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« Placing Blame and Self-Effacing Lies | Main | A New Approach (or For The Sake Of My Sanity) »

May 31, 2011

Families Worth Rooting For (And Others)

I'd say I don't care about Jessica anymore (especially in light of her alter's sudden "feelings" for Ford) but Viki and Clint's concern makes me care. They break my heart. Clint breaking while he told Joey to never be like him? Oh, Weezie's easily-won-over, forgiving heart (and for real, ask anyone, if you feel bad about something for about one-third of a second I'll pretty much forgive you for anything if I ever enjoyed you; it's... not a strength, probably). Jerry verDorn playing Clint's rejection of Rex as something closer to trying to "save" Rex from becoming just like him? Yep, I love me some Lord-Buchanans and all their many flaws and strengths and heinous crimes and acts of love. I'm easy. With them.

From the cold open I thought we were given the great gift of a Ford-free Tuesday, but alas, we got possibly the worst day yet of the Ford Redemption Tour 2011. We had Ford having flashbacks to when Tess was heartbreakingly carted off to the Funny Farm, where she belongs and where Jessica needs to be to get help and to be there for her (AND FORD'S) son. (Do people still call it the Funny Farm anymore? Let me get my spectacles and look it up on my mantle's dictionary -- it's right next to my gramophone.) Oh, my heart bleeds for Ford having to deal with the mother of his child actually getting treatment so she can be there for her infant. Because remember, Ford and Tess totally bonded. Their love is really one for the ages. It's so forbidden because it's between a whiny asshole sexual predator and a symptom of a mental disorder -- hot, forbidden love! I swoon. How romantic. My greatest fantasy.

And then Ford continued being our heroic champion by eavesdropping on Shane's conversation with his mother about his suicide attempt (in fairness, Shane was having this conversation in public) and then going over and telling Shane he knows just how he feels. Apparently Ford was awkward and gangly and poorly-dressed in high school and got mocked? Oh yeah, he's got all the classic symptoms of a high school misfit. SPARE ME. Whenever I hear his pathetic sob stories of his childhood, I can't help but think about how he ditched his helpless little brother in that situation and never looked back. So forgive me if I don't bleed sympathy upon hearing this brand new sniffly backstory.

And then... WAIT A MINUTE, HOLD THE PHONE.

Gigi: (to Ford) I still think what you did to Jessica last year was wrong, but I think Ryder's very lucky to have you as a Dad and I hope you get him back.

I don't know what the sweet fuck that sentence was about, or why Gigi thinks Ford is all of a sudden a super father and that Jessica shouldn't have custody of her son when she gets out of treatment, but I guess it's just another in a long line of characters to magically decide that all children should be handed over to child-whisperer Ford, Daddy of the Year. Honestly, at this point I'd appreciate it if they'd leave the "what you did to Jessica was wrong, but" business out of any Ford praise, because it's just lip service and it's insulting. If they're going to sink a character by making them do an about-face on this piece of boring crap, they should just embrace it completely so that I can choose to view the whole thing as some sort of absurdist exercise. 

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Can we talk about Shenell Edmonds? I've been critical of her over the years while always, always finding her lovable and I've thought she's improved a lot but today she just crushed me. When they wheeled Matthew out of surgery and she just broke completely, I wanted to give her a giant hug and a newborn puppy. And a menthol tear stick.

Was anyone else a little weirded out by Nate mentioning Natasha Richardson today? I actually really enjoy it when the soaps bring a little real-world pop culture into things, but it felt a little strange to actually bring a movie star's tragic and untimely death into it. I'm not saying I found it tasteless because I think it was intended reverently, but it was jarring.

I'm not going to say that I felt sorry for Nate today because I did not, but he didn't piss me off for once -- mostly because his guilt was entirely apropos. He should feel guilty right now as much as he had a right to be angry last week. I'm just... not interested. And Deanna's totally arbitrary presence in all of his scenes lately is only making things much, much worse. I know a lot of you will want to throw things at me for this, but I do feel bad for Lenny Platt because I think he's got slightly more going on than the other Ford portrayers but that he was just miserably, miserably miscast in a role that's been written as blandly as possible.

I don't even want to talk about this whole no-brain-activity thing with Matthew because I have elected to stay in denial until I have no choice anymore. And that's all I'm saying on that.

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Is anyone else starting to find Tom Degnan as Joey a little hot for the first time now that Joey's getting a bit of a backbone?

Just wondering.

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There's a viral video contest going on that's part of the campaign to save the soaps. I don't know anything about it nor do I have a whole heck of a lot of faith that there's anything to be done at this point, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth trying! I still have a sliver of naive, naive hope.

