Saturday, 28 February 2015

State of the Street - February 2015

I'm sorry for missing out on January's State of the Street but it couldn't be helped. Let's get on with February's wrap up shall we?

I love that Craig has made friends with Faye and he's her confidante. She needs a friend and he would be as faithful as a good dog. It's a good thing, too because she discovers she's 7 months pregnant!!! Yeah, Yeah, I know. Done it before with Sarah Lou. I know they can't not duplicate basic plotlines but it's hard to swallow when they do it with something "sensational" like a 12-13 year old getting pregnant. Anna will be as supportive as Gail was with her daughter when she finds out. This time, the trick is that Faye got so far along before it is discovered and Anna is too preoccupied by the return of Owen's ex-wife to really notice. Faye worries about being fat and is being bullied but even with that Anna really isn't paying a lot of attention, which Faye is quite happy with at the moment, not wanting to reveal her secret. It's going to come out one way and another!

Ga'Andy and Steph are a cute couple even if they have to duck and dive and keep their secret from Michael. Even after his operation, there's still reasons why they can't come clean. I do like them as a couple and I do like Ga'Andy a lot. He's a nice bloke that got hoisted by his own petard, so to speak and he's in so far he can't find a reasonable way out. Problem is, he really likes Michael, probably growing to love him where his own father was apparently crap. The real Gavin always said how awful his dad was but Michael has changed since he left Gavin's mother. I'm anxious to meet the real Gavin because he's clearly going to be a wrong'un and the complete opposite of Andy. He has to be, it wouldn't be dramatic enough if he turned out to be a good guy, too, and we've already heard stories that shade his demeanor darkly. Apparently he's going to turn up in a matter of days, now, to start March off with a bump.

Sinead probably won't be paralysed and she does have feeling in her legs. But she's got a long way to go and a hard slog to work her way back up on her feet. At least she forgave Roy (though really, she doesn't have to forgive him. He didn't do anything *to* her. A bit sanctimonious really.) and she did apologize, and it was nice that what she said seemed to help Roy turn the corner. He was finally ready to spread Hayley's ashes and he's going to try to learn to drive. But Chesney isn't taking it well and he's so stressed that he looks miserable all the time. Which isn't much of a change from normal. I hate the way he's really taking it out on Steve. Someone mentioned that Steve shouldn't have let the joyriders wind him up else they'd have left him alone after the first encounter and ok, I'll concede that point but the actual accident really was just that. They cut Steve off and he swerved to avoid hitting them. I still wouldn't put the blame on Steve and the police never charged him, either.

David keeps tearing his hair out and bitching that Kylie left him. I wish someone would remind him that he chucked her out and she's not strong enough to try to come back yet. She's drifted further and further away while Callum is lurking closer and closer. Now he's threatening to get custody of Max and meanwhile, is really winding up David and tormenting him with packages and "errands". I really don't think Callum wants to look after a kid full time. He might be curious enough to want to get to know Max but I'm pretty sure he'd prefer to leave the hard parenting to David but he's not going to make it easy for David. Surely if and when Kylie finds out what Callum is trying to do, that will bring her back. You know she doesn't want Callum to have Max, after all.

And Owen's ex-wife has finally shown up, wanting to get to know her adult daughters. It turns out she had an affair and Owen threw her out and then lied to the kids about why their mother left. Linda was a long time figuring out that she could come back and face him, though. She did mention herself that she regretted not going through the courts to get access to the kids. I think we all wondered why she never did that, just legged it out of town and gave up. Once the girls found out, they turned on their father and slowly seem to be accepting their mother back into their life. I'd still harbour some resentment there, though. She'll have been gone nearly 20 years. It's easy to handle parenting when your kids are grown adults. With Anna and Owen continuing to be at odds over what Gary did and Owen thinking Gary dumped Izzy when we all know he did nothing of the sort, this is going to cause further ructions.

Steve is starting to make his way back to his old self but it's going to take a lot of time and he still has a lot of stuff to face up to. The crash was one thing, but don't forget he was spending like mad, taking money from Streetcars and probably ignoring the bills from the pub, too. He's likely in pretty dire straits, financially. Steve seems to be putting on a front a lot of the time, still feeling pretty hollow inside but the meds and councilling must be doing something because he didn't even have the energy and spirit to do that much a few months ago. I know Michelle has berated herself for not seeing the problem earlier. I wonder if we'll ever hear her regret insulting him and making fun of him back when he was first going back to night school. Probably not.

Tracy and Tony are now in business and all of a sudden out of nowhere, after Tony and Tracy both insisting their romp was a one off mistake, she hops on his lap and it's back on full on. Wha'??? He's got his fingers into her business, literally and figuratively (sorry!) and this can only end badly. From what I understand, Tony has always been a womanizer and it's the thing that Eileen dumped him over back in the day so I guess it makes more sense even if he's telling Tracy that Liz is The One.
Todd has been up to his old ways and that seems to have come out of the blue, too, after he seemed to be on a more even keel but he's using Tony against Jason, making him think Tony and Eva are having it off. I don't think he really believes it, but he just wants Jason to think so. He's jealous of Jason. He probably whines to himself that Mom Loves Jason Better. And the way Todd has been behaving since he came back is it any wonder? Still, it makes him interesting to watch if not a little frustrating! His latest efforts broke up Eva and Jason and I'm surprised nobody noticed his involvement considering they should have been more suspicious due to his not so distant past manipulations.

