The one who got away…

The one who got away  turned into two… and then two turned into three… and then three …  You get the picture.  OLTLers will most likely feel nostalgic at the sight of Renee Elise Goldsberry (ex-Evangeline Williamson).  REG’s Evangeline was one of the most unique new (female) characters in recent OLTL history, not to mention in recent soap history.   She.Had.A.BRAIN!  Not only did she have a brain, folks, she wasn’t afraid to use it!

Part of me wants to give credit to the writers for making sure that the character was as strong as she was and that they hadn’t decided to shove Evangeline into the deepest darkest corners of crazyland – where they eventually relegate  all female characters.    We were fortunate that there were no huge psychological breakdowns for this character after failed romances.  She didn’t go on drinking binges, no drug use, she didn’t lurk in shady places trying to keep a watchful eye on ‘rivals’ – in desperation to hold on to a man.  What makes all of that even bigger news for a One Life character?  She dated John ”Sanity Killer” McBain, folks!  She survived their relationship and remained healthy.  Who could forget this moment between sisters Evangeline and Layla once it was clear to Evangeline that John was going to betray her:

The sane woman’s anthem when love goes wrong!

Whatever happened, no matter the writing, Goldsberry gave Evangeline a rare sense of dignity and strength for a female character in modern daytime.   My best guess is that the writers got it – REG was a very different actress all together.  She had the elegance and comportment of a more seasoned actress. Writing that may have been translated onscreen as shrill, needy, and whining by another young actress was treated as an opportunity to turn Evangeline into her own heroine – no need for rescue.  The partnership between the writers and the actress gave OLTL fans like myself joy in watching one of the most memorable characters in daytime.  If only the powers that be had been able to convince the actress to stay.  Despite her unfortunate dalliance with John, and her flirtation with the mad-as-a-hatter Todd Manning (which I loved while he was still in the process of reforming and becoming a better person), it was Evangeline’s last relationship – with the  lovely Cristian Vega that sealed Evangeline’s fate as a winner in life, but loser at love.  Cristian walked away once he realized that there was more between Evangeline and Todd than she was able to admit, even to herself.

Rather than kill the character off when REG vacated the role, the writers decided to have the character succumb to a coma.  While it preserved their right to bring her back (and I appreciate that), it’s awful thinking that the character remains there and life in Llanview goes on without her.  I wish they’d thought to let her move on to another city, start a successful law practice and allow Layla to occasionally mention who well her sister is doing in her new life.

Sadly, I’m concerned that Layla Williamson will soon suffer the fate of her big sister.  She’ll disappear from Llanview history with barely a second thought from those who knew or loved her.  Overkill?  Do you remember Rachel Gannon?  Probably not.  She was so rarely featured before the writers decided to dump the legacy character, yet again (and yet FORD remains).  The Williamson family is relatively new.  I have little hope for the rarely seen Layla – who is now dating Cristian Vega.  While you would think that would be the perfect time for writers to wake Van up from her coma (even if they could only convince REG toreturn for a few eps to usher Van off to a new life), such is not the case with OLTL.  The writers instead have Teen Tessica Buchanan, who can’t remember her life beyond the age of 17 returning to high school as a student  (yeah right) and stalking ‘Mr. Vega’.  Where is Layla while all of this is happening?  Who the hell knows?

The more things change, the more they stay the same, One Life.  One Life fans may remember Valarie Pettiford ( Sheila Price Gannon) for delivering a  rousing rendition of ‘Dancing in the Streets’ at Megan’s funeral.  Where is she now?  Doing just fine without OLTL, thank you very much!  She was one of the co-stars of the show ‘Half and Half‘ and ocntinues performing on Broadway and has her own Cabaret act:

Van, Layla, Sheila, Rika (Sheila’s younger sister), and the few very women of color before them.  What a waste, OLTL.

As the World Turns

Smart women and the law?  They seem to go hand in hand in daytime.   OLTL’s Van Williamson and Nora Buchanan, GH’s Alexis Davis and Federal Prosecutor Claire Walsh, ATWT’s Margo Hughes and Jessica Griffin, all of whom helped make it ‘safe’ for women to be smart.  Tamara Tunie’s Jessica was a no frills – no bullshit character who wasn’t exactly shy about telling Oakdale residents where to go and how to get there… of course, she did it in the most elegant way possible.  TT’s Jessica Griffin McKeachnie  brought as much to her show as REG’s did to OLTL later.  Jessica was a beloved character  who was respected by her onscreen peers -, and then the inevitable happened.  Jessica found out where she really  fit in the grand scheme of Oakdale life.  Her ‘interracial’ romance with Duncan McKeachnie led to both heartbreaking and uplifting moments for the character.

