Second Verse Same As The First? Why RH’s Todd Had To Win Out

TSJ’s last day filming for the show was late July (the 22nd).  The entire time I’ve been hoping that TPTB released the information to throw fans off track (much like the ‘Todd’s execution scenes when, I believe, TSJ’s contract was up and TPTB kept us guessing about whether or not he would return.  At time moves on, I realize that it’s utterly hopeless to believe that TPTB are playing a waiting game and I realize that RH’s Todd has indeed won out.  While I’d preferred having both men onscreen, it’s clear that RH’s Todd had to win out.  Bummer, but I accept it will adjust.

Bummer?  Yes, bummer.  I’ve been adamant that I want TSJ to be declared the ‘real Todd’ while keeping RH’s Todd on as the  newly discovered brother brainwashed into believing he was Todd  Why? Although it took me a while to warm up to him,  I’ve been a huge  TSJ supporter since Todd’s “death row” storyline.  It’s one of the most ethereal,  hauntingly beautiful, storylines OLTL writers have offered.  A rapist, who later became a rape survivor, is on death row after being convicted of killing his assailant.  I think TSJ added an intangible quality to the role that RH’s Todd didn’t have.

Rather than build on the magnificence of that storyline and send Todd on a journey of introspection, OLTL writers took the opportunity to make Todd meaner, angrier, and more vile with each act -primarily to prop other characters and storylines.   TSJ’s Todd was sacrificed to sell Cole and the Starr as a burgeoning supercouple and the writers wasted no time in taking TSJ’s Todd to a new low (battering Cole, knocking a pregnant Starr down a flight of stiars, threatening to kill orphaned adolescents, bullying Starr’s friends, etc).

Todd had become such a heinous character that OLTL writers wasted months creating a new ‘high school musical’ around the “eternal” love of Starr and Cole, with Todd being cast as evil personified.  Much of Langston’s play centered around the heartlessness of a man like Todd, who’d lost the ability to recognize and bask in the glow of true love.  When an entire town’s collective life revolves around a high schol musical on the glory of teen love/pregnancy as a lesson about love for the ages?  Your show and its characters are doomed.  I think the show for far too long leveraged its credibility on the backs of its youngest performers (not their fault at all) in the hopes of bringing in newer/younger viewers — and  as has always been true of daytime, younger viewers are as uninterested in hot mess storyline about their lives as the rest of us.  It didn’t stop TSJ’s Todd from becoming a causalty and beginning the downward spiral toward irrelevance.

Like RH before him, TSJ’s  portrayal of the character became one of boredom and he began projecting ‘shorthand’ acting.  His  responses became quick quips. Facials expressions (plural) became facial expression (singular).  The return of Marty Saybrooke was the death of TSJ’s Todd Manning.  His struggle for redemption – post Marty’s rape (the first time) was gone.  His sad realization that he would never be able to make up to Marty, or the community he offended and terrorized, for his actions was gone.  His struggle to forgive himself for what he’d become, was gone.  

The writers, I can only guess, felt that they’d found the one sure fire way of giving all of that back to fans.  RH’s Todd gets a fresh start.  If he becomes ‘Real Todd’, it means that the writers can take us back to the place where we loved the flawed Todd Manning because he would still be struggling with his humanity and his fighting his  fear of returing to the sociopath he’d once been (the sociopath TSJ’s Todd was sacrificed to become once again). 

Watching Viki with Todd, even I began to long for old Todd.  I remembered how instrumental a role Viki played in Todd’s redepmtion and how much closer to human she made him. The few minutes of Viki with the RHTodd’s (the Todd who was allowed to experience human emotions) made me “homesick” and sad that the writers had wasted the gifts that TST brought to the role at the same time.   There is something special in RH’s Todd’s relationship with Viki that TSJ’s Todd  was never allowed to capture.   I felt like an intruder watching Viki watch her baby brother (RH Todd) sleep.  The moment felt so real and I could only imagine that in fictional Viki’s shoes that I, too, would long for the brother with a  familiar face, a  familiar sound and familiar mannerisms. 

I get it, because as much as I’ve loved TSJ in the role and for as much as I hope there is a way to bring him back, afterall, I can see the emtional threads of this storyline braiding themselves together to give fans the Todd they’d hoped they would get with TSJ and were disappointed when the writers had other plans.  EZ’s Viki and RH’s Todd have the opportunity to bring viewers back to what feels like ‘home’.

Initially, this storyline led me to imagine the Emmy worthy work Erika Slezak would deliver as the emotional heart of the Lord family, torn between two brothers who want to be loved best by her – one who now had everything and one who’d pretty much lost it all.  Both brothers would be fearful of being rejected in favor of the other. I thought of the stress and pain it would cause Viki to constantly be asked to choose between them, as it has caused her the same gutwrenching  pain she experiences even still with her daughters. Ithought of the comic moments with the two sets of long lost Lord twins, RH-Todd and his favorite, Jess.  TSJ -Todd becoming Natalies’s champion.  In the end, while both Todds are familiar to Viki, both would be strangers.  Now it’s becoming clearer that the writers are going to make a ‘choice’ themselves, and I’m resigned to the fact that their choice won’t be mine and TSJ won’t be back.  More is the pity.

Ultimately, it must be hell to work for an ABC soap in a familiar role.  From the return of the “Real Greenlee” to the return of RH’s Todd, any actor would probably be smart to consider themselves just a temporary long-term replacement in any ABC soap role.

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Old Home Week – Soap Style – GL/BnB/OLTL/GH/YnR

With so many soaps looking back to their respective glory days this week, I had one overarching thought: “Today is a day when I wouldn’t be embarrassed to admit that I was a soap fan!”

