Thursday, 29 April 2010

State of the Street: April 2010

A tad early this month as i'm off on my holidays tomorrow night!

Poor Becky suffered a second miscarraige. I understand why Steve did't call an ambulance because sometimes it's faster taking her straight to hospital himself. What I don't understand is why he asked Liz to get Amy from the Barlows when that's exactly the best place for her during a crisis like this. Now of course, she can't carry a baby and thinks it's all her fault for her rough past and she thinks she'll lose Steve. But what I thought seems to be in the works, it looks like they are going to look into adoption and it will probably be an older kid that needs a good home. If Becky can talk Steve into it. Oddly enough, Becky was all for it once she saw the photo of a little girl very like herself.

So They decided to adopt and Becky worried that she'd not have a chance. Then she saw that Anna and Eddie are interested in adopting too. If the choice came down to it, I'm not entirely sure i'd know who to pick!

Sophie has realized that she loves her best mate in more than a friend kind of way and was cruelly rejected. Or was she? Rosie had Sophie all tarted up just like her. Talk about lamb dressed as mutton. If Sophie thinks dating boys doesn't fit, surely dressed in spike heels and a leather mini skirt doens't either. But we all know our Sophie will end up being true to herself. Some people are wondering why there has to be a lesbian story featuring two beautiful teenagers, why not women in their 30s or 40s? But why not? A young girl trying to figure out who she is is very relevant, especially one that's already going against the tide of her family by incorporating religion in to her life. Will she have further confusion juggling the tenets of her religion with her emotions? What about her chastity vow? And I'm very much afraid that, for Sian, this is just an experiment and Sophie is going to get her heart broken. It's only a hunch but stay tuned!

That's the end of Jason and Tina. He tried re-proposing after his divorce was final. He might have succeeded if he hadn't suggested a wedding in a few weeks. She blows up and finishes with him after telling him she kissed Nick. Jason goes after Nick and then David does too. I gotta say, i don't like Nick. Never did. Before, it was the crap actor. Now i realize the character is arrogant and smarmy and he's way up his own backside. Then again, so was his father, Brian Tilsley, a lot of the time so the apple didn't fall far from the tree (trunk). Mostly, since Nick's been back, David has been the one making shots and sarky remarks at his expense but he goaded David about Tina and got his own back, and a smack on the face for it.

Do you know, as much as Tall Trev is cute and all that, I'm not sure i like him. No matter what Janice's motives are for dieting, that's what she wants and he keeps tempting her and putting food in her way and that's very passive aggressive. He's also not very clever is he? Making a fish and chip date with Janice but as soon as Carla beckons, thoughts of Janice go out the window, not even the courtesy of telling her.

So Lewis is obviously a bit more dodgey than I thought. He's charging both Audrey and Rita for theatre tickets that he's getting for free! And Audrey got royally pissed off that Rita decided to hire him too. Audrey is really coming across as jealous and it's clear she's got a crush on him herself. Lewis seems to be very good at twisting things too. I've really enjoyed all this so far. Not only does it finally give Rita and Audrey a great story of their own, it shows their acting talents off!

Mary seemed to get more and more unhinged. Her laugh, more and more maniacal. She seemed more nervy and on edge and we saw the end result. Replay of Misery, with Norris in that cabin, she trying to play Cathy and wanting him to be her Heathcliff. He must have seen it coming but he went anyway. She scuppers the van, breaks his specs and chases him across the moors to proposes to him, figuratively speaking. She'll end up twisting it all so she seems innocent and poor Norris will be left swinging in the wind. Figuratively speaking. :)

Stape bores the pants of me. And him trying to get back into teaching and then thieving someone's identity to do it? Add paying a professional forger for the rest of the necessary ID and they should put him back before bars and out of my misery. And Fiz's. She's married to a selfish liar. He continued to wear her down over and over until she felt so guilty she said he could go for it. My biggest fear is she'll be left high, dry and pregnant and he'll be banged up in jail for years, with Chesney on the sidelines, shaking his red head sorrowfully and vowing to get revenge on Stape. She should have stayed with Kirkey!

You notice, Kevin might not want Molly but he still can't seem to stay away, can he? And where does he get off suggesting she abort the baby when she's so far along? 20 weeks? If she went into early labour, that baby might even survive on it's own. I doubt any doctor would even do it, for that matter. Well the car accident just might take care of it for him but it didn't. Instead, Molly thinks Kevin tried to kill her. Kevin has more to thank Tyrone than he realizes after Tyrone talked Molly out of stitching up Kevin to the police. I never thought she'd actually tell the police because it would mean Tyrone would find out and chuck her out and probably kill Kevin. So on we go. Still don't know who's the daddy and I really hope it's Tyrone's even though I'm sure the secret will get out eventually. It's also very unlikely they'll move away too.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

One idiot after another

I'm at a loss, I really am. This week on Corrie, it's been idiot after prize idiot. Some were fairly harmless and some were almost fatally dangerous. Watching this week was an exercise in frustration for me. I'm not even sure where to start, there are so many in all directions!

