Monday, 17 March 2014

Flavour of the Month

There's news over the weekend that Kym Marsh has signed on to Corrie for another year. No big deal, you would think, but the unnamed anonymous "inside" source spoke to the media saying that Michelle, Kym's character, is the very center of Coronation Street and everyone is pleased she's staying on. Um. I would beg to differ there but the thing is, sources like that are usually an agent or publicity spin doctor paid by the actor, at least, that's what I think. For nearly the entire time that Ms. Marsh has been on Coronation Street, we've seen her face plastered in the newspapers, photo shoots, on every red carpet and carpets of all colours. She's very good at getting her name and face out there.

Then you remember that Michelle has been the focus of a great many storylines in the past. For a year or two there, it really did feel like Michelle was the center of the show but it wasn't in a good way. It was overkill and Corrie seems to be doing a lot of that lately. They really over-use a character to the point where most of the fans are truly sick of them and it turns them off the character.

I never had a problem with Michelle at first, she wasn't an actor that would win major acting awards but she wasn't that bad either. But then it started. She was everywhere though not shoved into everyone else's storyline as well, like they did with Stella Price, at least. It culminated in the very ill-conceived (and yes, pun very much intended) storyline about her biological son being switched in the hospital with another. The Ryan/Alex storyline was awful and although it's been completely swept under the rug by the writers, fans remember and wonder why Michelle never contacts her biological son on his birthday and why a stroppy Ryan never screamed "You're not my real mother" back when he and she were feuding.

After that, Michelle took a back seat for awhile and it was All Becky All the Time. Again, overusing the character but for me, in this case, I liked Becky and Katherine Kelly a lot more so it didn't bother me. It was a bone of contention for a lot of fans, however, and Ms. Kelly's face wasn't plastered over the media nearly as much as Ms. Marsh's. This isn't a new phenomenon though.

If you think back to the 1990s, you may recall an actress called Tracy Shaw who played Maxine Heavy Peacock. She was the first media darling that I remember and she was all over the tabloids. There were rumours that she herself was the "anonymous" source for some of the stuff that got into the papers.

Another point that seems to crop up with these women is that, as an actor, their skills are not that strong. Some were/are better than others but most of them, when they decide to leave the show to persue other projects, don't really get very far. It's a testement to their ability, not their popularity, that they make a successful career outside Coronation Street, like Katherine Kelly, Sarah Lancashire (Raquel) and another former favourite of mine, Suranne Jones. The rest spend some time working the media then fade quietly away.

At the moment, Helen Flanagan, who played Rosie Webster, seems to be her own publicity machine and making sure her name, face and body are a staple of the salivating tabloids and social media. She wanted to be famous. She is, but it's for her face and figure, not for all those acting jobs that haven't really appeared yet. She, too, will eventually fade as the flavour of the month turns to a new face.

Some of the women realize their limits and stay with Coronation Street as long as they can. The security is good, whether or not they like to keep their name in the spotlights. Most of them, in fact, keep their private lives private though disappointingly, even the ones that seem the most sincere still end up selling their stories or their wedding/baby pics to one of the glossier magazines. It's that last bit that kind of makes me feel let down. Sometimes, they do have a message to tell, like when Sally Dynevor went through her cancer treatements. Seeing her story in Hello magazine got her message of hope and survival out to a lot of people and that is a good thing. Selling your wedding photos offsets the cost of your big day and that just feels cheap.

I guess I've got off track a bit I hate pandering to the media and the ones that do it the most deserve it the least. I certainly think a lot less of the actors that do it and when the Powers that Be shove a character down our throats in storyline after storyline, especially silly storylines that make no sense, only serve to make us sick of them, not love them more and it's moreso when it's an actor that isn't up to the workload nine times out of ten.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Here's what I think about Corrie lately

Owen has insisted that Tina get a roommate to help her make her rent payments. I don't think he has the right and she certainly should have the right to say no, I can make the rent on my own. And what happened to the money she seemed to have leftover? Maybe that's what she's been using to pay the rent. I like Steph, though, I do. Tina's being very rude to her so far but then we know why. She won't have a convenient place to have clandestine meetings with Peter.

