Sunday, 31 July 2016

State of the Street July 2016

Kylie's dead! In a media onslaught, the week or so before the event, ITV released a whopper of a spoiler and  revealed that Kylie Platt was going to die. We knew Paula Lane was leaving the show and as far as we knew, Jack P. Shepherd was not so nobody could figure out how she would be leaving. It didn't seem likely she'd leave her family voluntarily again so now that we knew she'd die, it made sense. But how did she die? That was the question and speculation was rife.

I won't go into the episode where she died in too much detail, I've already done that here. I only have to add a few more observations about the way they filmed it. I've seen criticism about there not being very many people around or traffic for that time of evening (the EMTs declared her dead just before 5 or 6 p.m., without going to check, I forget which). In the real world, of course the street would have been busier. But this is television and that's not the story they wanted to tell. The shrank it down to focus on David and Kylie, family, one or two friends and the people who had other involvement in the story.

Sally is Gail's best friend. Freddie was Kylie's newest friend and a friend to Audrey. Gail had to be there for her son. Roy is the local first aider but you could see his face drop when he saw Kylie. He knew there was no hope. The few we did see during and just after were shocked to their core, breathless with the profound tragedy of a young woman dying from such senseless violence. Guilt from Craig over what could have been done to prevent it. Relief from Beth that her son didn't try to be a hero and get hurt himself. And Gail's recollection of her own role having to tell her child when his father was killed in a similar manner, urging David to make sure his children understood. It was heartbreaking.

The death was shocking and the aftermath was interesting to watch. Would David go right off the rails? No, he actually held it together, for his kids and for the family but it was eating him up inside.  Jack P. Shepherd had grown up on the show and turned into a real powerhouse actor and his performances this month as he reels in shock and tries to pick up the pieces of his life were superb.

What will happen to Max now? I do hope David goes ahead and adopts him or else Callum's mother might get her hands on him, as Max's only living blood relative aside from baby Harry. I should think if it ever did go to court, they would understand that it would be important to leave Max with the only family he has ever known, close to his sister and baby brother.

Leanne jumped into bed at the end of June and the identity of said man was not revealed to the viewer. Could it be Nick? Robert? Those were the two most likely candidates by all accounts but there's a third man thrown in that mix. It would never have been Zeedan, that was always a big, fat, red herring.

A couple of times in the week before we saw Leanne and Steve chatting which was a bit unusual. They've known each other nearly 20 years but have never really been anything more than acquaintances but with Steve and Michelle "on a break" over her near-fling with Will, Steve turned to Leanne's friendly shoulder. Nothing weird there, you say? Ah, but nothing on a soap happens without reason and that was the clue to the unseen mystery man.

Yep, Steve is the father which makes me laugh. Both times he was "on a break" in the past, once from his marriage to Karen and once from Becky, he had one night stands with Tracy. Tracy never expected to be able to get pregnant because of her kidney but both times she did. Amy was the first result and twins, sadly miscarried, were the second while his serious  attempts at daddyhood with Becky were fruitless. It turned out she was unable to carry a pregnancy though she could conceive. The same thing happened with Karen.

Here's another one night stand for Steve with a woman who didn't think she'd be able to get pregnant or carry a baby successfully. Super Sperm Steve to the rescue just when he's getting back together with Michelle and it looked like Leanne might reunite yet again with Nick (don't get me started on that one!). Leanne is determined to go through with the pregnancy if at all physically possible. Of course, coincidentally, Michelle wants to get pregnant, too, something she was dead set against up until now. And of course, she'll find out about Leanne. That sort of thing always comes out eventually. Whether she has her own baby remains to be seen but there's a very good chance they'll end up pregnant at the same time.

Doubtless, the stress of all that will NOT actually send Steve back into a bout of depression which would be realistic but he'll be twitching and gurning through the next 9 months with Liz shouting and glaring at him from behind the bar. Not a bad thing, I love Liz!

Phelan keeps trying to get his hands on Jason's bank account and continues to be thwarted by Eileen even though she doesn't realize she's in the thwarting business. He's playing a long game, however, and is determined to find a way but both a returned Michael and a suspicious Todd are both keeping an eye on him. Todd might be a bit distracted, though, now that he and Billy have admitted their attraction to each other once Billy and Sean have split up.

