Sunday, 16 April 2017

Storyline rambles

A few random thoughts, theories and little amusements have been rattling around in my head lately and I've just got to write about them so that they won't keep nagging me! Yes, I'm that much of a Corrie-obsessed nutter. That, or I've had too much Easter chocolate.

This past week, Maria told David about her fling with Aidan and he said something to the effect that she doesn't go around nicking other women's blokes. Um. yes, yes, she does and David should remember it very well. He nearly got drowned in the bath by one of them after Maria was shagging Charlie Stubbs who was living with Tracy Barlow at the time. We've had a recent reminder that she had an affair with Toyah's boyfriend once, a university professor. She got pregnant and had a termination that time. In a way, she took Liam off Carla. She was with Liam before she knew he fancied Carla but she then did everything she could to keep them apart and get him for herself. It kind of counts. She was also obsessed with a Fiz-committed Tyrone after she had a breakdown when Marcus left her, she certainly encouraged Marcus away from Sean and now she's all over Aidan.So yes, she has made a habit of going for men already in relationships with other women (and men!)

It also made me chuckle when Anna decided to sell her clothes to help the financial woes in the Webster house. I thought "How is a tenner going to help in any way? It's only going to buy a couple of loaves, a bottle of milk and a packet of coffee". It's not as if Anna has been swanning around in designer gear, is it? She probably buys most of her clothes off the market or the charity shops. Even her few nice dresses are likely only from a high street shop.

So now that Kevin has been given 19 grand from David, is that it? Crisis over? We'll say no more about it? Probably, in true Corrie form, it will now all be forgotten and swept under the rub. I did wonder. Kevin's debt was partly personal due to Sophie's bills and partly professional because the insurance wouldn't pay out on the fire for the other garage. If he went bankrupt, I wonder how that would affect Tyrone. Tyrone owns half of the garage and if Kevin had to sell his half, Tyrone would still be ok though probably couldn't afford to buy Kevin's half. Maybe Luke could have obtained a loan, even if with his father's backing.

I don't think Sarah has told Gail or Audrey how old Nathan really is, has she? Rana has seen him and I think has noted that he was older but hasn't really said anything to anyone besides Sarah. I keep waiting for Shona to find out because we're all pretty sure he was the abusive boyfriend she got away from and I'm dead curious to find out more about her story. It's a good storyline mainly because Chris Harper is so very good at playing Nathan. He's very believable and making Nathan really creepy. Bethany has had so much self esteem knocked out of her  after all that bullying that it's made her a perfect target for him.

It does irritate me that there are so many near misses. Nathan has been curb crawling around Bethany in his car for months, and popping in and out but Shona hasn't seen him, nor has Gail got a glimpse. It's always like that on Corrie when there are secrets. In such a small neighbourhood that normally has people out and about and looking out windows, nobody ever sees anything they shouldn't until it's time for a secret to come out. That's just the way soaps are, I know.

As for Ken's attacker, ITV are now pushing Amy out as another suspect but I really can't see it. They could go that way but I think that, while Amy is quite a little madam, I don't think she's cold enough to whack her grandfather over the head and not show more signs of being upset after. Even if it was accidental struggle and fall, and his head injury is only from the fall, Amy would still be upset especially with other members of the family being accused.

Regarding this week's episodes, the spoilers say "Amy phones the police, telling them to check the fingerprints on the new kitchen worktop that Phelan fitted on the night of Ken's accident. " which then gets Adam arrested on the fingerprint evidence.  That is very easily disproven. Adam has been working on the kitchen and all the rest of the Barlows can testify to it. I think it was all set up so that Tracy is suspecting Amy but Amy probably did it to deflect suspcions from her mother and neither is revealing it to the other.
Who dunnit? I am still going with a secondary character, probably Chloe.

The story about Sally's troll is also very good and is keeping me interested. This past week, the troll upped the game with the obituary and the gruesome gift and you have to assume this person really is suffering from a mental health issue. Being nasty online, hurling insults is one thing but this is going the next step into stalker and there are definitely laws against that. Again, spoilers are pointing to Sally's sister, Gina as evidenced by her step daughter, the one Rosie and Sophie track down but I wonder if it doesn't turn out to be the step daughter after all. It will be interesting to see how it comes out. I love seeing Rosie and Sophie involved in trying to help. Rosie even seems to be the more aggressive of the two and I love that. She might be daft, but she's determined. Sally Dynevor really is putting in another powerhouse performance, in any case.

Don't get me started on Michelle's rebound with Robert. I sympathise with her on one level, after losing a child and finding out her husband had another child with someone else, and it wasn't even a grand love affair which, at least, might have been more understandable. I can understand her bitterness and rage and wanting revenge but since I've never really liked Michelle, it's difficult to be on her side and the less reasonable she is over the divorce, the less sympathy I have for her.

Producer Kate Oates says there will be a new name over the Rovers' door. I think that leaves Michelle out of the picture because her name is still over the door as co-licensee. That would be nothing new, just leaving Steve's name off it. I would like to see Dev buy Steve's share and put Erica in as co-manager with Liz. Aside from the Connors, nobody else really has the money along with any inclination. Dev might have lost out on the gym, but he still owns the flat Nick and Leanne live in, doesn't he? And the shop and number 7 so he's got the collaterol. Or perhaps Erica's mother dies and leaves her enough to buy it. I'd enjoy seeing Erica and Liz run the bar together.

That's enough for one session, I think. Coronation Street has been very good lately and I'm really enjoying it. So far, the new producer is getting good marks from me. Keep it up!

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Let's Play Detective - Who tried to kill Ken Barlow?

Ken nearly came a cropper again but it wasn't a stroke this time. Surprisingly, really, considering the stress and shouting going on there over the past month. I really did expect another stroke. He's been losing his temper left, right and centre. Adam and the drug dealer, Daniel chucking Oxford away, Tracy giving him grief, Peter maybe drinking and cheating (he wasn't but Ken thinks he was). It hasn't let up.

But no, all these people are building up grudges against him and he's landed at the bottom of the stairs in a right old mess.The police have been called to the hospital. They say he's got bruises on his wrists consistent with a struggle and a bash on the back of the head that looks very much like someone hit him. He bruises easily due to medication but I think someone still has to have grabbed his wrists tightly and I think that leaves off Amy at least.

But who could it be? The publicity photo above shows all the suspects that ITV is suggesting. I don't think it's any of them. The most likely suspects would probably be Peter, Phelan, and maybe Daniel. They were harbouring the most anger.

Sinead was drunk but she was on her way to see Ken to give him a piece of her mind. No, it wasn't her. Tracy was angry that Ken wouldn't back her and help her buy the flower shop from Peter but though she might have struggled with him, I don't think she'd have bashed him over the head no matter what she's done to Charlie Stubbs in the past. She was out looking for Amy and didn't have an alibi but I think she's off the list, too.

Phelan says he came in the back door to shout at Ken and found him at the bottom of the stairs just as Daniel arrived. I know he's got history, having left Michael to die and having presumably killed Andy but I think he's too obvious.

That leaves Daniel, Peter and Adam. If any of those actors were known to be leaving the show, I'd have said that would be the person. But as far as we know, that's not happening. Adam has a grudge and Amy was going to slip him some cash. Adam knows where the spare key is and was going to go in and get the money. Did he? Did Ken find him at the top of the stairs? Adam pretended to get a flight back to Manchester the instant Tracy texted him and timed his arrival at the hospital to make it seem like he did just that but we know he was skulking around the night before. I don't know if he'd have shown up at the hospital if he thought Ken might remember it was him, though.

That could be said for Daniel or Peter, too. Daniel has a temper, we've all seen it. But Daniel was on his way to Number 1 after seeing an inscription from Ken on a book. That doesn't seem like a guilty man. Peter was pretty close to the edge over the Chloe stuff. He nearly drank and it looked like he was about to do a runner when he saw the ambulance. He didn't look guilty to me though in the hospital the next day when the police got involved, he did look worried. He does blame his father for ruining his life yet again. He does have the best motive of all of them.

But that's the thing. In soaps, the most obvious or likely usually isn't the perpetrator of a crime though they're usually the one arrested. Therefore, Soap Law says it can't have been Peter.

So who was it?

