of her bra across her back. Maybe she's just making it easy for the fellas? I dunno.

She's makes tragic choices in men, too, just like Raquel. She showed up on our screens, having dumped her fiance whom she found cheating on her. She seems to have latched on to Nick who dated her for awhile but Leanne was the one he really wanted. She took up with Rob when we all knew he wasn't serious about her. He chatted up her mother behind her back and Eva caught him in a hotel room with a random waitress.

Now's she's got her sights set on Nick again. Nick, who dumped her and then took up with her newly discovered half-sister. If she has her way, she will successfully break up Nick and Leanne or at least ruin the wedding. I've heard she may even try to outshine the bride with her bridesmaid outfit. I shudder to think.

All she needs to complete the Raquel transformation is to find a really nice bloke to fall for her, but someone that she wouldn't wipe her stilettos on until every other man breaks her heart. I would have said Tyrone would be the type of man to fit that role but of course he's got his own tragedy unfolding. How about a new character? A nice, steady working postman or drayman perhaps?

I think Eva may have a little more on the ball than Raquel. I think she's perhaps a little less naive and she's certainly able to stand up and fight for herself when wronged, something Raquel never really did. Raquel didn't have a bitchy bone in her body but Eva excels in it when the need arises. 

Having said all this, I do like Eva. I like her snarkiness, her fashion faux pas, her comic timing and to be honest, even though it's not my "bus", she's hot!

Friday, 30 November 2012

State of the Street - November 2012

Lewis got sucked in by Gloria and Gail's scheme and Audrey half-believed them. She was very sorry she didn't trust him but he's well and truly ticked off and is intent on revenge on Gail. It's been interesting to watch the old Oily Lewis slowly suck Gail in to exact his revenge. He manipulated her into buying back a watch he didn't pawn, splitting the money with the man he was conniving with. He works on her a little here, a little there. I wonder if he expects to get Audrey back in the end or if it's purely revenge and nothing more?  Maybe he's going to try to get Gail to fall for him and then dump her soundly as part of it all? Ya think?

Leanne is getting backed into a corner with Nick. She's now divorced from Peter but we all know she still has feelings for him in spite of everything he's put her through. Peter really hurt her and Nick picked up the pieces but it's not Nick she really wants. Down deep, Nick probably knows that too and when she pushed him back after he proposed he nearly got it. But she persuaded him she'd marry him and loves him because what else is she going to do after all? But just as it's all going to look like happy families, you know darn well Peter will turn up and everything will go to hell in a handbasket again.  Whether this wedding goes forward or not remains to be seen. If, like I believe, she's only with Nick as a consolation prize, will Leanne wake up and smell the coffee before she signs on the marraige license line? For Nick's sake, I hope so. Either way, his heart is in dire jeopardy.

Sophie started off the month flat on her back facing a life in a wheelchair. Unsurprisingly, the surgery worked and she's got a long rehab ahead of her but she *will* walk again. It's soap law, nobody is ever permanently disabled after an accident. This time, we have a ready made therapist in Jenna. Sally is worried that Jenna's pushing Sophie too hard and then she's worried she's not being pushed hard enough. I'm a bit surprised we weren't subjected to therapy sessions with Sophie dragging her legs while holding on to parallel bars and lifting weights etc. Naturally the good Christian Sophie forgave Ryan and made him  promise to kick drugs to the curb so he will and will never be bothered again by the urge.

By the end of the month, Sophie is home and working hard to walk again. I do wish Sally and Kevin would let go of her arms, though, because I'm sure manipulating the crutches would be a bit easier. Sophie looks to have developed a crush on Jenna as well, but I wonder why Jenna seems to be finding excuses to visit Coronation Street.  Could it be mutual?

Mandy says Jenna is "married to her job" and to me, that screams of a cliche. Kevin obviously fancies Jenna but finding another twentysomething woman to shag him and fall for him is not going to happen. Bored housewife Molly was a one off so that plus Mandy's naive statement tells me that Jenna will be gay. Shocking. And since Sophie has conveniently turned 18, a legal adult, there's nowt to stop them being together. Scandal! Sophie's still a patient! Of course she is, you have to have *some* drama on a soap, don't you!?

