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« I Am The World's Easiest Person. I...Probably Could Have Phrased That Better | Main | Shocker In Port Charles: Self Awareness! »

December 16, 2011

How to Celebrate Christmas, Manning-Style (or How Is This So Awesome?)

Well.

I don't think I can word it a new way, so I'll just quote myself (from Serial Drama's Facebook page). Friday's One Life to Live was "a jam-packed flashback-laden meta-soapy heartbreaking and fabulous smorgasbord of joy. Holy soaptasticness. I couldn't even snark on this if you paid me one bazillion dollars."

Of course let's not get crazy here. I could probably find something to complain about. I could whine that we're in the eleventh hour and they're finally really giving John and Téa some substantive scenes together, and this is a friendship and a potential pairing I really would have enjoyed seeing explored. I could whine that Natalie -- once again -- decided to act all dejected because she called John and he couldn't come over and talk to her immediately because he was doing something important. Natalie! He's the Chief of Detectives! Don't freakin' take it personally! Sheesh. I'm starting to question the point of all this because it looks a whole lot like she's looking for reasons not to be with him, so maybe she doesn't really love him that much at all. (Not that I think this is supposed to be the point, it's just... annoying.)

That said, Natalie was in some great scenes with Jessica in which she actually apologized to her sister for almost marrying Brody! We've got our Buke twins back! And then Nat had a great Christmas flashback to her first Christmas as a Buchanan.

Littlenatalie

She's such a baby. Love it! Even better, the flashback included little Starr.

Littlestarr

Well played, Afternoon Television Program.

Unfortunately, Natalie was still in that incredibly unflattering outfit from Thursday's episode.

Natalieoutfit

Make it stop!

Meanwhile, over at the Gannon-Buchanan apartment, poor Matthew complained about waking up from a coma to be told he's almost a father. He's being a brat, sure, but not only is it perfectly in character, it's perfectly understandable. To wake up and be told Destiny had decided she wasn't ready for parenthood and was going to terminate but was talked out of it by Nora? Ouch. And while Destiny had a few weeks to run around freaking out when she found out she was pregnant, Matthew is being expected to step up and embrace fatherhood immediately. In fact, in not having done so, Destiny has told him to never speak to her again. Poor kids. 

Things were far more celebratory over at La Boulaie -- of course, only in that landmine way that the Mannings do anything! First of all, Todd Manning smiled today. A lot. Kind of more than he typically has in a year of episodes.

Thatsmile

That man has got one hell of a smile. He's always at his happiest when he's successfully blackmailing his son into accepting him!

Smile2

Smile3

Smile4

All smiles, this guy!

And spectacularly, we got plenty of Todd-and-Sam time, which never fails to be the cutest ever. When he arrived, Sam ran up and latched onto Todd's legs and then Todd walked him across the room doing that adorable attached-foot-walk that people do with little kids.

Footwalk

Too much!

Toddsam

And they hugged and I melted.

Samtoddhug

Samtoddhug2

Seriously, this is so cute it might give me a hysterical pregnancy.

Samtodd

And he lifted him to put the star on top of the tree! This is just rude at this point. I'm childless on purpose, damn it, why are they making me feel all funny like this?!

Blairandherboy

Blair and her boy.

Samsweater

And how darling was that little doggie sweater Sam was wearing? Pretty damn darling, that's how darling.

As if that weren't enough, Jack awesomely brought up the Dead Baby Lie (as well he should!) and we got flashbacks!

Flashbackmannings

Todd and Blair circa 2001 with their famously matching hair!

Todd explained the Dead Baby Lie to Sam by explaining that he took something that belonged to someone else and that he still sometimes lies but is trying to do better. Why am I such a sucker that I fell for this as totally earnest even while he's got Tomas held captive somewhere and is covering his own ass to stay out of prison and win Blair back on false pretenses? Hook, line, and sinker. That's me.

And then we got yet another flashback, this time to the Christmas that Blair named Starr when she was still pregnant with her and thought Todd had been killed in Ireland. 

Blairnamesstarr

Oh, my heart.

And if that wasn't enough Manning messiness, Todd picked up his son the right way to get the family ready for a holiday photo.

Fatherandsonmanningstyle

And of course the photo itself, flawed and awesome as the Mannings themselves:

Manningfamilyphoto

Love. It. So. Much.

Now, all of this certainly would have been enough for me to be elated with the episode, but we also got some major movement on the Fraternity Row storyline. Roxy and her S.O.S. gang crashed David's appearance on the Blanca Morales show.