I have two suspects with a third runner up in a pinch. The guilty party is almost always a secondary character, an expendable  crewmember that we can lose easily unless we know an actor is leaving the show. Barring that, and we haven't heard anything to that effect, there are two.

Chloe. She is obsessed with Peter. She could have done it to set Peter up in revenge. Another one it might have been is that young whippernsipper, Seb. He might have got into the house to try to steal something. He's tried that before. Ken might have caught him. Either of those chartacters are unnecessary to the plot. Chloe's involvement would stitch up Peter so that might be the more likely. The outsider is Adam, in spite of what I said. Or maybe it's wishful thinking because he's not a character I enjoy at all.

The next few weeks or months will tell. I don't know how long it will take. The new producer has been quite good and springing surprises on the viewers and that's a good thing.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Saturday, 1 April 2017

State of the Street - March 2017

This month, many of the characters on Coronation Street seem to be angry and unhappy. The ones that aren't just seem a little glum.

First we have Michelle, who, it has to be said, does have a pretty good reason to be pissed off. She was grieving for her stillborn baby boy when she found out that her husband fathered a healthy child with a neighbour after a one night stand. The heir and the spare, so to speak. How could he possibly feel the loss of their child as much as she did if he knew he had another one? That's not fair, mind you, but she's so hurt and betrayed that she'll say and do anything. She's determined to take Steve for half of everything he's got. She even tried to get back at Leanne by shagging Nick but he rejected her advances after a kiss so she fled to Devon to see Carla.

Why do people think that's the thing that's going to hurt them the most? It's only money. Yes, it's Steve's business and really, Michelle only has a claim on his half but Liz is going to sell her half as well to support him. I wonder if that means Michelle would get half of Liz's half? I hope not. And I hope the sale of the Rovers doesn't happen. Because...Peter Barlow? Seriously? If he wasn't an alcoholic, I'd say he might actually make an ok landlord but not with his tendency to slide back into addiction, even if this time could very well kill him after he poisoned himself on Jim McDonald's prison brew. I think Steve and Liz have made great pub owners and I'd be sad to see that era end.

The fallout from the paternity revelation is affecting Nick and Leanne, too. Leanne doesn't know what the right thing to do is. Should Steve stay away from baby Oliver like they originally planned? But if the secret is out anyway, why not let him see his son now and then? Personally, I think that's the right thing to do in this case. Nick needs to suck it up and grow up but Nick is ever the spoiled and entitled brat that Gail brought him up to be. He'll sulk and be sarcastic and moody, using every passive aggressive tool he's got in the box to manipulate Leanne's emotions, already in a mess due to post-partum hormones. He's already used to sharing Simon with Peter, it shouldn't be that far a leap. I guess he doesn't like being the perennial bridesmaid instead of the bride.

Baby news is also germinating for the Barlow family. One shag in the factory storage closet and Sinead's in the club, too. She did say they tried to be careful. I do wonder how that happened, though. Does she carry condoms around in her pocket? Did formerly virginal Daniel carry one in hope? I don't really want to know, too much information. Let's just go with the Oops method of birth control and leave it there. After all those years with Chesney, you'd think she'd have been on something more permanent like a pill, an injection or an implant, though. Even if they hadn't been sexually active for a few months, you don't stop taking a pill if you're in a relationship, just in case.  It would just seem a bit odd that a committed couple would be relying on condoms for years, knowing they're not the most reliable method, as she soon found out.

What to do? They talked about it sensibly and decided on an abortion but Daniel ended up changing his mind because he is pretty sure she actually does want the baby and maybe she'd end up resenting him for pressuring her into it. You know, he also looks a bit trapped. He had his future all mapped out with university and then finding a career and now he's got to be responsible for a child which could seriously curtail his plans, especially after being accepted to Oxford. Now he's going to turn it down, much to his father's dismay. Ken thinks he's just ruined his life, much like he did sticking with Deirdre. Uh oh. That rant is going to cost him.

But the rant also hit home with Sinead who came over all noble and told Daniel she had a miscarriage and he should go to Oxford after all. She lied, she had a termination and her lies didn't last very long. When Daniel found out he really lost his temper and I can't really blame him. They're done and she blames Ken for making her feel so guilty that she went through with it. They had kind of mentioned her moving to Oxford but Daniel seemed intent on staying put and raising the baby. Really, though, they could have moved to Oxford and she could have had maternity benefits. But it's over now, no baby, no relationship. I hope they don't get back together, this issue would be hanging over their heads and the resentment would grow to huge proportions. 

Then there's Peter Barlow. He's no stranger to juggling two women, is he? He's just the boy that can't say no and has a long history of it from that aspect. Lucy and Shelly and bigamy, anyone?  All because he couldn't bear to tell one or the other that he couldn't make a committment because of the other one.  Let's see. Then there was Leanne vs Carla, and Carla vs Tina and now it's Toyah and Chloe who really just tells him what he wants to hear, not the way things really are. She doesn't call him on his unrealistic crap, she flatters and flirts and he eats it all up. Of course he keeps going back for more only this time it's going to bite him in the backside.

She's turning into a proper stalker. She's tracking his phone and telling believable lies about him and like the boy that cried wolf, nobody believes him when he contradicts her lies. He's not drinking and he's not having an affair with Chloe. Not technically, anyway. He blames his father for believing her and spreading her lies and he's pretty angry about it. He was on the verge of leaving, from what it looked like, on the night Ken was injured.

There were lots of people angry with Ken. Tracy overheard him being dismissive about his relationship with Deirdre and she's feeling like he prefers his blood relationships. I can see how it looks from her point of view but then, as Ken said, she has always been self absorbed. Adam certainly has a reason to hold a grudge. He didn't actually go to Canada even though Ken gave him money and ordered him away after he got beaten up by the drug dealer. Even Phelan got the short end of Ken's temper and he was about to go give him a piece of his mind. We saw Ken head up stairs to fill the kettle in the bathroom (the kitchen still being under construction). He heard someone at the back door but kept going. The next thing we know, he's been found at the bottom of the stairs with Phelan standing over him. The police think he struggled with someone and went down that way, either fell or was pushed. Who dunnit? that will be April's story.

There are a lot of theories out in the web world that have Peter being the father of Leanne's baby due to her taking Simon to see his dad around that same time. Is it possible? Maybe so. Steve never asked for a DNA test. Leanne *seems* to believe the baby is Steve's but what if she's saying that because if it's really Peter's, it causes even more trouble than if it was Steve's though I'm not quite sure how that would be considering the earth shattering implosion it did cause in McDonald Land. But while Nick is not happy about Steve being the dad and he has had his jealous moments, he knows Leanne and Steve have no romantic history. He's very intimidated by Leanne's past with Peter and always worries that there is unfinished business and a lingering love between them. If the baby turns out to be Peter's, Nick is going to lose his rag altogether but at this point, it doesn't seem likely.

Maria's out of prison already. That didn't take long. She's still got to wear that ankle monitor for a while longer. I wonder if they deported poor Pablo? Anyway, she's had nothing but time to seethe and simmer that grudge she's building against Aidan, the man that had feelings for her but wasn't going to break up with Eva because Maria would be in jail anyway, right? And he did have feelings for both women. Weak and spineless are the names of the game here and Maria seems ready to bubble over like a glass of warm champagne. It's not going to be pretty.

As much as I love the Platts, it's kind of nice that they've been scaled back a bit and let the Barlows take the front burner but there's still Bethany's dark storyline ongoing. Nathan and Mel continue to work on Bethany and manipulate her. She's so young even if she thinks she's all grown up. She won't even be 17 until June while that ratbag is 35 and as oily as they come. Sarah's in a tough position because if she forbids Bethany from seeing Nathan, she knows she'll only push her daughter right at him. Bethany is over 16 so I don't think the police can do anything about the relationship. You know, in one small way, I almost wish Callum was still on the scene and partnered with Sarah because he'd take Nathan down a dark alley and have his henchmen (and Gemma!) work him over.

There seems to be a connection between Nathan and Shona and I suspect in the long run, Shona will be the one that saves Bethany though it won't be soon enough. I think Nathan will be pimping her and manage that a few times before this is over yet. Creepy storyline, isn't it? The actor playing Nathan is spot on and cast very well. He's very believable.

