Saturday, 20 February 2010


Coronation Street has dealt with underage sex in the past. Sarah got pregnant at 12 and gave birth at 13 by a schoolmate. Rosie and Craig had sex before they were 16 but didn't just leap into the sack, they thought about it and waited until it was right for them, even if Sally and Kevin nearly went beserk! Now Sophie is making a vow of chastity because she didn't want to end up as slapper like Rosie who continued on her merry way shagging her teacher once she turned 16.

Yes, her teacher, John Stape, currently in prison for kidnapping Rosie. He was in his 30s and wasted no time in giving into temptation when Rosie seduced him. She was barely 16. When you think back, Fiz couldn't have been more than 16 either when she was first with John (though he'd have been in his 20s then) because she came back to Coronation Street after she left school at 16 and has been working at the factory ever since. That, of course, is a rewrite of history for the character but we'll put that rant aside for another day. That came close to pedophilia but Rosie, and presumably Fiz, were of age.

Now we dive into the topic further. Turns out, Eileen's friend Paula had sex with Eileen's father when she was 14 and Julie was the result. That was most definitely illegal and he could have been prosecuted for it but Paula's parents didn't want the attention and left town with their pregnant daughter. As Eileen says, it was a different time and appearances mattered. Eileen's mother seems to have been aware of the situation, at least the affair, and left her husband soon after but Eileen didn't know what happened. She stayed with her father because she thought her mother just didn't want to be her mum anymore and she felt sorry for her father. Her father now insists he didn't know Paula got pregnant.

Her father reappears in her life, though i think she's probably had continuing contact, we've just never met him. Jason certainly seems familiar with his Granddad. We are told he's a bit of a scallywag, a gambler, a bit of a liar and a womanizer. He certainly made a beeline for Rita though his affections seem real.

Enter Paula, Julie's mother. Eileen only just realized that Julie's mum was her old best friend from school. Paula has worked at Freshco for years. I find it hard to believe that Eileen never ever saw her or ran into her there but we'll suspend disbelief on that one for now. Paula was evasive but eventually admitted that her parents moved because she got pregnant very young but was not very forthcoming as to who the father was. Clue 1.

Paula and Eileen's dad, Colin, finally came into contact with each other. Colin clearly recognized her but pretended he didn't remember her and Paula froze. Other encounters had Paula reacting rudely or sarcastically towards Colin. Clue 2.

Paula and Julie seemed to have a bit of a contentious relationship which hit the fan big time after she found out that Julie spent the night with Jason, Eileen's son. She even admitted she resented Julie sometimes. You might think that might be normal for a teenage pregnancy anyway but her over the top reaction about Jason seems to imply that it's more than that. Clue 3.

It all blew up at the birthday party when Paula, drunk, staggered in and blew up the bomb. Colin is Julie's father! Colin couldn't deny it. He tried to blame Paula for coming on to him, which she did but he was the adult. It was up to him to say no. Teenage girls are often very flirty and get crushes on older men. They feel they are grown up now and their hormones are telling them they are women and they want to try it all out. Most fathers whose daughter's best friend tried to seduce them would very firmly and hopefully gently reject the girl and it would be all over bar a few tears and dramatic diary entries. Colin had no will power and a very large ego and this was the result.

Rita was Colin's new love but she won't have anything to do with him now. She feels stupid but how on earth would she ever have guessed? Norris gets to gloat but unusually, at least at first, he doesn't because he's more concerned with Rita, as he should be! And he uses Rita's upset as an excuse not to go traveling with Mary. We all know if Rita had said yes, Norris and she would have been married and we all know he still loves her. Rita isn't going to forgive the mistake Colin made over 30 years ago (32 to be precise). Would you? It would be difficult to live with someone who made such bad judgement. Even if they've never done anything similar since, even if it was a one off, could you trust them? He might not go after a young girl again, but if his ego was fed well, would you trust him not to cheat on you? Rita obviously can't and I can't blame her.

Eileen is horrified and wants nothing to do with her father and she blamed Paula too, for the breakup of her family. All those years she blamed her mother and now realizes it wasn't that at all. But she and Paula made up once Eileen got over the initial shock, agreeing that Paula was just a kid at the time. That's good anyway. But Colin thinks Eileen should forgive him. That's a tough one too. Mistake it may have been but he should have known better rather than give in to temptation. If he'd hung his head and apologized, taken on all the responsibility, Eileen might be able to forgive him in time. But nooooo... he seems to think Paula should take on part of the blame for being all "Lipstick and confidence".

Now Colin has had a stroke from the stress. Eileen said he'd be doing them a favour if he died, back when she first found out. If that isn't a Soap Opera Phrase of Doom, i don't know what is. He's bound to pop his clogs after a statement like that. And think of the guilt Eileen will feel on top of everything else! Jason feels bad for his Grandad but i suppose he doesn't feel as betrayed as Eileen does. I'm not saying he approves of what Colin did but seems more willing to put it in the past.

Julie is shocked at first but is delighted to have a new family. and Ever the Optimist, she's willing to let bygones be bygones, put a mistake in the past, too. Julie is nothing if not fair. She probably wished all her life for a dad and the one she's got will just have to do... and a sister! I think it's going to be funny seeing the perky and optimistic Julie trying to make a team player and bezzie friend/sister out of grumpy Eileen. She'll probably be very maternal towards her new nephew Jason (and no, they were too drunk on the night they spent together. Nothing happened. Incest is just a bit too close to the bone for Corrie!)

Colin is ill. Eileen can't forgive him and is having a hard time dealing with it all, as you would expect. Paula has had to defend herself and now just doesn't want to talk about it at all. Julie just wants it all to be Happy Families. How is it going to come out? I'll say one thing, this storyline was well set up and well executed and quite good. Hopefully once it's all over, they won't just drop things and forget that Julie and Eileen are sisters. I think there could be some funny stuff pairing these two. What have you thought of the storyline?


Lori said...

I think they did a believable job with the different reactions/attitudes of the different charactors. Jason seems like the "slap on the back, nice one" kinda guy, given some of his history with women. Plus he would have a bit more understanding as he was ready to believe (although not thrilled about) getting a girl pregnant and not even knowing. Yayyy Charlie Stubbs!

Tvor said...

I think with Jason, everyone else had so much baggage and emotional history involved. Jason doesn't. There are no bad memories, no lies told to him about his life, he knows who he is and where he comes from. Because of that, I think it's not so difficult for Jason to believe it was a mistake that happened once, 30 years ago. He doesn't have a daughter so doesn't really feel those implications either.

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