Tag Archives: Roy Cropper

Corrie Street Nov. 10/13

Someone needs to tell Roy that Hayley’s decision is not about ending her life prematurely every-time-I-thoughtdue to despair.  It is about wanting to find an acceptable accommodation to the decision that her body has taken for her, that her life is ending.  The only choice she has left to make is how that end will come.  With her personal experience and the insight she showed this week, Sally is the only person on the street able to tell Roy that.

From the perspective of direct experience, Sally gives a way of seeing to Roy.  It was a different Sally – honestly introspective and compassionate.  Lovely.  With both the changes-everythingcharacter and actress having gone through cancer diagnosis and treatment, it was hard to see the line between fiction and reality.  Perhaps that made it even more powerful.

Sally doesn’t tell Roy what he, or Hayley, should do.  She tells him how it felt for her, what frightened her and how she reacted.  What’s it like from the inside and how do you cope:  that’s what he wants to know.  Yes, Hayley could tell him and has tried, but they are too intimately involved with each other and Hayley’s diagnosis.  Sally is far enough removed from him that he can listen to her story more dispassionately.  He wants total-lack-of-considerationto know more so invites her upstairs for tea so they can talk more privately.

He is overwrought about Hayley’s wish to end her life at the time she chooses and about the fight that provoked Hayley’s decampment to Fizz’s house.  Upstairs, he begins to open up to Sally, starts to tell her about their argument.  Hayley is being illogical, doesn’t care about how Roy may feel – he time-for-you-to-fall-outpauses, maybe steeling up his nerve to say what exactly Hayley’s inconsistency and lack of consideration is about.    Sally breaks into the pause to give a load of advice just as easily found in a counseling pamphlet:  it’s not about you and your inconvenience, it’s about Hayley and comforting her fears.  Yes, yes, yes.  Sally, don’t you know Roy well enough after all these years to see that he is struggling with something big and wants to tell you about it?  Evidently not, and the moment is gone.

Unfortunately, the argument between Roy and Hayley is not over.  Hayley, now ill, will biggest-fear-was-dyinghave to again fight the battle over exercise of personal choice.  That is something that you would expect Roy, of all people, to understand.  And maybe if someone a little less closely involved than Hayley pointed out the inconsistency in logic to him, he would grasp it.

Corrie Street Oct. 13/13

Thursday, Hayley and Roy go to the Rovers with Christian, her long lost son.  Hayley is christianChristian’s father, from when she was Harold.  It has been very difficult for Christian to wrap his head around that – finding out his absentee father had become a she.  The previous time they had met, six years ago, turned out badly when Christian struck her.  So Hayley is uncertain about contacting him but she wants to try to make peace with him in the time she has left.  However, she doesn’t want to tell him of her illness, doesn’t want “to play the sympathy card,” as she puts it.  Roy has been opposed to her contacting him, not wanting her to endure whatever he might throw at her (figuratively and literally).

hayley-looks-at-photosThings go not too badly between them until Christian shows Hayley photos of his two children.  She wishes desperately to meet them, her grandchildren.  Christian doesn’t say no but he says he needs time.  How much time, Hayley and Roy ask, knowing that time is the resource they have in shortest supply.  Maybe when they are older, like say when need-time-to-adjustthey’re in their teens, when they are better equipped to understand –:  his words trail off, he doesn’t know how to finish his sentence.  The circus that is our lives, Roy throws back a word that Christian had used inadvertently earlier in explaining why he and his wife had no family present at their wedding.

hayley-happy-roy-notHayley’s mother hen side, wanting to see the grandbabies, is fighting with her wish to protect herself and Christian from the news of her death occurring way before those children reach their teens.  While she tries to figure out a way out, Roy loses what little patience he has for Christian and for Hayley’s need to reconcile with her son.  He no-concern-to-uslashes out at Christian and his bigotry and stomps off.  Surprisingly, Hayley is prepared to leave with him.  All of them angry by this point, Christian gets one final jab at her.  When she says just be a good dad, he says he couldn’t be any worse than she was.  That makes leaving him easy, she tells Christian as she takes Roy’s arm and walks out.

