Sunday, 30 November 2014

State of the Street - November 2014

As expected, Peter's out of prison after Rob was exposed as the murderer. Nice twist having Tracy be the one to lead the police to him, albeit a selfish one since she was likely able to do a deal to get the stolen goods trafficking dropped. She might have used Amy as an excuse and that was probably part of it, to be fair. She's still not Mother of the Year but as Amy has grown older, Tracy seems to be able to relate to her better. But as per usual, Tracy won't take any blame or, in this case, let someone she loves (Rob) take the responsibility for his actions. She's got to blame someone else and this time it's Carla. Rob did it all for Carla, you see, so it's her fault, not Rob's for his own actions and decisions. This is why Tracy will never be redeemed. She won't take responsibility for her own actions and always needs someone else to blame for whatever stress she's under. It's also why Amy is starting to turn into a mini-Tracy, lying to make situations worse in order to get attention.

Peter really did think that Carla might forgive him and have him back. Realistically, down deep he probably knew she wouldn't, but I would assume he convinced himself otherwise as a prison survival instinct. It got him through those last few days and out the door but one final rejection and he ran for the hills. Or the sea. Portsmouth, anyway, where he's been before. I wonder if he still owns a betting shop there like he did years ago? Remember? He had Adam with him to help run it before Adam mysteriously ended up in Canada and needing his grandad to help when he got ill. Farewell Peter. I hope he comes back someday. Chris Gascoyne has been one of my favourite actors on the show.

Across the road, Tim is now learing to read, first with Anna's tutelage. Some may say that seems out of character for someone like Anna, not overly educated herself but why not? It seems to me that anyone that can read competently has the potential to teach someone else to read and almost all parents teach their kids their ABCs before they go to school, don't they? Tim would be too embarassed to go to an adult literacy class lest everyone find out and besides, having him do that on the sly wouldn't be as good a plot device so we have Anna teaching him and Sally suspecting an affair. And then, of course, it all comes out, Sally is quite supportive and now wants to take over as teacher and that will be a disaster if ever there was one. She's far too demanding and it will drive Tim crazy. I think it would be nicer if Maddie helped him. And in the last week of the month, after Sally found out about Tim, we've had nothing. No show of her helping him at all. I hope they don't let it die a pitiful death, with Tim suddenly reading, having had all the blood, sweat and tears over Dick and Jane in the background. But that's probably what will happen.

 As expected, the Windasses have to get out of their house but I'm surprised they ended up in the bookies' flat. Well, I'm not but I expected the corner shop flat which isn't any larger so I guess it doesn't matter. I forgot that Katy and Joseph live with Steph now, because I was on earth all those people fit in the house at Number 6 was baffling enough but now they're going to somehow stack them like cord wood in a pokey two bedroom flat? But it's at least marginally credible because Gary will be kipping on the sofa. I guess Izzy won't be visiting as often because the stairs will be difficult unless Owen carries her up. And, also as I expected, it leaves Number 6 free for Yasmeen and Shariff who have a really nice home already. Realistically, they'd never sell up and move to Coronation Street but again, plot devices must dictate and there will be new neighbours that get a cheap house at auction. It's not a good luck house, though. There have been a lot of deaths and bad things happen there. Any new tennant should really avoid it.

Gary's still sneaking around with Alya but that's bound to come out sooner or later especially since Leanne knows. You know what? I don't really care! I liked Gary and Izzy but I don't feel the spark with this pair. There doesn't seem to be a lot of spark between Kal and Leanne either. Leanne always worked best with a "bad boy" like Peter or that Danny Baldwin, remember him? Ohh, how about Leanne and Gavin? I bet that would light the Bistro up under Nick's backside!

Kylie's on drugs. Then she's not. Then she is again. Make up your mind, chuck. She tries to resist the temptation of her old life but her new one is laying on the guilt and stress and now that she's dipped her toe in the water, she can't seem to resist jumping in for a swim even if she's actually wallowing in a dirty old canal instead of a sparkling clean lake. Sorry. Got carried away with analogies, there. I know the actress will be going on maternity leave soon, probably just about at Christmas so I'm trying to figure out how that's going to play out. Rehab? Rock Bottom and then a healing visit to her sister Becky for a bit, leaving David holding the responsibility for the kids? Or will she go off with Callum and come back after her mat leave, tail between her legs, all strung out and wanting help? Because of Max and Lily, he'll take her back, you know he will.

