Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Corrie predictions for 2015

I love to speculate on what might happen on Corrie. Some of it is based on standard soap plots but some speculation is based on pure, off the wall predictions. So, just for fun, here's what *could* happen on Coronation Street in 2015:

Nick and Carla get together and surprisingly, it's a really good match. After all, he's not a rapist, he's not a murderer, he's not cheating on anyone else (that is, if Erica is out of the picture. I don't think that's going to be anything long term). I think Nick has enough of both arrogance and sympathy to work well with Carla's personality.

Kylie gets her life back together, perhaps after a rehab stint or a stay with Becky to get her head and body straight. I think someone will find her working in a run down caff or pub somewhere, maybe in Weatherfield or maybe somewhere else like Liverpool or Sheffield or Leeds, perhaps Eva or even David himself. She'll be pregnant with David's child, she'd have left on Christmas Day not realizing she was pregnant so will be about 6 months along, depending on how long Paula Lane's maternity leave is. She will eventually prove to him that she's left the old life behind. David will take her back for the children's sake and the new baby, a boy.

Julie and Dev marry, with Mary's blessing, having gone through a rough patch of adjustment with Julie and Mary at odds. Mary moves into the corner shop flat, finally getting a home and Julie works in the corner shop which puts Sophie's nose out of joint.

Maddy decides to go back to school to make something of her life. Sally approves. Sophie gets jealous and stroppy when Maddy makes new friends and finds out she's really good at her classwork. Sophie spends all her time sulking. No change there, then.

If Sean can keep control of his jealousy and insecurity, he and Billy might just have a chance at happiness but it won't be smooth sailing. Billy's church will have objections and it will be difficult for Sean to accept that Billy's committment to the church will be at least as important as his personal life, probably moreso. Emily will be Billy and Sean's champion in spite of her own personal misgivings because she still believes everyone has a right to love whom they choose. Instead of a tree, Auntie Em climbs the church bell tower in protest, hanging a rainbow banner off the belfry.

The real Gavin is either already dead from the heart ailment or will show up and be a real wrong'un, full of resentment and contempt for his father. The Gavin we have now will admit he pretended at first as a joke but got tangled up in the situation and grew to really like the Platt family, and Michael's heart condition is making it even harder to admit he was an imposter. Either situation causes Gavin to collapse but luckily, he's able to get a heart transplant. He survives and marries Gail. The real Gavin will try to push out the fake one and will treat Michael and Gail badly, perhaps trying to rip them off but the fake Gavin will prove to be the real hero.

Sarah Lou and Bethany will return from Italy. Bethany will be as all the young teens are that are new to the street and be a real handful, spoiled and contemptuous of this little back street neighbourhood after the glamourous life in Milan. She's going to be 15 this year so is just the right age to have the boys drooling. Craig has a crush but she makes a beeline for Zeedan, who, in spite of her not being Muslim, finds himself in the same boat as his father and sister.

Sarah will cut a swath through a lot of men and will be a Tracy Barlow clone. She'll set her sights on Luke, Gavin, Gary (probably just a one night stand), and will be entangled in one love triangle after another. Maria will be yet again dumped after Sarah and Luke have a go.

Tracy will continue to pull Tony's chain and end up in a full affair. When Liz finds out, there will be hell to pay. Deirdre will return and will finally stand up to Tracy and not make excuses for her anymore. Ken will sigh and retreat to the library.

Katy leaves the Street, looking for a life. Alya's knicker designs are a huge hit and she and Carla become very successful partners. Yasmeen becomes a good friend to Roy, offering a supportive shoulder. Roy starts to pick up the pieces of his life and even, finally, gets his driving license as Hayley always wanted.

Fiz returns and we find out that looking after Cilla has driven her to drink. She struggles with booze addiction until one of the children is injured because she was drunk and neglectful. This finally pulls her up and she admits she has a problem.

Mary will meet a rather odd binman, a tall, thin men who keeps muttering about how things keep coming around full circle. He has a particular fondness for hanging around outside Freshcos, looking longingly in through the windows, that is, when he's not looking up at the stars. He and Mary have a connection, based on their eccentric outlook on life and fondness for trivia. She lets him live in her campervan since she's now living in the shop flat. She finally convinces him to come into the pub one night and he's recognized by a number of people. It's Curly!

Steve hits bottom after the van crash and finally starts getting help. Michelle is so ashamed at how she treated Steve that she runs away to Ireland (we can only hope!). Chesney and Sinead die of boredom. So do Lloyd and Andrea. Unless Andrea and Steve have a fling, Andrea being much more fun than Michelle but far less unstable than Becky.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Review: Rita and Me

Rita and Me is a documentary produced to celebrate 50 years since Barbara Mullaney Knox first appeared on Coronation Street as Rita Littlewood Fairclough Sullivan Tanner. We've already told you that it's scheduled to air on ITV at New Year's but in Canada, fans were lucky to see it on Boxing Day night and it was aired again after the Sunday morning Corrie omnibus this weekend, which is when I caught it.

It's a wonderful celebration of all things Barbara and Rita with some of Barbara's background from her origins in Oldham. There are views of the Tower ballroom in Blackpool where her parents danced and views of the Oldham theatre where Barbara got her start.

