New Twists Bring New Problems (or New Jack City)
Today's One Life to Live was just... weird.
The big unveiling today was the newly recast Jack and his role as bully to young Shane. The new Jack:
Todd thinks he should really do something about "that kid's" mouth.
Translation: "Now that they've SORASed Jack and recast him and written him abruptly into a storyline about Shane being bullied at school, I should really talk to my son about the fact that he speaks to other human beings with all the respect and kindness that he's always seen me show other people, which is absolutely none at all. I really should talk to him despite the fact that I've always encouraged him when he's mocked and insulted people. Do you think he might be acting out because he knows I once handed him off to strangers to get rid of him and told his mother he was dead? Damn these kids, they're so uptight. All I know is, I should really get around to making sure Jack's not a bully, but first I'm going to go beat the shit out of my daughter's boyfriend after insulting my other daughter a few times."
And now, meet the totally-not-at-all-cliched universal blocking for a teen bullying scene:
That propping-the-elbow-on-the-other-tough-guy's shoulder blocking looks like it might be from a scene from Grease, or else just slightly based on the staging from back when Nick got gay-bashed by either the Jets or the Sharks. You can tell someone's really mean if they rest their elbow on someone else's shoulder -- I suspect we'll see Clint do it any day now. Why did we never see Eli do this? It's helpful shorthand. But just to make sure, they should don one of these fellows with a sideways cap pretty soon (Jack might want to consult his Great Aunt Dorian; I'm sure she has an appropriate hat in her collection).
Didn't they already do a pretty similar bullying storyline with Matthew as the victim a few years ago? And what is Jack's issue, that Shane is somehow faking asthma because it gives him "an excuse to be pathetic?" I realize school bullies are not the most logical bunch in general, but I'm confused as to how he got from Point A to Point B and, more importantly, why. What would Shane stand to gain from faking asthma? And I'm still really stressed out that the worst nasty name the bullies can come up with for Shane happens to be my very own nickname. Have all my friends and family secretly been making fun of me all these years?
Honestly, I'm hoping this storyline gets better because I don't think it's impossible that OLTL could pull off a decent bullying storyline. It's a hot-button issue right now and they could tell a compelling story about it particularly because we're presumably supposed to care about the good guys and the bad guys involved, so they could really delve deep into not only what victims of bullying go through, but also what schools and families might do to get at what is causing the bullies to act out and put a stop to it. Unfortunately, if it's going to play out like it did today, I don't have much faith. The bullies (even "our" bully) are completely cartoonish at this point, which does nothing but undermine the story.
Brief thoughts on the other business on the screen:
Someone might want to tell Rex that the easiest way to prove that you have no intention of blowing some secret out of the water is to stand there announcing you're going to do so and giving the "bad guy" every opportunity to talk you out of it.
Ford was a pretty hilarious jackass today, honestly. He's all morally righteous with Tess, and yet finds it so injurious that she doesn't find him physically attractive that he has to start disrobing for her to prove his manhood. Barf. Oh! Which, by the way, was exactly the reaction Tess had!
Great scenes between Viki and Clint. I hate that he's now laying this all at Brody's feet, but I love that even though Viki was letting Clint have it, she even took a moment to make sure he was okay (before letting him have it some more!).
And Aubrey's hair looks better.
Noticing only that in her scenes reflects pretty accurately on how interesting I found that subplot today.
Destiny out! (Oh yeah, she was on today. For nine seconds.)