Monday, 30 August 2010

Roy and Hayley's Wedding Day

Oh I just have to do this! There are too many photos to post it on t'other blog so i'm going to do my own screen caps and photos from the wonderful Roy and Hayley wedding!

We start off on the Street where Mary, having shot herself in the foot with her over-enthusiasm, has kept herself from the wedding. She walks off in a snit and later follows the wedding guest bus like Jaws stalking prey.

The bus, of course, filled with well wishes. Except for Norris! What was his problem? He groused and complained all day long! Why he bothered going, I don't know!

Roy's surprise was the fulfillment of a boyhood dream! He got to drive the East Lancashire steam train and all the guests traveled in the train to the venue.

The Bride was in the last car with her bridesmaids. 

But alas, Mary hauled  coupling out of the last car and stranded them in the countryside. Roy waited and worried at the altar.

Never fear though, Fiz and Becky to the rescue (should Fiz be doing that while pregnant? Hope she's ok!) 

Meanwhile, on the train, the tension between Sally and Claire erupted! There can never be a wedding without drama on Coronation Street!

They managed to get her to the "church" just a bit late. Hayley came down the aisle lined with the choir serenading her procession to a waiting Roy. 

And they are pronounced Man and Wife!

Let the reception begin! First, Roy's speech to the bridesmaids...and later had everyone in tears with his speech of devotion to his Hayley

"The World can change it's rules, it's laws and it's opinions as frequently as it chooses. But I will remain standing beside you. That will not change."

The bridesmaids...That would be Stinky and Blotchy to you and me!

Aw bless em! And Hayley, too, made a speech. She said she felt very lucky and very special!

The guests applauded! Everyone is so very happy for Roy and Hayley!

Their first dance was also to the dulcet tones of the choir!
(Some of you may spot a familiar face sitting at the table beside the bloke in blue! She's a talented friend of mine called Annie!)

Traditional confetti accompanies them out the door.

It says it all! 

The photos are, of course, all copyright ITV.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Remember the past but forget some of it

A blog post over here asks the readers how they think the new producer of Coronation Street is doing so far. Each new producer brings their own flavour to Coronation Street. Most producers seem to do some really good things and a few plonkers in their term in charge. I have no doubt current boss Phil Collinson will do the same. He's starting off well but really, he's mainly continuing on storylines that were started before he was on board even though his name is now on the screen as producer. The rest of the year will start to see his ideas and creations and that will start telling the tale. One thing he has to do, though, is make sure the rich history is not forgotten. I realize he wants to look forward but you can't just ignore the past, either.

Coronation Street has always been good with references to the past. An old character such as Annie Walker or Hilda Ogden gets a mention now and then. Just the other day, Kevin Webster came out with something that Hilda was famous for but i don't know how many people caught it. He said "The world's your lobster"! I enjoy historical references. That's how people talk, they talk about their pasts and people they knew and things that happened.

I'll be very disappointed if, after the upcoming tram crash, there is no mention of the one in the 1960s. Ken and Emily would certainly remember it. Peter would have only been small but he may remember, too, and any of the other older characters, though not living on Coronation Street should certainly remember reading about a disaster of that proportion in the newspaper (Jack Duckworth, Rita Sullivan, Audrey Roberts, Gail Platt, Deirdre Barlow to name a few long time Weatherfield residents).

One storyline i thought was forgotten was the one where Violet Wilson had Sean's son but they have revived that recently and it was nice to see Sean showing pictures of him with Dylan on a weekend trip to London. Hayley and Roy recently went to Romania to the wedding of former friend and employee Frankie Baldwin (though they missed the wedding). Graeme Proctor pretending to channel the ghost of Fred Elliot was brilliant!

Sometimes, however, there are storylines that are just better off forgotten. Every now and then I hear someone say that it's odd that Michelle's biological son, Alex, is never, ever mentioned. But when that storyline was on, there was nothing but complaints about how badly devised it was, how full of plot holes and people were glad to see the back of it, me included. As much as it's not logical for her never to send a text or mention Alex's birthday in conjunction with Ryan's or for Ryan never to mention he'd seen his biological dad, Nick, it's probably a storyline best forgotten.

