Tuesday, 30 June 2015

State of the Street - June

Coronation Street for June served up death, tragedy, sadness and not a little foreshadowing of more of the same. We started the month with the aftermaths of the deaths of Kal and Maddie, one a hero and one far too young to die.

The Corrie PR machine overuses the word "reeling" but in this case, Alya's grief really is the epitome of the word. This young woman has already lost her mother to cancer and now losing her father so suddenly to an awful death in a firey explosion has sent her into a spin.  She's angry. She's looking for someone to blame. She's trying desperately to find a away to keep living but nothing is normal for her anymore.

The arms of her family hold no comfort so she pushed away the arms of the man she loves and reached out for the arms of someone else, instantly regretting it. Now she's added guilt to her grief and keeping the secret is only eating her up inside. You know she's going to crack, you know you're going to see Gary thump Jason. I do feel for Alya and in spite of her former dedication to her religion and upbringing, I do think this is not out of the realms of a realistic reaction to her grief.

I do find myself wishing we would see a bit more of the rest of Kal's family who seem to be carrying on as if nothing had happened, going to Ramadan family feasts etc. I suppose you have to temper the storyline so it's not all grief all the time so they're focussing on one of the Nazirs for this.

We've also got young Simon having to deal with losing yet another important person in his life and we're starting to see the effects that all of his losses have had on him. It was bound to happen and I'm glad to see them going down that road. The pressure of so much loss in that child's life has to have an effect. If you thought David Platt went off the rails after just one divorce and an attempt on his life by his stepfather, you just wait until Simon really hits his stride!

As the child of an addict, I reckon Simon will be strung out on heroin before he's 18 if he's still in the show. (his mother, living with an alcoholic father, Grandma Blanche, Grandma Deirdre, Kal, Leanne and Nick splitting up, Grandma Stella leaving, too!) He'll never be able to have a good relationship with a girl/woman because down deep he'll always be afraid they'll leave him.

And then there's Faye who did the right thing allowing her baby to be raised by the other grandparents and the baby's father, who seems to show far more interest than Faye herself was able to. We forget that Faye's mother was a drug addict and that Faye was neglected, possibly abused and shunted from care home to care home. It's going to be a lot tougher for her to bond with a child and she knows from experience what it's like not to be wanted. She wouldn't want her baby to have a mother that resents her.

It would be nice if she did keep in touch and got to know Miley as she grows up, perhaps grow to love her later as she herself matures but usually on a soap, it's "out of sight, out of mind". I loved how Tim was besotted and he's really come into his own as a dad, too. I did find that Anna was dangerously close to being a bully in all this, with a major set of blinders on until she couldn't deny the fact any longer. Faye is right, Anna refused to listen to her and how she felt.

One storyline I'm still really enjoying is the Rodwell one. Michael finally found out that Andy isn't Gavin. It was a brilliant scene to watch. Every page of the photo album turned showed pictures of a boy who was more and more evidently not the one sitting beside Michael. Gail sounding positively idiotic in the background, waiting for the inevitable and asking Andy if he had been in a accident (to explain the difference in his features!)

Michael was rightly furious and very rightly left Gail. That's a pretty big lie to keep from someone for whatever good intentions. I know Michael realized that he met Gavin and remembered how vile and resentful Gavin was towards him and he thought he might have been able to change Gavin's mind. I don't think that would have happened. If Gavin hadn't died, his mother would certainly have continued to enforce her lifetime of vitriol against Michael, ensuring Gavin would never have come round.

I felt bad for Andy, who grew to love Michael as a father. We don't know yet how this is going to come out in the long run but Michael is thawing towards Gail even though he's currently backing off after Gail's fight with Eileen. Gail did say some pretty stupid and insulting things about Michael. I wonder if this is going to push Michael and Eileen together? Could happen. I suspect Eileen is already growing feelings for him.

