Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Robert the robot

It's only natural. There are characters in Weatherfield that mean more to me than others. I've always had a soft spot for 'Munch's Scream in an M&S mac' (Leanne) and Audrey's Noise. I find myself concerned about Rio Rita heading for a dementia storyline, despite never being able to forgive her for serving Len a dry dinner in the 1980s (no gravy?)

However, there are a few Street folk whose appearance on screen causes me to glaze over. My shoulders sag, my mouth droops and the scenes roll by without much interest. This tends to happen whenever the Bistro enters stage left. There is just something woefully depressing about the entire set, from its dowdy colours to its perpetually moody staff. If it isn't Zee glowering at an amuse bouche, then it's Daniel gloomily handing someone a menu.

Currently, the dullness has flowered even more courtesy of hurling the unappetising combo of Robert and Michelle into the mix. The whole concept of Robert is a mystery. Carpet fitter turned chef who, apropos of nothing, once enjoyed a spell on the Bolivian Marching Powder and mixed in dodgy circles. Was this post his 1990s charity shop wedding frock Tracy period? Who cares? Robert's woes are many and in true Corrie style, he doesn't appear to be much of a strong man. Instead we see him being propelled by Our Harridan of the Miseries, Michelle. Haven't we suffered enough? Having drained the life out of many scenes in the Rovers (how we loved those moments of violent arm-folding and death stares), she's now camped out in the festering joylessness of the Bistro set. Give it a few more weeks and she'll be approaching every table with a scythe.

It would be easy to say that Michelle is robbing Robert of any spark of joy he had. Sadly, he's never possessed one. It's been one long round of vacant middle-distance stares, moping and self-pity. Shape up or ship out! Yes, this is a drama series and yes, there has to be a plentiful helping of misery for us all to enjoy. However, the unpalatable mix of the Robot, 'chelle and the gloom of the Bistro does not make for an appetising snack.

By Clinkers to Riddle

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boris the spider said...

Excellent post, I totally agree.

I said a while back that Robert (or Tristan, maybe he's like that in real life) is dead behind the eyes. Nothing ever reaches his eyes, no emotion at all. So Robert the Robot is an apt description.

C in Canada said...


Great post, I agree 100%. I can't get into this storyline at all.

Nuff said!

Humpty Dumpty said...

Somebody commented in another post that a major failing in Robert's character is his total lack of humour. Quite a few characters are in this category: Phelan, Toyah, Chesney ... They would be forgiven a lot if we could have a laugh with them. The writers are desperately trying to make Robert interesting. We've discovered in a very short space of time that he was addicted to drugs, appears to still be addicted to gambling, witnessed or was somehow involved in his girlfriend's death and has a violent streak. It seems they want to create Peter Barlow mark II. Not that Peter has a violent streak but he is a recovering alcoholic, lies his way out of trouble, and he's a gambler. He would probably also be a bore if Chris G hadn't worked his magic. Peter was a serial two-timer and that's why I think the stalker is Robert's ex-wife or another girl friend who he's been stringing along while living in Weatherfield.

maggie muggins said...

Great post, Clinkers! Very handy summary of Rob's history, which now makes little sense, and less to love. These two characters are a deadly combo, and while the Bistro can have it's glam moments, it can get very Goth very quickly. I like a nice dark character, if they're done well, and have a good story arc. A spark of humanity though is absolutely necessary for it to work. And on Corrie, there needs to be some bits of humour in the gloom, for me anyway. At least Phelan smirks well once in a while, though I still don't like him.

@boris the spider, 'dead behind the eyes' indeed, is our Robert!

I'm beginning to realise I've been fooled by Michelle the Shiny-Haired all these years. Maybe she had that spark for a few days, and I think I'm sure I've heard her laugh a few times, but now I see she's made of one big Whine.

Cobblestone said...

Oh I don't agree Phelan has no sense of humour (after all, he's a Scouser, and it's genetic, don't you know) Trouble is his sense of humour is rebarbative - all sarcasm and smarm. Remember the way he used to joke with the increasingly distraught Anna when he first returned to the Street?

I too don't think Richie's behind the mayhem, but couldn't fathom who it could be - until you mentioned the Ex (they'd need to recast!) Or maybe a relative of the girlfriend who died, but it will be an utter damp squib if it turns out to be someone we haven't met but merely heard alluded to.

popcorn said...

The Bistro hasn't been interesting since the departure of Steph. Such a stupendously stupid move, letting Trish Merry go.

Totally agree that Robert is dead behind the eyes - but disagree about Phelan not having a sense of humour. It is a bit twisted, but it exists.

Maricha said...

Your assessment is more than fair Clinkers. Who thought pairing Robert and Michelle was a good idea? I am, however, happy for Steve. His storyline is already improving as if a weight was lifted off him.

Clinkers (David) said...

Thanks to everyone for their comments and yes Maricha, I agree that the end of the MacDonald marriage has been the making of Steve!

J said...

Robot Frakenstein...he needs to be relegated to extra. Michelle needs to take some happy pills. Whatever happened to Ryan?

CanadianCorriegirl said...

Robert is a dead bore. Can't stand much more of 'O woe is me' Michelle. I also miss Steph and Andy and why doesn't Luke have a storyline? Let Eva be the Diva that takes over Carla's spot, Michelle just isn't up to it.

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