Saturday, 31 December 2016

The Yearly Awards Post

I like to keep track of things through the year on Corrie and make up a fun awards post. My awards are not generally the usual Best Actor/Actress etc. though there is a bit of that. Mine are a bit more fun, I think. I have also included a potted review of the major storylines and the storylines by house/family

Best Wedding
There was no “Best” wedding this year. See next entry.

Wedding WTF
Nick and Carla’s marriage lasted about 15 minutes after the reception started.
Cathy finds out on her wedding day that her groom has misgivings, via a dictatape recorder

My most embarrassing moment
Sinead gets drunk and tries to kiss Aidan, her boss
Bethany tries to seduce Gary but gets caught by Faye, then has her crush outed to Gary a few days later
Worst storyline
Michelle and Will
Maria accused of Caz’s murder

Comedy relief:
Sally’s political campaign and career
The lads in the garage

Best new couple (still together at year end, because Gary and Sarah split yet again or they'd have made the list, too)
Johnny and Jenny

Surprise reunion
Nick and Leanne (Ok, maybe not that much of a surprise since they always seem to end up back together)

Something New award:
slavery workers (teenage - Marta and the O’Driscolls)
Izzy using cannabis for pain relief
Bethany’s Bullying/diet pill/exercise addiction
Maria marries someone for citizenship

Most doomed couple
Gail and Michael (married 4 men prior to Michael. 3 have died. What were the odds? Yep. We have a winner)
Carla and Nick - given Carla’s self destruct gene, it was a given
Tracy and Robert - her lies and schemes were bound to rub him the wrong way

Surprising twist
Pat Phelan returns
Leanne pregnant with Steve’s baby
Kylie dies, David’s revenge includes a suicide bid
Ken has a stroke
Anna gets badly burned
Peter’s secret girlfriend is Toyah, Leanne’s step-sister
Mary had a son given up for adoption
Gentle Andy tries to kill Phelan

Most mismatched or boring couple
Rana and Zeedan
Tracy and Luke
Maria and Luke
Maria and Aidan

Great villain
Pat Phelan

Rubbish villain/bad guy
Jamie (Steph’s ex)

Top Recurring Character:
Nessa (may we please see a little more of her?)

The John Stape Trophe
Michael Rodwell. Rubbish burglar. Married Gail, found lost son who wasn’t his real son and then found his real son after his real  son died, affair with Eileen, ran afoul of Phelan, reconciled with Gail. Died trying to expose Phelan’s scam

You Could See That Coming
Leanne pregnant from a one night stand and Michelle pregnant, both by Steve
Phelan scamming Eileen out of Jason’s inheritance
Sarah’s breakdown
Caz turns obsessive/stalker (Caz Goes Rogue!)
Bethany’s crush on Gary/Sarah and Gary getting together
Rita taking Gemma under her wing
Robert has feelings for Michelle though it’s not reciprocated (yet!!!)

“I’ve changed/learned my lesson/No, actually, I haven’t changed at all”
 Jenny Bradley
 Pat Phelan

Deja Vu storylines
Carla’s life hangs in the balance after chasing Bistro Burglars (Bus crash, fire at the flat, fire in the factory/Tony Gordon, basically Carla’s regularly scheduled life threatening crisis)
Tracy’s vendetta against Carla (again)
Someone (Leanne) gets pregnant from an ill-advised one night stand. Total soap cliche.
Kylie gets stabbed while defending her friend outside the kebab shop (Brian Tilsley gets stabbed defending a girlfriend outside a nightclub 1989)
Wronged female turns obsessive stalker (Caz targets Maria) (Casey tried to take over Claire Peacock’s life. Maria tried to take Tyrone away from Fiz)
Phelan scams Jason’s inheritance out of Eileen (Richard Hillman scams the Duckworths, Lewis Archer scams Gail)
Another explosion with at least one death or serious injury. This is becoming a yearly thing, now.
Sarah getting together with Gary/Bethany’s crush on Gary (Same thing, Gary = Callum)
Tracy has a fling with much younger Luke (Tracy has a fling with Ryan Connor/David Platt)
Maria has a fling with pretty much anyone

The Biggest Personality Transplants
Alya turned from a fairly nice young woman into an uber-ambitious blackmailer
Andy turned from a gentle man who sometimes makes wrong choices to a violent murderous attacker.

Entrances (more than just a few episode cameo appearance)
Freddie, Rana, Vinny (short term)

Andy, Roy, Sophie, Emily (we hope only temporary!)

(Permanent, so they tell us but it's a soap, so only the dead ones are a sure bet)
Jason, Nessa (though with a quick visit for the non-wedding), Carla, Kylie, Michael, Sharif

Most missed character

Best exit

Jenny Bradley, Pat Phelan, Steve McDonald (from extended leave), Gemma Winter, Peter Barlow, Adam Barlow, Daniel Osbourne, Brian Packham, Toyah Battersby

Best return of a former character
Jenny Bradley, Pat Phelan, Gemma Winter, Peter Barlow, Toyah Battersby

Make it stop!
The ruination of Carla Connor
Nick and Robert pissing contest/constant bickering
Nick’s jealousy of Peter and Steve (spotting a trend, are we?)

