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« D.I.D. Edition, Part 1: I Love This Show | Main | Maybe The Show Has Seasonal Affective Disorder? »

November 07, 2009

D.I.D. Edition, Part 2: I Hate This Show

(Continued from Part 1: I Love This Show)

Everyone has different favorites, and character they love or hate for a million different reasons, but I feel like this storyline has a little something for everyone... to loathe.  I would love to hear from people who are enjoying this, I honestly would.  It would make me feel better.

Everyone who watches daytime knows about SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome).  It doesn't bother me.  There's not much story potential for kids between the tiny-and-cute (and therefore generally kidnappable) stage and the old-enough-to-date-and-cause-trouble stage.  Starr Manning is unusually un-SORASed (by a couple of years only) because Kristen Alderson worked out well because of the awkward ages and basically grew up on the show.


They've aged Jack a few years (I'd say we're supposed to read him as about 12), but not too many since Starr is supposed to be much older than he is (and even fairly young audiences will remember how old she was when he was born, since his birth was a major story they love to ignore now).  And they aged Sam a couple of years because clearly they found the cutest, most wonderful kid (twins, actually) to play him and just turned Sam into that age.



All three siblings, regardless of minor changes, have kept the same birth order over the years.  Because to do otherwise would be somewhat insane.


And yet here she is.  Dani.  Danielle.  Daniela.  It depends on who's talking.  Fifteen years old.  Two years younger than Starr.  Two years younger than Starr.  Which puts her about three years older than Jack.

For those of you who are new enough to not find this infuriating, here's a nutshell of why this is lunacy: when Jack was born, Todd thought Max was the biological father, and because he is such a catch who should totally have two badass super-hot women fighting over him, he handed the newborn infant off to a stranger and said, "Get rid of it."  He then told Blair ("then" the love of his life) her baby had died.  Later, when he found out the kid was really his, he went out and found Jack and brought him back to Blair, pretending that Jack was an orphan and they could adopt him.  Blair eventually found out the whole thing in May of 2002.  I remember it was May of 2002 and I'm sure many, many others cannot forget that it was May of 2002, because as a sweeps stunt, OLTL had a week of live episodes.  The three major standouts in this week of live episodes were: the campiest most embarassing version of Niki Smith that Erika Slezak ever played, Florencia Lozano (Tea) and Patricia Maucieri (Carlotta before she accepted the gays) breaking character and bursting out laughing in one scene (after some flubbed lines), and (the bizarrely non-Emmy-winning) Kassie de Paiva having to play the Dead Baby Lie reveal for a week straight, live.  Seriously, she cried and raged for a week straight on live television. 

This led to Todd having to skip town.  This is how we know Ross Rayburn.  Todd then hired him (along with enlisting Tea's help, because she's super) to kidnap Jack and Starr, but that didn't work out so well and all three of them (Todd, Tea, Ross) ended up Stranded On An Island In The South Pacific (in a lengthy and strange storyline in which Tea was able to do full makeup and blow-dry and set her hair daily, but they struggled to find food while spooky music played).  Naturally.  This time on the island was when Todd and Tea apparently conceived Danielle.


(Roger Howarth!)

Danielle, who is three years older than Jack.  Jack, who was the reason Todd was on the run, and who was kidnapped by a hired Ross, leading to the island story.  Which is when Dani was conceived.  Dani, who is three years older than Jack.  Jack, whose birth and kidnapping is the reason she was conceived.  Three years... before he was born.


I am angry.  SORAS all you want, soaps, but don't forget what storyline was tied to the kid's birth.  If they all of a sudden made Matthew 25 so he could be a hunky leading man, they wouldn't expect us to accept a Bo/Nora reunion in which they discuss Nora having slept with Sam twelve years ago, would they?  They wouldn't make Matthew 38 and then still refer to the younger Rachel as Nora's child from her earlier marriage to Hank, would they?  Or would they?

