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)

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