Optimist award
Carla thinking she can get away with not telling Nick she cheated on him
Leanne thinking she can keep the baby’s father a secret from the baby’s father’s wife!

On again Off again award:
Nick’s brain injury symptoms return just in time to cause problems with his relationship to Carla and then the symptoms seemed to disappear again.
David’s epilepsy which was supposed to act up when he’s under stress. How bad was his year again? Not one shiver. 
Sarah and Gary’s relationship.

Major storylines:
Carla in crisis after crisis (accident, infidelity, blackmailed by Tracy)
Sally runs for/wins Council seat
Roy and Cathy’s romance
Tracy’s revenge against Carla (again)
Bethany’s bullying/diet pills
Investigation into Callum’s murder/Sarah’s breakdown/Kylie’s death/David’s revenge/Anna’s burns
Steve and Michelle’s many marriage ups and downs.
Leanne’s pregnant with Steve’s baby/reunion with Nick
Phelan and Vinny’s property scam leading to Michael’s death
Ken’s stroke/return of the Barlow family

2017 anticipated storylines (speculation and educated guesses):
Michelle will find out about Leanne’s baby being Steve’s and she and Steve will break up
Robert and Michelle will have an affair
Fiz and Tyrone will get married and have a baby
Liz will find a new man
Phelan will get his comeuppance, maybe get killed and there will be a “Who Killed Phelan?” mystery
Maria won't spend the whole year in prison, she  and Aidan will get together but not last out the year.
Audrey will retire and go traveling with Freddie
Jason will return with a wife
Sophie and Kate will get together

Storylines by family/address
Barlows/Number 1
Ken breaks up with Nessa.
Tracy changes Barlows Buys to a florist.
Tracy finds out about Robert and Carla’s fling, plots revenge (again), loses Robert when he finds out she blackmailed Carla
Tracy’s illness but nobody but her father cares.
Ken wants to date Audrey
Peter returns
Ken has a stroke
Adam Barlow returns along with Daniel Osborne.
Tracy fling with Luke

Cole/Number 3
Norris runs for Council against Sally
Norris takes in Kirk temporarily after Kirk rows with Beth.
Norris takes in Sean.  
Norris takes in Brian Packham
Norris helps Mary find her son

Battersbys/Sutherlands Number 5
Sinead starts modelling
Craig and Caitlyn split
Kirk and Beth split temporarily
Craig’s involvement as witness to Kylie’s death leads to his decision to be a police officer, leads to his discovery about his bio dad’s incarcerations
Beth is found to be a bigamist, Kirk and Beth split and reunite, Beth does community service

Alahan/Number 7
Brendan’s wife confronts Mary with Brendan dismissing her as a crazy fan. Mary heartbroken.
Dev gets together with Erica who has trouble adjusting to the step "monster" role
Mary works in the florist shop, has breast cancer scare, meets long lost son given up for adoption

Dobbs/Brown Number 9
Hope’s operation, full recovery from cancer.
Fiz finds out about Tyrone’s debts and goes back to work.
Tyrone gets extra jobs and scrambles to make extra money, hired at Streetcars
Luke the lodger
Craig the lodger
Alya the lodger

Grimshaw/Number 11
Jason works with and then  hires Pat Phelan
Eileen finishes with Michael, gets together with Phelan
Tony (Jason’s dad) dies off screen
Jason arrested for Callum’s murder but Todd lies that Tony confessed
Todd supports Billy, ends up falling for each other.
Jason leaves for Thailand, leaves Eileen in charge of the business
Phelan scams Jason’s inheritance out of Eileen in a property scam with Vinny Ashford. Todd is involved, Vinny double crosses them both.
Phelan lets Michael die of a heart attack.
Phelan blackmails Andy after Andy assaults him

Webster/Number 13
Kevin dates Anna, finds out about Anna and Phelan’s history
Renovation for the Archway garage
Sophie falls for Kate Connor, makes an enemy of Caz
Jenny saves Jack from a Blackpool tram
Sophie leaves for Miami for 3 months
Kevin moves Anna and Faye into Number 13

Metcalfe/Number 4
Sally runs for Council and wins.
Sally buys Lloyd’s share of Streetcars for Tim
Tim starts a home brewery
Sally and Yasmeen feud
Sally rents an allotment for Tim

Nazir/Number 6
Zeedan gets a crush on Alya’s friend Rana and they eventually get engaged and married
Sharif gets Gary arrested for drugs (buying dope for Izzy)
Sally and Yasmeen feud
Sharif revealed to have a mistress of 7 years, abandons wife and family.
Alya’s bespoke lingerie business/partnership with Underworld revived

