Saturday, 30 September 2017

State of the Street - September 2017

Kate finds a new girlfriend while she and Rana were out on a girls' night at the Bistro. Not really the place I'd have thought would be a pickup joint. Do singles go there for a drink on the off chance of finding someone else that's only there for a drink and a look-see? Apparently so, even though it's main mission statement is as a restaurant. Rana came over all jealous which was a bit strange. Ok, feeling like a third wheel isn't fun but it went on longer than that. Is this the beginning of a new storyline for Rana? Something to actually make her interesting? Is Rana bisexual and actually jealous of Kate because she fancies her? Time will tell. If that's the case, Zeedan is in for a shock. I suppose he already was aware that she's not the traditional Muslim he always thought his future wife would be. She wasn't a virgin and she drinks alcohol and has been a bit of a live wire.

Sally's running for Mayor. I thought in the UK you already had to be on the town council before being elected mayor by your council peers, not by the general public. I have heard, though, that a few cities and towns are changing their policy so perhaps it is correct that Sally can run a public campaign for mayor. If it was the old way, she wouldn't have to do that, just lobby her peers on council. As far as I was aware, Sally quit the council during the trolling storyline and didn't manage to get reinstated. Anyway, we now get another round of hilarity with Sally on the campaign trail. It was a funny storyline last time, but of course there is a twist this time. Why do a repeat otherwise?

That twist is the grass roots campaign for Kirk as Mayor after he got the job of  a big bee as mascot for Weatherfield County. Kirk is gaining support, mainly for his humour and down to earth point of view, even if it isn't really very politically deft. It would be twice as humiliating if you're Sally Metcalfe, especially if you lose to someone as daft as Kirk Sutherland! It seems a bit too surreal to even contemplate the possibility of Kirk being Mayor of Weatherfield, let alone Beth as Mayoress (and by the way, did she ever get divorced? I don't recall hearing about it and that means they aren't remarried. Surely that would stand against him in a political campaign?) I think Kirk is just going along for the ride, but the main reason for all this seems to be Gina's involvement, backing Kirk instead of her sister. The old sibling rivalry and resentment that Gina seems to have for Sally is the driving force.

Rita's memory loss became more obvious, at least to Gemma who got more and more concerned. Jenny was in Bride mode so fiercely, adding on top of her dislike for Gemma, that she wasn't giving Gemma any part of her attention so Gemma leaned on Rosie Webster who is being an absolute star. I like the two of them as friends. Poor Gemma hasn't had any friends her own age since becoming a refugee from the estate. I think this could work.

Back to business. Gemma finally impressed on Rita that she should look into the problem and she did but evaded telling the doctor what the problem really was until she eventually collapsed in hte pub. So, with tests, the diagnosis is a small brain tumour. What will happen? Does Barbara Knox want to retire? Perhaps, and it would be a good exit story for her. The injection of the obnoxious Colin, the sponsor of the Mr. and Mrs. competition that Mary and Norris entered (causing them to get married) might be something to consider. He wants to buy the Kabin from Norris and the flat from Rita and at month's end, seems to have a verbal agreement for both. But he's only a temporary character so your guess as to where this is going is as good as mine.

All of this came out on the week that we had the big double wedding of Aidan and Eva, Johnny and Jenny. Both brides looked really gorgeous, with dressed perfectly fitting each one's personality. Aidan confessed his infidelity, then waited to see if Eva would marry him anyway. She did or she tried to. But Maria showed up to try to ruin it all and she succeeded. Aidan knows the truth and though Eva nearly managed to get him to try to work it out, once he found out that the factory had been emptied and figured out Eva had a hand in it, she was dumped well and truly.

Jenny and Johnny had to race to the wedding venue on the backs of motorcycles driving by Hells' Angels. In the end, though, Jenny couldn't get married without Rita so the wedding was brought to her hospital room. Jenny Bradley is now Jenny Connor. The wind was taken out of her sails, however, when the potential for being a partner in Underworld was undercut by the complete devastation in the aftermath of the factory burgulary, where even part of the roof was removed. That makes no sense at all and even less sense when you know there's a whole neighbourhood of people coming and going. Ok, many of them were at the wedding but a number of them including the Platts and Nazirs were not, and they live right next door! The corner shop was open as well and nobody at all noticed? I don't buy it.

Gary is still working away at that security job and his post traumatic stress is really kicking off after an incident where he had to hold a gun to someone's head. He's defensive, he's aggressive, he's touchy and volatile. His temper is on edge all the time when he's home. He met Nicola in a bar one night and she's licking her wounds after breaking up with her boyfriend and she's a sympathetic ear. But when he finds out she's Phelan's daughter, he doesn't want to know her. Except when he's in another fit of "freak out", they end up sharing wine and talking. Sometimes it's easier to confide in someone you don't know. A vulnerable woman, a car crash of a man and wine. Bad combination and the inevitable happens, quite quickly from what it seemed like. And if we pay attention to soap law, another inevitable is sure to be revealed in a few weeks. At least he's confessed all to Sarah, about the job not being as safe as he pretended. He loves her but it's all going to hit the fan.

Billy and Todd are still finding their feet where Summer is concerned. The actress is quite good and they've had her interacting with Amy and Asha so that's good. I think she and Amy will be quite the duo if they let them. Todd also figured out about Adam's involvement in the factory break in so he's got something to hold over him if need be. Todd isn't above a bit of industrial espionage, though. He doesn't exactly approve but he doesn't really see the problem, either.

