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Friday 27 October 2017

The Ruination of Anna Windass

This was originally posted on State of the Street, reposted here with permission.
Anna Windass has been on our screens since 2008. Right from the start, she and her common law husband, Eddie, were portrayed as people that were a bit or a lot dodgey, from a rough background. They hired Joe McIntyre to build their kitchen then refused to pay for it, leading Joe ultimately to bankruptcy. Anna has always been shown to be a fiercely protective mother though perhaps hasn't always made the best judgements but she'll do anything for those she loves. She'll also turn on anyone she may previously shown friendship and affection for if they so much as look at her or her family sideways.

No, Anna has never really been a sympathetic character overall. Just when you think she's showing signs of improvement, doing kind things for friends, and being generally nice, something will happen and she'll be cold-shouldering, unfairly accusing, shrieking and slapping. The object of her anger will then be her enemy for life,  until of course, she realizes the error of her ways and then butter wouldn't melt. She will apologize but I don't know how anyone can trust her not to lost her temper again and go off on them.

Ah yes, that temper has got her into trouble more than once. She'll regret it but it doesn't matter. She doesn't learn. And she can be vicious with it, even towards her beloved teenage daughter who has been the cause of Anna's temper on more than one occasion. She'll let her mother down and end up being shut out, screamed at, even slapped. It's no wonder Faye thinks Anna hates her. It doesn't take much for Anna to turn her back on Faye on a regular basis. She certainly wasn't too nice to Faye after discovering that surprise pregnancy, calling her names and all sorts. Remember, she coldly turned against Roy, her friend and employer, after he assaulted Gary. She knew Roy had been tested to his limits by teenage bullies and was pushed to the edge. Roy shouldn't have resorted to violence, but Gary shouldn't have broken into the cafe to try to rob it but Anna didn't see it that way, assigning no responsibility to Gary at all.

We know that Phelan used her badly, forced her by blackmail into having sex to let Gary off the legal hook. I'm not making excuses for Phelan over that. She didn't deserve that treatment and did what she did because she didn't think she had a choice. Phelan knew she wouldn't let Gary go to jail. She has told a few people over the years. Some believed her. Some have not. Phelan has groomed everyone into believing he's a nice guy, just misunderstood so Anna looks like a vindictive liar. She's at it again, this time revealing the past to Phelan's newly found daughter, Nicola who seems to believe her, or at least, is smart enough to consider that it's the truth and investigate on her own. She doesn't know Phelan well enough yet to trust him 100% so Anna's story hasn't fallen on stony ground this time.

It doesn't seem to matter that she's been a good and loyal friend, or a caring mother figure. She can flip personalities like a pancake on a griddle, soft and puffy one minute, sizzling the next. This is not a new thing. This isn't a new aspect of her personality since her encounter with Phelan all those years ago. It's one thing to get angry when someone you're trying to help rejects you, it's quite another to be seen screaming vicious insults at that someone in public but that's what Anna does.

Therefore, it annoys me when fans say that The Powers That Be are ruining Anna because the actress is leaving.  This is an accusation you hear often when actors decide to go on to other things. They make you dislike the character so you won't protest so much when they're gone. Lately, we've seen Anna going up against Seb and Faye after trying to help Seb's family. When it all went wrong, she was accused of calling Social Services. She didn't, but nobody involved believes her and because of that, Faye and Seb are in "I hate you" mode. Anna has begged them to believe her and when that doesn't happen, she pushes and pushes until one of them lashes out. What does Anna do? She caterwauld like a banshee, shrieks and insults these children and they both felt the heat of her fingers across their faces (in different scenes). Nice.

Now Anna's also being accused of causing Seb to fall off a ladder and Phelan is manipulating the evidence in that direction. Nicola has uncovered another devastating truth about her mother and Phelan that will reinforce Anna's story and realize that he's not the man he's led her to believe he is. He'll lose the daughter he was so proud to have found, the one for whom  he thought he could redeem himself. If that happens, he'll have nothing to lose.  Anna's been a thorn in his side for a long time and this might be the way to get rid of her. He'll make sure Anna is ruined, a pariah until she's in jail or has to leave town.

I've never been a fan of Anna all that much. She's had her good moments when she's been loyal but then she's also had so many moments when she's been disloyal or unnecessarily harsh. She didn't call Social Services, but if she hadn't badgered him trying to convince him of it, Seb wouldn't have lost his temper and shouted at her. When Seb insulted her in the cafe, his heart broken after losing his siblings into Care, his mother back on drugs and assumed she called Social Services causing it all, Anna changed from begging him to believe it wasn't her in one breath to screaming at him and slapping him in the next. A 16 year old kid who needed support, not abuse. And she wouldn't leave it alone, she practically chased him out of the cafe trying to drag him back inside. It's no wonder he was so distracted he was careless on the ladder and fell. You could lay that blame at her door even if she didn't actually push the ladder.

