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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 am with you Alley, I did not fast-forward one moment of Friday's show and mostly enjoyed it. Well, the Buch Twins left me kinda flat and both outfits were beyond hideous! What's up with wardrobe hating these women? Jessica bothered me in those scenes. To be honest, I cannot remember the last time I liked the character so it could be part of my bias but she just seemed insincere. IDK.

I see no chemistry between Natalie and John or any other man has been romantically paired with. She always seemed to have more chemistry with guys she's not paired with (post-prison Cristian, Michael McBain as played by Nathaniel Marston, pre-ONS Brody.)

John and Tea could have potential but oh well...the show's almost over and I am still holding out for Victor's return!

Matthew is behaving completely normally in an abnormal situation. I love the Gannon-Buchanans.

The Mannings were everything! The chemistry between KDP and RH is palpable. There family looks so perfect. I am okay with Jack bringing up the fact Todd SOLD him as a baby. If that was played up more to explain Jack's behavior it would go a long way in fleshing the character out. Sam is the cutest kid ever and I wish we got more of him!

I just love all things Fraternity Row! Ilene Kristen and Tuc Watkins are MVPs!!! I cannot wait for Monday.

I can't wait for Monday either, Louise. It's going to be like "Delirious", only fab, not sucky.

I think differing opinions are great - but I'm not fine with anyone coming here and dumping on Louise or any of the other columnists. It's not necessary, and it's not the kind of site for things like that. And, the Serial Drama columnists are pretty darn smart, awesomely funny and obviously love these shows. Snark, fine, snottiness, not so much.

I keep in mind that when the scenes we're seeing were written and produced, the expectation was that OLTL was going to continue online. And it was only after the show wrapped up that they - and us - were told that wasn't going to happen. Hence, I doubt that any of us are going to get all the storylines wrapped up, or see as much of the characters we want, or feel that adequate time was devoted to them. The show is ending prematurely to what was planned. There is no plot against any characters or fanbases.

I'm in the RC is a genius category myself, considering the constraints the writing team is constantly under. I don't like everything - DETEST the Fords, for instance, but not everyone does. And with the show ending, I'm seeing the artistry on display even more clearly. And Friday's episode was mostly poetry in motion.

Yeah, I don't see RC as being a genius in any way, BUT he has his moments of downright awesome. They are just so few and far between. With the show ending, though, I will take my moments of awesome any way I can get them.

The Queen Bee, I'm where you are. Let's love what we've got, because it's already over. (Not that I won't keep snarking till the last second... it's my gig!...but it's just too much energy to be full of hate right now.)

Let's love what we can when it's awesome. Even if it's not always the same thing!

Louise-

As long as you promise to hold me when I start blubbering when the show is over. It's gonna be a day for the ugly cry.

I just got my Manning Family back (and Clint/Vicki and Tina/Cord!) and I'm going to have to say goodbye so soon. Yeah, I may have to be sedated. Kidding...mostly...

The Queen B, I'm with you. Who will hold me?! It's going to be rough. There's a certain weird comfort in complaining about things. Then it'll just be over.

Crap, I'm not helping. But this is a safe place to visit when we're all a mess, I promise!

I am ap heartbroken over the impending demise of OLTL that I had to post this from a loud holiday party. Heartbroken.

Soapbaby we know and we love you, and we're here for you to express your heartbreak! We're right there with you.

I know there's as much, "I hate this, no wonder!" out there as there is, "But whyyyyyy?!" as there is, "This is awesome and perfect, how could they?" as there is, "This isn't what I wanted and I wanna kill 'em, but still, please don't take it away!"

We've got all sentiments here. This blows. Let's turn the clocks back?

Regardless of the rest of it, those of you who are feeling the heartache, I promise we're here for you!

Ron-

I agree that there is no call for dumping on Louise (who is so very fabulous, btw) and especially if you've obviously never read her columns in the past to just make assumptions and be rude is not right.

While I don't join you in the "RC's a genius camp", I do agree that this last year was hell on the writers. There were so many changes and ups and downs and ins and outs. Then with PP's meddling and then falling through, the fact we're getting any amazing moments for any of the characters/pairs/families before the end is practically a miracle in and of itself.

There are many things I would love to have been done differently, but here we are. I'm just so appreciative that the cast and crew really gave their all at the end. I plan to watch up til the last day in support of their hard work and because we get gems like this week and yesterday that just make the whole crazy ride worth it. That is what soaps are good at, after all. :D

Love, love, love your column Louise! Ron’s not the only one who linked it, I’ve been picking up links left and right from twitter and message boards! I loved everything about Friday, loved Natalie and Jess scenes, and that FLASHBACK to Natalie's first Christmas there! It was hilarious, I was watching their scenes and thought "oh, I wonder if we'll get a flashback of Natty's first Christmas there and Starr walking in on her?" LOVED!

Loved the Frat Row scenes and I cannot WAIT until Monday!