She’d feared that her tough as nails, and somewhat conservative friend and client Lucinda Walsh would never approve of her relationship with Duncan.  Lady Lu, CEO extraordinaire would have to protect her business interests from ‘scandal’, right?  Jessica knew that the only person she and Duncan could share the news of their growing relationship with was their beloved friend and supporter, Lisa Hughes.  Lisa was a woman of the world.  She’d done something most women would never have thought of doing in her time – she’d left a husband and child and sought love elsewhere.  She’d dated and loved brothers.  She was a hellion in her youth and didn’t care who approved of her choices.  So imagine Jessica’s surprise when she learned that Lucinda was the one to give the happy couple her blessing and Lisa was the person who disapproved.

Jessica found even greater strength and a stronger voice when she grew tired of defending her love for Duncan and their desire to be together.  She remained a relatively strong character until the writers decided to SORAS’ young Bonnie into an adult woman.   Bonnie brought many changes into Jess’ life, most of them lousy, including having Jessica watch her daugther grow closeto the man she knew raped her mother, and being accidentally shot by her daughter.   When ATWT’s jumps the shark, it chums the waters, first.  Where is Jessica?  Around… somewhere… I hope.

The Young and the Restless

I’ve covered the topic of Victoria Rowell’s Drucilla Winters being absent from screen in several blog entries, most recently (HERE and HERE).  I still can’t get over what insanity leads the YnR’s PLTB refusal to bring Dru back to screen.  No matter how many times TPTB insists there’s no room for Drucilla onscreen, each new weak and snooze producing character they bring to screen in her place says otherwise.

Even worse than the above?  The talented Latina American, American Indian, Asian American, and other actresseses who ever never give the chance to appear onscreen.  It saddens me to realize that as networks are steadily shuttering soaps from the daytime schedule, Executive Producers and other execs don’t appear to be moved to change their practices before all soaps are eventually cleared from the schedule.  There has be some growth when you think of where daytime started and where it is now, but how much growth?  What will be the legacy of daytime and minority characters when all is said and done?

Bonus Clip!

The REG you’ve never seen on OLTL.  Goldsberry in RENT:

Advertisements

Jade Jones’s/ Jade Wiggams’s Diary

It seems that ATWT’s Jade is in part related to ‘The Simpson’s’ Ralph Wiggam, and in part related to onscreen film heroine Bridget Jones. Remember what makes both characters adorable AND cringe worthy; both have a penchant for making the most inappropriate and unrelated comments in any given moment. Bridget most especially when nervous or under attack- and then she’s grossly inappropriate.

Jade has the cringe-worthy part down. The writers need to work on the adorable part. Without Ellen Goode, the writing for this character has lost it’s subtle nature.

As Jade unleashed her tirade, clinging to dialogue that was odd, clumsy, and juvenile – even for a young woman her age, I entered the Jones/Wiggam vortex.

I’m not sure that it happened quite this way, but what I thought I heard was:

Lu: You’re nothing but trouble!
Jade: I eat paste.

Lu: You can’t be trusted.
Jade: I like purple ponies.

Lu: Stay away from my grandson.
Jade: At least I didn’t marry a gay man.

Me: THUD!

Oy!

Until now, I’ve always hated the phrase that ‘children’ should be seen and not heard. Post Jade, I get it. What a way to twist the knife on Lu’s humiliation writers.

I would have preferred a tearful, heartfelt confession from Brian that had nothing to do with fear of being found out.. It would have gone a long way in his redemption. Now the audience is left to wonder how much longer he would have gone on lying to his wife and trying to feel up her grandson.

He confessed because Jade Wiggam outted him. Lu, Luke, and Brian should have been the ones to deal with this, in my opinion. I wanted to see a real struggle on Brian’s part. I wanted Lu to come to her own conclusions and fight her tendency to embrace denial where Brian is concerned. I’d actually hoped for a greater sense of guilt from Luke. I certainly hope the fallout is more interesting than the reveal.

Could ATWTs Brian be bisexual?