Comments

OK Louise you give Shenell her big hug and newborn puppy while I book her flight to Disney Land and have roomservice bring her up the biggest banana split she could possible eat. Her scene just broke my heart!

OK, I just have to say about Gigi: EXCUSE ME???? What about BRODY, the man who LOVED her and was willing to raise Shane as his own??!! WTF happened to her loyalty?? What was that shit she was spewing? Did we just get all new writers who aren't aware of the backstory here?

Shit!

P.S. Louise, Sony has expressed interest in picking up the soaps. If you haven't already, PLEASE write to Steve Mosko in LA. The more fans that do the more they'll listen - he actually ASKED for our letters!

I'm running out of words to describe my outrage re: Ford and the nonstop, blatant propping he's getting. I'm gonna have to learn another language.

Gigi definitely needs to STFU. If the Rapist Redemption Tour doesn't stop soon I'm not going to make it all the way to January with this show. I just can't deal with Rapemance II: Nasty Boogaloo.

And no Louise, you're not the only one with a fondness for Joey now that he has both a clue & a spine.

I can't help you with feeling bad for Old Man Nate though. I agree that the single biggest problem is that LP was terribly miscast, and yet I don't care. My reaction to everything he says is still, "Shut it, gramps!" (No, I never spoke to my actual grandpas that way.)

I will join you in the effort to take care of poor Destiny. Here girl, have anther hug and some therapeutic chocolate.

An interesting thought experiment: what would it have taken to give Ford a REAL redemption? Or at least not have us all hate him so much? I mean, stop beating us over the head with his propping, obviously, but what else? I could buy him changing because he's a father (though I still hope that little travesty gets reversed), but all this shit just doesn't work.

@Bourgeois Nerd: For me the bare minimum would be that he'd have to admit how he has repeatedly abused Jessica. He'd have to admit, out loud, that what he did on prom night was rape. Not that he took advantage of her, but that he raped her. He'd also have to admit that he's been keeping MYSON's mother trapped in her own mind for months in order to further his own selfish crap---and that that's abuse too.

Then he'd have to find some other woman to hook up with or take a vow of celibacy or something because there is no way in hell that yet another rapemance is ever going to be OK with me.

At this point, I don't think anything will redeem Ford for me. Ever. But it would have been nice if they acknowledged what he did truthfully and stopped with this belief that Jessica is too boring to live and that makes it okay to entrap her in her own mind and let these fragments of personality run rampant while NO ONE DOES ANYTHING.

Oh Louise... I was so hoping for post about Blair's slammin' bod and her and Tomas on Friday along with "Todd's" continual cock-blocking and even a 'okay what was that' in regards to Howarth's broken Todd trying to hold onto whatever remnants of his life he could after being electrocuted like Frankenstein's monster.

This Ford shit? Is going to drive me away from a show I want to stick to until the end. It's THAT bad.

LoriK, don't worry, it's not Nate I feel for. Just the actor for being miscast in such a poorly-written role.

I hate to say it but I just don't think the actor playing Ford has anything exciting enough going on that he's worth redeeming, or going "gray area" for, so I think it'd be virtually impossible. That said, I don't think admitting he raped Jess would do much since I don't personally think it was rape, and considering Jess didn't think so either, it's a tough one to ask him to admit. I do think it would help if he admitted he violated her very seriously, not only with the initial sex act, but then by driving her further into mental illness and depriving her of the first couple months of her new child's life. She and her child won't ever get that time back, and while her initial break had nothing to do with Ford, she would have gotten help immediately if it weren't for him. So.... long-winded style, I guess I'm just saying he'd need to do something selfless for Jessica and admit that what he's been doing is extremely damaging to his own son.

But really? Six and a half months with that actor? I don't think it can be done in that time with those resources.

"That said, I don't think admitting he raped Jess would do much since I don't personally think it was rape, and considering Jess didn't think so either, it's a tough one to ask him to admit."

The state of Pennsylvania thinks that what Ford did, having sex with someone who was seriously mentally ill, qualifies as rape. I'm inclined to go with that over the poorly-written crap they've given Jessica to say about it.

That's just me.

LoriK, just to clarify my thinking: it's not illegal in PA to have sex with an amnesiac (it would be if it involved deceit, though -- like in Todd's very clear re-rape of Marty), so it's murky because neither the state of PA nor Jessica's family nor Jessica's doctors considered her seriously mentally ill, and so it would be near impossible to legally prove that it was rape.

I don't have a problem with anyone calling it rape because there's a fuzzy line and his act lives on that line, so I'm not correcting anyone here, mind you. Just saying why I'm fine with anyone saying it wasn't rape, and fine with anyone saying it was rape. For me, it was a revolting sexual violation, which is horrific enough. They'd probably have a case against him (should anyone actually give a crap), and they'd probably lose. But I totally respect the opinion of anyone who considers it a clear-cut case of rape, and I certainly don't mean to suggest otherwise by tossing my opinion out there!

