Friday, 30 October 2009

State of the Street - October 2009

Rosie's an expert in twisting things and Luke would be twisting in the wind at a tribunal once Rosie was done with him so he did the only thing he could. He twisted her back. He got out of Dodge City, in a shiny red car and all of Rosie's money. By God it was good to see her face when she realized Luke stole all her money and her 9% probably wasn't Luke's to sell either! The country shook with the sound of 8 million viewers stomping and cheering! And that's the end of Luke Strong.

I always thought Leanne and Peter were a good match. Peter seems to be able to really be honest with her even if he's still a bit weak. So will this bar really work? Will he be tempted? Problem is, if things don't go well, if they have a row, he could very well be tempted again. Lots of people that run bars don't drink, it's true, but we all know what Peter's like. It always bothers me when Ken never seems to support his son. He is always so careful to be neutral with everyone else yet with Peter, it's negativity. I know Peter hasn't always proven himself worthy but aside from voicing a few concerns, would it kill Ken to offer support a bit more often? It's a vicious circle. Peter screws up because he figures his father expects him to and thus, his father always does expect Peter to screw up.

The worst storyline ever continues. Bleurgh. I wonder if Sally will actually find out? Oh of course she will, it's a standard soap opera plot. I'd love to see her take chunks out of Kevin and throw him out but spoilers say she's going to discover she's got breast cancer, later in the year. I reckon she won't find out until she recovers but Tyrone may find out before. He won't be able to tell because of Sally's health. That's my prediction. How could you cheat on this lovely sweet face of Tyrone's, Molly? And how can you make a reservation in a posh hotel without a credit card? Well you can't. So doesn't Sally check the bills? Meanwhile Molly is getting stroppier and stroppier and doing the classic cheater's stunt of avoiding relations with the spouse, guaranteed to make them suspicious, which Tyrone is. Funny you wouldn't think our dim little Ty would get suspicious before Sally does but maybe Kevin is more clever about covering his tracks.

Fiz married Prisoner 666 and it was my heart that broke. Don't get me wrong, i'm glad Chesney, Roy and Hayley supported her. I just don't see why it had to be in prison when he is getting out in a matter of weeks. He watched her leave with that little triumphant smirk on his face. I don't know if it's just his acting, if he was meant to be conveying utter besotted love, or if he's really as manipulative as i think. Or maybe i'm projecting. Chesney thinks Stape is sly and so do i. It's not going to be easy, living in the neighbourhood with Sally on the warpath but most of the others seem to be willing to live and let live.

By God it was chilling watching Maria sobbing over Liam's grave and pledging to move on with her life, standing by the man she now loves, her husband's murderer! And looky who's back! Carla!! As soon as Leanne clapped eyes on Tony snogging Maria in the pub, She was on the phone to Carla straight away and that's what brought her back to town. Just in time for the anniversary of Liam's death and the christening. Wasn't that confrontation great! Raised the hair on the back of my neck seeing the pair of them together nad her telling him what for. Don't think Carla didn't time that just so. Of course Tony tried to have Carla offed but thought the better of it. It's all been excellent viewing, from the edge of my seat!

The stress grew and grew and finally Tony was felled by a heart attack and he confesses to Roy Cropper because he thinks he's going to die. Now, what's Roy going to do with the confession? Tony will probably try to talk his way out of it but Roy will be convinced it's genuine because a dying man isn't likely to lie. I reckon he'll go to the police but will they believe him? Well, Gray O'Brien is going to be doing panto in Manchester over Christmas and Samia Smith is going on maternity leave (well, she's actually had her baby girl now!) so it looks like Tony's going to be nicked. He's been a great villain!

Liz and Lloyd nearly got back together but she keeps pushing him away, making silly excuses. She pushed him all the way to Teresa which was really strange but i guess booze has no conscience. It's a classic Soap Opera Plot isn't it? Mixed signals, misconceptions, star crossed lovers. I really like Liz and Lloyd together, I really think they work.

We've lost Darryl and we've lost Uncle Umed who freely and finally admitted he was a fantasist and believed his own stories because he couldn't face reality. I liked that little aside. And i liked Umed even though his tall tales were clearly bullshit. He was a buffoon, yes, but i still came to enjoy his little scenes.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Best week of Corrie ever!

OK, maybe not "ever" but it's been utterly fantastic stuff this week! One of the best weeks of Coronation Street in a very long time. I've already blogged about Monday's episode with Carla's return and it went onwards and upwards from there It was electrifying for me. Carla, Tony and Jimmy kept me riveted through every scene of theirs the rest of the week, too. Tony went back to Jimmy for another "job" and he didn't seem too pleased about it. He could very well be the weakest link. He doesn't want to kill Carla but he'd have no trouble at all offing Tony. Tony is a big bully and a coward, really. He won't do the dirty work himself, he pays someone else to do it.

