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« Greek Chorus In Fuschia Lipstick | Main | So Much Dumbassedness »

February 22, 2011

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:

Newjack

Todd thinks he should really do something about "that kid's" mouth. 

Toddswisdom

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:

Bullies1

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.

Divider

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.

Aubrey

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.)

Comments

just found this site and LOVE IT. I feel sometimes that you are writing exactly what I have been thinking. Fab!

Any thoughts on Clint's slight headache/dizziness scene as the precursor to "the brain tumor made me do it" excuse?

And Tess speaks for the fans about Ford. I hope he tells her about his family so she can go to town on those storylines too. Can't wait for her to meet Mama Inez (blink blink - blank stare, blank stare).

Regarding Shane, are the OLTL writers not aware of how ridiculously popular and NOT geeky it is for teens to draw cartoons these days? This story line is straight out of the mid-'80s. OTLT can do better than this.

is Aubrey the girl who once played Katie on As the World Turns?

Oops! I posted in the wrong entry. Was supposed to be for today's. Anyway...

I'll give NuJack his "first day" benefit of the doubt and see how all this plays out before getting too Judgy McJudgerson. He was a bit hammy though and was....well much different than the old Jack in a lot of ways. It seems obvious they only recast him to make him taller than Shane. I"m not really sure what their plan is though my wishful thinking is that it would be for Jack to come around and realize he's been raised by the biggest bully in town and change his ways w/Blair's help. 'Cause it certainly won't be about Todd changing his ways as a person or a parent. That train left the station many a year ago.

I am still enjoying Tess bossing Ford around like the human bobble head he truly is and insulting him every other sentence.

Loved Vicki and Clint too. Hell hath no fury like a scorned Viki Banks. Which makes me worried what will happen to Charlie once she finds out about him and Echo.

It was nice to see Matthew come out of the woodwork after practically a month (which Destiny reminded us was actually only a couple days ago in soap time). His kiss w/Destiny is actually one story I hope they'll drop since it's not anything of interest and EA needs better material, no offense to Shenell Edmonds. Hopefully we will see more of him and his reaction to the fallout though seeing as he has no problem with Clint's lies maybe we'll eventually get to see him play a little Grand Moff Tarkin to Clint's Darth Vader.

Sue, interesting! I hadn't thought of Clint's little moment as something physically painful going on -- maybe!

Sunny V, yup! I believe Katie was indeed the role Teri Conn played on ATWT.

I am so disappointed with what they are doing to Matthew. They are intentionally making us hate him!

Its one thing to have him turn dark but retain SOME humanity and its another thing with what they are doing to him now. I was so looking forward to these Matthew-Destiny scenes but what a disappointment. Poor Destiny!!! He is a total jerk now and is treating Destiny like a nobody. I'm afraid that I'm reaching my limit with Matthew, and this is exactly what tptb want!

I could never hate Matthew since the show is trying too hard to make old man Nate a viable character.

OLTL should just let Clint own his badness and not resort to a tumor.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with Carmen Lo Porta's version of Jack Manning. Now, we're stuck with a bunch of unknown teens in a bullying s/l.

As we approach March, it's getting close to OLTL annual spring cleaning of soap characters.

I'm holding onto hope for the bullying storyline since OLTL is working with RAINN on it.

I'm guessing that this is Jack's way of acting out since Todd doesn't care about him, Sam, or Starr anymore and it's all about Dani. And Shane is an easy target. People get bullied all the time and for stuff that we may think is incredibly stupid, like asthma.

I like the bullying storyline so far. The bullies weren't very sophisticated, but most high school freshman aren't. I had medical issues that got me out of high school gym class and I got some snide comments from the other kids who said I was getting special treatment. Sometimes the smallest difference can make you a target for bullies, so I can see what the show is trying to do. I think that gay-bashing bullies are very prevalent right now, so lots of shows are targeting that, but it is important to show that people are bullied for lots of different reasons. That being said, I really hope that they don't try to give Jack some deep secret as the reason for his behavior. I really want to see Blair rip into Todd for setting such a bad example for their son. Tea ripping into Todd in Spanish today was the best scene for me.

