Saturday, 14 December 2013

And so it begins

It's the beginning of the end for Julie and Brian. There's no way he can come back into her good graces after his most recent cowardly stunt. He says he didn't want to break her heart by admitting he was taking a job in Wales and by going along with her plan to foster. He says "IF" I was lying... eh? *IF*??? He's always been selfish and cowardly and Julie now knows it and he's broken her heart. The ultimate betrayal was him sabotaging their fostering chance behind her back. That really was the ultimate in underhandedness. He only admitted it when his back was against the wall in the face of her determination to appeal the decision.

We've already seen the beginnings of Peter and Tina. Whether that will continue after the honeymoon or not, whether we'll be in for a full on affair or a lot of angst, doe eyed looks across the bar and "come here, no, go away" over and over remains to be seen. After everything Carla has gone through to finally be happy, it's only inevitable that her world comes crashing down around her ears. She's uttered far too many Phrases of Doom in the past couple of weeks for it to be any other way.

It's the beginning of the end for Marcus and Maria too, if Todd's lascivious look at Marcus' backside is anything to go on. I applaud Corrie for breaking the mold and showing us the unlikely love affair between a gay man and a straight woman. It does happen, probably more often than we might thing but it's not all that common either. It is meant to show us that you really can be surprised by who you fall for. But in the end, Marcus still identifies as gay and it's bound to come between them sooner or later. I just wish it wasn't with the manipulative tosser that Todd has turned into. Todd may fancy Marcus but I wouldn't put it past this version of Todd to chase after Marcus just to stir the pot and break he and Maria up on purpose. With some people, it's more about the chase than about the catch and I think Todd is one of those people.

I'm going way out on a limb here and predicting another beginning, if not an end. With the arrival of the handsome Kal, everyone wants to know which woman he'll get involved with. There were rumours that Liz would get her claws into him but now that we've seen Kal, even just a little, I don't think he'd be lured by Liz in the least. I'm predicting another L-ady. I'm going to point the fickle finger of fate at Leanne Tilsley who is probably ripe for a bit of fun after the uphill battle she's having with damaged husband Nick. Kal will start working with Nick and be around more and I think Nick's tirades are wearing her down, little by little. I never really thought Nick and Leanne were suited this time around anyway. She might be the love of his life but I never felt that he was the love of hers. That honour went to Peter, in my feeling. I think she went to Nick on the rebound from Peter and while she loves Nick, it was more about stability and maybe to make up for hurting him in the past (the affair just before the tram crash when she had the affair with Nick but married Peter on his deathbed).

I can picture Leanne and Kal together and I think they would have a lot of chemistry. She's already proven she can be a good mother so his kids would be in good hands. He's a dad so he'd be good to Simon, too.

And the last beginning of the end is the final few weeks for our beloved Hayley Anne Cropper. So far, chemotherapy hasn't seemed to have had a lot of residual effect, not that we've seen but I do think that they're dressing her in clothes just a little too big, to imply she's losing weight. She's starting to look a bit more tired and pale around the edges. She's planning her funeral and it's all going to be terribly sad for all of us who have come to love her over all these years. Now that her son has popped up again, only to be just as horrible as it was the last time and the first time, she's at least got some sort of closure even if it's not really a peace made between them. More of a resignation.

And in this, the anniversary week of the tram crash three years ago, I do wish someone would have mentioned the fact. Three people died, one of them integral to the street for many years and who might still count quite a few neighbours as his friends. I still miss Ashley Peacock. It would have been nice for Nick, whose life Ashley saved, or Kirk, who worked with him, or some of the other regulars to make a mention of him.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Analyzing Peter Barlow

Peter Barlow is a bit of a hound dog when it comes to women, just like his father. He's not quite as excitable as Ken, though. Ken Barlow had a much higher relationship count by the time he was Peter's age, mid to late 40s, but he never married two women at the same time, either.

Peter, like Ken, finds it hard to resist when a woman starts batting her mascara at him. No, I shouldn't say that. Blinky Gail has been doing that for years and it's never moved Peter to flirt with her though at least, she's a little closer to being a similar age than Peter's latest object of lust, Tina McIntyre, who, by the way, is Gail's erstwhile step-daughter.

Tina is young enough to be Peter's daughter, a fact that's been mentioned on the show by Tina herself. It's not stopped her obvious interest. The last time something like this happened was between Kevin and Molly and the nation cringed. Partly, that was because Kevin had teenage daughters not that much younger than Molly herself. It certainly added an element of squickiness for sure.

Tina's on the rebound from Tommy. Peter's had a massive kick to his ego and self esteem in recent months. He loves Carla but she's a force to be reckoned with and while Peter may like that in a woman, he must also take the down side of that, her love of being the one to wear the pants in the family. After he went bankrupt (ouch!) she bailed him out and then hired him at the factory, making him a minority partner, not equals. (ouch!) She bought her own engagement ring because the one she wanted was far more than he could afford and she's paying for a posh wedding for the same reason. (ouch!)

She isn't very maternal so with all the problems Simon has had dealing with an injured and angry Nick and with the bullying he's gone through, she's not really been a lot of help. In fact, Peter sees her as being unsympathetic and cold, being more focussed on the wedding and angry at him for letting her do all the work to put it together.  Simon is his priority and far more important to him now than flowers and napkins. Why Carla didn't hire a posh wedding planner in the first place is beyond me.

Poor Peter! I kind of anticipated this might send him back to the bottle but this time, he's looking for a different sort of vice to iron out the kinks. So to speak. 

Enter Tina, someone to help out with Simon, someone for Simon to take a real shine to, unlike his feelings for Carla which live in the general realm of resentment and contempt most of the time. She does like Simon but she doesn't know how to relate to a child. Tina is a mate, and understands what it's like to be a troubled kid. Tina shows affection freely. Tina is stunningly beautiful, probably the only one on the Street that can rival Carla aside from maybe Eva who's equally lovely but a bit dim. Tina is razor sharp.

The age difference? Yep, it's wide enough for concern even if there were no Carla involved but there's a vast difference between Kevin Webster and Peter Barlow, both of a similar age to each other. Kevin Webster is no poster boy, and Peter? Peter is downright gorgeous! (in my opinion!) When Peter smiles, those brown eyes and dimples are captivating.  With Kevin and Molly, it was a case of a mild flirt on his part which sparked Molly into chasing him into the ground shamelessly. Peter and Tina are coming to it on equal terms. There's interest on both sides but at the moment, neither one is really pushing it though Peter may become the instigator. I guess that's the male instinct oozing out.

Peter's hormones are perking up. His genes are kicking in. Ken would probably be proud and disappointed in equal measures though he wouldn't admit to the pride bit. "Oh, Peter!" he'd sigh. And if Tracy gets wind of it, you know everyone else is going to hear about it. She hates Tina already and she's got history. She's the one that knew he was a bigamist and she's the one that outed Leanne's affair to Nick to Peter. She won't sit still if it means she gets to cause trouble even if it ends up breaking Carla's heart and causing Rob to rake her over the coals for it.
 As it is, Liz can already see the train wreck about to happen. She won't be quite so indiscreet as Tracy would be but it looks like all her warnings will be ignored and she'll end up mopping up Tina's tears more than once. 

It's all going to end in heartbreak but this pairing, at least, isn't making me cringe. I think the actors involved are far better than the Molvin disaster although, admittedly, seeing Sally throw Kevin out and seeing Tyrone knocking Kevin into Molly's grave were supremely satisfying.

Fact: Carla stole Peter from Leanne.

Carla should probably remember the old saying "If he runs *with* you, he'll probably run *on* you".

Sunday, 1 December 2013

State of the Street - November 2013

It's been so hard watching Roy and Hayley grapple. Hayley wants to end her life before she gets to the point where she's stupified on drugs and Roy doesn't want to waste a single minute he can get. The Great Divide seemed uncloseable until Roy realized that lying for the one he loved on this was the only way to close it and make Hayley's last months happy for her. It's the unselfish thing to do though it goes against every fibre of his being. He's got to pretend to support her decision when he can't bear the thought of it. I wonder if they'll actually have her go through with it or if she'll slip away before she gets the chance. Or maybe they'll just leave it ambiguous and we'll be left to decide for ourselves if she did or didn't. I don't know how long she's got but I reckon we'll have one heart wrenching bittersweet Christmas at least.

