Friday, 30 August 2013

State of the Street - August 2013

David's revenge on Nick hit the wall, pretty much literally when that huge truck slammed into the side of the van nearly killing Nick. That was a well done scene, I thought. David and Nick baring souls, with David's desperation causing Nick to lose control of the car momentarily. It all looked like it was going to be ok when Whammo! Now David's very, very sorry and guilty. Some might wonder if it's all crocodile tears. There never seemed to be any love lost between David for Nick previously, even before all this business about Kylie. David seems to resent both of his siblings but I guess it proves you can love your family, just not like them much at all.

Now the storyline lags a bit with Nick in a coma and everyone fretting. Leanne feels guilty because she thinks her phone call distracted him and she's worried sick about the long term effects. Gail is just out and out worried for her son and David's guilty because he *did* cause the accident. He wants Nick to be ok but he doesn't want Nick to spill the beans either so that adds the "scared crapless" element to it. Now that Kylie's had the baby, Gail's pressuring her to have a DNA test. Everyone knows but most of them don't know the others know and it's getting a bit confusing as to who knows what!

Then there's Tina in the mix. I'm of two minds about that. On one hand, if you knew someone was unfaithful and the paternity of a baby was involved, would you tell? Some people would feel very betrayed if you didn't and they found out later. But on the other hand, is it any of your business? Tina really isn't friends with Nick, Leanne or Kylie though she does maintain a relationship of sorts with Gail, her former step-mother but this doesn't affect her as much. How long can David stall Tina from shooting her mouth off? I get annoyed that she's making all these demands of David when much of me feels she has no right. I suppose this will be dragged on a bit longer until finally, everyone will know except Nick. He'll come out of the coma, that's a given. Will he turn into the nasty sibling due to brain damage? He wasn't all that pleasant before. If you will recall how he tried to lure Peter back into the bottle because he wanted Leanne back, then turning his nasty side out after all this won't be such a stretch.

Heartbreaker of the month was Hayley's cancer diagnosis. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive types, if not *the* most. She hasn't had her operation for the tumour yet so we don't know for sure if it's going to be terminal but the actress is leaving the show so it's a pretty safe bet. Roy better get a handle on his sleepwalking because even his mother has bailed and that isn't really out of character when you think about it. She's up and left abruptly before and Roy has said she is a coward. She got so close to Hayley that it's hard to imagine she would leave but the reality is, this was probably planned. The actress has said via Twitter that she was meant to leave soon and a death in the family prompted an earlier departure. It's too bad as Sylvia had turned into a really wonderful character.

Now we know. Craig can place Karl somewhere he said he wasn't on the night of the fire but Craig thinks he's responsible for the fire and deaths of two people, poor kid. Karl is desperately trying to stem the tide of a 14 year old's guilty emotions so that Craig won't tell anyone else. Will Karl try to kill Craig before Craig does spill the beans? Craig doesn't know that he is actually a witness to Karl's misdeeds but he's bound to say something to someone. He just can't hold it in much longer. I don't know if Karl could kill a child, though so when it happens, it's going to happen quickly. The wedding may be on and off again at the moment but if it happens, I think that will be the climax and yet another interrupted wedding will be the net of the law closing in around Karl.

Stella is wobbling about the wedding due to Nick's condition but over the several years we've had her on the show, there has been mention of a few times in her past that she's declined Karl's wedding proposal, reluctant to commit to him due to various reasons, his weaknesses only being some of them. I suspect she's using Nick as yet another "out" clause even though this time it was she who proposed. It's logical at least to suggest postponing the wedding but she's seeing "signs" all over the place. Well, we all know she should run a mile but she doesn't.

Chesney is still, as the Conversation Street podcast people have been calling him, "Ches Miserables" and appropriate it is. I have never been so bored with a storyline in a long time. He and Katy insisted on being together at the tender age of 16, far too young. They struggled to make ends meet and Katy decides, once she's out of school, that she wants a baby! Well they got what they wanted and it's even more difficult. Chesney is only selling on the market and I can't imagine that brings in a huge amount of money. Katy is bored. She gets her head turned by Ryan and it all goes down the pan. Ches can't forgive her, when all it was was a kiss for God's sake. Even when she comes crawling back, begging, he can't do it so she moves in with Ryan who was horrified, really. Ok, now Ches has a bit more of a mental image to fret over. He meets a nice young girl but keeps using her to get at Katy even though he says he doesn't want Katy. He even tries to take Katy back for the baby's sake but that doesn't work either. It's horrible, it's boring, it's miserable and it just won't go away.