Unlike the Todd/Marty thing, which was abundantly clear with not a single gray area or murky element. And somehow got tossed out of court in a heartbeat. (Yes, I'm still bitter.)

What would BobbyFord need to do in order *really* to be redeemed? For starters, he'd have to start acting like someone who has grown and matured. For all of the propping up the writers are attempting to do by having various characters *talk* about how much he's changed, his current behavior shows he hasn't. You don't even have to go back to the Jessica-rape-or-not (although yes, that would eventually have to be resolved) because he isn't even behaving like a decent guy in the *here and now*. Until his walk matches the other characters' talk, any real redemption isn't possible.

I think Carlivati et al. don't really buy any of it themselves. I suspect (without a shred of proof) that they were forced into this redemption thing by Frons because the actor has such a following, and this is their half-hearted attempt to comply. They know it's lame, and it comes off lame, and they're stuck with it.

Re: the Natasha Richardson mention, I remember she died shortly before Blair fell out the window. Dorian was explaining at the hospital about the trauma to Blair's head/brain, the swelling and all, and I was jarred because it was what happened to Richardson. They didn't name-check her then, I'm sure that had all already been filmed given how far ahead OLTL works, but it's interesting that the show mentions her now during another head injury plot.

"I'd say I don't care about Jessica anymore (especially in light of her alter's sudden "feelings" for Ford) but Viki and Clint's concern makes me care. They break my heart. "

Viki and Clint's concern just reminds me of how OLTL has destroyed any credibility they ever had as parents. It's boring soap to have good parents, but OLTL still managed with Clint and Viki until the last 5-6 years. They are absolutely terrible parents and it makes me resent them that the show never addresses this, aside from the months Clint became Alan Spaulding. I don't think anything can top Viki going away for months and months right after Nash dying and Jessica was clearly in distress (breaking mirrors and listening to loud rock - not exactly Jess behavior). But having Clint and Viki allow Jessica to go to high school and chase after Cris may come close...especially since this is what led to Jessica being raped. Then again, OLTL told us that wasn't rape, it was love. So I guess they're good parents after all!

"This Ford shit? Is going to drive me away from a show I want to stick to until the end. It's THAT bad."

Thank you Dandesun. This sums it up for me. I barely ever view OLTL these days because of all things Ford. These characters are a blight on the current OLTL canvas. I think more so than Aubrey and Cutter (because I like those actors better and they are on less than Ford.) Robert Ford is played by an actor that is not very talented and the character is maddening in his destructive behavior. I liked Ford when he was introduced as a regular character and being promiscuous but what he has done to Jessica just pushed him past any point of return for me. This is NOT Todd Manning and this is NOT Roger Howarth. Todd's redemption was not this forced but rather gradual and not complete. Now, OLTL wants the audience to completely buy this "Ford has changed for the better" bullshit.

I do not give Ron Carlivati a pass on this because of Fron's interference. I doubt Frons was as concerned about OLTL as he was with AMC and GH. Those shows do not have an obsession with scantily-clad men like OLTL does. I think Carlivati is a bad writer. I think Valentini is a bad show runner. At least, Dena Higley masterfully introduced Tess and Nash. Higley is awful on DAYS but Carlivati has botched not once but twice in Jess' DID, even creating Bess and Wes. i struggle to think of one successful story Carlivati has written in his run. I will admit, Carlivati and company write (mainly) very smart, witty dialogue day-to-day and the acting is tops making the show often the most interesting soap on air but stories are terrible. For example, Marty's insanity has been entertaining to watch but hurt by the destruction of a legacy character Did she have to attempt to kill Natalie, Kelly and actually kill her therapist? I am there's no coming back for the character. Why so extreme and final?

I am really quite sickened and sort of hoping for a mercy killing of OLTL at this juncture. Sorry.

Plus, Robin Strasser is out this summer.

Oops. Should have edited my work :-) Sorry y'all.

Ford worked better as a sleazy sleaze bag who picked up barely legal teen girls.

So I guess today wouldn't be a day for me to watch.

Gigi propping Ford is disgusting considering she's basically saying she doesn't care that Viki, her friend, won't get her daughter and grandson back, and that Brody, the amazing standup guy who would have been Shane's father, wouldn't have his girlfriend/fiance/whatever and son he thought was his for 9 months.

