Saturday, 30 December 2017

State of the Street - December 2017

I was away most of November and there was too much to catch up on so we'll have to skip up to December.

Phelan is aiming all guns at Anna, determined to bring her down and using Seb to do it. He's expert at double talk, convincing Seb of what he thinks he remembers, kind of like that snake in Jungle Book hissing around his ears! Anna didn't get bail so she's locked up for now but when she hears about Gary's "death", she fights back. I should say, Gary's "alleged" death because I never did think he would be confirmed as dead. Why? Two words. Miracle. Christmas. Tis the season and all that. I half expected him to show up unharmed at the holidays but we didn't even have to wait that long. It was maybe two days and he was back as if nothing had happened. Oh, you were worried? I fail to understand why he didn't guess that all of his stuff got blown up leading his family to think he was dead. Ok, his phone was destroyed but surely he could have found a phone that worked somewhere.

Doesn't matter. David found out about Nicola and the baby while he was gone and tried to keep it secret out of respect for Sarah's grief but when Gary came back he tore him a new one. Gary promised to tell Sarah the truth but David just couldn't wait. Now I didn't think that David told her who the woman was but on Christmas Day, Sarah was drunk and screamed at Eileen across the road about Nicola and Gary and that Nicola wasn't in Australia after all. Continuity error? Very possibly.  I reckon Gary would have chickened out anyway. Sarah was rightly pissed and threw Gary out. I wonder if that's the final flop in a relationship that's been non stop flip flop, on again off again! I don't blame her and she shouldn't take him back ever but it's a soap.

And Anna? She ended up losing Kevin over the scandal and ran away from a  hospital visit. She didn't get very far, and the escape alone is likely going to have her banged up even if she's proven innocent of the original Seb charges. While she was hiding out, she assaulted Eileen at the builder's yard with a bolt cutter, thinking she was Phelan coming up the stairs. That's going to be another thing that will keep her behind bars.  I'm sure we're on the slope downward to Phelan's comeuppance but I'm still not sure how it's going to come about. Anna must be involved with it somehow because she's due for payback for what Phelan did to her. Whether it will be a fight to the death is anyone's guess. Maybe Eileen and/or Nicola will be part of it, too, so that Phelan ends up with nothing, no wife, no daughter, no granddaughter. All of his self-illusion can come crashing down.

Mary struggled with her worries about baby George and why it seemed to her people weren't investigating deep enough into why the baby kept getting ill. When Jude and Angie decided to return to South Africa, however, Mary's friends rallied round to help prevent it. Tracy stole the passports and Norris went all superhero on them! I'm not quite sure what he thought his protest would do but it was nice of him anyway.

They finally discovered that the child is allergic to the kind of sugars found in fruit. Jude and Angie have a lot of sucking up to do even if Mary is inclined to look the other way since they're going to stay in Weatherfield for now. I'm not even going to get huffy at Jude for his attitude towards Mary for giving him up as a baby. Let's face it, it's a lot to get your head around. The circumstances came from rape and the baby was taken from her and he didn't seem to register that but I don't really think that would be out of the ordinary for someone to react like that at first. They'd come around eventually and it looks like Jude is starting to think in the right direction. If Angie hadn't been so preoccupied, struggling with her post natal depression and thinking Mary was trying to hurt her baby, she'd probably have told Jude a thing or two to sort him out!

Robert has had an operation to determine the severity of the testicular cancer and his hair has gone completely silver. I never thought of him as dying his hair but yes, if he did, then a spell in prison with no access to it would result in a grey head of hair. It still doesn't make him any more interesting. He's so much in denial that he does what he always does, gambles at the casino and puts his business in jeopardy. That was the intent of the cancer storyline I think, rather than a story about him struggling to recover. Lop one of them off and do a test and it's all clear. This is about financial woes.

This time, Michelle is a business partner and it'll be all about her, too. Not that she needed any excuses for that. What does she do to help? Stage a robbery and scam the insurance company. Good Grief. Steve found out about the financial problems, though, and I think he wants to get involved which is going to put a bump in the newly paved road of his and Tracy's reunion. Don't get me started on that. I don't agree with it and it feels forced. Why does everyone have to be part of a relationship?

