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« A Ghostly (?) Visit I'm Not Even A Little Conflicted About | Main | Words Of Wisdom From a Pocket-Sized Doormat »

June 07, 2011

Reunion Time, In Brief

So they found Liam. Or sorry, John found Liam, because he is King of Heroes. All of it very anti-climactic. And really, most of it about John. John looking longingly at Liam as Brody reunited with him. John looking sad when Brody thanked him for finding his "son." Characters elsewhere blathering about John and how John is really Liam's father and how Marty somehow thinks telling John that would absolve her of all the murdering and attempted-murdering.

Somehow this:

Fambly[1]

...is worth less than lame-ass broody sour-faced John McBain. I just can't get how a John-and-Natalie reunion is the root-for scenario here, especially because it's been telegraphed from miles away that Liam's paternity will be the game-changer that leads them back together and, yes, that still drives me nuts since it changes absolutely nothing about why they broke up. But I'm a broken record with this one so I might as well just give up. The kiss was cute, anyway.

Divider

I don't know who he is, but this kid playing Brad absolutely cracks me up every time.

Funnykid[1] 

I don't know what it is about him. Maybe it's because he's so miserably miscast for a bully (not just because he's so much shorter than Shane, but also because my quick read on him would be that he's a "class clown" type), and maybe it's because of that hilarious shit-eating grin he gets every time he and Jack are being all evil. I mean I know we're supposed to hate him because he's just a one-dimensional bad guy , but I have to say I'm giddy every time he shows up. (I think, perhaps, that giddiness and laughter are not the hoped-for reactions to this storyline. Oopsie!)

Divider

I... don't think I understand Marty's departure. If that was in fact her final departure, which I think it was. I thought for sure she would have at least one overlapping scene with Roger Howarth's Todd before leaving. I thought we'd get some further information about her breakdown, or that she'd turn out not to be Dr. Buhari's killer, or that the conspirators who are holding Patrick were drugging her or... who knows. I don't even understand what she's going off to do now, hang out in a cell forever with a mute Patrick? What exactly is the plan? (Seriously, they may have explained this but I definitely didn't catch it.) I'm not going to get too worked up that she departed unpunished, as characters on this show have gotten away with worse crimes pretty routinely, but it all just seemed so hastily written to me. "Hey Patrick, long time no see, I'm done with my killing spree!"

I do know that her final scenes with TSJTodd continued to be chilling, with his baby-talking her and pretending to be letting her go because he owes her, and (especially) talking about when "he" gang raped her with an actual nostalgic glint and smile as if he were talking about his rebellious youth when he stood her up for the prom or something. It was sickening and fascinating to watch, so kudos to both Trevor St. John and Susan Haskell for it. And kudos in general to Susan Haskell for everything, really. For always being a pro and for being incredibly talented and pouring herself into what was often a thankless and embarrassing role over the years. For me, her departure is a tremendous loss for the show, despite how her talent was often squandered. I hope to see her work elsewhere sooner rather than later.

And one more thing.

Rhtodd[1] 

That's right, baby! RHTodd is finally back in Llanview!!

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In super-unsurprising casting news, Tom Degnan (Joey) and Gina Tognoni (Kelly) will be leaving the show this summer. I'm not devastatingly broken-hearted or anything, but as these two are part of legacy families I'd rather they stuck around for the ending. I'm waiting patiently for the dead-weight departure announcements (aka Fords).

Destiny out.

Comments

When they officially announce a Ford/Salinger departure I will be THRILLED. I may very well squee out loud at my desk at work I'll be so freaking happy about it.

Tomas holding the baby was eye-candy.

Jack may be a douche but he's a douche I care about because he's Blair's only surviving son that she actually gave birth to. This bully story peaked at the rooftop scenes and now are spiralling down into a wretched, horrible mess. I knew from the start that Ron and his crew would screw it up and I see they are living down to my horrible expectations.

Ugh.

Marty and Patrick are going to Paris to live under assumed identities or something. You know, I thought everyone would be happy with her getting a happy ending, but, no, everyone's still all pissy. Really, OLTL fans seem to be some of the most whiny bunch. We've gotten awesome soap for months, and all I keep reading is how RC sucks and this character and that character are getting "thrown under the bus" and I'm sick of it!