I hope they start having her showing effects of her illness soon because she still looks the picture of health. She's just had her first chemotherapy session and jumped right back in and finished Carla's wedding dress. You'd think she'd have been wiped out after the treatment. Are they not going to show her suffering any ill effects at all? We did get one scene where we finally saw her break down and tell Roy she was scared and didn't want to die.That was something I expected to see a lot earlier. Roy is hovering and fretting over her and she keeps pushing him away as getting under her feet. Or she's forcing him to face the things he's trying to avoid. The first I think might be a bit hard, the second seems to be a bit of a necessity with Roy's head in the sand so much.

It's such a tough thing on everyone involved. I thought we'd be seeing more of Fiz and Tyrone through this but so far, not a lot. I do like the closeness between Hayley and Carla that we have seen since Hayley got ill. We didn't really see a lot of that before.

David's lurching around from pillar to post and while I understand Kylie's anger and disgust, I don't think she can legally keep him from the kids unless she tries to go to court. He must have a lawyer/solicitor over the sale of the house at least so why doesn't he get him/her to write a letter? They're all ganging up on David and rightly so but is it fair to keep him from the children who don't understand? Audrey was the first one to crack, though, letting David at least come live with her. You could see that coming. Tina had had enough. Weird, David was full of help with cooking and cleaning at first but obviously it didn't last. As much as what David did with Nick was awful, you can't help feeling a bit sorry for him. Just a little bit.

Now Tina's helping out with Simon. Because, you know, a kid that can find his way home from Blackpool at the age of 6 can't manage to walk a couple of blocks to school in his own neighbourhood. He's also at that awkward age where he can't really be left home alone but is almost too old for a sitter. Not too old to be the victim of bullying though. Poor kid!

Ironic isn't it, that Faye was bullied and was drawn into Grace's bullying, mostly letting Grace to the dirty work but going along with it. Grace bullies Faye as well but Faye is desperate to have a best friend, something she's never had. You can tell, though, that little by little Faye had doubts but was both afraid of Grace and afraid of losing her only friend. I bet Grace has been bullying a lot of the kids and now that Faye has finally outed her, more kids might want to be her friend, too, kids that would be true friends, not false ones. I wonder if we actually will see Grace having any consequences now that Faye has shopped her to the cops. I certainly hope we see a bit of fallout in the coming weeks or else it was a real, pardon the pun, cop out. It was a good storyline, I thought.

The girl that played Grace really nailed it and Ellie Leach played Faye well, too, with those little looks that the viewer could see, letting us know Faye knew she was doing wrong. It was frustrating, though, watching Anna be so blind for so long even though Owen and even Izzy suspected Grace and Sally had her number from the start. Sally probably *was* Grace when she was young!

Nick's still forgetful and tempermental while he's recovering. It's a good storyline, something a bit different, isn't it? Once Nick's physical issues are healed, there really isn't any type of therapy you can do for a brain injury except wait it out and hope for the best.

By the end of the month we're careening wildly towards Peter having a fling with Tina. Is it appropriate? No. Is the age difference as appalling as it was with Molly and Kevin? Yes. Does it make sense? Yes. And the reason I say yes is because Peter's ego and self esteem has been taking a kicking these last few months. Carla's barging ahead with the wedding, as do most brides but Peter's been focusing on Simon and Carla doesn't understand the lad is his priority. Then there's the lovely Tina and there's Peter's Barlow genes kicking in. Tina's on the rebound from Tommy and vulnerable and Peter? He might be old enough to be her father, but he's a hell of a lot sexier and good looking than Kevin. And in that fling, it was Molly that did all the initial flirting. Kevin never had a roving eye utnil she put the idea into his head. Kevin being the father of daughters not so much younger than Molly also added to the ick factor.

Friday, 1 November 2013

State of the Street - October 2013

Nick's awake, Nick's recovering and he's determined to make David pay. Boot's on the other foot now! This damaged Nick is frustrated and angry. He wanted the truth to be out there and it is and he thinks he's lost everything. Lily turned out to be David's and I think he's kind of disappointed in that. Leanne's gone and he's living within the elastic walls of his mother's house again. I've no idea whether Audrey's roof is fixed, they seem to have dropped that, but if it is, why couldn't he stay there? She has loads of space and a private spare room, I would imagine. Why? Because then he wouldn't be in the middle of all the action with Gail to help him with his physio and Kylie to make him cups of tea and lend a sympathetic ear. Meanwhile David's in situ at newly single Tina's and both of them are being all matey too. I do hope both couples aren't careening towards real affairs on the rebound. Please, Powers That Be, do something different! Let men and women just be friends!

It's also a bit hypocritical of Leanne don't you think? Ok, she's allowed to be pissed but when she got that note, she told Nick it didn't matter that he had that fling on what would have been their wedding day. She took some of the blame for it herself. She insisted he could tell her the truth without repercussions. He didn't and lied to her face. So, of course, finding out he did and with who is bound to upset her. She arrived back just at the end of the month but doesn't seem inclined to want to take him back yet. I think she will. She's probably more upset that he lied to her face when she gave him the out than that he did it in the first place. They'll probably be back together long before Christmas.

As for Kylie and David, that may take a bit longer but I'm hoping they'll make it back together. They really are so perfect for each other. They "get" each other and very few people "get" David. I also hope David finally mans up and gets councilling, the thing he should have had after the Hillman incident but only got a lackadaisical one or two sessons which Gail never enforced, but I don't suppose that will happen. I've really liked this whole story and the dynamic between all the characters of the Plattilsley family.

Hayley has a bucket list, and her new friend Jane, Jane makes her own decisions and inspires Hayley to make hers except it's caused a rift between she and Roy. She wants to end her own life when it gets too debilitating and Roy cannot possibly go along with it. I really can't see the writers actually going through with this on screen. The discussion is controversial indeed and it's good to bring it up, but I don't think they'll follow this through because what Hayley wants to do is actually illegal and they won't want to encourage people to do something illegal. I'm speculating that Hayley won't have a choice, she'll die naturally before she has the chance or else she'll capitulate and not put Roy through it.

So far we've had a magical day in Blackpool. That was wonderful and one of the best bits was Roy and Norris practicing the foxtrot in preparation! We've seen a bit of Roy learing to drive. I want more! Some of Hayley's bucket list has been online only at which is a bit of a shame. I'd like to see her doing more of her bucket list on screen.

The remaining time that we have Hayley is going to be one bittersweet moment after another and it's going to be heartbreaking but, we hope, a satisfying soap experience with stunningly good performances. David Neilson won a Best Acting award from Inside Soap magazine and rightly so. If neither of these actors don't win the British Acting award (BAFTA) it will be a travesty.

Steve, Michelle and Liz are now entrenched behind the bar and having Liz there is wonderful! It feels like she never left and she's got far more spark to her than Stella ever thought of having. She's great. Liz is a force to be reckoned with. If she breaks up a fight or shouts at someone that they're barred, you know she means it! Stella struggled to shout and she'd never break up a tussle for fear of breaking a nail or getting a speck of colour (blood red!) on one of her beige outfits. Right now she and Gloria are running the Bistro for Leanne and Nick but once normal service is resumed there, I'm sure they'll fade into the background and become little more than a Greek chorus.

But Liz, Liz was never the background chorus. She's a lead player and she'll get into all sorts of trouble. Once she's established, it'll be time to break out a new fella for her because Liz can't go very long without a man in her life. It would be interesting to see her in a triangle with a man and a woman who's younger than Liz, something to tweak her insecurities but have Liz win out in the end.

