Waterloo Road: Looking forward to the holidays

(Series 8, Ep.10) Half term, and what have we learned? I’ve learned that I don’t find the new Scottish Waterloo Road half as much fun as the old Rochdale version. The characters I liked who made the move have been gradually shipped out (Josh, Tariq, Janeece) or have been fairly invisible (Tom). There’s only good old Grantly left, and since he was part of the most ludicrous “wedding” I’ve ever seen on TV, I don’t like Grantly as much as I used to.

This is why I haven’t been blogging much about Waterloo Road this series, because if I can’t say something nice, I’d rather not say anything at all. I only enjoy writing about programmes I enjoy.

One character I thought I was going to enjoy was the moody Connor. Moody is good, as far as I’m concerned, and he had those pale interesting eyes and arson habit. What’s not to like? Unfortunately he also had his boring mum, Jane Beale from EastEnders, and her alcohol problem. The main problem with Jane Beale wasn’t the alcohol, it was that she was a relentlessly nasty person. There were no different dimensions to her character at all, which obviously made life hard for Connor, but it made me care less about the whole predicament.  

He had a little chance at happiness this week when the entire school shipped off to home, Barbados or Rochdale, leaving the boarding house (what a rubbish idea that was, and let’s hope it gets quietly dropped now most of the Rochdale contingent are working in call centres across the country) as a tempting love nest for him and Emo Imogen. Until Jane Beale rocked up to ruin it all and Connor set fire to a classroom and Emo Imogen was caught in the ensuing explosion.

The other big drama was Michael Byrne helping his father to die. I have to admit I have no idea whether touching last words were spoken, because I had to turn the volume down on the TV every time Mr Byrne Senior was on, because the coughing was making me feel queasy. Assisting a suicide is, of course, illegal (the moral issues were presented to us via the medium of Sian Diamond and Lorraine Donnegan having a little debate about it) and when we last spotted Michael he was in a particularly grim-looking police cell. I’m afraid I really couldn’t care less what happens to him. He’s not a patch on Jack Rimmer or Karen Fisher (or even Rachel Mason) so I wouldn’t miss him if he was banged up and they lost the key.

Ooh, I’m sounding way too negative. Was there anything I liked about this series? Yes there was. The scenery. The way the Clyde appears to be sparkling in the sunlight in the background of any shot as soon as anyone sets foot out of the school gates is quite charming.

School report for this half term: Can do better. Much better.

Posted by PLA          (More Waterloo Road here)

10 Comments

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10 responses to “Waterloo Road: Looking forward to the holidays

  1. holbylover819

    I quite like Michael Byrne but I’ve only been watching the series since they moved to Scotland so I have nothing to compare to.
    I agree Mrs Mulgrew needs more scenes of her being a nice person to feel real. And the sooner she’s sorted out her alcohol problem the sooner she can apologise to Christian and Syed for missing their wedding. No…wait…
    And Chalky’s adopting rebel genius! (I can’t remember his name – he’s Luke from the Sarah Jane Adventures)

  2. remotecontrolled (kopitron)

    I must admit, I have enjoyed this series more than the Fisher era – it’s still not a patch on the old but I think they’ve gone back to the similar style of main character storylines. It’s just a shame none of the main characters are as good as the old to have the storylines about!

    Of course being Scottish has tainted my view as despite the craziness it at least sounds a bit more like school! I haven’t really warmed to any of the new pupils, Jane Beale storyline did get on my nerves, the broken record it was, Michael’s amazing and unexplained relationship with his Father I found about as interesting as any Byrne storyline and I don’t think any staff member has actively annoyed me as much as Lorraine but I’ll still be sticking with it – my loyalty and enjoyment has been enough to keep with them.

    Oh and you’re right, the scenery has been fantastic! Oh and I do hope Tom comes back into it – it just goes to show that when he’s not got a woman to stress over they just don’t know how to write for him!

    • Dreamer

      The Fisher era WAS kind of a bore.

      You’re lucky you’re Scottish, you guys have the sexiest accent. After the Irish, of course. 😛

      • remotecontrolled (kopitron)

        Alas, as a mixed breed Uruguayan-English Scot my Scottish accent is negligible! Glad you like it though!

        Yes JJ & Chalky leaving and no sign to return (though not been denied), Heather Peace coming back (presumably taking over from Christine as head of English while she rehabs) and most the Rochdale kids will be gone by end of next part too.

  3. Dreamer

    Jaye Jacobs will be leaving at the end of this year or beginning of next; can’t remember. Although, there’s a chance it’s temporary. According to the DS article, Jaye wants to go on her honeymoon or something. I don’t know, I read it a while ago. Also, the dude from Fallen Angel – Chalky is also leaving.

  4. WaterlooVamps

    I’m quite enjoying this series, but it’s no way as good as it used to be.

  5. Martin Rosen

    I found it difficult at times to ‘pick up’ on the Scottish accent, and had to resort to subtitles ! The only reason to relocate to Scotland, I presume was so they could employ a number of Scottish accents.

    BTW What is the purpose of Lorraine? She has sponsored the school (she must have buckets-load of money), but what authority does she have over the pupils, other to tell them they are on their way out!!

    I am trying to remember did ‘Jane Beale’ have a Scottish accent when she was ‘dahn sarf’ ?

    • pauseliveaction

      I’d like to know what the purpose of Lorraine was. One of the most annoying characters ever.

      Jane Beale had a London accent when she was in EastEnders, but the actress was apparently born in Scotland.

      • remotecontrolled (kopitron)

        Can’t stand Lorraine either! I hope she takes a behind the scenes role funding from Manchester soon – much as I like Daniella Denby-Ashe.

        Yes it’s Jane Beale’s real accent – the cockney one was put on. Reason for relocation was a mix of money I think and this push of BBC to spread around the UK more. My guess is by end of series 8b the only English accents will be Grantly, Maggie and Tom. It’s just like what happened with Grange Hill.

  6. Martin Rosen

    whoops – finger trouble ! “…employ a number of Scottish ACTORS” (above!).

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