 Steve spent most of the month fighting his insecurities and making a right tit of himself with his jealousy over Rob. Rob did try it on with Michelle and was knocked back sharply. It didn't seem to bother him much, he wasted no time consoling himself with the nearest waitress. But didn't he and Eva split up some time ago? The Continuity Fairy seems to have fallen off the wagon there. Steve made a mess of the pub rivalry football match and then locked Rob in the van so he'd miss a meeting. I think Steve is regressing and is now the mental age of 12. Steve and Michelle never struck me as a good couple anyway and I don't know why she puts up with him.

Tina's pregnant, Tommy's brooding, Gary and Izzy can hardly contain themselves and have to restrain themselves from moving in with Tina, I bet. All very predictable, all very boring really. David wants a baby and Kylie doesn't. Kylie's definitely feeling put upon. She agreed to do it but you know she'll find a way to get round it for now. How many times do I need to bang on about how many babies there are on the street! They're going to outnumber the adults soon! It's unfathomable how many children and babies there are on the Street.

But the big story of the month is the ramping up of Kirsty's campaign to get to Fiz. She's punishing Tyrone for what she perceives as unfinished business between the two and she definitely knows Fiz is a threat to her little family because Fiz is intent on getting Tyrone away from Kirsty's control. That causes  Kirsty to lash back, causing Fiz an injury at the factory. She admitted it too, within earshot of Tyrone so he has no choice now. He can't escape what Kirsty is.

He finally realized that Kirsty has killed any love he had for her but the pull of that baby is very strong. He tried to get away but we all knew that wouldn't happen because the actor isn't leaving the show. Fiz reckons if he marries Kirsty he'll have more legal say over Ruby but how much longer will he put up with the abuse and control? Each incident is getting more violent and Kirsty is less and less remorseful. Sadly, I really fear we'll lose Natalie Gumede because Kirsty is perilously close to crossing the line to unredemption unless Kirsty has a total breakdown and gets help.

After all that business with the Cafe theme nights, then Nick hired Mary to do it at the Bistro, we haven't seen any evidence of any Bistro theme nights at all. It's all been brushed under the viaduct. Pity, that. I actually enjoyed Mary who was rapidly becoming more bully than quirky prior to that. We didn't see anything of her and very little of Roy who is still holding a grudge against her at month's end.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

State of the Street - October 2012

Maria went through hell thinking she might have breast cancer. I know that we went through this with Sally 2 years ago and people complain about repeat storylines. But breast cancer is more and more common. It isn't out of the ordinary that another resident in the same Street would either get it or have a lump and have to go through this. Luckily, Maria was clear and the main reason for the storyline was to be the catalyst to put Maria and Marcus in each other's radar. That's another really good storyline. It really can happen, a gay man can sometimes find he's attracted to a woman, especially in this case.

Marcus and Maria are best friends and very close. He adores her and the little one and that's a strong pull too since he wants a family so much. This isn't a case of him not being gay anymore, it's a case of him finding he's attracted to someone he never expected to be. He's not on the other team now, Maria is likely the exception to the rule. Will it last? Will it go the distance? Probably not but I think between these two friends, it will be handled really well.

Lewis did a runner after seeing a woman he conned in the past. Of course Audrey found out all about it and paid the woman off. Now Gail is intent on proving that he's scamming Audrey. Is she right? Can a leopard change his spots or not? Well it looks very much like Gloria is scamming Lewis and judging from some of the looks i've seen Gail give, she's in on it too. 

Lloyd and Jenna are getting to know each other and they quite like each other but Jenna spent most of the month angry at her mother. Well no wonder! Lloyd really feels caught in the middle and again, no wonder. It's all turned out ok in the end, you knew it would. Jenna has forgiven her mother and Mandy and Lloyd look like they'll be a couple again. After all, she was the love of his life (this week). For Jenna, it must really have felt like a betrayal but without being in her mother's shoes, how would she know how she herself would handle such a situation?

You think you would know but would you really raise a child with a man who loves you and the baby and tell the child from the start that she's the result of an affair? I don't think so. Adoption is different but even some kids who find out they're adopted don't take it very well. I really like this storyline, because I really like all three characters and the actors are very good. I've always liked Lloyd and this is the best storyline he's haver had! The Cheryl business is best forgotten. It did us no favours.