There are lots of clips from her years on Coronation Street, plus interviews with cast members old and current including both Sue Nicholls and her husband, Mark Eden who played Alan Bradley. He had lots to say regarding their filming of some memorable scenes. Other really interesting details included recollections on how Barbara/Rita fared against the legendary Pat Phoenix/Elsie Tanner.

There is a surprise guest for Barbara near the beginning, her good friend Paul O'Grady, and they show a group of Canadian tourists that were there in September while the filming was happening. There was a segment on Rita's fellas and her stormy relationships with many of them. We see Rita in the aftermath of Len's death and relive her relationship with Alan Bradley as well.

One of the best segments, though, was a reunion between Barbara and Thelma Barlow who played long time Kabin-ette, Mavis Riley Wilton. The two women sit together and watch footage of themselves from the beginning of their on screen partnership to the last scene when Mavis left Weatherfield. Wonderful stuff!

All in all, the documentary was one of the best ones they have done on long-term characters. Canadians can watch the documentary online at CBC.ca. Rita and Me airs on ITV on New Year's Eve at 8 p.m.


Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Demonization of Gary Windass

Now then. Over the past week or so, I've been getting angry while watching certain scenes on Coronation Street. There have also been several comments on the Coronation Street blog that have echoed my growing dismay. The general tone of all this is the systematic demonization of Gary by his family. Like others have stated, it's not fair!

It all started with Gary being friendly with his ex-girlfriend (remember that. "EX"!) Izzy while persuing Alya Nazir in secret due to the anticipated disapproval of her family. Izzy got the wrong end of the stick and thought they might be getting back together. At no time did Gary give her that impression. There was no serious flirting, no taking her up on her offer of a sofa when the Wind-strongs moved into the betting shop flat. Yet when the big reveal about Gary and Alya hit the cobbles, everyone started acting like Gary was a love rat and had cheated on Izzy.

At first, it seemed like Izzy, though angry, was more moritified than upset. She seemed to realize she'd gotten it all wrong but her uppity sister, Katy and her over protective father, Owen, ratcheted up the hate on Gary and are in the process of winding everyone up, making Gary seem like the spawn of some demon of evil. Izzy totally over reacted when Jake first dropped his hat and later got a little scratch while Gary was defending Roy against a gang of bullies.  Owen is even calling him a waste of space. Mind you, he said it when Anna was gone off to visit her cousin. He wouldn't have the cojones to do it within earshot of her. Owen also blamed the family's complete and utter downfall on him for assaulting their former boss, Phelan after finding out that Phelan was coming on to his mother.

One commenter, ChiaGwen, joins me in pointing out that Owen, in spite of everyone warning him off, went into a deal with said Phelan against everyone's better judgement, including his own because the lure of the almighty pound was just too tempting.

The only person that has any right to have any reason to harbour negativity towards Gary is Kal, Alya's father. Even he's overreacted a bit but he's only got his "little girl's" reputation to consider. From his point of view, you can understand why he'd consider Gary a less than exemplary example of son-in-law material. He knows a lot about Gary's history, his mental health issues, his temper, and he's barely employed. Not really someone you would want for your daughter, who's got a lofty future ahead of her. He sees Gary as a man who would drag her down. The fact that Gary's not Muslim almost seems a secondary issue.

Even so, there's no need for Kal to get all Terminator on Gary like he's been doing, all threats and intimidation. Gary's got a good case for unfair dismissal (building the sauna at the gym) unless he didn't have a contract. Kal's even dating someone that's got a dodgey past herself and is not a Muslim. I guess that's the old "do as I say, not as I do" attitude that fathers sometimes wield. The rest of Alya's family are cold towards Gary, hurling sarcastic insults his way, treating him like something they've trod on but they haven't gone as far as his own family have.

But it's his own family that are pushing Gary to the bottom of the barrel, so much so that, in desperation, he is going to break into the cafe to rob it to buy his son a better Christmas gift and will get battered for his troubles, quite literally by a mild mannered man who'd been bullied and pushed beyond his limits. That's only going to give everyone even more reason to shun Gary instead of realizing that they pushed him over the edge.

Gary might not be a favourite character of mine but I always liked him well enough. He's not got a lot of luck at the best of times, he's a slave to his temper and his impulsive nature makes him his own worst enemy.

As for Gary and Alya's on and off relationship, that's a topic for another blog post, another day.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

State of the Street - November 2014

As expected, Peter's out of prison after Rob was exposed as the murderer. Nice twist having Tracy be the one to lead the police to him, albeit a selfish one since she was likely able to do a deal to get the stolen goods trafficking dropped. She might have used Amy as an excuse and that was probably part of it, to be fair. She's still not Mother of the Year but as Amy has grown older, Tracy seems to be able to relate to her better. But as per usual, Tracy won't take any blame or, in this case, let someone she loves (Rob) take the responsibility for his actions. She's got to blame someone else and this time it's Carla. Rob did it all for Carla, you see, so it's her fault, not Rob's for his own actions and decisions. This is why Tracy will never be redeemed. She won't take responsibility for her own actions and always needs someone else to blame for whatever stress she's under. It's also why Amy is starting to turn into a mini-Tracy, lying to make situations worse in order to get attention.

