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

Sunday 16 December 2012

Carla conundrum and Barlow breakdown

Guest post from Coronation Street Blog reader Anna Kalinski who is on twitter @annakalinski

“Y’arrighht, Leanne?”

I’ll be honest. I had been waiting for this week.

At last, an end to those stultifyingly boring “Tommeh and Teenuh” scenes. Every week: “Is this the end for Tommy and Tina? How will Tina react?” ask the synopses in a pathetic attempt to elicit some degree of suspense from us. “They were finished long ago.” And, “Probaby by scolding and squawking “Er! Tommeh!”, answer I.

Every episode for the past few months, monopolised by their petty dramas.Oh dear, I wonder what terribly  unlucky  financial incident will befall them this week, I wonder? It’s edge of yer seat stuff, this. Will they bump yet another car? Will one of them get yet another part- time job? Will Tommy, say,  start the night shift in Prima Doner, only for a big dog to suddenly run in and eat all of the kebab meat whilst he and Tina’s backs are turned and are busy  having yet another row about the surrogacy?  But, oh no! Then Tommy will have to pay Dev back yet more money!  Now they’ll have to spend more time in “the flat” working out what to do whilst Tina stands with her back against the worktop biting her forefinger (I can only conclude this is supposed to represent the depths of their dilemma), whilst Tommy stands  open- mouthed and with the same sorry and confused expression as a puppy that’s had an accident on the kitchen floor.

But anyway, enough of the small fry. About the proper characters. Y’know, the ones with character.

This week, Peter and Carla’s return ran thus:  Shock entrance, Leanne and Nick confrontation, stress, self-pity, Carla drinks, tries to drive car drunk. Leanne and Carla slapsies… Sorry - what’s that,  you want me to stop, you’ve heard this one before?

I have to admit, like many of us on this Blog, we were hardly double checking our series link at the prospect of another recycled Corrie storyline. It’s not good enough, frankly. We haven’t been treated to some very good writing recently, and we’ve had a definite feeling of déjà vu.  We’ve had inconceivable plotlines, “pull names out of a hat” couplings, affairs as the only real plot device, along with ex-soapstar  long-lost random relatives arriving. If we were okay with that, we’d just watch EastEnders.

There hasn’t been much light relief either. In fact the only comedy we’ve had recently was when Tina emerged from the bathroom the same colour as the Cuprinol  man (and twice as wooden) asking “Do I look pale to you?” with Tommy, without a hint of irony, replying “yeah”.

Our  Taylor/Burton of the street  are back. I love them as a couple and despite the recycled storyline, a Carla fight is worth ten of a Michelle fight and they’re still gripping to watch.  Imagine how much better they’d be if we actually tried to do something  imaginative with the characters.

I’m a Carla fan. For me, her five years on the street have made her a Corrie legend. She’s the whole tough/vulnerable/drama magnet/glam Corrie woman we love. Or love to hate. But before you disagree - who else do we have right now? The best thing about her for me is she’s evolved into such a character. 

Nowadays, Phil Collinson thinks that by plopping a character in front of us and telling us in a press release: “this is a strong character who will rock the street” a legend is born. Y’know, the way that Rob and Ryan are currently rocking the street to its foundations, now, yeah?

We left Carla and Peter in an interesting point- as a stepfamily. I loved the fact that Corrie was doing the whole blended family issue, with a couple of unlikely candidates, as often stepparents are. Has this ever been tackled well before in a soap? If at all? It started well; I enjoyed watching them contend with the heady mix of the ex Leanne, the  Daddy’s new girlfriend role, the mummy’s rich boyfriend with them all “trying to make it work”, with varying degrees of success. I found Carla’s attempts to become domesticated quite endearing,(Carla does spagbol episodes), and cringed at her misjudged olives at Simon’s birthday do.  The fact that Carla was trying so hard, despite it being so cringeworthy, showed  a new side of her, rather than the homewrecker we always get year in, year out. 

I loved Peter’s blundering ineptitude as a dad, caught up in a mess of fluctuating feelings, alcohol and trying to balance Carla with his son, but clumsily wading through everybody’s emotions like a bog with his unwitting insensitivity. Peter too is a very complex character, played laudably well by Chris Gascoygne. After all, it is notoriously difficult to play a drunk (see Janice Battersby), let alone a self – involved pitying conflicted one and it’s his misplaced sense of optimism that we’re seeing again now  and his desire that ‘everything will fall into place, hey?’ that keeps him  a sympathetic  character. Unlike Battersby.

