Saturday 1 October 2016

State of the Street - September 2016

No words can properly express my growing hatred for Nick Tilsley. I despise him. He's controlling, manipulative, selfish, spiteful. Leanne came clean and told him that Steve was the father of her baby. Nick managed to accept the baby as his own when it was an unknown father but having the daddy right across the road was too much for him and he felt like a fool, broadcasting his possession of the parentage in the pub in front of everyone including Steve.  I'll give him that one. I'm nothing if not fair about these things.

But hijacking Steve, insisting Steve should leave town as a condition where Nick himself would continue to claim the baby, and then later pretend to text Michelle the truth just to be spiteful. He never told Steve the text was not the end of his marriage and Steve had to suffer, sweat and dread the whole trip back to Weatherfield only to find out that the contents of the text was innocuous. That was a very dirty trick and totally uncalled for.  It's not as if Steve did anything to Nick personally for Nick to need revenge. Nick called Steve all kinds of horrible names for cheating on Michelle. I so wished Steve had known about Nick shagging his brother's wife in a similar sort of drunken one night stand and his subsequent blackmailing of David into getting a DNA test.

To top it all off, Nick magnanimously decided to continue on and in order to get his head around it all, booked a holiday for he and Leanne without telling her and then proceeding to pack for her as well. Leanne didn't see this as a romantic surprise, nor was it intended to be but swooned just the same when Nick allowed that a holiday and some space would help him find a way to accept the situation and forgive her. She sighed. "I don't deserve you" No, no you don't, you deserve MUCH better.

Bethany's victimization at the manicured hands of Lauren continued all through summer and into the beginning of school and Bethany is showing decided signs of brainwashing. She's getting addicted to the gym in response to Lauren's taunts of her being fat which, of course, she is not. But if someone continues to berate you, and eroding your self esteem, after awhile  you might start believing it. It's classic and it's what bullying husbands do to control and abuse their wives and children.  Bethany finally hit back, literally but it's jumped back to bite her.

Gary intervened with the school who gave lip service to their strict no-bullying policy and he finally insisted that Bethany tell her mother who was anxious and feisty, determined to fight for her chick. Only Sarah doesn't think before she speaks and the school meeting ended up in chaos. Both girls got suspended but it turned out that some other girls came forward and the school realized Bethany was the victim. They've expelled Lauren altogether while showing her father is just as much of a bully.

What annoyed me and which was probably quite realistic, is that Lauren's mother backed up Lauren's claim that all the bullying came from Bethany even though Gary was witness to one incident where Lauren goaded Bethany into striking her. The thing is, when this storyline first popped up, Lauren's mother seemed not to be very surprised that her daughter was accused of bullying but now she's defending her child as a victim, too. Is that continuity fail or is that just the actions of a thick headed obstinate cow? Probably the latter. Everyone wants to believe their own child even if they know down deep the truth of it. I refer you to Callum's mother, Marian, for further evidence of this.

There are two good things about the end of this storyline. One was psycho David threatening Lauren in the salon (Yay!) and the other is the possibility of Sarah and Gary getting together. I quite like that idea. They are about the same age and it's about time Sarah found a decent bloke.

Caz seems to have got over Kate and she's turning her focus on Maria. Maria knows that Caz lied for a long time about her injury but since Maria is not too bright, she believed Caz's tearful admission of just wanting Kate to love her or some nonsense like that. Caz has taken full advantage and is manipulating Maria with a set up robbery and with silent phone calls to scare her just enough to want Caz to stick around for security. It's pretty clear that Caz is developing feelings for Maria though those feelings are probably leaning more towards obsession than true, genuine love or even a crush. Even Kirk figured out that Caz fancied Maria before Maria did.

Now, at the end of the month, it looks like Maria is trying to put Caz off. She isn't going to stand for her under the same roof if she knows Caz is infatuated. Awkward! But Caz, as we know, is not going to take rejection lying down and she's got her hands on Maria's new credit card while Maria is in London helping that gay husband, the one we thought everyone forgot about and who is pretty much just a convenient plot device.

Who's going to be Maria's saviour this time? Will it be Luke or someone new? I'm not sure I care, only in that Maria always seems to be the author of her own troubles. I like the actor and she's good when she's given something to do which isn't too often so she's under appreciated. I also like the actor playing Caz. If I like the actors in a storyline, often I won't mind it even if it's a bit silly.

Craig had a rough month, too. Poor lad found his biological father who turned out to be a wrong'un. No surprise there. But he also found out his mother and father were still married. Oops! I find it hard to believe that absolutely nobody in Beth's family knew about that wedding or non-divorce and let her go through with a new marriage. I know that you have to show proof of a divorce to get a new marriage license so she obviously lied there, said she wasn't married before. Bigamy is a crime but Beth only ended up getting a small fine and community service. She'll still have to shell out for a divorce, though, if she has any chance at all to get Kirk back. Understandably, Kirk is devastated. That's a pretty big secret to have kept from him. I think he'll take her back eventually but she's going to have an uphill climb to win his trust back again.