Peter really did think that Carla might forgive him and have him back. Realistically, down deep he probably knew she wouldn't, but I would assume he convinced himself otherwise as a prison survival instinct. It got him through those last few days and out the door but one final rejection and he ran for the hills. Or the sea. Portsmouth, anyway, where he's been before. I wonder if he still owns a betting shop there like he did years ago? Remember? He had Adam with him to help run it before Adam mysteriously ended up in Canada and needing his grandad to help when he got ill. Farewell Peter. I hope he comes back someday. Chris Gascoyne has been one of my favourite actors on the show.

Across the road, Tim is now learing to read, first with Anna's tutelage. Some may say that seems out of character for someone like Anna, not overly educated herself but why not? It seems to me that anyone that can read competently has the potential to teach someone else to read and almost all parents teach their kids their ABCs before they go to school, don't they? Tim would be too embarassed to go to an adult literacy class lest everyone find out and besides, having him do that on the sly wouldn't be as good a plot device so we have Anna teaching him and Sally suspecting an affair. And then, of course, it all comes out, Sally is quite supportive and now wants to take over as teacher and that will be a disaster if ever there was one. She's far too demanding and it will drive Tim crazy. I think it would be nicer if Maddie helped him. And in the last week of the month, after Sally found out about Tim, we've had nothing. No show of her helping him at all. I hope they don't let it die a pitiful death, with Tim suddenly reading, having had all the blood, sweat and tears over Dick and Jane in the background. But that's probably what will happen.

 As expected, the Windasses have to get out of their house but I'm surprised they ended up in the bookies' flat. Well, I'm not but I expected the corner shop flat which isn't any larger so I guess it doesn't matter. I forgot that Katy and Joseph live with Steph now, because I was stunned...how on earth all those people fit in the house at Number 6 was baffling enough but now they're going to somehow stack them like cord wood in a pokey two bedroom flat? But it's at least marginally credible because Gary will be kipping on the sofa. I guess Izzy won't be visiting as often because the stairs will be difficult unless Owen carries her up. And, also as I expected, it leaves Number 6 free for Yasmeen and Shariff who have a really nice home already. Realistically, they'd never sell up and move to Coronation Street but again, plot devices must dictate and there will be new neighbours that get a cheap house at auction. It's not a good luck house, though. There have been a lot of deaths and bad things happen there. Any new tennant should really avoid it.

Gary's still sneaking around with Alya but that's bound to come out sooner or later especially since Leanne knows. You know what? I don't really care! I liked Gary and Izzy but I don't feel the spark with this pair. There doesn't seem to be a lot of spark between Kal and Leanne either. Leanne always worked best with a "bad boy" like Peter or that Danny Baldwin, remember him? Ohh, how about Leanne and Gavin? I bet that would light the Bistro up under Nick's backside!

Kylie's on drugs. Then she's not. Then she is again. Make up your mind, chuck. She tries to resist the temptation of her old life but her new one is laying on the guilt and stress and now that she's dipped her toe in the water, she can't seem to resist jumping in for a swim even if she's actually wallowing in a dirty old canal instead of a sparkling clean lake. Sorry. Got carried away with analogies, there. I know the actress will be going on maternity leave soon, probably just about at Christmas so I'm trying to figure out how that's going to play out. Rehab? Rock Bottom and then a healing visit to her sister Becky for a bit, leaving David holding the responsibility for the kids? Or will she go off with Callum and come back after her mat leave, tail between her legs, all strung out and wanting help? Because of Max and Lily, he'll take her back, you know he will.

And then there's Gail, Michael and the prodigal son, Gavin. Michael's on medication for his heart condition. I half expect a transplant at some point, for extra drama. Gavin has turned up and understandably is hesitant about getting to know his father again. God knows what his mother told him over all those years. And speaking of his mother, he was very cagey when people asked about her. He's got the markings of a bad'un though and he's got his own secrets. I reckon he spent time in jail during that spell that David said there was no sign of him when he was doing an internet search. What was he in jail for? He certainly liked the idea that Gail must have savings and Audrey owns a business as well so he could very well be yet another con man out to fleece the McInPlattBerts clan somehow. Only Gail doesn't have much money, does she? We know David bought the house because Gail lost all her money to Lewis. Anything he paid for the house would have paid off the money she borrowed against the house for the last con man. She hasn't really discussed finances with Michael.

We viewers are feeling really bad for Steve, who is really struggling. He can't talk to anyone and he can't pull himself out of his depression, not without help, help that he can't accept he needs yet. He can't concentrate, can't sleep, He's doing anything he can to distract himself. I can't blame him for spending time in the Bistro. Steph is jolly and cheery and has no expectations of him while Michelle just keeps ragging on Steve making him feel worse. Michelle is sure he's gone off her and the world revolves around her. He won't talk to her so that's it, it's her, not him. He can't tell her what's wrong so she sees no other way but to leave him and he lets her go. He did get diagnosed but he still can't talk to anyone, not even his mother because when he tried, she tore a strip off him, too. He's retreating into himself further and further. It's going to be a painful story to watch, but a very good one.