It's a never ending reality check for Tina. Just as she says, it's a truth she doesn't want to hear but she hears it straight from a loved up Carla's lips when she was gushing to Michelle about how romantic her husband is. She won't listen to Liz, the voice of experience. She pretends to her friends that her mate is having a fling with a married man and gets a dose of their disapproval, too. She sort of defends her friend and sort of agrees it'll end in tears. 

She tells him she loves him and he can't say a word. Why does she put up with it? Because every time she tries to back off, he turns on the charm and draws her back in and he will this time, too. He's like most every bloke that's cheating. He wants it both ways and doesn't want his wife to find out because he never had any intentions of leaving her.

The Windass disaster is holding my interest, too. Phelan is a wonderful villain and something Michael and Gemma from Conversation Street podcast said this week had me nodding my head in agreement. When Phelan came out of the shadows, all cocky and ready for revenge was a Jez Quigley moment. I think Phelan is probably what Jez would have been had he lived to middle age.

The Windass family is already imploding in on themselves, blaming each other but especially Gary. Really, though, if Anna hadn't kept secret the fact that Phelan came on to her, none of this would have happened. We know we're seeing the slippery end of this and it's going to roll downhill faster than a plastic toboggan on ice and I speculate that Phelan could very well end up dead. Who might be the culprit? My money's on his wife.

She's a fierce thing and may get to the point where she's just had enough of his manipulation and womanizing. She's great, too, though, isn't she? She's hard as nails, calculating and uncompromising. She is fully aware of her husband's shortcomings and sticks with him, probably for the perks and status she gets in her big home. But there has to be money worries if he's had bankruptcy problems even if he manages to slip out of it with loopholes.

Most people seem to really dislike Maddie and Sophie's storyline because most people seem to dislike Sophie herself. I don't mind her and I don't mind the storyline but what I do find fun to watch is Sally's reactions to it all. I also find Tim's reactions interesting. It seems to me he and Sophie aren't as antagonistic as they were at first and he actually seems quite supportive of her. I think Tim is growing to like Sophie and she might even be warming to him. They could be good allies.

I don't like Tony. I haven't trusted him from the start. No matter how many times he pretends he's just there to get back into Jason's life, I keep siding with Eileen. He's trouble. He's already proved it by sabotaging the new builder and stealing his tools so that Jason could get the job back (and probably worm his way in to helping Jason as well).

I'm not surprised Liz is attracted to him. She even said Tony's a bit rough and we all know that's exactly Liz's type.  Is Eileen jealous? Perhaps a little though I don't think she wants Tony back. I do think perhaps she still fancies him even though she knows all his bad points. And then there's the fact that if he gets involved with Liz, that's more reason Tony has to stick around, upsetting everyone.

There does seem to be a bit of a turn around in the comedy lately. Deirdre playing peacemaker and referee between Eileen and Liz was good. She's right, they're all too long in the tooth to fall out over men! I also laughed at Steve trying to be romantic after Michelle went a bit green over Peter's apparent generosity with Carla. Steve hasn't got a clue about romance, does he? I continue to fail to understand what Michelle sees in Steve and why she continues to stay with him if all she can do is criticize him.

I felt bad for Dev fancying Stella and getting the wrong end of the stick, and ending up making a fool of himself in front of all his friends. I really did think he and Stella would have a fling but i guess that's not going to happen. It looks like Stella is giving Kal the eye and it looks like Kal is giving Leanne the eye. Three guesses how this one is going to come out.