There’s a great fan debate taking place on the official ATWT board about the matter. I was initially disgusted by Lucinda Walsh’s involvement in this storyline. Daytime writers seem to have a deep passion for humiliating women at midlife, in regard to romantic storylines. Midlife women are always desperate fools for love who just can’t see how unappealing they are to their partners (see BnB’s Eric and Stephanie).

I don’t trust the WT writers to have thought this one out completely- Lu and Luke’s involvement is most likely about simple sensationalism. Yet this plot has the potential to play to the show’s history with regard to Lucinda.. Ultimately she may be the perfect person for Brian to have turned to.

She was the person who welcomed Jessica and Duncan’s love as a blessing. She embraced their marriage and the birth of Bonnie. She’s treated all human behavior as it should be treated, with love. Ok, she had a hard time accepting Holden – but he proved her RIGHT!!

After a period of time of rightful pain and anger at Brian’s betrayal, she may be the one who helps Brian learn to be proud and accepting of who he is. Brian may truly love Lucinda even if his guilt prevents him from sleeping with her. He may truly love Luke even if his marriage to Lu makes it impossible for them to be together. (AHEM!!!! And let’s not forget Luke’s love for Noah)

Until Brian can undergo some sort of self-exploration, he’ll never be able to love anyone including himself. What irony if Lu is the one to get him there.

This is a much richer and complex storyline than I’d imagined. Let’s hope the writers do something amazing with it no matter where else they take this storyline.

By the way, with so many characters coming back, wouldn’t this be a perfect time for John Dixon to come back. Lu could use a shoulder to cry on. She my need some who’ll listen as she puts this all in perspective. And she deserves a man who truly loves her and only her.

Clearly, it’s the turkey talking…

I’m always giddy for about a week before the Thanksgiving holiday… mad with anticipation.  It happens every year and it’s the only thing I can think of that explains the fact that I loved daytime last week.  I can’t think of a thing I truly disliked.  I enjoyed most of what aired!  WOW!

The Young and the Restless – Poor deluded, insecure, Phyllis.  LOVED her reaction to Nick and Sharon’s closeness and that she made sure that everyone knew that she felt ‘thankful’ for a husband who made her feel “sexy”.  I LOVED that Sharon wasn’t at all affected by the possessive kiss Phyllis planted on Nick.  Loved  Nikki and Paul.   I get a little tingly watching them!  Daytime writers always receive huge kudos for remembering the show’s history and giving us a reason to cheer historic couple on.  Veteran viewers will remember the STD storyline  that ended the relationship between these characters when they were younger adults – opening the door to Victor and Nikki.  It’s an old storyline that still makes some cringe at the thought of the two of them getting together now.  I say, BIG DEAL.  Paul made mistakes when he was younger.  Look at the man he is now.  Victor never gave Nikki an STD, but he hasn’t given her much else, either.  Paul is so gentle, so sweet, and so caring.  It’s been a while since Nikki has had a man like Paul.  She’s so use to being treated like property that the tenderness she shares with Paul must be akin to a drowning woman being tossed a life raft.

Hey, it doesn’t hurt that Doug Davidson has grown sexier over time and brings a dignity and integrity to the character of Paul that makes me wonder what took writers so long to decide to make him a leading man, again. Better late than never, writers.  What a huge plus for veteran viewers like myself who aren’t as fond of new gang of unlikable leads – and you know who they are even if the writers don’t.  We get a character we’ve loved for a long time, in a surprising storyline that works.   Daytime writers are always patting themselves on the back for ‘taking chances’.  These are the sort of chances viewers want more of – playing with the show’s history and taking us somewhere we hadn’t expected to go.

One Life To Live – Erika Slezak has once again proven that she can take the very worst the writers throw at an audience and spin it into Emmy gold!  Breathing new life into Viki Lord Davidson, she almost, ALMOST, gave me a reason to feel sorry for Todd.  While that moment was fleeting, my complete and total awe of ES’s performance remains.  That Viki suggested that the only true escape from the Lord legacy was death made me gasp.  Viki’s expression of emotional and psychological exhaustion and devastation was probably the most amazing work anyone has done on this show in a while.  There are things best left forgotten, and there are those things too horrific to forget. The only option when you’re dealing with the latter is to do what you have to do to survive them.  To have the sexual assault of Viki revealed and brought to light again was painful for many viewers, I suspect.  As peeved as I still am at the writers for the Marty/Todd storyline, I have to admit that they’ve done a magnificent job laying out the case for viewing the Lord family in new perspective.  It doesn’t make me want to forgive Todd, but it does add a layer of tragedy to the storyline that I hadn’t considered before.