It was a bit of a stretch, that telescope taking years to get to Norris from Australia, wasn't it? The only thing that irked me is that Norris aka the writers made it sound as if Ramsay sent it before he died, "to make amends". Except Ramsay died on the plane en route back to Oz. Unless it was in his will, which it certainly could have been, he didn't send it himself. If he'd wanted Norris to have it, he could have brought it to England himself when he came so that option's off the table, too. Anyway. It's the little things, isn't it? And having said that, that whole storyline with Norris chasing a parcel that he only had to ask be delivered to the Kabin rather than chasing the delivery man around day in and day out was ludicrous and extremely painful to watch. The only brilliant bit was that scene where the little guy in the depot held all the cards and shut the office up in Norris' face because he didn't have ID and it was closing time! Excellent stuff! The other good outcome was finding out Craig was an astronomy fan and him helping Norris with a tablet app. Anything with Craig in it lately is just lovely. I hope they show a bit more of his friendship with Faye, too!

We had a visit from Cilla who was uncharacteristically restrained. Chesney was bitter and cynical, and he's probably right in that she only came back because she was ill but she really did seem to have a reality check when she realized what her children thought of her. I think she really did have a few regrets and accepted that she got what she deserved. Still, she was only there to facilitate the exit of Jennie McAlpine (Fiz) for her maternity leave. I enjoyed seeing her again, and it was good that she wasn't over the top but still showed flashes of the old, selfish Cilla now and then. I think it's good that they have progressed her a bit now that she's older.

And that's the State of the Street in November. We're scooting up to the big Christmas storylines. I wonder if anyone will have a Merry one? You can pretty much bet the Platts won't!

Friday, 28 November 2014

Gavin's a wrong'un. But what's his secret?

It was pretty clear that Gavin Rodwell  was going to be a wrong'un. Soaps are not produced to have happy reunions and happily ever after, especially for a family like the Platts. Yes, at the moment, I'm including Michael in that family.  Over on the Coronation Street blog, a couple of people have made comments guessing that Gavin isn't really Michael's son.

They were right.

Not only is he not of Michael's DNA, as in, Michael's ex had an unfortunately timed affair, but  this man that calls himself Gavin Rodwell is someone else entirely. That is a brilliant twist! Has it been done before? Of course it has. But I still like the idea. And thinking about it, there had already been signs.

Gavin, when questioned about his mother, was very cagey, changing the subject. Obviously, if he wasn't the real Gavin, he wouldn't know much or anything at all about Michael's ex. Gavin was touted by his ex-girlfriend, the manager of the wine bar, as being a dab hand with cocktails but the man we saw on our screens didn't know his martinis from his cosmos.

 He seemed reluctant to get too close to Michael. On the surface, that could have been attributed to a son, long abandoned by a father, who wasn't so sure he was ready to forgive but in reality, it's actually a man who doesn't want anyone to get to close lest they discover he's not who he says he is.

We know he's not Gavin, now. Gavin's travelling and out of touch somewhere. Could this man be a roommate, a good friend, a cousin or half brother perhaps, or even a partner? He genuinely seems to live at the flat and Gavin's mail is arriving because we saw the man looking at it one night. This man is unemployed and it sounded like he was looking for money but then he looked embarassed to take Michael and Gail's offering.

He even seems like a nice bloke, so far. There's been none of those private sneers when nobody's looking. Here's what I think: Maybe he's been scoping Michael out on behalf of Gavin, perhaps trying to protect his friend from someone that he thought might have been insincere or out to fleece Gavin and now realizes that Michael is the real thing and maybe not the monster that Gavin has always thought he was.  He actually seemed quite worried when he found out about the heart condition and tried anxiously to get hold of Gavin. That felt like the concern of someone who is close.

I applaud The Powers That Be for revealing this straight away rather than letting us stew for a couple of months. Now we get to watch the oncoming train knowing the bridge is out and there's nothing we can do to stop the derailment. Let's just hope this doesn't deal Michael that heart attack he's got floating around the edges before he gets his heart  condition sorted!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

State of the Street - October 2014

There were two main storylines this month, Peter's Trial leading to Rob's confession and Kylie's slide down the slippery slope.

In the lead up to the trial, Jim and Peter were dancing around each other like two dogs about to go to war but Jim needed to keep on the good side of Liz. He'd promised to keep Peter safe in exchange for Liz's visits. One slip, and he'd lose the tenuous hold he'd had on her. But Tony found out and he gave her an ultimatum. You don't give Liz anything that even smells of an ultimatum and she not only tore a strip off Tony but one off Jim just for good measure. Tony left her but they started sniffing around each other within days, both too stubborn to make the first move so you knew they'd get back together in the end.

Just her luck that they no sooner get back together when Tracy is arrested for perverting the course of justice, (more about that in a minute) and there's every chance Tony could get done for fencing stolen goods. Liz isn't going to stand for that and she told him so!

Time for the trial. I don't know where they got that jury. Even though there was some damning evidence, there was also evidence that should have raised reasonable doubt and not just because Carla said she thought he was innocent. Even though we didn't hear testimony that Deirdre washed the bracelet so that any subsequent fingerprints could not possibly point to a murderer, the fact that Peter didn't have blood on his clothes from any murder weapon should have done the trick. But as it's a soap, he's guilty until Rob can be busted.