Liz has managed to get back behind the bar due to a misunderstanding over a note Peter sent to Steve as an apology. Neither Peter nor Toyah could tell her it wasn't an invitation to be re-hired. This isn't going to end well, is it? And what to do with Moira, the office manager at the medical centre? She's showing a more vulnerable side but she's still a control freak. I'm not sure where they're going with that, whether she's a permanent character or not.

At the end of September, we're just about to Nathan's trial which will start in the next week. Bethany is scared and worried and Nathan's former cohort, Mel, has shown up. Bethany is trying to get Mel to testify with her to bring Nathan down but Mel keeps saying she's not up to it and that she probably would get torn apart on the stand and be no help at all. Of course she won't, she's still under Nathan's influence and is under orders to keep Bethany away from the trial altogether. Still, you could see that when Bethany tried to convince her, assuming she believed about Nathan the same thing Bethany did, that Mel was a bit conflicted. I think she knows down deep that Bethany is right and all the damning things about Nathan and what he does is true but she's so far into it and under his thumb that she can't see a way out even if she wanted to.

Phelan still has Andy in the cellar. He nearly let Andy go but it was a test to see if he could trust him and he failed. It's a no-win situation and Phelan is going to get to the point of having to do something about Andy before someone finds out. Peter and Toyah are going to use a surrogate. Why do I get the feeling this is going to turn out stalkerish? Speaking of which...

Michelle finally discovered that Will is the stalker and I still have a problem with that. He supposedly carried a torch for her all those years. Then she led him on and then dumped him when Steve came back. After her marriage to Steve went up the spout, she didn't go back to Will, she jumped into Robert's bed and that seems to have turned Will into a psycopath stalker. I found it difficult to believe and it was painful to watch. Even after she figured it out, he was hot and cold, threatening then pleading and then violent, it was just ludicrous. It's got Michelle and Leanne speaking again and while they'll never be friends, I suppose they'll be able to be civil to each other.

October should be interesting, with the trial to start us off and then waiting to see if the truth about the factory will come out.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Friday, 1 September 2017

State of the Street - August 2017

The Bistro has been targeted. Graffiti, a firebomb tossed at the sign outdoors, Robert gets mugged and the flat is broken into. I started to believe it wasn't Robert who was the target at all, it might be Michelle. In this instance, Rich wasn't the culprit but who could be? Was it a coincidence that her ex, Will, showed up just before all this started? I thought not. Then Michelle gets drugged and tossed into the boot of her car, parked in the city centre somewhere. Oh heck. That was also the night Will and Maria were on a date so he must have had a Tardis  and ESP because unless she told him and Maria in the car where she was going, how would he have known?

Now we get to watch it all unfold with Will being smarmy and in Michelle's face, undermining Robert all the time. No luck so far.  If Robert had been with someone else, say, Leanne, I might have cared but I lost any sympathy I might have had for Michelle when she lost her baby. I didn't like her before then and I still don't. This whole storyline is tedious.

Meanwhile, Steve and Leanne moved in together to help with Oliver's care and because Nick had her chucked out of the flat when he sold it. Liz kept putting ideas in Steve's head that they'd be a good couple so he proposed. Twice, since she was drunk the first time. They might have actually worked out. They've been mates a long time and like each other and it's always helpful when you like your lover. It would be nice for it to grow and develop into a really grand passion and she can get Nick out from under her skin forever. She never loved Nick like he loved her. He was really just her rebound guy.

But alas, Leanne and Steve both realized they really don't have the chemistry or that spark and even Liz realized it when they hadn't got any closer to passion after the engagement. Friends it is, then. At least for now.  You never know, it could change down the road but it doesn't look like it at the moment and really, when you pass number 6 on the wedding scale, it starts to be a bit ludicrous.

Now that Adam is pushing Eva to help him bring Aidan down as far as the factory goes, Eva is starting to waver back and forth between buckling under the guilt and raging because she thinks the whole Connor family knew all along. She's getting determined and time is not on her side. If she's not showing a baby bump soon, the gig will be up. But Adam seems to be developing feelings for her, as well. He's not trustworthy, honey, steer clear! Which probably means she'll be in his bed 5 minutes after breaking up with Aidan.

And that probaby won't be long in coming. She maneuvered Aidan into getting their wedding pushed up to a double do with Johnny and Jenny who was furious she was going to lose her big day and have to share it. I can't blame her, can you? The wedding is in mid September and it's very likely this is alllllll going to hit the fan and the secret affair should be splattered all over the cobbles. What that's going to do to poor Jenny's wedding, I don't know, unless Eva joins with the fairly recent tradition of waiting for the wedding to be finalized and then pulling the key out of the grenade.  (Becky let Steve and Tracy marry before blowing them up and Nick and Carla married just as Tracy blew the whistle there). There's a few quiet weeks first while Eva gets her second wind in France.

Liz has been scammed by a group or person that put a leaflet up in the medical centre to do with the pretend cigarette "vaping" thing. They emptied her bank account though possibly she'd get that back from the bank if she could prove she was scammed. Even so, it's a horrible thing to have happen and she's going to make sure they don't do it to anyone else.

Chesney survived the accidental stabbing but he's got a serious case of post traumatic stress and he's so freaked out he can't even go outside without having a panic attack. Now he's looking after his two nieces because Fiz didn't realize what was going on. He's been hiding it but not for long. He took Ruby and Hope on the bus and freaked out, walked out and left them alone there, disappearing overnight. When Tyrone heard that Roy's shed at the allottment was broken into he realized that's where Chesney ended up and there he was, huddled in tears. Quite good scenes, I thought though Tyrone really didn't have a clue, trying to tell Chesney to pull himself together and be positive. Chesney needs more help than that. I wonder at the end of this if he'll get some councilling. I wonder if Daniel is still seeing someone?