The Bold and The Beautiful: DELICIOUS!  I found myself wondering if the writers wanted us to view Eric as a man who is so pathetic that his children can’t help but play on his stupidity and his vanity.  It’s not just one son who is lying to and deceiving him, but TWO!  Rick has led him to believe that he was more seriously hurt than he actually was.  Thorne tricked him into believing that Donna was cheating on him.  I’m sure this storyline was supposed to be another ‘pity poor Donna’ attempt.  Sorry, writers, no dice.   That won’t happen.  Donna is irrelevant at this point.  So much of Eric’s life has been spent being pampered and catered to that his children knew exactly which buttons to push to make him dance to their tune.  How perfect is it that a man who has only been passingly acquainted with the term ‘fidelity’ demands and expects it from others?  My only real disappointment with this storyline is that Donna will probably end up crying on the ever willing Owen’s shoulder. Poor Budge will become Owen’s friend and confidante, when she should be the woman he falls in love with – but it would be too much to have the writers allow Bridget to be happy.

DAYS Of Our Lives – Nicole, Nicole, Nicole… Zuker was perfect, of course.  Just when you’re convinced that Nicole Walker is completely soulless, Zuker pulls out the most amazing performance and reminds you that Nicole’s rough and hard exterior only serves to protect her incredibly soft heart.  I just love this character.  I may not like what’s coming for our Nicole Walker Dimera, but Zuker makes me want to hang in there and watch just for the performances.  GO GET ‘EM, Nicole!

All My Children –  O… M… G!!!!  Annie?  YIKES!  I know it was Annie Lavery carrying that bloody knife and wedding bouquet, last week, but honest to goodness, I just kept seeing Richie’s face.  If only the residents of Pine Valley knew then what they know now.  I was sorry to see Annie sacrificed on the doomed altar of Ryan and the oft-fleeing Greenlee, but I’ll have to thank the writers for letting Annie go away with a bang, and not a whimper.  I had such a grand time watching Annie act out the last scenes of ‘Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?” that I almost didn’t care whose blood was on the knife.

General Hospital. I’ve long since lost my stomach for General Hospital, but I have to say that  I didn’t mind the show last week.  Sonny’s descent into madness… correction:  Sonny’s CURRENT/LATEST descent into madness has been oddly entertaining.  Like so many times before, Sonny has been loathed to take the counsel of anyone else, save Jason, and he’s even lost that.  Now his actions may cost Jason the one person he cares about above anyone else, his son.  I’ve been uber disgusted with Elizabeth’s character.  I’ve never been a Jason and Elizabeth fan and can’t imagine that I ever will be.  In part because being with Jason is such a betrayal of everything Elizabeth has been about in the past (not to mention that her lie of a relationship with Jason cost poor Lucky so much).  Liz was always quick to point out what a bad mother Carly was, that Carly kept putting her sons in danger by being with Sonny. Now?  She sees firsthand what a life with a mobster is worth.  Will the writers pull the wool back from Elizabeth’s eyes?  Will she stop pretending that when Jason kills it’s ‘holy’ and ‘noble’?  Will she wonder why she traded in a man who lives on the RIGHT side of the law for the man who clings to the wrong side of it?  NAH!  It wouldn’t be General Hospital if that happened, right?

BTW, if I didn’t love the Robin-Patrick pairing, I would be seriously considering rooting on an Elizabeth-Patrick pairing… er, how HAWT were they?

As The World Turns. Brian/Lucinda/Luke… Oh dear.  Luke, in the driver’s seat.  Watching Luke make Brian uncomfortable?  PRICELESS.  “Grabby Grandpa Bad Touch” will learn to keep his hand to himself.   As much as I hate the idea of Brian deceiving Lucinda, I love the idea of Luke making Brian sweat a little.  Brian lost any appeal as a sympathetic character (at least in the short term) the moment he tried to make Luke believe he was both drunk and delusional, that he (Luke) misinterpreted the kiss.  I have to say that I wasn’t too keen to watch this storyline play out.  I’m sitting on the edge of my seat now.  I still think the writers are going with a sexual harassment storyline with this one.  Brian, so deep in the closet that even HE doesn’t know where he is, sexually harasses young men – those who are often the least powerful.  When they call him on it, he faults them, tells them they’re imagining things, that he was only being a friend.  Oh Brian, you picked the wrong man, this time.  Luke (and Noah) willl probably be the people who expose his past.  This should be good.  Take him down, boys, make him sorry for being the sleaze he is… until Lawrence Lau eats the dialogue the writers hand him, does that thing he does oh so well, and makes us all fall in love with Brian and actually feel sorry for him…

What did YOU love about your favorite shows this past couple of weeks?