And busted he will be. He buckled under the force that is Carla and confessed that he killed Tina and expected her to keep the secret, hoping her loyalty to him would be more than doing the right thing and not letting someone be jailed for something he didn't do. I figured Carla would be the one to bring Rob down though I didn't expect him to confess. I thought she'd figure it out but she got the wrong end of the stick and thought it was Tracy that did it. Anyway, it comes right down to the wedding day which started on Wednesday October 29 but concluded on Halloween.

(There's a lot more about the wedding here)

It's been a good storyline even if the original Peter-Tina affair was a bit hard to believe. I still found it easier to get on board with than I did Kevin and Molly, though. I've enjoyed watching the twists and turns and it will be a pity we have to lose Marc Baylis but that's soap law. He's got to pay for what he did and if he does a runner, he'll get caught eventually.

In the meantime, we get to watch with glee as Tracy's world crashes down around her. That's two weddings in a row that tanked. She might not want to try for a third. She's such a bitch that when karma finally bites her, we all enjoy it. Kate Ford has come a long way and Rob and Tracy had very good chemistry together, testament to the acting as well as the writing.

Meanwhile, Steve feels like his father used him to get to his mother and just when Jim thought he was close to being released to an open prison, meaning a bit more freedom, Steve nailed that door shut, reporting him for having a forbidden phone and harassing his mother. Busted and it's goodbye to Jimmy Mack. I did enjoy seeing him again. I always thought that he was a great character and he and Liz, aka Charlie Lawson and Bev Callard and also Simon Gregson, all three crackle with chemistry on screen.

Meanwhile, Steve is sinking into depression but everyone just thinks he's off in cloud cuckoo land, Planet Steve, his mother says and neither his mother nor Michelle, who would be the ones that know him best, spot that there's anything out of the ordinary wrong with him. It's going to be an interesting storyline, watching Steve battle depression.

Now over to Kylie's predicament. She really went off the rails, didn't she? Some might say it came out of nowhere when she'd been showing so much responsibility and maturity. But she still had an edge and was still volatile. The crisis with Max hit her hard with a great, big dollop of guilt. She knew she was a rubbish mother when he was little and decided his ADHD condition was all her fault and she wasn't coping well with his antics.

Now we find out that she used to be into drugs as well. It really didn't strike me as a ret-con because I could fully believe that she ran with a wild set. Becky did as well. And if she did drugs while pregnant, that's even more reason to feel guilty. She said she didn't while she was pregnant but there's always that first month or two when you don't realize you're up the duff and that's the time when drugs and alcohol do the worst damage to a baby. It's also possible Max inherited the gene from his father who turns out to be a really handsome drug dealer. He looks more like a pop star! Never mind.

I like that they're writing Kylie as conflicted, trying to live up to everyone's expectations, trying to handle the guilt but failing. She never did have a lot of self confidence and though she's trying hard, and doesn't want to lose her family, she's slipping. She has to, because the actress is going on maternity leave so we'll not have her on screen for awhile. Maybe she'll be in rehab or maybe she'll go to Becky to clean up leaving poor David reeling. Who'd have thought he'd get so mature?

The odious Cilla is back but she's changed. She still has a gob and she still hasn't got much tact but she's subdued and in pain a lot of the time. She's been brought down off her high horse. She realized what her children really think of her and knows it's all her fault. I guess it's a good thing Tyrone and Fiz built that room up in the loft! At least they have somewhere to put her until she goes back to Wolverhampton because she will. And Fiz will go with her because that actress is also going on maternity leave. I know some of you will be saying it's a personality transplant but I think Cilla had a big, bad reality check and that really snapped her former brashness out of her quite a lot.

Chesney is still bitter and resentful and you can understand why. Fiz is a mother now and she always was the more responsible one, having to look after Chesney because her mother was useless. I think she has a bit more sympathy because she always could take care of herself. Chesney was only a kid and left to his own devices, or put in care when Fiz was too young to take responsibility for him. She treated him pretty badly and he was a sensitive little boy, unlike Fiz who grew a tough hide. Fiz might be able to forgive her mother, but if Chesney ever does, it will be a longer time coming. It's interesting, though. I liked to hate Cilla and this is a different side of her but I think it's believable, too.

We had a nearly Windass-free month except for Gary and Alya mooning over each other. Is it me or are they really boring together? I like her, she's certainly got a mind of her own but I just can't see any sparks between them. It's interesting how Tim and Kevin are starting to become mates, and fun because it really annoys Sally! It's been a mostly Sophie and Maddie-free month too aside from a few episodes where we discovered that Tim can't read very well at all. I do like the chemistry and mutual respect between Maddie and Tim. I kind of feel like they're kindred spirits somehow. Really enjoying the character of Tim, too.

Who else has been in the cupboard... Nick, we've not seen much of him, nor have we seen much of Leanne and Kal though Kal is dealing with his resentful son, Zeedan. Can't blame him for taking against Leanne. On the surface, with her past, she doesn't look like a very good candidate, does she? We haven't seen much of Dev and Julie after an initial little spark between them but I think that's going to be persued, with poor Mary feeling pushed aside in the process. Careful, Julie, You don't want to make an enemy out of her!

