If you know the secret, clue me in…

As The World Turns

Why does Paul hate Dusty so much?  I know the writers want conflict between ATWT’s titan younger male leads,  but it doesn’t make sense – especially in light of Dusty’s relationship with the deceased Jennifer Munson.   Dusty has loved Jen and maintained the integrity of her memory FAR more than her own brother has.  For Paul to hire a someone to cause Dusty to question whether she’s Jennifer, or some reincarnated form, was just classic soap evil!  Tasty little plot, isn’t it?  Even still, Dusty fought Craig Montgomery to protect Jennifer and to protect her son from falling into Craig’s hands.  So what is the foundation of Paul’s extreme hack-him-to-death hatred for Dusty?

I’m curious about whether anyone on the ATWT writing or production staff has every watched Roger Howath’s work on One Life To Live.  Todd was one of the most vile and despicable characters in the history of daytime (read my blog below about why I think the OLTL writers owe the fans an apology for the Todd/Marty storyline.  Many of the clips of the early Marty/Todd interactions were filmed while Howarth was still in the role).  Todd was malicious, and frightening to be quite honest.  His continued tormenting of Marty Saybrooke even after he raped her gave viewers the impression that given the chance, he’d assault her again.

What does that have to do with Howarth’s work as Paul?  If the writers then followed the storyline, and watched as Howarth transformed Todd from a hateful bastard to a repentant and self-loathing soul, they would have been amazed.  They would better understand the range of Howarth’s ability (and it is an amazing range).  The WTs writers would pen storylines that allow Howarth to best use the extensive arsenal of skills he brings with him to the role of Paul Ryan.  I’ve never warmed up to Mr. Howarth in this role and it has nothing to do with the actor.  it has everything to do with the writing.

Paul, as he’s currently written, has very few redeeming qualities.  He’s insecure, whiny, and perpetually angry.  That’s the short list.  There is little room for the character to be remorseful because he spends so much of his time moving from one failed idiotic plot to the next.  The writers have given viewers, in my opinion, very little reason to root for NuPaul, or the Paul/Meg relationship.  “Peg” yet to establish themselves as a couple, outside of the fact that they are two people whose lives are constantly marred by tragedy, much of it self-inflicted.  Trauma and drama are daytime staples, but almost all successful couples have been granted some period of time to experience a little happiness.  I want to see Howarth make this role his own and bring to it the uniqueness it deserves.  He has talent to spare, and given the right material he could create a character, and become part of a couple, with few equals in daytime.  Here’s hoping!

Just as an aside

BTW, doesn’t this picture just scream, “Even I’m not buying into the ‘sainted Janet’ role I’m now playing”.  Janet was more believable as a  woman who worked to break up the marriage of a man she hadn’t seen since she was a teenager.

Don’t worry ‘Janet’, you’re not alone.  I’m not buying it either.  I’m over the ‘CarJack’ phenomenon and would love to see Carly happy with a confident and loving man.  I say that to say this, I don’t dislike Janet because of her relationship with Jack – she’s not keeping Jack from Carly in my book.  Jack clinging to stupidity has always done that.

What I want so see is a Janet with a little more grit.  She doesn’t have to be the sleaze she was when she hit town, but the writers have to do better than propping her up as the cardboard charcter she’s become. If the only way to sell Janet and Jack is to make Carly look like the bad seed keeping them from their happiness, Janet is nothing more than a plot device and hardly a useful character worth watching.  To continue to promote her in front burner storylines when her only purpose is to try to make Carly look worse is a waste of viewer’s time.  Give her her edge back.  Let her take on someone other than Carly, and figure out who and what she is – other than Jack’s ego defense shield.  Pinson has the goods and can turn in a hell of a performance given the chance, much like her costar, Howarth.  The writers just have to give her the chance!

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