(Series 7, Ep.21) The start of yet another half term on Waterloo Road (I seem to say that with increasing regularity. Are the terms getting shorter, or is it just old age creeping up on me?). No exploding caravan or child lost on the moors for this episode. Rather than Rochdale Gothic, WR went for Inner City Gritty and we had an episode filled with dangerous gangland violence like graffiti, knife-wielding, setting fire alarms off and pouring Sprite on the teacher’s desk.
It was Tariq who did the Sprite thing, and I think that tells us all we need to know about his bad boy credentials. He’s not really cut out for this hard man stuff. We already knew that, of course, because we were there when Trudi was telling Finn how Tariq used to cry a lot when he was in the Young Offenders Institute. Tariq had been settling down fairly nicely in Waterloo Road, give or take the odd bout of threatening behaviour, but this week he got dragged back into the world of gangland crime by one Mason Price, a school pupil who looked older than many of the teachers and who seemed to have styled his fringe with a mascara wand. In other words, he was Hard. Every Mr Big needs a right hand man, and Mason’s was Kyle Stack, who was over-compensating for his seductive body-popping in the school pantomime by being all snarly and unpleasant.
When you join a gang you have to prove yourself by doing something particularly mean, and Tariq was required to beat up, and preferably stab, Finn Sharkey. Continue reading
(Series 7, Ep.19) The secret love of Michael Byrne and Sian Diamond is a secret no more. Jez’s suspicions were confirmed by his supposed-to-be-clever wife forgetting to erase the recent locations on the car’s sat nav. When it showed that Sian had been overnighting at the Regency Hotel rather than comforting a fed-up mate, and when a Regency Hotel pen turned up on Michael Byrne’s desk, Jez put two and two together and showed it’s not only maths teachers who can do sums. Then he punched Michael, and PLA Jr and I cheered. Well, he’s had it coming, and he has such a punchable face. The Regency Hotel had another visitor, in the shape of Linda Radleigh, who has taken to skulking in the corridors and sending little notes to Michael. What a deeply weird woman she is. But maybe not as weird as Sian, who is Jaye Jacobs and therefore stunningly beautiful. What on earth does she see in Michael Byrne? Not much of a catch, is he?
One man who is a catch is the utterly magnificent and wonderful Ronan Burley. He’s leaving soon, and I’ll miss him a lot. This week he had a poor misunderstood girl throwing herself at him. It wasn’t Vicki, it was another one. This was pupil-with-issues-of-the-week Andi O’Donnell. She was the daughter of a local radio presenter whose USP was talking in a cheesy voice (ok, that’s not particularly U for a radio presenter) and being very confessional about her personal life and her family. This included telling all of her listeners that her 15-year-old daughter was a virgin and had never even been on a date. Andi’s classmates had never twigged that Andi was this woman’s daughter. Probably because they’d never seen her before this week (we’d have noticed her because of her lurid hair extensions). But when Mommy Dearest was invited to broadcast from the school as part of this week’s Controversial New Initiative, Andie was humiliated in front of the whole school.
(Series 7, Ep.14) I’m having trouble with this series of Waterloo Road. Basically, I’m wondering how much longer I should give the new characters to bed in. Is it just a matter of time before Michael Byrne, the Diamonds and the terrible Sarah Hadland character start seeming like proper Waterloo Road teachers?
I love Jaye Jacobs, I adored and revered her as The Radiant Donna in Holby City, but something about her character isn’t working in this. I don’t think it’s the actress’s fault. As Donna, she was given a part that was funny, vulnerable and sweet. She could be selfish, stroppy and lazy, but we always cared about her. I just don’t care about Sian Diamond, even though I do rather love the dresses she wears. Jez is neither here nor there – not a serious character, not a comic character (so he’s had Botox? Big deal). And Michael Byrne is a cardboard cutout of a headmaster, not fit to fill the shoes of Jack Rimmer, Rachel Mason and Karen Fisher.
Did I hate the last episode, then? Well, no, because a lot of it featured the glorious Ronan Burley, my favourite Waterloo Road character. Maybe I’m just against Sian for daring to suggest that Our Ronan could ever hit Vicki. It’s almost as absurd as thinking he could captain a rugby team.
But I’m hankering after the mad old days of Ruby Fry having a meltdown in the cookery room, and Grantly and Fleur, and Steph Haydock, and Pious Kim Campbell and Chris Mead coming up with Controversial New Initiatives. Poor old Daniel Chalk and his winning ways with an electric guitar just aren’t providing a sufficient level of that particular kind of warm barminess that WR specialises in.
Or is it just me?
Posted by PLA (more Waterloo Road here)