That Other Show
I realize that most of us soap viewers have been spending the week either panicking about the cancellation rumors regarding the drama that airs right before OLTL, or throwing things at the television and having rage blackouts regarding that little show that airs after OLTL, and I count myself among these viewers. I therefore apologize that I may be remiss in covering all the bases when pointing out the various infuriating and awesome and horrible and delightful details of One Life to Live. It's especially difficult at the moment when I'm finding it near impossible to determine the tone of the show much less respond to it.
On that note, David Vickers is back. I have no idea how long Tuc Watkins is sticking around this time -- it could be three days or three weeks, and I honestly don't care. Either way puts a crimp in our willing suspension of disbelief since we always know he's not staying. I'd like to be happy for Dorian. It's good to see her smile and have a little joy that just about her, but I can't help feeling that the happier we see her, the more miserable she'll be when David's latest visit comes to its inevitable end. And look. Sending someone to a Moroccan prison for eight months and letting his loved ones think he just abandoned them is a really, really bad thing to do. Clint was wrong and bad and mean to do it, and Rex was wrong and bad and mean to allow it to continue. I don't blame anyone for wanting Clint to pay for it (though I do blame everyone who has just given Rex one earful and then let him completely off the hook). But if they want this storyline to have any stakes at all for us, they have to clarify the tone. Because all we've had since David's return is "comedy" (I assume I do not have to explain why this is in quotes). Jokes that suggest the worst thing about being imprisoned for the better part of a year was that the guards withheld astringent and how David is going to avenge what happened to his pores... well, these jokes don't exactly up the ante. It just makes me shrug the whole thing off and root for Clint because he happens to be more interesting, which I assume is not the intent. Newsflash: it is possible to have a character who often functions as comic relief actually play the darker moments when necessary (Have they met Roxy? No seriously, sometimes it feels like they haven't.). In fact, David used to actually be a character with both lights and darks. Right now he's no more than a cartoon, so I can't muster up a hoot to give regarding his quest for justice.
And then there's Echo. I like having her in the mix, I honestly do, but the character is suffering from a serious lack of attention. It feels like the idea is that she came to town to start trouble and to find her son, and she achieved both. The next step was to hurt Viki by messing with her marriage, and she achieved it. And somewhere along the line she was supposed to evolve, or at least show her good side, and through it all legitimately and quite sincerely fall in love with Charlie. I believe it because of how Kim Zimmer plays it, but I don't believe it outside of that at all. There was a glimmer of hope when she learned about Shane being the victim of bullying at school, and they really could have done themselves a favor by playing up the caring grandmother role, but they dropped that like a hot potato. Charlie will find out that Echo knew all along that Clint was really Rex's father, so she's headed for a terrible fall and I have to say: no one's going to care. Either way. Shouldn't the audience either feel sorry for her or delight in her downfall? As it stands, I think the most response it's going to elicit from the audience is a shrug of the shoulders and a quiet, "Well, that happened."
When they could have been taking care of laying the proper groundwork for that storyline, they were instead focusing on newcomers Aubrey and Cutter and just... I have given Aubrey a chance. Time's run out. I don't mind a schemer and a con artist -- that's how we got Blair, it's how we got Natalie and Tina and Dorian. But there is nothing else to her. I could not possibly care less about her plan to the point that I'd be fine if she succeeded with flying colors by Friday and took off for good. She's just dull. Every one of her scenes is identical to the one before -- she's always almost caught and then comes up with some ridiculous lie to get out of it that the other people in the scene inexplicably believe without further investigation. It'd be interesting if she were a good con artist, but the only reason she ever succeeds is because everyone in a scene with her is written to be a drooling moron. She's not clever, she's just the luckiest grifter alive. Time's up!
Cutter, on the other hand, held some potential. I think the actor brings more layers to his scenes, and the character has a tendency to go rogue on Aubrey's master plan, so he's a little less by-the-numbers. But sweet mercy, what is it with this show and its obsession with mentally ill women getting it on? If he has sex with Tess, my brain is going to implode. I get that he's not a good guy so I can't ask him to behave all the time, but can we have a fucking moratorium on bad guys sexing up or trying to sex up Jessica while she's nuts? I realize Tess has had plenty of sex before while she's "out," but the distinction is that all of those one-night-stands and the initial relationship with Nash happened with men who didn't realize Tess isn't a real person, but a crazy lady's alter. Cutter knows. SO STOP IT.
Now, while the scenes yesterday between Cris and Rama were interesting to me -- Cris needs something to do and I'm really liking Rama -- they ignored a whole lot of history. Cris talked about understanding what it feels like to be separated from the one you love, and only used his geographical distance from Layla as an example. Hey Cris? Remember when you were, like, sold into some sort of slavery and assumed dead by your wife? And then remember when you were programmed to kill and subsequently imprisoned? Wouldn't those be good examples of being separated from someone you love? Also, can someone please give Cristian a call and let him know that Natalie is now single again and could use a shoulder? Just sayin'.
Yesterday's episode did give us one moment that made me giddy (well, besides the total absence of the "ooooo no, Todd got shot!" storyline). Viki and Dorian had a little chat, and Dorian asked how she can help Viki during this difficult time with her family, and Viki told Dorian she was already helping by being such a good friend.
Dorian looked truly touched. And then Viki actually teared up about it, and said to Dorian, "Sometimes I think I don't know what I would do without you."
Hang on, you guys, I've got something in my eye. Sniff.
And I know. I get it. This is all so when Viki finds out that Dorian's known all along about Charlie sleeping with Echo, she can get more outraged and in part take it out on Dorian (which is ridiculous, because for once someone on this show has a pretty damn good reason for sitting on a secret for a while). But I love it. I just love these two actresses, these two characters, and all the history between them and to see them honestly and openly treat each other as close friends after all these years absolutely warms my chilly heart.
So who caught Bree Williamson (Jessica) and Melissa Archer (Natalie) on The Wendy Williams Show yesterday? How cute were they? Seriously, they both looked so adorably nervous (especially Archer). I guess since things like Soap Talk (is that what it was called?) went off the air, soap actresses don't do a whole lot of talk show appearances (especially the few remaining East Coast soap actors), so it really seemed like something that wasn't a part of their routine. I'm kind of a sucker for actors who aren't completely polished and poised outside of their roles, so I enjoyed the very brief segment (they showed the clip after the wedding when Jessica pulls off Natalie's necklace and says she doesn't have a sister) and the little photos of each gal with her hubby. The bad news? Williamson suggested that Jessica "might" have another alter that we'll be meeting soon. Mercy. Can this personality's name please not rhyme with Jess? That would be awesome. We're all exhausted here.