Another storyline best forgotten was Hayley's son, Christian. while i thought the storyline, though copied from a Hollywood movie, could have been good and was, in fact, fairly well done at the time, it rewrote history. Hayley told Roy *everything* about her past. It made no sense that she wouldn't have told him that as well at some point. I don't care how they wrote it that the longer she didn't tell him that she'd had sex with her (Harold's) best friend, the harder it would be. It wasn't that big a deal, and even Hayley herself didn't know about the child. But the actress took a year off right at the end of that storyline so it, too, was dropped quickly and permanently. If she hadn't left for awhile, it might have gone on a bit more, with perhaps, an eventual reconciliation even if Christian wasn't to be a regular character. Then Christian would have been a guest at Hayley and Roy's upcoming wedding! Rewriting history annoys me and the end result isn't usually all that successful.

There's going to be another long lost son storyline coming up soon, too. This one involves Ken Barlow and while it does rely on a "Standard Soap Opera Plot", this time around, it kind of makes sense. Consider that Ken Barlow has been putting it around for all of his adult life. There's bound to be an illegitimate child or two, isn't there? Still, did we not see Ken lose his virginity to a librarian? Susan Cunningham, the mother of the new son was his university girlfriend, not a librarian, whose name was Marion Lund according to Only very, very long time fans may remember that. I only know because i've read it in one of the Daran Little books. So they're rewriting history again. *sigh* But still, it does make sense and seeing William Roach play father and grandfather to his two real life sons might be a bit of a gimmick but i think it is brilliant casting as they do both look like he did in the early 60s. They may not stay as regular characters, most of Ken's children don't after all (Daniel Osborne, anyone? he's as absent as Ferris Bueller!) but chances are good we may get the occasional reference to them. One can only hope.

The worst storyline ever, though (in my not-so-humble opinion), is the infamous "Molvin" affair. Kevin Webster seemed to have a mid-life crisis and flirted with and crushed on cute young Molly, the new wife of Kev's business partner, affable puppy, Tyrone. That part i could understand. Crushes happen and Kevin's wife Sally would test the patience of a saint and it wouldn't be out of the ordinary for her husband to have flights of fancy. That's where it should have stayed. Molly, barely out of her wedding dress, seemed flattered and seemed to decide to milk it for all it was worth, for the excitement. But it was so out of character for Kevin to persue a woman almost young enough to be his daughter, especially after his daughter was so recently involved with a man not that much younger than Kevin himself. Kevin even went to jail for assaulting said man yet here he is lusting after 20-something Molly? I didn't buy it. The pair of them all loved up and lying to their respective spouses was stomach turning.

Then the classic soap opera plot emerged, Molly's pregnant and doesn't know who the father is. Yes, it has far reaching consequences and will take that storyline into the future but why??? Could we not rely on an old cliche like that? Next thing you know, someone will dredge up that other hoary old soap plot device, amnesia (well they did, when Rita had a breakdown during the Alan Bradley thing but it wasn't true amnesia, not really.) How is that story going to end? Will that story ever end? It will to some degree because the actress playing Molly is leaving the show. That leaves Tyrone with a baby that may or may not be his. Soap opera rules dictate that the affair has to come out sometime. What happens when it does is anyone's guess but I can't see how Tyrone and Kevin can continue to work together after that. Maybe both Molly and Tyrone will die in the tram crash. We'll know in a few months.

This is one storyline that i don't think is ever going to end or when it does, isn't going to be dropped and forgotten like the baby switch one. Unfortunately.

Out of sight often means out of mind on a soap but at least Corrie does manage the occasional reference and that's good. But a few suggestions...

We understand that actors aren't usually available to revive characters to attend weddings and funerals that the character would probably normally attend but a card or reference would be nice.