Tyrone is not legally Ruby's father on paper. Now he's going to have to stay with Kirsty to keep the baby and that's exactly what Kirsty planned. Even though she didn't know for sure that he wanted to end it, she did the deed as insurance and she can really be calculating, we've already seen that. In order to get a DNA test to prove it in court, he'd have to get her permission. If he tried to get the sample by subterfuge like Kevin did, Kirsty's solicitor would make mincemeat out of him but he'd still have the proof. She wanted to go live a life so she's got what she asked for. Tyrone's going to be the stay at home dad and make her go back to work. Things have gone quiet but you know they'll heat up again and even while things are ok, Tyrone is still guarded and watching Kirsty with a shadow of fear in his eyes. You can't sustain love with that hanging over it.

Meanwhile Fiz, who knows the truth, is giving Tyrone knowing looks, watching Kirsty like a hawk and can't stop herself sometimes from winding Kirsty up. Anyone that's watched soaps as long as I have can see where this is going. If Ty and Fiz don't actually get back together, they'll have a snog at some point. Kirsty will go ballistic, she will also find out that Tyrone has confided in Fiz and it will be game on. Maybe that will be the point where she hits the wall and finally gets help. I hope she does because I don't want to lose Natalie Gumede. She's too good!

One of the bigger stories of the month is the return of Wendy Crozier into Deirdre and Ken's lives. I don't blame Deirdre for being upset. Ken has a long history of affairs and even at 73 he's not likely changed his spots yet. It wasn't that long ago he was ready to sail away on the canal. I think the more suspicion that Deirdre lays on Ken over Wendy, the more he's going to end up feeling pushed into it. It would be really nice for it *not* to end in an affair this time! But then you know what will happen. He won't have the affair but Deirdre won't believe him, after his habit of a lifetime.

I can't say I am enjoying the Rovers' entry into the pub of the year contest. It was all right, Gloria was good in it but it's been a bit flat and non-funny even though I think it's meant to be. Except it was quite funny watching Dennis get legless on free drinks that one day. Dennis Tanner, the traditional cheeky scammer!

I don't understand why David and Kylie are so broke. I adore Kylie and now she's trying to make something more of herself and David isn't being very helpful. I can see his point, that the salon will be overstaffed but that's no reason why he can't at least start training her and encourage her to go to college to get qualified. She's working for Nick now and I really hope that they don't have her making a play for him as the more ambitious brother. Nick won't take her up on it, I'm pretty sure, even if, when Peter gets back, he and Leanne end up together. (no spoiler, I have no idea what's going to happen when Peter and Carla return, I'm only guessing)

Tracy's plans to wind up Steve and Michelle as revenge did a lot of damage. Little by little, we discover what we already figured out that not only was Tracy using Ryan, but she pretended to be pregnant, then, conveniently, wasn't after all, just "late" in spite of that trip to the doctor to confirm the pregnancy, and Ryan's world came crashing down when he realized it all.

Michelle's too, when Steve stupidly decided to break up with her as a ruse to push Tracy away from Ryan and not tell Michelle about the plan. Granted, her reaction was much more genuine that way but it isn't going to serve him well in the long run. Michelle might have taken him back but  Old mate Rob is all too willing to pick up the pieces when he messes up again and he will because he's Steve. Steve really is a plonker. How many of his Really Good Ideas have ever been that? I never liked Steve and Michelle together and I still don't.

Horrible storyline all around. Maybe not the worst ever but anything that features Tracy, Ryan and Michelle is never going to be anything I enjoy. The actor playing Ryan can't act and can't speak properly, Kym Lomas and Kate Ford are marginally better than they used to be but still not on the list of best performers in the cast.

What I have enjoyed, much to my surprise is the Cafe's international nights. Mary has gone over the top as usual but this Mary is back to the original concept of the character. Daft, over-enthusiastic, with a competitive edge rather than the shrewish, mean, almost-stalker she'd become for awhile. A night every few weeks shouldn't make that much of a dent in the Bistro's pockets, considering most of the punters after the first night were the usual crowd who don't usually eat in the Bistro anyway but the Bistro serving cheap breakfast every day definitely hurt the cafe and that wasn't fair at all.