Platt/Number 8
Audrey alternates crushes on Ken and Freddie
Sarah’s pregnant, gives birth early to baby Harry
Bethany is bullied, develops addiction to diet and exercise, crush on Gary
Nick’s brain injury symptoms return and vanish again after breakup with Carla
Sarah has a breakdown after Callum’s body is discovered.
Kylie dies after defending Gemma from a robbery
David plots revenge, including a suicide bid to blow up Clayton Hibbs
Michael and Gail reunite then Michael dies, trying to uncover Phelan’s property scam
Sarah and Gary get together and break up multiple times

Steve returns from Spain
Michelle meets up with old flame Will, almost cheats, splits with Steve when he finds out, reconciles with Steve and gets pregnant.
Steve and Leanne one night stand resulting in a baby.
Steve finds out he may carry a gene for Myotonic Dystrophy, which could affect all his children too, and is later cleared

Michelle starts to have feelings for Robert.

Carla reveals paternity (Johnny) to Aidan and Kate.
Carla injured in accident on Street.
Tracy blackmails Carla to get Nick to sell the Bistro to Robert. Truth comes out, Carla and Nick split after marrying. Carla leaves town.
Aidan and Eva get together after the Polish domestic slave storyline
Aidan has one night stand with Maria, later develops feelings for Maria
Kate develops feelings for Sophie, her and Caz’s wedding is off and on and off again. Caz jealous of Sophie.
Caz becomes obsessed with Maria, sets her up to be charged with Caz’s murder. Aidan and Kate set a trap for Caz
Johnny and Jenny Bradley become an item
Ozzie dies.
Maria charged with and sent to jail for illegally marrying an immigrant

Anna dates Kevin. has to tell Kevin the real truth about her and Phelan
Phelan returns, causing upset for Anna
Gary buys dope for Izzy who is using it for pain relief, gets arrested as does Izzy who goes to jail for assaulting a police officer.
Gary considers reconciling with Izzy but ends up with Sarah Platt for awhile
Gary helps Bethany deal with bullies
Anna badly burned after David rolls his car filled with petrol
Anna find out Phelan’s scamming people, alerts Michael
Anna moves in with Kevin
Faye gets a boyfriend who is a  dodgey character

Cropper / Cafe
Roy rescues Cathy from a small house fire after she finds out about her sister’s affair with her late husband.  
Roy goes to Hastings to look after Sylvia (later returns)
Alex (Nessa’s son) works in the cafe then moves in when Nessa moves to Scotland. Continues to cause mischief
Roy and Cathy get engaged, plan wedding
Alex and Gemma become good mates
Cathy jilts Roy on wedding day, realizing he’s not ready.

Brittons/Builder flat
Jamie on bail tries to rob the Bistro and scare Steph. Ends up injuring Carla instead.
Andy goes to Brighton to visit Michael
Luke proposes to Maria and moves in with her, they later split up.
Michael returns, moves in and later moves out to reconcile with Gail
Andy tries to be a writer
Andy wants Phelan to pay for Michael’s death, tries to kill him and is blackmailed in return
Luke has a fling with Tracy Barlow

Kabin /Rita
Rita takes Jenny in
Jenny forms relationship with Johnny Connor
Rita “buys” one of Phelan’s flats for Jenny
Rita takes Gemma in

Luke and Andy get Jamie sacked
Michael leaves for Brighton after breakup with Eileen and thinks Gail won’t have him back.
Michael returns and reconciles with Gail, puts Phelan on notice
Billy has an addict brother, becomes involved in the secrets surrounding Callum’s murder. Todd thinks Sarah killed Callum, tells Billy. Billy’s brother holds Sarah hostage leading to her breakdown. 
Billy and Todd fall in love.
Billy wonders whether to leave the church but stays in the end
Erica - Agony Aunt (helps Mary, helps Izzy with her pain - dope, ) dates and moves in with Dev
Simon badly injures someone playing football. Leanne reports him to the police but finds out it really was an accident.
Leanne has a one night stand with Steve, Gets pregnant.
Caz caught faking her injury’s severity and lies about a court martial
Eva - dates Aidan, hides illegal worker Marta then tries to help her escape the O’Driscolls with Billy’s help.
Robert buys into the Bistro but dumps Tracy when he finds out Tracy knew about him and Carla and engineered the money to buy the Bistro.  Re-partners with Nick
Leanne quits Bistro and rejoins. Reconciles with Nick who agrees to raise Steve’s baby.
Nick’s jealousy of Peter rears up again
Robert develops feelings for Michelle

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

State of the Street - December 2016

Here we are at the end of the month and at the end of the year. As always, it's been a year of ups and downs but that's a discussion for another time, maybe. Let's discuss December, shall we?

The Barlows stumbled through the month with some interesting discoveries. Not only has Daniel been on his own since he was 15, but he hasn't seen hide nor flaming red hair of his mother since. Not a word. Nothing. I'm a bit surprised, as it's an unusual thing for a mother to cut her child off like that. I wonder if we'll discover anything more about her disappearance? I really like that Peter has taken Daniel under his wing like a big brother/ father figure.