And we have a return of a native, Jenny Bradley, who's dating Kevin Webster. She has grown up and seems to have regrets but Rita has no time for her. Nice to see her and it's a good storyline so far, unfinished business and regrets. I wonder if she really has changed? She did talk about a messy divorce. Why would that be? I guess we'll find out!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Linda Armstrong's return, Falling flat for me

First off, you're right. There was no State of the Street for January because my PC packed up just before the end of the month. I had a document saved that had all my thoughts and I can't get to it. No point in reviving it when I get the data copied over to a new machine so we'll just skip January. February's State will be posted, though, at the end of the month.

Now that's out of the way.

What I really wanted to write about was the current storyline with the Wind-Strongs and the return of the native, Linda Armstrong as was.

A bit of back story: From what we've been told to date, Owen's ex and the mother of his two children abandoned the family when Katy was a baby, a toddler perhaps. She has no memory of her mother at all. Izzy, a few years older, remembers her mother. She had just been diagnosed with the syndrome that has disabled her and mainly keeps her in a wheelchair. She, as most children do, thought her mother left because of something she did or because of her illness. Her father, greatly hurt at his wife's departure, allowed her to think that and stepped up to the plate to be as good a dad for his girls as he could. He might be a bit strict, a bit over protective of Izzy and a lot rough around the edges, but his daughters knew he loved them very much.

Still, Izzy grew up feeling guilty that she was the reason her mother left. She's got confidence and a lot of bravado but some of that is to cover that insecurity and guilt.

Now, out of the blue, Owen's ex, Linda has appeared. She has decided she wants to get to know her daughters. That's an uphill battle with Owen doing everything he can to undermine her with Katy and Izzy. Katy, though, doesn't have that guilt and was too young to remember her mother leaving. Katy wants to get to know her mother. Izzy is horrified and has too much resentment and guilt to want anything to do with her mum.

But now the truth comes out. Right from the start of her visit, we the viewers could see that there's more to this story than meets the eye and recently, Linda told her girls the truth. She took Izzy's diagnosis badly, had an affair with her boss and left. She soon regretted her actions and wanted to come back but Owen wouldn't let her. He wouldn't even let her see the girls and returned every card, gift and letter she ever sent. He was determined, mainly due to his own heartbreak, that they would either forget her or see her as the villain of the piece. Katy and Izzy believed their mother's story, mainly, I think, because she said she had the proof of the returned letters and cards. Katy has the added experience of something similar, having a fling with Ryan Connor when she was with Chesney but it didn't mean she couldn't be a good mother and Chesney agreed to that concept.

Owen is now the villain of the piece and Izzy's reaction in particular is heart-rending. She accused him of letting her feel bad about herself so that he could be the hero. That's how she sees it and even if he wasn't thinking that specifically, that is in effect what he did. And the truth hurt. Good! I hollered at the telly. You deserve what you get. It's a big betrayal, isn't it? It is going to be difficult for the girls to forgive this one in a hurry. Maybe they never will or if they do, it will be a long time coming.

The storyline, as a whole, is good soap fodder. But I do have one thing that dissatisfies me. Suspending disbelief, I can accept that even though Owen has lived in two different homes since he left the family home where Linda would have lived, Linda was able to find them with no problem. Presumably she either asked at a nearby business and we didn't see it on screen or there is information online available that she could find or even more likely, there are still relatives in the area she could contact. The thing that makes it a bit more difficult to buy into the storyline is that I don't think I like the actress that plays Linda, or at least, don't like the way she's playing it.

I have no previous experience of the actress and don't know if this is her usual acting style. It seems to me she's a bit too bland and low key. She's not really getting shouty and angry like I thought she would, fighting back against Owen's bullying. She's not cowering but she's not putting a lot of obvious anger in her reactions either. It doesn't even come across as an under-the-lid simmering, like someone really trying to hold it in, avoiding losing their temper else be reduced to his level. It just doesn't feel like anything at all. She ought to have eyes a-snapping and teeth gritting, telling him in no uncertain terms where to go and where to shove his attitude. She doesn't have to scream and shout, but I would think most women in that position would be a bit more passionate in their response, too. It doesn't feel realistic in my view.

The other issue I have with this is another reality point. I read a comment on the Coronation Street Blog and fully agree. Why didn't Linda ever try to gain access via a solicitor? There was no reason for Owen to withdraw access to the children. Was she an abused spouse? Was she afraid of him? Did it take her this long to return because he had browbeaten the confidence out of her? It can take some people a long time to work their way through it and get the confidence and strength to face their past fears. We haven't been told that was the case but seeing Owen's temper and sometimes violent outbursts, could that be the case? It would at least make more sense as to why she finally fled and didn't take legal action.

I do think the reactions of Katy and Izzy are spot on. Katy has been cautiously giving her mother a chance, a small foot in the door but ready to shut it if her mother didn't manage to say the right things. Izzy has been resentful and defensive, with grief and guilt mixed together, trying desperately to keep her walls up and armed. Now, finding out what Owen did, Izzy is crushed. Katy is furious because she can identify with her mother to an extent and she's protective of Izzy, too. Anna is just shocked and I do agree, that Owen's showing signs of never having got over his hurt, it's resurgence a worrying sign that he could still be teetering on that love/hate borderline.

Without spoiling it, I do know the end result of all this but it will be interesting to see the rest of it play out, including watching the girls finally get to know their mother.

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