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« Keeping It In The Family | Main | Ryder and Brody Know What's Up »

February 15, 2011

Time To Go, Bobby Ford

So much to say, and no time to say it. I thought One Life to Live was a fabulous, angsty, soapy-as-all-hell classic sweeps episode yesterday, and while some characters behaved in infuriating ways (I assume Charlie isn't long for this show?), most of it was kind of awesome anyway because they just went ahead and went balls-to-the-wall (yeah, I said it, balls-to-the-wall!). John was a complete dick in his near-glee at forcing Natalie to confess all to Jessica and Brody (and yes, of course she had to tell them, and of course John is thinking of himself above all after the news he's just gotten, but it was pretty disgusting watching him practically salivate in anticipation of Jessica's life being completely leveled in front of him after knowing the blow she's already just received -- I realize that wasn't what he was thinking about, but yikes), and it was sort of lovely to see Brody just take punch after punch while just quietly imploding. Jessica even seemed poised to be able to offer up some understanding to Natalie about sleeping with Brody. They actually did play that nice beat there where for a moment you could see Natalie thinking, "What have I done, she actually could've forgiven me if I'd told her upfront," which of course makes the final, enormous betrayal that much worse. (For the record, I was still not completely feelin' Melissa Archer's performance during the confession, but she had a really terrific moment later when Natalie was basically hyperventilating alone with the knowledge that her own sister now hates her. That one I felt. Ouch.) And John... well, it's funny. What Natalie pulled on him is horrific, and our hearts would be going out to a better character right now. But I can't muster up anything for him (though I came close last week, it was done yesterday) because he doesn't look at all hurt by this. He looks nothing other than completely disgusted, and truly happy to wash his hands of the entire lot of them. No violins for Johnny Mac. Jessica, on the other hand, got the worst news ever and actually managed to pull out some serious anger and... was that even a little bit of a snarl toward the end there? I'd find this refreshing, you know? Good! The princess needs some edge, she's earned her anger. This could lead to something....

Fuckingtess

Oh. Nevermind. Tess. For fuck's sake.

That was only about five seconds at the end, so that's a rant for another day (and I'm sure it'll go on and on). The real problem yesterday was in the midst of all this spectacular melodrama, we had another big moment -- Ford found out he is the biological father of Jessica's baby. (First of all, now it's, "I'm a dad?" when at first it was, "I want nothing to do with any kid, so if it's mine, no worries, I'll back off..."). So here it was. The big huge revelation that, if played perfectly, could really let the folks in charge know that they've made the right choice in pushing this character up to leading-heartthrob status, this was their day to prove all us bitter nay-sayers wrong by showing us a little depth -- a little something -- from this man. So how did they do?

Ford1

Ford2

Yep, there it was. Played it for comedy. Played it like some big, hilarious asthma attack. (And then inexplicably had unfettered access to the church nursery.)

So, he's done, right? He can go now?

Thanks.

Comments

I disagree with your assessment about Ford. I realize that the conventional wisdom around some parts of the Internet is to hate the character without pause, but his reaction is completely in keeping with A) the character and B) a guy who had long ago ruled out the possibility that he was a father. The point of the Dani/Nate scenes leading up to the revelation was exactly that: To show he ISN'T ready for fatherhood! Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, there's more to play this way; Ford has a longer journey to take if he reacts with such hysteria than if he reacts with a sublime epiphany. I mean, if he had reacted as you implied he should have, the naysayers across the online universe would be even more up in arms than they are now, arguing that the show is "propping" the character or rewriting him to fit their supposed whim of "making" the audience like him. I like you, Louise, but I think you're wrong.

Toto, I completely understand what you're saying -- but my problem wasn't that he was upset about the news (he should be, as you said). My problem was that he played it as pure comedy and nothing else. The depth I was looking for wasn't, "I have seen the light, I am a daddy, I only live for good now!" as that would infuriate me and be completely ridiculous. But for a man like him, this is sobering, shocking, and life-changing news and all the actor could pull off was slapstick.

