Last Week in Llanview (or Robin Strasser Rocks My World)
I must give respect to One Life to Live for not following up the ends of sweeps by slowing things down. Not all of it was pleasant to watch, that's for sure, but I must give them credit for keeping things rolling.
Acting, acting, acting. A few of our hard-working ensemble members generated Emmy Reel-worthy work this week, in particular Robin Strasser and Florencia Lozano. Strasser essentially had a week-long tour de force, showing us every one of Dorian's layers as the week went on. She was at her self-serving, public-persona best leading up to and including her swearing-in as mayor, but that little holding-cell reunion with Mitch Lawrence let her show us a full quarter-century of that character's history all in just a few short closeups. Lately I've felt like all the "Cramer women stick together" talk was veering into lip service, but Dorian's fear and rage in those scenes made her love for her girls palpable. The woman is a goddess.
Look at her! She's so tiny!
As for Florencia Lozano, she also brought the awesome to her holding cell scene. (Were these just the same sets lit and shot differently??) I cannot pretend that I am normally a fan of Tea. She grates. I've always loved her in bad-ass, ball-busting attorney mode, but the Tea who wept incessantly at the most insulting wedding in the history of matrimony? Ugh. At any rate, I'm finding that if I just accept that she is 100% batshit crazy, it's a fun ride. I confess that I'm still not convinced that is Carlivati's intent (he does seem utterly enchanted by her), but Lozano's sure playing it that way.
I did have to laugh out loud when she referred to their wedding as "beyond [her] wildest dreams." As I suspected, she was clearly participating in a different wedding from the one we were watching, in which her groom smirked a lot, looked around for his ex-wife several times, and made a few offhand comments in front of his young children about the unconventional locations in which they get it on. If that's a "beyond my wildest dreams" wedding, I am glad to remain happily unmarried.
The Mitch/Charlie scenes this week were equally delicious. Roscoe Born and Brian Kerwin are two of the strongest actors on the show, so watching them match intensity was a great payoff. It was great to see the writing for Mitch amped up as well; until now we haven't really seen how Mitch has such an impact on people, we've just had it explained to us. His dialogue with Charlie would definitely get under the skin of someone in wavering recovery, just as his words to Dorian would frighten any woman for the safety of her family.
Erika Slezak, Melissa Archer, and Bree Williamson all had strong weeks as well, though Archer's best work was a couple weeks back. I do love Buchanan gatherings because, after 25 years watching, I am practically a crazy person who thinks I'm at my own family reunion. Too bad the Buchanan Awesome is about to be torn apart once the Bo/Nora betrayal comes out (and I find it yummy that Mitch knows about this, too, somehow). My favorite family moment this week, though, was when Natalie finally broke and had to admit how much she needs Roxy.
I love these two together, friends or foes.
The Mary Elizabeth Frye poem being read at the burial, one line by each loved one, about killed me. Beautiful choice. For anyone who needs to get weepy again:
- Do not stand at my grave and weep;
- I am not there. I do not sleep.
- I am a thousand winds that blow.
- I am the diamond glints on snow.
- I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
- I am the gentle autumn rain.
- When you awaken in the morning's hush
- I am the swift uplifting rush
- Of quiet birds in circled flight.
- I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
Fish and Kyle were adorable again this week, of course, but I do have to admit that the "Fish is such a cute simpleton" routine might start to wear thin. He is an adult male, and a good police officer (supposedly), and I hope we get to see a little edge or smarts on display soon. As for Kyle, any day I get to see Brett Claywell act is a good one. And perhaps I'm a dirty girl, but I'm lookin' forward to some serious love scenes... if you know what I mean.
But of course, best of all:
I do believe I stood up and clapped. Funny that this led Rex and Gigi to refer to Mitch as "a creep." Really? That's it? A "creep" is the guy who sometimes stands outside the deli on my corner and smacks his lips when I walk by. I'm pretty sure a dude who removes two dead husbands of two sisters from their coffins and chills out in one of them for a while only to pop out in the middle of the funeral warrants a harsher moniker than "creep." Call me crazy.
-So now Shane is referring to Mitch as "Grandpa?" Really? And is being told to be nice to the woman who used his life and death as a blackmail point?
-Stacy's still pregnant and scheming? I think I just fell asleep. (I confess I'm far more excited to see how Corporate Kim's plan to bed Clint goes. This has some serious promise as a very, very good time.)
-I am not familiar with the All-American Rejects, and I do appreciate that they are probably a little closer to something the OLTL teen gang would actually get into. And I am no expert on drug symptoms and do not want to get wrapped up in being slanderous or... the point is:
...the eyes. They frighten me.
-So I appreciate that they had to balance out the gay-friendliest-town-on-earth vibe of late with a darker storyline and I actually do trust them to handle this well, but did they have to cast the gay bashers from the swing cast of West Side Story?
When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way... well, at least they're trying to provide a "teaching moment." In Llanview, the thugs watch Oprah, love Obama, and take pedagogy classes at Angel Square Community College.
-It was nice to see Blair again (was Kassie de Paiva on vacation?), but a couple of throwaway scenes where she tells Jack of her inexplicable love for his father only to then take off for Seattle -- well, not much of a payoff. It was good to see her woman up and tell Jack she'd done some scheming and has backed down from it, though.
And the Ugly:
Well, we already knew Ross was on the underside of the Carlivati Bus of Destruction, but now it's official. Goodbye, super-sexy insane-chemistry-with-Blair potentially-amazing fun and exciting Ross! It was almost fun while it almost lasted.
Also, I tend to get pretty nervous whenever Destiny has a major storyline that requires Shenell Edmonds to do any serious acting. I hate to say it because she's a kid, and an adorable kid at that, but she's displayed little range thus far.
Oh well. Here's hoping Michael Lowry gets a little more love at his next job.