Roxyandcompany

They persuaded David to offer to take a role on Fraternity Row in an effort to save the show -- you know, the way Franco James saved Southwest General by starring as a psychotic puppeteer. You see, David's a mega-star right now due to his high-profile turn as the protagonist of the film The Boy with the Chipmunk Tattoo.

Chipmunktattooposter

Once again, OLTL art department, will you marry me?

And then of course it turns out Fraternity Row is filmed in the same studios as The Blanca Morales Show, so Roxy and David headed over and this is where my heart was really in my throat. The OLTL set doubled as the FR set, but they pulled back the shot so that we could actually see what's "behind the curtain" just outside the sets we see every day.

Fraternityrowset1

Outside Llanfair!

Alas, Roxy and David stumbled upon a custodian who told them the show had wrapped that day, had filmed its last scene. There's... something in my eye. And at the very end of the episode, Roxy fainted and then woke up to David-as-Derwood.

Derwood

Yikes! Nice 'stache.

So Roxy has woken up somehow inside of Fraternity Row.

Fraternityrow

I have a feeling Monday's episode is going to be a campy goldmine. 

Anyone else spend this episode in bittersweet 7th Heaven as much as I did?

Comments

I did a dance of joy today. I enjoyed everything. Even perpetually sour faced Tea. I am intrigued by the number of Tea and John scenes but I'm sure it's mainly because Tea doesn't have many people to interact with, what with her husband dead, her child perpetually missing, her brother kidnapped and her bestie off being enchanted by her ex-husband.

I loved the flashbacks. How can I not root for Todd and Blair if they're going to keep showing me the flashbacks? Can't Tomas just stay kidnapped? Can't Victor be found alive?

Happy endings for all, I say!! Ok maybe not the Tomas fans in my scenario.

Loved the Manning scenes today!!!! Total perfection and should have happened months ago.

Damn you RC for waiting this long!!!!!

Such perfection. I am a sucker for parallels and I totally flashbacked (in my head) to the Manning family photo in the early 2000s with Todd/Blair/Starr/Jack. Le sigh.

Today was perfect. So, so perfect.

The Manning Family Portrait of Zany Togetherness was awesome. The whole Manning Family Christmas was awesome. So, so, so, so...well, just so awesome.

Also, loved Bo throwing David under the bus on live tv.

Roxy waking up in Frat Row? I think I'm gonna love Monday and I haven't even been that big on this SL.

::happy sigh::

You said it right Louise - it is bittersweet to have these amazing episodes while knowing that the end is near.

Such a damn shame.

"Seriously, this is so cute it might give me a hysterical pregnancy."

Hilarious! I know my ovaries were jumping! Thanks OLTL for giving me some great Manning family moments and memories!

Finally! Finally someone somewhere agrees that this Tea and John business is intriguing and potentially awesome. I swear, even if it a rebound relationship for both of them before they commit their John/Natalie endgame, I'll be tickled.

Ron Carlivati linked this article on his twitter page. Way to go Louise! In addition, I am in complete agreement with this entire post. Can not wait until Monday!

The family Todd and Blair wanted so much - together at last. I am a happy girl :)

There's less than a month left and you actually think it's a good idea to showcase John/Tea instead of John/Natalie? I think we all know that John is the chief of detectives, but he ALSO just got his son back and still spends most of his time worrying about Tea's pregnancy gas. That's shitty storytelling with one month left to go.

But, you have Ron himself linking to your article where Natalie gets picked apart once again and you talk about how much she sucks and how ugly she looks, so I guess we know that Ron hates Jolie as much as you do.

Sorry to sound so butter, but I feel shitted on as a longtime viewer.

This episode sucked for me. Big time.

Thanks for nothing, Ron.

Gee, I wonder why OLTL was cancelled.

I meant to type "bitter" not "butter".

This show is OFF my dvr schedule. All the spoilers talk about is John/Tea.

Call me crazy, but I was actually looking to see John/Natalie/Liam.

I wonder how much you would like it, Lousie, if Tea was all up in your Manning scenes??

I HATED SEEING TODD WITH SAM ,HE MURDERED HIS FATHER ,I HOPE JACK BRINGS TODD DOWN.!

Oh,cool your jets a little, Meg. Wouldn't be a bit surprised if the Vicster isn't even dead, and even more don't believe for a sec that Todd killed him. Even if he did, Uncle Todd's relationship with the kid is so much cuter than anything that I ever saw with Vic.

Feel your pain, John and Nat fans. It's pretty much what Todd and Blair fans have been putting up with ever since Todd got back. Choosing Toemas over Todd? Right, Blair, we all know you love him sooo much more than Todd. She proved that in how quickly she went from grieving Tomas to figuring out that he must have been out to frame Todd and that's why he was in Todd's office. Hang in there. I'm betting you'll get your pair before we get ours.

