Wednesday, 20 August 2014

There's something about Neil

There has been a lot of contention about Lloyd and Andrea's storyline from the fans. People are really getting tired of this storyline and of Andea who was  breath of fresh air at the start. I sort of agree to a point. The storyline certainly became a bit tedious once Andrea's cliche secret was dragged out of the soap closet.

Neil, the long suffering husband, didn't think anything was wrong but to be fair, he worked away from home a lot, providing for his family. By her own admission, Andrea married young and in haste and once she had her daughter, felt trapped, unable to break up the family for no real good reason. Neil was never a bad man. He held down a good job, loved his family, treated them all well and maybe he wasn't very exciting but he was dependable. But he was gone a lot. I think Andrea became lonely and maybe resented shouldering all the responsibility of being a single parent when she really wasn't.

We see Neil as a wet blanket, a real drippy guy who's boring and kind of plodding through life, oblivious to his wife's unrest. People seem to be finding his near-stalking of Andrea and Lloyd tedious. Let's be fair, his world has fallen apart. He most definitely was taking his life and his wife for granted but he never expected this, didn't see it coming (which he might have if he'd not worked away most of the time). He thinks if he changes, if he gets a job at home, if he reminds her of the good times, maybe she'll realize he wasn't so bad. But he can't love her enough for both of them and she's long since fallen out of love with him.

Watching the show this week, I'm starting to find Neil a bit sinister. We've seen him take a load of abuse, from Lloyd and Andrea, shouting, cajoling, insulting, nothing seems to be getting through to him to convince him that his marriage is over. He's single minded and obsessed. He lets any and all insults roll off him like they weren't even uttered. Once in awhile, one of Andrea's blunt statements on how she feels seems to hit a sore spot but he immediately pushes it away and continues his determined quest to get her back. It's starting to be a bit scary.

I think he will increase the pressure more and more but stay just this side of legal. They won't be able to peg him for harassement or stalking because he's not threatening. Yet. I won't be at all surprised if he eventually kidnaps her and keeps her somewhere.

It kind of puts me in mind of John Stape stashing Rosie in the attic, justifying it because he blamed Rosie for throwing his life into chaos, mainly because he wouldn't accept his own responsibility for his actions. He was single minded and obsessed, too and he's got that glint in his eye. I can't fault the casting. William Travis is doing a very convincing job. I don't like Neil, I don't even really feel sorry for him but I do think the actor is making Neil believable, as far as you can with a soap.

Neil's motivations are different but his attitude seems to be sliding into that same sort of madness that came over Stape, the conviction that he was right and he can find a way to "make" Andrea love him again. He may even become suicidal with the view to killing her so nobody else can have her, or at least might threaten it. I don't know if he'd go that far but she may not realize it.

Everything will turn out ok, in the end, I should think but I really do see this escalating into something perhaps a bit more dangerous. What do you think?

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

I don't buy it

Even though I love my Coronation Street, and I am able to suspend disbelieve most of the time because, you know, it's only a tv show and you have to make allowances, there are some things that "clunk" for me. Things that don't make sense.

I find it so weird that Ken Barlow would fancy a camping trip in a caravan. Martha's canal boat really must have given him a taste for roughing it! At his age, nearly 80, and never having had the urge to camp in his life (shurrup, you lot at the back!), it really seems out of character. I also find it weird that he's decided to be a vegetarian. Nothing against the concept, but it seems like if he was going to take up that cause he'd have done it years ago.

I also find it very odd that he didn't know anything about Tina, Peter's drinking, Tracy's engagement, and all the other stuff that went on while he was away. It's as if the only person he spoke to in 18 months was Deirdre and that doesn't make sense. Surely Tracy would have had contact and gloated about her new shop and fella, and we know that Amy used Skype to talk to her grandad. He's been back a week, now, and we haven't seen him make the effort to express his condolences to his good friend Roy on the passing of Hayley, either.

How does Mary survive? She puts in the occasional shift at the Kabin or the cafe to help out yet she maintains that huge RV. She must have some sort of income from years of living at home and saving. I bet we're going to find out some day that she's rich from an inheritance and her mother's a Countess or some such. Mary isn't the type to put on airs and call herself Lady Mary, after all. I don't know if it's legal to park that behemoth on the street constantly and what does she do for power in it? Surely the battery for the vehicle can't support lights and other electrical amenities. Dev's flat is empty, why doesn't she rent that?

Michelle is going to be Tracy's wedding planner? Seriously? Nobody can stand Tracy and Tracy's given Michelle more reason than many to detest her. Michelle can't be that despearate to launch an event company that she'd take on Tracy's demands even if she's an old friend of Rob's.