I still don't like Steve and Michelle as a couple. I didn't the first time and I don't this time. They don't have to be a roller coaster like Steve was with Becky. Michelle seems to treat Steve with very little respect. Ok, he is often an idiot and exasperates her, I'll give you that. But when things are good, she still seems to treat him like a bad and utterly clueless little boy. Becky made Steve laugh and smile. Becky loved Steve with a joy that was palpable. So did Karen. There was passion in both women that inspired it in Steve, too. With Michelle, it's all about her and if Steve isn't up to par with what she thinks he should be or doesn't do what she wants, he's in the doghouse.

Sophie and Jenna have finally broken up. I couldn't be happier. I like Jenna's character. Many don't but I think she's quite good and the actor is good too but they haven't written very well for her and it was a huge mistake to put her together with Sophie. Age difference isn't normally a big deal on Corrie but this 10 year gap was glaring. Sophie really is a stroppy kid still. She dropped out of college when she does (or did back in her earlier years) have the brains for it, and she's got no real ambition. Jenna was a professional who got a crush on her patient and allowed it to ruin her career. She's bound to have big regrets over that.

The pair of them never seemed to have any chemistry or anything whatsoever in common. Sophie and Sian clicked. Sophie and Jenna didn't. Jenna seemed to have more in common with Sally! You could see them having adult conversations and hanging out as mates. We never saw any of that with Sophie. She and Jenna were never pictured giggling over a film, or dressing up and going out clubbing or having long conversations late into the night over a bottle of wine. Sophie had more chemistry with Ryan and that's saying something because he was a plank! Jenna, however, is great with Lloyd and I think that they do have a spark. I don't know if it's enough to keep Jenna around but as long as she's needed in the cafe, we'll have her there. I don't think she's going to be a long term character. I speculate that she'll get a job in her profession or go back to school or something and that will be it for Jenna on our screens.

The last straw for Jenna was Sophie's continual moaning about Sally and Tim. She did have a point about those two. Tim is proving to be a waster and a user and Sally is bending over backwards to lower herself in desperation to keep him. He doesn't want a committment, just a casual fling with some home cooking tossed in for convenience. Sally is full on and knows it. When Tim decided he should break up with her, Sally agreed and said she was too clingy and learned her lesson. Tim, thinking he was now in the clear for more no-strings sex and free meals, talked his way back in her bed but we all know she is still hoping to change him and snag him. How many more times will he disappoint her or Faye before Sally gives up? Probably until Kevin gets back but that won't be until after Christmas.

I kind of liked Tim at first, as a father who really didn't know how to be a parent and who seemed to be trying and not doing very well at it. Now he just doesn't seem to give a damn at all about being a dad to Faye unless it's convenient to him. I think his shelf life on the show is limited now. He's shooting himself in the foot so many times that he'll end up limping out of Weatherfield and Faye will have lost her dad again. She won't even have that snotty Grace to pick up the pieces. Wow, that's a piece of work isn't it? That Grace is a manipulator in the same class as Tracy Barlow! Poor Faye has no real experience having a proper friend and is thrilled to be someone's BFF. She will end up in trouble just to keep her friend and her friend will drop her like a hot potato the minute there is trouble on the horizon, distancing herself quickly and brutally. Faye is going to learn a hard lesson there.

So that's the state of the street this month. As we cruise closer to Christmas, things are bound to hot up dramatically. Carla and Peter's wedding is coming up (we haven't actually got a date mentioned do we? I think it will be in early December, and weddings never go smoothly, do they?) and Christmas is always an emotional landmine.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

What's next for Fiz and Tyrone?

I'm chuffed to little mint balls that Fiz and Tyrone have made their way back together. There have been times in the past that I didn't think they would be suited back together but as time went on and both struggled through terrible and hurtful relationships, they grew up Their friendship never suffered though was sometimes forgotten by the writers.

While Tyrone has lots of mates on the Street, none of them were willing to stick their oars in the muck that was the disaster of Kirsty Soames. Fiz was more than willing to help her old friend at the expense of her own safety! Inevitably, they fell back in love and once Kirsty was packed off to prison, they reunited properly and I couldn't be happier.

What's next for the new family? Will there be another baby in the future? With Hayley's imminent demise, the only stable couple on the Street will be no more. I think that Tyrone and Fiz will be the up and coming replacement and I think they're well suited. They'll probably row, they'll have their ups and downs but ultimately, their love will keep them together long term.

I thought this morning about whether they will continue to live in the Duckworth house because for all of us longtime watchers, it will ever remain thus named. On one hand, it would be a nice continuation with tradition, where Tyrone was so close to Jack and Vera. But on the other hand, they have two little children with the possibility of a third down the road. Things will get crowded even though we viewers realize that most of the houses have elastic walls.

That brings me across the road to Number 6 where the Windass Armstrong lot live. Number 6 has long been a transient house. The owners or renters have never stayed there very long so maybe it's fair to assume that at some point Owen will sell up and they'll all move away. Some of you out there may plead for this outcome. They aren't my favourite family by any means but aside from a low level constant annoyance (with spikes for that dreadful Katy) they mostly fly under my radar. I can see Fiz and Tyrone buying Number 6 to have a bit more room and a proper garden for the little ones. I'd only worry that this could spell the beginning of the end for them considering the history of the house's occupants. Yes, maybe they should stay where they are, under the angel wings of Jack and Vera.

There has to be a wedding in their future though I don't picture Fiz in a white frothy dress coming down the aisle in a church on Chesney's arm. Fizz Dobbs has a strangely cute ring to it! It almost sounds a bit like Sean's nickname for her, "Fizz Bomb" doesn't it? Anyway, I predict the wedding will be a low key registry office do, and we may not even get to see the actual ceremony. Perhaps they'll elope while on holiday. It would be a bit of an anticlimax really, after all they've been through.

Whatever happens, I really, really hope the powers that be don't break up this lovely little family. I hope they do let them take the Cropper mantle and carry on the tradition of having that one stable couple that everyone can point to as a good example of how to do it right.

Monday, 30 September 2013

State of the Street - September 2013

Karl's comeuppance finally happened on his wedding day, the wedding day that lasted through 5 frigging episodes! Ok, the day before and the wedding day lasted that long. They don't do that too often but it's happened before. Anyway, the pressure built and built and poor young Craig finally broke and told the secret. I felt so bad for the kid. He really thought he was to blame for the fire and deaths of two people regardless of what the police said (fire started inside the pub with an accellerant. Why didn't anyone tell him that before? Surely he'd have overheard stuff? Never mind. He's a child really and that's way too much for a child to have to carry even without Karl bullying him and terrifying him.

Beth was brilliant, showing that she really is a good mum in spite of her low class rough ways. I adore her and this shows a softer side of her which you need to be a long term sympathetic character. She might have a passing resemblence to Cilla Brown and a gob to match but she's a much better person. Cilla would never defend her chicks unless there was something in it for her. Beth is like a pitbull defending her lad and that's the way it should be.

Jason finally persuaded Dev that Karl was responsible for the fire and Sunita's death, along with Karl's hot and cold behaviour and they zoned in for the kill, so to speak. Stella got the shock of her life and now feels as stupid as every other duped woman who never saw it coming. She and Fiz and Gail should start a club! This crisis really has shown up how little Stella fits in. She has no friends! Fiz or Gail could have commiserated with her, having been through a similar thing. Eileen and Deirdre could have shown up with a bottle of red or two. But no. Stella's alone and wallowing in it and her daughters and mother can't do much to pull her out of it. I do feel for her, mind you. You can't expect her to snap out of it in a couple of days but I harken back to the days of Bet Lynch. Bet would have plastered a smile on her face, slapped on some lippy and faced the community from behind the bar, suffering in silence. She wouldn't have cowered in the back room.

Hearts are breaking all over Corrie-dom. We have to watch Roy and Hayley deal with her terminal illness. It's tragic but there can be no other way that Hayley would leave Roy (since the actress wants to go). It's too bad Sylvia isn't there to support them but apparently the actress was leaving anyway and just left early due to a sudden death in her family. I suppose with Sylvia on screen it might take away from Roy and Hayley who should be front and centre. The actors are already giving us award worthy performances. It's going to be unimaginable, watching this sad story play out, not the less that so many people watching will have had real life experience in similar situations. Hayley plans to make the most of the time she has left. She's another one I can't see cowering in the flat, holding her own pity party away from those that love her. Hayley always has taken life by the throat, as difficult as it has been for her at times. Realistically, though, we should have the occasional scene with her being sad or angry. It wouldn't be normal to react that way sometimes.