Let's keep the rewriting of history to a minimum, please and at least keep the storylines logical for the characters.

Keep the little everyday scenes about nothing in particular. Life's like that, innit? Keep the throwaway lines and that humour that Corrie is famous for. Keep the great drama as well, because Corrie is good at that too.

Use the older, more experienced actors, don't just focus on the young and beautiful ones. Corrie's been getting better at this as well, after a period of leaving them on the back burner.

Keep bringing us those weird, wonderful and off the wall characters like Graeme Proctor, Mary Turner, and Charlotte. A little mania is good for the soul! Keep other off beat characters and eccentrics such as Roy and Julie and Teresa and Kirk around awhile and use them or you'll lose them!

Keep giving us characters we love to hate, characters that make us wonder what they're going to do next.

Give us pathos, and then a good dose of daft 'ap'orths.

There's a reason Coronation Street has lasted for 50 years. Don't mess with the formula too much or it won't last a whole lot longer! And that would be a real shame!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Speculation runs rampant

Most of us do realize that the tabloid papers such as the Mirror and the News of the World love to sensationalize things. When it comes to soap spoilers, we also know, down deep, that they make a lot of it up or it's all a lot of pure speculation though they print it as the truth. Sometimes, just sometimes, there are cast or crew members that might feed tips to the tabs for cash so people think, well you know it *could* be true, what they say! It's usually not.

Coming up to Corrie's 50th anniversary, there's been loads and loads of press coverage. You mention a tram crash and people dying and the horses are out of the gate. Actors that we know are leaving are already being mangled under the wreckage in the newspapers' scenarios and others are being lined up for the crush, too. The tram is going to come tumbling off the viaduct where a new bar will have just opened. (I think Nick Tilsley, the new owner, probably has a little black cloud of bad luck over his head like those comic characters always did!)

A new producer generally does have a look at the current cast and inevitably, there are some let go and replaced with fresh new characters. Some actors see the writing on the wall and get out before they can be thrown out but are said to be leaving by their own decision. This is sometimes actually the case when a character really hasn't been involved in storylines for a long time, and the actor gets bored and fed up, like Tupele Dorgu as Kelly whos talent was shamelessly underused. Most of the ones that leave of their own accord think they can make it big doing other things when in reality, most of them don't. Of course, some do go on to a lot of success but it's also true that if you've been playing the same part for a decade or more, people have a hard time seeing you as anything else.

I think Johnny Briggs found that out. I'm afraid Vicky Entwhistle may too. I like her, and i think she's a good actress that could really sink her teeth into a part and i hope she gets the chance to prove she's more than just gobby Janice Battersby.

Anyway. I've been reading story after story about who will die in the crash. Having a big disaster like this still needs to have far reaching implications and push the storylines. It has to end some and start new ones with the fallout and that's exactly what Collinson will do with this. Thus, just wiping out characters because the actors are leaving isn't good enough.

Actors that are leaving are obviously the odds on but it doesn't always go that way. Jack Duckworth is apparently going to be diagnosed with terminal cancer so currently presumed to be one of the victims. But would Jack really be comfortable drinking in a posh hip new wine bar? Claire and Ashley are heading out of Weatherfield but though i've seen reference to them dying, i have also read that they will leave after a scandal implicating Claire of harming one of the Alahan children. It's untrue, but they'll use that as the excuse to leave.

Molly's going, too, and she's due to give birth in September. We don't know if the baby is going to be Kevin's or Tyrone's. More speculation that she'll be a victim and i think that one is likely. She works in the corner shop and the shop is next to the viaduct and likely to come in for some damage. That leaves Tyrone alone with the baby and there's a lot of storyline potential there for the truth to come out, which it has to eventually because it always does. Will the baby be Kevin's? If so, what happens? Will Sally agree to raise a child that her husband fathered in an affair? If Kevin gets the baby, i really can't see Tyrone staying around. My original thought was the affair coming out and Tyrone making Molly leave and keeping the baby himself. But even that scenario would seem to end with Tyrone taking the baby and leaving the Street too. I just can't see how Tyrone, Kevin and Sally can occupy the same place after the truth comes out.