Watching Tony's stony face through the whole baptism was riveting. He was almost robotic! Do you reject the devil? He does, knowing Jimmy is at that moment attempting to kill Carla who is drinking coffee from the same mug Tony used earlier. Tony finally bottled it but it was almost too late! Exciting stuff! Poor Jimmy ended up on the floor with his head bashed in and Carla believed Tony's lies that he wasn't to blame and that she killed Jimmy which she didn't. Kind of ironic, she used the candleholder to bash Jimmy, the very one that Liam gave to her and Paul. She's off in a black cab but we've not seen the end of Carla. I'm guessing we may not have seen the last of Jimmy either. Murderers don't get away with it.

Helen Connor being a mardy cow all week was fun to watch. Sniping, sarcasm and bullying non stop. She plays the part well!

The spirit of the late Des Barnes wafted through the Street with the arrival of a boat in back nick needing a face and body lift. The ever optimistic Joe doesn't see the disaster, he sees potential. I think he's running away from the reality that is his disaster of a life. The last boat ended up going up in flames. I wonder where this one will meet it's maker? At least it's winding up Norris and that's never a bad thing.

Rosie's comeuppance was truly a joy to watch.
Molly's birthday... where was Auntie Pam?
Did Carla not notice the broken office door?
Nice touch having the thunder crash just after Carla left Tony at the church.
When Carla first rang Tony it said unknown number. By the end of the night the phone was showing her name. Did he actually have time to save the number and store it?
Tony lived in the flat for a long time before they got married yet the only name on the door is "Connor"
Maria's calling Tony "Daddy". She's got an awful shock coming to her.

Character Study: Kevin John Webster

Kevin Webster is one of the more underrated characters on Coronation Street. He's been on the show for close to 25 years and has been a rock steady character for most of that time. Kevin is a family man, a mechanic, a business owner. He's reliable, dependable. He is a "voice of reason" most of the time though sometimes is a bit quick with his fists, but only if he's provoked. He's seen sometimes by fans as a bit of a doormat but he's a loyal friend and husband (even when he has been messed about!). He's a good guy but he's not perfect. He's been unfaithful but learned from his mistake. He's played very ably by Michael LeVell.

Some may say that Kevin is a bit of a doormat or a fool, willing to put up with Sally's shenanigans. Indeed, sometimes I have wondered over the years why he puts up with it. I am sure they have both found a way to love each other after all their individual lapses but I think maybe Kevin would just rather be with Sally and the girls than without them, even if he may not trust her. I think he understands her, probably better than she understands herself sometimes. I do cringe when Sally hurls insults about her little life in a little back street and Kevin must do so as well. It must make him feel like she doesn't think he ever did enough for his family when in fact, he has given them a solid foundation, a good roof over their heads and security.

When we first met Kevin, he was a fledgling mechanic. The Websters bought Elsie Tanner's house at Number 11 after she scarpered to Portugal in the middle of the night in early 1983. Mother Webster had died and Father webster, Bill, bought Len's old builder's yard. Also in the family was younger teen daughter Debbie but we never really got to know her very well. Kevin was fun loving but responsible, intent on learning his trade. He made friends with Curly Watts, Martin Platt and Terry Duckworth and dated one or two girls before he met Sally Seddon, quite suddenly, by driving through a puddle and soaking her. The rest is history and the pair married in 1986.

Kevin took his responsibilities seriously. By now he was working in Brian Tilsley's garage. He was dependable, hard working and was a good husband to Sally. Although there were some periods where he didn't work for a local (on screen) garage, he usually put in the hours under one owner or another, including Brian, Tom Casey, Mike Baldwin (who bought a garage unit on Coronation Street, conveniently right across the road from Kevin and Sally's house) and Don Brennan. Although Sally pushed him to buy the garage several times, Kevin wasn't ready to be his own boss and was quite content to work for someone else, much to Sally's chagrin. Eventually though, the opportunity and price were right and he went into partnership with Tony Horrocks.