For Ford to be redeemed, he would have to apologize to the Buchanans for taking advantage of Tess's mental illness so that he could plunder Jessica's trust fund/ bond with his baby. Then he would have to actively assist in helping Jessica recover, doing everything he could to help her integrate. He would be far more sympathetic if the rest of Llanview still hated him. Todd's redemption worked because nobody but Vicki cut him any slack. He and Blair were the Most Pathetic club because everyone else in town despised them. I felt sympathy because I could see Todd changing and not being given any credit for it by the good citizens of Llanview. Instead Robert Ford is getting the Sonny Corinthos/Ryan Lavery treatment where he is just deemed a good man and propped by the other characters, even though his actions are despicable.

I've solved the Ford problem (and it is a big nasty stinky show killing one IMO)...I simply DVR the show and FF through ALL things Ford....and I really don't notice the difference except the show is much shorter. In my world..there are no Fords...and Jessica, well I have to FF BW's horrific "Tessing" & "Bessing" and "Wessing". UGH.

The only things I care about at this point are the vets... Viki, Clint, Dorian (in a loud voice "OMG!! She's leaving early??? NOoooooooo!!!")Bo & Nora, Blair, Nat, even Brody. Usually FF anything with TSJ/Todd but I'm curious where they are going with Todd vs Todd.

I agree Louise..Destiny broke my heart....I still can't believe they are gonna kill Matthew. I refuse to think they are really that dog stupid. *sigh*

And yes TD/Joey is actually kinda cool...and yes,hot!

I've watched this show since its first days and ...OMG...it is a mere shadow of what it once was. (FU ABCD/Frons. Just FU.)

All Fords need to be gone. Off my screen. Permanently! They are just rage inducing pointless and offensive wastes of space!

And really, who on earth could love the vapid termagant psycho that Tess is? She's tried to murder her sister, was in on the kidnapping of her cousin, was so negligent that she got an infant killed and -- oh yeah -- doesn't even exist! She's nothing but SEVERE MENTAL ILLNESS ON PARADE. Yet they want to sell that the youngest rapist in town is in 'wuv' with trashy dressing, annoying mental illness.

Well, why not, they're apparently trying to sell this serial sexual predator as a whine Jesus. What next? He raises people from the dead? He walks on water? He waves a magic wand and everyone forgets that he's a user, a predator, and a rapist because he's now officially the bestest dad in the whole wide world for knocking up a mentl patient?

Why, show? Why must you inflict this rage inducing horrifying story that hates women on your audience for a slack-jawed, whiny man-boy who shouldn't even be on the show by now.

And don't get me on the other Ford killing Matthew. Why on earth are these hateful characters being propped by this show?!

--Instead Robert Ford is getting the Sonny Corinthos/Ryan Lavery treatment where he is just deemed a good man and propped by the other characters, even though his actions are despicable.--

I thought the same thing when I saw those terrible scenes yesterday with Fudd and Shane and Fudd and Gigi. I don't watch GH, but Ryass on AMC has done little good, but has been abundantly praised and propped constantly. Both characters are played by actors with minimal talent, but apparently are liked by TIIC enough to continue to force them down our throats to the detriment of the show. And that goes for Gigi too. IMO she's a poorly drawn character played by a, at best, limited actress.

BUT - as somone who only watched AMC until several years ago when I started watching OLTL, I still value this show highly, due to the stable of very fine actors, and veteran characters they have. I don't agree that the storylines are uniformly terrible at all. If I felt that way, I wouldn't want to see this show every day, warts, Fudds and all.

I'll be very unhappy if Robert Fudd isn't deposed as Ryder's father, and Brody reinstated, and I'll hate it if Jessica's endgame is with this despicable user. But Carlivati has captivated me, nonetheless, with, his characters and his stories, and when OLTL shows its last episode, I'll mourn its passing. Unlike with AMC, which has done nothing but denude itself of most of its best actors, dump its veteran characters, and produced some of the most simultaneously boring and infuriating storylines in its past few years.

Even with OLTL's serious missteps, it is too good to lose.

I thank God someone pointed me to this site because I've been watching the non-stop Ford propping and wondering if I was the only one who despised this dreck. Keep up the astute analysis Louise, Mallory and Becca. BTW, I am writing this from my hospital bed. I did the Ford Bros drinking game (a shot everytime one of them appears shirtless), and I am now waiting for my new liver transplant.

^^hilarious. Keep it coming RR61.

--I thank God someone pointed me to this site because I've been watching the non-stop Ford propping and wondering if I was the only one who despised this dreck. Keep up the astute analysis Louise, Mallory and Becca. BTW, I am writing this from my hospital bed. I did the Ford Bros drinking game (a shot everytime one of them appears shirtless), and I am now waiting for my new liver transplant.--

Hey, RR61! Stick around, it looks like Llanview might have a few possible donors coming up soon!

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