November should see Rob dealt with one way or another as everyone else gets their head around the fall out. Kylie and David's story will have a few more twists and Steve's storyline will take more focus.

Friday, 31 October 2014

The latest wedding fail

Tracy and Rob's wedding was doomed from the night Rob took that crowbar in his hand and bashed Tina over the head. We've seen him looking shifty, guilty, and troubled ever since and it's all come out in the wash in true soap fashion, on the wedding day.

Carla started to be suspicious of Rob's over the top reaction to Peter being convicted, and little things chipped away at her sense of logic, like finding out Peter was in prison because he thought Carla killed Tina and was taking the blame. Tracy and Rob's stories for the night of the murder (also their engagement party) didn't match and she came to the conclusion that Tracy was the killer. After all, it's not the first time she's been heavy handed with a blunt object, is it?

She pushed and she cajoled and finally Rob admitted he killed Tina. Then it was down to Carla. Would she turn him in or not? Would she be able to live with the fact that the man that hurt her so badly was in prison for something he didn't do? In there for life? Would she let Rob marry Tracy knowing what he had done?

The day of the wedding dawns clear and sunny. Tracy is oblivious to the storm that's going to rain down on her horse drawn parade. She's self centered, obnoxious, unbearably rude to Emily and happy as a pig in much. The happier she became, the more compliments thrown her way (mainly from her father), the more you knew her crash was truly going to be spectacular and we all waited in anticipation for Karma to kick her lace-covered backside. (Ok, it was a lovely dress, I'll give her that)

It looked as if Carla really didn't know what to do but both Carla and Rob had a chance to level a knowing glance at the memorial outside the builder's yard. I think Carla's conversation with Ken outside the wedding venue probably turned the corner for her decision. She turned Rob in for the sake of Ken, Deirdre and Simon's sake. She did the right thing. She might not be able to forgive Peter for what he'd done to her, but she couldn't see him spending most of the rest of his life being punished for something her brother did.

Problem is, she confronted Rob, as if to tell him what she'd done and it gave Rob a chance to make a run for it. She should have stayed outside until the police came. I'm sure he'll get caught and it will happen sooner than later. Tracy got jilted and her life turned upside down. Viewers all over stood up and punched the air with glee.

Tracy, of course, blames Carla rather than the murderer she almost married and she's collapsed, mascara streaked cheeks, into her father's arms. Ken did a impressive job of not saying "I told you so", considering he never liked Rob from the start. The police definitely blame Carla for tipping off Rob. Carla must have been pretty convincing on the phone for them to take it so seriously rather than having her come in, make a statement and questioning Rob later.

In the end, just to add insult to injury, with the added cliche of rubbing salt in the wound, the bride was arrested for perverting the course of justice (false alibi or possibly, they think, covering for Rob). Couldn't have happened to a nicer gal!

As I said, her wedding dress was quite nice though when anyone wears one that tight I always wonder how comfortable it could possibly be. I'd have gone with an updo for my hair, mind you, showing off her long neck with that lacy deep V-Neckline. Amy looked like a little princess in her fluffy dress. Too bad Tracy barely gave her a nod most of the time except when she kicked off about her flowers.

I loved Emily's and Rita's hats! Mary's fascinator was much more subdued than usual. Did you notice that Tim and Sally coordinated, with her dress containing the same shade of pink he wore for a tie? Beth wore a particularly lovely shade of pink but the earrings were definitely less than classy and really mismatched with the necklace and it was all Totally Beth!

Carla wore a suit that was her version of a tux but much more stylish and chic which is Carla all over. She looked great! Ken, of course, as father of the bride, looked very natty and Rob looked smart in his tailed tux as well!

A few side comments:
Michelle might have been the wedding planner but when did one of those get to direct the photographer in which photos and portraits to take? Shut up, woman. Tracy made Michelle run after the carraige to retrieve Amy's flowers. Well, you knew the job was dangerous when you took it!

Oh, and the manor house is well outside of Manchester city centre. Did those poor horses have to drag that carriage all that way on the motorways and through traffic?

I did think it was a bit strange that Gail, who'd popped over to borrow Ken's kimono (and let's not go into how wrong that was!), was all chirpy and cheerful and full of best wishes for the woman that conspired to keep her in prison on a murder charge. She hates Tracy! The Gail we all know and love might have wished her good luck but it would have been with a snarky remark about Rob needing all the luck he could get.

I can't blame Peter for being afraid to hope. He probably does think it's Carla's word against Rob's and what if the canal has washed all the evidence clean off the murder weapon? And now that it was Carla that threw him a lifeline, he's going to  think she'll have him back if he does get released. Ain't gonna happen, dude.

Time after time, Tracy is rude to Emily yet she continues to be nothing but kind to her. That's what Emily is all about but you'd think she'd get tired of it after all these years. I did think it was odd she delivered the wedding card to Tracy in the pub at her hen party rather than give it to her with the cameo on the wedding day. Sometimes, a set up for the sake of a writer's whim or a more dramatic or funnier scene just feels very contrived and it doesn't work. At all. That was one of those times.