Gary hasn't been able to get much of a job and his debts are mounting. Because he couldn't afford it, he went on a job without insurance and ended up falling. Now he owes even more money. His ex-army mate offered him a security job in Ukraine but it's dangerous. The lure of the Almighty Pound was too much to resist and even though Sarah found out and tried to get him to stay home, even though she said they were finished, he went. He came back and they made up. Again. But he did get a good bruising while he was away.

In a somewhat worrying turn, Rita's having some memory loss, and it's not just little things like forgetting where she put her keys, it's big ones like lending someone money,  forgetting to lock the Kabin or forgetting to go to a wedding. She and Gemma fell out over the Kabin door thing because a couple of rough ex-mates of Gemma's came round and they were the ones that robbed the Kabin. But because it wasn't a break in (due to it not being locked), and because Rita's purse had money stolen from it, she blamed Gemma. She even had her arrested. She forgot that she'd lent the money to Gina who'd been sucking up after she heard Rita bailed Sally out of debt years ago. She forgot she'd left the Kabin door unlocked even though she did put on the alarm. The alarm code was on a note on her cupboard and one of the two criminal types took a photo of it.

Gina reminded Rita and Gemma grassed on her ex mates but Gemma's not in a mood to forgive Rita for not trusting her.  It didn't last long but Gemma is now paying more attention and realizes there's something not right with Rita.  We've done Alzheimer's with Mike Baldwin but perhaps they'll do something different with this. (Spoilers, but not yet confirmed or denied by ITV, have it touted as a brain tumour which is a possibility. It's not really a spoiler to say so because it has to be something, we just don't know for sure what it is yet.)

It does make you wonder if perhaps Barbara Knox is looking to retire and you can't hardly blame her if she was. She's certainly at an age that she'd probably rather have her feet up than memorize lines and have early days on the set. I guess it's better to go out on a big storyline but I also kind of hope this might be related to some treatable illness instead and we'll have Rita around for awhile yet.

Peter and Toyah have taken over the pub and it seems to be a very low key affair. They had a grand opening party and that's it. It feels very strange to see them both behind the bar and know they're not just doing a few shifts to help out. They certainly don't fit in with the long standing traditional landlords/landladies. Toyah also had bad news, she won't be able to have a baby of her own but is now considering a surrogate. They did this before when Tina carried Izzy and Gary's baby. I wonder, if this goes ahead, if they'll use someone they know from the Street or if they'll find a new character. Maybe then that person could turn into an obsessed stalker? Like that's never been done before though, to be fair, not on Corrie at least.

Many of the complaints relate to Peter being an alcoholic. I had an idea that perhaps we may see Toyah hit the bottle. She's already upset that she can't carry a child and is considering a surrogate. This is all a lot of pressure. Say they have a surrogate and Toyah worries about her becoming too attached to the baby. The more she worries, the more she drinks and the more she drinks, the more likely the surrogate is to reconsider giving them the baby. Could work.

But the big news is that Andy Carver is alive and Pat Phelan has been keeping him in a basement of an old building since Christmas! You may remember he bashed Andy with a laptop when he discovered that Andy had evidence that he was behind the scam about the flats and possibly that he was responsible for burning Kevin's garage. I can't remember without going back to look it up. Turns out he isn't a murderer after all but don't think this lets him off the hook. He did allow Michael Rodwell to die, he did blackmail Anna into having sex with him and he did violently harm Andy and kidnap him. His crimes must be atoned for.

He seems to feel that finding his daughter has made him want to be a better man and he's stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place. How does he get out of the mess without getting jailed? Nicola will reject him if she finds out. Andy's desperate to escape and you know it's all going to hit the fan, sooner than later, I would imagine. Phelan is taking on board more and more pressure and I think there's no way he's going to turn over a new leaf. I think it's more likely he's going to snap.

Well done to ITV for keeping this spoiler secret. People have been speculating but nothing has been leaked. I do love spoilers but it's still great to have something like this pulled out of a hat now and then!

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Friday, 25 August 2017

The Wedding of Mary and Norris

A bit of background: Norris entered a contest to win an around-the-world trip so that Mary could have a chance to visit her son Jude in South Africa but the contest was a very old fashioned Mr. and Mrs. competition. Honestly, in this day and age! But don't get me started on that.

He entered it as if he and Mary were wed and when she found out, she was flattered and touched but they decided perhaps they should get married for real to make sure they wouldn't get disqualified. It would, of course, be a marriage of convenience. Lo and behold, when Jude found out via the Alahan twins, he decided to bring his wife and child to England to attend the wedding! Oops! Now both Mary and Norris are feeling even bigger frauds than they already were but rather than call it off and admit why they were doing it, they went ahead with it, though it was Mary's decision. Norris went along because she said it was what she wanted, regardless of the illogical reasoning.

So here we are, on the happy day.

Bethany did Mary's hair and makeup and she looked lovely. There's a bitter taste to it, though and Mary does admit to Bethany that she's a bit ashamed at having to lie to her son.
Norris is fussing over his tie. He, too, knows the wedding is a sham of course but he's going through with it because it's what Mary wants.

Worryingly, Rita, although surrounded by a fancy frock and a gift, doesn't seem to realize that she hasn't even put on her face yet. She makes herself comfy on the sofa with a magazine and completely forgets the wedding! She does show up later at the reception, though still seems a bit vague.

The bride is crowned and ready and even Tracy was sweet to her, fixing her head dress. Norris did have to be nudged to admit out loud that she looked lovely! Jude's wife has already had her suspicions that something's not right and that doesn't help.

At the registry office, Jude tells Mary he'd like to find out more about his father's family. Oh dear.