Most of all, I loved my Manning’s! From Todd to Blair to Jack to Starr to SAM!!!! They were freaking amazing! I would've loved to see Hope, but I fanwanked that she was down for a nap. I never thought we’d get awesome scenes like that from all of them! I love the tension between Todd and Jack because frankly, that’s how it should be. And Todd and Blair, good Lawd, they just look at each other a certain way and my screen melts. I’ve been a T&Ber since I was 9 years old and am still going strong! The scenes yesterday helped to remind me why the Manning’s are my most favorite dysfunctional family on TV!

Louise and Soapbaby- I feel a group hug coming on...

And Soapbaby, I've been waiting for Victor to pop back up, too. You know he's not dead and he'll be back for Tea.

RealGHfan4now- I heart your comments so much. I wasn't excited about the Frat Row storyline but that teaser we got yesterday for the special ep on Monday has me giddy with excitement now. And the Mannings were so awesome that I think I pulled a muscle in my face smiling so hard. Todd and I were grinning fools the whole time. Todd and Jack are one of the things I'm going to miss seeing more of in the future, that relationship has so much meaty potential. Todd and Starr are always adorable and Todd and Sam were teh cute. Todd and Blair...oh my beautiful, messed up T&B. RH and KDP have the most unbelievable chemistry and combined with T&B history, I was a giggly schoolgirl all over again. And I missed Hope, too, but at least we got a mention. I'm with you, she was napping with Addie.

The Queen B, Ron, RealGH, Louise & fellow posters - I apologize for the typos but I am SO beside myself contemplating the end of OLTL. I so love the show. I have spent much of my life with the characters and recently taken to marathon YT sessions, making me ever so fragile. This morning, I cried like a baby watching clips of Viki and Dorian! I am usually not accustom to crying spells but here I was crying over One Life To Live. Here I am at a party posting about OLTL! This means more than I thought I was prepared for.

Just thank you all.

I just want to give a shout out to a clever line that hasn't been mentioned: When Todd said "Tomas is no mas." Cracked me up a little :)

I'm not sure whether I'm ready to declare Ron C. a genius, but I'm extremely grateful to him for showing me, in the last year or so (I tuned back in last January, when I saw a preview of that wonderful showdown between Bo and Clint and knew I wanted to see what that was all about), what level of quality in soap writing was actually possible even with all the meddling and micromanaging. No, the last year has not been perfect--far from it (one word: BobbyFord). But for me at least, it's been much more consistently entertaining than any soap has been in a long, long time.

I think (in fact I know, given what I have heard from people who are actually in the business) that writing a soap has become an incredibly difficult job since the "creative revolution" of the 1980s (for those of you who have watched soaps only since that point, once upon a time, the writers, rather than the producers and the networks, set the creative direction for the shows, and though they did not exactly have free rein to write whatever they pleased, they had far less interference than they have had since the early to mid-1980s, and especially since the writers strike of 1988), and I think what Carlivati has accomplished with OLTL is frankly pretty amazing.

I'm also grateful to forums like this one for giving me ongoing and continual insight into how differently we all react to things on the screen. Case in point: There are people who actually want John and Natalie together (and what's more, they want it badly enough to be furious with Carlivati over the delays)? That just amazes me.

That Manning Family photo needs to go up by the GBW picture that we keep seeing in the background.

Is it my imagination, or does Andrew Trischitta's acting seem better when he's in scenes with Roger Howarth?

It is just your imagination. Or the fact that RH is just freaking sparkling with so much awesomeness that you are mistaking some of his awesomeness with AT being worthy. I still think that AT is just too wooden of an actor for my taste.

Friday was just superb good old soapiness. Manning Family party. Sam being so damn adorable that I could actually consider having a kid if I had a chance to have a kid that sweet. Yeah, a Hope and Addie mention should've been dropped, but I can live with it.

Buch twins making headway in their damaged relationship.

Fraternity Row plotline is just plain genius and funny to boot.

And yay to Matthew actually acting like a teenage boy. He comes back to world of the living and finds out that fatherhood is pending. That his pushy mother is a big reason way his life course is going to face a massive diversion. So he is justifiedly pissed off at his parents. Most high school kids aren't exactly thrilled with the idea of parenthood. Destiny now seems to be pooh poohing the idea of adoption and wants to have this child. She seems to have idealized her relationship with Matthew to have been more than what he believed it to be, something plenty of teenagers (and adults, too) have done. Matthew isn't reacting the way she wants him to so she tells him to shove off. Nora pretty much tells him to quit complaining because the grandparents and Destiny will take care of everything. Which Matthew throws back at her as her pretty much making him look like a deadbeat parent. Teens acting like teens and the parents trying to fix the kids' mistakes. Awesome.

And I must thank my mom. She is getting me the ATWT dvds for Xmas! I am so damn excited. I've seen the newer ones from the late 90s forward, but I missed the great stuff from the 80s. As my grandmother(who got me addicted to soaps) was purely an ABC soap fan. Being that she didn't a VCR or more than one tv in her house.

Since seeing SAM, I've been going up to everyone at parties, hugging them & saying, "You're ★ALREADY★ a Good Guy!!!"

Don't know why my post was cut off... but I was saying, after that scene with SAM, I was hugging everyone thru the holidays, declaring, "You *ARE* a good guy!!!"

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