You could see the theme nights getting more and more boozy and out of hand and sure enough Roy arrived home in the middle of a Greek fiasco. Was he right in banning Mary from the cafe, even as a customer? Well she's done a lot of iffy things in the past and I think she's well and truly burned her bridges. He accused her of living out her fantasies and that's exactly right. Yes, she was doing it to bring extra business in for Roy but had she been content to keep it to one or two theme nights, he might have been ok with it. But as per usual, Mary goes way too far. Ah, but now Nick has hired her to do theme nights once a week at the Bistro. Can you see Gail and Kylie putting up with her bullying? Perhaps Nick has the strength to put his foot down if she's going too far out.

Overall a mixed bag of a month. I've enjoyed a lot of the storylines, big and small. We're ramping up to Christmas and Sophie's recovery from her accident. I expect Ryan's addiction will be miraculously cured now he's promised her he won't do drugs again. It's a soap, of course Sophie will walk again with hard work and you realize, we do have a physical therapist in the cast now so it will be Jenna that pushes her along. I expect a Christmas miracle. 

Friday, 19 October 2012

A new twist on the standard love story

Soaps are all about love stories, affairs, triangles. Star crossed lovers who are destined to be together no matter who they are with in the meantime. People fall in love with a bad'un who hurts them emotionally, or worse. Some people have a long history of losing in love. Sometimes love is found in unexpected places.

We've had all that on Coronation Street and are about to explore a new twist on the "unexpected places" type of love story. We have a pretty hairdresser, a single mother in her late 20s. She's not had much luck with men and seems to choose the wrong one over and over. We have a kind, gentle gay man in his early 30s, recently split from a partner and longing for a family of his own. The two of them have become close, best friends, and are sharing a flat. He gets on really well with her brother who also lives in the flat and her little boy, a mutual admiration thing going on there.

He was her rock when she thought she had breast cancer. He was terrified to lose his friend and was overjoyed when she was given the all clear. They had champagne, she kissed him, and... what? He kissed her back? And he really did kiss her back, properly. They were then, in the tradition of soaps, interrupted by her boyfriend, local builder who has also not had a lot of luck with women over the years.

Thus we have Maria, Marcus and Jason. In comments from blog readers, there has been dismay and even outrage. There is concern that the powers that be are sending the wrong message, that a gay man could be "turned" by the right woman. That this never could happen in real life. They're wrong, at least about that second statement. It could and has happened in real life. People can't always control where they find love. Sometimes it's with the least expected person. Sometimes it's still not Forever After but even so, it does happen.

Poor Marcus was stunned, shocked and confused that he reacted the way he did. He had the biggest WTF look on his face I've ever seen! Marcus had never even tried to kiss a girl or woman ever, he protested, where has this come from? They've decided to write it off as a one -off, a reaction to the stress, relief and alcohol. But it isn't going to go away. It's going to be the elephant in the room even while Maria tries to make a go of things with Jason and Marcus tries to keep his relationship going with Aiden.

I don't know where it's going and I don't know how long it will last. I am, however, confident that the producers are not going to send the wrong message out. I believe that Marcus and Maria will not be Love's Young Dream in the end. I do hope their friendship will not disintegrate because of it but that they will agree that it isn't working. Marcus will know down deep that this isn't right for him and it's not who he is.

Marcus has always known and been confident in himself as long as we've known him. We also know Marcus would dearly love to have a family and has fallen in love with Maria's little family as much as anything. She offers him a son, and he loves her as his best friend. I really think this whole situation is going to be handled sensitively and realistically, as much as television ever can be. This doesn't feel to me to be played for sensation. Charlie Condou who plays Marcus has supported the storyline and I think that he would object strenuously if it was not played honestly.

Marcus and Maria truly seem to be an Odd Couple at the moment but that's not new for Corrie. Roy and Hayley were truly one of life's Odd Couples and they fit together like a scissors, working perfectly together and are one of the show's most and probably only stable couple.  Anyone with Kirk makes an Odd Couple but, oddly, it usually works. Could there have been an odder couple at first glance than Alf and Audrey?

I think that the early objecters and worriers should sit back and see where it goes and how it's handled first. We've only just cracked the seal on the storyline, it's far too soon to decide it's been a really bad idea. I don't always have faith in the producers because they certainly have come up with clunkers in the past, but I'm willing to wait and see on this one and am optimistic that it will be an interesting take on love stories. Marcus and Maria will probably not be the next Roy and Hayley, but I will find their journey interesting.