Norris stumbles through is vows but Mary sails through hers. Rings are exchanged and our favourite Registrar pronounces them married! Norris shakes Mary's hand but then leans in to pretend-kiss her cheek so that Mary has the opportunity to let him know what Jude plans. Needless to say, she's upset about it.

Still, Norris manages to look somewhat like a happy groom though Mary looks more brittle than genuinely happy.

The reception is at the Rovers, of course, complete with three tier cake which, for such a small wedding, seems a bit overkill. Norris attempts to talk to Jude about Mary being upset about him finding his father but he doesn't get too far.
Angie takes little George into the back room to change his nappie and Gemma comes in. Before long, Gemma's mouth has pulled a big skeleton out of the closet, more or less telling Angie that Jude's conception was due to a not-very-nice experience. Mary walks in. There's going to be some major 'splaining to do here.
 Mary tells Angie, along with some help from Gemma, not really getting to the nitty gritty for ages until it's quite obvious. It was rape. Angie is horrified.
 But even worse, Jude was outside the door and heard it all. He left the pub but did come back later, still in shock to find out he was the product of rape. That has to do your head in.
 Norris explained how difficult it was for Mary to tell him the truth
 But Mary told him the most important things, that she didn't want to give him up, her mother took him from her and that she loved him as the only good thing that came from the incident. She lied because she didn't want him to have to deal with it.
 But it comes down to it, he does love his mother and he doesn't hold the lies against her. He understands and hugs her warmly to prove it.
 Later in the pub, they are all amused when Mary finally tells them the last piece of the puzzle. She doesn't want any more lies and admits, to Norris' relief, that they married because of the contest.
The icing on the wedding cake is this...Jude has decided that they should move back to Manchester. No, he didn't consult his wife. No, it doesn't look like she thinks it's such a great idea to uproot the family from their current home and jobs. You just know she's going to hold this against Mary, don't you?

An unusual wedding, to be sure. And this marriage may actually last longer than some recent ones we've seen that were actually meant to be "forever" and lasted no longer than the reception! I'd really like Norris and Mary to develop their friendship-love into something a bit deeper but I also wouldn't be surprised if they stayed married, stayed best friends and either shared the house or lived separately.

Jude seems like a very nice man. I think Angie might be a great character. She's smart, loyal and I think can defend her family fiercely, as can Mary. They may clash, I fear but Mary now has Norris in her corner. This could be gold. What say you?

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Monday, 31 July 2017

State of the Street - July 2017

It's the end of an era. The McDonalds have sold the pub for the second and last time and have moved out. I really loved Liz as landlady. She goes down in Corrie history as one of the all time classic landladies in my books, in the same boat as Bet Lynch and Annie Walker and miles better than Natalie Horrocks and Vera Duckworth and we won't even blink sideways at that flash in the pan Ms. Price. It's just not going to be the same with Toyah behind the bar. Nobody could evict a punter from the pub for misdeeds like Liz. (except Bet Gilroy/Lynch) I can't see Toyah being a strong landlady at all, can you?

So Rich used to be Robert's dealer? Robert was a cokehead? Not on this planet. Nope. Sorry. Don't buy it. Robert was a nice guy, probably too nice for the young Tracy Barlow. He was reliable, honest. He returned at the time of Deirdre's funeral and he hadn't changed. A "Fine Upstanding Man", honest, never backward in coming forward to make Tracy see the error of her ways. The only slip in judgement seemed to be his unfortunate marriage to Joni but that doesn't seem to have made any lasting impact. In fact, if anything, I might have believed he struggled while *married* to a cocaine addict, Joni. I suppose the storyline was completely contrived to A. bring Sinead and Chesney back together after Chesney ran afoul of a high-as-a-kite Rich who was terrorizing the Bistro and B. make the subsequent plot line all about Michelle as per usual.

Eva discovered Aidan's affair with Maria and rather than tear Maria's hair out or clobber her on the cobbles, she's taking revenge on Aidan. Only Aidan. So far. I want to know why she's not targeting Maria or maybe she will once everyone knows she knows. I can sympathise with Eva. It's a nasty thing to find out that your fella is having it away let alone with your best friend. And I think she's had more than one boyfriend in the past that's done the same thing. I guess you can't blame her on one hand for wanting revenge but you know, it's not going to be as satisfying as she thinks it will. It never is. She should talk to Michelle about that.

I know. You want the other person to hurt as much as they hurt you but in the long run, what she's doing to him, all these things she's trying to get out of him, goaded on by Adam who's got his own agenda, namely, getting his mucky fingers on the factory. Aidan could even have Eva ended up being prosecuted if he really wanted that. By taking him financially for what she can get, wouldn't that be theft? Fraud? It's morally wrong in any case.

Thing is, Aidan also professes to love Maria but I don't think he really does, any more than he truly loves Eva. He's a player, he doesn't want commitment. As soon as he gets trapped into it, he's looking to get out. He let himself be railroaded into everything Eva wanted in a relationship even though he clearly didn't really want it. He likes to have it all. So when I see Aidan chasing Maria right in front of Eva pretending it's to book an appointment at the salon, or lying to Maria with delay tactics, then yes, sometimes I think he's got it coming and Eva should give it to him with both barrels even though I just said it was morally wrong!

Poor Bethany can't get a break. She feels stupid, she feels worse about herself now than she was feeling when Nathan first started preying on her. It was heartbreaking to hear her tell people she felt rubbed out or broken and unfixable. It seemed like Nathan was going to get away with what he did because there's not enough hard evidence against him. Verbal accusations are apparently not enough, not just one voice. But if they could get more women to speak up...

