Monday, 2 November 2015

Why the Nazirs are no longer the nadir of Weatherfield

Is any one character universally loved on t'cobbles? Probably not although Roy Cropper must come perilously close to getting a group hug from the assembled fandom. Something he would hate. There are certainly firm favourites - Liz, Rita and Carla are beloved by many. In the dim and distant past I loved Bet and Minnie. I also took a shine, worryingly, to Renee Bradshaw. Early-version Gail plus her cohorts Tricia and later Suzie could do no wrong in my eyes.

Conversely, I've never cared for Emily all that much. I'm no big fan of Rita, never really 'got' Janice Battersby and loathed Mike 'packet of my cigars' Baldwin for two decades. A year ago, I would have added the Nazirs to the list. Initially they seemed to be yet another 'en masse' family flop and I was expecting them to be jammed into the Corrie cupboard alongside the Claytons, the Mortons and Beth's short-lived relations. Kal was an unrealistic gym instructor. They may as well have stuck Michael in lycra. Yasmeen always seemed to be projecting to the back row of a 2000 seat theatre, Sharif went from business mogul to hen farmer in a matter of weeks and Zeedan was a scowling bag of resentment. Ok, so the latter is a work in progress. Only Alya, bright as a button, seemed likely to be with us for the long haul.

How things have changed. Yasmeen has mellowed and although she hasn't lost her spark, her nurturing and caring side has emerged, particularly since Kal's death. Sharif has settled in nicely, hens conveniently forgotten and Zeedan proved to be a good friend to Leanne when she needed one most. Given upcoming storylines, she may well need that particular shoulder to cry on again before long.

Which leaves us with Alya. Corrie has once again worked its particular kind of 'magic' on a young woman and has drained her of any interest. It's happened before. Maria went from frumpy kennel maid, to vamp, to psycho mummy in the space of a decade. Sophie morphed from 'girl most likely to make something of herself' to mumbling dullard. Becky yo-yo'd between numerous personalities until we were all worn out and didn't care any more. Dear, dead old Tina journeyed from lovable barmaid to young fogey, helped along by dreary Tommy Duckworth and Tyrone's perpetual hangdog face. Now it's poor old Alya's turn. The engagement to Gary Windass was odd and clunky. They never seemed like an actual couple. Alya's one-off descent into drink and a little afternoon delight with Jason were uncomfortable storylines. Her burgeoning career at Underworld has been snuffed out by the many Connors and she now shuffles around the shop floor with a clipboard or hovers in the doorway waiting for the command to make something with 'two sugars love'.

For me then, the Nazirs can stay. I like them. Give Alya the positive lift she needs and you never know, I may even end up loving them.
David Bridgman (twitter @bridglondon)

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Anonymous said...

No one at Corrie seems to know how to write for young characters. Most of them seem old or overburdened before their time: Chesney, Tyrone, Fiz, Sophie, Gary, Izzy, Tina, Tommy, all seem(ed) like they'd prefer a night in with the TV and a hot water bottle rather than going out, going to school, or whatever. During the baby boom of the last few years many of them also got tied down with now-invisible children; when's the last time we saw Jake or Ruby on screen?

Yasmine has been showing a softer side; remember when she offered some lavender essential oil to Faye to ease her stress over the baby? It was odd but very sweet. Alya seems like she's too tightly wrapped, the high achiever who can't forgive herself for anything. Sharif has improved although (as per the Street's dampening effect) he no longer seems like the high-powered businessman he once was. Zeedan is shaping up although it's hard to see where they're going to take his character because he seems to have no connections on the Street besides his family and Leanne/Simon.

Joseph Billington said...

I must admit I really disliked the family except Kal at first. However, after he died, my favourite became Zeedan. Sharif settled in but still doesn't do it for me. Alya has potential. Yasmeen has improved. I don't really mind if they stay or go.

Clinkers (David) said...

Could it be that the death of Kal was the saving of the family? Good point about Zeedan not having many other connections on the Street.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Indeed it was Kal's death that breathed new life into his family. The three generation family didn't work. For a while, my favourite set-up would have been the grandparents and Alya, Zeedan having gone off to do something or other. Now, I'm not so sure. Alya isn't believable as a young woman in torment about her identity. She really, really needs a female in whom she can confide her dilemmas. She loves her family but they constrain her liberty etc etc. It might be interesting to see her connect with another young woman facing the same cultural problem. This could be a buyer who visits the factory. There's also a story here about children being brought up by people two generations older than them. Why doesn't Alya rage at her grandparents that her mother would understand what the old fogies don't get? It wouldn't be true but it would show her confusion.

As for softening Yasmeen, I have a suggestion for the make up department. Get rid of the centre parting which makes her look like an old school marm. Lightening Carla's jet black hair did wonders for presenting a softer side to her character. I would love to see Yasmeen in the salon asking Kylie for a whole new look.

abbyk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John McE said...

I am just praying the new producer sacks the lot of them. I just cannot stand Zeedan - he is an eternally sulky brat, IMHO. He has no life of his own, and only exists to get in a strop about the rest of his family.

True they have given Yasmeen a bit of a personality transplant, but she is very hard to warm to.

Her husband (sorry I can't even remember his name) doesn't really have much to do, and out of all of them only Alya has any potential... but hopefully not with the equally sulky Gary.

Anonymous said...

Michael in lycra - ugh - the visuals are not pleasant, especially first thing in the morning - almost as bad as Andy catching Michael & Eileen on the sofa enjoying afternoon delight. OOOOH NOOOOOO

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