Kevin made a go of the business but it was to be the downfall of his marraige when Tony's mother, Natalie, took over her son's share of the business and moved in on Kevin at a vulnerable time. Sally was away nursing her mother and Natalie had no compunctions about seducing a married man. Kevin fell for her line, hook, line and spanner and when Sally found out, he was out on his ear. The worst part of it was the effect it had on his children, Rosie and Sophie. Kevin was a good dad and loved his kids and it broke his heart when Sally, out of bitterness, made it very difficult for him to have access. By the time Sally softened enough to try to get him back, though, Kevin had moved in with Natalie so Sally moved on as well and finding out that she had a fling with his employee, hunky Chris Collins, made him see red and green at the same time. Jealousy reared it's ugly head but let's face it, Kev, what's good for the goose and all that!

Seeing that, Kevin realized that his affair with Natalie wasn't long-lasting love, only lust. In the end, Sally took Kevin back, mainly for the girls' sake but that wasn't to last. She was then seduced by the dangerous charm of Greg Kelly and this time, Kevin threw *her* out. Greg used her money (inherited from her recently deceased Mum) and then abused her. It was all over in a flash but Kevin wasn't taking her back. Not yet.

Kevin still had lingering feelings for Sally even though they had both moved on to new partners and the night before Kevin was to marry pregnant Alison, he and Sally had a roll in the hay for old times' sake. Nothing like that can be kept a secret for long and though Kevin did marry Alison, the secret came out before Sally married Danny who then left her. Kevin was further devastated when his new baby boy died and Alison flung herself under a truck in her demented grief. The stage was set for Kevin and Sally's reunion.

Kevin and Sally remarried, but not before she nearly ran off with a decorator. Kevin knew this but married her anyway and she said I Do, again, seemingly for the sake of her girls. It seemed Kevin was willing to look the other way and it wouldn't be the last time he'd have to do it. He loved Sally and loved his family even more. Sally had another affair with her boss, Ian Davenport which Kevin again overlooked, pretending to believe Sally's lies that nothing actually happened. Sally also had a flirtation with her tutor,and if Kevin suspected, he said nowt.

Kevin could be very jealous too and that temper has got him into trouble more than once, most recently when he decked 17 year old Rosie's older lover, John Stape and spent 14 days in the nick for his bruises. It's not the first time he spoke with his fists either. Ian Davenport felt the knuckles of Kevin's suspicions as did Chris Collins, Martin Platt and a few more of Sally's bits on the side even if he wasn't married to her at the time.

Kevin himself has been steadfastly faithful up until 2009 when an affair with his best friend and co-partner Tyrone's wife, Molly, seemed to come out of nowhere. Seemingly out of character for Kevin, have the Personality Transplant Fairies kicked him up the backside? It seems like it's not so out of the realms of possibility that he could develop a crush but when Molly encouraged it, finding her own new marraige a bit boring, Kevin jumped in with both feet. Perhaps he's just tired of Sally's nagging and social climbing or maybe the 20+ years of wedded unbliss has finally got to him. It might be a midlife crisis but it seems like Kevin would *never* go after his friend's wife, and one so much younger, not after all the upset with the older John Stape's affair with his teenage daughter. He even went to prison for that and now here he is running after 20-something Molly. I don't buy it but there you are. It's a soap.

Kevin loves his family. He is loyal to his dad but has always seemed to be led around by the nose by his wife who has always been a bit on the pushy, bossy side. When she gets too focussed at the detriment of one or the other of her children, Kevin provides the balance with a joke or an extra bit of attention to the daughter that's not directly in Sally's radar, usually Sophie. Maybe Kevin overlooks Sally's indiscretions because he's desparate to keep his family together because above all, Kevin is a nice guy and a family man.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

And verdict on Kevin and Molly is NAY

Wow, there certainly is a lot of strong reaction to the Kevin and Molly storyline, as you can read over in the comments to this post on another blog. Almost all the reaction has been firmly negative with one or two exceptions. I think that's probably reflective of the general viewing public, too. I may be echoing many of the sentiments of the commenters but that's because I agree with their opinions. One commenter mentioned the Jamie/Frankie Baldwin fiasco. Most people were against that but they had their fans as well. That storyline was, at least, mercifully brief. This is set to drag on and on into the New Year, more's the pity.

Actors don't really mind what they have to do most of the time and they're only pleased that they have something challenging to do and something that features them on screen in a front-burner storyline. I'm sure that sometimes even they realize the storyline is out of character and may have a hard time with it but they're all professionals and will do the best with it, whether the writing is bad or the storyline really clunks. We've had phases on Coronation Street in the past where there have been a lot of poor storylines and even not-great writing but a new producer often cleans up the act and things get better.

