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« Wholly Unexpected Silver Linings | Main | (Possible) Branching Out... A Poll! »

April 18, 2011

How Is This Fair?

I have a feeling I'm going to be doing this a lot in the months to come -- gushing over an episode and lamenting how unfair the cancellation was in the face of such quality soap. I might have a skewed perspective because of the situation we're in, but I don't feel completely insane if I browse back over my many, many posts over the last couple of years. I've complained about One Life to Live over and over again, but I don't think there's any question that I always have loved this show and thought it was something worth saving. And at its best, as with any show, there's still something to get pissy about -- I never needed to see a Tess/Niki showdown again in my life, nor do I need to see Ford's tender side. But damn if today didn't give us some good drama. 

I'm never going to understand the rules of OLTL's version of D.I.D., mostly because OLTL does not stick to the rules it invents for itself, but I'm again confused about how any character (Ford, in this case) could hold Viki responsible for Niki's cruel actions but not hold Jess responsible for Tess' cruel actions. My instincts suggest that Ford's sympathy for Tess was supposed to show us some depth on his part, but that was a tough one on me considering Tess was standing there explaining that she emerged when Jess was being sexually assaulted -- both as a child because of Niki's negligence, and then again last year by Ford. But no matter. It's just more fodder for my hatred of Ford, and it feels good* to have someone to actively root against (besides the brass at ABC Daytime). It's like watching a baseball game. I don't resent that someone thinks I should be rooting for the opposing team; it's just more fuel for my fire. (Although so far this season, I'm learning that it might be best to stay home as it feels like every time I set foot in that stadium, my team loses. And I also spend way too much money on last-minute blankets and rain ponchos and hoodies. But I digress.)

Point is, Niki's back and while one of my favorite things about OLTL is how it embraces the camp of soap opera, I'm not sure anything can steel me for the hammy high muggy camp of Niki and Tess both unleashed on the audience at the same time.

So really, can we talk instead about the awesome? About Clint quietly suffering a heart attack because he's not willing to lose face in front of Bo? About Dorian appropriately trying to make both Echo and Charlie miserable by revealing the truth that Echo had known all along that Charlie wasn't Clint's father? 

AND EDDIE ALDERSON. Can I just talk about Eddie Alderson from now on, all the time? Every time I think I might be overstating the case about how damn good this kid is at this whole "acting" endeavor, he pulls another one out and nails it.

Matthew1

Today gave us a terrific one-on-one scene between Matthew and Nora, and Matthew's range of emotions today went from terror to grief to guilt to fear and back again, all with a nuance and control that belies Alderson's youth.

Matthew4
Matthew5
Matthew3

The kid's just damn good. And with subtlety and texture and lights and darks and, at the risk of being totally inappropriate, the guy is growing up very handsomely, is he not? 

I know awards are random and shouldn't be taken too seriously, but I am so ready for this kid to get some serious recognition.

And in closing? Robin Strasser rocks my world.

*Okay, I'm being too kind. I don't enjoy rooting against Ford, because he's not worth the time. Someone fun to root against? Echo. Because I actually want her around. So that I can root against her. (But hey, Carlivati, room for Echo does not mean no room for Roxy! You hear that?!) (Okay, he might be focused on other things at the moment.)

Comments

I really loved so much about today... And then I watched GH and it brought me back down to a level of intense dislike of ABC soaps. OLTL has improved SO much over the last couple of years, with a few notable exceptions, that it has become the soap I can't miss. I can't wait for these storylines to play out and hope that we will get some great fun and closure when fall looms dark over our heads.

Even better, improve so much that GH hits the chopping block in OLTL's place. I loved GH in the 90s and early 00s, and OL has been a bit stagnant until a couple of years ago, but the last few months have shown a significant uptick in quality and now I know I will be sad to lose that hour in my day.

Man, Louise, I agree with you so much that I don't have much of a comment. I guess I will have to go back and watch the rest of the episode. I got up and walked away from the television when Ford and Tess were on and did not return. Seems like I missed an otherwise good episode. It's only that The Fords, Starr, Joey, Kelly, Aubrey, Cutter, Tess and now Niki Smith make me instinctually mute/turn off/ or walk away from the telly. C'mon Carvialti, get rid of the dead weight and focus on the MVPs like HBS, E. Alderson for example.

P.S. I miss Ilene Kristen too! I have seen her as Delia on Ryan's Hope reruns on Soapnet and she was PHENOMENAL then and equally as stellar now. She needs to be on our screens pronto! I can't believe it has been since Jess/Nat's bachelorette party.

