Fathers of the Year and Mediocre Kids
Once again, Monday's show was a complete train wreck this week. In television, when you're really, really, really lucky, you stumble across a kid actor who is good enough to sustain a front-burner storyline, and once in a blue moon you stumble across one who can carry one. In my opinion, One Life to Live found that blue moon last year in Eddie Alderson -- he more than pulled off Matthew's paralysis story. Under more typical circumstances, you get yourself a good casting director who can find a nice little set of perfectly competent young actors who have some screen presence and maybe even a spark of chemistry with someone else. And there you have a nice battalion of supporting cast members. In the under-25 crowd, OLTL has something resembling that.
The story editors would disagree with me, vehemently. They are apparently under the impression that they have an ensemble of spectacular child prodigies who are more than capable of carrying the vast majority of front-burner storylines on this show all by themselves. In fact, I'd be willing to wager that if you introduced someone new to this show in the last few months and asked them who the lone lead character is, they'd probably tell you without hesitation: Dani. Danielle Rayburn, that's who! Star of the show! And I don't mean to insult Kelley Missal, who I think clearly has talent and is highly competent, but Abigail Breslin she is not (I know, I know, I couldn't think of another Oscar-nominated munchkin other than Tatum O'Neal, the chick from that New Zealand whale film, and a certain now-grown-up actress I do not enjoy who is currently on a certain vampire program on the television, so that's what I got), and her character Dani certainly isn't exciting enough for the show to revolve around her. But still, Nate, Todd, Ross, Blair, Destiny, Darrin, Tea, Shawn... the list goes on. It's all about her. And when it's not about her, it's about some other characters in the under-25 set and frankly the whole thing is just unbearable. Many of the episodes feel like a junior soap opera (including the quality of the acting and writing), and people, I'm not going to pretend like I never watched Swan's Crossing and Fifteen (I most certainly did), but I'm pretty damn sure I wouldn't have stuck with either of those year-round, five-days-a-week in one-hour broadcasts. I mean Ryan Reynolds is cute and all, but there cannot be a living soul who watched him in that mess who could've predicted he'd end up a movie star.
I mean, driver's ed? This is a soapy story? Two heterosexual gym rat brothers who sit around talking about the girls they loooooove day in and day out? Has that ever happened in the world? Oh, and can someone (perhaps as Dorian did) mention to Langston or Starr or James or anyone else who's all up in arms or feeling guilty about Ford getting fired that he was fired legitimately? For something he in fact did do? No one doctored any photos to get him fired. He did it, he knew he would be fired if found out, and was found out. Them's the breaks, douche. And my heart's really bleeding for him that it's hard to find film-related jobs in Llanview. Then leave.
And oh no! College is hard and expensive! Poor Gigi. Violins. (Oh wait, sorry, we can't overuse the violins as they are needed for every fucking time Inez appears on screen.)
And I can't even get into Cole and Starr having the same poorly-acted argument for the 376th time this year. (Do you have feelings for Ford/I love you/That's not what I asked you/Do you have feelings for Hannah/That has nothing to do with my feelings for you/Do you have feelings for Ford/That has nothing to do with how I feel about you/That's not what I asked you/But I love you/I love you/But/ad nauseam. You know, in case you missed an episode. You're welcome.)
The point is, I need some freaking grown-ups.
Of course the grown-ups are being written as children now anyway. Even though we are inexplicably supposed to be rooting for Todd in this custody battle for Dani (which, by the way, on the Todd/Dani end often feels more like the world's most inappropriate love triangle), he tried to kidnap her and go on the run with her against her will. Because this is Todd, who would "walk through fire for his children" except for the three that he'd totally leave behind because he has a new favorite (she's shiny because she's new!). Oh and then he threatened to break all of Dr. Greg's fingers if he did not testify on his behalf at the custody hearing. Because Todd is a really good dad. And tell my why again that Ross can't just stay in Llanview instead of Tahiti now that he's apparently gotten all outstanding charges against him dropped? Oh yeah, because he is a character in opposition to Todd. Todd who only does bad things because he's a poor desperate soul! But everyone else does bad things because they're eeeeeevil.
But no matter. Anything is worth it for the messiah child. The messiah child who, by the way, has time during her "five-minute walk" to the courthouse to re-style and change the part in her hair.
These things, they seem so simple.
It's just exhausting. What else is there to say? Did anyone catch Amanda Setton (ex-Kim) and Melissa Fumero (ex-Adriana) on Gossip Girl Monday? Remember the old days? Yeah.