Tuesday, 28 February 2012

State of the Street - February 2012

Frank's trial. Not a lot more I can say than I've already blogged here. The fallout ....Both of them sharing the factory. Carla *is* the majority shareholder so she should be able to pull rank on decisions, shouldn't she? It seems to be armed truce but I can't imagine how Carla can get through the days, Plus there's nearly out and out revolt on the factory floor with duelling supervisors, Hayley and Sally. I would think Carla would relish the chance to order Sally around as the office P.A. wouldn't you? That leaves Hayley as the floor supervisor.

Carla's drinking a little more and Simon is rebelling as hard as he can, poor kid. I didn't think Carla would be able to cope with Simon and now that Leanne is back, it's going to be all out war.  Well, Peter got what he wanted. I wonder if he thinks it was all it was cracked up to be. Certainly not happy families, that's for sure.

Steve and Tracy can't get annulled so it's off to the childish Wind-Me-Up Olympics and they're running neck and neck. Was it supposed to be funny? It wasn't. But then it was. Once Steve moved Beth and Moonface in, that is. And yes, Tracy should be paying half the mortgage and by the way, she mentioned him paying maintenance. Wouldn't that stop once he married her? I'd be talking to the solicitor about that one. Most couples who buy a house, with both names on the deed, usually share the expenses so she *should* get off her backside and get a job.

Now there's Beth paying rent with a lease and everything. This could be fun! I'm so glad they brought her back. She's like Cilla but with a nicer side. She's as common as muck of course and that child of hers is comedy gold and you know what? Steve could do a lot worse! He has. in fact.

Poor Katy is suffereing post-natal depression and she's having a really hard time coping. She won't ask for help and Chesney is trying to work too hard to support them to be able to be of any assistance. Plus, she knows if she asks for help, her father will be all over her with his "I Told You So" and that's exactly what he did and exactly why she ran and exactly why she didn't want to come back. And everything Owen rants about only proves her point. He's a controlling bully. Yes, he's a worried father but he isn't helping his daughter cope, he's making her feel even more inadequate. Let's hope this is a lesson.

I really admire Chesney. He's always stood up to Owen and continues to do so. He's not afraid of him and he has always been willing to take on his responsibility even when it overwhelms him at times. And I wonder if kids watching will get the idea that parenthood isn't like playing house except they'll end up happy and coping after a this glitch and it'll be all roses again.

Eileen and Paul's relationship kind of creeps me out. I think it has that effect on most viewers. . Paul's house flooded and he worried about Lesley coming back. He says she needs routine and familiarity so he moves her into Eileen's? Can't he just arrange to have her continue to stay at the respite home? Doesn't he have insurance that would cover alternate accommodations? They'd be just as strange to Lesley so what difference would it make?

I understand they are trying to focus on this storyline as an "issue" but it just makes us all feel uncomfortable with Eileen and Paul gazing doe-eyed at each other across Lesley's usually oblivious head. It just doesn't seem like something Eileen would do, want to be with someone whose wife was in that state. I'm sure this kind of thing does happen in real life, and it's a sad story and a tough spot to be in, but it's just so out of character for Eileen who, while a bit desperate and lonely, isn't *that* desperate. We all thought she still had a line she wouldn't cross. Guess not.

Sylvia obviously bigged up herself, her environment, her family only for Milton to discover her in a backstreet cafe. That doesn't stop him, though, he was determined to help upscale Roy's business with expansion! I really am suspicious though. Sylvia might not be the only one that's exaggerating. I thought Milton might not have been all he seemed but apparently he was genuine. Roy just couldn't tell his mother he didn't want her to go and felt like she was abandoning him all over again.

And Sylvia was of two minds to go or not. I think it was a close call. I think she used the excuse of being surrounded by loud Americans to call it off and maybe she realized that Roy just couldn't say the words even though he felt them, as Hayley assured her. Roy's retisence is not all her fault, either. He's just not built that way and rarely reveals his feelings in words. I'm glad she didn't go. She's such a great addition to the show and maybe this will be another turning point in their relationship.