Fiz and Carla seem to be taking the second string for support. You would have expected Fiz who is like a daughter to R&H. Carla was a surprise. We all knew she respected and liked Hayley but I think her reaction has even surprised her. They finally dragged up Christian from the annals of "Corrie history that should have been forgotten". He was just as obnoxious as he was last time, just without the violence. You'd think he'd have got his head round the fact that his biological father is now a woman after all this time but apparently he's just buried it and forgotten it (the way we all wanted to) so when she got in touch again, he really hasn't come to terms with it at all. Hayley's a grandma but probably won't get to meet her grandchildren. Roy was quite harsh with Christian but he did have some of it coming. I don't know if we'll see him again but it would be nice for Hayley and he to at least come to terms with it and him to at least accept her and bring the children for her to meet. But then, unless you're planning to have them around a lot, meeting them once only isn't really fair on both sides if she's going to die before ever seeing them again.

Meanwhile, speaking of Carla, there's Michelle glaring at Peter, the intruder, in the factory office. Michelle was hired as a PA but given more responsibility over time and she thinks Peter's edging her out. He's not but he can't seem to get her to realize it. I keep hollering "Grow Up!" but she just won't and she can sulk for England, can Michelle. And like it or not, Peter is part owner and thus, her boss. Oh come on, Michelle, at least it isn't Frank Foster or Tony Gordon! It's all leading to the surprise that Steve is buying back the pub! Will Michelle get to be landlady with her name over the door? Time will tell.

Chesney finally decided Sinead was the one he wanted, not Katy and I couldn't give a flying fig. I do like Sinead but Chesney and Katy are terminally boring these days. I am chuffed to little mint balls that Fiz and Tyrone are now living under the same roof as a lovely little family. I think with Roy and Hayley as the "perfect" relationship about to end, we need one stable couple on the Street and I think Fiz and Tyrone are the best ones to take over that position. Please, Powers that Be, take note!

As we end the month, Nick is about to wake up and the Plattilsley family feud is about to hot up again. Will Nick remember? Will the secret blow David's marraige up? If the secret doesn't, all the lies just might. But Nick has a lot to lose too, and after waiting so long to get Leanne back, he might not be willing to fess up, either. Secrets do come out and they will, it's just a matter of who, what, when, where and how. This has been one storyline I have really enjoyed watching. Kudos to all the actors involved!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Karl's Nicked!

It was six months ago that Karl Munro burned down the Rovers Return, killing fire fighter Tony. A few days later, he killed Sunita in hospital and the game was on. When Dev was becoming obsessed, inching closer and closer to the truth, Karl pedalled furiously to try to keep calm and carry on. It seemed to work at the time when Dev had to back down for his own and his children's sakes though we, the viewers, knew he was only inches away from that last clue that would reveal Karl's dirty deeds.

That gives Karl breathing room but it wasn't to last. Enter a 14 year old lad with a guilty conscience. The house of cards slowly came down as Karl tried to keep Craig on an even keel. The poor kid! That was a lot for a child to carry, thinking he caused two people's deaths and it was enforced by Karl who was desperate for Craig to keep his mouth shut. He knew that Craig could place him at the scene of the crime, with keys he wasn't supposed to have as he used them to lock the back door of the pub behind him.

Jason never trusted Karl and after Karl admitted to torching the van and threatened Jason's life (with Dev overhearing from the other room), he put the pieces together and knew Karl had caused the fire but there was still no proof. Inch by agonizing inch, though, it all came together. Missing from photos from the Full Monty night, and then the realization that Craig had something to do with it. But then we had a few episodes where there were near misses, trying to talk to Craig and Craig avoiding it, even running away and who is the one that finds him? Karl!

Finally, Craig confessed and was whisked off to the police station while Dev headed to the chapel. The race is on, can Dev stop the wedding? Jason's on the way to the police with Craig, Dev is zooming to the registry office. It obviously isn't very far away because Dev got there in record time. The registrar declared them husband and wife and presumably, they signed the papers. It's a done deal.  So why didn't Dev say anything?! Was that a Judas "kiss" when he hugged Karl? Mice touch!

It took far too long at the police station to get someone to take statements, typical police procedure snarling things up. Why didn't Jason text Dev to get the name of the detective right from the start? Come to that, Dev should have told them when they left the shop. I do think that was dragged out too far but it's typical. Dev stalked around the edges of the party observing and waiting.  I didn't think Dev should have warned Karl at the Bistro, but he did.   Loved Dev creeping up silently behind Karl and cornering him in the pub.

Jimmi Harkishin played it spot on, not too over the top as he usually does. That quiet rage held him back. He laid it all out, Karl knew he couldn't hide and he confessed. There were no excuses that made any difference. Trash talking about Sunita was a big mistake even if it was true. Why did he think Dev would take that lying down?  Dev was going to out Karl to Stella so he can feel what it's like to lose what he loves but Dev ended up bleeding on the pub floor instead.

Oh I loved it that Stella caught Karl trying to leg it with the cash. He lost his rag when she tried to help Dev while we waited on tenterhooks for the police to untangle all the infernal red tape. She threw his ring away, annullment in the offing while he fought with her. Couldn't you tell how creeped out she was when she tried to placate him, stalling, and keeping him calm while he was holding her and stroking her, her making him think she was on his side, biding time until help comes.

She went a bit too far and he could see through her. Dev came to and dialed his phone... to Jason, who saved the day, just before Karl had a chance to flame up the pub again. That was a bit stupid, really, surely they could have put out a fire quickly enough but I suppose Stella was worried that Dev would come to further harm with the flames. I read somewhere else that Stella only had to blow out the flame of the lighter, it was right in front of her face, after all! But Karl dragged Stella back into the cellar, back to the scene of the crime, which was also odd. If I was her, I'd be down there chucking bottles at him like a mad thing.

Let's just pause a moment to add up Karl's charges. Arson, manslaughter, murder, assault (Grievous Bodily Harm judging from Dev's injury), and surely there must be something they can charge him with for terrorizing a child? He better not get one of those shifty solicitors that manage to charge Dev for assault and use Karl's attack on Dev as "self defence"!!

Come out! you're surrounded! For heaven's sake, he's not armed! Just go get him! Exciting stuff!

John Michie was so good. He really was the star in all of this through the whole storyline. It's too bad his talen makes Michelle Collins look even more stiff. It was painful watching her try to force that cardboard face into something resembling emotion and straining to push her whispery voice to a normal talking level when really, she should have been shouting and screaming at him!

Jason was a bit annoying, with all his shouting and angst but you could see where he was coming from. I really thought Beth was good, as well, heartsick, worried and guilty for her boy. She might be a gobby mare but she *is* a good mother.

Stella did persuade Karl to give himself up.  There wasn't much more he could do. Can you imagine the chaos of the police trying to storm the barricades, having to file down the cellar steps one at a time and crowd around between the crates and bottles, trying to apprehend Karl? I always wonder why they make the person they're cuffing lie down on the ground. There doesn't seem to be a point to it in most cases. Handcuffs can go on just as easily if  you're standing up if you aren't struggling which he wasn't. I guess in this case it was so that we could have he and Dev face down, face to face, Karl defeated and Dev quietly and justifiably triumphant.

Friday, 30 August 2013

State of the Street - August 2013

David's revenge on Nick hit the wall, pretty much literally when that huge truck slammed into the side of the van nearly killing Nick. That was a well done scene, I thought. David and Nick baring souls, with David's desperation causing Nick to lose control of the car momentarily. It all looked like it was going to be ok when Whammo! Now David's very, very sorry and guilty. Some might wonder if it's all crocodile tears. There never seemed to be any love lost between David for Nick previously, even before all this business about Kylie. David seems to resent both of his siblings but I guess it proves you can love your family, just not like them much at all.