Has Anna been ruined? I don't think so. I think she's just been revealed. She might have a good and kind side to her but she's also got a streak of nasty inside like Blackpool Rock. Always has had.

I rest my case.

(Kudos to Debbie Rush. She's done a great job as Anna, I think.)

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

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Humpty Dumpty said...

I can remember early posts when some fans said they'd love to have Anna as a mother. She was earthy, loving, protective but that phase didn't last long.I'm with Tvor, Anna has been a nasty piece of work for ages. She's also a know-all, a martyr, and assumed most of her family's problems could be solved with a big hug and a fry-up. I expect we all know an 'Anna', someone who attracts disasters because they won't listen to anyone's advice. She's quite a good character in that respect but I won't miss her when she goes.

Anonymous said...

I won't miss her either. I don't think they can ruin a character who was already so unlikable. Personally, I think Roy had every right to resort to violence when he found Gary breaking into his till. I disliked Anna even more with he way she treated Roy after that, never really blaming Gary for being such a creep and a loser. I have been tired of her screaming and nastiness for a long time. And I sure never bought the Kevin relationship. Faye would be better off with Tim as the parent. He's reasonable and a nice guy.
So, I say good riddance to Anna.

Anonymous said...

What beggars belief is that a woman (alone) of her character is legally allowed to adopt a child, even as there is a capable biological father.

maryfromcanada said...

I always found Anna rather boring/blah. A bit superficial with no depth. Maybe because she flipped back and forth so much? I won't miss her character. The writers needed to solidify her soul. They didn't. And we never really got a grasp on who Anna is.

Anonymous said...

Spot on, Tvor! Anna can't leave soon enough for me.
Bonnie from Canada

Laura said...

This was well-written and spot on. I remember too when Anna wanted to adopt Faye she tried to force Eddie into it, dragging him along and not listening when he tried to tell her several times he didn't want to adopt a child. When he ultimately ended up leaving, she acted like the victim. It was incredibly selfish. And the way she treated Izzy when she learned she was using medicinal marijuana was appalling too.

I also remember too though how kind she was to Roy and Hayley when they were dealing with her cancer, especially in comparison to Fiz. I'll always remember her silently cleaning the glass Hayley had used, because she wanted to protect Roy from getting into any trouble.

Overall though I agree that she is an unlikeable character, and won't be missed. Faye will be better off without her in her life.

Louby said...

Anon at 2230, she was still with Eddie when they applied to adopt but I think he left just as Faye arrived. Not sure social services would still have allowed it to carry on, but hey ho, Corrie logic.

I'm certain that Nicola would have visited Seb's home before and after his release from prison, and wouldn't have been in the dark about his circumstances.

Your summary of Anna is spot on. Occasionally we've seen a nice side, but not often. No wonder Debbie wants to leave!

Flo said...

I agree with you 100%. I think about how awful she has treated Kevin at times when all he was trying to do was help her. Just when you think she's beyond being nasty and has a warm side, she flips like Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde and back to witchy Anna. I don't like or dislike her character though because I've known people like this in real life, so it helps with the storyline and the realism.

Anonymous said...

Eddie was definitely there when Faye first arrived. Didn't he bake a cake and that's where the FAY(e) came from.

Midd said...

Sorry, but I like Anna. She was delightful at first, but so many nasty people have changed her character.

Anonymous said...

I think it's Eileen who's become a ruined character believing Phelan not Anna who's one of his victims.
It's not only Anna who despises Phelan,Yasmeen does as well and yet Eileen still takes Phelan's side without question.
Granted Anna may be rough around the edges,but she is a good mother to Faye who at times does act like a brat and does care about her family and the few friends she has.
As for the comments about how Anna 'badly treats' Kevin,I think it's the other way around with Kevin treating her badly.
After Anna suffered terrible burns after David's crash,Kevin used the money David gave her for dinner with his friends and the garage.Not one penny went for plastic surgery for Anna's legs.
Kevin also had a brief fling with Erica while Anna was at home looking after HIS son who he fathered while having an affair with Tyrone's wife!
I will miss Anna as she is one of the few genuine characters on the Street and I think Faye will miss her mum.


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