Leanne really is such a bitter character who thinks the world revolves around her, yesterday asking  Eva to be her bridesmaid, qualifying it with, “because Toyah can’t make it”. Charming.

For me, the tide started to turn after her behaviour with Simon and the whole idea that she was suddenly his keeper and Peter’s services were no longer required as a father and also the fact that she clearly derives grim satisfaction in telling him  what a loser he is  in front of Simon every two minutes.

Then, this sudden love for Nick again - a little too convenient for my liking, like their upcoming nuptials. It’s Nick, then Peter, then Nick, then Peter…now Nick…will she choose Peter again? All too redolent of that great one liner: “Aw! Dip-dip-dip, my blue ship!”

Whatever happens, in every scene we can rely on her constant scowling, arm-folding, sarcastic eye-rolling,  and her jeering interjections every time somebody tries to speak.  Every time Peter and Carla emerge onto the street there she is! She’s somehow there, in every other scene scuttling around  in that red coat with her screwed up face and that death-stare like something out of Don’t Look Now. (Now there’s a New Year storyline idea).

If she cares so much about Simon, surely she would at least attempt to smooth things overand be civil  - conversely as Nick is doing. I’m also not sure about Simon – he’s turned into something of a brattish 40 year - old midget with his constant pronouncements on people and life,and as for him refusing to go anywhere because he wanted so much to stay with his dad and then hours latersuddenly  announcing that “Nick is his dad now!” I’m not sure if that’s poor writing or is meant to show us the extent of Leanne’s own influence on him.“Sailing on the water, like a cup and saucer...” indeed.

So, is there anymore mileage in the Carla/Leanne/Peter meat triangle? Possibly, but give us something more than what we’ve seen this week.

No really, please…

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Anonymous said...

Brilliant! More of this please. Are you listening Collinson? (Or Collinson II)

Rosie said...

Cracking post, I wholeheartedly agree; as a fellow Carla fan, even the recylced storyline is acted a step above and really contrasts the quality of the other characters to me.

Everyone is expecting Peter and Leanne to fall back in each others' arms but I would like Peter to reject Leanne and reiterate his love for Carla. If Carla was stil in LA at this point that would make it even better, and despite their volatility I would like Carla and Peter to remain together at least for a lkittle while longer - they've come this far and Carla does seem to bring out some spark in Peter that I didn't witness with Leanne. Alison and Chris do have very good chemistry but mind you all three have cracking chemistry with each other!

But I think it would make an interesting twist to have Peter, in his calm zen like state, to feel secure/solid in his relationship with Carla, and to have Leanne as the only unstable one

Mrs Barton said...

Brilliant post, very funny! I totally agree with everything written too....

rita duck said...

am sick of the recycled story lines i dont watch any other soap only corrie because the stoy lines are so shallow and predictable and am afraid corrie is be coming the same am not intrested in the leanne /peter thing we cud write it ourselves not intrestred in chesneygetting involved in the fiz/tyrone thing but i DO LIKE fiz /tyrone/kirsty last year it was xmas trees this year same story line only with turkeys sunita /karl damp squid why have they turned gail into act like a liccle silly girl so embarassing to watch i could go on get your act togather corrie team get some decent writers because this are not good enough(and i was beening polite)

Anonymous said...

I just need to clear it up that Carla and Peter are not the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton of the Street. This was originally Liam and Carla and characters made reference to this a few times as did Liam to Carla once. I am better at keeping track of things over the Corrie writers it seems. In my opinion Carla is better off without Peter and it is good that Peter chose his son. One should put their child above all others so I am glad they got that right.

Tvor said...

Wonderful!!!! I do think though, that Simon's referring to Nick as his new dad was mainly to hurt Peter. Kids do know how to push the buttons that hurt the most and he knew darn well it would be the worst thing he could say to Peter.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Great post and agree whole-heartedly about the disappointing writing.

Agree that Leanne is spiteful but,like Jessica Rabbit, only because she's drawn that way. The writers are wrecking these characters, turning Corrie into a medieval mummers play. "In comes I, the wounded wife and I will kill my ex with my trusty sword." The same play/script over and over again with one dimensional characters.

It seems inevitable that Peter and Leanne will reunite and that leaves Carla at a loose end. I wonder if Alison King had doubts about returning to Corrie but has done so to keep the suspense up. I wouldn't be surprised if Alison/Carla left within the next six months, creating a whole lot of new possibilities.

Sara said...

Great post! I pretty much agree with it all.