I wonder if the writers have remembered that the lofts along the old side of the Street are all one, barring the interruption of Number 7 which was rebuilt after collapsing in the 60s. (Remember Les Battersby's tricks playing ghost in Number 1 and 3 and Ken's crash through the ceiling of number 5 onto Leanne and Nick in bed?) So if Jason's building a loft conversion over Number 9, is he also going to build walls to block it off from the rest of the houses (Numbers 9 through 13) or are the kids going to have a huge playroom!? And is Jason going to put in a window? I should think that's required for fire regs.  Inquiring minds are guessing that The Powers That Be have forgotten that little detail. You see a brick wall in this photo but that could be Number 7.

I also don't buy that Gary knows that  the material is not up to par and allowed Todd to threaten his job if he asked Jason about it. Gary would know that using inferior materials can be dangerous even if Todd doesn't realize just how much.

I never bought that Leanne went back to Nick. Well I did, but not because she realized she always loved him like he did her. She rebounded from Peter to Nick. She had an affair with Danny Baldwin and when fiance Jame found out and turfed her, she moved in with Danny. Not because she loved him but because what else was she going to do?

Now she's rebounding with Kal who's not really very exciting and is going to bore her to tears after awhile. I'm not worried about the disapproving family. She faced Gail off as a mother-in-law twice, after all and Gail had become far more Ivy Tilsley the second time around. Yasmin Nazir is an amateur compared to that. It's kind of sad that Leanne doesn't seem to be able to exist without a man in her life, though and as tough and independent as she seems to be, she obviously isn't.

Simon is 12. You can hear his voice dropping and it will probably change in a year or two. Yet he's still crayoning get well and birthday cards and needing babysitters? He still needs to be walked to school? Admittedly, with everything that's happened to him in his young life, it's not surprising he's not a gibbering heap in the corner, but can't they grow him up a little bit? I suppose when they finally do, he'll be a raging drug addict full of anger and resentment and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised. Addiction often runs in families.

And whatever happened to his friendship with Aadi Alahan? Is he just too soppy for Aadi to hang out with? Faye is the same age as he and Amy, but they don't seem to act like they really have anything in common. Maybe that's because of that bullying incident with Grace last year. Surely they still all go to Bessie Street school, instead of having all the parents take them to school, why don't they all walk there together? The school is only a few blocks away and there are crossing guards (Lollipop men and women).

I thing I've got too much time on my hands!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Has the worm turned?

Since Ken's been away, Deirdre's character really has come into her own. She's been funny, daffy and interesting. She's been wary of Rob but they've grown quite fond of each other. She's supportive but she'll tell you off if you need telling. I've really enjoyed her blossoming out of her shell.

But now Ken's back and I feared for Deirdre. For a few scenes, I thought my worries were going to turn out true. Ken found out the hard way that Deirdre kept most of Peter's troubles from him and he blew his top. I don't blame him for that. She should have told him a long time ago that she needed him. Adam might have been very seriously ill at first but over time, he was recovering and probably didn't need Ken there full time. It sounded very much to me like Ken stayed longer than he needed to, as well.

He was right in telling her off and getting angry. But when she tried to tell him how she felt, he accused her of turning it around on him and blaming him. He was putting words in her mouth, to use a cliche, but some of the time, it was exactly what he was doing. "You're not listening. You never have" she accused. And she's right.

Of course, she did blame him a bit, that's only human nature. For whatever reasons he had, and at least for most of the time he was away, they were valid ones, she did feel abandoned. He wasn't listening. She was trying to tell him how *she* felt. All he continued to do was holler at her and berate her for trying to make him feel guilty when she was entirely at fault for not telling him Peter had been arrested.

Then. It happened. She looked him in the eye and screamed at him. SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!! I cheered. Boy, did that take him aback! Yet did he apologize?

Did he 'eck.

He changed the subject to Peter and continued to make her feel bad for doubting Peter when he hadn't been there to see the evidence mounting up and Peter, with alcoholic blackouts nine to the dozen, circumstantial evidence mounting, bleating ineffectually that he didn't do it. (He should have taken lessons from Deirdre, though, thinking back, that didn't do her any good, either. She went to prison as well!)

Deirdre was a mess after Ken gave up and went to bed to sleep off the jet lag. I hope she doesn't back down. I hope she doesn't give in. I hope this 18 months of enforced independence has given her the backbone to stand up for him and give him hell when he gives her flannel. But you know, he won't take any notice of her anyway. Ken's found a new crusade and he's going to save his son. And so he should.

It's easy for him. He's not been in the thick of it and maybe had he been around, Peter might not have got in so far over his head in the first place. Ken was always Peter's touchstone. The other good thing is that Ken doesn't like Rob. He's not been on the receiving side of Rob's suck up attempts. He wouldn't be won over so easily in any case. This is a man that held a grudge against Mike Baldwin for 30 years. He may have come to terms with Mike but he never trusted him and he doesn't trust Rob. He'll be the one to see behind Rob's agitation, his continued attempts to stitch up Peter and take attention away from  himself. Ken's coming at this from the outside so will be able to see things more clearly.

It's only a matter of time, now, Rob. I hope you look good in orange, me laddo.

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