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« D.I.D. Edition, Part 1: I Love This Show | Main | Maybe The Show Has Seasonal Affective Disorder? »

November 07, 2009

D.I.D. Edition, Part 2: I Hate This Show

(Continued from Part 1: I Love This Show)

Everyone has different favorites, and character they love or hate for a million different reasons, but I feel like this storyline has a little something for everyone... to loathe.  I would love to hear from people who are enjoying this, I honestly would.  It would make me feel better.

Everyone who watches daytime knows about SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome).  It doesn't bother me.  There's not much story potential for kids between the tiny-and-cute (and therefore generally kidnappable) stage and the old-enough-to-date-and-cause-trouble stage.  Starr Manning is unusually un-SORASed (by a couple of years only) because Kristen Alderson worked out well because of the awkward ages and basically grew up on the show.


They've aged Jack a few years (I'd say we're supposed to read him as about 12), but not too many since Starr is supposed to be much older than he is (and even fairly young audiences will remember how old she was when he was born, since his birth was a major story they love to ignore now).  And they aged Sam a couple of years because clearly they found the cutest, most wonderful kid (twins, actually) to play him and just turned Sam into that age.



All three siblings, regardless of minor changes, have kept the same birth order over the years.  Because to do otherwise would be somewhat insane.


And yet here she is.  Dani.  Danielle.  Daniela.  It depends on who's talking.  Fifteen years old.  Two years younger than Starr.  Two years younger than Starr.  Which puts her about three years older than Jack.

For those of you who are new enough to not find this infuriating, here's a nutshell of why this is lunacy: when Jack was born, Todd thought Max was the biological father, and because he is such a catch who should totally have two badass super-hot women fighting over him, he handed the newborn infant off to a stranger and said, "Get rid of it."  He then told Blair ("then" the love of his life) her baby had died.  Later, when he found out the kid was really his, he went out and found Jack and brought him back to Blair, pretending that Jack was an orphan and they could adopt him.  Blair eventually found out the whole thing in May of 2002.  I remember it was May of 2002 and I'm sure many, many others cannot forget that it was May of 2002, because as a sweeps stunt, OLTL had a week of live episodes.  The three major standouts in this week of live episodes were: the campiest most embarassing version of Niki Smith that Erika Slezak ever played, Florencia Lozano (Tea) and Patricia Maucieri (Carlotta before she accepted the gays) breaking character and bursting out laughing in one scene (after some flubbed lines), and (the bizarrely non-Emmy-winning) Kassie de Paiva having to play the Dead Baby Lie reveal for a week straight, live.  Seriously, she cried and raged for a week straight on live television. 

This led to Todd having to skip town.  This is how we know Ross Rayburn.  Todd then hired him (along with enlisting Tea's help, because she's super) to kidnap Jack and Starr, but that didn't work out so well and all three of them (Todd, Tea, Ross) ended up Stranded On An Island In The South Pacific (in a lengthy and strange storyline in which Tea was able to do full makeup and blow-dry and set her hair daily, but they struggled to find food while spooky music played).  Naturally.  This time on the island was when Todd and Tea apparently conceived Danielle.


(Roger Howarth!)

Danielle, who is three years older than Jack.  Jack, who was the reason Todd was on the run, and who was kidnapped by a hired Ross, leading to the island story.  Which is when Dani was conceived.  Dani, who is three years older than Jack.  Jack, whose birth and kidnapping is the reason she was conceived.  Three years... before he was born.


I am angry.  SORAS all you want, soaps, but don't forget what storyline was tied to the kid's birth.  If they all of a sudden made Matthew 25 so he could be a hunky leading man, they wouldn't expect us to accept a Bo/Nora reunion in which they discuss Nora having slept with Sam twelve years ago, would they?  They wouldn't make Matthew 38 and then still refer to the younger Rachel as Nora's child from her earlier marriage to Hank, would they?  Or would they?