The other discovery is the identity of Peter's new girlfriend. Right from the start he was disappearing for hours on end and there have been lies about him contacting a friend about a job. But little by little, we've realized it's a new woman. Or is it an old one,figuratively? Nick's always been jealous of Peter and his inner green eyed monster has lashed out once again. He's sure that Peter is after Leanne and not completely sure she's not receptive to the idea. One again, he is in danger of pushing Leanne away with his trust issues. On Christmas, Peter's gift of a tape that Leanne and he spoke about in the car seemed to indicate she was the "love of his life" as the gift tag read but we soon discovered who that really is...Toyah Battersby!

Although I did guess who the identity of the woman would be, it surprised me because Toyah would be well versed in all the personality flaws that Peter has via Leanne over the years but she's having trouble with her husband and is vulnerable and Peter does have charm and a twinkle in his eye. By the end of the month, their secret is out when Simon discovered it via his new drone camera which, by the way, he was using illegally. It's not meant to be a spy/sky cam. Will Peter be able to keep Simon quiet? Probably, for awhile.

There was some confusion when Simon spoke of Leanne going to see Janice although Toyah did not yet Toyah and Nick were visiting Leanne in hospital. I suppose it was a lie they told so Simon wouldn't get upset so it appears they're still treating him like a 6 year old. It's no wonder he acts out.

Nick's jealousy of Peter is really tedious. This isn't new, either. He's been like this even before he had a brain injury so he can't use that as an excuse. The more he lets the green eyed monster take over, the more Leanne is going to feel like he doesn't trust her even though it's Peter that takes most of Nick's suspicions. It can't help but leak over to her, though. Mind you, that fight on Christmas day was brilliant in that Peter did get the better of Nick overall.

Luke and Tracy seem to have an ongoing...something. I wouldn't call it a relationship because it implies committment and that's something Luke particularly keeps saying he doesn't want. Tracy's acting like a booty call is just fine by her but little by little it looks like she would rather have him all to herself. I hope they don't do that. They are very ill suited as far as  a proper relationship does. Even improper. But then, most of us don't want Tracy to be happy. Luke might be a bit of a ladies' man but he's no match for Tracy, who is definitely a cougar with very long claws.

Roy and Cathy didn't get married after all.  They were probably as suited as anyone would be as far as someone that might suit Roy though Cathy did have an impulsive and quirky side that seemed to rub Roy the wrong way at times. I wonder if she's a victim of fans unwilling to let the Roy and Hayley dream go, fans just weren't willing to accept her? Roy seemed determined to follow up on his promise to Hayley to move on with his life but the relationship with Cathy always seemed to move on a bit too quickly for his comfort. It wasn't quite the speed that Ken progressed with Nessa but in a way it wasn't that different, either.

Nessa railroaded Ken who didn't have the ability to say no, thanks, I'm still grieving my wife's death. Cathy kept blundering into Roy's life and he seemed to go along with each step before he was ready for it, ostensibly because Hayley would want him to. She might, but she'd also not want him to rush into anything. Roy does not do well when rushed. It's not in his nature. And perhaps if he waited until he was ready, he'd be a pensioner so it's a fine line. I do think this was too soon, however. Roy was engaged and ready to marry someone else but never took off his old wedding band until mere hours before the wedding.

Cathy finally saw the truth of the situation and called off the wedding, letting Roy out of his promise honourably. The wedding band went straight back on and Cathy has retreated. Roy decided it would be kinder to sell up and move away rather than upset her by his presence.

Another continuity issue, here. Cathy seemed to disappear from the screen after the wedding. Probably went to Scotland with Nessa for a time but we saw her on New Year's Eve in the pub with Roy and other of their friends. It seemed a bit weird.

All we ever knew about Mary's background, aside from a wide variety of quirky stories, is that she has a mother that she seemed to have a very strong love-hate relationship with. Her mother has always been portrayed as a strict woman that never believed in her daughter, never encouraged her and never showed any love or affection for her. We have discovered that a 14 year old Mary was raped by a minister, a family friend, after she babysat his children and she then bore a son whom her mother took from her immediately and gave away.  Her mother was not supportive and only showed disappointment and anger.

The old feelings of longing for her son, feelings she usually kept tucked away out of sight and mind, resurfaced when she saw Ken Barlow's family rally round him after his stroke. In a lovely scene, she told Norris what happened and he decided "What are friends for?" and insisted on helping her find her son. While he has been a good friend, he interfered when she asked him not to and perhaps she would have regretted it, who knows? But he found her son, Jude, and he tracked her down. It all worked out really well which is nice for a change. I was afraid we'd have another rejection similar to when Hayley found her son, Christian, who was an odious git even when she was dying.