Bethany has continued to be bullied and has ruined her GCSE tests because of that and all the upset at home. It's too bad. Young people on Corrie rarely seem to get to university for one reason or another, even the ones that have potential or are even accepted at a school. I have high hopes for Craig. I hope he doesn't let me and his mother down! I know something will happen to give Bethany relieve and triumph over the bitches but I can't think what it will be at this point unless they finally just get bored and turn on someone else.

Sally and Tim continue to delight me. I loved Sally and Yasmeen's ongoing feud. It seemed like Yasmeen was still having a hard time dealing with Kal's death so turned her focus on Sally who was mildly irritating as a neighbour. Yasmeen seemed to decide to put her energies into making Sally look a fool and causing all kinds of trouble. The fun part of it was that often Sally would come out on top and Yasmeen's dirty little tricks would be foiled. It all culminated in Yasmeen holding a rival party which flopped and her subsequent invasion of Sally's party caused an uproar over the Mayor's dog. It all led to the two neighbours finally finding common ground and making peace.

Simon's not an angry child anymore. In fact, he's so completely changed that it feels like the powers that be have completely forgotten his previous anger issues. Counselling is good but is it really a miracle worker? It was with Simon who is helpful, cheerful and a lovely young man with absolutely no spark of temper in the least, even when you would have expected a flicker or two with a subsequent scene of him trying to control and get over the anger as he had been taught in his sessions.  When Leanne told him she was pregnant and wouldn't say who the father was, didn't anyone else expect him to lose his nut and accuse her of being a slag and as slut like he did last year? I still say that kid is going to end up going off the rails by the time he's 18.

Caz's lies were discovered and Kate has finished with her. I've never bought into that relationship, nor were we meant to. It was all a long game to get Kate and Sophie together but it's not over yet. Caz is desperate to win Kate back and she's woven Maria into her web of lies, playing the sympathy card. To tell you the truth, this storyline has been dull as ditchwater though I do have to say I like the actresses playing Caz and Kate quite a lot and would have liked Caz and Kate's ups and downs if it hadn't been so blatant that they were going to split them up and put Kate together with Sophie right from the start. That's not a bad thing, mind you. Sophie has become so dreary over the years that someone fun like Kate is just what she needs to bring some fun into her young life again. Let's just hope it doesn't have the opposite effect and Sophie doesn't drag Kate down into dreary-dom instead.

Jenny and Johnny may be considering a reboot of The Spy Who Loved Me! They're on and off and on again all month, including an unseen shag on the factory floor apparently. We only got to see the big kiss by the sewing machine. They're going to keep things under wraps and Jenny is going to be Johnny's eyes and ears with the rest of the staff. This is more like the old Jenny of long ago. Mischievous and a bit scheming, liking the challenge. It feels like she's back to her old self again and she's going to be fun to watch.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Friday, 15 July 2016

RIP Kylie Platt

I've just finished watching two very emotional episodes of Coronation Street. I don't think I've seen better performances all year.

As I speculated yesterday, Kylie got stabbed while defending Gemma from Clayton. I was leaning towards David being threatened but it was Gemma after all and the yobbo tried to rob the shop after Gemma gave him short shrift earlier on, full of the confidence that Kylie'd given her. He returned, tried to rob the shop and Gemma wrestled him out the door, getting knocked unconscious for her trouble but Kylie came charging around the corner to help her old mate and got it in the chest. No surprise that Clayton was carrying a deadly looking knife. His sort usually do.

I thought, Oh heck, that stab wound is right at the area of the heart, she won't last long. Surprisingly, it wasn't instantaneous and she had enough time to tell David everything she wanted to tell him, pouring her heart out with his tears washing her face. That sounds so dreadfully theatrical, doesn't it? My tears were flowing, too, I am not afraid to admit.

It seemed to take forever for the ambulance to come. But wait, she fell about 30 feet from the medical centre. Surely they have doctors in there? I don't think they could have done much either, but perhaps they could have eased the pain a little if nothing else.