Sarah found Shona and that very young girl, Lara, and if Mel could be found and persuaded to talk, that might do it. Craig found out the whole truth about Neil and has been threatened for his trouble but Craig is growing into a strong young man and he won't be bullied. He recorded Neil as he lost his temper and admitted everything to Craig, including that he and others paid Nathan for the women. Even though the recording won't be admissable, Bethany finally told the police the rest of the truth which is going to be a great help. It looks like that will be enough with an ensuing investigation into Neil's doings to charge both men. Craig has been a star in all this.

It will be very satisfying to see Neil go down, especially. A cop in a position of trust doing something like this? Oh yes, he will be punished. If I believed in such things, I'd believe he will burn in hell. But if there's a hell, it's going to be what prison will be for Neil. Prisoners that might be murderers, rapists and callous drug dealers will not stand for someone that abuses children. Lara was only 14, remember. Add that to their hatred of the police. Bad enough a policeman goes to jail amid criminals that hate the cops, but a cop that has interfered with young women, many that are underage and therefore still children? Constable Neil in prison? Yeah, he'll be in hell, all right. This story is too important for Neil and Nathan to get away with their crimes. They'll go to trial and they'll be convicted. No spoilers, it's just what has to happen.

Now that Shona's back, it's also quite likely she and David will end up together, as odd as that will be. I'd actually prefer her with someone like Steve if she has to bepaired off with anyone but that probably won't happen. I've heard a rumour about Steve's next relationship and I don't think it works but we'll talk about that next month. 

Adam and Todd have set up in business against Todd's better judgement. He didn't want to have anything to do with Adam. So being talked into it just because Mary made up business cards with both their names on it? Doesn't seem like something that would be very persuasive to me. Easy enough to get new cards made up, He hasn't registered the company name yet. Unless he set this all up by giving Mary enough hints. That's definitely something Adam would do. A passive aggressive way to get Todd on board. It worked anyway. Now they have to fix up that office because it's tacky and looks like something in the basement of a frat house. All they need is a keg in the corner and a stereo system blasting loud music. But Adam keeps doing things that will get him in trouble with the Bar if it ever comes out. He won't have his lawyer credentials long at this rate. He's forged Tracy's signature, he's blackmailing Aidan and using Eva to get his paws on the factory.

Billy and Todd have moved into the flat over the flower shop now that Peter and Toyah are moving into the pub. I'd say that's about time. They really do need their own place and Eileen must be getting tired of having so many people around. It gives them an added incentive to fight for Summer but in the end, Summer came to them and made up her own mind, with the help of her grandfather who had Drew's recently released will in his desk.

That rubbed me the wrong way, too. If someone is in a will, the solicitor is supposed to inform each person named, and isn't there supposed to be a public reading of the will for all involved? They wouldn't just handed it over to the deceased's parents without a word to anyone else, especially where guardianship is involved. The solicitor would have been in touch with Billy, I should think. If Grandad had been illegally paying off the solicitor, or using a friendship, I guess that would work but the solicitor had better hope that kind of thing doesn't get back to the bar. The thing is, if that's what went down, we the viewer were not told so we would have to assume it was all above board and ask why the solicitor didn't contact Billy since he was clearly in the final will and testament.

I like Summer, she's a great kid. She's a bit smart mouthed and has loads of attitude. She's either going to get along great with Amy or she's going to end up "frenemies" with her. Summer might be an orphan twice over but Amy has a mother that had an overturned conviction for murder and a father that's been married 6 times. Equal footing, if you ask me.

Phelan always thought he might have a daughter but now that he's met her, he is pretty sure Nicola is his biological sprog, all grown up. Nicola wasn't happy about it. They never are, these long lost children who have had their world overturned by news like this. But she's curious, too, and had a DNA test done after all and at the end of the month we haven't had the results but I reckon it'll be a positive match. I like her. She's confident, smart, strong, caring and she's not afraid to stand up for herself but she's not tough and edgy or like a loose cannon either. We don't know much about her yet. There have been rumours that Kate Connor is going to find a new love and I have a funny feeling it could be Nicola. I checked, and they're the same age, late 20s. (making Kate a little older than I thought). If Nicola is gay, please, Please don't put her with whiny Sophie!

Brian continues to be an oafish boor. He even went as far as trying to fine Roy for littering when Roy only lost a receipt. Roy even told Brian to pack his backs and move out but once Brian backed down, I suppose Roy allowed him to stay. I wish he hadn't. I liked Brian when he was in the show the first time around but I can't stand him now. 

Anna's still dealing with post trauma, her ego and self esteem in the toilet and doesn't want to be close to Kevin. It's tough on him but he says he understands. But his patience is wearing thing. Kevin has a habit of turning on the roving eye when he doesn't get the attention he thinks he should have. Enter Erica, getting bored with the domesticity that is the Alahan house. Dev's a good man but kind of takes her for granted and she never did really get comfortable with the kids. Kevin's the nearest man and she flirts, he flirts back. Wahey, attention! She takes it the next step further and they kiss but pull back. However, she's been encouraged so she offers it to him on a plate in a hotel. His tongue was on the floor and he nearly took her up on it but Anna realized she was losing him and pulled out all the stops with a heart felt plea and much effort made.

In the interest of being honest, he told her he nearly had an affair and she guessed pretty quickly, dressed like a scarlet woman and told Erica where to get off. Erica slunk back to the corner shop and tried to break up with Dev but he wasn't having it. Suggested they not spend so much time together so she got a job at the Bistro instead of working with him in the shop. I would imagine this is all just a bandaid on a larger break in the relationship. It's not long for this world, methinks.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Friday, 7 July 2017

The end of an era

Next week, for the second and final time, the McDonalds will have sold the pub and Liz will no longer be ruling the roost from behind the bar.