But Jude was very nice, and Mary found out she was a grandmother which is a lovely thing for Mary. (Asha and Aadi who?) He invited her to move to South Africa with him and she's all set to go as we end the month. Will she leave for a new life with a perfect stranger? Jude seemed to address Norris' similar concerns. He may very well be on the up and up but it feels like a drastic move to be made so suddenly. In the pub on New Year's Eve, Mary seemed to be expressing disappointment that Norris didn't try to talk her out of it like he did with Emily's trip to Peru last year. I look forward to the episode this coming week where we find out if he does make the effort and whether Mary will go. I'd rather see her go for a visit and come back.

David met a new woman, Shona, in a club and she proceeded to steal his wallet. Next thing you know, we see her in the church with a bottle of booze and Billy takes her under his wing. She's got an ex boyfriend, Nathan, and we start to see him follow her around. He's also the one that carries passed-out Bethany out of the ginnel on Christmas after her diet pill overdose and now they've made friends. Was Shona's introduction mainly to bring Nathan across Bethany's path? What will she mean to David? I do hope they're not throwing him into a new relationship like they did with Ken and Roy both. It just doesn't work and fans really have a hard time with it. Characters need to be left to grieve, not jump in with someone else to soothe their troubled souls.

In an abrupt personality turnaround, Andy attacked Phelan. He blamed Phelan for Michael's death and in his anger and grief, lashed out. Then he attempted to kill Phelan with drugged orange juice and gin.  I just don't buy that Andy has that violent streak in him. Yes, he was willing to scam Michael that he was his son, Gavin, at first but he soon felt guilty and they ended up being quite close sometime after the truth came out. He also robbed the Bistro once before, didn't he? He did seem to be turning himself around and this violence seems out of the norm. It's all because he's got to be under Phelan's control. Phelan needs money and he's using Andy to get it. It won't end well.

I'm enjoying Phelan as a villain but I don't think I'm going to be able to get into this particular storyline. Andy is no match for Phelan. Neither was Michael as far as being no match but for some reason, Michael being close to Phelan's age made it feel a tad more equal. Andy's young enough to be Phelan's son and it almost feels like he's bullying a child. That's how it's felt to me, anyway. Even Todd is more of a match than either Andy or Michael. 

Eileen decided she can't live without him and they're set to get married on January 20. This means if it happens, Eileen is most definitely heading for major heartbreak because somehow, someway and sometime soon all of Phelan's misdeeds are going to come crashing out. Perhaps he'll be killed and we'll have a "Who Killed Phelan" story. There are certainly plenty of suspects. Time will tell.

I hope you all have a happy and successful 2017!

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Cathy and Roy's non-Wedding

Someone's getting married this morning and she bounces out of Number 6 with Yasmeen behind her, waving and smiling at everyone she sees as she bounces into the salon to get her hair done.

Someone else is getting married today and he is looking like it's the last think he wants as he peers through the nets at his intended who is full of joy. "I'm Getting Married In the Morning" chirps cheerfully from Cathy's countdown widget, having reached the day. Roy shuts it off with a sigh. He wanders around the flat, picks up the dictaphone from the table and moves it elsewhere, then slowly eases off his wedding ring, the one Hayley gave him. He sets it on one of a pair of wooden Dutch shoes under their photo.

Cathy's a very happy and excited bride. Her maid of honour, sister Nessa, is the traditional BridesmaidZilla offering too much information all the time but Cathy's friends are all very happy for her.

Meanwhile, Fiz is ticked off with Tyrone for falling out with Roy. Alex impresses Roy with the fact that you can indeed have more than one "happiest day of your life" by citing there could be two "highest mountains in the world" if they were the same height. Wise. Two little flower girls are equally the cutest things ever, proving Alex's theory.

The spectre of that dictaphone is hovering, however. Roy has moved it off to one side in the flat but Cathy has a last minute wobble over her vows and goes to find it. We can all see what's coming but it isn't there yet. People start arriving at the church, Sally in her Donna Karan suit, Rita in a bright purple hat, Mary with curled hair and a flower behind her ear and Sinead in a fab plaid coat.

Ty and Brian decide they're going to make up with Roy and come running, Ty still in overalls and Brian in his track suit. Roy accepts their apology.

Cathy finally arrives. She looks very nice in her flowy dress and bolero jacket.

Roy waits inside as people file into the church.  He's still looking like he wants the earth to swallow him up whole.

In a moment alone before heading into the church and down the aisle, Cathy listens again to the vows she recorded but this time she hears Roy say that even if the wedding isn't what he wants, he's going to honour his promise. Uh oh. She visibly deflates as the scales fall from her eyes and perhaps she can now see what was right in front of her all along. She heads to the church anyway instead of running the other way. What's she going to do?

She got up the aisle, looking nervous and distracted. To Roy's credit, he did say she looked nice.

Mary (who also looks very nice) read from Shakespeare. That's different.
Tyrone nor Fiz got the chance to do the next reading because Cathy stood up and confronted Roy with what she heard and called off the wedding.

She didn't scold Brian and Tyrone for their part in it all but they did look very sorry.