Another cheer from me now that Kylie's back. The David and Callum shenanigans has been deadly boring and Sarah's interjection into the mix hasn't made it any better. Not surprised Sarah would take up with David's worst enemy. That was probably the main attraction in the first place. It's clearly not love's young dream. She's pretty stupid if she can't see he's still dealing but she was never the smartest cookie.

Now I'm waiting for Kylie and David to team up and kick Callum back into the heap of garbage where he belongs. That's what will help the two of them get back together, them against the boogey man. It'll be tough for Max so he'll have to see Callum do something hurtful to his mother or something so he won't hold it against Kylie and David for making his dad go away. Callum may have genuine parental feelings but it's not going to end well.

With any luck, he'll be in prison for a long stretch but, seeing as it's a soap, I predict that Callum will be killed. In true soap fashion, it'll probably be either David or Kylie arrested for the deed because the real murderer always ends up being someone that's not a main character or, at an outside bet, it's an accident but I doubt that will be the case. Callum's a drug dealer. There could be a lot of potential killers. I figure the "expendable crew member" will be Kylie's friend, Gemma, in self defence likely. She's already expressed a healthy fear of Callum.

Dev, Julie, Talisa. Dull. Dev got himself into a romance of his own making, his own imagination and fancy turning into a one way crush. Talisa came across too good to be true and she never showed any evidence of a mutual attraction to Dev and we found out why that was. So why was she there? Why did she follow Dev from India? Was she just using him as the excuse she needed to leave her husband? Will we find out? Will we care?

This is all contrived to push Julie possibly back to Brian and out the door which is the real shame. Julie will be missed. I don't know if she'll leave with Brian or go on her own. I'd like to see her insist on her own independence rather than going back to Brian. She said that ship had sailed and I think it has. Julie doesn't strike me as the sort that would try to catch the ship again at the next port of call. It just wouldn't be the same. Travel the world, Julie, have adventures!

Finally, we saw Jenny crack into pieces. She lost her own son and latched onto Jack to fill the empty spot. She started off reluctant to look after him, probably because it hurt being near a child. She ended up using him  as a surrogate Tom, and decided to run away with him. It had to end badly, of course, but you watched and your heart broke for her. Sally Ann Matthews really did play this one brilliantly. I thought it was a great storyline.

It was a shame that the writers forgot that Kevin lost his own son 15 years ago and the fans really pulled them up on it. It could have added a very poignant angle to the storyline ending. They apologized publically and I think they won't forget that mistake in a hurry. They're going to wear that one for awhile but if it makes them a bit more careful with Corrie history, it'll be a good thing.

Nick-Carla-Erica. Not that interesting. Don't think Nick works with either woman for a long term relationship. Tony has gone underground after the whole reveal that he and Tracy tried to take over the Rovers. That's unresolved at the moment so that will have to come back into it. Still don't care why Todd does what he does. Glad to see Fiz back. Hope she doesn't get all shouty and hateful towards Cathy who clearly has problems. I'd much rather Roy just continue to be her friend but we shall see how it pans out.

Summer on Corrie seems to be revolving around Deirdre's upcoming death and Simon's spinning out of control. And so it goes.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015


Now, I'm not saying Faye should throw the baby out with the bathwater, not literally. But the suggestion has been brought up that the paternal grandparents take baby Miley and raise her themselves. Jackson's parents seem to be implying that Jackson also doesn't really care a lot and that they'd be doing all the work, much like Anna is in the Windass flat.

From the time she found out she was pregnant to this date, Faye really didn't want anything to do with the baby. She planned to have Craig leave the baby at the hospital doors anonymously so nobody would have to know she ever gave birth but it didn't work out that way (much to Craig's relief). Anna has been doing her best to support Faye and encourage her to bond with the baby but it's clearly been of no use. Anna's tired, stressed and angry and Faye is indifferent which only makes Anna more tired, stressed and angry. Something's got to give.

And give it did, at the christening and Tim realized that Faye really can't handle parenthood. He intially resisted the Hodges' suggestion that they take the baby but he sees Anna at the end of her tether and he knows how Faye feels. Tim would hate to give up the baby because he's besotted and isn't it a grand thing to see him so over the moon about little Miley? I love it! He would never let that baby go unless he was guaranteed to be a continuing part of her life.

