Saturday, 17 September 2016

There's something about Sean

Has anyone else noticed a slight change in the atmosphere down Weatherfield way of late? Maybe it is just a general comparison of the episodes we are watching now to those somewhat weary ones we were dragging ourselves through earlier in the year. A new broom (sorry Kate for likening you to a cleaning implement) can sometimes have that effect in any workplace. People react to change and for a time, there is a new found vivacity, an unbridled joy in life. Here's hoping it lasts.

Not that everyone has been affected by this joie de vivre. Take Sean Tully for example. Seriously, someone just take him and have a word. Over the past few years Sean seems to have become a bit of a non-character, fading into the shadows or perhaps Eileen's cleavage. When he first toddled onto the cobbles about four hundred years ago, Sean was a breath of fresh air and a bit of a laugh. Not anymore.

I almost spat my barm cake across the room at the knowledge that Sean was only just celebrating his 40th birthday. Seriously? Then again, he fits in with all of the other unlikely ages offered up by Street residents. The Audrey-Gail-Nick scenario is pretty bizarre with Nick looking almost as old as his grandmother. Plus we are expected to believe that Rita is in her eighties when in fact, she's 109 years old. Bless her.

Over the years, Sean has often been the recipient of unfair criticism, usually along the lines that his character was pandering to some out-dated notion of camp. A Mr Humphries for the new Millennium.  A load of old rot of course. Camp exists in many, glorious forms and you only have to tune in to an edition of First Dates on Channel 4 to see it thrive. So we'll have none of that thank you very much. Besides, he's now billeted with Norris who's the biggest old queen in residence at the moment.

No, Sean's problem is that he's terminally dull. He exists on a rollercoaster of relationship ups and downs. Sean gives his all to the new man in his life which always seems to crush the life out of them. For anyone else this would form part of a learning curve. However, Sean just hits the reset button and starts all over again. He weeps, he sulks, he lashes out, he utters a few waspish one-liners and then, like a Lidl Bet Lynch, re-emerges, stately as a galleon, behind the Rovers bar. Then off we go again.

Despite his forty (yes, I'm still not a believer) years, Sean's mindset is seemingly stuck in his teenage mode. Watching a middle-aged man immersing himself in strops and tantrums doesn't make for easy or pleasurable viewing. Thankfully he's extracted himself from M'lady of the Miseries household (and the sooner Eileen gets shipped off to Cell Block H for fraud, the better) so without her to feed his moods, Sean might just emerge from this a little stronger.

If Sean is to stick around then he needs to learn from past mistakes, not continue treading the same tear-sodden ground forever and a day. Give him a new man by all means but let's see him approach a relationship in a calm, reasonable manner. Maybe people will warm to him more. If not, then it's eternal afternoons of sherry and malicious gossip with Norris.

David Bridgman.
Twitter @bridglondon

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Scott Willison said...

Good summation of my problems with Sean. He's never learns from his mistakes, and never takes anything on board. This might be because he's so utterly self-centred that he's not entirely aware other human beings exist. There was a moment in his birthday episode when Norris was offering to cook him a birthday tea, and Sean was rolling his eyes and treating him with disgust. Ok, it's not what you want for your 40th (cough) birthday, but Norris was being nice. He didn't have to do anything special for you at all; treat him with a bit of respect.

Similarly his outrage at being accused of dobbing Billy and Todd into the bishop in a bid to ruin their relationship came a couple of episodes after he cancelled Billy and Todd's hotel room in a bid to ruin their relationship. The accusation wasn't just pulled out of thin air. But Sean has no memory for his own actions. I think we're meant to see him as some kind of tragic figure, but in reality, he's just awful.

Maricha said...

I think what we see of Sean is the best we'll see until the writers decide to give him a real storyline instead of just using him as a time filler. We can't very well see him grow if his sadness is treated like an afterthought. I never liked Billy so I think Sean is well rid of him but to have him end up with Todd who was living in the same house as Sean is creepy. Anyone would find that devastating and I'm not sure what lesson Sean is supposed to learn from that? Don't trust people? Todd is a bitter schemer with a chip on his shoulder and an unwarranted mean streak . I'd much rather see more of Sean than Todd and Billy combined.

Louby said...

I feel like I am in a minority, as I like Sean a lot. I would love for him to get permanent custody of his child, he would have to be less self centered then. He first appeared in 2003 so the character being 40 isn't that weird.

Agree with you about the Nick thing. I don't know what the casting people were thinking when they cast Ben who's about 10 years older than Nick is supposed to be. Besides, I will always think of him as Conrad from Footballers' Wives!

Anonymous said...

An interesting piece, I agree completely. There are lots of middle aged gay men out there just like him, still clinging on to their early 20s and a cycle of bitterness and bitching that scuppers relationships. I don't understand why we've not seen Sean and Norris in the house together - Norris could be a surprising confident and support for Sean - plus there must be comedy potential in their sharing a house!
I hope he never returns to Eileen's (how has it reached the point where I wish Phelan had pushed her off the roof?!). I also hope Sean matures a bit, decides to do something serious - helping at an LGBT centre in Manchester perhaps - where a slow burning relationship forms.... This time the relationship is a success, Sean becomes less selfish and they move in together... at the house warming, Sean receives the devastating news that his child's mother has died suddenly and he has to take on being a father...
Fortunately, over time Sean's new guy warms to the situation, and they even consider adoption!
Writers - take his character forward, not just stuck in a dull vortex as ao many characters are.

Tvor said...

Also, Sean has been working two jobs for years. Why doesn't he have any sort of savings to get his own flat or at least, he could afford to rent somewhere rather than lodge at Norris'.

I do like Sean, always have, but it's true they've never really done a lot with him and his character is self centred. I do think, though, that Antony Cotton has been doing a good job these last few weeks since the Billy and Todd thing happened.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Agree with this blog and the comments. Sean has the same limited personality as Tracy. I have a feeling that Tracy is on the way out but Sean seems to be staying.

You might as well say that Sean lives at home because he recently said that he looks upon Eileen as a mother. He's immature and self-centred (like Tracy) and while that might be amusing in someone under 30, at 40 it becomes tiresome. Authentic, maybe, but tiresome people aren't interesting. He needs an older partner who has a life away from the Street (tennis fanatic, film buff, anything). They should live together in a stable relationship. Then he might become a more rounded character.

Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree with everyone! Sean is in desperate need of decent storyline. Love the idea of him raising his son and finding a good partner. Like you said TVOR why doesn't Sean have enough money to get his own place?
I have always been very fond of Sean and would hate to see him leave.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Agree with this blog and the comments. Sean has the same limited personality as Tracy. I have a feeling that Tracy is on the way out but Sean seems to be staying.

You might as well say that Sean lives at home because he recently said that he looks upon Eileen as a mother. He's immature and self-centred (like Tracy) and while that might be amusing in someone under 30, at 40 it becomes tiresome. Authentic, maybe, but tiresome people aren't interesting. He needs an older partner who has a life away from the Street (tennis fanatic, film buff, anything). They should live together in a stable relationship. Then he might become a more rounded character.

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