Love Triangles – When Grandma/Grandpa goes wild!

Remember this:

Bad Day?  Your mother sleeps with the man you love.

Worse Day?  Your GRANDMOTHER sleeps with the man you love (Chelsea Brady, Days of Our Lives).  It sucks to have a hot grandmother, doesn’t it:?  Kate Roberts has never been the type to sit home and bake cookies.

Just be glad that… he didn’t sleep with your great-grandmother.  Dude, you just can’t live something like THAT down.

In the never ending quest to shock daytime viewers, daytime writers are riding the rails, folks!  It began with The Bold and The Beautiful.  The writers had originally planned for Eric Forrester to fall for Caitlin Ramirez,  the young woman his 16 year old had a crush on (btw, the grandson gained two years FAST, in the time the writers started planning the storyline).  We saw the lead in, Caitlin fawning over Eric’s talent as a designer – Eric, being flattered by the young girl.

Fans cried foul, and to the writers credit, they dropped the storyline.  It’s more likely the case that the actor cried foul and had more influence than the fans.  Either way, it died a quick death and daytime was all the better for it.

Days of Our Lives picked up the grandchild-grandparent relationship and ran with it.  Chelsea lost her hot Doc Daniel, to Grandma Kate.  It was a stunning reversal of daytime fortune in which mature women are typically dumped for younger vixens.  Still, it was a little creepy that a grandmother and granddaughter were competing for the same lover.

As The World Turns is taking the storyline one step further.  They’ve thrown a marriage into the mix – and this time, Grandma is ill, having lost the will to live because of the return of the breast cancer she thought she’d beaten the first time around!

At this time, it appears that Brian will share a kiss with a drunk and vulnerable Luke on the same night that he (Brian) marries Lucinda to give her the will to live.  Pssst… writers… seriously… WHAT?  What’s the point of that?  Throwing in Lucy’s cancer only adds fuel to the fire of a child/grandchild betraying a parent/grandparent.  That’s just one step too far.   Without Lucy’s illness, it would be one more storyline in a chain of storylines in which a child has betrayed a parent, intentionally or not.

There’s some precedent for a betrayal by a child (in this case grandchild) being forgiven – with the relationship moving forward successfully.  I’m not aware of any that have survived the betrayal of a ill loved one. There was GL’s Holly (mom)/Blake (daughter)/Ross (shared lover). Blake ended up married to Ross and they eventually had a family. Blake and Ross became one of the show’s supercouples. Holly wasn’t ill, of course.  Just angry.

Why couldn’t the writers simply create a love triangle that focuses on Luke and Noah, without the drama of an ill loved one?   I wrote this earlier, as well:

This kid is as rich as creases. He could fund his own gay film series and end up throwing enough cash around to have the university administration kissing his toes trying to get a small portion of his fortune.  Gimme more, writers, gimme more.

What would happen if Luke suddenly started behaving like the mogul he is?  What if his Lucinda gene (yeah, yeah, no biological tie) kicked in?  How would Noah react to the ‘new’ Luke?  What would happen if another young man from a powerful family came along and tried to woo Luke away from Noah? Noah, the kind and loving, up against an rich and devious snot how has images of merged fortunes dancing in his head?  Ruh roh!

Instead, we get a relationship that’s almost doomed to fail, and writers who’ll have an audience to ‘blame’ instead of a lack of foresight into how an audience would react to Brian and Luke’s kiss.  My hope is that Luke  (or Noah) destroys Brian for betraying Lucinda, the one person who’s loved him unconditionally.

IF Luke becomes so disgusted by this guy that he can’t stand the sight of him, and if Brian harassing Luke leads to Noah and Luke growing stronger, I could easily understand the value of the storyline. Maybe this is the thing that helps Nuke realize how much they really love one another and to move them to the next stage of their relationship.  Otherwise, I don’t know what will happen with the Luke and Brian.