Dandesun, absolutely, Tomas with that adorable baby was a sight to behold.

Bourgeois Nerd, but isn't Patrick being held captive? But now he's being released? I'm so confused.
We're a whiny bunch indeed. But I'm finding the vast, vast majority of the show pretty engaging right now. Obviously minus Ford/Tess and the drive back to John/Nat. Oh and the Rick The Porn Guy stuff, but that takes all of 45 seconds a week, so that's one of those things that it takes more time to complain about than actually watch (which I just did, oopsie!). I just want to get back to Matthew and his family, pronto!

Well, I'm loving the show - and the parts I can't stand, which is pretty much any and all things Fudd, I FF through. I stood by AMC for years after it became unwatchable, and OLTL has NEVER been that for me since I started watching. There are some bad actors on the show, some horribly uninteresting characters, but I'm entertained almost every day by a stable of very talented people playing characters I'm interested in.
Perhaps I'd be unhappy about what happened to Marty if I was a long-time viewer, but as someone who has only known the character since Susan Haskell resumed the role, I've instead just enjoyed the hell out of her talent. Same with TSJ - he's completely creepy and utterly unrootable, but he's intriguing to watch. And I'm feeling the same way about RH. And then there's the heartrending Matthew story, the marvelous Vicki and Dorian, Roxie, Clint, Bo and Nora, and on and on. I couldn't come up with a list one third that long about AMC anymore. All that is keeping me watching now are the returning characters, not the ones currently on canvas.

And it makes me very, very sad to think that Brody is going to get the shaft. I love that character. And frankly, at this point, I don't think either of Vicki's daughters are worth the effort, so it's fitting that McPain ends up with the loudest of the two.

I love this show.

Tomas's "art dealer" friend called in a favor to get Patrick released.

I apologize to my fellow OLTL commenters for my intemperant remarks. I especially apologize to you, Dandesun, because my comment upon reflection seems like it was directed at you specifically, when it was elicited by another site entirely. (Though I do disagree with you about the bullying story. The roof was undoubtedly the high-water mark, but I'm still liking it, especially now that Shane's fighting back.) I just get frustrated when I see a show doing well get shat on.

I'm with you, Louise: the only thing I honestly hate is Ford/Tess; everything else is either irrelevant enough to ignore or being awesome. I've not even been minding John! And while I don't want Matthew to die (and I still don't think he will), the story has been riveting, and that's what I ask for in a soap.

That picture of Natalie, Brody, and super adorable Liam (he looks so happy!) is so cute. I totally agree that I don't understand how anyone can look at that little family unit and want to swap in McBain.

Does Kelly and Joey leaving mean we'll soon be rid of Aubrey and Cutter as well?

How come Joey and Kelly are leaving the show before Aubrey and Cutter? WTH?!?!?

BN, I've got thicker skin than that. :) No worries. I would say that Shane fighting back is the only thing about the bully story right now that I actually like. Everything else though I take issue with. But I'm one of the few who actually still gives a crap about Jack. So many are like 'poorly acted douchebag! FLUSH!' but it's a similar situation I have with other characters that matter to me that have been treated rather poorly...

Jessica, for example, is a character that matters to me but others and, most especially, the show-runners seem to have little use for her as a character in her own right and would rather play up her mental illness to show how 'exciting' other aspects of her are... without actually writing the other aspects to strengthen her.

Marty was pretty much wasted since the Rapemance. I've never much cared for Marty in ANY incarnation but I do think SH is a hell of an actress and is the only thing that made the Marty goes MAD enjoyable. That being said, her exit is bizarre but I'd rather she go out like this than shot down from a belltower or something.

Sarah Roberts got recasted rather poorly a few too many times. She did, in fact, matter to the history of the show and the canvas and yet no one seemed able to figure out how to write for her in any way that was enjoyable for more than a week. (That's kind of ancient history at this point but it still kind of annoys.)

Meanwhile, the likes of the various Fords or John McBain or Rex Balson or Jenn Rappaport are put to the forefront as these VITALLY IMPORTANT CHARACTERS.

Well... that was a vent, wasn't it? For me, the Ford/Tess crap really taints SO MUCH of the show that I have difficulty getting past it. Given that it seems to be a set up that Ron REALLY REALLY craves writing, I find it even more troublesome.

