Tuesday, 9 June 2015

On his Todd

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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ruth owen said...

Graeme - glad you raised the point about our still not knowing Todd's backstory, regarding what happened to him in London. I hope the explanation hasn't been shelved or forgotten. Maybe we'll hear it soon....

Graeme N said...

Thanks Ruth. Something out of the ordinary must have happened to create the character we've got today.

Zagg said...

I think, like so many things on this show, the potential story just gets dropped. Nick's brain injury, David's epilepsy etc. The PTB think the viewers have short memories and don't care I suppose. For me, the Todd ship has sailed. I don't care what the story might be at this point. All of this fabricated anger over a non-existent scar (which will eventually disappear as well I'm sure) might have worked a bit if he had come out of the mugging looking like the Phantom of the Opera or something remotely dramatic. It's too late now and way too over the top for all this trumped up revenge.

Humpty Dumpty said...

So glad you're back on the blog as I generally agree with you 100%! I said on another post that one plausible explanation for what happened in London was that Todd came across his dad but was rejected. It would be a bit on the hoof if the writers came up with this scenario now and, anyway, a lot of us are past caring. The only person who would give Todd a home is Julie, assuming Eileen's not that silly, but Brian is about to whisk her away. Todd will just vanish without trace, that's my guess.

Stephen said...

I agree with some of this. I have to say, though, that Todd the Turd's raison d'etre is irrelevant to me. Whatever his character when he was a lad, he is now just plain rotten and he must be permanently punished, and change for the better, or he'll just as wearing as many another Corra villain.

It's no good complaining, though, about Turd not being a well-rounded character when we watch a programme also infested by the likes of Tracy Luv and Callum. With luck, the latter will have his comeuppance within the next few months and float away devastated (or, better yet, killed off) into the sunset. Tracy Luv has not one redeeming feature, whereas Turd actually showed some remorse the last time, when he came between Marcus and Maria and was found out and shunned, and he made an effort to redeem himself. She has nothing but meanness to say about/to anyone, and every act is selfish and/or spiteful. The only thing the viewer can cling to, every time she does one or another, is that she will eventually be discovered, because she's not clever enough, and she'll be slapped down by someone. But then she is only down for a moment, there is no remorse, and she is worse than ever. Yawn-o.

But back to Turd. This time, he interfered with his own mother's love life and yes, he ought to have got into the taxi and left forever. If he is never going to behave, then out with him. One permanent, moustache-twirling, one-dimensional villain is enough in one programme.

Nikki NZ said...

Phantom of the Opera may have been the ambition of the writers but I'd imagine the make up department would have kicked up a fuss. Instead we get something that requires only an eyeliner pencil to apply

Anonymous said...

There's so much moralism among the viewers atm. If someone is bad they must pay. It's the same as the people on the street looking for a scapegoat. Why can't we enjoy the bad'uns for who they are? Often they're more interesting than the moralizing good'uns. I like Tracy and Todd. I hope they're around for a long time.

Marcy said...

I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy reading your posts even if I didn't know who you were talking about! Well done.

Personally the villainous character who I find unbearably one dimensional is Callum, as others have noted. There's been absolutely no hint of a background for his malevolent nature especially after his mother's appearance.

I guess I've kind of filled in the back story for Todd myself.

Thanks again for the entertaining post.

Jonathan said...

I don't enjoy drama that is driven principally by spite and humiliation, although technically that takes out all six of Gail's marriages.

Ha Ha take a cheap easy shot Graeme although I agree with a lot of what you say my own theory is that Todd went down to London and found himself out of his depth and wasn't able to make a success of himself so looking at Jason his brother who was/is less smart than him owning his own business and doing well for himself as for Eileen well she always convinced him that he was special destined for greatness, going to Oxford and when he tried he failed so he blames her rather than himself

Canada said...

Anon at 21:57 -- I agree with you. I like Tony too, and many hate him because he is so mean. That's what I've liked about him. Maybe he did go a bit too far with Liz, but if everyone was clean-cut nice and truthful on the show - we prob wouldn't watch it.

Canada said...

And I could care less about Todd's London days. It's too late now, I'm past wondering what he got up to. He has his part to play in the storylines and the fact we love to hate him, tells me the actor is doing a good job.

Graeme N said...

Thanks Marcy, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Tvor said...

Great post! Though, like the others, I don't really care about Todd's motivations anymore. Nothing could make me feel sorry for how he's turned out now. No matter what happened to him in London to make him turn mean and sly, he was an adult when it happened. Deal with it and move on, don't turn all petulant and blame everyone else for your own problems. It is true that nasty Todd is more interesting to watch but if there's no redeeming features, there's no point. Even Tracy loves her parents and her daughter as useless as she is as a mother and daughter herself. With Tracy, you can trace her attitude back to her teen years when her parents got divorced. She started on her path then and it's only progressed to what she is today.

Anonymous said...

I think the really good villains are the ones who have layers to their characters and conflicting motivations. Both Todd and Tracey have become one dimensional and pretty much unrelenting in their nastiness. Villains like Tony Gordon, Liz's Tony, and even Richard Hillman are interesting because they are often conflicted about what they are doing, and view their actions as a matter of their own survival or advancement rather than just vindictiveness.

Anonymous said...

I like Todd, but this revenge motivation is very thin.
But he's a good actor, his character is witty. Needs better material.

Who's his Dad?

Dame Edna said...

I can forgive a one-dimensional character if the actor playing that character can act....therefore, Todd can stay.

What I can't forgive is the casting of the ham who plays Callum. In real life, I once came across someone who WAS what Callum is supposed to be.....and he scared the bejaysus out of me. Callum just inspires laughter...and not in a good way, either. Need an actor who plays "bad", beautifully? Step forward, Jack Shepherd.

As for simpering Sarah ~ there are no words!

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