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Wednesday 19 November 2014

The Nazirs of Coronation Street

Guest blog post from Corrie fan long-time Coronation Street Blog rader Nathan Richardson, who shares his thoughts on the Nazir family.

It has been nearly one year now since Kal first appeared in Coronation Street. Introduced as the ex-army pal of Gary Windass, his raison d’√™tre on the street was to be Dev’s personal trainer. The producers certainly thought the character had potential because, twelve months on, he has now opened a gym on the street, become romantically involved with Leanne, and introduced us to four members of his family.

But does anybody actually like him?

Personally, I thought his arrival rather ridiculous: the only friend from the army Gary ever mentioned was Quinny, and he died in battle. Suddenly, the proprietor of the corner shop has a protruding waist, and so Gary stepped in with military quickness, ready to implicate Dev unto a fitness regime courtesy of his old friend Kal? It seemed silly at worst, but, okay, this Coronation Street, it takes great liberties with what might actually happen in life, and we have to accept that.

But then (as always happens) Kal settled into the street, and I still didn’t warm to him. He worked also with Nick, after his accident, and they were occasionally seen out running together, but beside that he seemed to just drift. He drank in the Bistro, in the Rovers, became friendly with the other characters, but he had no real purpose; we knew he had children, that his wife had died, but he lived away from the street, and was something of a lone bird. If you’d have taken him away he’d have been quickly forgotten.

And then, this year, they introduced his family, and then my view began to change. Okay, his father, Sharif, didn’t do much for me. He played the archetypal interfering father, but Coronation Street is brilliant for its female characters, and once we met the female Nazirs (and once I accepted that Kal, judging by appearances, became a father aged ten) I began to love them.

Yasmeen, Kal’s mother, has, since Sylvia’s sad departure, taken on the feisty harridan role, the battle axe. A retired librarian, she is dogmatic and determined. In the past we’re told she has been arrested for protesting, and when the Weatherfield Library was under threat of closure, she quickly intervened, and staged a sit in protest, where, quite brilliantly, she spoke favourably of Elizabeth Smart’s wonderful novel By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept. It made brilliant viewing. “The argument of the broken window pane is the most valuable argument in modern politics.” These words were spoken by another empowered Mancunian woman: Emmeline Pankhurst.

Yasmeen was introduced as another forthright, no-nonsense activist for the greater-good in society. Given her history, I wouldn’t be surprised to see her smashing windows, and I hope we see more of this aspect to her character. In short, I love her. Most recently, she has purchased the former butcher’s shop and opened it as a community centre. This gives her solid ground on the street, and hopefully the nucleus of many brilliant story-lines to come.

Alya is Kal’s daughter, and like Yasmeen, I think she is completely heavenly and fabulous. A fashion graduate, she works on the reception desk at the gym. She is friends with Gary Windass, and between the two there is something of a suppressed desire for each other. I think this is rather nice, rather old-fashioned, and it’s a joy to watch. The audience wants them to get together, but Gary is an unskilled labourer, and a father, too – there’s no way her family would welcome him, but we know that true love is blind to these things, and we want them to be together. Though Alya is not exactly an intellectual (to Yasmeen’s horror she confessed to having not read Wuthering Heights) she has more cultured tastes than Gary: at her request and his reluctance they recently went to see a Spanish film at the art-house cinema in Manchester. Soon, I believe she will become the trainee manager at Underworld, which shall also give the character more stability on the street, and it shall be interesting to see how her relationship with Gary develops now that, oh my, they have actually kissed.

And that leaves us with Zeedan, who only appeared back in September. It’s probably too early to cast an opinion on him, but from what I’ve seen of him I like. He has perfected the look of disappointment and is often seen shaking his head despairingly at his father, Kal. He’s currently working at the builder’s site, and I’ve no idea where he’s headed, but I’m keen to learn.

So yes, the Nazirs – I’ve gone from not liking Kal at all to not like him at all but adoring his family. They are a diverse bunch, and they provide great comic relief, but with the absent mother, and the occasionally fragile inter-generational relationships, there’s something very serious about them too.

It’s been a while since the street had a new family, and with three generations to work with, I think the writers are having great fun. I for one am having fun watching them, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Nathan Richardson
Twitter: @unfingermarked

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Tvor said...

I do find that Kal has gone a bit dull. Sharif is a nice buffer for Yasmeen whom I also really like. Some call her rude and interfering, I call her passionate! And interfering. But I like her! Alya, not bad but I don't see any spark with her and Gary. Zeedan is a bit of a dud so far, all sulky and stroppy.

Wim said...

I have to agree that, ironically, Kal seems to be the weakest link in the family that was created around him, but apart from finding him a bit bland and boring, I don't actually mind him. He seems to genuinely care for his family and for Leanne, and I'm willing to give him a chance to further develop. Jimi Mistry is a talented actor, perhaps we've just not seen Kal get a challenging enough storyline to show us what he's made off.

Anonymous said...

I mdon't care for them at all. I like Dev, his family should have come to Corrie.
Yasmeen is too over-bearing, Kal is boring and what is with those quizzical eyebrows ?

Anonymous said...