She first worked at the pub in the early 1990s as a cook, helping Betty Turpin and it seemed to spark her ambition. Newton and Ridley offered her the Queens and she and Jim ran that for awhile but it was her pub, not his and his jealousy killed their relationship temporarily over it. It didn't end well for Liz. She's worked behind the bar at the Rovers on and off but missed out on her chance to be the landlady when Vera and Jack Duckworth beat she and Jim to the post after Bet had to give up the pub, unable to find a financial backer.

This began a period of unsettled life for Liz. Her marriage eventually died, she was involved with a hood for awhile, had an attraction to Des Barnes, nearly reunited with Jim but fell for Jim's physiotherapist. She remarried Jim some years later when he was banged up for killing Jez Quigley but it didn't last. We didn't see a lot of Liz as she first followed Jim around as he was moved to various prisons and later, she lived in Brighton for awhile and spent a lot of time in Spain with her son, Andy. She returned to work for Fred Elliott and when he decided to sell up and travel with his new bride, Bev, Steve bought the bar from him, though it ended being the Estate of Fred Elliott since Fred died on his wedding day before it was formally sold. Ashley as his next of kin finished the transaction and Steve owned the pub, with Liz's name over the door. It was a dream come true for Liz who had always wanted to own the Rovers Return.

There were more ups and downs, a marriage and divorce (Vernon Tomlin), a number of fellas including Harry Mason and Lloyd Mullaney and after a near-reconciliation with Jim who was released from prison went badly when he robbed a bank to get the money to buy the pub from Steve for her, she left Weatherfield, heart broken. Steve found a manager, Stella Price,  and then later sold the pub to her and her partner Karl, but that was a disaster that ended in Karl burning down the pub which killed two people. Liz returned a couple of years later to be Steve's business partner when he bought the pub back.

Even though it was Steve and Michelle's names over the door and even though Michelle might tell people she was the landlady, we all knew the truth. That title belonged to Elizabeth Jane McDonald. For me, Liz has entered the Rovers Landlady Hall of Fame, just as worth as former Queens Bet Lynch and Annie Walker. Lesser landladies, Natalie Horrocks and the hapless Vera Duckworth are not as memorable and we won't even give a side glance at Ms. Price who faltered before she even rounded the first stretch of the track. Shelly Unwin, a manager under Fred Elliott had potential but never had her name over the door and Becky McDonald, Steve's (4th?) wife was far too volatile to be one of the greats. 

Steve's marriage to Michelle has been on rocky ground for a long time and his one night stand and subsequent paternal revelation was the straw that broke the back of that union. Michelle was bent on financial revenge so Steve buckled down and put the pub up for sale. Even though he wouldn't have to fight for the right to see baby Oliver after all, Liz ended up selling her share as well and is taking a job at the medical clinic while Steve still has Streetcars to run with his partner Tim.

It's a shame, really. But with a new producer, things always change. I'm not so sure about the sale of the pub to alcoholic Peter Barlow. Even if he knows that if he drinks again, it will likely kill him after that last binge in the prison drinking bootleg moonshine, the temptation is there. And his partner, Toyah Battersby will be the landlady. A mere shadow of the former greats, is Toyah. Oh, she used to have spark and the Toyah we knew 15 years ago, back when she was a barmaid at the pub, probably would have had us nodding collectively and speculating that she might make a good landlady someday.

Toyah is much changed from those days. She shows the occasional flashback to the Little Madam she was but I can't see that she'll be comfortable behind that bar. She's not blonde for one thing. The best landladies have always been blonde (well, ok, most of best ones). She scowls. She's a bit of a whiner. She'll probably nag the life out of Peter who will probably start spending a lot of time down in the cellar with the racing form a la Jack Duckworth. She just doesn't have that air of authority.

We aren't losing Liz from the Street. She and Steve will be living in the Streetcars' flat but it will seem strange not to see her behind the bar.

Let's all raise a glass to Liz McDonald, one of the best landladies the Rovers Return has ever seen.

Thanks to Corriepedia and

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Saturday, 1 July 2017

State of the Street - June 2017

This month, Coronation Street's storylines were quite varied. We had such a climactic last week of May that June has been a month of fallout  and followup for the most part.

Nick is gone and Leanne is left alone. She can't get her head around him leaving and leaving so quickly and he's gone for good. She's sure he'll cool off and come back but he's selling his half of the Bistro and cutting off business ties. Leanne will soon have something else to distract her, though, because Eva's found out about Maria and Aidan's affair.

Adam caught the two snogging in the ginnel and took a photo, intending on using it for blackmail. Even that didn't stop Aidan. He's determined to have it both ways, stringing Maria along with the usual promises to tell Eva the truth but never quite getting there. Except Eva found out because Aidan left his tablet hooked up to the television after a session of afternoon delight and it's obviously hooked into his mobile phone account. He destroyed the pay as you go phone so Maria sent him texts to his normal phone that popped up on the television screen leaving no uncertainty. Eva and Leanne were both there to see it. Busted.

Here's the twist. Aidan and Maria don't know she found out and Eva is now the one doing the stringing along, intent on revenge and she's pretending to Aidan that she's pregant (due to the fact that she thought she was but isn't)  In her revenge, it's likely that Toyah and Leanne will be her wing-women. She vows to get as much out of Aidan as she can.  Leanne gets to take out her anger at Nick and direct it in the guise of sisterly outrage in Aidan's direction.