Ok, the minor idiots:

There was Graeme chasing after Rosie and Natasha, using the same lines on each of them. Did he think they wouldn't find out? They might not have been mates before now but they do occupy near distances on the same street. He got a beer shampoo for free for it. I guess that means he won't be dating either one any time soon. It *was* funny though.

That brings me to Natasha. Desperation isn't pretty, honey. Salivating over Nick, babbling in the street, throwing yourself at him... it might all get you a date or a shag but it's not going to get you any respect or a relationship. Especially not with Nick Tilsley who is also an idiot. So much of one that his mother has been in prison for weeks and he's *still* not actually gone to see her.

Rosie is an idiot too but that's just par for the course. Believing that her new fella is a footballer? WAGs actually do go to a match now and then to admire the prowess of their beloved on the field. The fact that he's been putting her off from attending would be a red flag for most women but obviously not for Rosie who probably hates football anyway. I'd say it turned out he couldn't cut the mustard but in this case, that's exactly what he can do. And the ketchup and the brown sauce! :)

Let's look around and see who's next.

Audrey's an idiot for falling for the charms of a slimy escort who's blatantly ripping her off (making her pay for theatre tickets he gets for free) and who has come between her and her oldest friend, Rita, and because she's making a fool of herself falling for his charms.

Kirk, of course, is a bit of an idiot on a good day but posting a photo of Jason instead of himself was bound to get him an ear bashing from Izzy who now seems to fancy Gary.

Let's move up the idiot scale a few steps to Kevin Webster. Tyrone posted the baby scan on the internet and then told everyone when he wasn't supposed to but Molly should know better than to even suggest he keep the pregnancy to himself when she's popped out like a balloon and he's so excited. Enter Kevin who could be the baby daddy. He's all choked up but then has the utter temerity to suggest she abort the baby. Where does he get off? At 20 weeks into a pregnancy, I doubt there's a clinic that would do it.  He was out of order suggesting it just because he is having a hard time living with the possibility that it's his kid and it would be evidence of his infidelity.

Kevin would lose everything, his family, his friends, his reputation. He's betrayed his best friend and business partner.  He tried to force her to get rid of the baby. I don't think he could show his face in Weatherfield again if all that came out and I wouldn't feel the least bit sympathetic for him. I'm not any happier with Molly rubbing her bump in his face daily either. It's an all around bad situation which is bound to come out sooner or later because in soaps, it always does. Kevin should have had his ass kicked last year when he got that middle aged crush on her in the first place.


Prize idiot of the week, though, as you might expect, is John "Stapid" Stape. Stapid is a term a fellow blogger coined this week and it fits, oh it fits! Stupid + Vapid +Stape and you've got that in a handbag. Another fellow blogger has diagnosed him as a classic Aggressive Narcissistic and I fully agree with that too. Sociopath also comes to mind. Clear sense of right and wrong but not when it comes to himself. What could go wrong? How about your new boss visiting to return your mobile and you sharing 2 bottles of wine with him. He's clearly drunk and you usher him out the door and let him drive home. Idiot! And I think you can be prosecuted just for that these days. I know bar and pub owners have been.

Then there is the whole identity theft issue which is obviously not as well thought out as Stapid thinks. There are more holes in his scheme than swiss cheese. Did his new boss even match the signatures between the forms he signed and the driver's license? Did John spend hours practicing his forgery skills when we weren't looking? And from the look of it, the real Colin must be at least 15 years older than Stape. Did they not check his birth date and his CV dates against his face? Come to that, where did John get hold of Colin's CV? He only had his certificates and ID, did he make it all up from stuff Colin had told him in the past? Surely he wouldn't know all the hire/leave dates exactly and the new school should be checking that, shouldn't they? If the real Colin hasn't stepped on a plane to emmigrate yet, won't he miss his driving license? Emmigrating doesn't happen overnight and there's a lot of checks and balances. Surely the tax people would wonder why he's getting a paycheque from a school while he's trying to leave the country?

On top of all those plot holes, he's coercing Fiz into the plot. Fiz, dear, you already know he's a good liar and now he's at it again. Doesn't this tell you something? It tells me you're an idiot, too. I really, really hope when he gets caught, and he will, that he goes down for it. I really, really can't stand the character and how he's totally ruined Fiz. If he goes down, I want Fiz to get really, really angry, not spend weeks and months moaning and whinging and whining and feeling sorry for herself. I don't want him trying and trying to get her back because he's not really a bad man, is he? He just had a bit of bad luck. And if she won't take him back, he'll just get all depressed, get himself beaten up in prison and pretend to be suicidal and give away another load of money to a bimbo. Sheesh!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Character Study: Blanche Hunt

With the onscreen death of Blanche Hunt forthcoming, it put me in mind of a character study I had written about her. I've done a number of these when I used to write for and this is probably an appropriate time to reproduce it here with a little updating.

When I wrote for, there was a suggestion from a fan who wondered how Blanche came to be a bitter old battleaxe when she used to be so light hearted. Interesting question! Blanche was always one of Corrie's strong women and she had to be, widowed fairly young with a young daughter to bring up. Her husband, Donald, was hit by a car which was witnessed by Deirdre herself though you rarely heard her mention it. Blanche was a corset maker by trade, something which has long gone by the wayside though we did see her adjusting a corset that Violet bought to wear clubbing. I think Blanche's profession could find a new niche in today's society!