Producer Kim Crowther has mainly been firing on all cylinders, giving us some great stuff over the past year or two and introducing fab new characters as well. The writing has shone brightly and the performances have risen to the challenge. That makes this current storyline of Kevin and Molly's affair stand out even more like a major dud. The concept is just so wrong! Kevin has been unfaithful to Sally before, with Natalie Horrocks and if you will think back, it wasn't really provoked. Sally was away for some time looking after her ill mother (I think the actress was on a maternity leave at the time) and Kevin didn't have his needs looked after and strayed when Natalie decided she wanted him.

But Natalie was an independent, the mother of his coworker and his business partner for a time. The only person he was betraying was his wife. Bad enough, yes, but now he's also betraying his best mate, coworker and business partner, Tyrone. Kevin has always been a loyal friend to his mates. He just wouldn't do this, ever! He was pissed when Sally had a fling with Martin, his other best friend and they were divorced at the time.

We don't know Molly as well as we know Kevin. She does seem impulsive, and she seems stroppy and headstrong. She did entice Tyrone away from Maria without a blink of an eye and went after Kirk to try to get back at Fiz for bullying her in school. When she found out that Kevin fancied her, I think she decided to encourage it. I don't think it's all that out of character for her even if she was a newlywed. It does seem a bit, though, because she was so crazy about Tyrone. He isn't the most exciting bloke but he's a real keeper. I suppose she's doing it for the excitement.

It doesn't really have as much to do with the age difference because older men/younger women couples happen all the time. There is and was nearly 20 years difference between Deirdre and most of the men she's ever been with, Ken Barlow, Mike Baldwin, Ray Langton and Billy Walker and she was only 18 when she was engaged to Billy and not much older when she married Ray and both men were well into their 30s at the time. It does seem pretty hypocritical that Kevin is blustering about John Stape after his affair with 17 year old Rosie, his daughter, though when he's shagging Molly who is also just about young enough to be his daughter too.

One of the commenters over on t'other blog mentioned that the actors don't seem to be acting this very well, that they seem uncomfortable and I agree. I think they feel that the storyline just doesn't work and the writing seems strained as a result. And as a result their performances are strained a bit. It seems like they are trying to do their best to make the best of an awkward situation and it is starting to show. Both of the actors are talented and they are doing the best they can. Unfortunately, the storyline isn't worthy of their talents and the majority of the viewers feel the same way.

The reveal and reactions of Tyrone and Sally will be good and I hope the fallout really makes them pay. I have a fear that Molly won't really do much pennance. Tyrone will go around looking hurt but will probably not leave her in the end. I hope he thumps Kevin, though. Sally will be all righteous even though she's been unfaithful to Kevin more than he has on her and I hope Kevin throws Ian Davenport in her face. I'm still on Sally's side on this one, though.

Thing is, Sally only remarried Kevin for the girls' sake and it took her a long time to get to where she really regained that affection for him. Even now, she often seems unsatisfied with her life and as a result, her ambitions have been pushed on her children. This could break their marraige for good but Sally is also due to have a bout of illness so she may not have the energy to fight it out. This time, also, the girls are old enough to know what's going on and hear the gossip. I'm betting Kevin will be more hurt by their reactions and rejections of him and that's going to be punishing. I think the fallout will be far more watchable than the actual affair, at least. But it's going to be painful getting to that point.

Some affairs work because the characters have chemistry. They are believable because of the circumstances that lead up to it. They are accepted because the viewers can understand the motivation. This feels like it was done purely for the sensationalism and the shock. It feels like it's taken a page out of the American Soap book of rules but we don't want our show to be like that! If we want to watch an American soap, we'll watch one! This isn't Desperate Housewives, it's Coronation Street!

Friday, 2 October 2009

Down Corrie memory lane

I was perusing the listings on one of the UK television download sites, I forget whether it was UKNova or TheBox, but there was a Classic Coronation Street show listed from January 1993. I thought it was a classic episode and went ahead and downloaded it. Most of the classic episodes that i've got this way are copied to digital format from a VHS tape so the quality is a bit spotty but most of them aren't too bad.

Anyway, imagine my surprise when this turned out to be a copy of a television special from that date, not an episode. It featured a lot of classic clips from the show, plus a couple of interviews as well. There was a feature on Ena Sharples as narrated by Les Dawson who donned a hairnet and mugged for the camera. Don't you think he looks just like Ena?? Ena was one of the most wonderful characters ever. They wrote such amazing dialogue for her and Vi Carson delivered it with a rhythm that just flowed with sublime timing.

They had both William Roache and Johnny Briggs on stage to talk about the Mike and Ken feud, which, at the time, was about to enter another phase. Ken had just discovered that his new lady, Maggie, was Mike's ex and the mother of his son, Mark. There were all the classic clips to this story that you've seen many times including several punch ups between the two men.