When she died and David howled, I gasped and was in floods. I've seen the best performance from Jack P. Shepherd in particular tonight and I've seen Jack P. Shepherd put in some mighty ones over the years.
All around, everyone was amazing. Between Gail's heart breaking for her son and the daughter in law she grew to love to the neighbours being profoundly shocked. Roy attempting to help but seeing there wasn't a thing he could do. Craig feeling horribly guilty that he didn't do more when it kicked off. We all know he's just a kid himself and I bet Beth is thanking all the Gods and Goddesses her son didn't try to be a hero. I hope he can help and be a credible witness but Gemma survived so she will be able to tell the police Clayton's name.

I'm also very glad that Gail brought up the similarity to Brian Tilsley's death and how she made a mess of telling Nick about his father. Nick was about the same age as Max and Sarah Lou was probably close to Lily's age. Gail is going to have flashbacks about that one for some time to come. She admitted she didn't handle telling Nick the right way and urged David to be very clear about Kylie's being dead, not just gone away. I think he did a pretty good job. He did tell the children she was dead though in heaven waiting for them. There may or may not be a Heaven but children don't have to think about that aspect.

This is the kind of Coronation Street that we fans want. I know they can't do high emotion like this all the time, but it's what they do so well. When we see the mundane and the rushed, the over-sensational and the underwhelming, we get frustrated because we know it can hit these stupendous heights of greatness. And it was great. Top stuff.

David has to find a way to carry on. He's got kids to keep him going, often that's the only thing that gets a person through something like this. I expect he'll go off the rails at some point, raging against the night in his grief.

Well done to all involved. Rest in Peace, Kylie.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Thursday, 14 July 2016

More Kylie Speculation

The last blog post here was speculation on how Kylie will die. I'll admit, and it was obvious, that my guesses were all in fun. This time, I'm using my imagination and educated guesses based on soap cliches and laws.

Let me say right here and now, I have absolutely no idea how Kylie will die. ITV are being very cagey about it, even in future spoilers. I do wish they hadn't spoiled that she was going to die at all but they did and cats that are out of the bag cannot be put back in.

Soaps follow a pattern, and there are clues you can follow if you want to guess what's going to happen. There's the Phrase of Doom where someone expresses hope for the future, or how happy they are, or how happy they are together and will be together forever. Uh oh. That's it, they're doomed. Something's going to happen and it isn't going to be pretty.

If someone faints, they're usually pregnant. All sorts of situations that are unusual pop up which are out of character or out of the ordinary. You can bet they're contrived as a means to an end. That brings me to my speculation on Kylie's death.

It wasn't surprising that Callum's druggie sidekick Macca showed up at his funeral. But since then, he and his ne'er do well brother Clayton have been mithering Gemma in the kebab shop. Since she hasn't been out of touch with them all along, mentioning nights at the Dog and Gun frequently, they would have known where she was working in all likelihood so why show up now? Because somehow, their presence is going to contribute to Kylie's death.

Kylie's been feeling more and more guilty about the effects that her killing Callum has had on her family. Sarah's had a breakdown. Bethany has been bullied and hasn't be coping well trying to keep it to herself. She's now living in the annex where they stashed Callum's body and seemingly feeling unsettled. Even little Max seems to be out of sorts though he said he wasn't bothered that Callum had died. Guilt, upon guilt weighing heavily on her shoulders.

I don't think she's going to commit suicide. She wouldn't leave her family on purpose again. One idea I had was that she might turn to drugs and accidentally overdose, drugs she could get from Macca but that doesn't quite ring true either.

I think this is what will happen. I think Macca and his brother will threaten Gemma in some way,  or possibly David, because Gemma still suspects he was the one that killed Callum. That actually makes more sense because there really doesn't seem to be a reason they would be out to kill Gemma at this point.  There will be weapons or violence involved and Kylie will get in the middle of it, defending David and get killed by one of them. Possibly it could be one of the men attempting to run David down with a vehicle and Kylie pushing him out of the way.  It is possible that last scenario could happen without the intervention of the "Chuckle Brothers" and Kylie could be pushing David out of the way of a generic car or bus but the interviews and media are saying it's something we've never seen on a soap before.

I'm skeptical about that, and even Kylie dying while defending or saving David isn't really new but it's the only scenario that really works considering the introduction of the two scallys.

We have two more days to wait!

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Monday, 4 July 2016

How Will Kylie Die?