Then it was just the two of them. Roy really wanted to do the right thing and he's very fond of her but it isn't love, is it? They had a very calm discussion about not displaying how you feel, something Roy admits has difficulty with. She is not holding him to his promise and explains they would be better off as good friends.

Again, Roy didn't do what I think she was hoping he'd do. He agreed that her suggestion was the best way forward. I think she wanted him to profess undying love ("whatever that means")  and insist they get married and be happily ever after.

It doesn't work that way with Roy.

Back at the cafe, which was hung with a Congratulations sign courtesy of Alex, Cathy packs some things to move out to Yasmeen's. At last we find out why she wasn't living at her house or letting Alex live there. She mentioned not wanting to throw out her tennants so she's rented it out.

She loves him. Before she leaves, she tells him so. He can only reply "Thank you".

Upstairs, on his own, he puts his wedding ring back on. There will be no new Mrs. Cropper for Roy Cropper. The first Mrs. Cropper still owns his heart.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Saturday, 10 December 2016

The Abandoned Barlow Brothers

Peter Barlow lost his mother to an electrical appliance when he was only a small boy. That's going to affect any child but then his father gave up trying to look after twin children and gave them over to their grandparents who raised them in Scotland. If you watched Corrie through the 70s and early 80s, you will know that Ken rarely visited them and rarely had them back home to visit him. They were mentioned from time to time and I'm sure he sent them birthday cards and Christmas gifts even if it wasn't shown on screen.

Daniel Osbourne's father, Ken Barlow, barely had a look in when he was growing up and his mother went walkabout 6 years ago, with no further sight nor sound. These two men certainly have a lot in common and I think they've kind of bonded over that.

Peter, especially in his Chris Gascoyne incarnation, has shown all the signs of having abandonment issues which have manifested themselves in a fondness for the drink. He's also got his father's "any woman any time" gene and finds it difficult to make a long standing commitment.  He regularly berates his father for dumping him and blames a lot of his failings on his father's non-participation in his life yet has always craved approval from his one remaining parent and yet resented the hell out of him at the same time.

Daniel is very secretive born from having to pretend his mother was not gone while he was too young, really, to be living on his own. Should the authorities have found out, he'd have been taken into care. He obviously had no contact or relationship with his mother's sister (she whose husband Denise had an affair with back in the day) and no other family it seems. He's been on his own for a long time. We don't know if he's got abandonment issues as such but he's bound to when you think of it. We just haven't seen how they've manifested themselves yet.

Children take on so much and learn what they see.  Neither of them ever had a father figure that was ever present in their lives. Peter certainly didn't grow up learning how to be a good father and so has never found it easy being one himself, often at a loss when things get difficult. He grew up seeing or knowing that his father flitted from woman to woman and he mirrored that behaviour. We don't know why his first marriage broke up though he has been known to blame his absences due to being in the navy but I think there's a pretty good chance he had a welcoming bed in every port.

Peter's been a lifelong screw up, or at least as long as he's been an adult from what we know and what we've seen. Just maybe, though, he's starting to take responsibility and grow up. A bit. His father's sudden illness seems to have affected him deeply. It seems like Daniel's reaction has been to  take refuge in books and in his schoolwork and keep his head down.

Daniel was an unplanned child but Ken in his middle age was anxious to do things right this time around. He and Denise were not love's young dream nor were they soul mates in any form. In fact, in the cold harsh reality of the aftermath of the affair, Denise realized she was most definitely unsuited to life with Ken and a baby so she left the baby with Ken initially and walked. Ken tried, he really did but he was a single middle aged man who had no clue how to deal with an infant. He hired a nanny and that helped but he never had the chance to see if he could make a go of this parenting thing. Denise returned and took baby Daniel away, to Scotland because her sister's husband happened to be from that country.

Ken tried to make an effort  at first but gave it up as a lost cause and thus, Daniel really had no memory of him.  Yet another of Ken's children was lost and cut loose from a paternal influence. We next saw Daniel when he was a boy of about 10. Ken and Deirdre were having difficulties and Ken began to think he'd like to make an effort with his son. His son resented Ken's efforts as too little too late and Ken soon gave up again. We would hear Daniel's name on occasion over the intervening years, usually when Tracy or Peter wanted to call Ken's parenting into question.

But Ken apparently had a contact number for Denise in his address book. After he had the stroke, Peter went through the book to contact family and left a message with Denise, or so the dialogue went. Daniel got the message eventually and came to see his father. Before you think this was a plot hole, it's very possible that telephone number was the landline in the flat where Daniel was living. Since he didn't want people to know he was living alone under aged, he would have left the answering machine message on there that his mother recorded.

And where was his mother? Daniel says they weren't getting along, typical teenage stuff and she became more and more agitated and decided to leave. He thought she was coming back but she never did nor did she ever get in contact. It does seem strange. On comment I've seen suggested she could have been bipolar and could have ended up on the streets. That would be an interesting way to take this. Her abandonment had to have been devastating to him.