Kirsty and Tyrone have had some ups and downs and Tyrone thought she was cheating on him. She got all affronted that he would be suspicious. Pot? Kettle? It wasn't ok when she though he was after Tina and still had feelings for Fiz and it's not ok that he's suspicious either. She's still managing to put a wedge between him and his friends and even if the baby is Tyrone's, I can't help feeling this isn't going to end well.

Lewis the cad is back and Audrey is leaning back in his direction. Has he changed? Does he really have true feelings for her? Once a con man always a con man? Nobody could blame Gail for worrying. Her mother has never been the smartest when it comes to men (nor has Gail!). I guess we shall see if Audrey gets sucked back in to Lewis' charms and what happens as a result. One thing's for sure, I'm pleased in one way because I love Audrey storylines even when they're silly and it's great when there's focus on the senior members of the cast.

Beefy Brian has decided that Ken is his new BFF, out of nowhere. Former teacher, current teacher, one thread in common and it's pretty flimsy. I suppose they have to give him at least one friend so he's not so isolated. Julie has loads of mates and family but Brian is tagged on with her.  And you know it was always his idea first to try for a baby and I can't help feeling this vasectomy was a retcon, rewriting the facts. Anyway, I do love this couple. He's so pompous and silly and she's daft as a bag of hammers.

Did you catch it when Audrey asked Tina in the bar how Betty was? The reply was that Betty hasn't been feeling well. I think that was the first "heads up" that Betty is ill, leading to her death. We know Betty Driver has died and that Betty's death will be written into the story with a funeral/wake. A three hanky episode, for sure!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Carla, the Black Widow of Weatherfield.

cross posted from The Coronation Street Blog

As has been mentioned by our commenters and in previous storylines, it does look like Carla is becoming the Black Widow of Weatherfield. Death seems to follow in her wake. Nearly every man she's been involved with in her sojourn on the cobbles has died.

Husband Paul packed call girl Leanne in his boot and rushed off to prove to Carla that he didn't in fact actually have sex with *this* particular prostitute. The car crashed and Paul died.

Carla persued her brother-in-law Liam, the man that she admitted to having feelings for since they were young. But she married his brother instead. She tried, but he married Maria instead but it wasn't long before Liam succumbed to those old feelings himself and they began a steamy affair just as she was about to marry Tony Gordon. Tony found out and had Liam killed in a road accident on Tony's stag night.

Tony? Well his nefarious deeds were discovered. Carla ran off to L.A. but returned when she found out that Tony was romancing the widow of the man he had killed, Maria. She decided to put a stop to it but Tony set his henchman on Carla who fought back. Tony pretended she'd killed him and off she ran again but Tony turned himself in after an aborted attempt to kill Roy Cropper. Tony later escaped prison, intent on revenge. He held Hayley Cropper and Carla captive in the factory. Persuaded to release Hayley, he was determined to blow he and Carla up in the factory but she barely managed to escape. He decided he'd rather die in the disaster than be taken by the police again.
Frank Foster has turned out to be another bad choice for Carla. Even though she knew he had already tried it on roughly with Maria, she decided Maria had overreacted and took Frank on as a business partner. Later, in a case of "If you can't have the one you love, love the one you're with" (a common pattern with Carla), she took Frank on as a lover and agreed to marry him when the one she loved, Peter Barlow, insisted he loved his wife. She couldn't go through with the wedding and dumped him the day before the nuptials whereupon he had his way with her on the floor of the flat. He had a good solicitor and barrister and managed to get off with a not guilty verdict. Soap law dictates that he must pay and as we are aware, he's going to be found dead shortly.

Ah, but you say there has been two other men that have not met their deaths. Think about it. Peter Barlow, the latest love of Carla's life, has resisted Carla's temptations, mostly. He insisted he loved his then-fiance, Leanne.