This week, Anna will talk to the Hodges and Faye will be told what's going on. Anna is Faye's legal guarding but if Faye, as the baby's registered mother, wants to let the baby's father's family bring her up, I'm not sure Anna can stop it from happening. I'm really mystified why we haven't seen hide nor hair of Social Services since that one visit after the birth. They knew then that Faye was uncertain and you'd think they'd be following up. I hate when that sort of thing might be happening but it's in the background and we viewers know nothing about it. There's been no scenes, no references, nothing.

Never mind. I don't know at this date whether Faye will give the baby up or if she'll realize at the last minute that she does want the baby after all. I haven't seen any sign of it at all. There have been no secretive looks, no loving smiles when nobody's looking, and Faye has been resentful and impatient whenever she's had to be in charge of the baby for any reason. I really want this storyline to be different. I really want Faye to say to Anna, I do not want this child and I cannot care for her. Take her away.

I want Miley to be brought up by the Hodges. I do want Faye to see the baby, have visits and such and when she's older and more mature, she will grow to love the baby even if she's not the primary caregiver. That's ok. I don't want this to descend into a sentimental schmaltzy heart rending sobbing at the idea of giving the baby away and see Faye clutching the child out of Mama Hodge's arms with Anna looking triumphantly smug.

We'll know soon enough.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Let's talk about Simon

Let's talk about Simon Barlow.

The lad is going to be 12 next month and has had more tragedy in his short life than most soap characters have in a lifetime. The only one even close to his tragedy level might be Carla Connor or Leanne Battersby but it's far more damaging to a child. The adults can be termed "survivors". I fear Simon is going to be termed "damaged". We've started to see him having anger management issues, no, let's call that Rampant Rage syndrome (RRS), shall we?

We saw how trauma affected David Platt as he went through his teens and that was after only one divorce and an attempted murder. Let's have a look at the incidents that have happened to Simon, shall we?

At the age of five, his mother dies of cancer and his life is upset by having to live with a father he never knew, a father who was, at the time, a raging alcoholic who nearly burned down the flat with Simon in it one night. A raging alcoholic that interrupted the school nativity. (and it would prove no to be the last time that happened).

His father, Peter, gets together with Leanne who mothers the little boy but then his drinking drives her away. Lost mother #2. Ah, but Leanne is eventually persuaded to return because Peter has stopped drinking.

The tram crashes and Simon again nearly dies in a fire, trapped in Number 13 but is rescued by Jason. Peter nearly dies in the tram crash. It's touch and go for a few days but he and Leanne marry in hospital. Ah, but Leanne had been having an affair with her ex-husband, Nick and Peter finds out after Nick has been manipulating Peter into drinking again. Peter chucks out Leanne but she ends up being persuaded to stay after all. Simon probably thinks Peter has installed a revolving door at the flat by now.

Simon meets his maternal grandparents. You might think that's a good thing. Except after Peter's alcohol problem surfaces again, the grandparents try to take Simon away from Peter. They take the lad to Blackpool but when he overhears that they won't take him home again, he runs off and finds his way back on his own. Grandparents back off, never to be heard from again, and Peter stops drinking again.

His beloved Grandma Blanche dies.

Peter and Leanne are back together. Leanne gets pregnant. Yay! Leanne miscarries. Oh no! Peter starts an affair with Carla which comes out during a trial where Carla is has been charged with murdering her rapist, Frank. Leanne leaves again. Carla moves in. Leanne is determined to have custody of Simon because Peter is unstable and Simon hates Carla. She is also reconciled with her ex, Nick. Simon doesn't handle the conflict very well and gets hold of a bottle of wine that Carla sneaked in the house. Well, booze is always how his father handled anger and upset, right? Wakeup call for Peter who allows Simon to be with Leanne.

Simon grows to love Nick but he nearly dies in a car accident and is suffering brain damage that makes him tempermental. Leanne and Nick break up. Simon has lost another father figure.

