Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Linda Armstrong's return, for better or worse

I was looking forward to Owen's ex-wife's return. I thought it would be a good storyline to lead to the departure of Katy and, at some point, Owen. I looked forward to Owen getting a comeuppance by having his charade blown out of the water. And don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying that aspect very much.

Owen has never been a sympathetic character. He's a bully and has a temper and he's not usually very nice. He was brought in to be the "next" Len Fairclough, or that sort of character, and I think they did do that well. I never found Len all that likeable or sympathetic, either! Owen was a good father, though, even if a bit strict. We now find out that his ex-wife left the family for very different reasons than they believed and that Owen refused to let Linda see her children.

I've had a couple of points in this that have fallen flat for me. One was Linda not taking legal action and the other is the actor herself. I have no prior experience seeing her in anything so I don't know if her acting style is typical of her or not. I don't like it. Linda should be a bit more fiery, I think, pushing back and getting angry at Owen with a bit more spirit that she seems to be so far.  I had a few thoughts about it all over here.

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Humpty Dumpty said...

This may be revealed as the story goes on but atm it's unclear why Linda has returned at this point. She could be ill and wanting to make amends but that's a bit like Cilla's return. Linda's entry was very 'soapy', turning up and saying 'I'm your mother'. Like anyone would do that in real life but there you go. You can forgive a lot of plot holes if you actually care about the characters. I don't.

Scott Willison said...

I watched EastEnders when this actress was on it as Joe (*sigh*) Wickes' mum, and she was exactly the same then. Breathy, full of pauses, and occasionally staring off to one side at something else. Plus the big hair. Her hair is full of secrets.

Kylie O'Reilly said...

This is not Australia - why the Jaysus Hell do the Soaps keep Recycling actors nowadays - they will, or never have (even in Australia) ever been known as anything other than their original characters - even after years have passed

Anonymous said...

Where has she been all these years in a bloody coma? Come on writers this storyline is an insult to the intelligence of the viewers. First we have the idiotic Michael deserting his "son" now we have a mother suddenly appearing out of the blue who hasn't seen her daughters for how long? Has she ever heard of solicitors? Really?

Newfy Pearl said...

I think that she would not be fiery...if she was like this she could not have been kept from her daughters all of these years.
I have to say I did not like the visit to Anna's flat to say 'don't be angry with owen....overall he was an amazing dad' This was so unnecessary and lame. If Owen was the dad we had thought - instead of the selfish man he actually just got on my nerves.

Anonymous said...

"Her hair is full of secrets."

Scott, you're great.


Beth said...

@ Scott Willison. Totally agree. I remember her from way back in EE. She's exactly the same character, not changed a thing, not even her hair lol.

I think she was cast because she and Katie look very much alike.

Frosty the Snowman said...

The whole return was totally insipid and unmoving. The actress was wooden and unconvincing with not a jot of emotion - you would think there would be some after seeing your kids grown up after 20 odd years. It was almost like she was reading her lines from an autocue. Then there was the total ease she found Owen, living in the Bookie's flat, just knocking on his door one night. If she could find them all so easily why didnt she turn up before? She reminded me of Tina's mother - terrible! But we all know its just a plot contrivance for pointless but pretty little Katy to leave the Street with her. Bi bi, please take the rest of the Windass gang with you apart from perhaps Garrah.

Tvor said...

I can accept that she knew where to find Owen, she's likely still got family in the area that the girls would keep in touch with, maybe a sister/their auntie or even the phone directory if they aren't ex-directory.

Newfie Pearl, perhaps, yes, if she was more fiery, she would be more likely to have pushed the issue. Fair point but then Frosty has a point now. If you haven;t seen your children for all those years, you'd think there would be more emotion but everything was overwhelming i suppose. I'm not making excuses for her. I didn't find her reactions altogether realistic all around. Whether that's the writing, acting or directing, i don't know.

Anonymous said...