He's been keeping secrets so long that it's no wonder he's reluctant to open up now. Peter has taken him in hand and has been very supportive. He's a big brother and he's also old enough to be a father figure, really, and Peter seems to really like his little brother. It really seems like there's a weight finally lifting off Daniel's shoulders, relieved to have told the truth and to have someone that he might actually be able to depend on (he doesn't know Peter well yet!) for once in his life.  He was almost in tears when Peter assured him he would be there, as if Peter was a lifeline to a young man near the end of his rope that sorely needed one.

This chemistry between the two brothers who seem to have bonded quickly, able to relate to what the other has been through over their lives is evident. We've long admired Chris Gascoyne's acting abilities and the young man playing Daniel, Rob Mallard, is really showing his acting chops, too.

It will be interesting to see where they take this.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Saturday, 3 December 2016

State of the Street - November 2016

I just realized it's December so this is a tad late. Let's get straight on with things with a wrap up of November's storylines.

So Maria got arrested for Caz's murder, when they don't even have a body. How is that even possible? A bit of blood in the flat and on a pair of scissors and a rug. Caz is looney enough to have stabbed herself enough to get the blood to smear around, I suppose and it's in Maria's flat so there's going to be Maria's DNA everywhere.  But how can you charge someone if there's no body? And when everyone already knows that Caz is a liar and manipulator, why would they instantly assume Maria would do it no matter that Caz put on a winning performance, pretending to be scared of Maria. I suppose we haven't had a "wrongly jailed" character in, oh, maybe 2 or 3 years so it's time for another one. (The last one was Peter on trial for killing Tina, wasn't it?). The plot holes in this storyline are threatening to topple over and crush the set and every episode this continues, they mount up more and more and they continued straight to the end of the storyline.

I'll add in a bit here from the first December episode so that I don't have to keep moaning about this one next month. Kate took one look at one of Maria's credit card statements, those that the police looked at and dismissed and immediately connected a charge for a camera with something Caz had done in the past for a friend. She next immediately assumed said camera was in the flat and that Caz was watching so she pretended to Aidan like she still loved Caz, knowing Caz would come back to the flat which she did using a key that shouldn't have fit anymore but did. Aidan came running at the last second bringing the police seconds after him even though they're attitude towards the amateur detective club was less than respectful. The snotting detective dragged Caz out in cuffs without the least semblence of a thank you or "we're sorry we didn't believe you". Tossers.

Looks like Rita is taking yet another waif under her wing, this time it's Gemma. I rather like that she can see the good in some of these young women who really need a strong positive influence in their lives. Hayley was good at that as well but Rita was at it a long time before Hayley. You may recall she gave Leanne a job when she was a tearaway teen in the late 90s. She was Jenny's foster mother but also a mentor there, and with Tina as well. These young actresses must be thanking all the acting gods there are to be working with a classy veteran like Barbara Knox.

It didn't take Ken long to be sent home from the hospital to recuperate, much as I suspected. He still has to take it easy and needs some rehab but he's obviously well enough to take care of his own personal needs and climb the stairs to his bedroom. Now his house is full of Barlows and sundry relatives. I wondered where they were putting them all. Now that Sonia's been run out of town  on the tails of Sharif who showed his true colours (yellow!) by the avenging Yasmeen, some of them could be lodged in there, I guess.   I wonder why yellow is the colour we assign to cowards?

Adam has grown into the arrogant son you always knew Mike Baldwin would sire even if he never brought Adam up and there weren't many years that he was around. I remember Adam at the last time around as a stubborn, not to bright kid that wanted nothing to do with the factory and then took tantrums after he sold it off to the Connors. Now, he's on the street for about a minute and a half and strolling into Underworld like he owns the place, helping himself to whiskey when that office has changed many hands and has been rebuilt once or twice since Mike sat in it.  How would he possibly know where the bottle was kept?  And when he was in Canada, he was very ill for quite awhile. There's been no mention of it, not every someone to ask how he's been feeling.

Adam is proving to be as much of a "Jack the Lad" as his father and he's already shown that he's on the dodgey side. Is he really a solicitor/lawyer? because he's not acting like one, having the rental car stolen as an insurance scam. He's also taking great pleasure in winding up Daniel who is very opposite in personality and pushing back against Robert who is closer in personality, ostensibly in defence of Tracy.

And Daniel was apparently abandoned by his flighty mother at the age of 15 which would have been a number of years ago now but yet has never said anything to Ken in all this time? We know he's been in touch, not a lot but Daniel has been mentioned from time to time. Personality wise, he seems the most like Ken at this point, bookish and priggish and secretive. He's got something going on but we don't know what it is yet.

Luke and Tracy had a one night stand. I was very afraid it was going to be another actual relationship, cougar that she can be (remember Ryan?) but apparently not. He offered to call her and she said no thanks. But they both very clearly enjoyed the encounter. I can live with a one night stand. Luke is only in his 20s and most single young men will take anything offered on a plate like that and let's face it. Tracy's been lonely since Robert isn't warming her bed.