Sally went on campaign to defend her chick from the obnoxious wolf whistling builders and was successful. If only Rosie hadn't undermined her by giving a naive interview to the press who twisted it for all it was worth. The internet trolls came out from under the bridge and targeted Sally which isn't very fair but that's what they do. The ultimate prank was calling her, pretending to be the hospital and telling her that her cancer was back. Some people really are sick. And I don't mean that in the new,  trendy "good" meaning of the word.

And so it goes.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The Madness of Michelle

I don't like Michelle much, I never did. I always thought she dragged Steve down with her drama. Having said that, I do feel badly for what she's been through, losing a baby and then finding out her husband has a newborn by another woman, not even a woman he had a proper affair with. There was no love between Leanne and Steve, it was a pity party. It didn't matter that Steve thought he lost Michelle. She was on her way out of town, and turned around a few hours later, that's barely enough to qualify being "on a break". He didn't know that at the time but he didn't waste any of that time, either. She's allowed to feel angry and betrayed.

Yes, I felt terrible for her. For about a minute. Until she laced into Leanne and gave her a bloody nose. My sympathy slipped a little but her reaction was understandable. The instant she went shrieking it all out to everyone in the pub,  she lost a bit more of my sympathy and when she assaulted Eva, she lost it all. I can't blame her for being angry but her attack on Eva was uncalled for and I don't care that she was pissed that Eva knew about the baby.

So did Liz, so did Toyah and they came away unscathed. Locking Liz and Steve out of the pub and threatening to take half of everything was vindictive but a less violent reaction but I doubt very much she has a legal right to take half of everything. Liz owns half of the pub so I do hope the writers remember that and only award her half of Steve's share. I don't think she should have half of Steve's share of the cab firm either, because he owned it long before he married her but again, where Tim owns half, she should only get her manicured mitts on one quarter.

She's out of control and all the things she's doing and will do in the near future are not winning her any votes of sympathy from me in spite of her situation being indescribably dire. I get that she's out for vengeance. What Steve's done is much worse than her flirtation and near affair with that Will fella. Had he told her from the start what happened, he probably wouldn't be in this mess. Would he have lost Michelle if he'd told her about the one night stand? Possibly but possibly not. When Leanne then found that she was pregnant, it would have hurt Michelle, but she probably wouldn't have got pregnant herself. She'd have been too angry with Steve to want to have a baby with him, providing she was even still living under the same roof as he.

We all know Steve is a bit of an idiot. He continually lies, thinking he's doing it for the right reasons. He's not vindictive, he's not dishonest for the sake of being hurtful, he's just a weak person and doesn't want to upset the applecart. Yet his lies always, *always* make things worse when they're found out. He didn't tell Michelle about the one night stand and therefore, when Leanne found herself pregnant, he was in an impossible situation once Michelle got pregnant as well. He really did think he could keep away from the baby, and had their Ruairi lived, he probably could have managed it. But he held that child and he knew it was his and his heart melted. He did the right thing but it was far too late.

From spoilers, but without giving anything away, Michelle is going to wreak havoc on Steve's life, I think, far more than is necessary but she doens't do things by halves. I have a feeling I'm going to be doing a lot of shouting at my screen for the next while.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

State of the Street - February 2017

It had to happen. Of course Toyah and Peter's affair was going to be found out by Leanne and it wasn't going to be pretty. Leanne swears she's not jealous and I don't think she is but that affair has been going on for a year and Toyah never told her sister. On top of that, she'd found out Toyah never told her about the five IVF attempts. I can fully get that contributed to the ruination of her marriage. That's such a stressful thing to go through, even more so if what Toby said was true, that he was only going through it for her. She was vulnerable and latched on to Peter. She'd have known him, of course, and he *is* charming when he wants to be.

But you'd think knowing all the stuff he put Leanne through would make you more cautious, wouldn't you? And just running into him by chance while she was in Portsmouth, visiting from Liverpool? What are the odds. I know, only on a soap. Never mind that. Leanne and Peter had chemistry when they were together. I've yet to see it with Toyah and Peter. Now he's knocking around with this Chloe, driving her places and taking large tips and already they have more chemistry than he's got with Toyah, at least I think so. But then again, she's kind of Carla-ish isn't she, with that long dark hair and stylish manner?

Leanne mentioned that part of the reason she was upset was that she didn't want to see Peter ruin Toyah's life like he did her, and others. Probably true. She's got other things to worry about. There's Nick still fizzing with rage, anxiety and jealousy over that wee baby not being his. He's sure something is going to happen to take it all away. He wouldn't have to worry if he was convinced Leanne loved him as much as he loves her. I never thought she did. She always turns to Nick on the rebound from one or another or when she's lonely.

Since nobody on soaps ever gives birth in a hospital, Leanne had to do it in an elevator (lift), bickering with Toyah in between contractions. Coincidentally, there was nobody in the builder's yard and nobody in the garage that could lend a tool to get the doors open even though it was the middle of the day. There's the debut of baby Oliver! What a cutie patootie. Never mind that he's the size of a 3 month old, they can't use real newborns on set so we have to put that one aside. I did laugh at Toyah remarking how tiny he was, though.

Realistically, Leanne was sent home the next day. That's how it happens these days. Then she was inundated by company, though of course the immediate family was going to be first up. I thought it was a bit insensitive of Michelle to go over. If the tables were turned, she'd have thought it was awfully cheeky and dead awkward if Leanne had turned up on her doorstep mere weeks after having a stillborn baby. But the biggest surprise of all was Steve blurting out that he was the baby's father in front of everyone in the Bistro! Wow! I did NOT see that coming. David put the baby in Steve's arms to go help Nick and Steve's face just shouted his emotion, holding his son for the first time. How could you not tell from that look?

Oh it's all going to kick off now! And boy, did it ever. Steve couldn't hold back and told everyone it was his son. Nobody could lie and say otherwise and Michelle, well she was metaphorically kicked in the gut over it, as you would be. I can't imagine being in her stilettos. It has to be the worst kind of betrayal to find out your husband has a baby son with a neighbour after you've lost your own child. I expect that had Ruairi lived, she wouldn't have gone so far off the deep end. Not that it would have made it better, but she wouldn't have had the weight of grief to deal with at the same time.

I don't like Michelle much, but I fell terrible for her. For about a minute. But the instant she went shrieking it all out to everyone in the pub, she began to lose my sympathy and when she assaulted Eva, she lost it all. I can't blame her for being angry but her attack on Eva was uncalled for and I don't care that she was pissed that Eva knew about the baby. So did Liz, so did Toyah and they came away unscathed. Locking Liz and Steve out of the pub and threatening to take half of everything was a better reaction. She's out of control and all the things she's doing and will do in the near future are not winning her any votes of sympathy from me in spite of her situation being indescribably dire.

Adam sets up a law firm with Todd? Well it seemed like they would, then not, and I can't remember if it's on or off at this point. Todd did seem pretty disgusted with Adam selling drugs to finance it and cheating on his exam but the sale hasn't happened yet. I have a feeling Adam is going to bite off more than he can chew with this scheme. I don't get it, either, all this scamming and scheming for money. He's a greedy, underhanded, sneaky so and so and he has the nerve to accuse his grandfather of treating him badly because he was the son of Mike Baldwin. This is the man that spent nearly a year looking after him in a foreign country. Well, he's proving that he's Mike's son and far worse. Even Mike Baldwin had some scruples. It doesn't look like Adam has any.

 Sinead and Chesney were clearly cooling down and quickly. She didn't want to hurt him but couldn't stop it. Chesney thought a new stylish hair cut would help. Poor, deluded bloke. I don't know if Sinead and Daniel will go the distance but maybe it's what they both need right now. Ken seemed to put all his hopes and dreams in Daniel, the son that might actually do something with his life, something Ken always wanted to do and never managed it. But now he's turning into just as much of a disappointment as all the others, including himself, getting attached to a woman that's not his intellectual equal, in Ken's view. Like father, like son. And before you jump up and down and say that Sinead is, too, a smart woman, I agree and she probably could go to university if she'd wanted to but her talents are more artistic.

I like Daniel. I like that he's quiet and polite and studious and smart. I like that he can also stand up for himself and not take any bull from Adam or his father. He might regret that his father is disappointed but he's going to do what he wants just the same. He's a lot stronger than Ken, I believe. I do hope we find out what happened to his mother some day, though. Daniel's occasional bouts of anger also seem quite reasonable when you think his mother had abandoned him for no apparent reason that we know yet, and of course, his father was never around either.