At least Niki won't be out for too long. Viki's supposed to come back next week. Thank God. The only thing I liked was Niki calling Tess a bitch and saying she was annoying because Tess is both things.

And Ford was just horrible today. I can't believe he got all indignant on Tess' behalf when she's done horrible things and Ford did a very similar thing to Jess as when she was a child.

Today was awesome, pure and simple. Even Tess and Ford as SUPPORTING characters to Viki's storyline were OK. As were Rex and Gigi (they finally found a way for me to like Rigi).

Can I just say how much I love Viki and Erika Slezak?? I can't believe that we will be losing her, and Dorian, and Clint, and Bora :(

OLTL should not be leaving, it has too much life left. Its not fair...

Another stellar day in the Double L :-)

I loved your post, and all your OLTL coverage.

Something that really stood out for me today w/ Eddie Alderson was his conversation with Nora. Brilliant writing and storytelling with perfect pacing and character development. What he said about the murder and how it was wrong in every way just broke my heart and renewed my faith in soapy humanity. I mean seriously, has anyone on Murder Happy Hospital ever felt a much as a day's concern after a mobular slaying!?!?!?

I hope Guza and Frons lose their jobs and are forced to watch this episode on a revolving reel forever ;-)

I don't know about you Louise, but I LOVE IT when Niki Smith comes out of Viki!!! I LOVE NIKI SMITH!!!! And Andrea, Viki won't really be coming out next week!!!

I agree with what Sarah mentioned, the writing between Nora and Matthew was stellar, as was the writing between Clint and Bo.

Especially between Clint and Bo, since there is so much history there, it had so much depth that you don't find in ANY OTHER medium (or in any other soap for that matter).

For all the ups and downs with Ron, I must admit that he knows the show. I am glad that he has the honor of penning the last storylines. He gets the show!

Seriously, Ford needs to the shut the fuck up. He doesn't know Viki and, considering the actions he's taken, he's the last one who should be throwing stones.

Clint better be okay!

I cant wait for Nikki & Tess to burn down the down!! FIRE!!! :)

er,, town

You can see the scenery trembling in fear of it's life when Niki and Tess are about.

guilty pleasure, I read that she comes back during the custody hearing.

I cried through half of the episode - Viki's heartbreak, Nora and Matthew, HOLY CRAP that was good, Clint's heart attack juxtaposed with what appeared to be Viki's heart attack! I watch this show for the sheer pleasure of watching these actors do their thing. This kind of talent is a joy and I'm SO GRATEFUL to Hoover for sticking up for us and these shows!

Niki: For me she's the only false note I've ever seen from ES. She's just too OTT for me. But that's just me, I know plenty of people who love Niki. And I LOVE ES. She is so phenomenal an actor!

Louise, love your observation of OLTL's DID rules! What bugs me is these women are supposed to be integrated, and thus the other personalities would not be coming out at stressful moments anymore as the host has become strong enough to handle current and past reality. So for Niki to come out now doesn't make any sense to me.

The thing that really bothers me about the lack of DID rules isn't just the Viki & Jessica are both supposed to be integrated and therefore the alters shouldn't be coming out at all. It's both women have gotten weaker over time. The alters were created by abuse and trauma. Annoying retcons aside, that works. But now all it takes to bring them out is a nasty fight with a fiance & sister or daughter? What's up with that?

I'll be so glad when this storyline wraps up. So much of the rest of the show is really good right now, especially EA's performance, and I'd much rather spend time on things that are working instead of the things that are a hopeless mess.

@LoriK, good point. That's why I think Niki coming out made no sense - Tess wasn't nearly as nasty this time as she was when she sent Viki into a heart attack.

As a newish fan of OLTL - and it's the best soap out there IMO - I don't mind seeing Vicki's alter. I started watching OLTL during Tess' last outing, and since I couldn't stand Gnat or Jared, it worked for me. Seeing "Niki" is a first time event for me, and I'm enjoying it. I think ES walks on water as it is, so to see her do something else is a treat.

But I agree that this should be a short-lived adventure too. The longer the alters are out on both of them, the more I fear we have to see Fudd the Dud. And that's just cruel to viewers.

Fudd is the Ryass Lavery of Pine Valley - and both of them should become immediate organ donors - although I don't know of any patients who are in desperate need of shaved and waxed transplants of anything.

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