Sunday 1 May 2016

State of the Street - April 2016

Carla did manage to give Tracy the smack she's had coming for a long time and Robert is starting to put his foot down. I think, or I hope that the scales are falling from his eyes, especially after she admitted all she'd done to Carla and to get him the Bistro. I really don't understand why he keeps allowing himself to be persuaded into taking Tracy back, by Carla especially who's only desperate to keep Nick from finding out. I really have disliked this storyline.

While it's marginally conceivable that Carla would have had the fling with Robert in the first place, her being in the midst of self destructive mode, it didn't seem all that likely for him to do it even if it was angry with Tracy. But they did. The thing is, I really think that Carla would have gone to Nick and confessed. Maybe not straight away but at least at the first whiff of blackmail wafting off Tracy and then she would have gone straight to Robert to tell him what Tracy was doing. Robert's basically a decent guy overall, making it further mystifying that he would be so over the moon with Tracy. She's not evil, she's just a naughty girl? Don't buy it. Thankfully, the last couple of weeks of the month, Tracy kept herself to herself, heeding Robert's warning to stop harassing Carla and keep her mouth shut.

Sally continues to shine as Councillor Metcalfe with the hapless Tim by her side, often managing to bring her down a few pegs when she gets too high on her horse. She started off targeting her neighbours over the chickens and then the fence. She thought she could use the organizing of Gail's birthday to further her political profile but that didn't really work out. She's alienating Tim by focussing all her priorities on the Council. This might be a repeat storyline. Longtime viewers will recall Ken getting his knickers in a bunch over Deirdre spending extra time on her council duties and neglecting (in his eyes) him and the child Tracy.

Michelle nearly cheated on Steve and pulled back in the nick of time to find out that Steve had arrived home also in the nick of time for her 40th birthday. You can't blame her for feeling put upon all these months, though, with three businesses to oversee. (Mind you, the wedding planning one doesn't seem to be thriving with this being the first client we've seen or heard about in months and months).

I fail to believe, however, that Will has harboured feelings for Michelle from the time he was 14 to now, 25 years later. Surely seeing her fall for the love of her life, Dean, when she was 15 or 16 along with having a baby with him would have shot his heart right off his sleeve in no time flat. At that age, it's bound to. No, I think Will's lovelorn antics has more to do with the fact that he just didn't want to marry Saskia and he was projecting that onto Michelle, the same as she was projecting her loneliness onto Will. He broke up with his fiancee and Michelle was horrified. She did, at least, admit to Carla and to Will that she probably did lead him on a bit. No kidding!

Maria's return with a gay husband who immediately toddled off to London to be with his fella was absolutely ludicrous. I know what Immigration is like and there's no way she would register the marriage and want Pablo to be considered for permanent residency in the UK without a mountain of paperwork and proof that they had a real relationship. You do remember Deirdre's grilling at the airport when her Moroccan toyboy arrived, right? That was much more realistic and in this day and age of heightened security, this would never happen. Ever. Not even close and I hate that.

I'm willing to suspend disbelief to a degree but not all the way down the road to cloud cuckoo land. Why did they have to have Maria come back with any sort of rigamarole? Why couldn't she just come back, full stop? Glad to see you! Missed you so much! Marry me! That's too easy and by the way, did anyone ever tell Maria that Luke was racing after she left, after he promised he wouldn't?

Sarah is not dealing well with new motherhood, is she? She probably would have managed the sleepless nights if she wasn't already haunted by the bones of Callum under the unheated floor of  Gail's "Grannex". I'm pretty sure the baby is picking up on her tension and that's making him even more grizzly and wakeful, too.Babies are funny like that. Top on to that, her high expectations that a Christening would exorcise Callum's spirit from his son and you have a recipe for disaster. She's not out of the woods, yet. Her inability to maintain sanity over this could very well lead to the discovery of the body at some point. It's not a spoiler, it's going to happen because nothing stays secret on a soap for long. It's only a matter of how and when.

Aside from the patch where Paula Lane was on maternity leave last year and the storyline dragged on a bit much, I've been enjoying it a lot. I'm looking forward to seeing how it all comes out.

Tony Stewart has died off screen, throwing Jason into the depths of grief, as it would. He blamed Liz for her schemes which sent him away, heartbroken (literally). This will be just what Phelan needs to get his hands on Jason's business, you just watch and he hasn't wasted any time.  We've already seen him scamming the community centre for business, trashing it and then coming in as the "saviour" except Todd's spidey sense is picking up warning signs. Todd moved back in after Tony died and since Jason wanted him there, Eileen gave in but Phelan, knowing that Todd could very well take any opportunity to undermine him, weasled an invite to move in as well. Maybe Todd will be the one that brings Phelan down. I think Phelan already senses that Todd may be a threat.