Simon is bullied by Faye and Grace.

He meets another grandma, Stella, who nearly dies in a car crash, nearly dies in a fire and then leaves town shortly after his great-grandma Gloria. 

His Grandpa Ken left Weatherfield for a year and a half.

He even had a pet rabbit that died.

Simon eventually gets over his hatred for Carla though she's never his favourite person. Peter and Carla marry and Peter starts an affair with Tina shortly after. This doesn't bode well. Simon becomes very close to Tina who is helping out Carla (both before the affair and after it) by babysitting and hanging out with Simon who grows to love her. Tina is murdered and his father is arrested and goes on trial for her murder. Peter's affair with Tina and the stress of juggling two women have him back in the bottle again. When Tina is murdered, Peter is jailed and goes on trial. Peter loses Carla in the process and though he's found innocent, eventually, he leaves Weatherfield to start fresh. Simon has now lost his father.

Leanne takes up with Kal and he moves in. Simon grows to love Kal. You guessed it. Kal dies in a fire (this time, at least, Simon is not trapped in the fire!)

His anger is starting to be difficult for him to handle. He's lashed out once so far, throwing a tv remote control at Leanne's face after Kal's death. According to the spoilers, he's going to be held hostage with Leanne by one of her former clients (from when she was a hooker). He's also about to lose his beloved Grandma Deirdre.

All this in about a 7 year span of his young life. Fans complain that the powers that be don't seem to have Simon acting his age. He's crayoning cards for people, he's clinging on to them for dear life. Can you blame him? He's not had much of a childhood, he's probably experiencing a severe case of arrested development and I wouldn't be surprised if he hasn't already started picking the wings off insects for fun.

What's down the road for Simon? Will someone ever take that lad to get counselling? Will he surpass David Platt as the town tearaway? A child with that much anger already is doomed. I fully expect a storyline dealing with teenage alcoholism or drug abuse in Simon's near future. There is a genetic predisposition for addiction and with the things that kid has had to deal with, he's a prime candidate. Time will tell.

Monday, 1 June 2015

State of the Street - May 2015

What I liked this month:
Tony and Tracy and the attempt at the pub takeover
Jenny Bradley
Billy and Sean's relationship
The Victoria Court Fire in spite of the plot holes!

What I disliked:
The endless custody battle with David snarling at Callum and then feeling sorry for himself and Callum looking smug all the time.
Hate, Hate, Hate that Sarah is stupid enough to fall for his line and aggravate David even further by going out with Callum. Not impressed with her return so far.
Todd and his boring games. Get over it. And those whose life he's messing with? Don't forgive him this time. 

More custody battle tedium this month. David ran off to Liverpool with the kids but lost Max who called his real dad on the mobile Callum gave him. I would imagine Callum's paying the "pay as you go" fees as well. A brief mention by Sarah that David's father lives in Liverpool, it's just odd that Martin is almost never, ever mentioned. Why Liverpool, then? Because there's an airport there. Forget that Manchester has a much bigger one and David could have gone straight there and got on a flight. Liverpool does have a cheap airline that flies from there, I suppose.

And the next Mr. Obvious move was having Bethany mention one of David's past misdemeanors (Nick's accident) so that Callum could use it against David at the upcoming hearing in addition to David's running off with the kids in the first place. That wasn't illegal aside from pulling Max out of school though he could have called and said Max was sick.

Please can't this be over soon!? Kylie's back by the end of the month so let's hope that June is the ultimate showdown. And the way things are going, I wouldn't be surprised to find Callum being the next dead body with David, naturally, in jail for the crime. Not that he'd have done it of course, no. That's just the way it goes. The arrested person is never the guilty one. If Callum dies at some point it would likely be that Gemma because I don't think Macca has the cohones to do it.