Rosie Webster is back on the street and heels first into a load of trouble. I truly believe she'd have been naive about a package from her boyfriend. But I don't believe that it wouldn't have been discovered at the airport. They Xray and have dogs sniff at checked luggage just as much as they do carry on bags. It wasn't disguised at all, just in her makeup bag in a package. Chances are that makeup bag was carried on the plane as well. That was something I really didn't buy.

But other than that, it's good to see Rosie and her daft, shallow self back. She makes me laugh.

Brian is still drifting about. He wore out his welcome at Norris', and he's rapidly doing the same thing at Roy's, freeloading, using the flat as a hotel, helping himself to Roy's food. I really dislike that character but the actor, Peter Gunn, is superb. Now it looks like he's going to be scratching at Cathy's skirts. I don't think they'd make a good couple. I think he's far too pompous for her. I really find it hard to believe she'd put up with him.

Phelan has been on a quest to ruin Kevin. I'm not really sure why, though. Kevin doesn't like him and shouts at him now and then but he's no threat. That's usually what brings Phelan to these schemes to ruin someone. Ok, I do see that the CCTV catching his and Todd's conversation about the scam about the flats would make it necessary to take action and that's why he burned the garage hoping to destroy the laptop. He's not smart enough to realize that footage is probably backed up to a cloud service somewhere, is he? At least, it would be in the real world.

Now he's using a kid, Seb, who is probably very much like he was at that age. Someone that he can get to do his dirty work and Sep will match him every step of the way, or at least he'll try. I don't see the point and I wish he'd fade into the distance. Seb is a thoroughly dislikeable little (well, I can use a few words here that are probably not safe for work so I won't. Use your own favourite label!) Faye can't see that he's using her but she's not that different from a lot of teenage girls.

Jenny is making waves at the factory and she actually came up with a Really Good Idea, the mastectomy bras. Johnny went along with it but Aidan has his doubts. Then the client decided they wouldn't make enough money even if the public relations would be priceless and Jenny isn't going to take that lying down. I can't wait! The old Jenny is back, isn't she? She's always had a scheming side to her. It looks like Maria is going to come out of the prison gate in a fighting mood, as well. We've only seen a couple of scenes with her on the inside but she's simmering on a low boil and I can't blame her. Aidan hasn't treated her very well even if he says the right words. If he loves her, he would have left Eva even if Maria was going to be away in prison. Problem is, he loves Eva, too. I'll be very disappointed if he does get together with Maria in the end though I won't be surprised.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Saturday, 4 February 2017

State of the Street - January 2017

Phelan has now taken against Kevin Webster who mouthed off at Phelan on New Year's Eve after he broke in the house to help Anna who was on the ground after falling down the stairs. I'm not quite sure I even accepted that Phelan would do that considering there is no love lost between he and Anna. Perhaps he thought it would put Anna in his debt? Did he do it because of little Jack looking up at him to help? Possibly. Even he couldn't have a heart made up of so much concrete that he would take out his hatred for his enemies on a child.

But Kevin couldn't keep his enmity out of things so now Phelan has turned his animosity in his direction, using Andy as his puppet. He stole Kevin's breakdown truck and sold it off. He had Andy burn the garage because there was CCTV evidence of him admitting to Todd that he knew about the flat building scam on the laptop that he didn't manage to break. I did wonder why the seemingly top quality CCTV system wasn't storing the footage on a cloud server rather than a laptop that would then have to remain in the garage and turned on all the time for the downloads to be saved. It sure would use up a lot of space, too.

He discovered that Andy had the laptop on the day that Andy was planning to skip town with Steph and there was a fight. Andy of course, is not a fighter and wouldn't be able to put up much defense against the stronger, tougher Pat Phelan and a hard sided laptop. Phelan has crossed the line and killed Andy, scrubbing away the evidence. Will anyone ever find out? Likely but since he's now a murderer by his own hands, his days are numbered. I reckon we'll get a "Who Killed Phelan" story with someone like Gary or even Todd as the culprit, Eileen at a stretch if she finds out about his misdeeds before his death. And if that's the case, my guess is that Vinny will have returned and killed him in a confrontation because he'd be the expendable crew member. Speculation. It's all fun and games, isn't it?

Kevin is deep in debt now, because of Phelan torching the garage. The insurance seems to be able to decide not to pay even though the police have cleared Kevin on the suspicion of arson (due to Tyrone's lies to the police, because even Tyrone suspects Kevin thanks to Phelan). I wouldn't have thought insurance companies could do that but they do seem to be a law unto themselves. Sophie's medical bills added up on top of it all. Surely he could ask Sally to help out on that side, it's her daughter too? He didn't but she did offer and it took a little heat off his financial troubles.

It's probably added to his relationship troubles, though because he never told Anna whom he had persuaded to sue David for compensation even after knowing about Sally's cash. Pound signs flashing in his beady little eyes, and all that. I suppose the 7 grand from Sally only gives him a bit of breathing room but he's still weighed under. He will have to sell the new premesis but he won't get anything for them if they're burned out and he can't afford to do them up again.

 The tragedy of Steve and Michelle's loss of their baby was heart wrenching to watch. I don't normally rate either one as much of a dramatic actor. I have seen Simon Gregson do very well in the past but rarely has Kym Marsh impressed me as she did the week of Ruairi's death and in the aftermath. I think that because both of them have been through that situation in their own lives, they had something to draw on. It had to be very difficult for them, reliving all the pain they had probably managed to get through. You have to admire the bravery of both actors for agreeing to do it.

There was stoic Steve, trying to keep busy and keep himself distracted while Michelle's outer metaphorical skin was turned inside out, raw and bleeding. You never get over the death of a child and it doesn't matter if it was stillborn or if it does later on in life. Grief is subjective and everyone handles it differently, with nobody really handling it well but some manage a semblance of normality better than others. Steve is one of those and Michelle resented the hell out of him for it. She had nothing left to give him to help him in his grief so he had to reach out to his mother and his friends. Michelle didn't seem to want anyone's help, because she felt it wouldn't be of any comfort at all so she pushed everyone away including Steve. It was heartbreaking to watch and very real.

The death of a child is often the cause of the death of a marriage, even a good one, because grief is like nothing else you could experience. By the end of January, Steve and Michelle seem to be holding each other up and are off in Ireland for a break. I'm sure her mother will be just what Michelle needs.

But there is another bomb lurking in the shadows and that's Leanne's baby, also fathered by Steve. If the death of Michelle's baby has created cracks in the marriage, the revelation that Steve still has another baby will bust those plastered-over cracks, wide open, and shove Michelle right into Robert's waiting arms. You can see it coming, right? Until then, Nick is getting more and more unstable, possessive, suspicious, and all from an increasing sense of being unsure of where anything in his life stands.

He sees Steve as a threat because he's the father of Leanne's baby. He sees Peter as a threat because he's Leanne's ex-husband and his rival. He doesn't like that Leanne and Peter have found a place where they can be friends and Peter's just as bad, rising to Nick's bait. Simon got hurt as a result, so maybe the two men will back off each other for awhile. Nick didn't know that he had nothing to fear from Peter, but he does now. He now knows about Peter and Toyah as does Leanne. Nick's such a (insert insulting name of your choice here). I've never liked him much as an adult character and still don't. I do like Ben Price's depiction.

It looked like Leanne and Toyah were about to make peace over Peter. I know that Leanne is over Peter but sometimes stuff happens to drag up all the old pain and feelings of betrayal and that's what happened. And she's right, it's also about loyalty. She was settled down until she found out that both Eva and Simon both know and didn't tell her. It looks like Leanne has lost both her sisters, now, at least for the time being. 

Bethany and Nathan seems to be everywhere Bethany is, curb crawling in that car and flattering her, offering her a compliment and a sympathetic ear. He's Shona's ex, I think, and surely she's going to have some input into this situation at some point.It was also interesting that Gemma thought she recognized Shona from somewhere and Shona seemed very thoughtful looking at Kylie's photo in David's wallet. I wonder if there's a relation somewhere there, a blood one or an old friend.