There was a medly of clips from a Street variety show which had this unlikely trio of performers. That's Eddie Yates on the left and Fred Gee on the right! We also saw Rita singing Lily Marlene as Marlene Deitrich, Bet, Norma and Betty as the Andrews Sisters and Uncle Albert reciting a poem about kissing a lass under the stairs!

There was a section of clips that viewers had written in requesting and i was tickled that one of my absolute favourites was included. You may or may not remember Boris, the Mexican mouse eating spider that Alec hoped would make him a pile of money. AT the same time, the kitchen was being renovated on orders by the Health Inspectors. The huge spider of course, escaped and turned up on the kitchen worktop at the same time the Inspector inspecting. I remember being in hysterics watching this big hairy spider delicately toeing it's way past the tomatoes! Alex cornered it between his hands behind his back before the inspector saw it and it was clear by the end and the spasms Alec was going through that he had to squash it. His face was green after the man left!!! Brilliant stuff!

Other requested clips included the one where Bet saw that Jack Duckworth had joined a video dating service as Vince St. Claire, Hilda, Stan and Eddie digging through heaps of rubbish looking for her accidentally discarded laundry and Albert and Minnie deciding not to marry after all.

Lots of clips of Ena of course, and of Annie Walker, ruler of the Rovers Return. This was the piece de resistence, however. The show ended with a short introduction and a few words with the actors that played Billy Walker and Annie Walker, Ken Farringdon and Doris Speed!!! Wow! YouTube clip of it is here. This was aired in January 1993 when she was about to turn 94, probably her last appearance, I'm guessing. She was dressed and fully made up and looked wonderful, even if a little frail. I think she may have been a bit deaf because the interviewer raised her voice a bit and Doris' answers weren't quite the answers to the questions but it was still fab to see this icon of Coronation Street one last time!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Done like Dinner, the figurative death of a once-great character

That's it. Fiz is done like dinner. They've completed the decimation of this once spunky and funky girl, the girl that would strip her top off on the factory roof to stand up for herself. The girl who would, though she was a bit tubby, had wild red hair and gap teeth, cheerfully run after blokes, knowing she was the sexiest thing on two legs. The girl would wouldn't take crap from anyone because she'd had to take so much from her mother all her life.

Now she's hooked up with her first love, a man that cheated on her with one of his students, because he was flattered and couldn't say no when she jumped into his trousers. This man then kidnapped that young girl and held her captive for 5 weeks but "did it all for her". A man that wheedled, is oily and smarmy and manipulative and has her in puddles of nerves. Against all odds she's marrying him, even though her beloved brother is dead set against her and all the neighbours think she's out of her mind. She's lying and hiding everything. If you can't be honest about your relationship, how can it be a good thing?

Jennie McAlpine reckons John is the love of Fiz's life and it's a more mature relationship than Fiz and Kirk were. She also says that John may be in part, a father figure and if that's the case, it's definitely doomed. Fiz may see John as a decent person deep down but I see him as weak. He's cheated on her once with hardly any thought and he'll do it again. He even admits he couldn't resist at the time. Leopards don't change their spots. Not that much.

Fiz is right, your wedding should be the happiest day of your life and she was miserable, secretive and to me, she comes across desperate, not aching to be with the man she loves. It's not as if he was wrongly accused and she's tying a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree.

I've said it before, i think John is manipulative and he proved it again on the wedding day. Even after Fiz admitted she lied about Chesney and all their friends being against them, he says something smarmy like he feels loved (because she cared enough to lie)! I really thought she'd back out when she finally have realized where her priorities should have been all along. He accused her, saying she can't hurt Chesney but she can hurt Stape. There's a difference. Chesney is a child. John is supposed to be a grown up but that's debateable, too. But damnation didn't Ches show up to do the right thing and she was backed into a corner. Stape was practically punching the air in triumph.

How much do I hate this storyline? It's one of the worst I've ever seen though the Kevin and Molly stuff is the absolute worst! I dread the day Prisoner 666 comes out of jail and lands back on the cobbles. It'll be all the neighbours tossing insults and Fiz weeping and Chesney telling her so and what did she expect? Maybe he's going to try to get her away from her friends and family again when he can't stand the heat.

I can't say it'll all end in tears. It's been nothing but tears all along! Not to fault Jennie, though, she's great and she always is. She doesn't get rated as highly as she should do!

Who are you and what have you done with Fiz Brown?

You might also like...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...