As for Matthew, I'm very disappointed in him at the moment, but refuse to hate him like the writers apparently want me to as a reason I should care about Nate. It's not going to happen. I just hope that once he finds out about what Clint did to his parents or even to his brother David, that he unloads on him and gets back to being the Matthew I liked.

I felt like a jackass the whole time I was watching OLTL. I kept rooting for the bad guys!

Tess was awesome. I didn't want her to come back, but oh! was I wrong. She is fabulous. Maybe when they integrate this time, we can keep Tess! Please? Please?

The moment Jack marched on screen today I was all giddy. I loved him mouthing off to Todd. And then picking on Shane was kind of funny, too. Mostly because I KNOW that in high school Shane would be the kid who didn't get bullied, and the bullying would really be going on with Matthew and Jack (And to be frank, I am not 100% sure who would be bullying who in this scenario). JMO.

So, after not liking Langston since . . . well, that scene where she and Cole attended counseling (:::swoon:: LangCo foreva and eva!!! Hallelujah, amen.) . . . I suddenly really enjoyed her today. Weird? I think so. And, for some reason today was the first day that the age difference between Ford and Langston was so obvious to me. Langston would never ben talking about marriage in this point in her life - and to Ford it's no biggie. Wow.

Starr was pretty awful today. I feel like the actress is about 2.5 seconds behind everyone else in the scene. Her reactions are so delayed.

Smug James was really funny today. Does it make me a bad person to be rooting for James and Michelle (assuming James can't just, you know, ride off into the sunset)??? I really like Michelle. Well, more than Starr anyway.

Clint and Viki were fiya today. There is no other word. Sizzle.

I am a little irritated with this whole Aubrey/Cutter/Vimal/Rama drama. I like that Kelly seems to be out of it. (OMG JOHN AND KELLY ARE SOULMATESSSSSS!!! NO LIE!!! REMEMBER THE OTHER DAY WHEN JOHN WAS ACTUALLY PRESENT IN A SCENE? HE WAS TOTALLY WITH KELLY! EEEE!!!!!) What kind of confuses me is that Rama and Vimal were written into corners. The magazines, however, pimped these actors out and I got invested in them. I mean, why were there two decent sized interviews with "newbies" who would only be on air for six weeks? It seems like OLTL is back tracking trying to get Vimal and Rama out of that corner. IDK. . . But I do know that I LOVED when Rama finally got the upper hand on Aubrey.

Rex (sorry for talking in circles, I know I am kind of bringing this back to Shane) is basically a hot mess. . . Actually, I can't go on. It hurts too much.

And on my last note, what was up with there being NO LOCK on Shane's (and ONLY Shane's) locker? What is Jack going to do to the locker?!? If they do this right, this is where the bullying can really start to get dicey.

So can someone explain to me, like I'm a somewhat slow 4-year-old (to misquote "Philadelphia"), what the birth order of the Manning kids is supposed to be now?

Is Jack now older than Dani, like he's supposed to be? Are they the same age? Have they inexplicably made Jack just *slightly* younger than Dani and made the the clusterfrak that was their impossible age range to each other more noticeable?

Starr is still older than Sam...right? (I kid. Mostly. I hope.)

Starr still looks like she's 12.

I recently saw a photo of Lenny Platt (Nate) on the DC site and the dude had a beard! I'm not joking! Nate/Dani is all kinds of gross since Kelly Missal is 17 in real life.

Now, I could buy Nate/Lang since the actress that plays Langston is in college and around 20 /21 years old.

Despite some of the show's flaws (many of which I attribute to the rumored behind the scenes meddling of Brian Frons), I still think OLTL delivers the best soap opera currently airing. Sure it has its weaknesses, but it at least tries to tell umbrella stories and provides payoffs unlike the other messes currently airing (and I can say this as someone who checks in on all the shows...)

So that kid that was bullying Shane WAS Jack? I thought it looked like him, but wasn't sure. I found it strange since I thought Jack and Shane were friends. I guess their friendship couldn't survive puberty.

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