The Morton's were a better family dynamic than the Nazir's. Single dad with 5 fairly well behaved children. Loved them, miss them, can't stand the Nazirs. PLEASE MOVE!

Anonymous said...

Cant' stand Yasmeen and wouldn't care if the others sank without trace too. Corrie has made the mistake of thrusting entire family's at us in the past and it has seldom worked.

Anonymous said...

Jimi Mistry is being wasted on Corrie. I like the actor, but Kal is bland, and his introduction contrived. His kids look more like his siblings. Sharif is a bore, and Yasmeen can be amusing, but is mostly shrill. If the whole family suddenly big deal to me. They are really going to have to work at developing them, and with a cast this bloated, that seems unlikely.

Ha! The Morton family, forgot all about them. Wow.

Humpty Dumpty said...

I'm afraid they've had zero impact on me. Biggest failing is that Yasmeen takes herself far too seriously. Her family make gentle fun of her behind her back, but she herself lacks the self-awareness that would endear her to us. Alya does nothing but half-smile. FGS, girl, have a row with your dad about 'why is it OK for you to play around with Leanne?' etc etc. I could go on but others have said it for me. The silliest thing will be when they all move onto the Street.

Frosty the Snowman said...

We call Kal the Triangle Headed Twerp in the Frosty House. Firstly we were supposed to believe that he and Garrah were such good army mates but that Gary didnt know who his daughter was when he quite ludicrously picked her up in a nightclub and she took a strange bloke home to spend the night albeit on the sofa. Then the ridiculous being madly in love with Leanne the sour faced always in a strop with someone or other wife of his supposed mate and business partner? Yasmin is a shouty shrew totally miscast for an actress who thinks she is addressing the Gallery by SHOUTING all her lines. Bubba G is harmless. Ayla is a stunning Univesity educated girl who would have aspirations beyond the back street stuck in a time warp tin pot faktray staffed by the laziest people in the North. As for Seedan - Meedan whatever his name is, he gurns a lot but I quite like him as the son constantly embarrassed by his parent. Also the Nazirs seem to spend a lot of their time on licenced premises for Muslims. I

John McE said...

Kal - dull, dull, dull.

Ayla - fitting in quite nicely.

Sharif - pretty pointless.

Seedan - a complete brat.

Yasmin - the most loathsome harridan the street has seen in 64 years.

Keep Ayla - seeing her grieve when the other 4 all die a horrible death should give her a good storyline to get her teeth into ;-)

John said...

It's Zeedan Frosty

John McE said...

Zeeden Frosty? I thought it was Zeeden Nazir? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Is the blogger smoking crack?

Vol Vick said...

Why do some bloggers feel the need to correct other bloggers' spelling? Smacks of sanctimony and having nothing else much to say! Sometimes it shows the impact the character has had.

ChiaGwen said...

Oh Vol Vick....all harmless fun....LOL Zeeden Frosty!
Haven't warmed at all to Yasmeen, she certainly is not in the league of Blanche or Sylvia by a long shot. Zeedan seems very immature for his age.....I'm assuming 19 or 20? All pouty, whiney with a negative attitude. Sharif is so bland as to not register with me at all. Alya seems the most interesting and her 'Romeo/Juliet' scenario with Gary could be Izzy just needs to die in the bus crash....

Zagg said...

I've said it before. They are THE worst family to hit the streets. The father is at least pleasant, Alya is nice but wasting her education in the knickers factory (so silly), Jimi Mistry is completely wasting his talents as Kal. He is a really good actor. Too bad they have made him such a dullard and given him bad scripts.

And don't get me started on Zeedan and Yasmeen. The pair of them are so bloody miserable and horrible with the overbearing screaming and snarling and sneering. What are the writers thinking? I really feel abused after they are on screen.

Dubcek said...

I don't understand them moving onto the Street.
I would have thought that they would have had a big house in an upmarket area and that Yasmeen wouldn't have given that up for anything.
And as it seems that she runs the marriage then they wouldn't have moved at all.
I can see Kal and the two kids moving into Anna/Owen's house but not the parents.

Anonymous said...

I didn't mind Kal when he first arrived but the second they put him with Leanne it was game over. His character just doesn't work for me at all now.

Yasmeen - speaks like she's in a theatre
Zeedan - I don't enjoy watching characters who are just angry all the time
Alya - very pretty and she seems like a nice girl but still not bothered about her storylines

John said...

@John McE

I was referring to the fact that Frosty called him Seedan presumably in some lame attempt at humour and at least I know how long the show's been on air for so there

Barrie.T said...

Yasmeen is growing on me. The writers are doing a great job of injecting humour, but unfortunately the acting skills do not match the dialogue. It comes out all wrong. A bit like Dev's acting. Alya is OK, I could put up with her if she stayed but I dont know why they hired her and sacked greorgia may foote. Why not give georgia something to do. Kal and Zeedan are a waste of time. Kal is the most unlikely personal trainer youve ever seen. What fitness guru has man boobs? He has no chemistry with leanne and the writers know it. Thats why they keep them apart. Like they did with mandy and lloyd. Zeedan cant spend his life just tut tutting in every scene.


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