Tony and Tracy were getting closer to owning part of the pub and it came down to the wire, didn't it? Tracy Barlow absolutely should not be allowed to own any part of the Rovers and I didn't think for a minute the powers that be ever intended for her to be! Tracy's devious plan was thwarted by Carla who offered to buy Liz's half instead of selling the whole what to "Travis, Ltd" aka Tony. So now, Tony owns half of the pub and Carla owns the other half, leaving Steve, Michelle and Liz to run it as management, or Liz, I suppose. I wonder whose name gets to be over the door now? I don't suppose it matters, Steve and Michelle hold the license and they still can, can't they? But will Liz move to Spain? Doubt it. Her dream of moving there with Tony is up in smoke, no pun intended considering how the end of that storyline came out.

Tracy let loose with a match and a blunt object, intent on making Carla pay for ruining her dreams because Tracy always blames other people for her own bad judgement. She didn't whack Carla and she didn't start the fire on purpose but that's how it turned out but she grabbed hold of Carla's second guess with both hands and she's going to have the whole neighbourhood turned against Carla before long.

Poor Carla must have nightmares about fire by now and this time she thinks it's her fault. Add to that the death of Kal and the serious injury to young Maddie and Carla is likely ready to throw herself back into the flames in despair. For all that fire and explosion, though, it seems to be only Carla's flat that is gone. Surely some of the others will have had some serious damage though Nick's is apparently just smoke-damaged. You may remember, that flat is owned by Dev though I donm't know if he still owns it or not. I think he does.

I fear Tony won't be long in Weatherfield now, now the affair and his dirty dealing is outed. I'd be surprised if he's there by the end of the summer. Tracy told Liz out of spite but I really hoped that Liz would tear some of Tracy's hair out. too shocked, I guess. Bev Callard was excellent in these scenes, from holding herself together through the wedding to smashing up everything breakable after, probably envisioning both Tony's and Tracy's face on the walls as targets. I am a bit surprised that Sean called Erica to come when she or her mother, i suppose, lives quite a distance when Eileen, Liz's mate, only lives a few doors down and might even have been out in the pub still at the reception, the one Steve and Michelle missed.

Roy and Cathy are slowly forging a friendship. Cathy seems very defensive and scared, kind of like a deer caught in the headlights, but perhaps that's more to do with trying to find her way since her husband has died. She's wary of Roy's motives though we know he doesn't have any beyond friendship. It will be interesting to see how this goes. We need storylines like this. Peaceful. Sweet. Please don't let her turn out to be another psycho. We've got enough of that with Tracy and Jenny though I am enjoying Jenny's storyline.

Jenny and Kevin's story is heating up, with Jenny more and more unhinged over Jack. Nobody believes Sophie's dire warnings that something is just not right with Ms. Bradley and by the end of the month, finally, Maddie discovers that Sophie was right when she catches Jenny in a black wig about to run away with Jack. Jenny wasn't just overprotective of Jack, she was getting more and more deluded that he was a child named Tom (hers? likely) and she had to protect him. From what? from whom? Only in Jenny's broken mind. Sally Anne Matthews is doing an excellent job, I think. With Maddie clinging to life as the month ended, Jenny doesn't know yet if her secret is safe. But there's also that phone message Maddie left saying Sophie was right about Jenny. She didn't elaborate but it's a clue.

I know they've done this storyline a dozen times over the years and that can get a bit tedious but this is one of the best of them all. Just my opinion. I suppose that's down to the chemistry and ability of the actors. I can remember when Claire had post-natal depression and met that mad Casey who then became obsessed with Ashley and baby Freddy while Claire was in hospital. But the difference was that Ashley would never have fallen for Casey in a month of Sundays and that whole storyline felt very contrived.

While it does seem a bit stupid that Kevin would be dumb enough to be blind to Jenny and not believe his daughter, we do know that Kevin isn't the sharpest tool in the box. If Sally had been the one to see Jenny's other side, Kevin likely would have believed her or at least have taken her a bit more seriously. It won't be long now until this one comes crashing to an end. I hope they can send Jenny to therapy and we can see her finding her way back. I would hate to lose her but I suppose that's probably too much to ask.

