The first thing we do? OLTL?

Copyright ABC (2008)

Let’s rid ourselves of all of the bad editors!  (if you don’t mind the turn of phrase).Most of what took place on OLTL this past week pleasantly surprised me.   Even my well worn remote would like to take this moment to thank the writers for relief.  It pretty much had the week off with One Life, since I don’t remember hitting FF once this week.  The only big shocker for me this past week  were several pretty lousy editing choices, one in particular.  I’ll get to that in a moment.

Soap-heaven help me, I still like John and Marty.  The only thing that’s harder to take than a dark and brooding John McBain is John McBain in love.  ‘Happy’ John and ‘Brooding’ John are pretty much one in the same.  It’s just at times tough to watch a man who SHOULD be filled with joy behave like a man whose problems could all be solved with the help of  a good laxative.  Wardrobe, could you PLEASE at least put on a brightly colored shirt under his dark suit jacket and dark coat, to go along with his dark pants and dark shoes so that we know the difference between Brooding John and Joyous John?  Thanks!

John’s reaction to Marty as she flashed back on her the manipulated-rape sex with Todd was a reminder that there are soap writers who still realize that it’s so much easier for fans to root for good men – we get so few of them in daytime.  Many of us still love men who are sensitive to the needs of others, rather than focus on themselves  and their own pain.  LOVED that moment when John reminded Marty that he was always willing to wait for her – she’s worth it.  LOVED that the writers didn’t follow that scene up with John immediately running to someone else to flirt with or have sex with while Marty was working on her recovery.

Copyright ABC (2009)

The only thing that made the scene even remotely awkward was watching Blair seduce Todd at the same time Marty had difficulty being touched by John because of Todd’s assault of her.  If the writers wanted to make some of us squeamish about Todd and Blair, job well done.  Otherwise?  Bad editing job on this one.  It made Todd and Blair seem completely disconnected from the world around them, belligerently insular.  They seemed to not care about how much damage had been done to others in their time apart.

Blair, who was disgusted by Todd’s treatment of Marty, seems to have absolutely no qualms about his actions, now.  She was disgusted enough before to want to keep his children from him.  Now?  She can’t keep her hands off of him.

I would much rather have had long soulful talks between the two rather than strip scenes and “shame-filled” sex. The problem with the writing for the once magnificent Todd and Blair is that that the writers don’t seem invested in having them break the inch deep-mile wide pattern they’ve established as part of their courtship.   OLTL writers have seem to always bank on the hard work of Kassie DePaiva and Trevor St. John in winning back fans to the ‘Todd and Blair corner to bring romance back to the show.  I think they’ll have to reconsider, this time.  Too much damage has been done and an instant reunion most likely won’t give them the bump they’re looking for.  How instant is instant in their case?  Todd/Blair reunions can be summarized by the following dialogue:

“You hurt me” (Todd to Blair, Blair to Todd, it doesn’t matter).

“I’m sorry” (Todd to Blair, Blair to Todd, it doesn’t matter)

“Stay away from me” (Todd to Blair, Blair to Todd, it doesn’t matter)

“You don’t mean that” (Todd to Blair, Blair to Todd, it doesn’t matter)

They have sex… AND SCENE!

Where is the discussion about what they want and why they want it?  What about some insight into why they dragged Marty and John into their psychodrama?  How about some part humorous/part dramatic couples counseling for them?   What about real consideration about Tea’s feelings?  It’s bad enough that Todd cheated on Tea after she put everything on the line for him, her life included, but he then lied and said that it meant nothing that he’d had sex with Blair.  If it wasn’t a lie that having sex with Blair meant nothing to him?  It makes his actions even worse.  The writers rubbed salt in fans’ wounds by having Todd coldly state to Blair that he was leaving her to go after Tea ‘because she’s worth it’.