Mary didn't go to South Africa after all but you know, she should have. She should have at least gone for a few weeks or a month to get to know her son and his family, meet her new grandchild, promising Norris and her friends that she'd return. She's not been seen at all since New Year's Eve when she decided not to leave so she might as well have gone! I know in this day and age of the internet, she can talk to Jude every day via a video app. I hope we do see her fly out when his baby is born (I think it was mentioned briefly that his wife was pregnant) but they'll probably drop the storyline.

Looks very much like we've seen the end of Sinead and Chesney. It's too bad, really, they were very much suited to each other at the beginning but he's grown complacent and she's just grown away from him. She's a bright spark but should she be with someone like Daniel? He might encourage her but he's a bit quiet and shy himself. Maybe she's what he needs to bring himself out of his shell, I don't know. And as shy as he is, he certainly didn't seem to find it difficult charming her in his own way. Ken's son,  for sure.

He's a good character, is Daniel. I like how he can very much hold his own against Adam and Tracy's barbs. He seemed so happy to finally have a family around him and a support network, he didn't have to do it all on his own anymore but he knows he can if he has to. I think he's going to hang on to that family with all he's worth now he's got them. I wonder if we'll ever see his mother back. There is unfinished business there.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Saturday, 28 January 2017

What's going on with Adam?

I don't like Adam Barlow. Never did. He was whiny and petulant in his first stint on the street and he's arrogant and sneaky now. I applaud that they've brought him back to flesh out the Barlow clan. It's clear that Adam has some sort of agenda or secret and I look forward to finding out what it is even if Adam will never be a favourite character of mind.

Adam is the son of classic character, Mike Baldwin. Mike was arrogant and a business force to be reckoned with. When he got knocked down, he always managed to come back. He was a womanizer, and he had a cheeky grin, especially when he was winding up a rival, knowing he would have the upper hand. He usually did! Adam is trying to be like his father, I think, but he's a pale imitation. Mike always had the edge of a survivor, having brought himself out of a less than priviledged childhood. Adam is missing that, he's never really wanted for anything and he certainly has an air of entitlement that a lot of spoiled children grow up to have, especially on soaps.

When Mike died, his illegitimate son Danny got his hands on the factory but there was a newer will which divided the factory between Danny, Adam and (I think) Mike's other son, Mark Redman. Not sure about that third heir because he had fallen out with Mark over Mark's affair with Mike's wife, Linda. Leanne was the one that handed Adam the current will in the end and Adam then owned half of Underworld.

However, he and Danny didn't get on and Adam really didn't want to be bothered with the factory. In a fit of pique against Danny, he decided to sell his share but not to Danny. He was approached by Liam Connor who was in the rag trade with his brother Paul who would provide the financial backing. The Connor brothers conspired to undercut Adam's asking price with a bit of deft handling. They managed to get the factory for just over half what Adam wanted but after another row with Danny, Adam (who was legally an adult, not a minor) signed and walked away.

Here he is back on the street. He lived in Canada where he apparently became a lawyer. He was quite ill a few years back and Grandad Ken went to take care of him for nearly a year. Now he's back, recalled to the family compound after Ken's stroke. But there's something off about him. He seems to be broke. Strange state of affairs for someone that was a lawyer, you no doubt think. I know I did. He started off straight away scamming a rental car company when he arranged for his car to be stolen and sold. He conveniently avoids buying Christmas and birthday gifts. And in the past few weeks, he's been intent on claiming his birthright to the factory.

You may be as surprised as I was to hear that. Adam never showed any interest at all in all these years. Ah, but there's the rub. He's after a settlement, not after his share of the factory, claiming he was young and foolish and deliberately ripped off. All of that is true but he was an adult and he made his own mistakes. Did the Connors take advantage of him? Yes but he was stupid, too. He was too anxious to get one over on Danny. Now he blames the current Connors but they had nothing to do with it.

There have been several owners and partners of Underworld in the past 10 years of so, including the ferocious Carla. I can pretty much guarantee that Adam wouldn't be left standing had he been trying to get a settlement out of her! She'd have had him for breakfast. Johnny and Aidan are just as savvy, and with Alya's help, set up Adam for a confrontation and a convenient blackmail scheme. His attempt to steal documents from the company's computer blew up in his face and his bid for cash was shut down triumphantly.

Just as an aside, however, regarding Adam's assumption that he could get his hands on pertinent documents, either via the computer or even the filing system.  Remember, Adam signed off on the factory 10 years ago or more. Would the exact same computer still be running? I think not. Very likely they're on the 3rd or 4th computer since then, what with software upgrades etc. Don't forget, the factory has also had numerous fires which would cause possible meltdowns or at the very least smoke and water damage.  If the paper contracts were stored on site, it's likely they would be ashes if not in a fireproof safe with the digital backups if that was something they had a chance to do before any damage was done.

Whoever the original solicitor was probably has a copy, that's where Adam should have gone. And having said that, why wouldn't they have given Adam a copy of the document he signed back then? Legally there would have been two documents, one for each party to sign.

Ken was right. It was all about money, not his birthright. He sternly disapproved and Uncle Daniel was amused that Adam, the cocky and irritating relative, has got his comeuppance. Adam really hasn't got any smarter has he? Now Adam seems to be honing in on Ken and his will as the next possible avenue to money.

I don't know where this is going and I do wonder why he's so skint.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Inquiring Minds Want to Know - The Nitpick Post

Ah yes, nitpicking on things that ITV would rather we just ignore because they can't be bothered to fill in the details. But God is in the Details, right? Or the devil is. And this inquiring mind wants to know...

Is anyone visiting Maria in prison aside from that one time Aidan showed up? Has Eva found a replacement slot? Audrey or David? What about Kirk? Kirk never mentions Maria yet he is close to her and was very protective of her when she was going through the trial and everything. I imagine he probably is visiting her but this is the kind of thing I wish they would throw into a random conversation, something like Audrey telling David he'll be on his own this afternoon because she's visiting Maria. Poor Maria, it's bad enough being locked away. Imagine not having one visitor? And what about her parents? You'd think they would come to see her, wouldn't you? I wonder if we'll ever know if they deported poor Pablo who was too frightened of his own family's reaction to just marry his boyfriend in the first place instead of having a sham marriage with Maria.

At the moment, Michelle is too consumed with grief to think of anything besides her loss. I would like to see, at some point, either that she's heard from Maria or maybe see a scene when Maria finally gets out where Maria comforts Michelle. Does anyone remember that Maria went through the same thing? She went to the doctor because her baby stopped moving and was told the baby inside her had died and she had to deliver it, knowing he was already dead. I don't remember how far along she was, past Michelle's 23 weeks but she wasn't much farther along I don't think. The baby certainly would have been premature but a good couple of months though likely would have survived if he'd been born alive. But of anyone in the show, Maria would be the one whose situation is the closest to what Michelle has gone through.

I applaud Corrie when they bring up old history and they have mentioned that Liz has lost a preemie baby, her Katy, with a lovely conversation between she and Michelle, sharing similar emotions. But I also think they could pull out history a little more often. When Faye had her baby and then rejected the child, Anna might have had Sarah talk to her. It might not have changed Faye's mind but that nod to Sarah's teenage pregnancy would have been nice. I know Sarah didn't know Faye but it still would have been nice to have a mention.

Doesn't Brian still own half of the flat next to Rita? He and Julie bought it off Jason. When they split up, there was talk about Julie not being able to afford to buy Brian out of his half but she continued to live there until she left as far as I recall. They left together at the time and have now broken up. Are we to presume they sold the flat at some point? I think so. But if they sold it, why isn't there anyone living there? Poor continuity there, I think.

Why did Adam post Daniel a birthday card? They live together in the flat over the corner shop. Or did he just say that because he forgot to buy one? Probably this. Speaking of Daniel, I hope we eventually find out what happened to his mother and why she left. Surely a bit of teenage angst couldn't have sent her out the door without a word for all those years? Maybe Daniel has killed her. It's the quiet ones you have to worry about, you know! He's already showing signs of being his father's son by quietly flirting with Sinead even though she's already involved in a long term relationship even if it *is* with the old-before-his-time Chesney.