Johnny got a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis and freaked out, as you do. He doesn't want to be a sick old man and have a young, vibrant wife have to look after him so he broke off with Jenny. A stern talking to from Kate gave him second thoughts but he's not been able to persuade Jenny back yet. I don't blame her. He really hurt her and let her down and she's had trust issues going back years. One of the best parts of this storyline was Rita going down the Mama lioness route and tearing Johnny a new one after he hurt Jenny and then, after getting drunk, being one of Jenny's wing-women, along with Gemma, when Johnny tried to apologize. Barbara Knox doesn't get enough really meaty scenage and it's glorious when she does! I do hope Johnny and Jenny find their way back to each other in the end.

All the Barlows except Ken are spending a lot of their time hissing and spitting in Daniel's direction after what he did to Ken. Poor Daniel couldn't deal with his mother's return and insisted she leave him again and Sinead won't have anything to do with him either. He's lost his place at Oxford and his family mostly all hate him. Is it any wonder he jumped into a mess of cocaine and other illegal and legal substances and overdosed? It was surprising when Adam actually cared enough to look after him and stay over the night he left the hospital, just to make sure there were no after effects. I don't think Adam likes him any more than he did, but he's family and Adam doesn't have a lot of that left, does he? Turns out, blood really is thicker than water. I do hope Daniel does get counselling. He needs it badly. 

Bethany was yanked out of Nathan's flat but Nathan still has full control over her. He was out on bail and kept up contact, first, face to face and then through Neil. He made plans to wisk her away to the Continent. She thinks it's a romantic gesture and they're starting a new life. It isn't. He's selling her to the highest bidder. As she was leaving to run off, Mary tried to stop her. I loved that scene, with Mary telling her about her own past and desperately trying to make her realize that everything Nathan is doing is wrong. It didn't look like Bethany took it on board but it sowed a seed. When she admitted she didn't have her passport and discovered he was sending her off to Belgium alone to stay with a "friend", I think she realized what was he was doing to her, the truth and the whole truth. Mary was right. He was using her.  I can only imagine the broken heart coupled with the panic as Mary's words echoed in her head.

She did the right thing and went to a family in a service station for help and Nathan was arrested.  Now she's got to find a way to deal with it all while we wait to see if Nathan goes to trial. We've been promised he'll pay as will the crooked cop but I would imagine the road to conviction for both of them will be full of potholes before the cage is closed on those two.

Really good storyline, I think. I've enjoyed it a lot. Excellent performances all around. I know some have been upset that a corrupt police officer has been brought into it as a dramatic twist. They hop up and down and holler that it will put girls off from going to the police if they're in a similar position but it's television, it's drama, and it's never going to be 100% realistic. I think it was a good twist and it will be all the more satisfying to see Neil behind bars. Too bad we won't see the whole truth, all the inmates taking their own brand of justice out on these two men for what they do to young girls. Because they would, you know. Something else I wish and hope we see, that police inspector that dealt with Ken's case, DI MacKinnon, remember her? She grew on me. I really liked the character and I hope we see her again. I'd love to see her be the one that takes down her corrupt colleague! We have a different female police officer working with Sarah at the moment, though, so I suppose that's not going to happen.

Billy and Todd have met the daughter of Billy's dying ex boyfriend, Drew. She's called Summer and she's quite a character. I did think she was a bit too calm and collected for a child who's dad is dying but never mind. Todd, being the sarcastic tongue that we all know and love, made a crack about putting her in a home but didn't know she'd overheard and she's now not predisposed to be taken in by them. I'll say one thing, if they do adopt her, they'd better find a flat of their own because I don't think Eileen will have yet another mouth to feed under that roof! Summer is 9 years old. She might be a friend for Max, Asha and Aadi if Billy and Todd to end up taking her in.

I have to wonder why Drew didn't have guardianship in place for her a long time ago, though. He didn't get sick overnight after all and I got the impression he was sick for awhile before he finally approached Billy here a month ago. He would know what his parents were like, surely he would have made it a priority to find a guardian for Summer rather than have his homophobic parents take her.

In other news, Seb seems to be out of juvvy with a new case worker. Anna is furious that Faye continues to defy her. Kevin is getting more and more sexually frustrated. He's not had a shag in a very long time, since Anna's accident. We saw him looking up the side effects of the medication she's on. It's an antidepressant which can indeed have an effect on the libido.  So Kevin is going to take another chunk out of her self esteem and go sniffing around Erica, from the look of it. Once he got a taste for it with Natalie Horrocks, it didn't take much, just a bat of the eye and some flattery and he starts panting like a puppy dog. Here we go again.

I'm really not all that interested in Anna and Kevin nor do care about Cathy and Brian. He's far too rude, selfish and ignorant to be at all enjoyable for me. The actor is a little belter, but the character is repugnant, too much so for me to "love to hate" him.

Another interesting storyline has started. Pat Phelan's past comes back to him. He met Seb's case worker and it turns out he knew this woman, Nicola's parents. Not only that, he had an affair with her mother and he's pretty sure she's his biological daughter. There was no delay, no secrets kept for long, nobody sneaking around. It came out fairly quickly. I really like that Nicola stood right up and confronted him with it straight away rather than keeping it secret that she knew, and that she has had the reaction you might expect from normal non-soap people. Shocked, but not about to go out and self destruct, either. Eileen took it well, knowing it's his past rather than have a hissy fit like soap characters usually do. She's being very supportive. I expect she will turn out to be his daughter.

Phelan is a villain, he's done nasty things and in the long run he will have to pay. But finding his daughter, will she end up being his conscience? Will, in the need to be a better man, she be the catalyst to him confessing to things like leaving Michael to die and killing Andy? I reckon he'd only do that if somehow Nicola finds out first, at least about Andy. If Andy's really dead. It's all up in the air and it's going to be great fun speculating on this storyline.