Aidan and Alya's business struggles to get off the ground. Not really interested, sorry. The end result was 1. Aidan getting Carla to back him to buy the factory off Johnny and 2. dealing with the company they've got an order for, a company whose  owners are nasty pieces of work, sexist and racist to start with and every other kind of "ist" you probably care to mention. Still not really interested in this one though it is good to see Carla back.

Johnny wants to retire to Spain on the insurance money from the factory. Here's another plot hole/continuity error. I thought Aidan's was the name on the partnership papers. Is Carla still a majority partner? Doesn't she have a say in the matter? Or did she sign over/sell her share to Johnny when she left town? Anyway, Carla's back, she's decided to back Aidan and she's got a secret.Turns out she's dealing with kidney failure and only Roy knows. If she needs a relative for a transplant, I've got a bad feeling. You don't have to get a transplant from a dead person, a donor has a healthy kidney removed and can live with one quite well but what if that's what happens? One of Carla's family is identified as the donor and dies? It would have to be either her brother Rob or Aidan or Kate. Johnny's MS would preclude him as a family donor and the only other blood relative, little Liam, is too young, I would think.

Luke has decided that 12 months of Andy's mail piling up is time to investigate rather than just send it all back saying "Not at this address". They believe Andy left town after he left Steph so there was no reason to believe he was ever coming back. Andy's old mate says Andy never got to Bristol and for some reason Luke thinks Pat Phelan was the next one to ask even though the two of them were barely nodding acquaintances to most of the Street.  Is it because Phelan was the landlord? He lied and said he's been in touch with Andy who may be in Birmingham. Is this going somewhere? Will Luke find the bodies in the pond?

Billy turned himself in over attacking Peter, gave police a chance to connect his fingerprints to an old robbery and burned out car. Turns out he was a bad lad back in the day. Also, he was responsible for the car crash that killed Susan Barlow or he thinks he was. He was in the car when it crashed and didn't insist on them calling for help so he's the designated guilty party in his mind. It's even worse, and quite a huge coincidence that he ends up living in the same street as the orphaned boy, Adam, but that's a soap for you.

Then we were in for weeks of Billy looking dreadful, feeling guilty and shamed and teetering on the fence of whether to tell Adam the truth or not. It was never a matter of if Billy would confess to one of the Barlows, it was a matter of when and Christmas seemed as good a time as any! For his honesty, Billy spent the night in the boot of Peter's cab and when Peter let him out, he lost his balance and went over a cliff! He survived, just, and the Barlows have closed ranks. Billy doesnt tell that Peter was the one more or less responsible for his injury and they won't tell he was more or less responsible for Susan's death. But it looks like Adam might be the loose cannon there.

Todd didn't know any of the car stuff but things were getting out of hand and he knew that Billy told Peter of his original involvement and we're told that Todd decided to take Summer away somewhere to get away from all the aggro. In reality, the actor has been fired and has left the show abruptly so this is a hasty rewrite. I hope they bring Summer back, though, at some point.

Rana and Kate are in a full blown affair even though Rana is now legally married to Zeedan and protests that she loves him as well as Kate. She knows what the scandal will do to her family and how they'll react towards her and she's scared stiff. I'm surprised because throwing traditions to the wind in the past never seemed to bother her. I'm not all that interested in this storyline either because, while this sort of thing happens and straight women discover they're attracted to women, I never bought Rana as one of those women. Then again, I've never really been overly interested in Rana at all and that's probably the main reason this storyline lets me down.

Chesney is going to be marrying Sinead in the new year and he's being busy trying to undermine her tentative friendship with Daniel by setting up Daniel to look bad in her eyes. Daniel has decided to do the same thing in return and prove that he's the one Sinead really loves. Tracy is helping Chesney for reasons only known to her and Adam is goading Daniel on. Feels like school yard shenanigans to me. 

Christmas and the subsequent holiday season on the Street really felt lacking in my opinion. In the old days, the pub was the centre of celebrations both on Christmas Day after happy and unhappy families coped with the holiday and on New Year's Eve. This year, we barely saw anyone in the pub on the 25th and aside from a pre-party scene in the pub on New Year's Eve, the rest of the celebrations were in the Bistro with only a bare handful of characters rather than a packed Rovers full of old friends. I wrote more about it here.