I still disagree ;) Because there's still time for that reaction. There should be a progression to that. In fact, we did begin to see that reaction when he showed up in the nursery. I think it was all over his face. Finally, I went back and watched the hyperventilating; yes, it was big. But it also went on for a total of three seconds. Not three scenes. Not even one scene. He went a bit crazy and then ran out to go see the kid. He wasn't writhing around on the floor for the whole show.

All that said, I really enjoy your commentary, and always find it incisive and thought-provoking.

Well I hope you're right, honestly, because what I was afraid of at the end was that he was all "in awe" of fatherhood, when the Ford we know should be trying to come up with ways to stand by his original statement that even if it were biologically his, he wanted no part of the kid.

Louise, You're right about Ford--both the character and the actor. The character, who is even less mature than his teenage girlfriend, should want nothing to do with this accidental baby. The actor is so totally outclassed by almost every other actor on the show (even the one who plays Rex is less wooden) that his scenes are painful to watch. At least we've been spared Inez so far, but I'm sure that can't last.

I actually thought Ford somehow broke into Llanfair and that's where he found Ryder. Which is even creepier, if you ask me.

John is an ass. I found his snarling at Brody about "betraying" him particularly annoying because Brody didn't own John anything when he slept with Natalie and he didn't know Liam was his son so John can cram it.

Man, Charlie is so pathetic. And I'm sure he'll only sink lower when he finds out Echo was in on the Rex lie.

Louise, you are so right about everything that is hilarious! You notice and say everything that I do.

I don't feel bad for John as well, not at all. Maybe last week, but not now with his posturing and his hands in his pockets like that. What annoyed me the most is when Messica wanted to talk to NataLie alone, he jumped to say "will you be alright?" GIVE ME A BREAK! Here he goes again, pretending to be a knight in shining armor to a damsel in distress when he's anything but! I'm hoping his one night stand with Kelly will make him interesting because I'm pretty much done with him.

I feel bad with what they are doing with Charlie who seems like you are saying being pushed out the door with Echo. But then who will they pair Viki up with? A repentent Clint? I hope not, I like my Clint as a SOB.

The less said about Joey the better. It terrible that they've dumbed down one of Viki's sons for Aubrey and Cutter (who I am still hoping they'd reveal is CJ).

The Jessica/Natalie scenes were amazing, I started laughing when she called her a selfish lying whore! lol. Listen, they are playing this all wrong. Its obvious that Jessica has alot of repressed anger and resentment against Natalie. She brings up the fact that Natalie "stole" her life every time they fight (this story is a repeat of Nash's death in 2008, go on youtube and see their confrontation at the funeral or in Jessica's bedroom). They should keep Jessica sane and have her for once in her life deal with her problems. She can go out and destroy Natalie's life. Jessica vs. Natalie is much more interesting and deeper than Messica vs. Natalie. But they can't do that because how else can they shove Ford down our throat?

Finally, I agree with you completely about Ford's hyperventilation. I rolled my eyes when I saw that. WHAT was that all about? I am soooo confused at what the writers want US to feel about this rapist? And thats the problem, there is alot of calculated writings to force us to feel something for him when its not there. Theres been so much rewrites for this character that I want him gone now.
I think the actor is fine, but the character is ruined.

I was hoping you would talk about Ford's performance Louise.

It's only going to get worse I'm afraid with the whole Tess/Ford/Brody mess.

I love how you always preface a Melissa Archer compliment with a negative. Cracks me up. I hope some day you can put others under the acting microscope the way you do her. It's not like BW or KDP or ML haven't had their moments, ya know?

BTW, I think MA was great. I think she had a couple moments that weren't so great, but then again so did ME, ML and BW...

I completely agree with you on Ford's "revelation scene" when he finds he's the daddy. Seriously, I was getting lunch & had the sound off and looked up and saw Ford flailing around making faces & said "Yup, this must be the reveal". Later with sound I realized that's what it really was. Something lacking with his acting...think it's called depth.

John..self-righteousness but no love or feelings of betrayal. I love ME but hate McBain. Argh.
Nat/ME - I thought she brought it.