And then there's Gail, Michael and the prodigal son, Gavin. Michael's on medication for his heart condition. I half expect a transplant at some point, for extra drama. Gavin has turned up and understandably is hesitant about getting to know his father again. God knows what his mother told him over all those years. And speaking of his mother, he was very cagey when people asked about her. He's got the markings of a bad'un though and he's got his own secrets. I reckon he spent time in jail during that spell that David said there was no sign of him when he was doing an internet search. What was he in jail for? He certainly liked the idea that Gail must have savings and Audrey owns a business as well so he could very well be yet another con man out to fleece the McInPlattBerts clan somehow. Only Gail doesn't have much money, does she? We know David bought the house because Gail lost all her money to Lewis. Anything he paid for the house would have paid off the money she borrowed against the house for the last con man. She hasn't really discussed finances with Michael.

We viewers are feeling really bad for Steve, who is really struggling. He can't talk to anyone and he can't pull himself out of his depression, not without help, help that he can't accept he needs yet. He can't concentrate, can't sleep, He's doing anything he can to distract himself. I can't blame him for spending time in the Bistro. Steph is jolly and cheery and has no expectations of him while Michelle just keeps ragging on Steve making him feel worse. Michelle is sure he's gone off her and the world revolves around her. He won't talk to her so that's it, it's her, not him. He can't tell her what's wrong so she sees no other way but to leave him and he lets her go. He did get diagnosed but he still can't talk to anyone, not even his mother because when he tried, she tore a strip off him, too. He's retreating into himself further and further. It's going to be a painful story to watch, but a very good one.

It was a bit of a stretch, that telescope taking years to get to Norris from Australia, wasn't it? The only thing that irked me is that Norris aka the writers made it sound as if Ramsay sent it before he died, "to make amends". Except Ramsay died on the plane en route back to Oz. Unless it was in his will, which it certainly could have been, he didn't send it himself. If he'd wanted Norris to have it, he could have brought it to England himself when he came so that option's off the table, too. Anyway. It's the little things, isn't it? And having said that, that whole storyline with Norris chasing a parcel that he only had to ask be delivered to the Kabin rather than chasing the delivery man around day in and day out was ludicrous and extremely painful to watch. The only brilliant bit was that scene where the little guy in the depot held all the cards and shut the office up in Norris' face because he didn't have ID and it was closing time! Excellent stuff! The other good outcome was finding out Craig was an astronomy fan and him helping Norris with a tablet app. Anything with Craig in it lately is just lovely. I hope they show a bit more of his friendship with Faye, too!

We had a visit from Cilla who was uncharacteristically restrained. Chesney was bitter and cynical, and he's probably right in that she only came back because she was ill but she really did seem to have a reality check when she realized what her children thought of her. I think she really did have a few regrets and accepted that she got what she deserved. Still, she was only there to facilitate the exit of Jennie McAlpine (Fiz) for her maternity leave. I enjoyed seeing her again, and it was good that she wasn't over the top but still showed flashes of the old, selfish Cilla now and then. I think it's good that they have progressed her a bit now that she's older.

And that's the State of the Street in November. We're scooting up to the big Christmas storylines. I wonder if anyone will have a Merry one? You can pretty much bet the Platts won't!

Friday, 28 November 2014

Gavin's a wrong'un. But what's his secret?

It was pretty clear that Gavin Rodwell  was going to be a wrong'un. Soaps are not produced to have happy reunions and happily ever after, especially for a family like the Platts. Yes, at the moment, I'm including Michael in that family.  Over on the Coronation Street blog, a couple of people have made comments guessing that Gavin isn't really Michael's son.

They were right.

Not only is he not of Michael's DNA, as in, Michael's ex had an unfortunately timed affair, but  this man that calls himself Gavin Rodwell is someone else entirely. That is a brilliant twist! Has it been done before? Of course it has. But I still like the idea. And thinking about it, there had already been signs.

