Sunday, 29 November 2015

Zeedan to burst soap bubble?

It was interesting, but not surprising, to hear Zeedan express a wish to move on from the gym on Friday’s Corrie, when we promptly saw the managerial mantle pass to Gary.

Zeedan has fast become one of my favourite characters on the street at the moment. His development from a sullen, almost disdainful young man, into an intelligent, considerate, capable, respectful and responsible individual provides us with a great role model and an interesting character who is infinitely watchable thanks to the talents of Qasim Akhtar.

Like all of us, Zeedan is not perfect, and his momentary lapses ensure his complexity. Look no further than his attempt to vandalise Barlow's Buys on finding out Tracy started the fire which killed his father, and his altercation with Jason when the news broke that he had slept with Alya. The important thing about both instances was that he could be reasoned with and talked out of doing any damage.
The finest example of his positive traits, which far outweigh any negative ones, can be found in the support he continues to offer Leanne and his investment in Simon. In addition, his desire to honour his father’s memory by doing sterling work at the gym, and the manner in which he didn’t allow his initial anger at and disappointment in Alya to prevent him from comforting her, offering his support, and reassessing his initial perceptions of what she had done, showed great strength of character.

The question now is, where does Zeedan go from here?

My personal hope is that he honours his potential while remaining on the street. This would involve him breaking the mould and working or studying elsewhere, but returning home in the evenings and/or weekends. 

To be honest, I can’t understand why this isn’t the case for more characters. I know the various businesses need people behind their counters, but we did have a rare instance where Deirdre worked for the Council, and to my recollection, we never saw any scenes filmed there. Nor was the drama the poorer for it; we barely noticed. If anything, talk of somewhere ‘untelevised’ enhanced the realism; how many of us have any personal knowledge of the workplaces our friends and loved ones speak of, aside from their descriptions of them?

I like the fact that filming restricts itself to the street and its environs, with on-location shoots in the vast minority, but there's no reason why its characters can't temporarily inhabit other places.

The most fitting tribute to a character of Zeedan’s quality would be to see him spend his days elsewhere fulfilling his potential while at the same time enriching the street while he’s home with news of beyond its parameters, and his interactions with neighbours, friends and family. This is not to say he would be deprived of a storyline of his own; in our own lives, we find ourselves negotiating plenty of situations outside of work or university.

I think it would be a great loss to the programme if Zeedan’s desire for more meant he had to leave the street, like so many before him. In the wake of The Guardian asking why there aren’t more graduates on Corrie, and Scott’s excellent 2013 post on how young cobble-based folk attempting to better themselves do so at their peril, let Zeedan be the one who bursts this soap bubble.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.

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Humpty Dumpty said...

Zeedan is being portrayed as having itchy feet and he said that he only hung around to please his father. It wouldn't be authentic if he was to go to the local university and stay at home. That scenario would suit Sophie very well eg a BA in Business Studies, but Zeedan wants to get away. And, of course, the actor may want to move on which would mean the character's departure. If Zeedan does go to university, he will have to wait until September so he might go travelling or volunteer overseas before then. Zeedan has always been a bit irrelevant to me. Given his strong beliefs, he was never going to have numerous love affairs and that rather cut down the number of story lines he could have. A compact Nazir family of grandparents and Alya would work much better.

Anonymous said...

Totally disagree. I think Alya is the weak link.

Anonymous said...

Z doesn't exist. To suggest a character leave the street would put the actor out of work so no..he should stay. It's about time there was a male character on the street that wasn't a tom cat and had some decency about him. I'm waiting for him to fall for Leanne-won't that raise a few eyebrows.

maggie muggins said...

Nice blog-post, Emma. Good point about Deirdre's Council job that we never saw, but heard about after hours. Thanks for pointing to The Guardian article, as I had missed that. Sad about the dire comments below the line there. Most don't agree with the idea, much less that the article was even written!

I do hope that Qasim Akhtar stays on for a long time. As with the women on the Street, I'd like to see less emphasis on coupleism for a change. With Zee at uni, we could get some interesting storylines out of that! One point made in the article was that Corrie's roots are working class. Well, most uni graduates these days are working class, if they're lucky. Wouldn't hurt to include a thin gloss of political irony in the show. And having an education doesn't have to mean being a snob either.

John McE said...

Sorry, but I have never warmed to him. He comes across as a sulky brat with anger issues. Yes, let him go to University... preferably in Australia!

Anonymous said...

Can we keep Zeedan and trade-in Alya for someone else?

Lily Bigfield said...

I started by loathing sulky Zeedan, but his character has grown on me; I agree, here's hoping they write him a decent future, with a life outside the street. Please, do not go the romance route with Leanne, I swear I will have to stop watching if they do!

Pootle5 said...

Zeedan is the only Nazir worth keeping, Alya is my least favourite and I hope she goes sooner rather than later.
I agree that the bubble needs bursting - Craig should also have a positive off-street study/work future whilst remaining living in and around the street.

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