Now that the spoilers have hit the media about Paula Lane's exit and the death of Kylie Platt, the speculation begins. I'm kind of ticked off that ITV decided to spoil this one. I really did think she'd end up having to go to jail but I suppose if the actress was not planning to return, they couldn't have her away for life. Her crime wasn't killing Callum, that was self defence, but the treatment of the body afterwards, that's the biggie.

Logically, you couldn't see Kylie leaving David and her kids again, not permanently and since we haven't been told that Jack P. Shepherd was leaving, it was also a given that it would be only her leaving the show. Death is probably the only possibility, then. But I still wish ITV had kept that as a surprise.

Duncan Lindsay at the has put forth 15 theories as to how Kylie might die.  Some are a bit silly and some are a pretty good guess. Odds might favour the car crash. Publicity and interviews from Lane herself say it's going to be something we've never seen before. While I have a hard time believing that since pretty much everything has been done, I'd be interested to see what that is. We've seen car crashes. Revenge at the hands of Callum's mates might also be a possibility though again, nothing new there.

My imaginative guess: There have been rumours for months that Callum really isn't dead in spite of all the statements from ITV and the actor himself to the contrary. But maybe Callum really is alive. Maybe Callum lurches around a corner just as Kylie and David and family are loading up into the cab that's going to take them to their new start in Barbados, points a gun at her and kills her. I don't think we've seen that before, a supposed dead character return to kill someone. Returning from the dead has been done but not quite like this.

My absolutely stupid guess: Ok, just for fun, here's another one that's really stretching credibility. Nick has another psychotic episode and strangles Kylie. Since he has brain damage, no real motive is needed and he isn't responsible for his actions. He will only spend some time sectioned in a hospital in the room next to Sarah with Gail drifting woefully between the rooms of her two children.

What's your theory?

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Saturday, 2 July 2016

State of the Street June 2016

I do apologize for not getting last month's State of the Street posted at the end of May. If you're still interested, it's here.

June on Coronation Street, as you might expect, was dominated by the murder investigation. As expected, many fingers were pointed. The police, consisting of one rude and annoying female detective and one very silent male detective were leaning towards Jason as the culprit until Todd told them that Tony confessed to him on the night of Callum's death. Why did he do that? Two fold. He wants to protect Jason and he wants to protect Sarah.

You see, Sarah is distraught. Her worst nightmare has come true and she's a gibbering wreck. She didn't exactly tell Todd she killed Callum but she did say it was her fault and she believes it. If she hadn't lured Callum to the house that night, he would not have attacked her and Kylie wouldn't have had to kill him. Todd took it the wrong way and assumes she actually did it. Even if she had, it would have been clearly self defence, as clear as it was when Kylie weilded the wrench. Todd then confessed to Billy, putting Billy square in the middle between God, honesty and protecting a woman that was abused by Callum.

Between that,  and his brother Lee lurking around, hounding him for money and having overdoses. Billy is near at the end of his tether. Having to conduct Callum's funeral pushed Billy into a heap in the corner. Todd has been a support, having found out about Lee as well as all the other stuff. What's going to happen next? As expected, Billy is falling for Todd though really, it's probably more of a reaction. At least by the end of June, Sean knows about Lee, that's something. There was no reason why Billy should have kept that a secret from his partner and it was an endless source of frustration for me. The best part of this storyline has been Billy and Daniel Brocklebank's wonderful performance.

Across the road, after the funeral, Lee held Sarah hostage and had her believing that Callum really wasn't dead and that sent Sarah completely down into the black hole of a breakdown and she's landed in hospital. It was a nice turn around that it was David that called the ambulance, finally realizing she needed help and his plan of ignorning it wasn't going to work this time. And he was upset about Sarah's condition. They don't normally show much affection for each other so that was something a bit different.

Elsewhere, a heartbroken Nick is spending his days drinking and taking verbal potshots at Robert who refuses to let him buy back his share of the Bistro. Leanne is on Nick's side but even though she quit her job in solidarity, she ended up going back because she needs the money. Nick still has a hefty bank account after the sale. He also seems to be almost completely removed from what his family is going through. I very much feared he was going to rebound to Leanne yet again. He nearly did, too, with that tired old speech about her being the one he always returns to. I'm glad she rebuffed him. I never bought into that relationship. Other than them being teenage sweethearts, she never seemed to be interested unless she was on the rebound herself. He loved her, but he was her go-to guy when she was hurt or lonely.