Peter moved back into the flat over the flower shop which he owns, you may recall. He is only renting the shop premises to Tracy and was renting the flat to Anna. Anna had her own furniture in there, I think. But if she moved in and was using Peter and Carla's things, then what did they do with her stuff from Number 6? Storage? Sold? If she moved her goods in, then when Peter first moved out and away to Portsmouth, he must have arranged for his things to be sent so there was room for her stuff. Now she's living with Kevin and he's got a house full of furniture. What did she do with hers? When we've seen Peter in the flat, it looked like it had been emptied with only a few things in it. The case of the disappearing furniture. I think someone's playing a shell game with it.

I'm still confused about the money Sharif owes. (and what is Yasmeen using to live? Just her own pension plus whatever Zeedan and now Rana bring in, (some of which is going to pay Dev back, apparently)?) Sharif paid for the down payment on the flat that never happened and he gave Alya about the same amount for the specialized machine for the factory (which doesn't really seem to be earning its keep, does it?). He took some of the money from the gym's accounts but surely not for both things so some of it must have come from his and Yasmeen's own bank accounts or investments which would appear to have been substantial at some point. It seems odd that there is no money to repay the gym.

And if Dev had to pretend his car was not his car (he gave the keys to Chesney when the bailiffs were carrying out gym equipment), why didn't the bailiffs go after his other businesses? It was said they couldn't take the sewing machine because it wasn't related to the debt directly so why was the car, a personal belonging of Dev's under threat? Dev as a long time business man would know whether it was or not, wouldn't he? So if he thought there was a chance of his personal belongings being confiscated, then so would his house and shops. Oh, I don't know. I'm willing to suspend disbelief but I hate being confused.

Mary didn't go to South Africa after all. So where is she? We haven't had so much as a glimpse of her let alone a line of dialogue. She might as well have gone! I think she should have, too, if just for a holiday to get to know her son and his wife. I think we had a throwaway line that she was pregnant, not that they already had a child but I could be wrong. What would keep her from at least going to meet her grandchild or be there when the baby comes? Maybe she will do that. Seems a waste of the ticket Jude must have bought her. I know nowadays she can talk to them every day via a video app which she likely is doing and it's a very good way to get to know someone. I hope he's not completely forgotten and that she mentions him from time to time and visits.

Where did Phelan bury the body and when did he have the time? When he arrived late to his wedding, there was a bit of dry dirt on his shoe. When he fought with Andy, time was already getting a bit short for him to make it to the church/registry office on time. Are we to believe he had time to dig a hole somewhere, dump the body and still make it to the wedding not quite too late? Also, bashing Andy over the face at arms' length is not going to be clean. He should have had blood splatters all over his coat, tie, collar and cuffs even if the coat protected most of his wedding suit. I did notice he came into the wedding venue without his coat on. I guess we'll have to be satisfied with that.

That's it for the nitpick rant this time around, gang. I try not to be too negative most of the time but sometimes, I just can't help myself. There's a lot of good to Corrie, far more good than bad in my opinion but it helps to get the little everyday picky stuff off my chest now and then. I'll just get me coat.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Saturday, 31 December 2016

The Yearly Awards Post

I like to keep track of things through the year on Corrie and make up a fun awards post. My awards are not generally the usual Best Actor/Actress etc. though there is a bit of that. Mine are a bit more fun, I think. I have also included a potted review of the major storylines and the storylines by house/family

Best Wedding
There was no “Best” wedding this year. See next entry.

Wedding WTF
Nick and Carla’s marriage lasted about 15 minutes after the reception started.
Cathy finds out on her wedding day that her groom has misgivings, via a dictatape recorder

My most embarrassing moment
Sinead gets drunk and tries to kiss Aidan, her boss
Bethany tries to seduce Gary but gets caught by Faye, then has her crush outed to Gary a few days later
Worst storyline
Michelle and Will
Maria accused of Caz’s murder

Comedy relief:
Sally’s political campaign and career
The lads in the garage

Best new couple (still together at year end, because Gary and Sarah split yet again or they'd have made the list, too)
Johnny and Jenny

Surprise reunion
Nick and Leanne (Ok, maybe not that much of a surprise since they always seem to end up back together)

Something New award:
slavery workers (teenage - Marta and the O’Driscolls)
Izzy using cannabis for pain relief
Bethany’s Bullying/diet pill/exercise addiction
Maria marries someone for citizenship

Most doomed couple
Gail and Michael (married 4 men prior to Michael. 3 have died. What were the odds? Yep. We have a winner)
Carla and Nick - given Carla’s self destruct gene, it was a given
Tracy and Robert - her lies and schemes were bound to rub him the wrong way

Surprising twist
Pat Phelan returns
Leanne pregnant with Steve’s baby
Kylie dies, David’s revenge includes a suicide bid
Ken has a stroke
Anna gets badly burned
Peter’s secret girlfriend is Toyah, Leanne’s step-sister
Mary had a son given up for adoption
Gentle Andy tries to kill Phelan

Most mismatched or boring couple
Rana and Zeedan
Tracy and Luke
Maria and Luke
Maria and Aidan

Great villain
Pat Phelan

Rubbish villain/bad guy
Jamie (Steph’s ex)

Top Recurring Character:
Nessa (may we please see a little more of her?)

The John Stape Trophe
Michael Rodwell. Rubbish burglar. Married Gail, found lost son who wasn’t his real son and then found his real son after his real  son died, affair with Eileen, ran afoul of Phelan, reconciled with Gail. Died trying to expose Phelan’s scam

You Could See That Coming
Leanne pregnant from a one night stand and Michelle pregnant, both by Steve
Phelan scamming Eileen out of Jason’s inheritance
Sarah’s breakdown
Caz turns obsessive/stalker (Caz Goes Rogue!)
Bethany’s crush on Gary/Sarah and Gary getting together
Rita taking Gemma under her wing
Robert has feelings for Michelle though it’s not reciprocated (yet!!!)

“I’ve changed/learned my lesson/No, actually, I haven’t changed at all”
 Jenny Bradley
 Pat Phelan

Deja Vu storylines
Carla’s life hangs in the balance after chasing Bistro Burglars (Bus crash, fire at the flat, fire in the factory/Tony Gordon, basically Carla’s regularly scheduled life threatening crisis)
Tracy’s vendetta against Carla (again)
Someone (Leanne) gets pregnant from an ill-advised one night stand. Total soap cliche.
Kylie gets stabbed while defending her friend outside the kebab shop (Brian Tilsley gets stabbed defending a girlfriend outside a nightclub 1989)
Wronged female turns obsessive stalker (Caz targets Maria) (Casey tried to take over Claire Peacock’s life. Maria tried to take Tyrone away from Fiz)
Phelan scams Jason’s inheritance out of Eileen (Richard Hillman scams the Duckworths, Lewis Archer scams Gail)
Another explosion with at least one death or serious injury. This is becoming a yearly thing, now.
Sarah getting together with Gary/Bethany’s crush on Gary (Same thing, Gary = Callum)
Tracy has a fling with much younger Luke (Tracy has a fling with Ryan Connor/David Platt)
Maria has a fling with pretty much anyone

The Biggest Personality Transplants
Alya turned from a fairly nice young woman into an uber-ambitious blackmailer
Andy turned from a gentle man who sometimes makes wrong choices to a violent murderous attacker.

Entrances (more than just a few episode cameo appearance)
Freddie, Rana, Vinny (short term)

Andy, Roy, Sophie, Emily (we hope only temporary!)

(Permanent, so they tell us but it's a soap, so only the dead ones are a sure bet)
Jason, Nessa (though with a quick visit for the non-wedding), Carla, Kylie, Michael, Sharif

Most missed character

Best exit

Jenny Bradley, Pat Phelan, Steve McDonald (from extended leave), Gemma Winter, Peter Barlow, Adam Barlow, Daniel Osbourne, Brian Packham, Toyah Battersby

Best return of a former character
Jenny Bradley, Pat Phelan, Gemma Winter, Peter Barlow, Toyah Battersby

Make it stop!
The ruination of Carla Connor
Nick and Robert pissing contest/constant bickering
Nick’s jealousy of Peter and Steve (spotting a trend, are we?)

Optimist award
Carla thinking she can get away with not telling Nick she cheated on him
Leanne thinking she can keep the baby’s father a secret from the baby’s father’s wife!