There’s a tiny part of me that sees it as an act of cowardice, that it’s almost as if the writers want it to fail and would love to have the audience to blame for it, if ‘Lion’  (the name given to a possible Brian-Luke relationship) is rejected. I just don’t know what would make the writers believe this storyline would work.  If you have any idea, let me know.

The thing I’m MOST afraid of?  That this will become the new hot trend in daytime.  What’s next?  GL’s Daisy decides to kill two birds with one stone and go after Josh to pay back her mother AND grandmother (both of them having been involved with Josh before).  Oh, it could happen, soap fans, it could happen.

She’s baaaaaack! ATWT-OLTL-BnB- YnR

Where to start, where to start!  OH!  I know!  I have news, folks!  You may miss the old boards from the now defunct, but much beloved, Total TV Online!  There is still a companion site (message board)  for the “Sound and Fury” blog.  You can access that site by clicking HERE.

As The World Turns

Carly is BACK, the Carly that so many fans have grown to love.  Carly is a cross between one of daytime’s greatest romantic heroines, and a walking disaster.  Today, we got to see a little of both, more of the former than the latter.  I believe that Carly has been sincere in her odd couple friendship with Janet.  There’s no malice between the two women and Carly wants to see Jack happy with Janet, for his sake, and that of their children.

The trouble is that despite her best efforts to do the ‘right’ thing, she finds herself in trouble every time.  I groaned a bit when she found herself getting hot and heavy with Jack.  Other than the family they share together (and yes, I’m including Parker and JJ as ‘theirs’), nothing good has come of Jack and Carly being together.  Each of those brief periods of time when they shared love and happiness were quickly replaced with some wild attack on Carly’s character, by Jack.  A little crying, a lot of clinging, and too much verbal abuse.

Even still, watching Jack and Carly fall back into bed wasn’t as shocking as I thought it would be.  They’re much too addicted to the self-inflicted pain not to keep going back for more.  It’s Carly’s guilt that was shocking.  That she pushed Jack to be upfront and let Janet know he was in the bedroom before he could stay her was brilliant.  That’s the girl, Carly.  Don’t let Jack pull his standard hit-and-run routine.  I’ll give the guy credit, he did score points by admitting that he’s been a judgmental jerk all these years, but he lost those points FAST by trying to sleep with Carly knowing he still had feelings for Janet.

To see him working on Carly, playing on the emotion she still had for him, and to then have him run back to Janet?  What a putz! Carly is much better off without the guy.  Jack thinks of himself, first.  He always has. If only the writers would hire an actor to play a credible love interest against MW’s Carly.   Brian, perhaps? I’m just not yet ‘digging’ this guy with Lucinda.  I think I’d rather seen John Dixon back, and paired with ‘Lucy Walsh’.  I miss John and Lucinda and their passion.  I have na ulterior motive for suggesting a Carly-Brian pairing.

Maybe Carly can distract Brian so that he STOPS telling Luke to avoid being ‘political’.  I find it hard to believe that Luke standing up for himself and supporting the Gay Film Festival would have a negative impact on his foundation.  (Uh, when did Oakadle U become ultra conservative?)  Brian needs a life… FAST!  Rather than telling Brian that she and Luke need him, it’s time for Lucy Walsh, cutthroat businesswoman that she is, to come back.  I miss her.  It’s time for the REAL Lucy Wlalsh to tell Brian to hit the bricks.   1 –  Lucinda has always had such a deep love for her grandson.  It’s hard for me to believe that she can’t see what’s going on with Brian, and what the potential impact is on Luke.  I just can’t see the writers as being true to her character if they continue to allow her to want Brian, in light of his treatment of Luke and Noah.  2 – Lawrence Lau is HOT, and I’d love to see his character out of such a creepy storyline where he’s trying to suppress Luke’s self-exploration.   Luke is finding his voice.  Brian is becoming increasingly less attractive trying to suppress it.

AND, since we’ve seen more of Kim this month than in the last several months (or so it seems), please make sure when you bring her back more frequently, writers, that you bring back the brilliant woman we’ve all loved for so long.  Kim was the victim of a mad stalker (Oh how I miss the days of the Douglas Cummings storyline). Hopefully she recognizes the signs soon, and works to help Katie with the Spencer incident.  Kim’s been there, done that.  I’d love to have her realize sooner, rather than later, that Katie has every right to be concerned.