Hells bells, people, you know that despite Tea’s fault, I’m a fan of the goddess of grand bitchery but for TODD to state who is ‘worthy’ and who isn’t?  Well that just burns my grits.  I would have loved watching Blair  get up off the chaise lounge and slap Todd back to his infancy (which would finally allow his external state match his internal state)!   Marty, Tea, Blair, his sister Viki, and even his own daughter, Starr… just how many women in Llanview are going to end up emotionally scarred thanks to this guy?  Taking Todd down the dark road for the sake of pimping “Starr and Cole” is a decision that still haunts this show.  The writers haven’t been able to find their ‘Todd mojo’ and get anything right with this character since then.

Despite the detour and bad editing, I enjoy Marty and John.

What else was there to love?

Copyright ABC (2009)
Copyright ABC (2009)

1.  Greg turned out to not be a big a jerk as he originally seemed.  I liked that he experienced pangs of guilt about running out on Destiny and realizing that he’d hurt her with his actions.  I still don’t like the guy enough to have Rachel walk away from Shaun and fall into Dr. Dork’s waiting arms.  I just like the idea of Shawn and Greg working out their differences for their sister’s sake.

Lovin’ the OLTL writers for giving us this little family.  It’s so unconventional and I can’t wait to see where they go next.  Don’t make me eat those words, writers.

2.  I uh… liked Destiny last week.  If you’re shocked, imagine how I feel.   I’m starting to see what the casting directors saw in this kid when they cast her.   She’s growing in the role and learning to convey a vulnerability that’s refreshing in a teen character, given the rash of adult-themed storylines daytime writers have been pushing for young characters, lately.   It will be interesting to see where the friendship between Destiny and Matthew goes.

3.  I uh… liked Starr last week.    Still in shock here!  The discussion between Starr, Cole, and Jessica was so rational and thoughtful, I have to classify it as the high point of my soap watching week!  Alderson held her own in scenes with Buddy and Williamson.   Scene chewing is not her thing so this emotionally low-key scene felt genuine and believable.  I have to admit that the discussion between Jess and Cole sparked my interest most.  Er, NO, I don’t want to see them as a couple.  I’m giving kudos to the writers for creating such a layered scene.  Both made the connection that they were both ‘in recovery’ and made poor choices because of an inordinate amount of pain, but that they both needed to take responsibility for their own actions.  Both Jess and Cole realized that they had to forgive others as they needed to be forgiven.  For a brief and shining moment, I felt that I could honestly tell my friends who don’t know that I watch soaps about the show … well done, writers, well done!  It was good enough for prime time… 😉  Ouch?

4.  Wish I could give a crap about the Stacy storyline, but I don’t.  I don’t even care who Rex’s father is any more… just.not.interested!

While Starr moved one step closer to being a ‘real mom’, Gigi took a step back for me.  (Wait, I’m getting to it… there’s something I like about this storyline, hang on)… It was odd to watch her encourage Shane’s hatred of  Aunt Stacy no matter how much of a low life Stacy has been.

I had to wonder if there wasn’t a unconscious attempt to warn fans about the perils of being a young mother – since it appears that they’re avoiding that ‘lesson’  of young parenthood with Starr and Cole.   Gigi applauding Shane’s comic book character (skanky Stacy?  Sleazy Stacy?)  REEKED of an immature mother dragging her child into her baby’s daddy drama.  A mature mother would have told Shane that his feelings of anger are appropriate, but that it’s also appropriate to feel sorry for Stacy for what she’s become and to hold out hope for her.   The Gigi-Shane scenes skeeved me out a bit, I gotta’ admit.

SO, here’s what I loved

A –  That the ‘secret’ is finally out in the open.  I was tired of this storyline about a month before it began (damn you spoilers!)

B – That there’s a possibility of a Schuyler-Gigi pairing – the actors have an amazing onscreen chemistry.  Rex and Gigi have been terminally cute.  Schuyler and Gigi have the potential to be hot!.  Having Rex sleep with Stacy and lie about it after treating Gigi like such dirt for so long makes Rex and Gigi a dead pairing for me, for now.  No matter how many things didn’t add up, Rex refused to believe the truth and painted the Scarlett ‘A’ on Gigi’s chest – clearly tempted to use her own blood to do so.  Let Big Rex, and little Rex, sit on the sidelines and watch Gigi happy with someone else for a while.