Who could get mad at Ron Carlivati? I swear, he's as cute as Sam Manning all growed up. But as a John and Nat fan, I'm puzzled by the writing. Is Ron a sadist? He knows how we longed for the paternity reveal and hopefully a lovely heartfelt reunion for John and Nat. One where John actually spends some joyous time with that adorable Liam (talk about your hysterical pregnancy and ovary aching-that kid is so dmaned darling) and the girl he thought he had lost forever and was moving away to Seattle to get over. How depressing-Seattle and the show.

I am loving the heck out of Frat. Row. Now that's great comedy. But I feel sad now that we all know there are no "prospects in the park". The knowledge that PP puled out lessens my enjoyment.

But back to John and Natalie. I hate the way Nat has been written. She's the type to put on the big girl panties and get down to brass tacks. John is just clueless and the least romantic "hero" ever. In fact, he's kind of a creep. And the wardrobe department is clueless as to how to dress Natalie. Over and out-Ariel out.

MyName Is, I do want to point out that I've talked about Natalie being in an unflattering outfit, which I do about many characters. And I have specifically said it mystifies me because the woman is lightning-hot. And I am being critical of the way that the obvious impending Natalie/John reunion is being handled. I also said that I would have liked to see John/Tea explored -- meaning if the show hadn't been canceled and if it weren't so clear and urgent that John/Natalie should be together when the show airs its final episode. I think you and I might be in more agreement than you may think. It's not as if I'm getting what I want with my favorites right now, but I definitely wanted to talk about some scenes I really loved! (And I loved the Nat/Jess scenes.)

I love how some people, who I have never seen comment before, have realized that RC linked this article to his Twitter so now they are using the comment section to spew their dislike about what he wrote. FUNNY! Personally, I thought the show was freaking fantastic.

Well, we welcome all comments -- including vehement dissent! -- as long as they don't get personal. (But yeah, I think it's safe to assume RC isn't scrolling down to read comments for feedback, if that's what anyone is hoping!)

I do agree with Verona above that we will definitely be getting a John/Nat reunion. These are just frustrating stalling tactics right now.

Unlike Todd and Blair, for whom there is a secret that if and when it's revealed will blow any possible reunion sky-high, John and Natalie only need to both get over their pride and meet somewhere in the middle and they will get their happily-ever-after. I have zero doubts this will happen, and there's nothing else keeping them apart.

I think we're finally seeing the full scope of Ron Carlivati's writing genius when he's not being given "helpful suggestions" by network heads.

My heart hurts just thinking about the fact that this show will only be with us a few more weeks.

I don't know if I'd call it genius. Episodes like Fridays are rare. Most days I'm just bored and turn the show off half way. I don't care about Stagi or Noelle or Paris, TX. And the parts I liked best on Friday - the Manning family - are plagued by an impending implosion which was written to cater for the continuation of the show which is no longer occurring.

I've managed to compartmentalize and enjoy Friday's show and other episodes and moments in isolation, but it doesn't change that the show's been more miss than hit in the past few months and that we're likely ending the show with major cliffhangers for some important characters.

ITA LB. Some days have really awesome moments, like Friday's, and other days they don't, like with the stupid pie eating contest.

The fact of the matter is scenes like the ones with the Manning family together should have happened months ago, not when there is less than one month left.

I don't care if there were mandated cliffhangers, RC failed with these last few months.

I have to go off topic and ask this question. Didn't there use to be a recap of Y&R? I could have sworn I remember seeing it on here for a while.

Dawn, you're absolutely right, we used to cover Y&R here but none of us watch it these days! I'm definitely the wrong person to pick it up as I haven't been a regular viewer since the late 1980s, but I'll definitely ask Mallory if she's thinking of watching again anytime soon! I know she's watching DAYS again, so once she starts blogging that again, we've got everything but Y&R covered for now...

Yesterday was one of the rare days where I did not fast forward through a single scene. Loved the Manning Christmas and Fraternity Row scenes especially. When Destiny outed Matthew on TV and he threw the remote control up in the air I about spit my Coke out! For some reason, that really cracked me up. I adore Todd and Blair and I'm praying they get a happy ending. I'm really going to miss this show.

Sorry I can't enjoy the Manning family when Todd has basically destroyed other peoples lives mostly my Tea just to get his 5 minutes of happiness. I know Todd/Blair fans have been waiting for this I just think that it could have been done a different way to where everyone came out happy in the end. They've already said that since the PP isn't happening that OLTL will not be able to wrap up and there will be multiple open storylines when the show ends. {SIGH} I just wish that we had more time so that the ending could be written right!

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