Anna is slowly recovering and decided not to live with Kevin for the time being. It kind of feels like this storyline is starting to meander a bit. I'm quite surprised that Anna is home so soon, to tell you the truth. I envisioned months of hospitalization with multiple skin graft operations. Did they do the whole thing all in one go? Is that even possible? Will we see Anna go through more operations like it would be in reality? I suppose being in her own flat means she can use the chair lift instead of navigating the steps up into the flat. We saw her with a wheelchair in the flat so that's probably what she's using to come and go.

I like that they've got her fearful of going outside, very self conscious of people staring and of being on the receiving end of pity and well meaning platitudes that only end up feeling shallow to her. She felt safe in the hospital and feels very exposed to the scary world outside. It's something that I think they should explore a bit further, this post traumatic fear she's got.

David seems to have settled right down now. That accident and near miss with Lily was the reality check he needed. It has knocked the rage and anger out of him and he can now get on with his grief in a more natural way. He can be there to help his kids through theirs as well. I hope he gets his backside in gear to adopt Max, though, or Callum's mother could come a-calling, trying to get custody. I keep expecting it but surely a judge would look at the circumstances and not take Max from his family. It would still cause upset and stress but ultimately, it would probably come out in David's favour with perhaps some visitation for Marian. Then it will be completely forgotten as per usual.

Phelan's construction project scam has also come to an end in much the way I envisioned it. Vinny absconded with the dough leaving Phelan as much of a victim as everyone else although he didn't put any of his own cash into the project so he's not out of pocket like the potential home owners are. He can spin the situation to his favour though he still has to field suspicions and the prime accuser, Michael, is dead. Not at Phelan's hand, not directly, but Phelan left him to die after a heart attack.

He as much as killed Michael but since nobody knew the two men saw each other, he's got an "out" for now. I worry about Todd, though, because Todd knew about the scam and participated in it. I think he was hoping to bring Phelan down from the inside but now that he's part of it, he can't do that without implicating himself and Phelan knows it. I expect Phelan will be brought down eventually but I'm really enjoying the character and the actor so I hope he's around for awhile longer.

It was inevitable that Michael die. From spoilers, we knew the actor was leaving the show but even if we didn't, let's face it. Almost all of Gail's husbands are dead. It's becoming a very dark joke. And they were also planning to renew their vows, happy ever after. That cannot be allowed on soaps, with the essence of Doom shadowing all happy couples. Michael's fate was sealed when he and Gail re-proposed and they hugged for joy under the fireworks of Bonfire night.

Sharif's affair with Sonia came out in a very realistic manner. Yasmeen overheard her best friend and husband talking about it and though she tried to keep it in, at the engagement party she lost control and threw it at them in front of all their friends. The anger and pain, the post-mortem discussion she had with her husband, then  hiding her humiliation away from her friends, it all felt so real. I hope we keep Yasmeen in the show and she becomes a pillar of the community, a strong and independent single woman.

Zeedan asked Rana to marry him, almost as a way of making himself feel better. I never bought this couple. He had a crush on her and I always thought she was just toying with him, enjoying the attention but not investing any real emotion in him. They are very different people and her attitude about their shared religion is far less serious than his and that can be a make or break thing. But after Sharif's affair came out, it really affected Zeedan badly which you can very well understand. He's still young enough to worry that all relationships never last if one that he thought was stable could. He split with Rana who was furious and then he couldn't talk her around when his grandmother talked sense to him. It was up to Leanne to persuade her to marry him.

I think that was the wedding day that was planned anyway which was awfully quick after the engagement last month. Yasmeen was seen doing some organizing but not a huge amount. I wonder if it was always going to be a small affair because he only called it off a day or two before the actual date, not really enough time to cancel all the guests and plans but i suppose if you can put it together in weeks, you can tear it down in days. Anyway, the Imam was at the mosque, everyone had pulled together to have things ready, including a dress and all the trimmings for the bride and she did look gorgeous as did Zeedan in his wedding gear. There is now a new Mr. and Mrs. Nazir.

Mind you, the day after the wedding they didn't seem all loved up like you would think they would be. I suppose that might have something to do with spending your wedding night in the same house as your grandmother. Rana's got experience, maybe it was a bit off putting for Zeedan who likely had never had sex before, since he was quite strict with his religious practices. Immediately, he's making noises about babies and she's in panic mode, stealing birth control pills from the clinic when she's probably already taking them, or one would assume she is. Perhaps not, though, since she's been with Zeedan and knew he wouldn't take that step before marrying her.

Anyway, it was a pretty good month over all, the Maria and Caz bits aside. Events in December should be good with Christmas in the offing, much better than last year when we thought it would be little Hope's last one. There are Barlows to argue over the turkey, Platts to get on with things while grieving Michael and Kylie, Roy and Cathy's wedding to look forward to, and lots of secrets to be uncovered.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

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