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Monday 27 September 2010

The Family Affair

I can't have been the only one who thought introducing William Roache's real-life sons to Corrie was a brilliant 50th anniversary idea.  Linus as his long-lost son?  James as his grandson? Brilliant.

In reality, I've been very disappointed.  The whole storyline's been executed really badly.

Firstly, let's deal with the revelation that Ken had another son. This is mind-blowing stuff, for parent and child. Lawrence has never met his father, never known who he was even. There should have been fireworks, recriminations, anger, tears.  Instead, Ken said, "I've worked out I'm your father." Lawrence's response?  "Oh, really?"

And that was it.  No resentment or yearning.  Barely any emotions at all.  In fact, the best responses came from Peter Barlow, who treated it all with amused disdain.

Then came the second part of the plot: Lawrence's estrangement from his own son due to his sexuality.  Again, a potentially good idea, in that it meant born-liberal Ken would be torn between his desire to know his new son and his support for his grandson's rights.  And again, it's been fudged.  Are we really meant to accept that an educated university lecturer like Lawrence, a man brought up by a left-wing firebrand and single mother, would be homophobic?  It seems completely out of character.

It's also too big a plot to be over and done with in a couple of weeks.  Linus will never commit to more than a handful of episodes - the episodes should be concentrating on Lawrence and Ken's relationship, without this distraction of James in the mix.  That could have been powerful, dramatic, and heartbreaking, and given Bill Roache a real storyline to get his teeth into.

I've been very let down by the whole thing.  Especially as by the looks of it, Lawrence is simply going to vanish to the same Barlow purgatory that Daniel lives in, never to be mentioned again...


David Cameroon said...

I agree this was very disappointing, I think due to sloppy writing and the pair coming across (to me at least) as a bit wooden. This could have been done so much better with a build up, perhaps Ken befriending Lawrence somewhere, the library? Finding they have a lot in common before the big reveal. Thought the letter business was just random and surely would have either been discovered or disintergrated! Lawrence also had a bigoted attitude of someone from the 1950s rather than the 21st century which wasnt really believable. Could do better writers!

Chewy said...

Phil wants to bring them back next year to expand on it

gab said...

i too thought it was a bit of a let down-im your father oh really

i mean what? i would have fainted if someone said that me was it mean to be ironic or something as they rally are father and son?

i hope there are more explosive stories within this otherwise its been a huge waste of time

Tvor said...

I did enjoy it but it was over far too quickly. I thought there'd be a bit more to it than there was. Very good idea to cast it that way but i guess both sons, being actors, only had a limited amount of time. If the writers were smart, they'd at least have Ken mention the two of them, maybe saying he was going to visit James who seems to live local to Manchester.

Although it might seem odd that Lawrence is a stiff bigot, being the son of two liberals, it can certainly happen that he might turn out ultra conservative. I didn't find that so difficult to accept. But yes, i would have enjoyed this a lot more if there had been more to it, rather than rush through it. I hope they do revisit it when all the actors are free. I'd also like to see Peter more involved at least in getting to know his nephew if not his brother.

abbyk said...

It's already over with Lawrence? I feel cheated, we just were getting to know someone with a story and a connection. (And a someone who could express cogent thoughts in complete sentences to boot.) We had only a waft of rivalry with Peter. We missed Ken and Ted discussing their discovered adult offspring. We didn't even get the sight gag of Emily, Rita or Betty doing a double take in the Rovers.

Too bad, too, cause I could watch gorgeous Linus read the phone book.

Scott Willison said...

Tvor I'd agree with you about Lawrence being ultra conservative as a reaction against his lefty parents, if they hadn't spent a whole episode with he and Ken bonding. The two of them were so sympatico, it seemed strange that this was the one aspect of life they didn't agree on.

Sadly Linus has far too good a career (he is in Law & Order in the US) for him to give up weeks to appear in Corrie. Though I'd welcome his return any time.

Ol Cranky said...

I read somewhere that the storyline was so short because Linus could only commit to 2 weeks as they hadn't canceled L&O when the arc was planned. Linus is doing a play off-Broadway starting next week. His new HBO show doesn't premier until June (I think) - they shot the pilot earlier this month. I will not be surprised if Lawrence and James were brought back for a bit early next year (or maybe at the end of this year, depending on how long the play's run is).

Since James & his bf live close to Weatherfield, maybe either James or the bf will be injured in the pending tram crash and there will be a plot involving Lawrence reconnecting with his son (with Ken's help, of course) as a result?


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