Young and the Restless

Sharon, Sharon, Sharon, my friend.  You can’t make a good husband out of a man-whore.  Remember those words of advice.  I only regret that I forgot to include Nick Newman on my man-whore list, when I included his father.  (Read that HERE)  Nick hasn’t met a woman, throwing herself at him, that he doesn’t like.  Having said that?  I can’t help loving Nick and Sharon, despite the fact that he’s an unfaithful pig.  Nick and Sharon are their generation’s Nikki and Victor (er, without the pathology that has begun to pervade the Nikktor relationship).

Short of Nick’s cheating with slimey Grace Turner, and Phyllis (serving as Sharon’s ‘placeholder’), there was a genuine love and a sense of family that Nick and Sharon shared that neither has really had with their respective new spouses. For me, Phyllis will always be the woman who went to bed with a man while his wife was still grieving their dead daughter.  Nick and Phyllis’ relationship is at romantic as a zombie orgy (sorry, it’s close to Halloween and the commercials for haunted houses are getting to me).

What happens in Paris stays in Paris?  OH, let’s hope not.  Let’s hope that Nick does penance for being a complete idiot and cheating on Sharon, realizes what a horrible mistake he made, and goes home to his real family.   He needs to be with his true wife, Sharon.

Besides, the only time Phyllis was remotely interesting was when she was a freakin’ bad girl, and during her marriage to Jack.  Outside of that?  She hasn’t had much to offer.

One Life to Live

It’s been so good seeing Viki, so good in fact that I feel guilty having this small complaint:  Are fans to believe, that in a house the supposed size of Viki’s mansion, she wouldn’t notice that her basement had suddenly become MUCH smaller?  If there was enough space behind the sliding wall to build a ginormous room, complete with on suite bath, you’d think she’d notice SOMETHING was wrong.  EH! I don’t care, I’m just glad to have Viki back.  Now it’s time to reunite Viki and Clint… We’ve been so patient.

Viki must love the relationship between her sister, Tina, and “Jessica”/Tess getting along.  Oh, if only she knew! The most enjoyable part of One Life To Live (and dare I say the only watchable part of the show?) has been watching Tina and Jessica go at one another.  The only person tough enough, and devious enough, to handle Tess is Tina, and heaven help the show if/when Tina or Tess goes.

While Grand Dame Titans Tina and Tess are tearing each other apart, maybe the writers will let Viki serve up a little cold hard justice to brother, Todd.  You’d think that Todd would have learned his lesson from letting Blair think their son Jack was dead.  Now he’s planning to do the same to Starr, in order to take her child and raise it.  I get the saying that history repeats itself… I just don’t know why it’s always the LOUSY history that repeats itself in daytime.  Oh Viki, between Todd, Tina, and Tess, you have your work cut out for you.

Bold and Beautiful

Er, what? Taylor’s back to her lying, sneaky, and underhanded ways?  WELL!  No shock THERE folks!  I seem to remember THIS Taylor, the one scheming and plotting to get what she wants, and putting a ‘concerned’ face on it.  Let’s see, she advised Brooke to stay with Eric, for the children’s sake, even though Brooke was unhappily married to the man.  Then she (Taylor) pursued Ridge, the man Brooke loved – knowing Ridge loved Brooke and was waiting for her to leave Eric.
Taylor advised Eric to tell Stephanie their marriage was over and there was NO chance of him returning to her.. after she listened  to her ‘best friend’ cry about Eric not loving her… and then Taylor moved on Eric, herself.  Now she’s telling Ridge that the fates were probably keeping him and Brooke apart because they probably weren’t meant to be together.  Taylor, would those be the same fates that caused Ridge to walk out on YOU and not look back?  Funny how those fates only work against others, never against her.  Ah, hypocrisy.  The REAL Taylor is back… the “me first, me last, me always” Taylor.

My Rachel Maddow Moment: ATWT

It’s rare when when reel and real collide.  I hate when it happens, but not this time.  This time, I’m grateful for the reel and the real.  They inform one another at times, and in the most interesting ways, putting feelings and thoughts in perspective.  The last Brian Wheatley scene I watched made me so incredibly sad, and a little frightened of the character – Lau is the master!  Any actor with that angelic of a face who can create such apprehension and fear with a  single look knows his craft.  He’s one of the few actors who knows how to express more dialogue with a look than most actors can do as part of an ensemble team.  Despite my decades long love of Lau and his work on AMC, ATWT, OLTL, and other projects, I’m not yet a Brian Wheatley fan.  I don’t hate Brian, but I hate what he potentially represents.