I love Carla and Peter together AKA Burton and Taylor of Weatherfield but I am sick to death of the recycled storylines.
- Carla gets drunk, Peter asks her to pick up Simon, Carla goes to the school gates drunk, she argues with Simon, Leanne attacks her, Leanne and Carla fight, Peter's torn between Carla and Simon, Carla leaves, Peter tries to get back with Leanne. It's ridiculous!

I really hope 2013 is a good year for Carla and Peter and I hope that we are not going to have to watch them go round in circles with Leanne and Nick.

Nick is slimy and I can't stand Leanne. She's bitter, spiteful, self-righteous and she's always moaning. Just go away!

Anonymous said...

Hahaha! Thank you- exactly! It's true, i thought i had it mixed up when i read the storyline, i was reading one from 2011! the main storylines are definitely so repetitive or so drawn out and boring like the surrogacy or are so unlikely, like the sunita thing that you just switch off. Who cares about the turkeys? The comedy wrtiting used to be good enough to sustain moments where nothing happened ( remember grameme?) but now we get that embarrassing stuff with vince and stella as our comedy. Yes, they do play the whole scorned husband/wife thing over and over and yes, what IS it with these constant affairs? Now fiz and tyrone! zzzzz.... we expect more!

Anonymous said...

The writers got one thing right at least..they didn't write a pregnancy into the mix with Carla and Peter. She said no, she is not mother material..even though Peter was trying to talk her 'round, she stood her ground. It's time they lightened up Simon's character a bit..he's a real nasty little begger-I have not a lot of sympathy for him, but he's taking his cue's from Leanne I suppose. I don't think the character Leanne has anything to do other than to get in Peter and Carla's face. Really, what would they do with her? She's going to get married at Xmas ... again? Another church disaster? Done before.
I do hope though that they bring the old Carla back..or some part of her. The new one is so needy and seems to do nothing but cry all the time. I get that they're trying to show what rape can do to a woman - not just physically, but there are some of us who have rebounded and are the stronger for it....IMO anyway.


Anonymous said...

Carla and Peter work so well together. I'm gutted they've split up but I have a feeling they will reunite.

Surely the writers should stop involving Leanne and Nick in all of their storylines. Frankly, the way Leanne bounces between Nick and Peter is disturbing and Simon is scary at times! I am fed up of watching the same thing.

Dubcek said...

I keep waiting for Peter to tell Leanne that Simon is his son and not hers so she can just bog off with Nick who as we all know wanted kids so much he pressured Leanne into having an abortion and now he's Oh I've always wanted kids.
As far as I can see Collinson has done his best to destroy the Street with his lame and ridiculous storylines and a load of babies that the new producer will be stuck with forever.

Mrs. Collinson. said...

Don't forget the explosive Christmas storyline of a fire at the Rovers. Phil has promised a true cliffhanger: who will live who will be axed. I can't wait, just so proud of that boy.

Anonymous said...

I bet! I agree. Another "explosive" storyline, yeah...ppfft. a fire at the rovers? At least that's something new I guess, don't emmerdale usually get a fire at least once a year... the other explosive storyline is kylie and tommy. Another collinson partner swap.

Chewy said...

I seriously can't wait until Phil Collinson leaves next month, unfortunately we'll be watching his episodes until March. The show has become so repeatative under his reign.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post. However, I have to say that I've always found Simon to be as appealing as an overgrown rat and I'd have been just as happy if he left the Street. Even if it's taken into Care to keep him from his crazy family.

ChiaGwen said...

Agree about your comment regarding Ryan and Rob, who were touted to be sexy strong men - they're a couple of wet noodles and both can't act - I dare say surpassing the plank himself.

Kat said...

This post is brilliantly written and incredibly astute. I just read it aloud to my family and we were all in stitches as well as in total agreement.

I am also sick of the 'Tommy and Tina Show'. Yawnathon!! And that episode where she appeared from the bathroom supposedly 'looking pale' (despite looking rather more duck a l'orange than usual)had my mum and I in hysterics.

Peter is sexy, though he's looking pretty weird since he's come back, I can't work out what it is?!?!? I loved it when he and Carla got together-they are a brilliant and dangerously explosive couple. Please don't tell me that he's gonna choose that sap Leanne again though. I couldn't bear to witness the monotony of their relationship again. You're so right about her in that coat, she is indeed a poisoned dwarf!

Don't even start me on that weird Simon kid! Always running off and making people worry about him. I wish he would get lost-for good!

I look forward to reading more of your blogs. Great job!


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