5 –  I’ve never been much of a Bo and Nora fan… but they’re reeling me in.  Poor Clint… Sorry guy, I think I want to see a Bo and Nora reunion.  Clint and Nora seem to have been killing time for a while now.  Send Clint home to Viki (sorry Charlie!)

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OLTL, the good, the bad, and the WTF!?!?!

The Good: Thank you writers for finally wrapping up the ‘Baby Chloe- Hope’ storyline.   It’s been a long time in coming and I was getting sick of it!

The Bad: (With sarcasm):  Thank you writers for the ‘Baby Chloe -Hope’ storyline.

The WTF: (with incredulity and a tad bit of disgust):  Thank you writers for the ‘Baby Chloe -Hope’ storyline.  Of all of the storylines you COULD have told, this is what you saddle us with?

There are some legitimately wonderful reasons to love OLTL, in my book:

1.  It’s not All My Children.  Need I say more?

2. None of the characters are named Michael Corinthos Jr.  How is it is that General Hospital writers have a knack for taking an event that should be considered a blessing and turn it into such an awful AWFUL thing?  Little Michael Corinthos’ awakening was something I felt myself regretting about 10 minutes after the kid opened his eyes.  To the credit of OLTL’s writers, they haven’t managed to make me wish that any of their teen characters would lapse into a coma!  ALTHOUGH… I wouldn’t mind seeing LESS of all of them.

3.  Viki Lord.  Period.  What would this show do without Erika Slezak?  I don’t even want to know!

4.  The triangle between Clint/Nora/Bo will be heating up soon into a quadrangle with mixed partners Clint/Nora/Bo/Lindsey.  I’ve never been a big Bo/Nora fan – primarily because I’m not a Nora fan. I say that knowing that MANY OLTL fans are Bo/Nora fans and for their sake, I sure hope that the show’s writers honors its history and gives the couple back to the audience who loves them.  The question is… what happens to Clint?

Clint/Lindsey? (Can you imagine their couples name?  Clindsey?  Lint?  FUN!)  Since it seems that CH’s Lindsey’s stay is temporary, I have  doubt as to whether the writers would move in that direction.  Too bad, Lindsey was fabulous with both Clint and Bo in the past.  I would be interested in the chemistry between JVD’s Clint and CH’s Lindsey.

Clint, on his own? Angry?  Scheming to break up Bo and Nora?  Where’s the fun in that?  I’d rather see Clint go back to London before having him take on his own brother over a woman he shouldn’t have been with in the first place.  I had a preference for Clint and Nora over Bo and Nora, but to have Clint becoming involved with the love of his brother’s life was a bit much for most of you and in moments of objectivity, I agree.

Clint and Viki?  If you’re going to make me suffer through Bo and Nora, writers, I’ll take Clint and Viki (no worries, anti-Clint/Viki fans… I never get the pairings I like).  I think Clint and Viki/ Bo and Nora have the potential to take fans back to some of the glory days of  OLTL. I have to admit that I’m concerned about the initial awkwardness of the two couples getting together in light of Nora and Clint’s relationship… eh,there’s been worse on this show.

5.  Believe it or not, I think that John and Marty (or the prospect of John and Marty) would be far more interesting than Blair and John – who’ve only managed to put me to sleep.

6.  Jessica and Brody.  Even now, I’m still disappointed that Nash is gone and that Jared survives in his place, BUT, at least TPTB have come as close as they possibly could to Nash, without trying to replace him with a ‘Nash Clone’.  Brody has ‘Nash like’ qualities (hot as sin, a beautiful body, thoughtful, kind, and loving), but have given him a unique personality and core.

So… setting aside that things I actually like, I have to say that the ‘Baby Chloe- Hope’ storyline has the potential to keep me tuning out OLTL (or at least FFing most of whatever episodes I bother recording.

