Monday, October 15, 2007
Charlie Stubbs November 17, 1971 – January 15, 2007
'Poor Chuck is daid, poor chuck stubbs is daid.'
I was planning to sit shiva all week, but I realize now that throwing a wake for Charlie Stubbs would probably be more appropriate. Yeah, it’s me Jason and Maria who will be attending the funeral, so with that, I’d like to offer my own 'eugoogly' for bad boy Charlie.
‘Oh, Glacia, oooooooooooh Glacia – why waste your time and your obvious god given talent as a semi-pro fan/blog blogger on a scum like Charlie?’, you may ask. Well, the simple answer is, I just really liked him as a character – and not just for his obvious hotness.
One of the joys of Coronation Street is that even though there are obvious good guys and bad guys on the show, they’ve never made them completely black and white. Even more cartoonish one dimensional characters like Cilla are occasionally shown with deeper emotions.
Charlie certainly was a ‘baddie’ pretty much from the time he landed on the show as builder in 2003. A litany of his bad boy activities would include, trying to seduce every over 45 woman on the street, keeping a girlfriend locked in a bedroom for months on end, sleeping with the mother of said girlfriend, ripping earrings from girlfriend’s ear, bullying a pensioner out of his flat, half drowning a teenage boy, and oh yes, hiding half a pair of sexy designer shoes.
But there was certain mystery about his character that I really loved. First of all his biography is sketchy. We don’t know really where he came from, there was some talk of an ex-wife and a son, but nothing really concrete. We found that his mom had left when he was young and maybe there’s a half brother somewhere. Still, this is all vague and made me want to know more. Was it his mom’s absence that gave him this obvious hatred of women or did daddy just raise him wrong? Unlike Tracey or David, we never get to find out if there was a troubled childhood in his past that molded him into the magic that is Charlie Stubbs.
However, more that the mysterious past, I really dug those Charlie moments where he would shock us all and do something good. I don’t think anyone ever thought, aaaaaaaah, this is where he turns over a new leaf, but I still think we enjoyed the fact that he wasn’t a bastard through and through.
For me though, these good moments intrigued me and made me wonder about the different layers to this man and showed him as a very realistic character.
The obvious example is the ‘Save Sunita’ storyline when both he and Ciaran ran into a burning building to save Sunita and Dev. Ciaran was able to get out with Dev quick enough, but there was a bit of a scare when the shop exploded with Charlie and Sunita still in. In the end, he managed to emerge from the building with her and enjoyed a short period of grace and admiration from the community.
The second example I can think of was when a stranger, Vince, showed up in town and decided that it was his job to harass and bully Roy. He would show up at the café when no one else was around and just menace and terrorize Roy. During one particularly bad night when Vince had Roy cowering on the floor, it’s Charlie who walks in and saves the day. He roughs up Vince, tells him to get lost and warns him about ever harassing Roy again.
I was a little gobsmacked at the time and my actual comment on the update was, ‘He is complex non? Or maybe he just has serious alpha male issues. Defender of the village, abuser of wife.’?
However, when I reflect upon these two incidents I do think that’s a pretty good analysis. I really think he just saw himself as alpha male on the street – that he was above the law of the street, that he should have access to any woman that pleased him, and that no one should question his supreme alpha maleness. If he needed to rescue a few damsels and weak males in the process, that was just part of the job thankyouverymuch.
Certainly you’ll get no argument from me that the man was a complete bastard – but for my money he was one of the best characters they ever had on the show. As much as I thought his relationship with Tracey and demise through her own self destructive behavior was poetic (for both characters), I will really miss his presence on the show.
For all of you who will be screaming, ‘Are you out of your mind Glacia?’ you have to admit, he gave us a hell of a lot of great storylines. (Note: prepare yourselves though, the Stubbs legacy will take an interesting turn in coming episodes.)
Finally, a word to Corrie writers and producers - you owe me, big time. I better be seeing Sean Bean or some other equally worthy totty on the screen, very, very soon.