Hope you all have a wonderful 2018!

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

State of the Street - October 2017

October started off with a bang and the trial of Nathan and Neil. Kind of wished there were more courtroom scenes because it seemed to be over so quickly. Bethany did really well in court though they did their best to twist her words and discredit her. Craig fared worse, the barrister making him look pretty sad and incompetent though he ended off rather well, I thought, with the Bible waving and insisting he always tells the truth. Nathan and Neil putting a spin on their activities was creepy, wasn't it?

I tried to watch it as if I was a jury member hearing Nathan for the first time. Did he come across insincere? I really couldn't tell because I did know he was bullshitting high and deep, really trying to work the jury members and sucking up, putting on a performance with the face emotion. Surely that came across like it actually was, an arrogant deviant trying to wriggle out of the charges like he had so many times before. Even his barrister was very clearly disgusted with him. I bet she felt dirty every night when she got home! He got caught up in his own ego, though, when the the police followed the money and it led back to him. Isn't that what they always say? Follow/find the money? In the end all were pronounced guilty as we knew they would be. Soap Law dictates they wouldn't get away with it.

It was a near thing, though, with the drama of Mel kidnapping Bethany to stop her testifying. Mel was a figure to feel sorry for, though, so under Nathan's control as she was. She had nothing else and he had worked his way into her brain for many years. As Bethany pointed out, he kept her around to make the other girls feel safe. I thought she often showed regrets and feelings of guilt at times, especially when Bethany really started poking holes in her perfect wall of excuses. She must have felt particularly bad about luring young Lara in so that when she killed herself, it cracked Mel's exterior and she couldn't avoid the truth any longer. We all hope she does find a better life. Wonder if she'll ever appear in Weatherfield in the future?

Rita was diagnosed with a brain tumour and didn't know if she'd have the operation to remove it in spite of the fairly good prognosis. It fell to Norris to listen to her fears and help her get through it. It was a lovely scene with the two of them. She really was afraid she'd not be the woman she was but without the operation, she already was becoming that stranger. I can't imagine the Street without Rita but if the actress has/had decided to retire, I know people would want Rita to have a proper send off and if that meant a fatal brain tumour, well it would allow Barbara Knox to go out on a high note of drama. We rarely see the full force of her acting chops these days and you forget what she can do.

Just prior to the operation, while she was working up to it, the odious Colin from that Mr. and Mrs. competition that Norris and Mary had blown out to be with Rita was lurking around. He wants to buy the Kabin from Norris and the flat from Rita and we saw a brief scene where he talked about backdating a document. He also went to the hospital when Rita was first admitted and it seems he's got her signature on an agreement to sell to him, obviously taking advantage of her state of mind and emotional upset. She's got to find a way of breaking the contract if her results are good and she will be sticking around, but it shouldn't be too difficult. A doctor can point to the tumour and it's effect on her memory making her not responsible, surely.

I really think the character of Colin is thoroughly detestable and cringeworthy. I really could have done without that aspect of the storyline altogether. I don't even "Love to Hate" him, and  the fact that he's a temporary character  is the only thing that makes me say I'll never watch Corrie as long as he's on it because I come perilously close to feeling like that when I see his face.He strikes me as a character in the long tradition of boobs like Reg Holdsworth and the type of person Norris Cole was when he first came into the show in the 90s and even Derek Wilton to an extent. Thinking far too highly of themselves when they're really just ridiculous little losers but Derek had a soft side to him in his love for Mavis and Norris in his return to the Street had slightly humbled as well. I still don't like Norris much but I can accept him now. Holdsworth was such a comic idiot that I never minded him. As a double act with Curly Watts, he was funny now and then and was always an object of ridicule to all the other characters. Colin is in the same realm of my contempt that the early Norris Cole was. Just go away.

The factory is empty, roofless and reeling. Will it be able to rise from the rubble yet again as it has so many times before? Everyone suspects Eva and Adam might have had a hand in its downfall but there's no proof just yet. Eva feels terrible and she should be livid with Adam who went ahead with the plan even though he'd been told not to. He might have thought it was too late but really, he could have called it off. He was too greedy and it didn't get him the factory, just a bit of revenge on the Connors. It may lead to his downfall in the long run, I don't know. I hope that the factory will rise again and I've heard rumours but I will avoid spoilers.