It's a very bad smell infecting a significant portion of the show. But that's my whinge and that's how it be.

I agree with you on all points Dandesun except caring about NuJack. Just awful and I think the actor has actually gotten worse since we last saw him. I will only care about him if cast with a decent actor.

Also, I have loved OLTL for 20 years and very willing to be critical of it and do not consider it whining for not settling. RC is vastly overrated. Currently, likable characters are being sacrificed for newer, unknowable characters and the cast is bloated. I do think the day-to-day dialogue is mostly exceptional nut long-term story is poorly executed.

What Soapbaby said about the difference between whining and not being willing to settle. I've watched OLTL for a lot of years. I want to see it end well and IMO they're not headed in that direction.

There's still 7 months to go, so I don't need for every story for every character to be tied up neatly now. I do need RC to stop destroying vets and legacy characters and rootable characters, especially in service to the Fords.

About the original topic of Louise's post: I know that there are plenty of people out there who are just dying for John & Natalie to get back together, but I agree with Louise about not getting it at all, for all the reasons that Louise has stated many times. They're one of those pairings that I think makes both characters significantly worse than the otherwise are.

RC is, as they say, lucky in his "enemies." It isn't saying as much these days to be called the "best writer in daytime" than it might once have done. But he seems to be one of the only ones who even TRIES to do core, classic soap with interweaving and interconnecting storylines, a variety of different tones and styles, and use of characters of all ages. Despite what she's been tweeting Robin Strasser has been very fortunate she's on OLTL under RC and FV than if she'd been on most other soaps, especially the other ABC ones. And until he invariably gets the rug pulled out from under him by the network, he also tries to do diversity and socially relevant stories.

This isn't to say that he doesn't have his weak points. I'm not quite enough of a fanboy for that. For one, I think his pacing can be off. In some ways, I think he's TOO old-school soap. You can't drag things out the way they used to do; attention spans have changed, and I think he sometimes is a bit too lackadaisical (which is what ultimately made the clusterfuck of Andrea Evans' return, I still believe). Also, I hate the way he writes Todd (too romantic) and Jess (too weak).

Dandesun, I actually care about Jack, too. Heck, I even don't mind the actor. Sure, he sucks, but so do most teen actors. It takes time before one can definitely say if they're going to become good or not. But I guess I'M in the minority for thinking that the Jack now is a totally logical progression of the Jack Carmen LoPorta played. With a father like Todd, with a good, but indulgent, mother like Blair, smart-ass, bratty Jack turning into a bully seems totally fitting.

OLTL has so many stories going on that it is hard some times to give them all equal time.

Langston/Markko rode off to CA. Charlie went off to rebuild a diner in Texas. Marty went thought Patrick died 6 or 7 seven years ago and now realizes that it was all a lie. She is going to have to live with all of the things that she did over the last ten months!

The Messica's and Fxxx's get on my nerves and I will be glad when Jessica comes back.

Brody is one heck of "wee pocket soldier" and I hate that he's getting the shaft because of McBore and Fxxx.

I FLOVE Brody! Brody is a perfect example of what is wrong with OLTL. Brody is written as being the most honorable character in Llanview, loving and protecting Jessica, Natalie, Liam, Ryder and Bree. The relationship with Natalie has grown as he has formed this family unit with her and Liam. All the while, caring for Jessica and her children, being the only person in town not being okay with Tess running around town marrying any ole' swindler/rapist and risking her own (and children's) safety. Completely honorable. Yet, Brody will undoubtedly be written off the show having been turned into a completely undesirable/OOC character, both childless and loveless. Just like Schuyler and Marty before. Meanwhile, John and Ford will get happy endings with the families they decide they want after initially deserting them. WTF?! Brody's character arc captures all that's wrong on OLTL right now. The likeable, mainly characters get shitted on. Somehow Brody is considered undesirable to the writers but somehow Robert Ford is. Come on, there's just no balance to the show with the vile and despicable coming out on top and the loyal and rootable are thrown under the bus. Also, there are too many stories/characters being juggled.

Another thought occurred to me when watching today's episode: Cutter Wentworth is essentially David Vickers. Grifter, self-absorbed, handsome, never-dressed with a witty quip all of the time. Seeing Cutter in the Buchanan mansion made me make the connection.