They could've just made this thing so much less rage-inducing by simply SORASing Jack before this storyline was introduced.  In fact, I know an actor who might be available:


Look, maybe I'm just biased.  Do I want Todd and Tea to have a kid together?  No.  No, I do not.  But what's done is done.  That doesn't change the fact that this is sloppy, sloppy storytelling.  It's not just the birth order issue either.  It's that at the culmination of the KAD retread, Tea cried and sobbed and told Blair that she had a horrible, horrible secret that no one could ever know (especially Todd).  That she'd done something awful.  Then she cried about it intermittently for the next few months, got several phone calls related to the "secret" that aboslutely terrified her, talked about carrying around some sort of monster guilt, and was mortified by Eli's threats on the matter.  Ross showed up and, in this incarnation, is incredibly friendly and laid-back -- a bit of an envelope-pusher and rule-breaker but no monstrous hardened criminal type.


And then in the matter of a few episodes, everything changed.  All of a sudden, Ross and Eli are brothers, Ross is a scary, dangerous, violent man (we've seen none of this), Eli thinks Tea is just fantastic and wants to help her out and is a big-time Todd-n-Tea 'shipper, Tea never thought Dani was Todd's kid until recently when she had a DNA test done, still kept it from Todd because she wanted to make sure he "deserved" Dani by loving Tea more than Blair (though somehow if Todd loves Tea more than Blair, Tea doesn't think he'd deserve his kids by Blair any less), and now she just can't wait to tell him he has a daughter because she thinks it'll bring them back together!  Tea's new best pal Rachel thinks she should fight for Todd, the man who tried to rape Rachel's mother.  Viki thinks Todd should forgive Tea because they belong together.  Todd, who apparently "deserves" another kid because he's been so great to the others (stealing babies, faking baby deaths, selling his children, pushing girls down stairs, trying to kill daughter's boyfriend, etc).  Because Tea has "changed" Todd for the better.  He didn't change for the better for any of his three children, he didn't change after being raped himself, he didn't change for the love of a woman who has forgiven him his most heinous crimes, he didn't change after almost being executed, he didn't change because of his sister's inexplicable devotion.  But he changed because of a few sexcapades with a woman he left stranded on a deserted island because he didn't give a crap about her.


(Tea-as-doting-mother is a little creepy, yes?  "Come geev your mother a hug, leetle girl!")

It's just lazy.  It's as if they looked at what they had, said, "Oh yeah, we had that big dark secret, what can we do?" and had no idea how to pull anything off based on history and based on what they'd actually set up so far, and so they decided to just change everything they'd established, all in the course of a few intolerable episodes.  And how will they fix it, and prove to us that we were wrong and should totally be on board with this new story?  Well, always start with the go-to lazy storytelling solution: have Viki advocate it.  And then, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Have Blair lie.  (Because Blair lying is worse than Tea lying, because Blair's pathetic!  See?)  Bad Blair = Good Tea.
  2. Have the least likely people on canvas endorse the Great Love of Todd and Tea... people like Rachel, Eli, Starr, Marty.  (That's right, I said Marty.  Who is she, his two-time rape victim, to bedgrudge him true love and extra children?!  Why wouldn't she want her rapist to live happily ever after with the attorney who got him acquitted for raping her?  That would be silly!  That's like something Blair would do!)
  3. Stop caring that people were saying "seven years ago" two weeks ago!  Just say "fifteen" now.  No one'll notice.  No one remembers any of that anyway, right?  It was fifteen years ago!  Who is Jack anyway?  Isn't that just some neighborhood kid who thinks Tea's hot in a teddy?  Todd has a miracle child now!  Focus, people!

It all makes my head spin.  And at the end of the day?  I just want to grab thos gals by the shoulders and shake them.  Blair, he is not worth it.  Tea, he is not worth it.  Ross and Eli are both really hot and really single, and I'm pretty sure neither of them are raping, physicall-abusing, baby-stealers/sellers.  Oh wait.