Monday, 15 October 2012

An old mystery solved and a potted history of Irma Ogden

In early 1964, Sandra Gough began playing Irma Ogden. She stayed in Corrie until 1968 when David Rothwell, who played her husband on screen, David Barlow, wanted to leave. He'd delayed his departure because he knew the producers would also write out Sandra if he left but she agreed and went.

In 1970, the producers wanted to bring the couple back but only Sandra said she'd return. They had David along with their little boy die in a car crash in Australia where the characters had emigrated and brought Irma back to Coronation Street. It was up and down for the character and in 1971, the character just disappeared off screen, apparently claiming illness. She returned briefly and left again later that same year and the publicity hit the newspapers that Sandra Gough was fired though she was quoted as saying "I was taking more and more time off, hoping that they would sack me. I was sick of being Irma. It was driving me mad."

Recently, during the new seasons of The Corrie Years featuring ex-Corrie actors and what happened to them after they left the show, Sandra Gough admitted she'd left Granada high and dry, walking out after she'd asked repeatedly to be written out of the show to no avail. She felt bad for doing it but was apparently dealing with her mother who had a serious illness. She admitted she did call her bosses and said she wasn't coming back but the media didn't get that message and it was all a bit mystery at the time.

Now that the mystery is solved, here's a bit of a history of Irma Ogden Barlow:

Irma was one of four Ogden children. Her name was originally Freda but she changed it, thinking Irma was more glamourous. She left home at 15 due to her father's tendency to violence. She arrived in the Street early in 1964. Her family's rough reputation preceded their arrival a few months later.

Irma was cheeky and lively, with shocking red hair and a lot of it. Her hair seemed to have a life of its own later in the 60s and into the 70s! Come to think of it, flame haired Elsie Tanner's locks were much the same. She worked for Florrie Lindley in the corner shop, and later for Lionel Petty when he bought it from Florrie. She fell for local footballer David Barlow. They got engaged during a Street day trip to the Blue John mines in the Peak District and they married after a short engagement in 1965. They eloped but their secret was discovered and they returned home to a surprise reception in the pub.

After David sustained an injury, Irma talked him into buying the corner shop. But shop work was boring for Irma and she got a job in the new PVC factory on the Street, leaving David to struggle on without her until she got fed up with that, and came back to the shelves of the corner shop.

Irma had a miscarriage and decided it was a sign she couldn't have children, a huge disappointment for David. They fostered for awhile and then David returned to the world of footie, albeit as a coach for an all-women's team. This led to David's re-entry into the sport as a player when he had the chance to play for a team in Australia. They made the decision to emigrate and sold the shop to Maggy Clegg and moved.

Two years later, David and Irma had a little boy but Ken got a phone call, saying David and their son were killed in a car crash. Irma was persuaded to return to Weatherfield with the financial assistance of bookie Dave Smith. Stan wangled a 30% share in the shop for Irma by using money that Dave Smith helped raise for Irma's return. Irma went back to the shop and worked to pay Dave back. She battled depression, both hers and Maggy's. She was even at the centre of a hostage plot when former boyfriend Joe Donnelli confessed that he'd murdered Elsie Tanner's ex-husband Steve Tanner. Joe held Irma hostage at one point and later holed up in Minnie Caldwell's house. Stan managed to get Joe to let Minnie go but when Stan entered the house, a shot rang out. Joe killed himself.

Months later, Irma left Weatherfield suddenly, contacting Maggy afterwards to sell back her share of the shop. We never saw Irma again though she did send a telegram to her mother when Stan died.

Irma was always up for a laugh, loved to have a good time. Her family, the Ogdens, were the Battersbys of their day. Rough and ready, common as muck, loud and obnoxious at times. Stan was a heavy drinker in his day and tended to violence. Irma hated that her mother put up with it. Two of the Ogden children had been taken into care and never did appear on the Street. The youngest, Trevor, was a real tearaway. She knew she didn't want the life her mother had and thought being a football wife was her ticket up and out. It didn't work out as she thought it would but she made the best of it anyway.

Losing David and her son devastated her but she tended to keep her troubles to herself.

After leaving Corrie, Sandra Gough made a name for herself with a well known part in Emmerdale.

Here's a You Tube video with the episode where Stan and Hilda first appeared. You can see Irma from 2:39 in as she tells Elsie a bit of background about her family and later, Ena tells Irma the history of the house that the Ogdens are thinking of buying.