Lastly, David has found out that Shona is Clayton's mother after finding Shona at Kylie's grave. She might have helped Bethany and she and David were beginning to fall for each other. I did like the scene where David talked to Leanne about finding someone new after your loved one died. Because she got together with Nick after Kal died, she'd know what he was feeling. But when he found out Shona's secret, David can't get his head around Shona being the mother of the kid that killed Kylie. It would be pretty strange, that's for sure. How could the kids manage it, growing up knowing that, as well? I realize she was not the one that made Clayton kill Kylie and it's really not her responsibility but it's difficult to separate the two. Anyway, she ran out of town but I don't think we've seen the last of her.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Friday, 23 June 2017

Musing on Dramatic License

Bethany's storyline has been quite controversial. Some viewers think it's gone too far. Some hate that a corrupt policeman has been added for dramatic effect, saying that it could stop someone going for help in "real life". People know this is a fictional drama, and though these things happen in life, most of the police are not going to be corrupt. This kind of situation is nothing new. Pimps have been seducing vulnerable young women for centuries. Bethany might not have been forced to walk the streets for her clients but Nathan is pimping her out just the same. There have also always been corrupt police so why not introduce one to the storyline? Surely people watching have the sense to understand that it's still fiction they're watching on the screen.

Mind you, I should know better than to say that. I used to process the email that came in through the website. Flaming Nora can back me up here. There would occasionally be an email from someone that didn't seem to understand that what they were watching was acting. I remember when Alma died of cancer. There were a half dozen or more emails from people who really thought the actress was dying and how brave was it of her to portray Alma's death on screen. When the storyline aired in Canada some months later, in popped a few more similar emails. I guess there really are some people that get far too involved and confuse fantasy with reality.

Would it really be possible for a mother to disappear without a trace for 7 years, leaving a 15 year old alone as Denise did with Daniel? The financial aspect alone would make it nearly impossible. She had a breakdown, allegedly, so how was she getting the money to put in the bank to pay the rent and bills? Yet apparently she did that. So why didn't Daniel trace her through the bank deposits? Why did not one neighbour or friend find it suspicious that she hadn't been seen for years? Why didn't Denise contact Ken and send Daniel to him if she wasn't going to be around? Daniel wasn't too keen on having his father in his life, as we saw during that last time Ken saw him but rather than leave your child alone, she had that option. Daniel could only lie and cover for her for so long before someone would start asking questions. We complain a bit but more or less accept the storyline as given because it's fiction.

I'm finding it a little difficult to accept that a man diagnosed with terminal cancer only bothered to try to find a guardian for his daughter almost before it was too late. He knew he didn't have much time left, he told that to Billy when he first appeared on the screen about a month ago. Surely if you have cancer, even if you don't know yet that it's terminal, you would scramble to get your house in order especially if you had the guardianship of a child to worry about, and especially knowing she'd either go into care or be given to your homophobic parents if you didn't make prior arrangements or at least write a will and express your wishes there. Social services might still get involved under those circumstances but surely they'd lean towards a big hearted gay vicar over a mean spirited homophobic grandmother.

I can't say yet if this story is going to interest me much but I will say this, if Billy and Todd do end up with Summer, they had better find somewhere to live. I'm pretty sure Eileen isn't going to go for having yet another mouth to feed.

David finally found out Shona's connection to his late wife, the fact that her child is the one that killed Kylie. Naturally he went ballistic, particularly because he was finding that he was attracted to her and it was mutual. She went and ran off but I'm sure she'll be back and in the time honoured tradition of soaps, they'll eventually get together though it's going to be weird that Kylie's kids' step-mother is the mother of the man that killed their mother. My head hurts already!

We all know that Eva's been in full on Bridezilla mode, trying to get Aidan to propose. She's been dropping hints like the flower girl drops rose petals up the church aisle. He's not picking them up. Deliberately. He likes having it both ways, a gorgeous blonde in his bed and another beauty on the side. He can continue to make promises to both of them and probably enjoys the danger zone. Eva took desperate measures and proposed to him in public so what could he do but say yes! Just to cement the deal, Eva is now pregnant though of course, she wouldn't have known that before the proposal I don't think. What I do think is that I wouldn't put it past her to have placed herself in that position of the possibility of getting pregnant because that would be her backup guarantee of a wedding.

Eva's always been full-on with relationships, pushing them into the next step before the fella was ready for it. I think that's why she kept getting engaged and then dumped. When we first met her, she was licking her wounds after a broken engagement and was there not something about when she was staying in France (when the actress was on maternity leave), that she wrote to Leanne that she met a guy and got engaged? When she returned, she was broken hearted again. Those relationships start up and zoom through to that huge commitment stage far too quickly and that's her fueling the zoom bit just like she's done with Aidan. First it was the push to get him to move in and recently it's been the proposal anticipation. But while she's told him about the baby, she's also going to be plotting his downfall while he continues to gleefully juggle both women, making empty promises to each.

 We suspend disbelief in most cases when dramatic license is taken. There's no harm in that. Tv, movies, books, fiction. Sometimes the writers need to throw in a twist or two that might be a bit over the top.

What bothers me is the nit-picky stuff, or if a character is written to do something that we know they would never, ever do. (i.e. when it was discovered that Betty Williams pilfered all those bar glasses) We also stand up and holler if Corrie history is blatantly rewritten (Annie Walker couldn't leave the pub to Betty because the brewery owned it and did until Bet Lynch left and the Duckies bought it from Newton and Ridley.) Would one small neighbourhood have that many people that have had anywhere between 4 and 6 spouses? Would one small neighbourhood have a building bursting into flame every year or two? Sometimes, you just roll your eyes and get on with it.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

You might also like...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...