There's a major retcon afoot, though and I hate when they do that. We've been introduced to Sonia, an old and trusted friend of the Nazirs who turns out to be a long time mistress of Sharif who still loves his wife and has no intention of leaving her for Sonia. That's certainly taken him down in my estimation of him. Alya has found out, kind of, though Sharif has lied and said it was a one off years ago. She believes him and has used the information to blackmail him out of cash to invest in reviving her offshoot project of bespoke high end undergarments at the factory while Sonia is pushing Sharif to leave his wife, or at least buy her one of the new flats. Looks like Sharif is going to lose that money and his wife because this affair will come to light sooner or later. They always do. I expect he'll be kicked to the curb and leave the show most likely. I do hope Yasmeen stays, though, I really like her.

Phelan's scam with his mate Vinny is making it's way down the twisted paths. They've managed to woo Sally into backing them for planning permission and Phelan's managed to fob off Eileen's interest with a pretend fancy job title, with the added bonus of causing so much tension between mother and son that he's succeeded in driving Todd out the door. Unexpected bonus, there. Vinny is turning out to be quite the hard man, though, and I wonder if Phelan has jumped into something that's going to be a bit over his head in the end.

Throwing Todd into the mix is genius. I don't for a minute believe that Todd has reverted to type and is taking pleasure in ripping off his neighbours. I think he's trying to bring Phelan down from the inside but I don't think he'll manage it before all of Jason's money is gone. Unless we find out we're losing the character of Phelan, I expect Vinny will end up being the fall guy, someone that will take the blame for ruining Phelan and Jason both. Or, at least, someone that Phelan can successfully blame for it, clearing his own name and character so that he can stick around and cause more chaos in the future. I'm really enjoying his character, in a love-to-hate way. The actor is amazing and the character is so slimy and slick and he's always thinking, always working an angle. He's great!

By the end of the month, Sarah has conveniently come into money and has signed a contract for a flat, too and Todd is in a tail spin. But Phelan, the genius manipulator, sorted that out. Todd insisted that he and Phelan pay Sarah back out of their share but then Phelan pledged some of Todd's profit to one of Billy's charities. That keeps Todd on board rather than being a loose cannon and had the result of getting Billy and Todd back together.

Why? Because Todd got caught trying to push Billy into a break up with the church by calling the Bishop and pretending to be a parishioner complaining about Todd living in the vicarage. Billy is already very cautious when it comes to the church and his own lifestyle and relationships in general, as a result. This time, I really do believe that Todd does genuinely love Billy so I'm glad they're back together but how is Todd going to juggle what he's doing with Phelan with his promise to be a better man with Billy? By lying and pretending he didn't know it was all a scam? Probably and if Vinny ends up taking the ultimate fall, he might get away with it.

One thing that did come out of this is that we finally, *finally* discovered what happened to Todd in London that made him so cynical and amoral. He fell in love with a married man, a man with a wife and kids who finally left his family for Todd. But he was diagnosed HIV positive and ended up going back to his wife, leaving Todd heartbroken and unable to truly trust again. I'm glad they finally came up with something believable.

David is drowing in his own rage and anger in the wake of Kylie's murder. He's stalking Macca online and he is keeping his children at arms' length at a time when they need him the most. Gail is worried and well she should be. Now we know that Clayton has cut a deal and will be charged with manslaughter which will bring him far less time inside. Turns out, he's only 15 and I would imagine that time will be in a youth facility. The jury could still convict him of murder apparently but even if that doesn't happen, he will probably get convicted on the lesser charge. How any jury could believe that someone stabbed in the heart was an accidental death, I don't know but these things happen all the time. Deals, I mean.

Audrey and Freddie are circling around each other. Freddie is still grieving and feeling guilty about being attracted to Audrey so he's running hot and cold. Audrey has had the bad luck to be drawn to another new widower but I'd rather it be Freddie and Ken. That seems to have been dropped cold. I wonder if fan reaction had anything to do with it? I like Freddie and I think he's a far better match for Audrey than Ken was.

Cathy and Roy are lurching along. Their crisis of the month was her finding out that her late husband, the one that had the affair with her sister, also fathered Alex. What did Cathy do? Take it out on Alex and Roy. She really was awful to them. I think Roy realized what she was doing but he couldn't do anything to help and she held that against him, too. Called him all sorts. Yet, he still thinks he'll marry her and wants to do it in December. Tyrone didn't believe that Roy truly loved Cathy but apparently he does. She isn't Hayley but nobody could be and Roy is taking Cathy for her own individual qualities. I think it's tough sometimes, though, you can't help compare, can you?

Those are the major focusses of the month, with a number of smaller things that aren't all that important at this point. Not yet, anyway.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

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