Not Tess AGIAN? (Lazy, writers, just lazy.)

Brody...ML is so damn good. They better keep him!!

Charlie...I's so disappointed in him. sigh.

A thought...if Cutter is CJ, why the scams? He's a Buke & a Lord, right. Cord's his Daddy & Tina's his Mom. Not like he's need the $$, and wouldn't anyone recognize him...Vikki, Clint...somebody?

I'm walking the edge with this show...so much potential for good stories, but the writing.....well...sigh.

Knope, for me, this is Natalie's story and these last few days have been Archer's days to shine. I don't think she did. Believe me you will hear from me when Bree Williamson is undoubtedly terrible (as usual) throughout another wretched DID storyline. And as for ME and ML, they made small choices that were not outside their (limited) range, so it didn't bother me.

I might be extra critical of Melissa Archer because I really thought she'd grow into something great. Then she really disappointed me and I thought she just plain wasn't a good actress for a couple of years, and she changed my mind again and blew me away with her wonderful, consistently excellent performances after Jared's death. So it's not that I have something against her, it's that I so want her to deliver, and it's doubly disappointing to me when she goes back to those choices that make me cringe. Obviously this is only my opinion and I know you're in very good company in your regard for her work. And I think of it more that I always include a positive about MA when I feel compelled to report a negative! I mean it's not like she's David Gregory. I've certainly committed a lot of blogging-words to her great performances without qualification as well.

E.O., I completely agree that an actual Jess vs. Nat story would be fabulous, but it's like they think that would damage Jess's character to give her a little damn fire. I cannot understand it.

I disagree on your assessment of Melissa Archer, I think she'd doing great. Lots of crying on cue during her scenes with John. I agree with you though that her reveal to Jessica was underwhelming. Maybe it was a long day and they were all tired (although Bree knocked it out the park). Today with Viki, she's doing a great job I feel.
Overall, I think OL has the best female actors in all of daytime. The men is another story all together.

After yesterday's episode, I am done with OLTL. I have said it before, but now I mean it. I was appalled by Ford's response and that pushed me over the edge. There was so much wrong with yesterday's episode that I am convinced that the show will suck for the foreseeable future. I hate The Fords. I think Charlie's behavior is unbelievable and could have been written better. I hate The Fords. I'd rather see Jessica deal with this latest drama over Tess. I hate The Fords. Where's Clint/Bo/Nora/Vimal/Rama during all of this? I would have preferred their scenes at the police station versus Kelly and Joey being beyond dumb. I hate The Fords and since they are not going anywhere anytime soon, I am done with OLTL. That actor was HORRIBLE.
I personally thought Melissa Archer and Bree Williamson were great. Too bad this will turn into a Tess/Ford storyline.

Ford was unbelievably bad. The propping of this nasty character and just plain bad actor has gone too far. Today we had zombie Langston talking yet again how he was changed, made the big sex challenge and what a good daddy he would be. Poor girl, no life, no soul. But she's out the door. So it's to be Ford and Tess. It should upset me but I've become numb. The show is a shallow mess and Ford is their star, miserable negative character that he is.

"So, he's done, right? He can go now?"

I ask myself that all the time. I cannot believe the lengths they have gone to for this awful character. He has done nothing but cause damage. They gave him an entire family, practically told viewers to sympathize and accept him as a "changed" man, and now he's Ryder's father, too? Sick. Gross. Disgusting. He breaks into a nursery and it's somehow supposed to be cute? Try creepy as hell. It's almost as if they're purposely insulting my intelligence. I refuse to believe they're keeping him around for his acting ability, either. All I can ask of them is to please give it up..

Ford is a douche.

McPain is another douche.

Poor Charlie is about to be living permanently with Echo at that flea bag motel.

I know I will probably be pelted with verbal stones and garbage for saying this, but I love me some Tess.

(Oh, and may I say Bree Williamson was rockin' the shit out of that hair and lipstick.)