Now the storyline lags a bit with Nick in a coma and everyone fretting. Leanne feels guilty because she thinks her phone call distracted him and she's worried sick about the long term effects. Gail is just out and out worried for her son and David's guilty because he *did* cause the accident. He wants Nick to be ok but he doesn't want Nick to spill the beans either so that adds the "scared crapless" element to it. Now that Kylie's had the baby, Gail's pressuring her to have a DNA test. Everyone knows but most of them don't know the others know and it's getting a bit confusing as to who knows what!

Then there's Tina in the mix. I'm of two minds about that. On one hand, if you knew someone was unfaithful and the paternity of a baby was involved, would you tell? Some people would feel very betrayed if you didn't and they found out later. But on the other hand, is it any of your business? Tina really isn't friends with Nick, Leanne or Kylie though she does maintain a relationship of sorts with Gail, her former step-mother but this doesn't affect her as much. How long can David stall Tina from shooting her mouth off? I get annoyed that she's making all these demands of David when much of me feels she has no right. I suppose this will be dragged on a bit longer until finally, everyone will know except Nick. He'll come out of the coma, that's a given. Will he turn into the nasty sibling due to brain damage? He wasn't all that pleasant before. If you will recall how he tried to lure Peter back into the bottle because he wanted Leanne back, then turning his nasty side out after all this won't be such a stretch.

Heartbreaker of the month was Hayley's cancer diagnosis. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive types, if not *the* most. She hasn't had her operation for the tumour yet so we don't know for sure if it's going to be terminal but the actress is leaving the show so it's a pretty safe bet. Roy better get a handle on his sleepwalking because even his mother has bailed and that isn't really out of character when you think about it. She's up and left abruptly before and Roy has said she is a coward. She got so close to Hayley that it's hard to imagine she would leave but the reality is, this was probably planned. The actress has said via Twitter that she was meant to leave soon and a death in the family prompted an earlier departure. It's too bad as Sylvia had turned into a really wonderful character.

Now we know. Craig can place Karl somewhere he said he wasn't on the night of the fire but Craig thinks he's responsible for the fire and deaths of two people, poor kid. Karl is desperately trying to stem the tide of a 14 year old's guilty emotions so that Craig won't tell anyone else. Will Karl try to kill Craig before Craig does spill the beans? Craig doesn't know that he is actually a witness to Karl's misdeeds but he's bound to say something to someone. He just can't hold it in much longer. I don't know if Karl could kill a child, though so when it happens, it's going to happen quickly. The wedding may be on and off again at the moment but if it happens, I think that will be the climax and yet another interrupted wedding will be the net of the law closing in around Karl.

Stella is wobbling about the wedding due to Nick's condition but over the several years we've had her on the show, there has been mention of a few times in her past that she's declined Karl's wedding proposal, reluctant to commit to him due to various reasons, his weaknesses only being some of them. I suspect she's using Nick as yet another "out" clause even though this time it was she who proposed. It's logical at least to suggest postponing the wedding but she's seeing "signs" all over the place. Well, we all know she should run a mile but she doesn't.

Chesney is still, as the Conversation Street podcast people have been calling him, "Ches Miserables" and appropriate it is. I have never been so bored with a storyline in a long time. He and Katy insisted on being together at the tender age of 16, far too young. They struggled to make ends meet and Katy decides, once she's out of school, that she wants a baby! Well they got what they wanted and it's even more difficult. Chesney is only selling on the market and I can't imagine that brings in a huge amount of money. Katy is bored. She gets her head turned by Ryan and it all goes down the pan. Ches can't forgive her, when all it was was a kiss for God's sake. Even when she comes crawling back, begging, he can't do it so she moves in with Ryan who was horrified, really. Ok, now Ches has a bit more of a mental image to fret over. He meets a nice young girl but keeps using her to get at Katy even though he says he doesn't want Katy. He even tries to take Katy back for the baby's sake but that doesn't work either. It's horrible, it's boring, it's miserable and it just won't go away.

Paul and Lloyd got into a feud over a careless racist remark that Paul uttered. Supposedly it was a story about how people can be racist even when they don't realize it but to me it was all about ego and pride after the initial few days. Neither man would give an inch and their respective partners were caught in the middle. There's no denying Lloyd was offended especially for Jenna's sake and in the real world between two friends like that, the offender would abjectly apologize and it would be over. We didn't get that and we were subjected to weeks of endless glaring and shouting. There was one early apology but it was clearly not sincere and it took Paul stepping in to help Lloyd in a confrontation with a group of yobs to put it to rest. It took a toll, though as both Mandy and Paul left town leaving Lloyd and especially Eileen down in the dumps.

It's too bad. I liked Mandy and they could have done a lot with her but they didn't seem to know what to do with the character. They turned her into a cranky complainer. I liked Paul at first but it rapidly turned into dislike since he showed signs of selfishnest right from the point he was carrying on with Eileen with his confused wife in the other room. Yes, you might be in love but you have a prior committment. Eileen finally realized he never put her first and she's right though he often was in a difficult position. Should she have demanded he quit his dangerous job for her? No, I don't think so but if she couldn't live with it, she should have let him leave on that train, not run after him. She did try and I think was coming to terms with it until this last storyline just pushed things over the edge. She blames herself for picking yet another loser but really, I don't think any of this with Paul was really her fault. He is who he is. She wanted to be first in someone's priorities and it was evident it would never happen.

Tina had a rough few weeks after giving Jake back to Gary and Izzy and you can hardly blame her, especially with Mr and Mrs Insenstive doing things like having a welcome home party for the baby in the pub under her nose after the Bistro was unavailable. Anyone know the word "postpone"? Why did they not have one of those raucous backyard barbeques instead? She seems to have made peace with her decision and may get to be part of the baby's life. That's a good thing but will she be able to do it? Peter's given up the shop to Rob and Tracy who will probably make a disaster out of it. He's now so far under Carla's thumb he's probably taken on her fingerprints and yes, it hurts. Are we about to see him slide back into the bottle what with all the kicking his pride has been taking? Sally fancies Tim and sees him as her future. Tim fancies Sally and sees her as his friend with Benefits. Not going to end well.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Pure speculation - What to do with Stella?

Heart lifting news this week comes with the announcement that not only is Liz McDonald returning to Weatherfield, but Steve is going to buy back the pub and install her as landlady! Can I  just have an undignified W00T from the gallery? Thank you.

Apparently, when Karl's misdeeds have been splashed all over the Weathefield Gazette and he's languising in Strangeways, Stella is going to put the pub up for sale, unable to live with the memories. I can understand that. Presuming, then, that Gloria will take her share of the sale equal to what she put into it and go bye-bye as we've also heard, what will Stella do?

Will she leave? Maybe not just yet. I hear her contract is not up until next spring. That doesn't mean she won't leave early and it doesn't mean they won't make her leave early, but all things considered and she stays until they push her out the door at the end of her contract, here's where I think her storyline will go.

First off, where does she live? If Kevin hasn't returned, she can probably stay there. If Steve and Michelle move into the pub with Liz, she can stay in the kebab flat. Sorted.

But without the pub and all the punters into whose lives she could normally meddle and without a back room in which  to hold court, what kind of storyline could she possibly have?

I have an idea and it's one I've seen coming for months.

Dev. Alahan. Yes, that's right. Stella has already been all over Dev like a rash, being all concerned he's doing ok and trying to cheer him up. I think they will have a relationship as he tries to console her and be as good a friend to her as she was to him. It won't happen straight away, she'll need a few weeks to brew that fondness into a full on boiling heat. Before long she'll be up that ginnel and sneaking in to the back door of Number 7.

Poor Aadi and Asha will have yet another adjustment. Maybe Mary will meet Stella at the door with a rolling pin, intent on defending her twin charges who are still recovering from the loss of their dear mother. I don't fancy Stella's chances.

In the end, it will all go pear shaped and, if we're lucky, Stella will be off in a black taxi, a tearful Leanne waving her goodbye.

