Cosy crimes and gritty sagas by Corrie Blog editor Glenda, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Corrie's Parent Wars

Let the competitive mothering commence! Monday’s episodes saw the opening salvos in what could turn out to be quite the feud between sometime mates Leanne and Cheryl over the fates and fortunes of their respective offspring. The new ‘super-head’ at Bessie Street reckons Simon is a disruptive influence in class, whereas Russ has been labelled gifted and is set to receive special coaching. Whatever the rights or wrongs of those assessments, for now at least, Cheryl is cock-a-hoop, Leanne’s nose is well and truly out of joint, and their friendship has taken on a frosty feel. So will this escalate into all-out war, or simply fizzle out like a damp squib? I daresay we’ll find out soon enough.

This is the kind of low-key, background storyline where everyone’s mileage is going to vary. Some viewers will love it. Others will hate it. More still will be completely indifferent. Me, I reckon there’s a fair amount of potential in the concept, although it’s very early days yet to see where the show intends to take it and a lot will depend on the tone and execution. It is, at the very least, the kind of mundane, everyday storyline that should always outnumber the high-octane dramas soaps are so fond of. After all, trams don’t derail every day, but parents bickering over the exploits of their little darlings? That’s something most folk can relate to, and it’s not as if Cheryl and Leanne don’t have form in this area – they’ve fallen out over the boys before, and there has always been a slight edge to their friendship, so this latest development is definitely in character for them both.

We don’t really know Cheryl that well yet, even after almost a year on the show, so maybe this will be our chance to get to know her a bit better, since it looks as if she is going to be sticking around as a regular character. We have already seen hints that she has more than a touch of the Sally Webster about her: a woman with ambitions and aspirations she has rarely had the opportunity to indulge. This storyline definitely looks set to tap into that aspect of her personality, her desire to better herself, as well as her fierce devotion to her son. Depending on how things go, it might also cast some light on her fairly whirlwind relationship with Lloyd, which seems to have developed mostly in the background of other peoples’ stories. After all, they are looking to buy a house together, which is a pretty huge commitment to be rushing into, yet I can’t see Cheryl allowing Lloyd to interfere too much where Russ is concerned, so watching them negotiate those boundaries should, in theory, be interesting…especially if Chris starts sticking his oar in as well.

As for the Junior Barlows, a low-key storyline like this is definitely what the doctor ordered after all their recent dramas. For Leanne, as a stepmother whose place in Simon’s life has so recently been threatened, it makes sense that she would overcompensate for her insecurities by throwing her full weight behind him in this way. Plus, since Peter is usually the volatile one with Leanne having to rein him in, it is good to have a bit of role reversal now and then to remind us that Leanne can fly off the handle, too, at times, and that Peter is also capable of being the voice of reason.

If nothing else, I am looking forward to the inevitable scenes of Peter and Lloyd rolling their eyes at one another in resigned exasperation while Leanne and Cheryl argue the toss!


Defrost Indoors said...

It's nice to see a return to more 'kitchen-sink' matters, the small domestic things rather than conflict between partners or kidnappings, explosions, shock weddings, and the like.

Thought for a future blog post: just how many times *has* Underworld been blown up, closed, set on fire etc.?

mister_tmg said...

Finding it boring so far. All the characters are a televisual form of Nytol. Leanne has been softened far too much, she used to be one of my faves.

Frosty the Snowman said...

Firstly Leanne has just had a massive storyline so why is she going straight into another when there are other characters that need some time. What about a story for Rita or Julie or Eileen why is it Leanne Leanne thrust down our throats all the time? Plus I dont like Cheryl at all, dont know what it is about her, perhaps her cockiness and air of being full of herself and I dont care about Russ much either wh would not be in competition with Simon as he would be in a completely different yeaer - DAH. Of course we all know who the daft headmaster is doing to turn out to be!

Rachel said...

Looking forward to seeing Brian again (I was v. disappointed when he and Julie didn't become a couple!) but am weary at the thought of more Cheryl and Russ on the screen.

Beth said...

I think this will really turn out to be a nothing story just a way to bring back the daft teacher (sorry name escapes me) for either Julie or to raise the Colin Fishwick saga again. Not to forget that Fiz has indeed stolen the money from Mrs Fishwick's will so that will have to come out at somepoint too.
It's nice to see Leanne so protective of Simon though as his step mum! aciesc

Anonymous said...

I wonder if their not going to pull a switchero and have it turn out Simon is actually gifted and that why he's making trouble. Simon seems far more like a gifted child given how verbal and precocious he is.

Llywela said...

I wonder if their not going to pull a switchero and have it turn out Simon is actually gifted and that why he's making trouble. Simon seems far more like a gifted child given how verbal and precocious he is.
I think this story, such as it is, is likely to be a lot more about the mothers than the children. Where Simon and Russ are concerned...well, sometimes it is easier to spot the potential in a child who behaves than one who doesn't, and I have no trouble believing that Simon is disruptive in class - he's lively and energetic and has been through some turbulent times. He's younger than Russ, too, so their assessments would have a different focus. Also we don't really know what was actually said at those interviews, only how Leanne and Cheryl interpreted them. I am prepared to believe that the Barlows were told something to the effect of 'Simon is a very bright child, but...' and Leanne only heard what came after the 'but'. Because her need to prove that she is as good a mother to Simon as if she gave birth to him pushes her into the 'my child can do no wrong' camp. Peter didn't seem unduly concerned.

Anonymous said...

^^ It must be nice to have a hotline to the scriptwriters. And one to the school the two kids attend, except ..... err.... it does not exist.

gab said...

im also thinking that simon is maybe the gifted one and russ is actually sent to a special needs class rather than a gifted and talented one- we all know the headteacher and he prob means one thing and says another to the two mums


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