I think the teen pregnancy storyline was the biggest mistake the writers have made so far.  I’m not against the idea of a teen pregnancy storyline.  I’m simply against the teen pregnancy storyline for the chosen characters.  Why?:

  • I hate the back door approach to keeping Todd and Marty connected given their history.  It’s bad enough that he’s violated her twice in a lifetime, but now they’re connected because their children are ‘in love’ and are now parents together.  BULLOX!
  • I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  This is NOT a storyline that plays to Kristen Alderson’s strengths.  She has become the weak link in this storyline. I find KA’s emotional responses to be stilted and unbelievable.
  • Adding the teen pregnancy storyline on top of the drug addiction storyline was a bit much.  The writers have seemingly decided that the juiciest storylines should go to the youngest actors and that the veterans should be stuck with trivial, pointless, boring storylines.  It’s another storyline for which Kristen Alderson seemed completely unprepared and didn’t connect as an actress, in my opinion.  She uttered the dialogue  well enough, but her performances felt like a ‘script reading’ rather than watching someone who was emotionally impacted by a loved one’s drug abuse.
  • Oddly enough, Brandon Buddy has done as well as any actor with significantly more experience.  He’s been a marvel.  The only problem with having handed him this storyline is that he seems far too mature an actor for the role he now plays.  It’s time to SORAS Cole to 18 and find him a cougar (no older than 25, please, not someone too much older).  “Starr and Cole” now feel like little Starr and her much older brother – ICK!!!!!!!!!  By the way, Brandon should be nominated, next year, for the addiction storyline.

KA fans I’m not completely ‘Anti-Starr’.  I think there are a  number of storylines that would be great for the character and would showcase the actress’ abilities well.  The Baby Chloe-Hope storyline just isn’t one of them.

OLTL – blogging live…

Oh my freakin’ soapgod….I freakin ‘heart’ bitchy Marty….she makes me HAPPY…lol

Um…just how ridiculous is it that John kissed Marty back and then told Blair it was nothing? What a weenie.

Still love Tess’ D.I.D. alter glasses!

Any day where there’s a moment of Marcy is a day with just too much Marcy.

It would be great if the writers could/would keep Wes around. They did such a great job with the PTSD storyline – I’m not crazy about the planted gun angle – and that he’s lying..

Honest to goodness… if I knew two women who’d fight over a John McBain, I’d end my friendship with both of them… I feel the need for a scalding hot shower. He looks even more morose than ever – if that’s possible!

UGH, Marcy! Go away!!!! Her babymania is driving me mad. Marcy use to have so much to contribute; now she utters the same few lines (with the word ‘baby’ being spoken at least twice each time)

What’s up with the Marty-The-Party-Girl line?

Nothing… I got nothing…no sympathy for Jared and Natalie.

Brody gets to me every time…and not just because he’s hot… but it helps that he is.

This show definitely needs more Marty and Blair squaring off – and not over John or Todd; more Brody: more Tea (adding her to today’s ep would have made it a damned near perfect episode).

The Era of the Smart Woman is Over

Right about now, you’re probably asking when the era of the smart woman began in daytime.  I don’t blame you.  Daytime writers seem to have an aversion to consistently smart women!

DOOL:  Marlena doesn’t get it?  Has John left her so damaged that ANY man who shows her some attention is a man she’s willing to spend time with, these days?  Let it go, Marlena, let it go.  I’d rather see her return to Roman than spend one more minute with Max’s father.

OLTL:  Blair.  What IS it about women and John McBain?  He does that thing, the thing that says, “I’ll sleep with you, but don’t count on me being around when you wake up…”  Somehow, that translates into some bizarre desire to sing a ballad to the man.  Blair, remember Evangeline?  Sure you do… she’s the last woman who sang to John.  He made her so miserable she had to run from him.  You’re on borrowed time, kid.  You might want to consider focusing more on your daughter’s pregnancy than John’s ego.  Something good will come from Starr’s pregnancy. Nothing good will come from waiting for John to lighten up and give a damn about anything.  The more morose man in daytime is the man every woman who’s crossed his past inexplicably falls in love with, and I just don’t get it.

