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)

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