Laughed at Beth trying to set up Sean with the waiter but Kirk getting it all wrong and the waiter thought Kirk was chatting him up! Loved Mary being so sweet with Amy. Tracy was annoying but then she always is.  Still wonder how Tracy found enough people to put all those bums on seats. Tim, Sally and Kevin are  hanging out together like the Three Amigos more and more and Sally is getting annoyed that Kevin and Tim are getting to be mates. 

There you have it. Weddings on Coronation Street rarely run smoothly.  I enjoyed the three episodes. Our next one up to the altar will be Beth and Kirk and I think I heard her mention something about Christmas. I canNOT wait to see that one!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

It's not all about Michelle

We have seen the beginning of the storyline focussing on Steve struggling with depression. As many others have said, Steve is a very good character to carry this.

Depression can strike anyone, even the usually happy-go-lucky people like goofy Steve. Simon Gregson is an underrated actor when it comes to serious stuff but I've often seen him do some really great acting when the acting gets tough. I can remember quite a few scenes during his time with Becky that he had to pull out all the stops and he could be breathtaking. He's come a long way from that fingernail chewing scallywag he once was!

There has already been one scene with Liz who showed concern, noting that he's not been himself. His mother sometimes shows a bit of disrespect for her son but she also knows him better than anyone, even his current partner, Michelle.

Michelle is going to start worrying that Steve has gone off her. It's annoying that Michelle sees something different and immediately thinks it's got anything to do with her. But on the other hand, that's typical of her. She's long been dismissive of Steve and treats him appallingly. She doesn't show a lot of respect and can be a bit of a bully to him, too. I often feel she treats him like a naughty child. It's going to be painful watching her moan and whinge while watching Steve suffer and try to hide it. I'm sure Liz will suspect there's more going on but he'll keep everyone he loves at arms' length until he will eventually have to admit he needs help.

 I'm looking forward to seeing this play out even if I expect I will be shouting at the screen every time Me-chelle whines. If there was a genie in a bottle, I'd wish that this would break up Steve and Michelle because I never thought they were suited but I doubt that's going to happen. Michelle will get her knuckles rapped and a hefty piece of guilt-sauced humble pie and be very supportive once Steve is finally coming out the other side.

As long as she doesn't overdo it by spoonfeeding his medication and scheduling rests and downtime for him.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Nazir Towers

Apparently, the Nazir family is set to move into the Street. The only question is where because none of the houses are empty and there's only a couple of tiny flats which, like all the other tiny flats, seem to have room for at least two bedrooms. You can tell from the size of the various buildings they're in that there's no way you can fit a two bedroom flat, with living area and bathroom into the space allocated. Elastic walls again. And some of the buildings, like the Kabin and the Salon/Taxi office have TWO two-bedroom flats! Madness!

But I digress.

Where will the Nazirs go? There's one house that has had a very frequent turnover ever since it was built, mainly it's been a scene of murder and other disasters and I reckon the current owners and inhabitants, Anna, Owen, Gary and Faye, will vacate when the bills mount up and the bank wants the house back. We haven't heard a lot about Owen's debt lately. He did declare bankruptcy but I don't think that related to the mortgage on the house though the bailiffs did come and remove some items but it was related to his business, I think.

I imagine that they're going to lose the house and they'll be the ones crammed into one of the tiny flats that are available, probably the one over the corner shop, and Sharif and Yasmeen will give up whatever very nice house they currently own, unrealistically, and buy it and move the whole clan in. The only other place that might be likely is a posh flat in Victoria Court seeing as only Nick seems to live there. (Is that where Carla is buying her flat?)

I think there's meant to be three bedrooms upstairs, again, somewhat unrealistically, but that's enough at least for the married couple and each of the two grandchildren. Kal can bunk in with Leanne or with his son and we're sorted. 

And I still think Mary needs to rent a flat. I'm surprised Dev has never suggested the shop flat for her at a reduced rent considering her being his nanny and all. I believe the flat over the butcher shop (soon to be community centre) is vacant, as well.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

State of the Street - September 2014

Kylie's really taking Max's condition personally. It's dragged up all her old insecurities and she took one of Max's pills to calm down and is fighting the urge to down the whole strip. I don't actually think they would have the same effect on an adult without the same condition, however, so that might be a bit of a slip on the writers' part. I could be wrong, though. I haven't checked it out. But because of that nagging doubt, the storyline doesn't work for me. It would have been more likely that she ran into an old friend who, realizing Kylie was stressed, passed on a couple of pills "just in case" but the writers don't listen to me.

Having said that, it's still interesting enough if I just suspend that bit of disbelief. Kylie has come a long way and grown up a lot but she had an awful lot of history to overcome and it's not easy. I can see how all this knocked her back and I can understand how easy it might be for her to return to old ways though she's been really trying hard to find purchase on that slippery slope. David wasn't very supportive when he found out and that might be the nudge she doesn't really need.

Peter was at death's door. Again. Deirdre really took it hard, Ken is worried sick and even Tracy shows concern. She does love her mother, father and brother even if she doesn't show it much. But weddings can't be forgotten either and since she can't help Peter, priorities must be set. And poor Carla, she can't get away from it. Rob wants her to forget Peter and cut ties and he really hoped Peter didn't make it. Peter's confession to Carla that he is taking the blame for Tina's death to save her from it made her realize that he didn't do it. Peter survived as we knew he would and his return kicked off a war between Jim and Peter.