They could've just made this thing so much less rage-inducing by simply SORASing Jack before this storyline was introduced.  In fact, I know an actor who might be available:


Look, maybe I'm just biased.  Do I want Todd and Tea to have a kid together?  No.  No, I do not.  But what's done is done.  That doesn't change the fact that this is sloppy, sloppy storytelling.  It's not just the birth order issue either.  It's that at the culmination of the KAD retread, Tea cried and sobbed and told Blair that she had a horrible, horrible secret that no one could ever know (especially Todd).  That she'd done something awful.  Then she cried about it intermittently for the next few months, got several phone calls related to the "secret" that aboslutely terrified her, talked about carrying around some sort of monster guilt, and was mortified by Eli's threats on the matter.  Ross showed up and, in this incarnation, is incredibly friendly and laid-back -- a bit of an envelope-pusher and rule-breaker but no monstrous hardened criminal type.


And then in the matter of a few episodes, everything changed.  All of a sudden, Ross and Eli are brothers, Ross is a scary, dangerous, violent man (we've seen none of this), Eli thinks Tea is just fantastic and wants to help her out and is a big-time Todd-n-Tea 'shipper, Tea never thought Dani was Todd's kid until recently when she had a DNA test done, still kept it from Todd because she wanted to make sure he "deserved" Dani by loving Tea more than Blair (though somehow if Todd loves Tea more than Blair, Tea doesn't think he'd deserve his kids by Blair any less), and now she just can't wait to tell him he has a daughter because she thinks it'll bring them back together!  Tea's new best pal Rachel thinks she should fight for Todd, the man who tried to rape Rachel's mother.  Viki thinks Todd should forgive Tea because they belong together.  Todd, who apparently "deserves" another kid because he's been so great to the others (stealing babies, faking baby deaths, selling his children, pushing girls down stairs, trying to kill daughter's boyfriend, etc).  Because Tea has "changed" Todd for the better.  He didn't change for the better for any of his three children, he didn't change after being raped himself, he didn't change for the love of a woman who has forgiven him his most heinous crimes, he didn't change after almost being executed, he didn't change because of his sister's inexplicable devotion.  But he changed because of a few sexcapades with a woman he left stranded on a deserted island because he didn't give a crap about her.


(Tea-as-doting-mother is a little creepy, yes?  "Come geev your mother a hug, leetle girl!")

It's just lazy.  It's as if they looked at what they had, said, "Oh yeah, we had that big dark secret, what can we do?" and had no idea how to pull anything off based on history and based on what they'd actually set up so far, and so they decided to just change everything they'd established, all in the course of a few intolerable episodes.  And how will they fix it, and prove to us that we were wrong and should totally be on board with this new story?  Well, always start with the go-to lazy storytelling solution: have Viki advocate it.  And then, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Have Blair lie.  (Because Blair lying is worse than Tea lying, because Blair's pathetic!  See?)  Bad Blair = Good Tea.
  2. Have the least likely people on canvas endorse the Great Love of Todd and Tea... people like Rachel, Eli, Starr, Marty.  (That's right, I said Marty.  Who is she, his two-time rape victim, to bedgrudge him true love and extra children?!  Why wouldn't she want her rapist to live happily ever after with the attorney who got him acquitted for raping her?  That would be silly!  That's like something Blair would do!)
  3. Stop caring that people were saying "seven years ago" two weeks ago!  Just say "fifteen" now.  No one'll notice.  No one remembers any of that anyway, right?  It was fifteen years ago!  Who is Jack anyway?  Isn't that just some neighborhood kid who thinks Tea's hot in a teddy?  Todd has a miracle child now!  Focus, people!

It all makes my head spin.  And at the end of the day?  I just want to grab thos gals by the shoulders and shake them.  Blair, he is not worth it.  Tea, he is not worth it.  Ross and Eli are both really hot and really single, and I'm pretty sure neither of them are raping, physicall-abusing, baby-stealers/sellers.  Oh wait.

And I know not everyone will agree with me on this, but I do want to point out that although it's pretty clear how I feel about the character of Tea, I do think Florencia Lozano is awesome.  She is so committed to Tea's complete belief in her own sincerity and righteousness that it makes me hate her even more, but that's a credit to the performance (oh, that cackle!).  And frankly, I love her crazy bitch routine when I'm on her side.  It's just... been a while.

On the bright side, so far I like the kid.  Such a shame about that DNA.

Destiny Out.


I don't have a problem with SORAS-ing either. It's about birth order and it making sense. When GL did it with Leah and screwed up Daisy/Susan's age, it infuriated me to no end. It also kind of solidified the joke GL became. Dani would not have been conceived if it weren't for Jack.