Paul and Lloyd got into a feud over a careless racist remark that Paul uttered. Supposedly it was a story about how people can be racist even when they don't realize it but to me it was all about ego and pride after the initial few days. Neither man would give an inch and their respective partners were caught in the middle. There's no denying Lloyd was offended especially for Jenna's sake and in the real world between two friends like that, the offender would abjectly apologize and it would be over. We didn't get that and we were subjected to weeks of endless glaring and shouting. There was one early apology but it was clearly not sincere and it took Paul stepping in to help Lloyd in a confrontation with a group of yobs to put it to rest. It took a toll, though as both Mandy and Paul left town leaving Lloyd and especially Eileen down in the dumps.

It's too bad. I liked Mandy and they could have done a lot with her but they didn't seem to know what to do with the character. They turned her into a cranky complainer. I liked Paul at first but it rapidly turned into dislike since he showed signs of selfishnest right from the point he was carrying on with Eileen with his confused wife in the other room. Yes, you might be in love but you have a prior committment. Eileen finally realized he never put her first and she's right though he often was in a difficult position. Should she have demanded he quit his dangerous job for her? No, I don't think so but if she couldn't live with it, she should have let him leave on that train, not run after him. She did try and I think was coming to terms with it until this last storyline just pushed things over the edge. She blames herself for picking yet another loser but really, I don't think any of this with Paul was really her fault. He is who he is. She wanted to be first in someone's priorities and it was evident it would never happen.

Tina had a rough few weeks after giving Jake back to Gary and Izzy and you can hardly blame her, especially with Mr and Mrs Insenstive doing things like having a welcome home party for the baby in the pub under her nose after the Bistro was unavailable. Anyone know the word "postpone"? Why did they not have one of those raucous backyard barbeques instead? She seems to have made peace with her decision and may get to be part of the baby's life. That's a good thing but will she be able to do it? Peter's given up the shop to Rob and Tracy who will probably make a disaster out of it. He's now so far under Carla's thumb he's probably taken on her fingerprints and yes, it hurts. Are we about to see him slide back into the bottle what with all the kicking his pride has been taking? Sally fancies Tim and sees him as her future. Tim fancies Sally and sees her as his friend with Benefits. Not going to end well.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Pure speculation - What to do with Stella?

Heart lifting news this week comes with the announcement that not only is Liz McDonald returning to Weatherfield, but Steve is going to buy back the pub and install her as landlady! Can I  just have an undignified W00T from the gallery? Thank you.

Apparently, when Karl's misdeeds have been splashed all over the Weathefield Gazette and he's languising in Strangeways, Stella is going to put the pub up for sale, unable to live with the memories. I can understand that. Presuming, then, that Gloria will take her share of the sale equal to what she put into it and go bye-bye as we've also heard, what will Stella do?

Will she leave? Maybe not just yet. I hear her contract is not up until next spring. That doesn't mean she won't leave early and it doesn't mean they won't make her leave early, but all things considered and she stays until they push her out the door at the end of her contract, here's where I think her storyline will go.

First off, where does she live? If Kevin hasn't returned, she can probably stay there. If Steve and Michelle move into the pub with Liz, she can stay in the kebab flat. Sorted.

But without the pub and all the punters into whose lives she could normally meddle and without a back room in which  to hold court, what kind of storyline could she possibly have?

I have an idea and it's one I've seen coming for months.

Dev. Alahan. Yes, that's right. Stella has already been all over Dev like a rash, being all concerned he's doing ok and trying to cheer him up. I think they will have a relationship as he tries to console her and be as good a friend to her as she was to him. It won't happen straight away, she'll need a few weeks to brew that fondness into a full on boiling heat. Before long she'll be up that ginnel and sneaking in to the back door of Number 7.

Poor Aadi and Asha will have yet another adjustment. Maybe Mary will meet Stella at the door with a rolling pin, intent on defending her twin charges who are still recovering from the loss of their dear mother. I don't fancy Stella's chances.

In the end, it will all go pear shaped and, if we're lucky, Stella will be off in a black taxi, a tearful Leanne waving her goodbye.

I've never been fond of Stella though not held her in as much contempt as some fans have. She stuck her nose into business where she "didn't ought to", the worst travesty being her inclusion into the aftermath of the death of Betty Williams. Her whispery voice grated on my nerves. Her frozen face did her no favours either.  "Facial expressions? I don't need no steenking facial expressions!" And there's all that beige. I don't even think she uses lippy with much colour to break up that monotony of neutral. I suppose it's meant to be her "signature" like Hayley's red anorak or Deirdre's specs but beige doesn't make you stand out in a crowd, it makes you melt into it.