And I know not everyone will agree with me on this, but I do want to point out that although it's pretty clear how I feel about the character of Tea, I do think Florencia Lozano is awesome.  She is so committed to Tea's complete belief in her own sincerity and righteousness that it makes me hate her even more, but that's a credit to the performance (oh, that cackle!).  And frankly, I love her crazy bitch routine when I'm on her side.  It's just... been a while.

On the bright side, so far I like the kid.  Such a shame about that DNA.

Destiny Out.


I don't watch this show, but sloppy SORASing really pisses me off. Like REALLY. It's like the writers are too impatient to let the kids grow up and/or too incapable of introducing (in an integrated way) new characters to fill in the age gap that they have created. Bores me silly.

On GH, I think they did a fairly good job of SORASing Sonny-related kids, but it's so weird when you have Liz's kids still little, and the Sonny-related kids like almost grown-up + ALL the Sonny-related kids are ... you guessed it! RELATED! So you still need new characters unless they are going to go into incest or near-incest, which frankly, wouldn't surprise me.

Great post!

PS I personally think there is a way to even avoid most SORASing, but it seems to be too much work.

I just like Todd having a kid with Tea because he won't struck with Blair. Blair, the person who slept with the man who framed him for his child's death and the woman who married John just to keep away from the children. Yet when Todd finally wnats to move on with his life here comes Blair wanting him to herself. She needs to let go of him fast because once he finds out she knew about Daniella, Todd is going to go nuts and he won't give a damn about her.

I also wish the kid was younger than Jack but I guess they (Ron) have a storyline that is only for teens which is the romance with Matthew or taking over Starr's role as the troublemaker in the Manning Family. Love the actress who plays Danielle too.

greg v! YES! :) SORASing is something that fills me with rage when they completely get it wrong.

i have actually skipped everything having to do with this s/l for the last two weeks because it is sooooooooo infuriating.

i can't believe it, but i actually actively want the death -- the final and forever death -- of todd manning. i want blair nowhere near him. i want tea to get away from him. i want all friends (i guess todd has friends?) and family to forget he ever existed.

and i want this show to stop with the stupid.

great post.

(and yes! please bring GV to Llanview!)

Louise, all I can say is YES. To your entire post. This entire mess of a "story" has made me want to smack the show on its nose with a rolled-up newspaper and say "Bad show! Bad!"

On the plus side (if you can call it that) I can usually get through an epi in under 20 minutes now. *sigh*

The aging thing bothered me too, but it is one of those things we soap fans sometimes have to overlook...like recasts and history changing...I'm okay with this one so far as I am really liking Ross and his brother Eli & of course Tea is awesome. As long as they make it a GOOD story, I think I can let this one slide.

One thing I dread though is the return from dead (again!) of Mitch Lawrence...he was a great villan but they have twisted history too much for me with this guy. Oh well, at lease Roscoe Born is fun to watch.

I don't want to say it but...I am hating this show,too and I want to not hate it. I want to love it - all of it, not just a scene here or there. Its "my" show, ya know? (GH is dead to me for a few years now and AMC...totally cringeworthy, but I don't really care anymore.)

But damnit I do still care about OLTL. I Viki& I had our sons around the same time.....these are my peeps. And this writing as though we have no longterm memory ? WTH show?? What are you DOING to my friends for crying out loud?

I want to ask the writers..."Are you STUPID? I sure can't think of a better explanation for the crap they are writing these days.

In just a few short weeks, this show went from the best to one of the worst. There is not one storyline I am enjoying now. I get through the show in about 10 minutes...the only person I don't FF is Vicki. I was thinking about giving up GH to lessen the number of shows I record, but surprisingly GH is improving as fast as OLTL is going down hill.

The whole sorasing thing annoys me too. Although, I don't want the actor to play Jack to leave, so I guess I'll eventually get over it. They probably wanted to set up a Destiny/Matt/Danielle triangle or something.

