Sunday, 12 April 2015
The Waltons of Weatherfield
(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in March 2015.)
Just how big are the extended Platt-McIntyre-Rodwell-Tilsley family going to get? I'm starting to think ITV should invest in a spinoff show just for the residents of 8 Coronation Street and their entourage. It's Plattination Street.
I know each character in Corrie needs his or her time in the storylining limelight but it feels like Gail's brood have been dominating screen time for months on end now. What with the ongoing complex Andy/Gavin saga, David's custody battle with Camp Callum for Max and now the return of Sarah-LOU and Bethany, it's all getting a bit much. At the same time all Audrey gets to do is tut "Oh Gail/Bethany/David/Sarah-LOU" and lug Ken's massive tome about (say nothing) while Nick occasionally turns up and grimaces.
Oh the Waltons of Weatherfield just keep on expanding like some mad experiment conducted by Kenneth Williams and Fenella Fielding in Carry On Screaming. If only they'd vitrify Bethany and Gail and turn them into non-speaking extras for a while. It would allow the viewers time to recover. I'm all for making Corrie about family relationships even if it does smack a bit of EastEnders.
A lot of people love Gail and Michael together. While I think he is a superb match for our Gail it does mean we have to endure lots of beige-jumpered eye fluttering and mutual simpering. The writers have cleverly given Michael a life-threatening heart condition so at least there's a way out for us if it all gets a bit too Last of the Summer Wine.
My main regret about the Andy/Gavin storyline is that it has drawn the lovely Steph into the stinking mire. Would she really have gone along with all the lies, deception and comedy coverups for the sake of snivelling, shifty-eyed Andy? She entered stage left as a street-smart, bright, intelligent young woman. I hope she doesn't exit stage right as the complete opposite. It's happened oh so many times before. My other sadness is that the evil Gavin didn't stay on for longer. He was properly horrid and very convincing. He could have shown Callum how it is really done.
I know Gail has kept the dodgy secret for the sake of Michael's equally dodgy ticker but surely even she must know it will all come out in the wash. And when Michael does inevitably find out the truth he won't have the benefit of ITV player or the pause button so he can take a comfort break or make a cup of hot sweet tea to revive himself. Will the massive revelations finish him off before he's got the chance to fully engage with the delightful grown up Bethany?
Ah yes, Bethany Platt. Do you think she swallowed the Hovis theme on her way back from over seven years in Milan because the odd mention of Nonna or pepperoni or Sarah's Roberto just ain't going to cut it. Gino D'acampo could dub all her lines and I still wouldn't buy it. I wonder if Sarah enrolled her in a module of "How to speak Weatherfield" just in case she ever had to pop back for a spot of underage drinking with shifty-eyed Andy in t'Rovers. Apart from the accent, or lack thereof, there is also the incredibly irritating requirement for her to swivel her eyes in the standard wild child-dabbling in shoplifting-giving cheek to anyone who's been in the show long enough to remember Annie Walker kind of way. We've seen it all before.
To make the whole thing more believable apparently the older, wiser, more mature "I've lived in Milan and worked for Uncle Stephen" Sarah-Lou will apparently start bedding Camp Callum the drug dealer and fill in the rest of her time behind the pumps in the Rovers bar. There's career progression for you.
Meanwhile we must endure the ongoing Max/Callum/David round robin of angst-ridden nasty camp posturing. I'm waiting for Callum and David to just get down to it on Gail's impossibly tiny couch. That would make a good re-entry for Kylie, as it were. The way David moans on about Kylie is very strange considering he actually threw her out and told her not to come back. Not so weird then that she's actually done what it says on the tin. Callum had still not grown on me the last time I saw him snarl up the cobbles in his pimped up spiv-mobile. He'll be excellent if the Rovers ever do another festive panto. Oh yes he will!
I know I mentioned that poor Nick hasn't had much to do of late but he's soon to muscle into the Platt-o-sphere with an apparent dalliance with Carla Connor, or Dame Fenella Fielding Of The North as I like to call her. I can't see this being a love match. Nick must still be recovering from being Kim Tate's adventure playground. Heaven knows what she used as a climbing frame but I bet it didn't light up and buzz. Carla is a vision and I adore her. Would she really ask Nick for help with, well, anything and then pop open the Angie Freeman vintage red wine with him? After Paul/Frank/Tony/Peter I think not.
Out of all of this I'm most interested in Audrey's verdict on Anna Karenina. I've never read it but I understand it goes on for a thousand pages. A bit like one of the scripts for the Platt dynasty.
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