So there you have a few comments I've had running around in my head over the past week or two. I'm actually enjoying the show quite a lot. Even though I hate the Peter and Tina pairing, it's a classic triangle storyline and it's playing out pretty much the way you would expect, with Peter ducking and lying and diving and all the predictable ups and downs that Tina's having as she deals with the reality of being the other woman.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

State of the Street - February 2014

Creepfest this month with Pat Phelan sliming all over Anna every chance he gets. Does he really think Anna wants him and is just playing games or is it just him trying to convince himself? Is he really one of those men that thinks they're God's Gift to women and no woman could possibly NOT want him? And of course, since they do, he'd be glad to spread himself around. I suppose his wife is used to it. But here's the thing, even though it's his wife's name on all the contracts, he's got considerable pull and he could pull, all right, the rug right out from under the Windasses. That is, if he's alive. The month ended with him doing a face plant in the dirt after Gary thwacked him with a pipe. But, then, he did disappear and he couldn't have done that unless he managed to drag his sorry behind under his own steam. I don't think this will end well.

But having said that, isn't Pat Phelan a great bad guy? He's really got that abhorrent personality, manipulative, forceful, and he's a total ... to be blunt, asshole. The actor is doing a really good job, I must say. He's very believable. 

Roy went into a tailspin after burying Hayley and disappeared for two weeks. Poor man. You know he can't stand people fussing over him and I reckon that bit of alone time was what he needed. He hasn't dealt well with Hayley's decision to end her life before nature did it for her and that's a hard thing to come to terms with. Now he's got to find a way to make a life for himself alone. Hayley sent a present from beyond the grave, some pieces to a train set and that seems to have sparked his interest, at least, and he's going to immerse himself in train tracks for awhile. Whatever gets you through the night, eh?

Todd has been slowly insinuating himself into Marcus' thoughts and he finally broke through. The flirting and doe-eyed smiles appealed to Marcus' lust and he gave in to his attraction to Todd. Nobody can  understand why Marcus would fall for such a manipulative toady but it happens all the time. People seem to often be attracted to the "bad boy/girl", someone that is nasty or treats them like dirt, that element of danger, sometimes. Todd isn't dangerous, not in that manner but he's certainly got Marcus' number. He felt that Marcus was with Maria more for the little family than anything else and he was determined to rise to the challenge of breaking Marcus and Maria up just because he thought he could. And it looks like it will happen.

Affairs always come out. Marcus is going to be broken all right and he's going to feel like the worst kind of fool when he realizes Todd doesn't love him, he was using him to prove a point. Maria's going to be heartbroken. She's made the wrong choice yet again. Audrey will have puddles of tears to mop up yet again.

Dev's gone into business with Kal but Kal couldn't finance his part of it and brought his father into the mix and that's going to be trouble. Kal's dad, Sharif, is a ruthless businessman in the mold of Mike Baldwin from the old days, I think. Dev is too much of a softie to stand up to him so poor old Jason got the shaft on doing the work for the gym and that's down to his father Tony. Families! Meanwhile, Tony and Liz keep making eyes across the bar. Eileen told her Tony was trouble and that only piqued Liz's interest. You know she likes them bad! (see above)

Dennis has flown the coop after a dip into the music business and an infatuation with Gloria. You can hardly blame him on that score. Rita has been treating him like a child since they married and harping and bitching at him even more since he started his music project. Why not let him do a sideline in a business he has had his fingers in many times over the years? If she'd been more supportive from the start, he might not have fallen for Gloria's charms but now, facing a long and dull future as Rita's pet behind the Kabin counter, he bolted.

There are rumours he may be back and if that's true, I hope she doesn't take him back. He doesn't deserve it, even if just for the way he left her, right out of the blue with only a wave from the car on the way past. That really was cruel and Rita didn't deserve that.

And we come to Peter and Tina. I really have noticed that they're making Peter really look his age, nearly 50. The hairline is receding and they're styling his hair to really show it off. It makes the different between he and Tina look even more pronounced and he looks more like a dirty old man as a result. He is acting like a dog, too, isn't he? He's really playing Tina, smoothly lying to both she and Carla. Tina's falling in love and thinks he is too. No, he's not. He's in lust. He's a Barlow.

I can't help feel that if Ken had been here, huffing and puffing, sighing over Peter's folly, this might not have happened. By the time Ken returns, it'll be too late. It is already, since the deed has already been done. Several times. I wonder if anyone had warned Carla, "If he runs *with* you, he'll run *on* you" because Peter is doing exactly that and I hope Leanne gets to say I Told You So.

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