be-any-worse-than-youA frustrating scene, not because it was not believable.  It was very credible for the characters, but not what I want to see from Roy especially.  Hayley’s illness is bringing out the worst of his obsessiveness.  He is monitoring and micromanaging her illness, her actions, even her wishes, all in the name of protecting her.  She must deal with his behaviour and his sorrow as well as deal with her own imminent mortality.  Unduly stressful for her.

goodbye-christianRoy should never have gone to the Rovers with Hayley and Christian.  His presence was unnecessary and he was too angry.  If Christian had taken another jab at Hayley, a bar full of people would have immediately jumped to her defence.  Maybe we got the real reason for his presence later when they were back at home having cocoa.  He doesn’t want to share the little time he has left with her, not with anyone, he told Hayley.  Perhaps especially with a son who came from a previous life as a different person, literally.  Whatever the reason, it is Hayley who suffers my-hayleybecause she has been denied the opportunity to reconcile her past and her present.  And Christian too, who seemed to truly want to put things right and try to understand his own past and parentage.

Corrie Street (Oct. 6/13)

So many scenes this week, most of them involving Hayley and Roy.  But the one that got roy-and-shoesme was Roy preparing for the birthday party organized for him by Hayley.  Sat at the kitchen table, tie untied, furiously polishing Hayley’s black pumps, he had little time or patience for Anna’s solicitude.  But he told her a lot in his impatience over her concern that he should enjoy the party for Hayley’s sake.  He gave a capsule of history – his childhood, his mother and his relationship with Hayley – while giving those shoes a shine that a drill sergeant could not fault.

factually-inaccurateHis turning twelve had been the occasion of his last birthday party.  Desperately hoping for an ant farm, he received an action figure instead.  A British military figure dressed in WWII US Forces uniform, something that distressed young Roy to no end.  Just as well he didn’t like it, his auntie opined to his mother, playing with dolls might make until-I-met-Hayleyhim peculiar.  He ended up peculiar anyway, he told Anna.  He sent his action figure “to a watery grave” and he never got the ant farm.

He did get Hayley though, the only time he ever got his heart’s desire, and the desperation he feels at losing her is palpable.  So too is his desperation at the thought of spending an entire evening being sociable and the centre of attention at a dreams-and-hopesparty.  But he will do it – for Hayley’s sake.

Later that evening, outside at the back of the Rovers, Roy tells Hayley what she means to him.  Another calmer beautiful moment when he opens the big heart that he usually keeps so buttoned up.  Another roy-back-of-roversmoment of tears welling in my eyes and my husband’s.  This one was his pick of the week.  I liked it a lot too, but somehow the rawness of emotion and breadth of content in Roy’s near-soliloquy when preparing for the party hit me somewhere deeper in my psyche.

eva-at-barMy husband had another pick this week:  any and all the scenes of Eva and her girls in the little red polka-dot dress.  The choked back sobs and “aww” sounds I heard from the chair beside mine during touching Hayley and Roy moments turned more to ‘hubba-hubba’ type noises whenever she, and they, appeared on the screen.  “Those things ought to have a warning flag on them,” he said.

Corrie Street Jun. 30/13

Understanding Changes

Another week when it’s difficult to choose one scene only.  Is it the new producer or just timing of storyline arcs or, with student david listening on stairssummer holidays at hand, are they clearing out old stories to make way for ones involving young people?  Even the oh-who-cares Ryan and Katy story is looking interesting with them maybe moving into Owen’s flat, cozily being “just the three of us.”

Psycho-Dave is about to return with the revelation by Gail and Kylie that he overheard.  Tina is the only true believer in her closed-loop argument that she has to keep the money paid her for the baby so that she can fight said baby’s parents in court to keep him. A lot of changes and not much logic at work in those stories.

in-heaven-and-earthBut Roy stresses the importance of a clear and open mind.  An orderly hand are mysteriously realigning his condiments.  That, he says, leaves Anna out; the Jackson Pollock of the griddle he calls her for her free-form approach to culinary art.  So if it’s not Anna and not Sylvia, Hayley or Roy himself, who is it?  The spirit world maybe? But Roy is not buying that.  Logic, he says, provides answers.