Guiding Light

WTF, just happened?  I’m watching live today.  I thought Reva was daydreaming, she was, right?  Josh didn’t really admit that his marriage to Cassie was a sham (ok, it’s the word I chose, not Josh).  I waited for Reva to wake up on the dock and realize that it was all in her head, but then the scene kept moving.  Josh referring back to Reva’s post partum drive off that bridge YEARS ago, his fear that she’ll take off and be gone again, WTF?  Where am I?   Will we have to wait until tomorrow to find out that it wasn’t real?  Does it continue?  I typically don’t read GL spoilers. I’m always afraid that the spoilers will cause me to tune OUT, not tune in.  I’ll be there tomorrow.  I need to know. I’m stunned.  Just a day or so ago, I swore off Manwhore Josh Lewis and I still mean it, but that man still gets to me.  I know I’ll be sorry, later, for admitting this, but there’s a part of me that wanted Reva to fall into Josh’s arms.  I’m so easy. I’m so nostalgic. 

Bold and Beautiful

There are times when the writers do something so subtle or so clever that I remember why I’ve always loved this show – and the writers can even make me forget the days I hate the show, if the writing is good enough.  I figuratively stitched myself back together when Bridget gave her report on Eric’s condition (must have been tough for a daughter to say, but it was sheer hilarity from a fan’s perspective).   Viagra man and the child bride had a wild afternoon of hot sex.  Shortly after, he suffers an attack.  Bridget faces the family and says, “because there was a loss of blood to his brain”… and then she said some bull spit after that, but I was laughing too hard to hear it.  That’s the sort of moment people like me live for.  Ahhhh…

The funny part is that what I loved most about those scenes wasn’t the camp, or Eric’s humiliation, or even Donna’s embarrasment.  I loved seeing so many characters on screen together and watching the Forresters pull together as a family.  It reminded me of the old Bold and Beautiful.  I thought I’d hate another health crisis storyline.  This one is already paying off.

OLTL

I’ve had a theory for some time, now.  Those of you who post at Soap News and Scoops have read the theory before.  I think Rex is Bo’s kid.  I’m almost sure of it!  Roxy was going to confess something to Rex, not long ago.  She seemed to imply that she was not Rex’s mother.  Remember her warning him that she was his mother no matter what?   She was so desperate.

Is it possible that Mitch stole TWO children from the Buchanans and placed both with Roxy?  I do believe!  All this time we thought that he was just going after Viki, maybe not.  That Rex is now playing a young Bo  and Bo is playing his ‘pa’ in this trippy time travel makes me wonder if I’m not right.  Rex has been playing ‘older brother’ to Matthew for some time.  Something tells me he won’t be playing at it, for much longer.  They mystery will be, ‘WHO is Rex’s mother?”

Viki and Niki, Mel and Dorian (oh dear soapgod how I miss Mel), Asa, “Megan”… This has been one of the best shows in recent memory.  I love Mel for saying everything that needed to be said to Dorian – and then some.   It’s time for her to stop worrying about living in Viki’s shadow and having a life of her own. (The prized advice of the day, it seems!  Cassie received the same advice on GL.)

Writers, thank you for bringing us ‘Agnes’ the Great.  Let’s hope she’ll continue to look over Viki, and the rest of daytime for many more years to come.

General Hospital

What irony.  Lulu and Johnny on the run.  A young Luke and Laura?  I’m sure that’s where the writers were headed.  Where does the irony come in?  This isn’t about Laura leaving Scotty behind, it’s about her daugther leaving her son behind.  Instead of the spiritual and emotional death Scotty suffered, Logan’s death is physical and will be an even deeper wound for Scotty.  I’m sure Laura’s return will open up old hurts for Scott Baldwin and this show is going to get messy.

Not exactly ‘old home’ but I’m impressed with Kate Howard’s move to gaslight Carly.  I haven’t been a Kate Howard fan.  She’s been a little too stiff in the past and too predictable.  GO GIRL, let your inner Connie out.  Maybe little Katie is a much tougher rival than I gave her credit for.  I’ve been hoping for an eventual Carly-Claudia cage match.  I’ve may have been looking in the wrong direction.  Kate has become the quintessential bad girl in good girl’s clothing.  Yes, I’m starting to see what attracted Sonni to Connie/Kate in the first place.  The writers are beginning to unveil the real Kate.  EH! My money is on writer’s fave, Carly, but it won’t be a cake walk, I’m sure.

 

Young And the Restless

Everything old is new again!  Victor Newman has reverted back to type.  There have been so few times when Victor is likable.  Locking his wife’s lover in a bunker in the basement?  Not one of those times.  Allowing his mistress to attend a Christmas Party his wife planned?  Not one of those times.  Telling his wife she’d still be taking her clothes off at the strip joint they met at if it weren’t for him (because, you know, all she ever wanted to be was a stripper)?  Yeah, not one of those times.  Disinheriting his children is another ‘The Great Victor Newman’ low life moves.  Demanding loyalty, but never giving it?  Yes, that’s Victor.  He’s upset that his children are unhappy about his marriage to Sabrina.  Big Deal, but it might be nice if ‘daddy dearest’ decided that having sex with his chlidren’s friends was off limits.  It would also be pretty cool if he finally woke up to the fact that his TWO (yes, TWO) vasectomies made it unlikely that he was the father of that child.  Whether or not the writers include it, fans haven’t given up the show’s history so it definitely sucks that Victor would disinherit his children for, oh – having their own opinions, for a woman carrying another man’s child.  Unlike ‘Old home week’ taking place for the rest of daytime, I have to say, the real Victor’s return was most unwelcome.