Sunday, 14 June 2015

On His Todd

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in June 2015.)

I live in hope that Todd's recent nasty actions are bringing us ever closer to the revelations that will redeem his character. So far, since his return, everything has been noticeably one dimensional. Todd was such a nice boy back in the day and now he's like Toxic Tracy-lite.

I guess the signs were there. He caused untold grief when he decided Sarah-Louise was not the girl for him, preferring Adam Rickitt instead. He remained a young, gay Ken Barlow for some time - studious, helpful, brimming with promise - until he fled to that London. Of course, being the very same London that Gail and Suzie Birchall were warned about in 1978 (Fred Gee had many dire warnings about the Embankment, which is funnily enough where I'm sitting now), no good could come from it all.

When he returned briefly in 2007 (I think), Todd was quick to mock his family, his friends, his street. He had a posh boyfriend in tow - it was all jumper over the shoulders and cabriolet. Incidentally, the only characters to don that horrific look in Corrie appear to have been Ken Barlow, Todd's Londonist boyfriend and Steve McDonald's therapist. By the way, what happened to him? 

So there were signs that the nice young boy had morphed to the side of wrong. Yet despite Todd being deeply unpleasant on every appearance since his full time return and his taking up with Tracy in her knock-off palace of sin, we still don't have any concrete backstory to flesh out Todd's character. This irritates me more than it should, chiefly because we all love a well-rounded character in a long running drama and this ain't it. 

Basically Todd is bitter, nasty, vengeful and sly. I don't think he was born this way. Eileen isn't the best parent in the world but I don't think she could spawn that ready made. The one interesting thing to come out of this so far is the comparison between the Grimshaw brothers. Originally Todd was  the Andy McDonald of the family - intelligent, caring, sensitive and dull. Jason wasn't quite Steve as Jason doesn't even have the brains to get married for a bet, but he was definitely more superficial and less likeable.

Now however, Jason has matured. He looks out for his mum, his mates and had a successful long running relationship on the go. He even has his own business. How the pendulum swings. Todd meanwhile looks out for himself, has no relationship and pedals crud for Tracy-luv. I say that's the only thing because the rest of it is pretty dreadful. I don't enjoy drama that is driven principally by spite and humiliation, although technically that takes out all six of Gail's marriages.

First of all Todd ruins Jason's relationship with the fragrant Eva by planting the seed that Eva has been enjoying more than a touch of property hunting with Jason's dad Tony. Relationship ruined, Eva flees leaving poor Jason heartbroken. Then, Todd ruins Eileen's relationship with the lovely Adrian, by posing as a fake date on the internet. Flirting with your mother online as Jeff from Dubai is just wrong on oh so many levels. It all came to a head last week in the Bistro, presumably because Liz had smashed all the crockery in the Rovers so they couldn't have the weekly public crisis there. 

I believe this revenge stems from Todd's mugging and subsequent scarring. Instead of just being mildly vexed that his family couldn't be bothered to sit through one of Nick's chorizo and borlotti stews with him, he has to go and ruin their lives. I admit when Todd got in that cab on Friday night, I hoped we'd seen the back of him. 

Sadly not. He slithered into sight nursing a split lip and offered to help Tracy do a stock take. If anyone could do with taking stock it's the storyliners - how long do we have to wait before this one reaches its denouement? Either reveal the bitter truth behind Todd's withering putdowns and callous acts of malice and have the Grimshaws bond once more or send him packing. As with the return of Sarah-Lou, it isn't working for me as the characters just aren't showing any signs of development, any life success quickly sucked out of them as soon as the set foot on the hallowed cobbles.

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