On again Off again award:
Nick’s brain injury symptoms return just in time to cause problems with his relationship to Carla and then the symptoms seemed to disappear again.
David’s epilepsy which was supposed to act up when he’s under stress. How bad was his year again? Not one shiver. 
Sarah and Gary’s relationship.

Major storylines:
Carla in crisis after crisis (accident, infidelity, blackmailed by Tracy)
Sally runs for/wins Council seat
Roy and Cathy’s romance
Tracy’s revenge against Carla (again)
Bethany’s bullying/diet pills
Investigation into Callum’s murder/Sarah’s breakdown/Kylie’s death/David’s revenge/Anna’s burns
Steve and Michelle’s many marriage ups and downs.
Leanne’s pregnant with Steve’s baby/reunion with Nick
Phelan and Vinny’s property scam leading to Michael’s death
Ken’s stroke/return of the Barlow family

2017 anticipated storylines (speculation and educated guesses):
Michelle will find out about Leanne’s baby being Steve’s and she and Steve will break up
Robert and Michelle will have an affair
Fiz and Tyrone will get married and have a baby
Liz will find a new man
Phelan will get his comeuppance, maybe get killed and there will be a “Who Killed Phelan?” mystery
Maria won't spend the whole year in prison, she  and Aidan will get together but not last out the year.
Audrey will retire and go traveling with Freddie
Jason will return with a wife
Sophie and Kate will get together

Storylines by family/address
Barlows/Number 1
Ken breaks up with Nessa.
Tracy changes Barlows Buys to a florist.
Tracy finds out about Robert and Carla’s fling, plots revenge (again), loses Robert when he finds out she blackmailed Carla
Tracy’s illness but nobody but her father cares.
Ken wants to date Audrey
Peter returns
Ken has a stroke
Adam Barlow returns along with Daniel Osborne.
Tracy fling with Luke

Cole/Number 3
Norris runs for Council against Sally
Norris takes in Kirk temporarily after Kirk rows with Beth.
Norris takes in Sean.  
Norris takes in Brian Packham
Norris helps Mary find her son

Battersbys/Sutherlands Number 5
Sinead starts modelling
Craig and Caitlyn split
Kirk and Beth split temporarily
Craig’s involvement as witness to Kylie’s death leads to his decision to be a police officer, leads to his discovery about his bio dad’s incarcerations
Beth is found to be a bigamist, Kirk and Beth split and reunite, Beth does community service

Alahan/Number 7
Brendan’s wife confronts Mary with Brendan dismissing her as a crazy fan. Mary heartbroken.
Dev gets together with Erica who has trouble adjusting to the step "monster" role
Mary works in the florist shop, has breast cancer scare, meets long lost son given up for adoption

Dobbs/Brown Number 9
Hope’s operation, full recovery from cancer.
Fiz finds out about Tyrone’s debts and goes back to work.
Tyrone gets extra jobs and scrambles to make extra money, hired at Streetcars
Luke the lodger
Craig the lodger
Alya the lodger

Grimshaw/Number 11
Jason works with and then  hires Pat Phelan
Eileen finishes with Michael, gets together with Phelan
Tony (Jason’s dad) dies off screen
Jason arrested for Callum’s murder but Todd lies that Tony confessed
Todd supports Billy, ends up falling for each other.
Jason leaves for Thailand, leaves Eileen in charge of the business
Phelan scams Jason’s inheritance out of Eileen in a property scam with Vinny Ashford. Todd is involved, Vinny double crosses them both.
Phelan lets Michael die of a heart attack.
Phelan blackmails Andy after Andy assaults him

Webster/Number 13
Kevin dates Anna, finds out about Anna and Phelan’s history
Renovation for the Archway garage
Sophie falls for Kate Connor, makes an enemy of Caz
Jenny saves Jack from a Blackpool tram
Sophie leaves for Miami for 3 months
Kevin moves Anna and Faye into Number 13

Metcalfe/Number 4
Sally runs for Council and wins.
Sally buys Lloyd’s share of Streetcars for Tim
Tim starts a home brewery
Sally and Yasmeen feud
Sally rents an allotment for Tim

Nazir/Number 6
Zeedan gets a crush on Alya’s friend Rana and they eventually get engaged and married
Sharif gets Gary arrested for drugs (buying dope for Izzy)
Sally and Yasmeen feud
Sharif revealed to have a mistress of 7 years, abandons wife and family.
Alya’s bespoke lingerie business/partnership with Underworld revived

Platt/Number 8
Audrey alternates crushes on Ken and Freddie
Sarah’s pregnant, gives birth early to baby Harry
Bethany is bullied, develops addiction to diet and exercise, crush on Gary
Nick’s brain injury symptoms return and vanish again after breakup with Carla
Sarah has a breakdown after Callum’s body is discovered.
Kylie dies after defending Gemma from a robbery
David plots revenge, including a suicide bid to blow up Clayton Hibbs
Michael and Gail reunite then Michael dies, trying to uncover Phelan’s property scam
Sarah and Gary get together and break up multiple times

Steve returns from Spain
Michelle meets up with old flame Will, almost cheats, splits with Steve when he finds out, reconciles with Steve and gets pregnant.
Steve and Leanne one night stand resulting in a baby.
Steve finds out he may carry a gene for Myotonic Dystrophy, which could affect all his children too, and is later cleared

Michelle starts to have feelings for Robert.

Carla reveals paternity (Johnny) to Aidan and Kate.
Carla injured in accident on Street.
Tracy blackmails Carla to get Nick to sell the Bistro to Robert. Truth comes out, Carla and Nick split after marrying. Carla leaves town.
Aidan and Eva get together after the Polish domestic slave storyline
Aidan has one night stand with Maria, later develops feelings for Maria
Kate develops feelings for Sophie, her and Caz’s wedding is off and on and off again. Caz jealous of Sophie.
Caz becomes obsessed with Maria, sets her up to be charged with Caz’s murder. Aidan and Kate set a trap for Caz
Johnny and Jenny Bradley become an item
Ozzie dies.
Maria charged with and sent to jail for illegally marrying an immigrant

Anna dates Kevin. has to tell Kevin the real truth about her and Phelan
Phelan returns, causing upset for Anna
Gary buys dope for Izzy who is using it for pain relief, gets arrested as does Izzy who goes to jail for assaulting a police officer.
Gary considers reconciling with Izzy but ends up with Sarah Platt for awhile
Gary helps Bethany deal with bullies
Anna badly burned after David rolls his car filled with petrol
Anna find out Phelan’s scamming people, alerts Michael
Anna moves in with Kevin
Faye gets a boyfriend who is a  dodgey character

Cropper / Cafe
Roy rescues Cathy from a small house fire after she finds out about her sister’s affair with her late husband.  
Roy goes to Hastings to look after Sylvia (later returns)
Alex (Nessa’s son) works in the cafe then moves in when Nessa moves to Scotland. Continues to cause mischief
Roy and Cathy get engaged, plan wedding
Alex and Gemma become good mates
Cathy jilts Roy on wedding day, realizing he’s not ready.

Brittons/Builder flat
Jamie on bail tries to rob the Bistro and scare Steph. Ends up injuring Carla instead.
Andy goes to Brighton to visit Michael
Luke proposes to Maria and moves in with her, they later split up.
Michael returns, moves in and later moves out to reconcile with Gail
Andy tries to be a writer
Andy wants Phelan to pay for Michael’s death, tries to kill him and is blackmailed in return
Luke has a fling with Tracy Barlow

Kabin /Rita
Rita takes Jenny in
Jenny forms relationship with Johnny Connor
Rita “buys” one of Phelan’s flats for Jenny
Rita takes Gemma in

Luke and Andy get Jamie sacked
Michael leaves for Brighton after breakup with Eileen and thinks Gail won’t have him back.
Michael returns and reconciles with Gail, puts Phelan on notice
Billy has an addict brother, becomes involved in the secrets surrounding Callum’s murder. Todd thinks Sarah killed Callum, tells Billy. Billy’s brother holds Sarah hostage leading to her breakdown. 
Billy and Todd fall in love.
Billy wonders whether to leave the church but stays in the end
Erica - Agony Aunt (helps Mary, helps Izzy with her pain - dope, ) dates and moves in with Dev
Simon badly injures someone playing football. Leanne reports him to the police but finds out it really was an accident.
Leanne has a one night stand with Steve, Gets pregnant.
Caz caught faking her injury’s severity and lies about a court martial
Eva - dates Aidan, hides illegal worker Marta then tries to help her escape the O’Driscolls with Billy’s help.
Robert buys into the Bistro but dumps Tracy when he finds out Tracy knew about him and Carla and engineered the money to buy the Bistro.  Re-partners with Nick
Leanne quits Bistro and rejoins. Reconciles with Nick who agrees to raise Steve’s baby.
Nick’s jealousy of Peter rears up again
Robert develops feelings for Michelle

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

State of the Street - December 2016

Here we are at the end of the month and at the end of the year. As always, it's been a year of ups and downs but that's a discussion for another time, maybe. Let's discuss December, shall we?