After years of Izzy's and Katy's mother not getting in touch with them,what would be ironic that in true Corrie fashion,Katy and perhaps even Joseph if Chesney lets him go with his mother,will soon be forgotten by their families until they make a return appearance a la Sarah.

Bacon Sarnie said...

Linda needs to be WAY more than a 'bit' fiery. Hell, that woman is cold. She's also placid, passive and plain weired.
You're right, it makes NO sense that she didn't come looking for them sooner or even try to take legal action at the time. Truly, garbage. Are we supposed to care? Why?
So tired of this show becoming a show that revolves its stories around the comings and goings of the actors.

Anonymous said...

Has all the heat and tension of cold watery soup...please get this reunion thing over with quickly and get as many of the Armstrongs (and Windasses) as possible out of the Street.

Having her more fiery isn't going to come even close to improving this lame, contrived storyline. Fact we all agree on is that Owen is and was a bully and control freak. These kinds of people tend to take up with spouses who are compliant and opposite to fiery so it is not that hard to envision a much more meek motherly attitude on the part of the ex.

corrierules said...

First I thought, "she's keeping her emotions in check. She does not want to be drawn into a fight with Owen." You know keep your cool -- that makes the other feller go ballistic.

Then I thought, "Botox"

Canadian Bacon Sarnie said...

As a long time viewer who has become seriously fed up with the nonsense that this show has turned into, I want to say this;
55 years! That is something to be proud of and not destroy. But it is currently being destroyed.
'They' make it as if the viewer is watching the show for the first time, every episode with no respect for its history or characters or the continuity.
And as many people are commenting/noticing, is that the characters are all either the victim or the villain or have had lobotomies.
It really is about the comings and goings of the unhappy or pregnant actors on the show. And casting types that have no right to be on the show. Somebody is losing the plot. (Insert - whoever is in charge).
I can barely watch it some nights.
Yet I do, because I believe it will get better. Because it needs to. Soon.

Nikki NZ said...

Izzy is already pointless. But once Katy and Owen go won't she become just a glorified, factory working extra?

Zagg said...

I thought she was brilliant and this is the best story line EVER!!
Kidding!!! Just Kidding!!
It was underwhelming to say the least. Izzy really was the one who had appropriate emotions...and Katy kind of silently tearing up and she seemed confused and hurt, so that was good. But the interaction between Owen and whatever her name is was weird. It just didn't play right. Who could believe her saying I have always loved you when she barely tried to get in touch. Parents move mountains to be with their kids, AND she did walk out on the family.
And then you have Anna already seething with jealousy. What? Is she that insecure that she feels jealous over a woman that Owen clearly HATES. WTH?
It's going to be a long ride with this story.

And you know, how about giving this collective family some off time. It has been one major thing after another for well over a year. I am tired of seeing them on screen actually. I used to really like Anna, but now she just cheeses me off. I'm sick of her and Gary.
And I know some people think the chicken story line is pointless etc...but I like it. I think Sharif has been terrific and funny and kind of sweet.

ChiaGwen said...

Unless Linda has been in a coma or prison all these years, there had better be a pretty good reason why it took her so long to re-connect with her now grown daughters. According to weeping annoying Izzy recounting how she cried and cried for her Mother, but that Katy was just a wee girl at the time, sounds as if it has been well over 20 years since there was any contact, yet there sits Linda acting as if she hasn't seen them in a month, never-mind years. Poor writing and acting, unless those were the emotions or lack thereof she was supposed to portray for some reason.

Kira Thomsen-Cheek said...

I was just about to say that! Wonderful comment. :-)

Kira Thomsen-Cheek said...

Snort! That's funny. Thanks for the laugh! :-)

Kira Thomsen-Cheek said...

Totally agree about Sharif and his chickens! Quite sweet. Remember Jack and his pigeons? That sort of story is Corrie gold - and used to be the hallmark of the series, IMHO.

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