Privacy Variations in Fake Pennsylvania
It took me longer than usual to finish up the week's episodes of One Life to Live, in part because I was binging on The Bold and the Beautiful, and in part because, well, it's baseball season. Weekends get crazy when the boys are in town. Friday's OLTL didn't exactly move any stories forward at breakneck speed, but it did finally give us some movement on the Blair/Tomas connection. Each of them being one step ahead of the other was refreshing to say the least, and not just a little hot. They've made us all out to be fools in this scenario so many times before, though, that it's hard to hold out any hope that Tomas won't turn out evil. Extra evil. Uber evil. The evilest kind of evil. And really, John McBain thinks Tomas isn't to be trusted and, sadly, that's generally code for "he should therefore not be trusted since McBain is all-knowing. He has hunches!"
I'm pretty sure the big Friday cliffhanger moment was supposed to be Todd waking up from his wonderful and welcome coma, but to me, that was the dullest and most disappointing scene of the episode. I'm also a little sick of people waking up from comas on soap operas with zero confusion and always with some threat or smart-ass remark. I get that we're all supposed to chuckle and go, "Oh, that Todd, he's just incorrigible!" but mostly I get a bad taste in my mouth and get a little eye-rolly. Clint on a bad day is worlds more entertaining than Todd, but I found it just as annoying when Clint did the same thing (last week?).
A welcome addition to Llanview lately is Dr. Buhari (Tamela Aldridge), who is a therapist who -- for once on a soap -- is actually trying to stop her patient from continuing to do immoral and ridiculous things (in this case, she's trying to get Marty to come clean about switching Liam's paternity results). I'm skeptical about how much Marty insists Dr. Buhari really has her hands tied here because of being court-appointed, though. Wouldn't the doctor have the authority to send Marty back to St. Anne's, considering she's so clearly still off her rocker? Although I ask you, when she is capable of looking this hot:
...why have they tried to go all flowy Earth Mother with Marty over the last couple of years? And for god's sake WHY WASTE IT ON JOHN MCBAIN?! This is basically the main situation on the show where I cannot suspend my disbelief: three beautiful and seemingly intelligent women (Natalie, Marty, and Kelly) are all after John McBain. To the point that they have compromised any progress they have made as human beings and broken laws and... well, I'm of course only referring to Natalie and Marty. Kelly's probably behaving better than usual when it comes to men, but there's really nowhere to go but up after you've schtupped your stepson and gotten knocked up. Or kidnapped someone else's kid to pass it off as your own just to hold onto some guy.
And speaking of Dr. Buhari's patients and the various privacy rules regarding her treatment, I so want to shake Gigi and Rex and explain that there's nothing right about stealing a recording of your son's therapy session and convincing yourself it's to make sure he's not planning to try to kill himself. Sweet, naive Rex and Gigi: that actually isn't confidential. If a patient is planning to hurt himself or someone else, that's precisely when the confidentiality laws can be bypassed. So in fact, all you're doing is invading his privacy in a pretty despicable way. But no worries! Natalie has a brilliant idea for how they can circumvent this violation: Gigi and Rex won't listen to the tape. She will. I mean, what could be wrong about that? He's no longer having his privacy violated by his mother and father, he's having it invaded by his aunt! No biggie! I'm sure he doesn't mind his Aunt Natalie knowing all of his personal information; he probably just forgot to tell her his deepest, darkest most humiliating secrets. I realize this is all just a contrivance to put Natalie in the position of hearing Marty confess to switching Liam's paternity test, but can't they have her accidentally stumble across that information in a manner that isn't illegal and immoral?
While we're on the subject of privacy, across town in the snooze-a-rama known as the Deanna/James/Starr storyline, the writers deserve some sort of medal. For once, a soap that employed the standard cliche of someone just walking into a room and seeing something they shouldn't see that "isn't what it looks like!" actually bothered to explain why a door was not only unlocked but completely wide open:
It's because Deanna burned the Pop-tarts! They were airing out the room! (Beyond that, there's nothing to say. The scene went: "Bus blah blah," "Overnight," "Ohio," "breakup," "bus," "family," "back together," "Llanview," "bus," and then a few more blah blah blahs. Harold Pinter could have written the scene and with those three characters there still wouldn't have been any subtext, so I guess the good news is you really don't have to watch very closely.) Thanks, writers, for actually trying to justify a standard soap trope!
So yeah, did you guys know that an ABC daytime soap opera had a special episode last week showcasing a six-time Emmy award winner? It did. Hard for anyone who turned on ABC last week not to know about it. Except, it wasn't just one show. Glurg.