Earth is understandable in substantive terms he says when Sylvia falls back on the mysteries of heaven and earth as an explanation for everything not understandable.  Heaven is the recourse of those “unable to cope with their own mortality” he says.

He prefers a logical approach to apparent mysteries, he tells Sylvia as he serves Dev and Steve.  He is just in time to hear them discussing the mystery of Sunita’s keys.  inventory-does-not-explicitlyKeys to the pub were found in her hospital room and keys are listed on the inventory of her belongings when she was taken to hospital.  But, Roy asks, were they the same keys?  If there was nothing indicating pub or house or car keys, how can you be sure that the inventoried keys were the same as the pub keys later found by the police?  Dev is gobsmacked.  He’d never thought of that, and off he you-are-a-geniuswent on a renewed quest.  Elementary, my dear Dev, Roy might have said.

In trying to understand his own puzzle, Roy could have caused Dev’s death.  Karl, hearing about Dev’s new plan to find out exactly what the inventoried keys looked like, knows that cannot happen.  So, on the pretext of offering solace, he goes to Dev’s.  He slips gloves on before he enters.  He best-for-you understanding changessees a golf trophy of Aadi’s handy to where Dev sits poring over his time-line graph of Sunita’s movements.  Trophy grasped in his gloved hand, Karl tells Dev it’s pointless to hash and rehash this.  Let it go mate.  And Dev says ok, you’re right, I have to stop.

Karl replaces the trophy on the sideboard and takes his leave.  Back in the ginnel, he throws up, so overwrought is he with what he was about to do.  Craig and Beth see him.  Craig also saw something the night of the fire.  He hasn’t told anyone what it is.  But now?  Seeing Karl in that same ginnel again acting oddly, will he realize he has the missing piece of a puzzle?

The Taoist book of divination is called the I Ching or The Book of Changes.  Many changes at hand on the Street.  Despite Roy’s faith in the power of logic, a combination of divination, if not Divine intervention, along with logic may be needed to sort them out.

Corrie Street Jun. 2/13

A two-year-old letter from Roy’s father has produced amazing scenes.  It began with Mr-Cropper's-letterSylvia going to the hated Home to pick it up, then to her telling Hayley not to pressure Roy into reading it, then Roy dithering about what to do once he knew about it and more dithering when he learned his father was no longer at the address given in the letter.

Thursday he unwillingly went to a newer Cropper-houseaddress he had found for his father, where he met his father’s widow.  Three months earlier Mr. Cropper Sr. had died, believing that Roy wanted nothing to do with him.  That was indeed the case, although Roy had not known that his father was trying to reach him.  Four remarkable scenes followed Roy and Hayley’s entry into his father’s house.

Roy-and-mantle-photosRoy in the sitting room, surrounded by photos of his father’s other family.  The three children, one in New Zealand, one in Cornwall and one near the parental home.  No photos of the child Roy, his father’s firstborn.  Hayley, herself flummoxed, trying to talk normally and drink tea, trying to find out as much as possible about Roy’s Croppersfather and his life and hoping against hope that Roy can somehow find the answers he needs in light of his father’s death.  Mrs. Cropper explaining that Roy’s father truly regretted leaving his eldest son and never contacting him, trying to explain that his family – all members – were truly important to him.  Roy listening but keeping very still as if he were just trying to hold himself together.

train-set-in-caseAs they prepare to leave, Mrs. Cropper gives him a suitcase saying his father had wanted Roy to have it.  That St. John had spent hours playing with it and that none of his other children were interested but he knew Roy would want it.  A train set like the one Roy had when a child.  Roy refused it saying maybe a grandchild would take it.  Mrs. Cropper pressed it on him, saying it was his.  Roy took it reverentially.

how-was-heBack home, Sylvia wants to know everything.  What happened, had he lost his hair because balding ran in his family, that Roy took after her side in that and he needn’t worry because he was nothing like that man, Roy would never run out on those who relied on him. When she ran out of steam, Roy said  “He’s dead”.