As someone who was a Todd fan, I find Blair and Tea pining away over him to be sickening. Also, making Blair lie about Dani existing is not going to make Tea look better to me. As for Marty talking about how devastated Todd's going to be when he learns that Blair knew the truth: if Blair can forgive Todd for everything he did concerning Jack, not telling him he has another daughter is cake.

I also am not going to buy that Ross is all of a sudden so violent that Tea is desperate to keep Dani away from him.

I enjoyed your entire post, Louise!

Nope, sorry. While I will admit it is not preferable to SORAS out of order like this, it is not unheard of and I for one am not going to get my panties into a bunch over it. Personally, I adore the idea of a TnT child. Finally, Todd will have a child with a woman I actually like. Finally, Todd will have a family I can actually give a damn about. Finally, I don't have to bring out a bucket every time Blair throws out her infamous mother of Todd's keeeeeedzzzzz line.

There have been a lot of outrageous and impossible things to happen not only on this show but in daytime in general. Blair was once Asian (and I preferred her that way). Her asian heritage was actually referred to and part of why she had some of the issues she did. I thought it was commendable for OLTL to have such diversity and then they threw that away to make Blair your run of the mill blondie. And though people joke about it, people rolled with it. That is what I intend to do here. Roll with it.

As far as Ross not seeming to be as harmless as he appeared...Yes. Things are not always as they appear in life, are they? How many times have we heard stories about neighborhood heroes beating the crap out of their spouses and no one ever suspecting a thing? Ross wasn't on all that long during SISP and has only been on for a few months this year and now you think you know what he is capable of? NO. You don't really know anything about him. Nothing at all, unless you count the neon flashing lights to proceed with caution that have been flashing from the first moment his name was mentioned this year. All I am going to say is this, please don't approach real life the way you have approached Ross. You will end up having your body parts heated up in the microwave for some psycho's dinner.

I don't see Tea as a creepy mother but you know what does strike me as creepy? Blair being Blair and using lies to get him to sleep with her all the while rubbing her hands and smirking with that creepy as hell grin she gets. Now THAT is creepy. But no one can claim Blair is being written out of character. This is who she is.

And finally, love Dani and the actress who plays her.

"As far as Ross not seeming to be as harmless as he appeared...Yes. Things are not always as they appear in life, are they?"

Then we just shouldn't invest in characters at all. Tomorrow, Tea could be revealed as an alien. Todd might be revealed as a zombie. Not that it would be a huge departure from the story as it is...

The whole story seems made up as it goes along. Not long ago, Marty was the only love of Todd's life. Tea is probably today's heroine and tomorrow's compost heap. With Todd, the only real love interest he has is Todd.

"Then we just shouldn't invest in characters at all. Tomorrow, Tea could be revealed as an alien. Todd might be revealed as a zombie. Not that it would be a huge departure from the story as it is..."

OK, do you realize you are comparing characters that have been established for YEARS vs. WEEKS? Do you not see the difference here? This isn't a case of a character being consistently portrayed a certain way for years and had the layers of their character explored. This is for all intents and purposes a blank character who has been on for a total of a few months. We know nothing about him. People decided to ignore the signs and jump to the conclusion that Ross' facade of being the cool, laid back, wouldn't harm a fly surfer guy was the real deal. You got duped. It happens, just like in real life. But to sit up here and claim it is impossible is foolish. People capable of great violence don't always have to come across as evil incarnate. Sometimes they are looked upon in their communities as the kindest, gentlest human beings only to turn out to be complete monsters. (Not saying Ross is a monster, btw) It frightens me a bit that people are struggling with fathoming this.

Snugglebug, I can only speak from my perspective, but it's not so much that I can't believe a character that's pretty heretofore undefined might actually be violent. It's that the people who do know him (for instance someone who has spent the last 15 years with him) have shown us no signs of it. Tea has been in full ball-buster mode with him; she hasn't seemed afraid of him in scenes with Ross, and clearly his daughter isn't scared. I mean I'm open to whatever happens because this show has given us some great stuff out of left field (e.g., obviously they did a pretty huge character turnaround for Kyle overnight, and I love it), it just feels like an afterthought in this story that seems to be rewritten daily. It's hardly the most confounding aspect of the storyline. But we'll see. I, too, am enjoying Dani quite a bit!