He didn't know that Leanne was having a pre-marital affair with her ex-husband, Nasty Nick but Carla knew and she pushed and manipulated and just when it looked as if she persuaded Nick to spill the beans, a tram came careening off the viaduct. Peter Barlow nearly did meet his maker and it was only the heroics of Ashley Peacock and a very good surgeon that saved his life.

A year later, and Peter has finally walked into the fire and is with Carla. This can't end well. Peter, You'd better get out while you can, lad!
Lastly, there was Trevor the binman. Sweet Trevor. He made it out alive. But he made it out with Janice Battersby. Some might say that's a fate worse than death!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Thoughts on Frank's trial

Here's a few random thoughts and ideas about Frank's rape trial last week:

The opening arguments really exaggerated Frank's personality and the incident. But you have to do that to make him look as guilty as possible. Calling him a sexual predator implies he makes a habit of raping women. Maybe he does but maybe he doesn't. He's certainly a vile ratbag for doing it even once, don't get me wrong.  He's no Mr. Niceguy.

Carla's testimony was riveting, wasn't it? She was really believable and it looked like Frank even had a moment or two of guilt flash across his face.  His face started off cold and stiff, impatient, dark eyes snapping.  The more emotional she got, and when she described the actual rape, you could see a subtle change on his face. It softened, he swallowed hard, he looked away...it showed a definite look of regret. You could sense he still loves her and maybe, down deep, he realizes what he's done was wrong when he heard how scared she was of him. He may not accept it, and he justified it by his utterly positive belief that she was in love with Peter and carrying on with him all the time.

The prosecutor really raked Carla and her reputation over the coals. She practically called Carla a prostitute for allowing Frank to invest in the business, knowing he fancied her. The more the prosecuting attorney lambasted her, especially about Peter, the more Frank seemed to shore himself up and recover his resolve. Forget sentimentality, he's back baying for her blood.

It made me very angry that the prosecutor used Maria's attractive dress and the fact that she was drinking, to imply she should have expected his reaction. All of that does not justify anything, anyone's history, background or what they were wearing, none of that should enter into it ... but that's what happens a lot in these kinds of trials so in that respect, I found this realistic though it made it difficult to watch.

Unfortunately, Peter having to admit he now is having an affair brings doubt on Carla's testimony even if they insist nothing was going on then. When Anne passed Leanne the photographic evidence in a very measured and planned way and she hollered out in court, that sealed the deal.  There's always at least one obligatory outburst in a soap trial and if it isn't  during the testimony with someone outraged at a lie or some other such injustice or shock,  then it's someone screaming that the verdict is unfair! And even though that outburst  technically could be construed as wrongly influencing the jury because it wasn't evidence actually presented in court. I think they could even be charged with perverting the course of justice if it could be proven Frank and his mother were in cahoots over it. We know they were but proving it is their word against the law's.

Peter admitted the affair under oath. You can tell the jury all you want to disregard it but you can't unhear something.
Once the affair came out in court, I knew he'd get off. It put reasonable doubt on Carla's testimony. Frank was found not guilty and walked free.

Now Peter and Leanne have to deal with the fallout. Leanne is willing to get past the affair because she knows he did the same for her and Nick's affair but Peter's determined to be with Carla. I guess he can keep that promise even if he's rubbish at keeping them long term. There's Simon to be considered and if Peter thinks he and Carla and Simon can be one big happy family, he's got another think coming.

This was a bit more realistic than most soap trials tend to be though still some gaping holes. Some great performances, especially by Alison King and Andrew Lancel. The expressions that crossed his face were impressive. From cold to guilt and regret, to smugly satisfied.  Chris Gascoyne and Jane Danson as runners up in the performance accolades as does Gwen Taylor as Frank's bitchy mother. By God/dess,  doesn't she put Gail and even Mammy Connor to shame! Carla's had a lucky escape in the mother-in-law stakes there!

Where do we go from here? I hope we don't see Carla cowering every time she sees Frank. I'm sure they'll start setting up suspects for the forthcoming murder plotline and we can start adding up the clues from this day onward. 

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