Thanks to the Coronation Street Wiki entry on Irma.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

State of the Street - September

Ever notice that when Ryan is caught out in a lie, which is often because he's not very good at it, he immediately takes it out on Michelle and accuses her of being a rubbish mother, and a loose woman, to boot. I'm surprised he didn't thrown the baby switch thing at her. You're Not My Real Mother would have hurt more than anything but see, we're supposed to have forgotten that. I think the powers that be realized it was a big stupid mistake, that baby switch storyline, and they would rather it all be swept under the rug. I suppose that's a good thing.

Meanwhile, we have to suffer Ryan and Tracy sucking face all over the screen so that Tracy can get her revenge on Steve and Michelle. I can believe that of Tracy but I am still not feeling that Ryan is completely infatuated with her. Possibly the inability of the actor? Most of the time, he speaks too fast and mumbles and I can't make out what he's saying. Why is Tracy such a one note character? They can't seem to do anything else with her. Push her at Steve, he gives mixed signals, then she get revenge. Wash and repeat. It's really really REALLY getting old.

Gloria! Love her! She's acid. She's arrogant, she acts like she owns the place, even 2 days after she moved in! In spite of her smacking Karl around, she seems to have a soft spot for him and seems to want to get him back together with Stella. She clashes a lot with most people she meets too. Well, she clashes with all the women, at least. She flirts the pants off the men, or tries to. She sticks her nose in and she schemes.

We saw a glimpse of the excellent Cliff character, the man who blew all her lies out of the water to a very smug Gail. I think Gail and Gloria could actually be good friends if the writers catch that chemistry the two women had together. Now she's got a Jones on for this pub of the year competition and is coming over all Annie Walker. Brilliant!

The surrogacy storyline is one that i'm enjoying. Yes i know it's got some silly leaps and bounds but I'm still enjoying it anyway. I like Gary and Izzy a lot even though Gary seems to be the pushiest one of them all, first being defensive with the councillor and sticking his nose in to Katy's habits. Gary really does have blinders on, to the point of being selfish about being a dad by any means possible, never mind how it affects anyone else.

Then when Izzy shot down Katy's offer, he was crying and moaning and it was all about him once again. Even now, he won't hear one negative doubt about it. La, La, La, I can't hear you! I'm gonna be a dad and to hell with anything and anyone else.

Now Tina seems set to be the surrogate but if it doesn't take the first time, can Owen really afford to fire off all that cash month after month? I can see how Tina might be a good candidate, she's young and healthy and obviously finances are her main motivation. I didn't think Katy would end up carrying the baby but then I'm not so sure Tina will either, or it won't work and Owen will run out of money. Or maybe Tina will turn out to be already pregnant by Tommy by the time they get down to the actual tests and things. I just think there's too many babies on the street and one more is just overpopulating things far too much. Sadly, it does seem like it's heading in that direction. ITV must have paid a lot for the fake pregnancy bump and want to get their money's worth out of it.

She's doing it for the money. It's not as if Izzy is her best friend. But she did admit to Rita that some of it has to do with righting the wrong impression people have of her after the whole Kirsty thing, and she told Owen she is still haunted by Joe's death because of debt and doesn't want Tommy to feel that desperate.
Would he? I think he has the potential. He's often seen sniveling and wants to give up and run at the drop of a hat. Nah. Actually I think he'd just run away if the pressure got too much. He has already done some of that though is always talked back from the bus stop by one person or another. Come to think of it, his situation is similar to Joe's isn't it? Good man, bad things happen, sudden debt made worse by circumstances. Loan sharks threatening. Poor Tina, it must feel like she's living the same thing over and over. No wonder she's scared he'll end up at the bottom of the lake, too!

Kirsty's face was a treat when Tina threw 3000 quid at her. No more excuses to act all threatening and bitchy and she's lost some of the hold she's had over them. She'll have to turn her attentions to someone else. It's not as if there's a shortage. Kirsty's jealousy and rage are easily sparked. But I still do wonder if Tina will get pregnant to gain the rest of Owen's cash and I wonder what would happen if it takes more than one treatment. The man isn't made of money.

Lloyd has found out about a grown daughter from an affair years ago. Too bad he turned out to do the dirty on his best friend. Why do men on soaps always seem to do that? Well, ok, women do as well. I know it happens but surely not as often as it seems to on screen. I imagine Lloyd and Jenna will travel a somewhat tentative and rocky road but will become friends and a lovely father/daughter relationship will bloom after a fashion. There's a bit more about that over here.