Tina Lord was born a schemer.  Who in the world believes that she would willing walk into a room with a lock on the OUTSIDE of the door (yeah, big HUGE freakin’ lock) and allow herself to be trapped inside?  Poor David Vickers, the dog… he’s locked inside with Tina and unless that place is stocked with puppy pads, things are going to get ugly.

BnB – Brooke Logan.  WHY, writers, WHY?  Why not just have Katie and Brooke battle it out about which of them betrayed Bridget most?  Why didn’t Katie ask how Brooke could be so disgusted by the fact that she slept with Nick when Brooke did it too, after knowing that Bridget was in love with the man, still, and after having slept with Bridget’s first husband too!

Katie could have gotten her zinger in and Brooke would have been able to offer her own comeback… Clearly, she is guilty of having slept with daughter’s first AND second husbands – having children with each.  The problem is that given her past, her disgust with Katie, without explanation, just makes her look crazy.

Brooke’s retort to Katie could have included a confession of her own past, and that she’s still trying to deal with the guilt of being with men she didn’t love and trading her daugther’s heart in, in the process.  She could have told Katie that she’s disgusted with her actions because she’s been there, and when the dust settles, that one careless moment was never worth what it cost Bridget.  She could have shared with Katie that she knows what pain she’s caused Bridget in the past, she’s atoned for it.  Brooke promised Bridget that she would never hurt her again, never thinking she’d have to protect her daughter against her own sister. 

Give Brooke SOMETHING to say that makes it clear that she’s a woman who’s grown and learned from her past actions, not just treat her as a woman who could hate her own actions, when they’re committed by other people.  That would make her the same sort of hypocrite she’s fought against all these years – most especially when she’s fought back agains Stephanie, Taylor, and even dear departed Macy.

Guiding Light – Harley.  <sigh>  Do the writers hate the viewers that much?  Maybe, in some wild backstage fantasy, the writers are thinking that they can stick it to Beth Ehlers one last time by destroying what’s left of the character she originated, who knows?  In what universe would Harley leave her family, uproot her youngest children, and abandon her oldest child, one she gave up once before?  It was bad enough when she ran off with her daughter’s boyfriend to protect him from being prosecuted of a crime he actually committed.  Now she’s leaving her vulnerable (and incredibly stupid) daughter in the hands of a unrepentant criminal who’d already lead Daisy down the primrose path before, involving her in drug use and being an unwitting accomplice in her own cousin’s death.  IF the writers think they’re sticking it to BE, newsflash, you’re sticking it to the fans even more.  We’re the ones still left to tune out the show.  Please keep that in mind.

What’s next?  We’ll find out that Gus had six wives in addition to Natalia?

Phillip Spaulding is a pimp?

Vanessa Lewis sews fur coats from puppy fur?

C’mon writers.  Trying to kill off the last loving menory of one of GL’s strongest women in the history of the show is petty, and beneath the dignity of this show.  We deserve better.  Your time would be better spent trying to figure out how many times Reva’s undergone menopause and how it’s possible for her to be pregnant, again.

You can’t come back from this one, unlike the weak and laughable recovery of YnR writers who’d forgotten that Victor had a vasectomy when they wrote the pregnancy storyline for his child bride.  No ‘secret reversal’ explanation will help you this time.  Her meds kicking her period on for a month, after menopause?  That’s your explanation?  After the hefty drugs, radiation, and every other treatment Reva received prior to and after her near death?  Wow. 

Is it any wonder that so many GL fans have begun a campaign to save the show?  CLICK HERE to find threads linked to the ‘Cry for Change’ campaign, among others.