I've never been fond of Stella though not held her in as much contempt as some fans have. She stuck her nose into business where she "didn't ought to", the worst travesty being her inclusion into the aftermath of the death of Betty Williams. Her whispery voice grated on my nerves. Her frozen face did her no favours either.  "Facial expressions? I don't need no steenking facial expressions!" And there's all that beige. I don't even think she uses lippy with much colour to break up that monotony of neutral. I suppose it's meant to be her "signature" like Hayley's red anorak or Deirdre's specs but beige doesn't make you stand out in a crowd, it makes you melt into it.

Stella put up with so much crap from Karl over the years, even before we met them. We've been told he'd cheated on her before and he gambles. He continued to do both. She turfed him for gambling but took him back. Again. And then let the door hit him on the backside for his affair with Sunita. But she took him back after the fire out of gratitude because he saved her life.

Can I just repeat here, once again, he did NOT save her life, he was ready to die on the bedroom floor with her because they were trapped. Toni (RIP) and Paul got them out the window.

Stella continued to be sucked in by Karl over and over. She kind of deserves what she gets, heartbreak and shame and at least one smug daughter who Told Her So.

So, besides Michelle Collins being a friend of former producer Phil Collinson, why were we saddled with her? Well, because Beverly Callard was unable to continue as Liz at the time. She's been struggling with depression on and off for a few years and needed more recovery time. The Rovers has to have a landlady and Steve can't have his name over the door because he's got a criminal record. Someone had to be brought in as manager. I wish Steve hadn't had to sell the pub but we can blame Tracy for sucking him in and turning him away from Becky. If he hadn't wanted to buy her Number 13. Since they had to have someone, MC got the nod.

Soon, we will be back where we started and I for one can't be happier. I do hope Bev Callard will be able to keep up the pace this time around and stay. I can handle Stella in smaller doses.

Now the big question is...Will Liz take Owen away from Anna? Or will she take Tim away from Sally? Personally, since Lloyd is now single, I want Liz and Lloyd to get back together.


Saturday, 3 August 2013

It's about time Nick saw the light


Nick finally figured out that David is behind the hate campaign!

It is a storyline that began on Christmas night when Nick blew off his wedding to Leanne because of her last minute wobble over Peter, got drunk and had sex with Kylie who was equally at odds with David. Kylie made up with David the day after and Nick soon patched it up with Leanne and they got properly married.

Since Soap Law dictates that an unwise shag shall result in pregnancy, there ensued a "Who's the Daddy" thread. David found out about the unfaithful wife and possibility that the baby might not be his and has launched a revenge campaign against Nick. He can't accuse Kylie because he's afraid he'd lose her but your brother is always your brother and why shouldn't he suffer for what he's done? That's David's justification, anyway.

He stole keys and trashed their flat in the aftermath of initial discovery, full of classic David anger and rage but he decided to take a more underhanded approach. The campaign was very clever. There's been little innuendos to Gail, Nick and Leanne, all geared to stir up suspicion. He's been subtly playing Nick and Leanne off against each other, hoping to break them up, bringing Gail and Leanne's ex, Peter, into the mix as needed. The problem is, even though they would temporarily be at odds, they managed to find their way back to each other, leaving David more and more frustrated.

Each step of the way, the risk got higher but the payoff remained tantalizingly just out of reach. Viewers have been shouting at the screen, wondering why nobody has suspected David of any of these tricks. If any of the subjects involved just talked to each other, they'd hit on the common denominator in a minute. "David told me that..." and "Well, he said to me that..." and the jig, as they say, would have been up. But it doesn't work that way on telly. You have to draw it out.

David's most recent and most aggressive move was to send Leanne an anonymous note, hinting that Nick did something with someone on Christmas Night after the aborted wedding. That was his mistake. Leanne believed it and it could have done what David wanted but Leanne, though she knows Nick was lying when she confronted him, now realizes that someone really is out to get them and it has to be someone they know, someone that was at the wedding. Her chance remark that it was going to turn out to be someone obvious.

Nick turned around and saw his brother and Kylie laughing at the bar.

The light went on.

David. David.

And millions of viewers jumped up and punched the air.

Ho Yuss!!!!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

State of the Street - August 2013

David's ongoing revenge, when it worked, made him smug and happy and when it didn't have the intended effect, he took it out on his mother. David really, really needs a psychiatrist. And most of what he's been doing ends up backfiring so he keeps trying more and more tricks. And if Nick is intent on accusing one of his staff, how does he treat his staff that he thinks they'd be out to get him?

Hayley's been relentless, nearly bullying Roy, first about his father and contacting him and this month, about making him go to the doctor to get help for it. I can understand her concern and he really must be an exasperating man to live with at times but you know the real point to the whole storyline, once we knew Roy was sleepwalking, wasn't *why* he was sleepwalking but so that Hayley could go to the doctor for a check up along with Roy.

Right there, that was the beginning of Hayley's medical crisis. Roy is physically healthy but oh, dear, Hayley's tests were not as they should be. If Roy wasn't under enough stress already, this will have him sleepwalking on stage in London's West end doing a song and dance, with the amount of stress this could cause. Because, you know, a few days of incense, yoga and relaxation meditation and Roy was instantly cured, wasn't he, until Hayley told him of the diagnoses and he was up in the middle of the night scouring again! (the sleepwalking, by the way, baffled me because he never woke up Hayley when he'd get out of bed in the middle of the night, probably something he rarely does, and neither she nor Sylvia would hear him up and around in the middle of the night)

Hayley has pancreatic cancer. Some people think Corrie's storylines shouldn't hit so close to home like this. They say they want to be entertained, not saddened and reminded of people they have lost. While that's true, dramas and documentaries and "based on true story" films and tv shows are also popular so it's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" thing. It will be difficult to watch Hayley on this journey but knowing the actors involved and knowing that Corrie always does these types of storylines impeccably, it will be, and I use this in its traditional meaning, awesome to watch.

The Racism storyline really was more about pride before it descended into utter ridiculous. We all know that Paul really didn't mean it and it was an unthinking turn of phrase. We all make them and don't realize what we're saying. This might make a few people think twice but the crux of the story focussed on Paul and Lloyd's pride, Paul especially. Paul would probably have apologized for offending Lloyd straight away if Lloyd hadn't got shouty and then called Paul a racist which isn't true but Paul felt he'd be branded as one even if he backed down and apologized. Eileen and Mandy did make them but it was pretty clear that the apology "for how it turned out" wasn't really from the heart. Any time Paul did try to apologize after that, it still wasn't sincere. He did say he was sorry "for everything" but that *still* doesn't really mean he was sorry for what he said and he shouldn't have said it.

And Sophie.... she had no business sticking her oar in and calling the fire station to make an ANONYMOUS complaint. It was taken seriously. How can it? It must have been anonymous because they didn't send someone round to take a full statement. And can't she retract it? If so, why didn't we hear about it? I don't blame Jenna for being furious at Sophie. It was a stupid, immature thing to do.

Looks like Sally is about to have a new fella in the persona of Tim. I guess if they're keeping him around, they have to do more than just let him be Jason's sidekick now that Faye's gone back to Anna, having learned a hard lesson. It would have been far better for Tim's parenting skills if he'd been able to ease into it slowly instead of being pushed into the deep end by a child desperate for a blood connection. You can hardly blame her, really. Anna and Owen allowed him into her life because Faye was giving them such a hard time but Faye then pushed it too far because that's what kids do. It was a tough no-win situation really.

It's been mainly a mercifully Stella-free month. I expect with the wedding approaching we'll be back in full Beige mode but I would think Karl will be facing his comeuppance soon. Probably another interrupted wedding because you can't have it go smoothly, can you? It only goes well if it's the second attempt (Steve and Becky) or if there's a minor crisis but it's solved in time for a late arrival at the altar (Rita and Dennis).

