Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The fall of the House of Barlow

Well, it has to be said that the Street is an interesting place these days. The last few months have seen the dramatic equivalent of an adrenalin boost for a soap that, during 2016, had shown signs of stodginess. It was sweating like a fat man in a pie shop. And then came Dame Kate of Oates with her lovely new broom.

Twenty years ago the much-derided Brian Park delivered a swift one up the jacksie of a very tired looking Corrie. He despatched characters whose story had long since been told and shook up the lives of those that remained. Fast forward to 2017 and off we go again. Like Park, Kate Oates has taken a wrecking ball to some aspects of the show. The Macdonald Years, at least in their current form, at the Rovers appear to be over. Here's hoping that she doesn't impose another Stella Price on us because that wouldn't  be a very nice thing to do, would it boys and girls? No doubt Liz and co will be back at some point but for now, the Steve and Michelle tale needs to be brought to a close. We will miss 'chelle and her 'face like a thousand wars' behind the bar . . . said no one, ever.

More interesting though is the saga being played out at number one. How we were lead merrily down the garden path last year. There was poor old Ken, seemingly on the way out but then buoyed and rejuvenated by the return of his disparate (some would say desperate) family. The matriarchal days of Blanche, Deirdre and Tracy made way for a mellower Peter, angry Adam and his fey winter coat and Ken Junior, the erudite Daniel. Could they all forge a familial bond and relaunch the House of Barlow? Not a chance.

Rather than opt for cosy homespun stories and loving memories, the Barlows have set upon a course of mutual self-destruction. At the centre, as always, in Ken. By that I really mean 'self-centred' because it's always been about Ken, what affects him and what he feels others should be doing with their lives. New Ken is a nasty piece of work though. He's no lovely old grandad, rather a mean-spirited old grump, peering at his family from that horrible chair wedged next to the wall unit.

Ken seems, quite rightly, vexed by his entire brood of whom Tracy has suddenly emerged as the voice of reason. Peter yet again battles his numerous addictions and yet this nicotine-stained middle aged alcoholic manages to attract women left, right and centre. At one end of the scale, Toyah in a floor-length cardigan and at the other, a Stockport bunny boiler with a penchant for taxis.

The we have the unlikely pairing of Daniel and Sinead, the former momentarily bound for Oxford but now happy to shack up with a soap-maker whose soul was rendered dead from years of domestic bliss with 'misery loves company', Chesney. Maybe love will flourish in the corner shop flat but let's be honest, there's not much of a spark there.

As for Adam? Well, in he sauntered, all guns blazing, as Son of Mike. It didn't last long though. Attempts to bully Aiden (Aiden? Adam? Eva? How about we add an Ada for good measure?) failed. Yes, Adam was bested by someone with a winter coat camper than his own. At this rate, we can expect Pat Phelan teetering across the cobbles in a Vera Wang gown by summer. No, Adam tried to play the big man, he cheated at his exams, managed to cause the usually morally reprehensible Todd to sneer at him and worse of all, disappointed King Lear . . . sorry, Ken.

Where's it all going then? Perhaps as the lovely Blanche once mused, to hell in a handcart. A handcart pushed by Ken. It would be a little grim to have him alienate his entire clan and then die, although it would give them food for thought. Ever decreasing circles for Peter, no doubt a period of nastiness from Adam, Daniel trying to teach Sinead how to complete a six piece jigsaw puzzle and Tracy proving that what doesn't come with age is maturity. And I've not even mentioned Amy.

Vive le Barlows! At least for a little while longer.

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Newfy Pearl said...

Well done. I really enjoyed your write up. Glad you mentioned Amy but I see that Simon did not even make a post script. lol
I really do hope it is not the end of the Barlows...and for goodness sake, there is no need to keep Daniel if they let that little bad boy Adam go. There was such potential in that character.
Again...well done...and I too saw Ken as King Lear even before you mentioned it....again well done. lol

Tvor said...

Great stuff, Graeme! Having all these Barlows back front and center has been great and as much as I enjoy the Platts, it makes a nice change, or at least, balances things out!

Humpty Dumpty said...

Excellent write-up, Graeme. What makes the Barlow's saga different from the Platt's is that the Platts didn't have a believable central figure. Gail, at the time, was a soppy individual whose story was just one of many in the family. Ken is a strong central figure in the Barlows and, far from being cossetted by his children in his advanced years, he is *still* the daddy they all need. Ken/Bill was often criticised for not having much facial expression. These days, it's an asset. Mostly quiet disappointment and disapproval, more destructive than the flaming rows the McDonalds go in for.

amanda50 said...

I now have in my mind an image of Pat Phelan teetering across the cobbles in a Vera Wang gown that I won't be able to erase for quite a while.I'm loving all the Barlow clan at the moment, apart from Adam, who's just irritating.I also have such a strong loathing for that coat I have to avert my eyes from the screen whenever it appears.Excellent summary, keep up the good work!

dulyquoted said...

Credit where due. I believe Clinkers authored the blog, not Graeme.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Thank you dulyquoted. You're absolutely right to point out the error. Sorry, David, I glanced at a previous comment, too lazy to check the author's name. Great blog.

popcorn said...

Great blog post - and, dare I say it, great coat! Am I alone in loving Adam Barlow's coat?

Clinkers (David) said...

Thanks for your comments one and all. Very happy to be mistaken for our Graeme too! :)

Tvor said...

I'm sorry David, Looks like I was the one that started it all off. I even remember reading your name at the bottom of the post before I commented and my brain obviously failed me!

Lily Bigfield said...

What a wonderfully funny, insightful post. You've had me chuckling away over my cocoa. Love your way with words, David.

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