Faye continues to have disregard for her child which makes Anna despair. I do wonder where Social Services is? Faye hasn't been back to school so I assume she's keeping up with her school work at home. The Social were told that Faye didn't really want the child yet they have been nowhere to be seen and Anna's attempts at making Faye bond with the baby are quickly turning into bullying. Anna knows that Faye has continually been bullied at school so what does she do? Take the baby to Faye in front of all her school mates, including the bullies, and embarass her. Won't that make things even worse?

I am glad that Jackson and his family have got involved. I expect we may see them having the baby for some overnights, taking the pressure off Anna now and then. Wouldn't it be refreshing if they took the baby full time and just let Faye and Anna have access? 

If I was Faye, I'd be calling Social Services myself. The pregnancy storyline was good but this just makes me angry. I really don't want Faye to change her mind, I want that baby adopted out. Something different for a change. And it's pretty stupid that the writers haven't had Gail or Sarah tipped into this storyline somehow. Gail could be a good advisor to Anna and even if it wouldn't do much good, wouldn't Anna have asked Sarah to talk to Faye? Do the Powers That Be think we viewers are stupid? Don't answer that. It did seem kind of like Faye was softening a little by the end of the month though she's still not all that keen.

Eileen and Adrian and the phantom Jeff are getting on my wick, too, mainly because of Todd's interference. I really hate it when a "bad" character keeps doing nasty shit and never pays for it, at least not for long. They get forgiven over and over and Todd probably will this time, too, when what should really happen is that Eileen should wash her hands of her youngest son and ship him back off to London to face whatever it was that made him so disagreeable in the first place. If he's still blaming his family for him getting scarred for life, he's really got to get a life. That scar is barely noticeable.

Adrian seems like a really nice bloke and a nice fit for Eileen but as usual, she'll be a loser in love. Some characters on Corrie always seem to have that title and it's Eileen's lot in life, I think. People complain that she's bitter. Well, wouldn't you be?

Billy and Sean... Wasn't quite sure what to make of them at first. I do like each character individually. Billy is a really nice man with what sounds like a bumpy past before coming to terms with his calling. I like Sean, too but I'm wasn't quite sure they gelled as a couple or had much in common but when Billy admitted standing up to the Bishop about their relationship, it really overwhelmed Sean. Maybe that kind of committment could be the making of Sean.

It did seem to be the making of Billy who was a bit unsure of being out and up front about his relationships as it could jeopardize his career and that was difficult for Sean who has always been honest about his life and who he is. I think Billy likes that about Sean, too and it gave him the courage he needed. It's a tough spot to be in, for Billy, but I think he'll come out the other side with his career intact and maybe Sean and Billy's differences will help the other one grow.

The Gavin/Andy storyline has been back burner this month. Gail has more than that to worry about what with Sarah shagging the drug dealer and Nicky's cougar having a kitten. While I have enjoyed the Gavin/Andy part of this, Sarah's return so far has not impressed me though she's really acting pretty much as she always did, like a clueless kid. Bethany seems to have more on the ball than Sarah some of the time.

And finally, Mary's motorhome has been ousted. Therefore there must be an ulterior motive on the part of the Powers that Be. The motorhome does isolate Mary to an extent and it was always faintly ridiculous seeing this great behemoth parked around a corner here and there and even on the Street itself. Since the shop flat has been empty since Tim moved out, I expect that when Dev returns he'll install Mary there and she'll have a proper home. If he doesn't, he should.

Looking forward to June and I hope to see Kylie team up with David to kick Callum's butt. Jenny's storyline should be cresting soon and I think that will be good. I think I heard that Michael will be finding out the truth about Andy/Gavin so I'm looking forward to seeing that fall out. The aftermath of the fire, Kal's death and whatever Maddie's fate is going to be is going to roll on for a long time. I hope Eileen finds out about Todd soon except I fear that it will be a repeat of the last time they found out about his manipulations. By the fall, he will be back in the family's good graces. Bleh.

Overall, mostly a good month and June will be exciting too!

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