OLTL - Cole didn't even exist BEFORE Starr was born and suddenly he's one year older?

It would have made more sense if Dani had been conceived during one of Tea's many visits to Llanview BEFORE the island adventure, maybe when Todd paid her $5 million dollars.

TnT could have had another child this time another girl while on the island.

One last thing, I think KA may be leaving sometime for college, if that is true then the show wants another Manning teen besides Jack.

I like the actor that plays Jack and OLTL should not SORAS the chacter because I'm looking forward to Jack/Jamie Vega/Shane story line.

"OK, do you realize you are comparing characters that have been established for YEARS vs. WEEKS? Do you not see the difference here?"

Considering that Todd's personality has been given a huge rewrite from where it was only at the start of this year, I'm not sure there's that big of a difference.

The story seems made up as it goes along. Ross was not a violent man when he showed up, and they could have hinted to such if they wanted to. Only now, possibly after the show sensed how ridiculous the story was of Tea seeing Todd as a better man than Ross, do we get this story of what a terror he is.

Even then, it doesn't really work, as Tea had no problem putting up with physical abuse from Todd. But I guess this is all they have.

"Ross was not a violent man when he showed up, and they could have hinted to such if they wanted to. "

This is the point. He WAS a violent man when he showed up. You weren't given any information about him whatsoever. How do you know he wasn't a violent man when he showed up? What, because he didn't put everyone he ran into in a choke hold from day one, he isn't violent? It is impossible that beneath that jovial facade, he is capable of great violence? As is the case with violent human beings in real life, sometimes it takes months and months for people to see any signs.

The writers DID hint that Ross could possibly be capable of violence, YOU just chose to ignore it. Rex's description of Ross alone was neon flashing lights from the writers saying "Proceed with caution. Could be dangerous." Tea's determination that she would not "break". He could never see Dani. AGAIN, neon flashing lights that there is more to the story than Ross being the poor, pitiful, innocent surfer dude that big bad Tea screwed over by taking their daughter. You wanted to believe that Tea was evil incarnate and seized Dani from the only father she had ever known just because she could. Just because she wanted nothing to do with him anymore. You were wrong. Tea is screwed up in many areas but that is not who Tea is. You chose to ignore the writers dropping hints telling us that all may not be as it appeared with Ross. You were wrong. It isn't a big deal. But this indignance at the possibility that Ross could be violent is ludicrous and misinformed.

As far as the whole Ross vs. Todd and who's worse argument. That isn't the issue. See, the moment Ross threatened to kidnap Dani, that was the moment he lost all rights to custody. He just didn't know it yet. And believe me, if Todd is stupid enough to say or do some crazy ish to Tea like that, he will not be seeing any more of Dani either. Love of her life or not.

The really sad thing is the seven-year-old teenager is actually the only thing this story has going for it. At least the girl can seem to act and she has great chemistry with Matthew.

But the storyline sucks beyond imagining. I've got whiplash from just watching the bus that Ross has been thrown under to try to somehow make a case that in some universe that isn't this one he might conceivably be in ANY way a worse father than the child-stealing, daughter-tossing, multiple wife abusing serial rapist that Todd has turned into. The fact that they have women FIGHTING over this child stealing, daughter tossing, abusive serial rapist galls me. It infuriates me to see so many characters positively GUTTED in order to try to create some bizarro world where the child-stealing serial rapist is the "good father" that other characters should fight over because he's SUCH a 'catch.'

And having someone like Rachel become a Todd and Tea cheerleader?! My head just about exploded.

I'm with the poster that just wants to see the final death of Todd Manning. He's the only character that I simply can no longer tolerate. To keep him going they simply destroy everyone around him in a storyline.

Thank goodness for other parts of the show. Too bad we're stuck with the constant, incessant, inexplicable Todd propping.

tia need to just tell tood that she got a baby by him and thay know that thay still got fellings for each outher i think that yall should get back together blair need to level tood and tea along she know that tood is still in love with tea thats why she dont wont to tell him she know that tea have a daughter by him ......... love the show keep it rolling

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