Gavin, when questioned about his mother, was very cagey, changing the subject. Obviously, if he wasn't the real Gavin, he wouldn't know much or anything at all about Michael's ex. Gavin was touted by his ex-girlfriend, the manager of the wine bar, as being a dab hand with cocktails but the man we saw on our screens didn't know his martinis from his cosmos.

 He seemed reluctant to get too close to Michael. On the surface, that could have been attributed to a son, long abandoned by a father, who wasn't so sure he was ready to forgive but in reality, it's actually a man who doesn't want anyone to get to close lest they discover he's not who he says he is.

We know he's not Gavin, now. Gavin's travelling and out of touch somewhere. Could this man be a roommate, a good friend, a cousin or half brother perhaps, or even a partner? He genuinely seems to live at the flat and Gavin's mail is arriving because we saw the man looking at it one night. This man is unemployed and it sounded like he was looking for money but then he looked embarassed to take Michael and Gail's offering.

He even seems like a nice bloke, so far. There's been none of those private sneers when nobody's looking. Here's what I think: Maybe he's been scoping Michael out on behalf of Gavin, perhaps trying to protect his friend from someone that he thought might have been insincere or out to fleece Gavin and now realizes that Michael is the real thing and maybe not the monster that Gavin has always thought he was.  He actually seemed quite worried when he found out about the heart condition and tried anxiously to get hold of Gavin. That felt like the concern of someone who is close.

I applaud The Powers That Be for revealing this straight away rather than letting us stew for a couple of months. Now we get to watch the oncoming train knowing the bridge is out and there's nothing we can do to stop the derailment. Let's just hope this doesn't deal Michael that heart attack he's got floating around the edges before he gets his heart  condition sorted!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

State of the Street - October 2014

There were two main storylines this month, Peter's Trial leading to Rob's confession and Kylie's slide down the slippery slope.

In the lead up to the trial, Jim and Peter were dancing around each other like two dogs about to go to war but Jim needed to keep on the good side of Liz. He'd promised to keep Peter safe in exchange for Liz's visits. One slip, and he'd lose the tenuous hold he'd had on her. But Tony found out and he gave her an ultimatum. You don't give Liz anything that even smells of an ultimatum and she not only tore a strip off Tony but one off Jim just for good measure. Tony left her but they started sniffing around each other within days, both too stubborn to make the first move so you knew they'd get back together in the end.

Just her luck that they no sooner get back together when Tracy is arrested for perverting the course of justice, (more about that in a minute) and there's every chance Tony could get done for fencing stolen goods. Liz isn't going to stand for that and she told him so!

Time for the trial. I don't know where they got that jury. Even though there was some damning evidence, there was also evidence that should have raised reasonable doubt and not just because Carla said she thought he was innocent. Even though we didn't hear testimony that Deirdre washed the bracelet so that any subsequent fingerprints could not possibly point to a murderer, the fact that Peter didn't have blood on his clothes from any murder weapon should have done the trick. But as it's a soap, he's guilty until Rob can be busted.

And busted he will be. He buckled under the force that is Carla and confessed that he killed Tina and expected her to keep the secret, hoping her loyalty to him would be more than doing the right thing and not letting someone be jailed for something he didn't do. I figured Carla would be the one to bring Rob down though I didn't expect him to confess. I thought she'd figure it out but she got the wrong end of the stick and thought it was Tracy that did it. Anyway, it comes right down to the wedding day which started on Wednesday October 29 but concluded on Halloween.

(There's a lot more about the wedding here)

It's been a good storyline even if the original Peter-Tina affair was a bit hard to believe. I still found it easier to get on board with than I did Kevin and Molly, though. I've enjoyed watching the twists and turns and it will be a pity we have to lose Marc Baylis but that's soap law. He's got to pay for what he did and if he does a runner, he'll get caught eventually.

In the meantime, we get to watch with glee as Tracy's world crashes down around her. That's two weddings in a row that tanked. She might not want to try for a third. She's such a bitch that when karma finally bites her, we all enjoy it. Kate Ford has come a long way and Rob and Tracy had very good chemistry together, testament to the acting as well as the writing.