Blanche, when we first knew her in the mid 1970s, always had an eye for the fellas though wasn't quite as "fur coat and no knickers" about it as Elsie Tanner was. Now and then she'd help out at the Rovers and I remember seeing her a few times giving one or other the glad eye over the bar. I personally kind of think she had a thing for Len Fairclough who didn't really have much time for her when Rita was around.

We met Blanche when Deirdre came to the street and got engaged to Billy Walker. The Hunts didn't have a lot of money but cheerfully made do. Deirdre was a hard grafter and very independent-minded, probably taught to be by her mother. But even then, Blanche was not backward in coming forward with an opinion or two and clashed more than once with the formidable Annie Walker who breathed a sigh of relief when Deirdre and Billy split up. Deirdre soon took up with Ray Langton and married him in short order and decided to wear a suit out of her closet for her wedding outfit. Blanche couldn't understand that but took over things anyway by arranging a photographer and a small reception in the pub in spite of Deirdre's wishes to have a small do. Blanche has always accused Deirdre of being headstrong but I think Deirdre comes by that quite honestly as well.

When most of the ladies of the Street headed to Majorca, Annie Walker actually conceded to Blanche helping out in the pub while she was away and Blanche did a great job of it. She also helped out in the corner shop now and then and even in her later years has done stints in the Kabin, the betting shop and the cafe as well, though she did more "supervising" than work!

Blanche lived away from Weatherfield for a number of years, returning on occasion to see her new granddaughter, Tracy Lynette and later to see Deirdre marry Ken and Tracey marry Robert Preston. Deirdre would visit her now and then and we'd hear that Blanche was running a hotel or a bar here or there.

When Tracy got pregnant, Blanche was very upset that Tracy planned to give the Croppers her baby and she did everything she could to entice her to keep the child. She even bought Number 7, thinking that it would be a home for Tracy and the baby and it was for awhile but Tracy took full advantage and then took off to visit Peter for an indefinite period of time so Blanche rented it out to Danny Baldwin and eventually sold up.

With fellas, we've seen her have a fling with bookie Dave Smith and another with a man called Steve Basset. Even in her advancing years, she was still keen when the opportunity arose, having kept company with Archie Shuttleworth, the local undertaker, and Wally Bannister who she thought was rich but was only a gardener. Tracey was fooled as well and tried to get her gran's fella away from her. Blanche lost Archie due to her jealousy and negativity. So where did that attitude come from?

It's possible that it started with her ill health which can really change a person. In 1993, Deirdre went to her mother when her mother became ill after a stroke and that seems to be the start of Blanche's health problems. She's not always been that well since her return to Coronation Street in 1999, including having to have her hip replaced which she did cheaply in Poland. The wait times were far too long on the NHS.

I think she was always somewhat critical of Deirdre and saw her daughter make one bad choice after another. In spite of her criticism of her daughter (and of pretty much anyone else!) she does love her daughter and family and that saves her from being completely distasteful as a character. She can be nasty and hateful but also kind. As often as she would insult Peter for his drinking, you could see it hurt her deeply and she did a lot to help when she could. She and great-grandson Simon have a tender and loving relationship (even if she does use Simon to clean her room or help her tell fortunes to scam a pound or two!)

I think life has let Blanche down more than a few times. I think Blanche has not taken to old age gracefully and resents every year, ache and pain that has plagued her and i think she takes it out on those around her. Blanche always said what she thought but in her advancing years, definitely took advantage of it. A couple of years ago, she decided she would have a wake to find out what people really thought of her and was shocked when it was unflattering. She tried to mend her ways but in the end, decided that if people didn't like her the way she was, that was too bad for them.

I also think that the producers knew that Maggie Jones had impeccable curmudgeonly timing and saw her as the "new" Ena Sharples and expanded on that. Ena, of course, came from a much more moral point of view where Blanche is not above a bit of devious scheming. Ena once told Elsie Tanner that she would never write an anonymous letter. She'd sign her name in big black letters and stand behind it. I could very easily see Blanche writing an anonymous letter if a situation called for it. She certainly has gone behind Deirdre's back to try to interfere and manipulate Ken and Deirdre back together more than once.

Maggie Jones ably played Blanche for almost the entire life of the character though Patricia Cutts played her for the first three appearances. That actress died suddenly and Maggie was brought in and really went the distance. Her comic timing was impeccable and I'm sure the writers felt she was a gift! Nobody could pull off some of the things Blanche got to do, say and wear like Maggie! Grace Dent of the Guardian agreed in a wonderful article. Even Maggie Jones herself said that she never played Blanche for laughs, she played Blanche as completely serious about her beliefs, insults and it wouldn't have worked any other way.

Sadly, Maggie Jones passed away last December and Blanche was sent off to Portugal with a friend. Her death will be written into the storyline next month. As acerbic as Blanche could be, you just know there will be some 3 or 4 hankie scenes coming up. It's always sadder when an on screen death happens because the actor has passed away. Good night, Maggie, you will be missed.

Thanks to for some biography details.

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