But Leanne seems to have had a fling with someone unseen by the viewer. Was it Nick after all? The day after, there were several awkward encounters with men, none of which seemed to be the morning after the "what have I done" regret. Leanne was also seen chatting with Steve a couple of times in the days previous and that's unusual. They don't normally have much to do with each other even though they've known each other 20 years. Steve also had a possible rebound under his belt, literally, since he thought Michelle had left town. And Steve has form. His first fling with Tracy was while Karen had gone off after they had a big row.

Now here's the thing. It's not really a spoiler. You all know soap law and you've seen every soap cliche there is.  You all know that having sex with someone you shouldn't usually ends up with a little stick with a plus sign on it even if the owner is unlikely to get pregnant in the case of Steve's one night stands with Tracy that produced Amy and years later, Tracy's twins, the ones she miscarried. Kylie had a fling with Nick and got pregnant with his baby. Maxine consoled herself with the too-tall doctor and Joshua was the result. It's a soap cliche and the chances of Leanne finding that little plus sign on a stick will pay you good odds. I'm fully expecting it. Pun intended. Whether she keeps the baby or miscarries is another matter.

Loving Gemma. Her funeral outfit was awesomely tacky. Bored with Sinead and Chesney who overreacted again over a small kiss and this one an ill advised drunken one when he put grieving Gemma before Sinead when he finally returned from Portugal and Sinead got bladdered and tried to kiss Aidan. Sally continues to delight and the antics around Tim's home brewery in the conservatory and "summer house" are giggle-inducing. I'm also enjoying the rivalry between Mrs. Metcalf and Mrs. Nazir. I like Yasmeen and I'm glad they're giving her more to do. I continue to be bored with Zeedan and Rana. I just don't buy it and I just don't care.

In other news, Beth and Kirk split up for a brief moment leaving Kirk to room with a lonely Norris for a few days, spending his time beating Norris at board games. Tracy's kidney is giving her gyp but nobody wants to know except Beth, especially Robert who thinks she's faking it to get him back. 

Caz is still hopping around on crutches. It didn't seem to be that serious an injury. She didn't have pins put in her ankle or plates in her leg. You'd think it would be healed by now and Sophie thinks so, too. Sophie seems to be getting Luke on board too and Caz has slipped up once or twice where Luke has noticed. There you have it. Caz is faking the length of her injury to keep Kate under her jealous thumb. It's been slow building up but it'll probably heat up over the summer. I hope so otherwise it's dull as a dull thing, too.

Steve and Michelle busted up after Will reunited with Saskia. He probably went running back to her because Michelle didn't want him. It never did feel like a long lost love in the first place. I said it before and I continue to believe that Will was having a pre-wedding wobble and Michelle was lonely with Steve away so long. Will lied and Saskia believes there was an affair. Even if Steve believes there wasn't, he's gone off the wall about a kiss. I'd say he has a little more reason than Chesney because Michelle nearly went through with a full on affair. It was a bit more serious than a drunken pass. Even so, he did seem to drag out his cold shoulder and silent treatment a bit too long and Michelle walked out and pretended to leave town. He thought she did, anyway, though she was only cowering in Carla's empty flat.

The two of them really did need their heads banging together and it was infinitely frustrating watching both of them not talking to each other or saying exactly the wrong things. It just went on and on and I had lost the will to live weeks ago as it was. Finally, they got back together. Sheesh. 

Lastly, Jason was bereft and angry when suspcion for Callum's murder landed on Tony. Phelan hid the toolbag but Jason finally started to believe that his father just might have done it and turned it in. The police have found traces of Callum's DNA and Tony's prints on the weapon and that's that as far as they're concerned. Kylie managed to clean her prints off but remember, Tony used the tool after that. Gemma warned Jason that Callum's mates were out to get him in retaliation but the only retaliation actually came from a works van in flames courtesy of one of Phelan's mates. He was very, very good, very subtle and managed to influence Jason into a decision to leave town for an indefinite time.

So that's the last we'll probably see of Jason Grimshaw. I'll miss him. He was a real steady sort of character and a thoroughly nice bloke.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

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