There is no doubt that Bree is beautiful and on fire when she goes into Tess mode but it is becoming rather tiresome. Hell I haven't truly payed attention to this show in YEARS and Tess is getting on my nerves. They finally retired Nikki Smith. Time to do the same with Tess, Bess and whoever else Jess turns into.

I am with Toto: I found Ford's hyperventilating believable since the truth is a shock he wasn't ready for. And it didn't last that long. I didn't find it funny - I thought, now there's a reaction to the news that makes sense.

Hate that they are turning Charlie into a douche. What the hell was all that crap about Viki not wanting him to have a family? What dreamworld is he livin' in? Viki just didn't want ECHO around, douchebag!

Loved when Jess shouted at Nat about how selfish she was, and that calm little twist of the knife when she snatched the necklace. Nat was a little too calm as compared with Thursday's show, which was great work on her part.

And John. What a fucker. I haven't liked him in a long time because he's such a stick, but the way he walked away from them all, especially the baby he loves...I have no words for how shitty that is.

Brody imploding quietly - I love that!

Lousie, I wasn't being sarcastic when I said it cracked me up. It actually does crack me up, in a good way!

Since you mentioned it, I do think you are critical of her more than anyone else you like. And hey, being negative towards Ford doesn't count. You hate Ford!

I agree: this has been MA/Natalie's story, and it's been a successful one. When was the last time Jessica had a 9-month long successful story? Teen Jess was a flop. Before that, there was Tess coming out after Nash's death. Another flop. Yet MA/Nat gets no credit for this story even though most would agree she's been carrying it.

I disagree that the reveal moment was Natalie's time to shine. This was ~finally~ the other characters' turns to shine. Nat's role was to stand there and try not to get creamed while John, Jess, and Brody had their Big Reactions. Yet I still thought MA did very raw and heartfelt work with the material. Especially the break up scenes with John. Her sobbing was so real that I felt like I was watching a real breakup.

I am NOW tired of her sad face though. It's enough already. I want her to straighten her spine. I don't want to see ~any~ actor cry for a week straight. A couple of days is dramatic, more than that...no thanks.

One last thing. I agree with you that this has been MA's story, but the story did not start with the reveal last week. It started 9 months ago and IMO Melissa has done a fantastic job with it overall. For me, it's the best story on OLTL and that is due to many things, but in no small part to MA, who has carried the weight of it on her shoulders for along time.

Speaking of Bree and you calling her out, I waited for months, lol! She's been great this week, but what about the last 6 months or so? She's been playing Jessica like a Barbie doll on a sugar high. It's been so fake and fingernail annoying. No??

Bree did a great job with the reveal. I thought they all did, but Bree had the best material. And hey, I don't begrudge her that. It was her turn. But Melissa carried this story for much, much, much longer and she more than pulled it off. It's been a hit, AFAIK.

Bree is a great emotional crier, but that material happens once a year. On a day-to-day-basis as Jessica, she is unimpressive to me. Melissa impress me much, much more and consistently (9 months, man - not just 9 hours like Jess).

The story has shifted now to John and Jessica's POVs and reactions. Let's see if they can deliver as consistently as MA has over a long period of time. It's been my experience with them that they can't carry a story on their own for a week, much less almost a year.

That's all I'm saying. I have felt like you single MA out time and again, while letting others slide. So I finally stopped biting my tongue! I promise this is my first and only essay on the matter (because I'm starting to annoy even myself). I guess I just felt the need to give her some credit.

Cheers. Love your blog!!!!!!!!

Knope, absolutely, Natalie has been the female lead of the entire show for the better part of a year, which is part of the reason I've talked about MA's acting so much (including lots of gushing raves about her great work with SH) but unfortunately it's also because of my favorites, she's the one who disappoints me the most. BW isn't interesting enough to me to worry about unless she's carrying story, which unfortunately she's about to do!

But you're right, it's been a damn good storyline. And don't worry, you don't have to bite your tongue -- your thoughts are always welcome!

I dread to think they'll keep pushing Ford on us. It's enough to make me want to cry. Why can't they just cut their losses with this guy?

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