The Barlows stumbled through the month with some interesting discoveries. Not only has Daniel been on his own since he was 15, but he hasn't seen hide nor flaming red hair of his mother since. Not a word. Nothing. I'm a bit surprised, as it's an unusual thing for a mother to cut her child off like that. I wonder if we'll discover anything more about her disappearance? I really like that Peter has taken Daniel under his wing like a big brother/ father figure.

The other discovery is the identity of Peter's new girlfriend. Right from the start he was disappearing for hours on end and there have been lies about him contacting a friend about a job. But little by little, we've realized it's a new woman. Or is it an old one,figuratively? Nick's always been jealous of Peter and his inner green eyed monster has lashed out once again. He's sure that Peter is after Leanne and not completely sure she's not receptive to the idea. One again, he is in danger of pushing Leanne away with his trust issues. On Christmas, Peter's gift of a tape that Leanne and he spoke about in the car seemed to indicate she was the "love of his life" as the gift tag read but we soon discovered who that really is...Toyah Battersby!

Although I did guess who the identity of the woman would be, it surprised me because Toyah would be well versed in all the personality flaws that Peter has via Leanne over the years but she's having trouble with her husband and is vulnerable and Peter does have charm and a twinkle in his eye. By the end of the month, their secret is out when Simon discovered it via his new drone camera which, by the way, he was using illegally. It's not meant to be a spy/sky cam. Will Peter be able to keep Simon quiet? Probably, for awhile.

There was some confusion when Simon spoke of Leanne going to see Janice although Toyah did not yet Toyah and Nick were visiting Leanne in hospital. I suppose it was a lie they told so Simon wouldn't get upset so it appears they're still treating him like a 6 year old. It's no wonder he acts out.

Nick's jealousy of Peter is really tedious. This isn't new, either. He's been like this even before he had a brain injury so he can't use that as an excuse. The more he lets the green eyed monster take over, the more Leanne is going to feel like he doesn't trust her even though it's Peter that takes most of Nick's suspicions. It can't help but leak over to her, though. Mind you, that fight on Christmas day was brilliant in that Peter did get the better of Nick overall.

Luke and Tracy seem to have an ongoing...something. I wouldn't call it a relationship because it implies committment and that's something Luke particularly keeps saying he doesn't want. Tracy's acting like a booty call is just fine by her but little by little it looks like she would rather have him all to herself. I hope they don't do that. They are very ill suited as far as  a proper relationship does. Even improper. But then, most of us don't want Tracy to be happy. Luke might be a bit of a ladies' man but he's no match for Tracy, who is definitely a cougar with very long claws.

Roy and Cathy didn't get married after all.  They were probably as suited as anyone would be as far as someone that might suit Roy though Cathy did have an impulsive and quirky side that seemed to rub Roy the wrong way at times. I wonder if she's a victim of fans unwilling to let the Roy and Hayley dream go, fans just weren't willing to accept her? Roy seemed determined to follow up on his promise to Hayley to move on with his life but the relationship with Cathy always seemed to move on a bit too quickly for his comfort. It wasn't quite the speed that Ken progressed with Nessa but in a way it wasn't that different, either.

Nessa railroaded Ken who didn't have the ability to say no, thanks, I'm still grieving my wife's death. Cathy kept blundering into Roy's life and he seemed to go along with each step before he was ready for it, ostensibly because Hayley would want him to. She might, but she'd also not want him to rush into anything. Roy does not do well when rushed. It's not in his nature. And perhaps if he waited until he was ready, he'd be a pensioner so it's a fine line. I do think this was too soon, however. Roy was engaged and ready to marry someone else but never took off his old wedding band until mere hours before the wedding.

Cathy finally saw the truth of the situation and called off the wedding, letting Roy out of his promise honourably. The wedding band went straight back on and Cathy has retreated. Roy decided it would be kinder to sell up and move away rather than upset her by his presence.

Another continuity issue, here. Cathy seemed to disappear from the screen after the wedding. Probably went to Scotland with Nessa for a time but we saw her on New Year's Eve in the pub with Roy and other of their friends. It seemed a bit weird.

All we ever knew about Mary's background, aside from a wide variety of quirky stories, is that she has a mother that she seemed to have a very strong love-hate relationship with. Her mother has always been portrayed as a strict woman that never believed in her daughter, never encouraged her and never showed any love or affection for her. We have discovered that a 14 year old Mary was raped by a minister, a family friend, after she babysat his children and she then bore a son whom her mother took from her immediately and gave away.  Her mother was not supportive and only showed disappointment and anger.

The old feelings of longing for her son, feelings she usually kept tucked away out of sight and mind, resurfaced when she saw Ken Barlow's family rally round him after his stroke. In a lovely scene, she told Norris what happened and he decided "What are friends for?" and insisted on helping her find her son. While he has been a good friend, he interfered when she asked him not to and perhaps she would have regretted it, who knows? But he found her son, Jude, and he tracked her down. It all worked out really well which is nice for a change. I was afraid we'd have another rejection similar to when Hayley found her son, Christian, who was an odious git even when she was dying.

But Jude was very nice, and Mary found out she was a grandmother which is a lovely thing for Mary. (Asha and Aadi who?) He invited her to move to South Africa with him and she's all set to go as we end the month. Will she leave for a new life with a perfect stranger? Jude seemed to address Norris' similar concerns. He may very well be on the up and up but it feels like a drastic move to be made so suddenly. In the pub on New Year's Eve, Mary seemed to be expressing disappointment that Norris didn't try to talk her out of it like he did with Emily's trip to Peru last year. I look forward to the episode this coming week where we find out if he does make the effort and whether Mary will go. I'd rather see her go for a visit and come back.

David met a new woman, Shona, in a club and she proceeded to steal his wallet. Next thing you know, we see her in the church with a bottle of booze and Billy takes her under his wing. She's got an ex boyfriend, Nathan, and we start to see him follow her around. He's also the one that carries passed-out Bethany out of the ginnel on Christmas after her diet pill overdose and now they've made friends. Was Shona's introduction mainly to bring Nathan across Bethany's path? What will she mean to David? I do hope they're not throwing him into a new relationship like they did with Ken and Roy both. It just doesn't work and fans really have a hard time with it. Characters need to be left to grieve, not jump in with someone else to soothe their troubled souls.

In an abrupt personality turnaround, Andy attacked Phelan. He blamed Phelan for Michael's death and in his anger and grief, lashed out. Then he attempted to kill Phelan with drugged orange juice and gin.  I just don't buy that Andy has that violent streak in him. Yes, he was willing to scam Michael that he was his son, Gavin, at first but he soon felt guilty and they ended up being quite close sometime after the truth came out. He also robbed the Bistro once before, didn't he? He did seem to be turning himself around and this violence seems out of the norm. It's all because he's got to be under Phelan's control. Phelan needs money and he's using Andy to get it. It won't end well.

I'm enjoying Phelan as a villain but I don't think I'm going to be able to get into this particular storyline. Andy is no match for Phelan. Neither was Michael as far as being no match but for some reason, Michael being close to Phelan's age made it feel a tad more equal. Andy's young enough to be Phelan's son and it almost feels like he's bullying a child. That's how it's felt to me, anyway. Even Todd is more of a match than either Andy or Michael. 

Eileen decided she can't live without him and they're set to get married on January 20. This means if it happens, Eileen is most definitely heading for major heartbreak because somehow, someway and sometime soon all of Phelan's misdeeds are going to come crashing out. Perhaps he'll be killed and we'll have a "Who Killed Phelan" story. There are certainly plenty of suspects. Time will tell.

I hope you all have a happy and successful 2017!

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

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