Rana and Zeedan are a couple but then Zeedan found out pretty quickly that she's a habitual flirt and let's face it, he's pretty conservative where his views about women are concerned. There's been several scenes where she's been very aggressive and it's even implied that she would like to have sex. He won't do it. He respects her too much and she brushes it off. Now, does that mean she's not a virgin like a single Muslim woman should be? Or is she all bluff? She can't stop flirting, though, regardless.

He's not going to want his girlfriend to be all over other men, now, is he? Most wouldn't like it. I've grown to like Zeedan though I don't particularly like Rana much. However long this will go on and off and on etc, I doubt very much they'll be a long-term couple because they are ultimately very ill-suited to each other. I do like that Zeedan has found his calling in the kitchen as a budding chef. I do hope he's still hanging out with Simon now and then since we haven't seen the lad for awhile. I assume his counselling is working and he's getting his anger under control. Leanne seems far less troubled, as well.

Amy is still pursuing the violin and has made a friend. There has been a case of mistaken assumptions where Liz is presumed to be Amy's mother and of course, that's flattering to Liz so she decided to go along with it. It turns out that the man she's been dating is not Amy's mate's dad but his granddad so the white lies have been told by both sides! I would say that it was unlikely that either one at that age would have a child in early teens, both being just this side of 60 but it is possible. Late pregnancies well into a woman's 40s do happen and men, of course, can father a child at any age. I had a cousin who fathered his children when he was in his forties and was often mistaken for their granddad.

What really does stretch the limits of credibility is that a kid Amy's age still needs to be taken to and picked up from school. She's a year younger than Simon so isn't starting high school until this upcoming new school year, I believe, but surely she's old enough to walk a few blocks to Bessie Street school and old enough to know to watch the traffic. I was walking myself to school from a very young age. Even if life was simpler and safer back then, our parents still warned us about strangers in cars and traffic but left us to it most days unless the weather was really bad.

I do find that children on soaps are often treated like little kids for far longer than necessary. They had Simon crayoning cards for people up to the age of at least 10 when most kids that age these days would be figuring out how to photoshop a digital picture and sending it to the intended recipient or posting it online.

The newest love triangle is shaping up to be Sophie, Kate and Caz. Kate sort of seems to be showing signs of attraction for Sophie but she keeps running back to Caz. I think she started to feel that the commitment Caz wanted was a bit too much too soon. They haven't been together all that long from the sounds of it and long distance or not, you don't want to be jumping into wedded bliss too soon. Sophie definitely has feelings for Kate who is blowing hot and cold with Caz glowering the background now that she's back and injured. She's quite aggressive and jealous, too so there could be trouble on the horizon there. I'm pretty sure they brought Kate in as a partner for Sophie so they'll likely get together eventually.

I like Kate. She might be a bit spoiled as the baby of the family, but she's fun, too and Sophie has always been too serious and needs that in a partner. If they must pair them up, I think they'll work well together, the best partner for Sophie since Sian. Jenna was too old and mature and Maddie was sweet but damaged by her childhood. Time will tell.

Another storyline that's been interesting is Izzy's pain management by using cannabis. Oh, let's just call it what it is. Dope. Grass. Weed. (and any number of other nicknames for it). I live in a country where it can be prescribed medically for people so it really doesn't seem fair that the UK doesn't allow it under most circumstances. Izzy really got her and Gary both in a pickle. Where do  you source it if you don't know someone already? I wasn't surprised Gary knew people but I am surprised that he'd sort out the deal right outside the gym when he knows there would be CCTV and he should have known how Sharif would have felt about it even before Sharif accused him of dealing steroids. He only had to move away from the building a bit further or walked with the dealer to the ginnel.

I'm also not surprised at Anna taking such a judgmental hard line against Izzy for it. Izzy did have one bad "trip" due to probably getting hold of something laced with something nasty, so it's understandable that Anna be upset. I suppose you could make an argument that unless Izzy had a rock solid and safe supply, she could get into that sort of trouble again which *would* put little Jake into jeopardy. Anna just doesn't seem to concede anything, however, and can be very harsh and uncompromising. All in all, an interesting story and something new that we haven't seen before.

I'm thrilled to bits that Billy is starting up his very own storyline. He was great in the Polish slavery storyline with Eva and Aidan and now he seems to be taking front and centre. There's a raggedy looking man badgering him for cash handouts and it's got Billy all hot and bothered under that collar. Uncharacteristically, he even got in the middle of a fight in the bar, breaking it up and shouting the odds. It will be interesting to see where this one's going.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

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