Stella put up with so much crap from Karl over the years, even before we met them. We've been told he'd cheated on her before and he gambles. He continued to do both. She turfed him for gambling but took him back. Again. And then let the door hit him on the backside for his affair with Sunita. But she took him back after the fire out of gratitude because he saved her life.

Can I just repeat here, once again, he did NOT save her life, he was ready to die on the bedroom floor with her because they were trapped. Toni (RIP) and Paul got them out the window.

Stella continued to be sucked in by Karl over and over. She kind of deserves what she gets, heartbreak and shame and at least one smug daughter who Told Her So.

So, besides Michelle Collins being a friend of former producer Phil Collinson, why were we saddled with her? Well, because Beverly Callard was unable to continue as Liz at the time. She's been struggling with depression on and off for a few years and needed more recovery time. The Rovers has to have a landlady and Steve can't have his name over the door because he's got a criminal record. Someone had to be brought in as manager. I wish Steve hadn't had to sell the pub but we can blame Tracy for sucking him in and turning him away from Becky. If he hadn't wanted to buy her Number 13. Since they had to have someone, MC got the nod.

Soon, we will be back where we started and I for one can't be happier. I do hope Bev Callard will be able to keep up the pace this time around and stay. I can handle Stella in smaller doses.

Now the big question is...Will Liz take Owen away from Anna? Or will she take Tim away from Sally? Personally, since Lloyd is now single, I want Liz and Lloyd to get back together.


Saturday, 3 August 2013

It's about time Nick saw the light


Nick finally figured out that David is behind the hate campaign!

It is a storyline that began on Christmas night when Nick blew off his wedding to Leanne because of her last minute wobble over Peter, got drunk and had sex with Kylie who was equally at odds with David. Kylie made up with David the day after and Nick soon patched it up with Leanne and they got properly married.

Since Soap Law dictates that an unwise shag shall result in pregnancy, there ensued a "Who's the Daddy" thread. David found out about the unfaithful wife and possibility that the baby might not be his and has launched a revenge campaign against Nick. He can't accuse Kylie because he's afraid he'd lose her but your brother is always your brother and why shouldn't he suffer for what he's done? That's David's justification, anyway.

He stole keys and trashed their flat in the aftermath of initial discovery, full of classic David anger and rage but he decided to take a more underhanded approach. The campaign was very clever. There's been little innuendos to Gail, Nick and Leanne, all geared to stir up suspicion. He's been subtly playing Nick and Leanne off against each other, hoping to break them up, bringing Gail and Leanne's ex, Peter, into the mix as needed. The problem is, even though they would temporarily be at odds, they managed to find their way back to each other, leaving David more and more frustrated.

Each step of the way, the risk got higher but the payoff remained tantalizingly just out of reach. Viewers have been shouting at the screen, wondering why nobody has suspected David of any of these tricks. If any of the subjects involved just talked to each other, they'd hit on the common denominator in a minute. "David told me that..." and "Well, he said to me that..." and the jig, as they say, would have been up. But it doesn't work that way on telly. You have to draw it out.

David's most recent and most aggressive move was to send Leanne an anonymous note, hinting that Nick did something with someone on Christmas Night after the aborted wedding. That was his mistake. Leanne believed it and it could have done what David wanted but Leanne, though she knows Nick was lying when she confronted him, now realizes that someone really is out to get them and it has to be someone they know, someone that was at the wedding. Her chance remark that it was going to turn out to be someone obvious.

Nick turned around and saw his brother and Kylie laughing at the bar.

The light went on.

David. David.

And millions of viewers jumped up and punched the air.

Ho Yuss!!!!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

State of the Street - August 2013

David's ongoing revenge, when it worked, made him smug and happy and when it didn't have the intended effect, he took it out on his mother. David really, really needs a psychiatrist. And most of what he's been doing ends up backfiring so he keeps trying more and more tricks. And if Nick is intent on accusing one of his staff, how does he treat his staff that he thinks they'd be out to get him?

Hayley's been relentless, nearly bullying Roy, first about his father and contacting him and this month, about making him go to the doctor to get help for it. I can understand her concern and he really must be an exasperating man to live with at times but you know the real point to the whole storyline, once we knew Roy was sleepwalking, wasn't *why* he was sleepwalking but so that Hayley could go to the doctor for a check up along with Roy.