Tina has given Gary and Izzy the baby who gets to be called Jake again. Jake...Joe... Not overly keen on either and Joe always would remind me of a man that fell to pieces and couldn't even fake his own death properly. Tina is bottling up her feelings and is going to crack. I also wonder why they're putting her in David's path as confidant. Do we all think that there could be a revenge fling there? Or maybe he'll be the one to pull her out of another depression. Could go either direction. Anyway, when they finally get the baby home, Gary is nervous. Really nervous. So nervous and wound up that he can't understand why the baby won't stop crying and he's taking it as a personal affront. Gary likes things to go exactly correctly and when they don't, he gets single minded, excited and anxious and the baby can pick up on that.

I'm almost positive Emily is going to mither Norris with bills and taxes to the point where he'll be more than happy to give her the house back. Why is he so worried about being homeless when Emily dies? He owns a business. Surely he can afford a house of his own. Why doesn't he buy himself a little flat now?

Katy and Ryan are splits. I'm hoping Chesney won't take her back but I suppose he will for the baby's sake. That's if he can get round his own pride. It was only a kiss that he couldn't forgive, after all. He pushed Katy to Ryan so it's his own damn fault. He's using Sinead to prove to Katy that he doesn't need her but he still loves her. Sinead is going to be used and thrown away which is too bad because I like her. I hope she stays around though at the moment there's nobody to pair her up with. The only other one could be Jason but she's a little young though not really that much younger than Rosie was. Jason's been through everyone else on the Street!

Now we have Rob and Tracy in business together and, after bankrupting Peter, they get to use the betting shop as their pawn shop. Never mind the "reseller" type monikers. It is what it is. If Rob is as dodgy with this as he has been with things in the past, it could end up being a front for stolen goods. But wouldn't it be an ironic twist that they make a real go of it? It would be, but I highly doubt that will happen.

Not really a bad month, overall. If it wasn't for the Ryan/Katy/Chesney dullness and the racism storyline descending into a mess, it would have top marks from me.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Idiots on Film

Watching Corrie this week brings me to mind how many idiots there were.

 Chesney is behaving like an idiot. He's using Sinead because he really wants Katy but he won't forgive Katy either. That makes Sinead an idiot for going back to Chesney even though she keeps saying she won't be messed about by him. Yet she's continually letting him do it.

 Katy is an idiot for falling for Ryan and Ryan is an idiot. He got way more than he bargained for after flirting with a pretty girl. He ended up with the pretty girl and the baby he knew she had. He didn't expect her to up sticks and leave Chesney and really didn't want the responsibility of a ready made family but he was too much of a spineless prat not to say anything.

 Tim is an idiot if he lets Owen bully him into leaving town. It would damage Faye even more than she already is if he abandons her a second time in her life. I guess he's trying to do the right thing but he's not very good at it and not very good at parenting and continually puts his foot in it. Tim might also be an idiot for getting involved with Sally Webster. It looks like it's headed in that direction. Time will tell who the idiot is there. It'll probably be Sally for getting involved in with a weak, feckless fella yet again.

 Paul is an idiot. He got himself into trouble at work for having a go at some kids who called 999 as a hoax. No, they shouldn't have done it and yes, he's right to be angry but unfortunately, letting his temper get the better of him isn't the way to handle it and now he could get into trouble over it. It's like the homeowner who gets charged with assault if he attacks someone breaking into his house. If it isn't self defence, you've got to suck it up and do it by the book.

And yes, this stress led to a thoughtless remark in the pub. He was an idiot for not apologizing immediately. He didn't and it escalated all out of control. Now he and Lloyd have both dug their heels in and neither one is going to back down. Paul should definitely be the first to apologize and if Lloyd then says he's sorry for calling Paul a racist, the mud won't stick to Paul with his friends' opinions like he thinks. I think Eileen is right, Paul feels stupid and embarrassed and I think that Lloyd does know that Paul didn't mean it but a lifetime of putting up with thoughtless remarks pushed one too many over the edge, especially in front of his daughter. He doesn't want his daughter to have to put up with what he has. So though they're both acting like idiots, at least Lloyd has more justification.

 Nick and Leanne are both idiots not to see what David's doing. Especially Nick. He knows really well what David is capable of doing and how he's worked people in the past. Kylie is an idiot, too. You'd think she'd be able to connect the dots and realize David's playing Nick and Leanne off against each other even if she doesn't realize why.

Gail is a gullible idiot just because she is.

 And finally. Norris is an idiot. I just wanted to throw that in there, just because.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

State of the Street - June 2013

What a great month it's been for the most part! I really think that, overall, Corrie is looking up these days.

Tina couldn't give up the baby which was obvious. Even early on she couldn't watch the screen during scans. But rather than drag this out through an unimaginably dull custody court case, we wound up the story fairly quickly. Izzy, the true mother, could not see dragging that little boy through court cases that could last years, and though Gary was not having it, she managed to make him see that he couldn't put the little boy through that. He didn't want his son to grow up angry and though didn't like it, backed Izzy when she told Tina she could keep the baby. But, after hearing Tommy tell her a few hard truths, and seeing Izzy giving up what he wanted for the baby's sake, Tina finally did the right thing.

Now she's trying to get on with her life and the Armstrongs and Windasses are always in her face, thanking her, or just celebrating which is kind of like rubbing her nose in it. Izzy seems to be a bit more low key about it but she's not innocent of it either While Gary and Owen and even Anna are practically crowing about it all over the street.

I wondered if the amount Owen was paying Tina was more than what she wanted to cover Tommy's debt? Now that Tommy is probably clear of debt and Tina gave the baby back to Izzy, will she get to keep the balance of the cash?

It's not going to be easy. I wonder if we'll see her spiral into depression again. She is scared she might after what happened after her father died. Tommy will be there but I can't see him knowing what to do to help her. Graeme didn't know either, but his presence seemed a lot more calming to her. He just didn't give up. I don't think Tommy would either but he would be more confused and probably not that much help. I suppose time will tell. That will be a storyline for August.

Evil David is back!

In a wholly contrived explanation scene, Gail and Kylie review the whole thing with David listening from the top of the stairwell, arms full of flowers and tears running down his face as he hears Gail and Kylie talk about how they hope the baby is David's. Gail affirms they should stop talking about it altogether (Makes a change from her constantly sniping at Kylie ever since she found out).

So now David knows about the baby and the fling and as you would expect, the evil David is back. Some people think it's very one-sided to have him revert to the old David, smashing things and taking revenge but you must remember that David is damaged. He was thrown by his parents' divorce and never did get councilling after the Hillman death attempt, he was just a kid and never learned to deal with the anger and fear. No wonder he was out of control as a teen and this kind of betrayal certainly would be enough to tip him back over the edge, almost literally when he stood on the top of the cliff.

No, revenge is better, he's thinking. And the best revenge is to be taken against Nick it seems, not against his beloved wife, Kylie. He seems to be forgiving of Kylie at this point, or at least not willing to let her go so he's got to take it out on someone and Nick is the obvious choice, with Gail a second runner up. He's going to split up Nick and Leanne if he has his way. I wonder if he'll succeed?

He's working on Gail's suspicions, those she already harboured about Leanne and now he's starting in on Nick's insecurities. I suppose we have this to look forward to all summer until the baby comes, September wasn't it? I'm loving this storyline, because I love all the Platts and I think it's been well plotted out for the most part.

Roy didn't deal very well with the aftermath of his father's death, did he? First he was angry and intent on cleaning up around himself with a passion, then weird things started happening in the cafe. There couldn't be a ghost so he was sure someone was playing tricks and making him the butt of a joke as per usual. Turns out he was sleepwalking which didn't surprise me. All the stress, the guilt and the regret just piled all up inside him. I've also enjoyed Sylvia's little insights into Roy's childhood though she is always trying to explain to Hayley what he's like when Hayley knows very well. It's been wonderful to see the Croppers at the forefront.

It seemed to take Eileen an awfully long time to finally get to the point where she decided to take advantage of the family help and councilling that the fire department offers and it seemed to take an awfully long time for them to even mention it in the show. I have been constantly amazed that nothing was brought up earlier and even more mystified that Paul never made any reference to how Lesley dealt with things. She was married to him for over 20 years, surely he must have dealt with this type of thing at least when they first married. He should have recognized the signs especially after they nearly split up because of her fears.