Last scene, Roy closing himself off again in when-one-is-abandonedorder to cope.  Sylvia quiet, trying to keep herself together and, I think, giving Roy room to be quiet too.  Hayley seeing the anguish in them both, but wanting to talk about it, to not keep it bottled up, sorry if what she’d done in showing him the letter caused him grief.  “If I’m in any way to blame,” she said.  Roy couldn’t take any you-are-Hayley-you-aremore.  “You are, Hayley, you are to blame,” he said, after giving her a summing up of the unnecessary need felt by modern society to explore feelings, come to terms with things, find closure.  He left the room, presumably to find silence.  Sylvia, looking a bit shocked by Roy’s explosion, said to Hayley “I did try to warn you.”  And she had.

I-did-warn-youThese three actors, and characters, are wonderful.  These scenes were among the best ever from them.  This is what Coronation Street does so well.  In the storylines, there’s often something that may especially resonant for individuals. This one is a story about abandonment of a child and a spouse.  That is a fear, and maybe reality, for many or all of us.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Nov. 11/12)

Greek Night

Tuesday:  Roy looking through the debris of Greek Night, picks up a broken object.  It’s a Roy holding broken model train carmodel train car – a 5th anniversary gift from Hayley.  Mary says “I’ll replace it”.  He explodes that it can’t be replaced, that she violated his and Hayley’s home, their belongings and memories.  Mary says “I did it for you.”  Holding the broken model in his hand, he says “Or is it just a convenient excuse so you could Greek Night - Roy asking Mary to please leaveselfishly enact yet another bizarre fantasy of Mary the restaurant owner?”

Mary, much as I like her, does seem to embody some sort of passive-aggressive narcissism. What she wants to do takes precedence over any one else’s wishes. Indeed, it takes precedence over decent behaviour and common sense.  And it always ends up, somehow, with her blaming someone else for the fact that her plans for herself or for them didn’t quite work out.

Some on the street recognize this Roy challenging Mary's self-justificationin her.  Norris does and, after the past few weeks of working with her, so too does Anna.  Hayley knows it and, I predict, Nick soon will.  But no one has put it into words, especially in direct confrontation with her, any more astutely than did Roy.  And he is the man who doubts his ability to communicate.  He communicated the Mary leaving as Roy sits devastated at his tabledevastation he feels over her tromping over his café, his home and the trust that he placed in her.  He made it clear he won’t not buy into selfless ‘only wanted to help’ justification for selfish and deluded obsession.

If we could only turn Roy’s acuity on Michelle and Kylie

Michelle disbelieving of Ryan's excusesThanks to Kevin, Michelle realized that poor widdle upset Ryan was responsible for Sophie being hit because he was playing in traffic while stoned.  And for a split second, she lost her sympathy for his “I’m sorry” routine.

Michelle saying Tracy is to blameBut then she had a moment to think, and, in a justification of self and child worthy of Mary herself, she proclaimed that really it was all Tracy’s fault.  If Tracy hadn’t lied about a baby, hadn’t dumped him – whatever – then he wouldn’t have been so upset and Steve looks disbelievingly at Michelle blaming TracySophie wouldn’t be severely injured.   Yeah, Michelle, that works.  It can’t be Ryan’s fault, can it?  Even Steve, deluded as he is about both Michelle and Ryan, looked at her like “whah??”

And for our third denizen of de land of delusion, Kylie admitted to Nick that she had Roy apologizing to Nick and Kyliecalled the council on Mary selling liquor and that she had no evidence.  She had listened to Roy apologize for Mary’s dinner wars and his saying that he was liable if charges for selling liquor without a licence were upheld. If she didn’t realize the seriousness of that, Nick’s reaction to Roy’s words and later to her would make her realize this wasn’t petty neighbour squabbling.