Lloyd pursued and pushed and practically stalked Mandy until he found out about Jenna and then he persued and haunted Jenna until she'd talk to him, too. We know Lloyd's harmless but those two women don't. Not at that point. Even though Mandy knew Lloyd 29 years ago, how does she know he'd have grown up into a decent man and not a nutter? He couldn't have been more than 19 or 20 when they had their affair, I don't think he's 50 yet.

Wendy Crozier is back! It couldn't have any greater effect on Ken than if it had been Martha from the Barge that sailed back into her life. She's got a Papadopolous name now so she must have married. And long time watchers will recall that the always-unseen owner of Gamma Garments back in the 60s was Mr. Papadopoulous. The spelling may have been different but even so, I wonder if she married Mr. P's son? Wouldn't that be a lovely little nod to the past? This has the makings of a good Ken and Deirdre storyline because you know that's really going to bring back all that bad stuff for her. It certainly would for me in her shoes. She'd better up her game and learn to cook something fancier than stuffed marrow!

For Ken, will it turn into an affair? Well it could, but I think his feelings are more of past regret and closure. Was he ever in love with Wendy? He certainly turned tail and ran easily enough back in the day once he actually got thrown out of Number 1 and had nowhere else to go.

Tyrone is now a dad officially but Kirsty's volatility didn't go away with the pregnancy and Ty is scared silly that she'll hurt the baby. Kirsty's mother finally left her husband and showed up on their doorstep but she left when he was not there. Confronted by him and his forceful way, she ended up going back to him, even knowing there would be consequences. Unfortunately this happens all to often and it's heartbreaking to watch. And Kirsty is still striking out at Tyrone, later on blaming him for her mother's upcoming abuse when she went back home with her husband and it all kicks off again.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Cheering for a Lloyd Storyline

I've always liked Lloyd Mullaney. He's always been a cheerful sort, most of the time,  unless life hurls a zinger at him. He's funny, he's loves music, he is kind, he's a good friend. He's also not had a lot of storylines of his own over the years but always seems to shine in the ones he does get.

Craig Charles really has grown on me as an actor since he started. I never watched Red Dwarf so I really had no previous knowledge of him but as far as I know, that's the main thing he's been known as and nobody really thought he'd work as a Corrie character. I think he's proved them all wrong. He's also shown he can do drama in addition to comedy.

Some of my favourite of those types of scenes/storylines were first when he and Liz broke up and later when he and Cheryl broke up. You don't often see men being reduced to tears over heartbreak. They usually get angry, get drunk, shag someone else. Lloyd barely kept it together, especially after Cheryl left and it was a refreshing take on the situation, for a soap. I don't think he was "wimpy" in the least for showing his emotions though I've heard that accusation from other quarters, usually from men. Lloyd was also wonderful when he was interacting with children, such as Finley Morton and Russ Gray. He's got such a big heart and has always wanted to be a dad and now he's finally got that wish.

Lloyd has discovered that he's got an adult daughter, a result from an affair he had 29  years ago. While I am rather disappointed that he did the dirty on his best friend, it has brought Lloyd to the forefront again. So far, he's only just discovered that Jenna is his daughter. Her mother, Mandy, is enraged that Lloyd pushed and pushed and found out the truth and is upset that Jenna overheard it as well. Jenna, naturally, is horrified and feels she has lived a lie all her life. She wants nothing to do with Lloyd.

We know that will change. It's a soap, come on! There are rumours that Mandy will remain in the show and be the new Rovers' cook and I do hope that's true because in spite of her being a bit mardy and prickly so far.  I think she'll be a great character and I love her wardrobe! Maybe she and Lloyd can rekindle their romance though at the moment she's still grieving for her late husband.

I also really love that Eileen is back in the cab office and is back in Lloyd and Steve's lives as all three were such good  friends and support for each other. They were missing that element while she was elsewhere and she barely had any contact with them at all which isn't realistic.  Even while working elsewhere, you'd think they would have interacted at the pub and helped each other through crises when needed. When Cheryl broke Lloyd's heart, it was mostly Steve that was there for him, as well as Becky but Eileen barely gave him a glance most of the time.

I think Lloyd's character has been well developed over the years and he remains one of my favourite characters.

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