Phelan still has Andy in the cellar and is getting well and truly sick of it yet he can't let him go. But with Daniel starting to root around, digging up dirt on him, it looked like he may have the solution. He keeps saying he's no killer but he comes very bloody close and he's decided that he can replace Andy in the cellar with someone else, leaving Andy to do the day to day care which was Andy's idea in the first place. Turns out, it's not going to be Daniel though it looked like it for awhile. He managed to shut Daniel's investigation down cold. But Daniel's investigations  into Phelan's failed building project has turned up Vinny's mother. Remember Vinny? The one that ran with the cash and double crossed Phelan?

Phelan has challenged Vinny to a showdown, he used Vinny's mother and has got the cash Vinny owed him. Now Vinny's in the cellar *with* Andy.   Daniel would have too many people asking questions if he disappeared, as would any of Phelan's other enemies on the Street. Vinny really has no ties other than a mother who expects a phone call once a year.

You noticed that Phelan told Andy that it was Vinny who was the reason Michael died. I figured he was going to push Andy's buttons and give Andy a reason to want to kill Vinny. Andy won't really think he has anything to lose after being locked away in a rat infested cellar for nearly a year.

But that's now how it went down.  Phelan forced Andy to kill Vinny and had to badger him relentlessly until he pulled the trigger. Andy turned the gun on Phelan but didn't shoot again. Phelan then shot Andy. It seems so unfair that Andy lived all that time in a cellar as a prisoner only to be killed anyway but from Phelan's point of view, he really didn't have a choice. It's the beginning of the ultimate end. Murdering scum cannot get away with it. I'm really enjoying this storyline mainly due to the mighty Connor McIntyre!

Billy and Todd have their hands full with Summer who reacted so badly after they were rowing on the day that her late father's birthday was marked that she took a dare and smoked some drugs and collapsed. It wasn't your bog standard marijuana, it was laced with something called spice which is really a thing apparently and a bad thing. Because it was Simon that dared her, Billy ended up violently laying into Peter who was possibly unintentionally pushing Billy's guilt button. It was shocking to see Billy react like that and so soon after he stole the money from the law office thinking it was Adam's profit from the factory job. He played Robin Hood but it was actually Shona's money. Still, that's two strikes for the vicar. Will there be a third?

Then Billy turned himself in even though Peter wasn't going to press any charges. I've seen a spoiler that indicates to me that the only reason this happened is that it leads to his fingerprints connecting him to an old unsolved case. I like Billy but he can be a bit sanctimonious at times. I understand his position, he needs to be an example but he's also putting his family in jeopardy and they could end up losing Summer to Social Services' Care or worse, to her grandparents. It's actually very interesting to see how Todd has turned around from someone that didn't want to be a father into someone that's really bonded with Summer and really taken to fatherhood like a duck to water even if his moral judgment is a bit too liberal at times!  Telling her it's ok to break the rules sometimes probably wasn't the best thing to say!

Sally's running for mayor and it was mostly a quiet month on the campaign trail though she's not best pleased that her own sister is backing the opposition, a man in a bee suit. Honestly, you wouldn't think someone like Kirk would be able to fill out all the forms you have to do when you submit your name for candidacy as well as come up with the fee. At least, that's how it works here where I live. Maybe it doesn't work like that in the Manchester area. It's all played for a laugh so why aren't we getting more scenes to laugh at? By the time it happened, the election was very much an anti climax.

Sally won but only by 51 votes. Kirk's conscience was pricked by the fact that he really isn't a politician and was only in it for a laugh, she being the better candidate. He threw his support behind her at the last minute. Otherwise, it could have been him wearing that chain and he would have been a terrible mayor. But surely there were more than just the two candidates? I can't imagine all those town councillors and other politically minded citizens thinking it's a great idea to have an election come down to one semi-qualified person with a bit of political experience and a doofus in a bee suit. "Oh well, Sally Metcalfe who was a councillor for 5 minutes and a bee mascot, there's no point in me throwing my hat in the ring. I've only got 30 years experience on the town council"