My African-American family lived in the pre-civil rights American south.  The legacy of the pre-civil rights south is a living one for me because it lives in the memories of my mother, my father, my uncles, and my grandparents.  I’ve long considered myself Southern bred and Northern born.  I get stereotyping.  I get anger.  I get fear of the ‘other’, the ‘different’.  I get it, and I reject ALL OF IT.

I’ve said in prior blogs that the problem for daytime is that it’s a genre that is stuck between time periods.  It’s trying to move into a modern age but can’t.  It’s dragging along outdated thoughts about certain groups of people and outdated storylines.  Those outdates storylines are  weighing the genre down like an anchor.   The only way daytime execs can seem to ‘identify’ with the modern age and attempt to move soaps forward is to take old plots and up the ‘raunch’ factor on them.  In the last blog, I lamented that Lily Snyder could revenge hump any man she wanted (and the her husband Holden could, too).  In other blogs I noted that Alison is a porn star turned nurse extraordinaire (notice that on their honeymoon, Aaron had to be ‘surprised’ at the tricks she knew in bed – completing the sanitizing of the character).  Emily is a former prostitute dating the younger son of the man she seduced and with whom she had a child.  Leo’s plotting date rape,  Brad nearly killing Leo, the subsequent cover up…the Snyder men sharing enough of the same women between them to produce an Army of pointy headed babies – are, folks, all on the SHORT list of seriously shady behavior). 

At the same time, Luke and Noah can never consummate their love.  They can’t live together.  They don’t spend much time with other couples – except with Luke’s freakin’ grandmother and her date – and I love La Walsh, but not as a dinner companion and best buddy for Luke.  Why is Nuke still marginalized?  Who knows?  But I find it stunning.  I watched television some of “DeGrassi: The Next Generation” when my teen nieces visited this summer.  These are the sort of scenes teen kids watch regularly:

They’re not ‘freaked out’ by stories that embrace all people.  They don’t understand dramas and other forms of entertainment that don’t.  Apparently, the writers at ATWT thinks that the daytime audience is far less adaptable than the DeGrassi crowd.  They’re selling us short and I resent it.

Reading about the big Nuke-Lucinda camping trip made me think about that last scene, the look on Brian’s face.  Was he in that tent because he wanted to show respect to Lucinda, or at least con her into thinking he was respecting her?  Were his interests prurient ( was he curious about Nuke, a bit of a peeping tom)?  Was he there to keep them apart for his own selfish reasons – a crush on Luke, or a crush on Noah? Was he there for another selfish reason- to stop the boys from ‘sinnin’?  I thought about that earlier look on Brian’s face when I read the camping summary.  I’d thought about it just a few days earlier when I ran across this clip on YouTube again (oh, fast forward to 3:50 minutes into the clip if political coverage makes you squeamish). 

If you opted to skip it,  Maddow recalled being 19 when she heard Buchanan’s speech about the raging culture wars and thought about just how much people she didn’t even know hated her, didn’t think there was room for her, how it led her to embrace the Democratic Party because she knew it didn’t want her to disappear (not an exact quote).  Maddow’s comments helped me further realize why Brian’s ‘look’ made me feel so queasy.

The shock (and disgust) in his face when Nuke touched one another was palatable and made me shudder.  It reminded me of so many events in my own life – the number of times racial epitaphs were used.  The extended hand that was met with a cold and/or  mortified expression. Our stories are different on the surface (reel Nuke’s, real Rachel’s) but they’re the same in other ways.  Death to the -isms! 

My hope is that while Noah is in ‘Rome’, the writers are thinking of what they need to do to rewrite the Wheatley character.  My hope is that they’ve decided to not take Brian down  that dark and ugly road.  I believe that the writers meant well when they began the Nuke storyline.  I believe they still mean well, but I also believe that the longer they marginalize Luke and Noah, the more they run the risk of giving an implicit nod to the ‘raging culture wars’.  I don’t think that’s where they want to take this storyline, either.

Luke made a mistake?  Brian wasn’t really trying to shove him back in the closet?  OK, I’m willing buy it.  So take it one step further, writers.  Do something proactive.  Have Brian use his considerable skills to help  Luke and Noah become an advocates and defenders of human rights.  Let Luke use some of that money to set up a shelter for kids who need a safe space when home is no longer safe for them after coming out.  Steal a page or two from ‘DeGrassi’.  I won’t tell.