The Archers – October 2010

What a month! Goodness me. The weeks and weeks of setup we have been listening to are finally starting to pay off. Where do I start?

Kathy and Jamie

I had kinda thought, and hoped, that with Kenton out of the picture, we would hear a bit less of Kathy. Wrong! Jamie has turned into a horror teenager, I won’t argue that, although there are quite some depths he has to sink to yet… if this was Eastenders, anyway.

Even with the truanting and the gatecrashing, the drinking and the bird-hide destructing, Kathy is still driving me crazy. From her chats with Pat, we can gather that she’s worried about her son losing first his father, and now Kenton, and not having that supportive influence in his life. I guess she is trying to double up and try and be both mum and dad. But talk about smothering him. Driving him to and from school, taking him shopping, taking days off to entertain him during half term, and the whole thing with buying food for a party that he never said was going to happen. I can’t stand it.

I don’t have children, so I have no experience of disciplining them, but would it be so hard to just leave him be for a bit, and let him handle the consequences?

I don’t know why I still have a soft spot for Kenton, despite the fact he keeps messing it all up. He was doing a good job at getting through to Jamie until that horrid Holly woman turned up. Honestly, if you had picked someone up in a bar and spent the night with them, only to find they didn’t call you for a month, would you even go back to the same bar? Let alone drape yourself all over them in front of their teenage friend? Strange behaviour.

Kate

Oh dear, we all knew it was trouble, as soon as Jennifer got so excited about her precious daughter coming home. And when I say precious, I mean spoilt, obviously.

I can’t blame Hayley for over-reacting to the letter the school sent. I’m not sure why one unathorised absence requires such a stern letter, but all she had to do was call them up, explain the situation, and make sure they know you understand your responsibilities. With Kate around, though, rubbing everyone up the wrong way, it’s hardly a surprise to find Hayley spitting nails. Apparently they have come to some off-air agreement, but I can only assume that is temporary.

Poor Phoebe must get quite confused. She calls Kate mum sometimes, but also refers to her as Kate. She calls Hayley mum seemingly all the time. When Peggy asked her about her mum, she said: “Which one?” Peggy was beautiful when she told Kate how it is:

“I’m her real mother.”
“Only when it suits you, dear.”

Kate wasn’t having any of it. She was happy to go on being an air-head, and was terribly passive-aggressive about Jennifer spending time on her own computer. Brian couldn’t stand any more bickering and bought his daughter a state-of-the-art laptop. Somehow Jennifer thinks this okay, but I would demand a) an apology and b) an even better laptop, please.

Then there was the strange conversation at the harvest supper, where she snapped at Jennifer for coddling Ruari too much. There may have been a good point buried in that talk about how kids are just left to get on with it in South Africa, but her tone was unacceptable. She does seem to feel guininely bad about leaving her two children behind in SA, but at the same time she has some kind of an obsession with reconnecting with Phoebe.

I have seen fans discussing a potential Phoebe-kidnap situation in the works, when Kate’s year at college is done.

Harry

Harry continues to be too good to be true, teaching the village elders how to use a computer, and taking a stray Jazzer under his wing. The Guardian’s Ambridge catchup had this excellent quote:

On any other soap, he’d turn out to be a psychopath. In Ambridge, I fear, he’ll just stay dull.

It was quite obvious that Jazzer was going to end up moving in with Harry. It was so obvious, in fact, that I could have done without Brenda screeching about bread and stealing her dad’s lunch for a couple of episodes. Her moaning did the trick, though, and there they are, a mismatched pair if ever I heard one. Jazzer barely knows what a vegetable is, whilst Harry has muesli for breakfast, and goes out jogging every day. Why would he even want the Scottish layabout in his flat?

Too good to be true again. Jazzer is the only one who’s noticed, and is being routinely ignored whenever he complains. We’ll see who’s right.

Regarding the computer lessons, firstly it didn’t sound like Peggy needed any help, and secondly Harry couldn’t have been more patronising. Peggy’s chat with Phoebe put her ex-boyfriend Con firmly in her thoughts, and now she wants to track him down. Will he still be alive, though?

Vicky and Ed

At first, I was horrified that the veal topic had returned. I began to feel a little bit sorry for her, though. She was squawking about how you have to go out on a limb and take risks to grow the business, and she was willing to give it a go and determined to make things work. I respected that. Then she said the veal calves could grow up to be breeders, and I found myself firmly on Ed’s side again.

Their argument, when Vicky was brave enough to admit in person, that she had failed, was completely epic. I wish Mike hadn’t solved it quite so easily. I was looking forward to hearing the Archers version of “Get outta my pub,” more often. “Gerrof my farm!”

Will

There are two sides to Will’s terrifying anger so far this month. Firstly, he was already on edge when Nic announced she was joining the WI. I can’t see why she shouldn’t, it can’t be much fun babysitting all day, working at the pub all evening, and otherwise waiting to see what Will wants for his tea.

Emma and Ed completely bottled it by not telling Will face to face. What they should have done was gathered the clan at Clarrie’s house, so they could break the news in a neutral setting. Instead, they told everyone else and allowed Will to find out via Jennifer. Not a great start. Needless to say he was hopping mad, and shouted to anyone who stopped to listen that Ed would make a terrible father. I’m not sure where he’s got that from, as the only George-related angst I can recall was from his own girlfriend’s hands.

Still, it’s clear that rational thinking isn’t top of Will’s to-do list. Whilst it is all pretty worrying, I must say I did love the argument over the cows. Ed almost had his brother admitting defeat, but they weren’t about to settle things over a pint. It has been all nice and civil for far too long, and I am relishing what exciting rants we have to come. I’m mean-spirited like that.

Also, if Will does go completely over the top, it frees Nic to go out with the lovely Harry, which would be cute. Assuming he doesn’t turn out to be the psycopath we suspect.

Odds and Ends

I was glad to hear that Pat’s concern for Helen was mounting, when she realised how very obsessive her daughter was being. To be fair, her lecture to Emma on how to avoid morning sickness just sounded like Helen’s usual know-it-all self, but when she started talking about the calories and the gym, you could tell Pat was on high alert. I did love Emma sounding so reticent about them going to ante-natal classes together. Imagine the fun they wouldn’t have!

There was lots of talk of education and learning this month, with Pip starting to think about her UCAS stuff, Alice pondering a Felpersham course so she can be closer to her husband, and Jamie being pushed to contemplate Uni, while mostly ignoring the entire conversation. What an educated lot we listen to.

Finally, I am very much looking forward to the panto. We were deprived panto fun last year because of Lynda’s new step-grandchild-in-law-whatever-it-is, but it’s full steam ahead for 2010.