Joined at the immoral hip

There’s self-serving, and then there’s the BnB’s Donna.  It takes gall to tell the man you’ve just cheated with that if your husband was awake from his coma, he’d be grateful that you were around to save her.  Sure, Eric would have thanked Owen for saving Donna from Pam’s attempted murder plot, but he’d have left it at that. He’d have never thanked Owen by taking him to bed.  He for SURE wouldn’t have thanked Owen for taking his wife to bed.

Everything about Eric and Donna’s relationship rang false from the beginning, but Donna’s actions with Owen, and comatose Eric’s reactions have only confirmed for me that the only connection they’ve ever had is the one they forged while naked.  Donna cried and prayed over Eric’s comatose body. His true wife (Stephanie) did as well.  His children did the same… NADA!  Donna falls into bed with another man and at that VERY moment Eric wakes up calling her name?  So very Eric.  He may not feel her pain, but he must have some sort of psychic connection with whatever gives her pleasure.  For those of you who named him ‘horny bear’ instead of ‘honey bear’.  You were dead on.

There’s self-serving, and then there’s GL’s Grady.  Set up your girlfriend’s ex, have him jailed, and then keep her close.  Why?  Because you ‘love’ her.  Well, that explains why he’s more willing to work as a prostitute than get a job.  Even worse?  He doesn’t think his new business venture involves his girlfriend.  Why should she have to know that he’s willing to sleeep with anyone who’ll pay the fee?  He did take her to dinner with the loot, after all.   Luckily, Olivia couldn’t go through with it.  Too bad, for her, that she was willing to pay him in the first place.  Anyone who’s ever read this blog or read a post I’ve written on any board knows that I’m no fan of Cassie’s.  I’m of the firm belief it would take a wooden stake and holy water to get rid of that character, and even THEN I’m not sure we’d be so lucky in getting rid of her.

So it means something when I say that Grady telling Cyrus to just sleep with Cassie and let that be it, as if she was nothing more than garbage, infuriated me.  If you kill a woman’s child, you might not want to treat her as if she’s not worth anything more than a good shag and then a good dumping.   Is it safe to say by extension, that given Grady’s actions, he doesn’t love or respect Daisy any more than he does Olivia, or Cassie?  Poor Daisy, foolish girl.  Now get off of my screen, PLEASE!

There’s self-serving and then there’s OLTL’s Blair and Todd.  What started out as an epic multilayer love story has me clutching my sides in pain and tearing out my hair.  Does anyone doubt that Blair is fooling herself into believing that she wants custody of Sam for the sake of loving him and caring about him?  Nothing gives Blair greater pleasure than sticking it to Todd. 

Nothing gives Todd greater pleasure than making everyone around him miserable.  Marty may not remember that Todd is the man who raised her.  She may not remember her own life as a therapist, but she knows enough to know that something is definitely wrong with Todd.  You can see it in her eyes.  She gets it, the guy isn’t stable.  Remember when Todd’s instability use to be fun?  Now?  It’s just creepy… emphasis on CREEPY.

Can I add to the ‘self-serving’ list the OLTL writers?  At this point, it’s CLEAR that far too many people know about Tess’ little secret for her plot to be successful.  Tess was never stupid in the past.  Is the audience to believe that Jess’ pregnancy is costing alter-Tess major IQ points?  Blair has seen her meeting with the electrician.  Nat, Tina, Jare, and now Bo all know about the guy, and that he’s been in the basement working behind a locked door.  Are we really to believe that if Jared comes up missing, no one will think to look downstairs?  At this point, not only has Tess become dumber, but I feel as though MY intelligence has been insulted as well.  I’d like to believe that the writers saved something special for this plot (hey, they pulled it out with the Mendorra storyline)… I’m just not that hopeful that lighting will strike twice – unless you’re Rex, Bo, and Gigi… and I just don’t want to talk about that time travel storyline again.

Oh well.  The writers started off strong with Tess’ return.  I only wish they’d found a way to stay that way.  Too much focus on the Starr-Cole fiasco, too much focus on time travel, and too little focus on Tess The Great.