Dev's quest finally settled down after he reached a dead end, (sorry) and both Mary and Karl told him a few hard truths, Mary moreso, ordering him to put those children first. But there have been clues being dropped here and there and it looks very much like young Craig will have the missing piece of the murder puzzle somehow. I don't know how or where or what, but the lad is off his food, having nightmares and looking worried and scared every time Karl is around. They don't do these things for nowt! This will come out, it's a given, and Karl is always looking so ill and shakey, like he could blurt out a confession any time. Stella is setting a wedding date for September so there's a 50/50 chance the wedding will or will not go off. If it does go off, I think the truth will be out soon after anyway.

I'm enjoying watching Rob and Carla circle each other, dragging their family skeletons and old baggage out of their shared history. There is resentment, pain and regret. Tracy on one side, pushing Rob and winding up Carla and Peter on the other side, his California glow dimming rapidly. As much as I hate Tracy and I really dislike the actor, I'm actually enjoying her interaction in this storyline which surprises me. I dislike Rob and the actor as well, but the dynamic between he and Carla is great. Maybe it's because Carla and Peter are such good characters and their portrayers are excellent that they leak a little of their talent to those they play against, giving them the oomph to rise to the challenge a bit more. I don't know but while the acting skills of the dastardly duo is still less than stellar, I also find it less grating than usual.

Maria and Marcus were hardly seen for weeks or months then had a little panic blip on the radar over that wedding. Now I guess they're back in the closet again. It can't last. Maria has too many insecurities. She's her own worst enemy when it comes to fellas. Now that the baby stuff is more or less off the radar, we are back to Faye. Anna seemed to forget all about her while the rest of it was going on.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Unpopular Point of View

I've been reading the blogs and comments on current Corrie storylines. It's always interesting to see the varying points of view on the characters and the storylines. A lot of it is negative. For some reason, people seem more inclined to write to complain than to praise unless expressly asked "What do you love about Corrie lately?"

Most of my own views on characters, actors and storylines seem to be more tolerant of "down" periods or less than skilled performances, with exceptions, of course. Lately, I've noticed that a couple of the storylines I enjoy with a few quibbles are ones that a lot of other fans really hate and can't wait to see end. There's one in particular that I'm surprised I'm enjoying, considering that I really don't like two of the characters involved and don't particularly rate the actors' performances, either. That could be a case of them being better than I realize, but as I've never seen them in anything else, I have nothing else to compare to.

That storyline is the one involving Carla and Rob. The brother-sister dynamic really interests me. Each of them is throwing the bad old days at each other, and old resentments are getting aired along with that complex "I love you, you're my sibling, but I don't like you very much" dynamic. Throw in the characters' partners, Peter and Tracy into the mix. That's what's really throwing me off my game. I like to hate characters when the actor behind them is clearly doing a bang up job.

I've always liked Peter and Carla has most definitely grown on me. I hate Tracy. I don't like the character, nor are we supposed to, but I also don't like the actor's performance. I know that Kate Ford is apparently a very nice person so is it possible she's a better actor than I think? Maybe, because Tracy is such a one sided character, Kate just goes over the top on purpose. I don't like Rob either nor does the actor do anything for me. But you know what? I'm enjoying the Rob-Tracy partnership and I'm liking her involvement in this storyline, sniping from the back seats, winding Carla up and bullying Rob into some semblance of ambition. I like that Rob knows exactly what Tracy's about, how shallow and selfish she is and he sees that she's just like him in many respects. It's why they work well together and it will probably be what tears them apart in the end.

I've also enjoyed the surrogacy storyline from the start. I don't find Tina as grating as many seem to so she's not been bothering me. I could tell from the start that she'd end up wanting to keep the baby, that was a given. I wasn't sure how it was going to work with her having the baby in the same street as his biological parents. I've found it interesting watching the interaction between Gary, Izzy and Tina and then, once Tina decided to keep the baby, it all kicked off. The only part I didn't like was all the sniping and shouting every time they all  ran into each other, no matter where they happened to be. And I really didn't like Anna charging in to the pub and attacking Tina physically. I really didn't think that was called for.

Some may argue that Anna was provoked, with her heartbroken son to defend. I've also read comments that due to Tina having a habit of throwing drinks in people's faces, she was due a come-back. That may be true in some respects but I still think that shocking violent outburst, seemingly out of the blue, was a bit much. The time for that would have been in the hospital lounge when Tina first broke the news and not from Anna. Izzy could be said to have more justification for it than Anna.

I don't think Tina was right to keep the baby and it's been interesting to watch her growing doubts, day by day, as she sees even those closest to her think she's doing the wrong thing though they're supporting her. She found she had difficulty breastfeeding the very first time and that knocked her confidence back even though it's something that commonly happens. The final straw, and one I didn't expect, was the Solomon-like decision  where Izzy backed down and decided to let Tina keep the baby rather than subject the little one to a lifetime of conflict. Tina then did the right thing and gave the baby to Izzy and Gary, his biological parents. The true mother backs off for the sake of the child. She loves him enough to give him up. Tina recognized that and did the right thing in the end.

Will she regret it? Yes, but she will know she did the right thing.

These two storylines have been the ones that have garnered more of the negative feedback that  I've seen so I wanted to put forth my side of it.  There are always going to be characters I don't like and actors that I don't like but rarely would I say that ruins the show for me even if I wish that particular character or disliked storyline would go/end yesterday. And trust me, there is at least one storyline on the go now that I feel that way about and at least one more character that I feel just doesn't work and it's partly because of the way they're written and partly because I really don't like the actor. I gave it a fair chance but it's just not getting any better.

But that's a whole other blog post, maybe. For another day.

Friday, 14 June 2013

The Moral Choice

The surrogacy story has reached the twist that pretty much everyone knew was coming. Tina can't bring herself to give up the baby to Izzy and Gary. In a large part, she was overwhelmed with love for the baby and that's a natural reaction. In a small part, she sees Gary and Izzy fighting, Gary having made a pass at her. Now Izzy and Gary are at odds, perhaps with a cool truce for the baby's sake but Izzy not planning to forgive Gary any time soon. The baby would be brought up in a broken home full of tension.

While I can understand the pull of hormones, I think she's wrong to keep the baby. Legally, she's the mother and does not have to abide by her promise. I believe that even a written contract would not be legally enforceable and as far as Gary's paternal rights go, he only has them if she says he can. Legally she can give paternal rights to Tommy if she chooses. She and Gary were not married at the time of the birth. As for that broken home, she probably thought that a single parent would still be better for the baby than two parents split apart and at each others' throats while sharing custody. She's got Tommy on her side for the time being, but for how long?

Izzy and Gary may be at odds but they also have a family to support them and the child where Tina (and Tommy) have two old age pensioners. Tina does have a mother but she's never been in the picture and seems to have been totally forgotten altogether.

Biologically and genetically, that child is not hers, it's Izzy and Gary's. She promised. She took money (which is illegal aside from legitimate expenses). I don't recall if she signed a contract though there may have been some medical forms signed when she underwent the surrogacy treatments. Morally, I think she should give the baby to his rightful parents, as difficult as it would be for her.

It would have been too simple for the storyline to follow the planned route. Tina gives the baby over and looks sadly at the little family from across the cobbles when she sees them out and about. Having Tina keep the baby after all gives us far more drama and storyline into the near future at least. Everyone's upset, Tina stands alone. Even though Tommy and Rita have supported her, they don't really think she's doing the right thing, either.

There is supposed to be a court hearing now. Whether we'll get that far is another question. Will Tina give in? Will the judge say, Sorry, the law is clear. She can keep the baby. That will cause further ructions, hate and screaming in the middle of the street. I guess we'll find out soon enough. I can't help thinking that in the real world, if this were to happen, Tina might keep the baby and then leave town. (Well, yes, I know that spoiler too, but that's a ways off yet with lots of angst and storyline that can unfold in the meantime).

I know there's been a lot of criticism about the storyline but I have enjoyed it so far even when, at times, I've been annoyed. Overall, I think it's been interesting and good soap fodder. What have you thought?

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