Peter and Toyah are pregnant via the surrogate. So far it's very much off screen. I wonder if we'll see more on that. Eva's at loose ends but with a flat to her own name. I wonder if she kept the pink car as well. Very much a hollow victory. Be careful what you wish for.The Devster has leaped off into another relationship, this time with Sally's sister Gina. I don't think they're suited any more than he was with Julie or Erica but it's put a smile on his face and even more, hers. Isn't it wonderful to see Gina's smile? She's usually moaning and whinging, resentful of Sally, worried about bills. To see her coming down them stairs with Dev completely relaxed and happy? Looked like a different person altogether and you realize just how pretty Connie Hyde is!

Nicola is pregnant too, minutes after shagging Gary Windass. But she got quite a shock. Anna finally told her the truth about what happened between she and Phelan and Nicola saw that Anna wasn't lying. Add to that, her mother's friend's reaction to Phelan's photo and Nicola dug in and discovered his mother did not have an affair, she was raped. Nicola confronted Phelan with it and even then he couldn't accept what he did with her mother was rape though finally did admit that he forced Anna by blackmail. He can't take responsibility for his own actions and he's a classic sociopath and narcissist. What a great villain, though!

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

I can't wait

When  I'm watching Coronation Street, There are storylines that really engage me. I watch with relish. I anticipate. I wait for the next thing that's going to happen. I speculate. I really look forward to seeing some things such as...

Phelan is now a murderer. He will be taken down and will have to face the music.
I can't wait.

Will his vendetta against Anna ultimately be his downfall? Or will he kill her? Maybe he will and then get caught. However it happens...
I can't wait!

Nicola is having Gary's baby. Sarah will have to find out at some point because these things never stay secret for long. I like Gary and Sarah together, and I don't think Gary and Nicola suit as well. So what's going to happen when this all hits the fan?
I can't wait!

Rita finds out tonight if the tumour operation was a success. I've got a good feeling  about this. But she sold her flat to that odious Colin so she'll still have to contend with that. Surely her being under the influence of a brain tumour is a legal enough reason to back out of the contract. Come on Adam, you're slithery. You can sort it out.
I can't wait!

Mary's finally got the family she always wanted but it's off to a very rocky start. There's a lot more going on between she and Angie than she realizes with Angie having trouble bonding with baby George and upset that her new mother-in-law seems to be taking over ably. Poor Jude is getting stuck between a rock and  a hard place. Her new BFF, Toyah, is a councillor, maybe she'll be a help?
I can't wait.

Sally is now the mayor of Weatherfield. What does that make Tim? Surely there will be a lot of conflict when she needs him by her side at formal functions. If last week's episodes are anything to go by, she's going to have to make sure she doesn't let politics overrun her family life. She did say she needed to keep her priorities straight. Someone's going to have to keep her grounded. I hope we get to see a bit of Sally the Politician and see her be successful at it.
I can't wait!

The factory is in ruins. Will it ever rise like a phoenix again? Surely it will. I'm hoping when Carla comes back, she'll put that factory back on the map.
I can't wait!

The whole Connor family seems to be in disarray. Maria made a fool of herself over Aidan who made a fool of himself right back and Eva played them both for fools and she ended up with a flat and a car. An empty victory, I think. Johnny and Jenny got married but starting up the factory seems to be too much for him to think about. Kate's in love with a married woman. They all need their collective heads knocking together. It bears repeating...

Carla's coming back!!
I can't wait!

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Friday, 27 October 2017

The Ruination of Anna Windass

Anna Windass has been on our screens since 2008. Right from the start, she and her common law husband, Eddie, were portrayed as people that were a bit or a lot dodgey, from a rough background. They hired Jo McIntyre to build their kitchen then refused to pay for it, leading Joe ultimately to bankruptcy. Anna has always been shown to be a fiercely protective mother though perhaps hasn't always made the best judgements but she'll do anything for those she loves. She'll also turn on anyone she may previously shown friendship for if they so much as look at her or her family sideways.

No, Anna has never really been a sympathetic character overall. Just when you think she's showing signs of improvement, doing kind things for friends, and being generally nice, something will happen and she'll be cold-shouldering, shrieking and slapping. The object of her anger will then be her enemy for life,  until of course, she realizes the error of her ways and then butter wouldn't melt. She will apologize but I don't know how anyone can trust her not to lost her temper again and go off on them.