Steve seemed quite pleased to make up with his dad, in spite of Liz's misgivings. Guaranteed that it wasn't going to last and Steve would get kicked in the proverbial gut by his father's actions again. Didn't take long. Once Peter spitefully told Tracy that Jim was the one that supplied the booze he drank, she went straight to Steve as he knew she would and that turned Steve back against his father and he grassed him up to the authorities for good measure. A nice quiet little enterprise has been squashed, Jim blames Peter and so do all the other prisoners that were bellying up to the makeshift bar. Peter and everyone else might have blamed Jim for roughing him up. He might not have given the order but he certainly didn't discourage it either. He was more concerned with visits from Liz and Steve.

Now Jim has lost his son again and that's another reason to be pissed at Peter. If you thought things were ugly before, they're about to get worse. This isn't an easy ride up to his trial and we still have the roller coaster of that to anticipate. Tracy and Rob's wedding is looming, if indeed it happens. Rob's days are numbered, we know that, we just don't know when and how it's all going to blow up in his face. I first thought Ken would be the instigator of Rob's downfall but now I think it's going to be Carla. That would be more dramatic, Carla having to turn in her beloved brother, don't you think?

There might even be a few people out there that will have some small modicum of sympathy for Tracy. I won't be one of them. I thoroughly enjoyed Becky ruining her marriage to Steve, formerly the love of her life and I shall enjoy even more seeing her face when she finds out about Rob and her life as she sees it ruined. It is too bad in a way, though I detest Tracy as most of us do, she and Rob really were well suited. They "get" each other and accept each other, warts and all, though Tracy's attitude and nasty mouth still upset Rob now and then. I expect it will all come apart in October.

Tyrone is recovering slowly. I don't really understand why Tyrone is feeling the loss of the salary. He's either part or full owner of the business, I forget what Kevin had done in the end, but either way he can draw on a share of the profits, can't he? Working or not? Kevin's back and he's putting Tyrone to work in the office until he's able to dive into an engine. Meanwhile Fiz and Tyrone fell out with yet another long time friend and the only thing to make them see reason was the reason of the women, Eva and Eileen. They get to keep the five grand and get the work redone and everyone's friendly again.

Todd didn't get sacked at first because Jason and Tony didn't want to raise anyone's suspicions but once the truth came out, all bets were off. Todd is jobless and that silver tongue doesn't seem to have brought him any luck finding something else. Nobody wants to be friends with Todd and he's desperate to make someone, anyone like him again. He has even turned his mother off, for the time being though she won't be hard against him for too long. Mothers like Eileen can't turn it off that easily. Todd really only seems upset when he's caught out and can't worm out of it. If he can, then he's cocky and glib all over again. He strikes me very much like the boy who cried wolf. He's all about attention. Once he gets back in the good books, I have no doubt he'll be back to his nasty tricks again. He's not very likeable but he's fun to watch.

Kevin finally got back again after all of the excitement had cleared up while Luke heroically has been keeping his and Tyrone's business afloat single handed. I hope he gets a decent bonus out of this. I really hope he's not going to go all puppy dog and follow Sally around with a wistful look all the time. He needs to get on with his life. He says he knows that but will he? I know on soaps they keep putting popular couples back together again over and over but there comes a time when it's just not realistic and it's boring. Sally has a new fella that suits her really well. If they put her back with Kevin it will be the same old same old.

Maddy is coming along nicely isn't she? She's cleaned up, got two jobs, and getting on with Sophie's parents. She's even got Simon as a fan which helps her get over missing her little brother so much. I think Sophie and Maddie need to find some friends. I know they're friendly with some of the other young women but they never seem to hang out with anyone. Why shouldn't they go out on the razz with Steph and Katy? Whatever happened to Sophie and Chesney's friendship? That's been forgotten. They could take Faye under their wing. Anyway. I like Maddy and now that she's not so defensive, she seems to suit Sophie a bit better but they still don't seem to have a lot of chemistry. Sophie and Sian had it, but nobody they've put with Sophie since then has really worked with her as a couple. Amy Kelly's good, though. Really good.

Enjoying the wedding wars between Beth who's trying to keep up with Tracy. I can't imagine how Tracy's managing to pay for this elaborate wedding she's planning. The shop can't be doing *that* well and Rob can't have *that* much money in the bank. I would imagine Beth and Kirk will realize they have even less money before long and we'll see them have a cheap but very cheerful and quirky wedding of their own and I bet it will be happier and longer lived than Tracy and Rob's! And as much as I thought the actor playing Neil did a brilliant job, I'm glad this is over. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out!

Dev and Julie are starting to see each other in a new light, one that Mary would most definitely like to hide under a bushel. It's a hoot watching and listening to her trying to undermine the inevitable! It will be a bit heartbreaking though, to see her face in disappointment. I hope Dev handles her gently. Perhaps Julie will be the one that smoothes over the hurt and keeps Mary included in their lives. If Julie keeps on working, they'll still need Mary after all. 

October will be the month to see Peter's trial and probably Tracy and Rob's wedding, likely just after that. It'll be interesting to see how that all comes out. Rob's days must be numbered one way or another.

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