But it's all speculation, eh?

Monday, 2 August 2010

Who do you love?

Standard issue question, I know, "which characters do you love" but my take on it, out of current summer 2010 cast members is this:

Characters I love to hate: These are the ones that are not likeable characters but are not supposed to be and are still enjoyable to watch. The actors are great, and you just can't wait for their comeuppance!
For me, these include Nick, David, Stape, Eddie (started off just awful but he's grown on me and now I think he's just a brilliant character). Some would say Sally and Gail but though they tend to be stubborn, bitchy, moaning nellies, I don't class them in this category, personally. They go in the Characters I Love category.

Characters I just don't like at all: There are various reasons why I don't like these ones. Some of them aren't necessarily characters we're supposed to dislike, but they rub me the wrong way anyway. These include Norris, Ken, Molly (they're ruined her), Tina (ruined her, too!), Michelle, Ryan and Rosie. I am very, very glad to see the back of Joe! I would include Tracy Barlow as well since she'll be back on our screens and was recently with us as well.

Then there's the characters that I love! I enjoy these characters a lot and enjoy the actors playing them. I love seeing what happens to them, what they'll do or say next, and I look forward to storylines involving them.
These include: Gail, Sally, Audrey, Liz, Steve, Becky, Roy, Hayley, Mary, Julie, Eileen, Leanne, Peter, Kirk, Graeme. I'm putting Simon in here because he's such a cracking little child actor.

There's always characters I like: These are a bit further down the scale. I like them, sometimes a lot.
Give me Deirdre, Emily, Sophie, Anna, Lloyd, Sean, Rita, Sunita, Fiz (though they're ruining her character, she needs to be our Fiz Bomb again and blow up Stape!), Carla. We also need Ted back, so let's hope the actor will become available again, soon!

The rest of the characters are neither hate nor love nor like. I go from ambivalence to "They're ok". A few of the newer ones we don't really know well enough yet but have potential.

A few thoughts:

Natasha is one of these that had potential but I can't decide what I think about her. She was vastly underused for the first year she was on the show and seemed to be a bit of a daft blonde. Do I dislike her character, now, or do I pity her? We know she's clingy and pushing herself on Nick who really isn't into her and she's spiralling into a downward plunge. I expect it's more pity, I suppose.

Dev is another one I have waffled on for ages. Sometimes I really don't like him and other times I think he's fun and goofy and a character that's there specifically to take the mick out of for his old fashioned attitudes and self importance. I am really glad they have Sunita back, though, as she always seemed to be Dev's anchor.

Tyrone has come a long way really. He's still daft and not too bright but he's kind hearted and loyal and way too good for Molly. I really dread the fallout of the Molvin affair. That storyline was one of the most ill-fitting ones ever. Kudos to the actors, though, that did their best with it, but the viewer fallout for me is that I won't be sad to see Molly go and if Tyrone leaves as a result of it all hitting the fan, I probably won't miss him either. There will be nothing left for him really. Shame.

I won't rattle on about Fiz. I've done enough of that! I expect John will wriggle out if the latest mess he's got them all into and I hear rumours that Fiz will fall pregnant, a further cement to the man that has totally put out her sparky personality. The only possible bright spot is that John *has* to pay for his crime of identity theft and hiding a dead body eventually. Doesn't he?

As much as I'm not a Ken Barlow fan, you really can't do without the Barlow clan on the whole. They are a great family though really missing Blanche, sadly. And I would very much miss the Websters and Platts as well as two other long-time families that really add to the canvas. The McDonalds are also a great clan. I do wish we'd see more of Big Jim. I always loved the chemistry between him and Liz though new man, Owen, just might have that edge of danger that Liz likes and it could be the new roller coaster relationship she's been needing.

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