Right there, that was the beginning of Hayley's medical crisis. Roy is physically healthy but oh, dear, Hayley's tests were not as they should be. If Roy wasn't under enough stress already, this will have him sleepwalking on stage in London's West end doing a song and dance, with the amount of stress this could cause. Because, you know, a few days of incense, yoga and relaxation meditation and Roy was instantly cured, wasn't he, until Hayley told him of the diagnoses and he was up in the middle of the night scouring again! (the sleepwalking, by the way, baffled me because he never woke up Hayley when he'd get out of bed in the middle of the night, probably something he rarely does, and neither she nor Sylvia would hear him up and around in the middle of the night)

Hayley has pancreatic cancer. Some people think Corrie's storylines shouldn't hit so close to home like this. They say they want to be entertained, not saddened and reminded of people they have lost. While that's true, dramas and documentaries and "based on true story" films and tv shows are also popular so it's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" thing. It will be difficult to watch Hayley on this journey but knowing the actors involved and knowing that Corrie always does these types of storylines impeccably, it will be, and I use this in its traditional meaning, awesome to watch.

The Racism storyline really was more about pride before it descended into utter ridiculous. We all know that Paul really didn't mean it and it was an unthinking turn of phrase. We all make them and don't realize what we're saying. This might make a few people think twice but the crux of the story focussed on Paul and Lloyd's pride, Paul especially. Paul would probably have apologized for offending Lloyd straight away if Lloyd hadn't got shouty and then called Paul a racist which isn't true but Paul felt he'd be branded as one even if he backed down and apologized. Eileen and Mandy did make them but it was pretty clear that the apology "for how it turned out" wasn't really from the heart. Any time Paul did try to apologize after that, it still wasn't sincere. He did say he was sorry "for everything" but that *still* doesn't really mean he was sorry for what he said and he shouldn't have said it.

And Sophie.... she had no business sticking her oar in and calling the fire station to make an ANONYMOUS complaint. It was taken seriously. How can it? It must have been anonymous because they didn't send someone round to take a full statement. And can't she retract it? If so, why didn't we hear about it? I don't blame Jenna for being furious at Sophie. It was a stupid, immature thing to do.

Looks like Sally is about to have a new fella in the persona of Tim. I guess if they're keeping him around, they have to do more than just let him be Jason's sidekick now that Faye's gone back to Anna, having learned a hard lesson. It would have been far better for Tim's parenting skills if he'd been able to ease into it slowly instead of being pushed into the deep end by a child desperate for a blood connection. You can hardly blame her, really. Anna and Owen allowed him into her life because Faye was giving them such a hard time but Faye then pushed it too far because that's what kids do. It was a tough no-win situation really.

It's been mainly a mercifully Stella-free month. I expect with the wedding approaching we'll be back in full Beige mode but I would think Karl will be facing his comeuppance soon. Probably another interrupted wedding because you can't have it go smoothly, can you? It only goes well if it's the second attempt (Steve and Becky) or if there's a minor crisis but it's solved in time for a late arrival at the altar (Rita and Dennis).

Tina has given Gary and Izzy the baby who gets to be called Jake again. Jake...Joe... Not overly keen on either and Joe always would remind me of a man that fell to pieces and couldn't even fake his own death properly. Tina is bottling up her feelings and is going to crack. I also wonder why they're putting her in David's path as confidant. Do we all think that there could be a revenge fling there? Or maybe he'll be the one to pull her out of another depression. Could go either direction. Anyway, when they finally get the baby home, Gary is nervous. Really nervous. So nervous and wound up that he can't understand why the baby won't stop crying and he's taking it as a personal affront. Gary likes things to go exactly correctly and when they don't, he gets single minded, excited and anxious and the baby can pick up on that.

I'm almost positive Emily is going to mither Norris with bills and taxes to the point where he'll be more than happy to give her the house back. Why is he so worried about being homeless when Emily dies? He owns a business. Surely he can afford a house of his own. Why doesn't he buy himself a little flat now?

Katy and Ryan are splits. I'm hoping Chesney won't take her back but I suppose he will for the baby's sake. That's if he can get round his own pride. It was only a kiss that he couldn't forgive, after all. He pushed Katy to Ryan so it's his own damn fault. He's using Sinead to prove to Katy that he doesn't need her but he still loves her. Sinead is going to be used and thrown away which is too bad because I like her. I hope she stays around though at the moment there's nobody to pair her up with. The only other one could be Jason but she's a little young though not really that much younger than Rosie was. Jason's been through everyone else on the Street!

Now we have Rob and Tracy in business together and, after bankrupting Peter, they get to use the betting shop as their pawn shop. Never mind the "reseller" type monikers. It is what it is. If Rob is as dodgy with this as he has been with things in the past, it could end up being a front for stolen goods. But wouldn't it be an ironic twist that they make a real go of it? It would be, but I highly doubt that will happen.

Not really a bad month, overall. If it wasn't for the Ryan/Katy/Chesney dullness and the racism storyline descending into a mess, it would have top marks from me.

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