Ah yes, that temper has got her into trouble more than once. She'll regret it but it doesn't matter. She doesn't learn. And she can be vicious with it, even towards her beloved teenage daughter who has been the cause of Anna's temper on more than one occasion. She'll let her mother down and end up being shut out, screamed at, even slapped. It's no wonder Faye thinks Anna hates her. It doesn't take much for Anna to turn her back on Faye on a regular basis. She certainly wasn't too nice to Faye after discovering that surprise pregnancy, calling her names and all sorts. Remember, she coldly turned against Roy, her friend and employer, after he assaulted Gary knowing Roy had been tested to his limits by teenage bullies. Roy shouldn't have resorted to violence, but Gary shouldn't have broken into the cafe to try to rob it but Anna didn't see it that way, assigning no responsibility to Gary at all.

We know that Phelan used her badly, forced her by blackmail into having sex to let Gary off the legal hook. I'm not making excuses for Phelan over that. She didn't deserve that treatment and did what she did because she didn't think she had a choice. Phelan knew she wouldn't let Gary go to jail. She has told a few people over the years. Some believed her. Some have not. Phelan has groomed everyone into believing he's a nice guy, just misunderstood so Anna looks like a vindictive liar. She's at it again, this time revealing the past to Phelan's newly found daughter, Nicola who seems to believe her, or at least, is smart enough to consider that it's the truth. She doesn't know Phelan well enough yet to trust him 100% so Anna's story hasn't fallen on stony ground this time.

It doesn't seem to matter that she's been a good and loyal friend, or a caring mother figure. She can flip personalities like a pancake on a griddle, soft and puffy one minute, sizzling the next. This is not a new thing. This isn't a new aspect of her personality since her encounter with Phelan all those years ago. It's one thing to get angry when someone you're trying to help rejects you, it's quite another to be seen screaming vicious insults at someone in public but that's what Anna does.

Therefore, it annoys me when people say that The Powers That Be are ruining Anna because the actress is leaving.  This is an accusation you hear often when actors decide to go on to other things. They make you dislike the character so you won't protest so much when they're gone. Lately, we've seen Anna going up against Seb and Faye after trying to help Seb's family. When it all went wrong, she was accused of calling Social Services. She didn't, but nobody involved believes her and because of that, Faye and Seb are in "I hate you" mode. Anna has begged them to believe her and when that doesn't happen, she pushes and pushes until one of them lashes out. What does Anna do? shrieks and insults these children and SLAPS them. Yes, the teenagers that she considers vulnerable and needing support feel the heat of her fingers across their faces. Nice.

But Anna's also being accused of causing Seb to fall off a ladder and Phelan is manipulating the evidence in that direction. Nicola might uncover another devastating truth about her mother and Phelan that will reinforce Anna's story and realize that he's not the man he's led her to believe he is. He'll lose the daughter he was so proud to have found, the one for whom  he thought he could redeem himself. If that happens, he'll have nothing to lose.  Anna's been a thorn in his side for a long time and this might be the way to get rid of her. He'll make sure Anna is ruined, a pariah until she's in jail or has to leave town.

I've never been a fan of Anna all that much. She's had her good moments when she's been loyal but then she's also had so many moments when she's been disloyal or unnecessarily harsh. She didn't call Social Services, but if she hadn't badgered him trying to convince him of it, Seb wouldn't have lost his temper and shouted at her. When Seb insulted her in the cafe, his heart broken after losing his siblings into Care, his mother back on drugs and assumed she called Social Services causing it all, Anna changed from begging him to believe it wasn't her in one breath to screaming at him and slapping him in the next. A 16 year old kid who needed support, not abuse. And she wouldn't leave it alone, she practically chased him out of the cafe trying to drag him back inside. It's no wonder he was so distracted, he was careless on the ladder and fell. You could lay that blame at her door even if she didn't actually push the ladder.

Has Anna been ruined? I don't think so. I think she's just been revealed. She might have a good and kind side to her but she's also got a streak of nasty inside like Blackpool Rock. Always has had.

I rest my case.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

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)

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