I don't think it's a stretch for Jack to become a bully. Starr certainly flexed her muscle back in the day although tables were turned and she wound up the victim of bullying more often than not.

Jack going from a kid trying to save Santa's life in December to a kid not caring about his victim trying to commit suicide five months later is a bit jarring. But even worse than that, to me, is that Jack has no style. He was a clever, quick witted little dude and has suddenly become... well, a moron.

Part of that could easily be on the actor who only sporadically shows improvement when he's with a real pro but the bulk of it seems to rest on 'Jack is a bad bullying sociopath.'

Plus they've never explained WHY he's gone down this route. When Starr was raising hell it was because of various things going on with her parents. Well, Todd and Blair were both in pretty good places when Jack's cyber-bullying started. I know that many are fine with 'Well, he's Todd and Blair's kid that's all the reason he needs to be a bully...'

That's not good enough for me. At their worst, Todd AND Blair had clear reasons for what drove their behavior. Jack doesn't and if they're trying to do a replay of Todd at his worst... well, I can't say that there's time for a trial, mistrial and jailtime before redemption sets in.

Based on the promo things are about to get way uglier and that concerns me, too. Where does this wind up? I've said it before, Ron sucks at aftermath and this is a good example of it.

I remain concerned. Deeply concerned.

BN, ITA that this Jack is a natural progression of CPL's Jack, just sped up a few years. CPL's Jack blackmailed people, had disregard for women, didn't listen to his parents, etc. He wasn't reined in by Blair and Todd and he learned that he could do what he wanted from that and seeing his dad not get in trouble for anything he does. CPL's Jack probably would have taken a few more years to do something like this, but I totally think he would have if he remained on the show and it continued for a few years.

And ITA about everyone with Brody. He is my favorite character on the show right now, who is trying to do right by everyone, and he's obviously going to get the shaft. This perfect Navy veteran who already suffered a mental break is going to suffer another one just to prop Ford and John. I bet you that Brody will kidnap both Liam and Ryder and Ford and John will team up together to rescue their sons. John will have to kill Brody and then Natalie and Jess will be ever so thankful to John and Ford and be a family with both of them. It's completely disgusting.

As for the RH stuff, there's a lot of good stuff coming up. Has anyone seen the picture of him and Sam??? It's adorable.

I'm not going to worry about Brody until they actually throw him off a cliff. They've had the chance to do so many, many times, yet they've never done it. Instead, he's been treated as an honorable, stand-up guy.

I think we'll get more into Jack's head once this "tragedy" occurs. Also, they sort of have to resolve the whole thing with his father first (ie just who the hell he is). And I actually kind of like that he still doesn't get it. Shane's attempted suicide turning him all mushy and reformed and everyone learning a Valuable Lesson would have been just too Very Special Episode of Blossom.

Soapbaby: Cutter definitely is in the mold of David. Hey, maybe Cutter is HIS son!

I would have hoped that the writers' would have delved into Jack's psyche upon his learning that Shane attempted suicide! I really don't think the writers know where the story is going until they start taping. I think the bullying s/l is hindered by the fact that Jack's point of view has never been explained. Right now, it feels one-dimensional. Character's suffer from a bloated canvas where character motivations are not revealed to the audience. The number of characters we see without any clear motivation/development makes it feel like a waste of time. What makes Jack not care at all about Shane nearly committing suicide? How did Cutter and Aubrey connect and what motivated them to be grifters? Since I don't know, I don't care.

@Andrea: Oh GOD, don't give the writers any ideas! That would be too horrible a storyline for Brody!

I just want Brody to be happy - why is that too much to ask, Show?

Also, RH and Sam? Why? RHTodd isn't Sam's father. TSJTodd is. Sam may not be a Manning at all!

I also am liking the bullying story now that Shane is standing up for himself, but I find the pacing ridiculous. One day he's still bummed about it all, then Ford talks to him about going to the gym, he goes once and suddenly he's Mr. Confidence? This show either drags things out forever ("My name is Todd. I have a daughter.") or goes at breakneck speed with no explanation. It irritates the crap out of me because they have such good actors and they could do SO MUCH MORE!!!

Also also, Cutter is a lot like David Vickers would be, if David had a brain. That's the thing I like about Cutter - he's a smart con man. Also pretty.

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