Meanwhile, Steve feels like his father used him to get to his mother and just when Jim thought he was close to being released to an open prison, meaning a bit more freedom, Steve nailed that door shut, reporting him for having a forbidden phone and harassing his mother. Busted and it's goodbye to Jimmy Mack. I did enjoy seeing him again. I always thought that he was a great character and he and Liz, aka Charlie Lawson and Bev Callard and also Simon Gregson, all three crackle with chemistry on screen.

Meanwhile, Steve is sinking into depression but everyone just thinks he's off in cloud cuckoo land, Planet Steve, his mother says and neither his mother nor Michelle, who would be the ones that know him best, spot that there's anything out of the ordinary wrong with him. It's going to be an interesting storyline, watching Steve battle depression.

Now over to Kylie's predicament. She really went off the rails, didn't she? Some might say it came out of nowhere when she'd been showing so much responsibility and maturity. But she still had an edge and was still volatile. The crisis with Max hit her hard with a great, big dollop of guilt. She knew she was a rubbish mother when he was little and decided his ADHD condition was all her fault and she wasn't coping well with his antics.

Now we find out that she used to be into drugs as well. It really didn't strike me as a ret-con because I could fully believe that she ran with a wild set. Becky did as well. And if she did drugs while pregnant, that's even more reason to feel guilty. She said she didn't while she was pregnant but there's always that first month or two when you don't realize you're up the duff and that's the time when drugs and alcohol do the worst damage to a baby. It's also possible Max inherited the gene from his father who turns out to be a really handsome drug dealer. He looks more like a pop star! Never mind.

I like that they're writing Kylie as conflicted, trying to live up to everyone's expectations, trying to handle the guilt but failing. She never did have a lot of self confidence and though she's trying hard, and doesn't want to lose her family, she's slipping. She has to, because the actress is going on maternity leave so we'll not have her on screen for awhile. Maybe she'll be in rehab or maybe she'll go to Becky to clean up leaving poor David reeling. Who'd have thought he'd get so mature?

The odious Cilla is back but she's changed. She still has a gob and she still hasn't got much tact but she's subdued and in pain a lot of the time. She's been brought down off her high horse. She realized what her children really think of her and knows it's all her fault. I guess it's a good thing Tyrone and Fiz built that room up in the loft! At least they have somewhere to put her until she goes back to Wolverhampton because she will. And Fiz will go with her because that actress is also going on maternity leave. I know some of you will be saying it's a personality transplant but I think Cilla had a big, bad reality check and that really snapped her former brashness out of her quite a lot.

Chesney is still bitter and resentful and you can understand why. Fiz is a mother now and she always was the more responsible one, having to look after Chesney because her mother was useless. I think she has a bit more sympathy because she always could take care of herself. Chesney was only a kid and left to his own devices, or put in care when Fiz was too young to take responsibility for him. She treated him pretty badly and he was a sensitive little boy, unlike Fiz who grew a tough hide. Fiz might be able to forgive her mother, but if Chesney ever does, it will be a longer time coming. It's interesting, though. I liked to hate Cilla and this is a different side of her but I think it's believable, too.

We had a nearly Windass-free month except for Gary and Alya mooning over each other. Is it me or are they really boring together? I like her, she's certainly got a mind of her own but I just can't see any sparks between them. It's interesting how Tim and Kevin are starting to become mates, and fun because it really annoys Sally! It's been a mostly Sophie and Maddie-free month too aside from a few episodes where we discovered that Tim can't read very well at all. I do like the chemistry and mutual respect between Maddie and Tim. I kind of feel like they're kindred spirits somehow. Really enjoying the character of Tim, too.

Who else has been in the cupboard... Nick, we've not seen much of him, nor have we seen much of Leanne and Kal though Kal is dealing with his resentful son, Zeedan. Can't blame him for taking against Leanne. On the surface, with her past, she doesn't look like a very good candidate, does she? We haven't seen much of Dev and Julie after an initial little spark between them but I think that's going to be persued, with poor Mary feeling pushed aside in the process. Careful, Julie, You don't want to make an enemy out of her!

November should see Rob dealt with one way or another as everyone else gets their head around the fall out. Kylie and David's story will have a few more twists and Steve's storyline will take more focus.

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