Nick asks Kylie if she called CouncilBut still she was willing to let Roy be collateral damage – too bad, can’t do anything about it now.  Well actually there is, Nick pointed out to her.  He ordered her to get herself to council offices first thing on Monday and fix the mess.  And she gave her ‘poor maligned me’ pout and flounced off to wipe glasses or something.  Because like Mary, Michelle and Ryan, it can’t possibly ever ever be Kylie’s fault!

Bill Tarmey

Bill Tarmey in 2010 with his dog SaatchiOn Friday Nov. 9th, Bill Tarmey, our Jack, died.  He was on holiday in Tenerife and there’s something wonderfully Corrie about that.  I hope it’s ok with Mare’s Dad if I post his Oct. 3rd take on recent goings-on in Jack’s house on Coronation Street. “This entire situation with Tyrone, the Girlfriend From Hell, and Tommy would have been all straightened out in ten minutes if Jack were there”.  It’s a fitting tribute to Jack, and the character was very much the man Bill Tarmey.  Thank you, Bill, for the gift of your voice and the unforgettable character of Jack Duckworth.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Sept. 2/12)

Eve at an eat as much as you like buffet

Soap operas are about emotions, relationships and the vicissitudes of human interaction. Roy and Hayley as motorhome returnsSo there are many powerful scenes that involve love and loss. As a viewer, you expect to be moved.

Tuesday and Wednesday had some of the most moving and thought-provoking scenes that have been on recently. And I think, on balance, the past months have been excellent with many good and emotionally gripping stories. But the tale of Mary and Roy and Hayley and Norris this week was extraordinary.

emotions - Mary and Roy outside church for concertTuesday I thought I had my scene when Mary realized that no subterfuge was going to keep Roy in her motorhome overnight. When she realized that all he wanted was to be with Hayley after her dance competition. And was even willing to walk out of the encores for the Elgar performance. Like Anna, we knew what she was trying to do with her chess games and invitations to concerts and maybe booking hotel rooms, maybe not.

Mary and Roy going to motorhomeBut Roy talked so clearly and feelingly about why it was important he be there for Hayley that she folded her tent, so to speak, and gave up her assault on him. Nothing can top that, I thought.

Then Hayley, realizing that her suspicions about Mary’s intentions are justified, goes to confront her. Another absolutely Mary telling Hayley her feelings for Roybeautiful piece of theatre – the two of them in the motorhome, Mary talking about her feelings of invisibility, her longing for someone to think about her as Roy does about Hayley. Hayley’s delight in hearing what she means to Roy from someone else. Nothing could top it. And I don’t know if anything did, but two more scenes on Wednesday matched it.

Mary telling Norris she is leaving WeatherfieldMary, tired of losing at love in Weatherfield, decides to leave and tells Norris. Norris, who likes her despite himself and despite her actions, clearly not wanting her to leave but not able to tell her. Mary clearly waiting only for a word, a syllable, a pause at the right moment – anything to show her that he wants her to stay. But he doesn’t give it.

Hayley hears that Mary is leaving and knows it’s because of their talk. Again she goes to the motorhome. The two of them in the front seats, drinking coffee or something, and talking about life and love and relationships. They forge a friendship and quietly do wonders for each other’s self-esteem.

Hayley wanting to talk to MaryAll four of these people are misfits. They have quirks, old-fashioned standards, all are laughed at by many in the street. All have been, or are, desperately lonely. It hasn’t been easy for any of them. Norris with his dreadful ex-wife the late unlamented Roy explains his love for Hayley to MaryAngela, Roy with Aspergers or whatever it is, Hayley having started life as Harold, and Mary with her Mary telling Hayley about feeling invisiblemother and the burden of being Mary. Yet all of them this week had so much to say about loneliness, love and the human condition. The acuity of their observations about themselves and each other spoke to the heart of the need for human contact. And it was polite and with Mary tells Norris why they returned early from concertrestraint, befitting the personalities of the characters.

It is too bad for Steve and Tracy’s new domestic mess that it was sandwiched in between these other scenes. Without the counterpoint of the Roy-Mary story, they would have been fine. But as it was, for me, they were just dross.