Tea really annoys me. I think she's a selfish idiot who has been toying with everyone she "cares" about. I wonder if she even told Danielle that she got married. Probably not. And it doesn't help that I don't like some of FL's acting choices.

Still, with all its flaws, this show is a lot better than GH.

You pretty much said it all. I don't mind SORASing usually, but the whole reason Dani exists is because of Jack. It's crazy that she's older than him and it's always going to bother me. And I HATE Ross being thrown under the bus to prop Todd/Tea. One thing about Tea though: she did not help Todd and Ross try to kidnap Starr and Jack. She's the reason their plot failed.

They can still SORAS and recast Jack to the 15-year-old that he apparently is supposed to be now (they can shrink the difference in Jack and Dani's age to 11 months, or something). The current Jack is funny in small doses, but the character would have more to do as a member of young teen set. And if they want Todd to have a cheerleader (as he apparently needs), they can age Sam to about 7. Problem solved.

Thanks, Lorrie! Honestly, I didn't have the clearest memory of how Tea got involved in the kidnapping plot and how the three of them ended up on the island...

Sam is the bombdiggity of cuteness. He is way too adorable to be the child of two certifiable lunatic rapists!!!! I want that kid to wander off and somehow get adopted by a cute loving noncriminal nonrapist family, maybe Scrubs or Angie and Jessie? It would be a long walk to PC or PV, but it would be worth it. Go Sammy go :-)

Tea to me, sounds like a Latina newscaster from an SNL skit w/ Jimmy Smits who over pronounces every latin based word. It always makes me giggle at her, and I do not think that is her intention.

The SORAS is out of control. It is only good if used skillfully and gently. Not a technique ABCDaytime has mastered :-(

This storyline is a turd dumped right in the middle of a really good soap. I can fast-forward, I can ignore it, but it's always there. Literally. This storyline from hell is on nearly every day. There are a lot of other people in Llanview that I'd like to see filling that airtime.

I really hate they're going to turn Ross into a villain for this crap. I had so much hope for him and Blair.

LOL at Greg V. as SORASed Jack. I actually think he'd make a good Joey Buchanan recast.

I didn't watch OLTL years ago. I didn't start watching until Renee came on as Vangie. So I don't know the history but I loved Tea. I was such a fan until she hit Ross over the head with that vase and started proclaiming how evil of a man he is. Right now Ross is my favorite new character. Even when he has his shirt on I still love him. I hate that they are "AJ'ing" him. This is something GH writers would do. Make someone the bad person so we will cheer for a certain couple. I hate that I'm not liking Tea right now and I hope they fix this.

I hate to say anything in defense of sloppy SORASing, but consider the confounding case of EJ Dimera on "Days of our Lives". Born in 1997, EJ was aged to his mid to late 20s in 2006. In 2007, he married Sami, who was born in 1984. Sami has a son named Will who was born in 1995, and is currently in high school.

To recap: 24 year old Sami is married to 12 year old EJ who is the stepfather of 14 year old Will who Sami gave birth to at 11.

There's a lot wrong about this case of SORAS on OLTL, but to a Days fan this is absolutely nothing.

If I can get over Blair no longer being Asian than I can get over anything. Shoddy sorasing doesn't really faze me. I like the girl who plays Dani. I think she's great with Matthew and Trevor St. John is too young to be greg vaughn's dad.

Wow, thank you for all that history, Louise. I only started watching this show when I stopped watching GH around two years ago. So, I had no idea.

I first watched the show when Blair was playing a sane person who loved and cared for her children and not pining over Todd. So, I became a big Blair fan.

I realize that only lasted that one year I started watching. How sad for Blair to go back in time and behave like a horny little 16-year-old. She's been rather cringe-worthy.

I do love the actress who plays Dani. She's pretty good from what I've seen.

And I would LOVE to see Greg Vaughn on this show. Damn, I hope he comes over and plays anything. I'll just stare at the screen.

Great points; I'm as much a OLTL fan as they come and I didn't even remember that. It's especially disappointing since the show has, since Ron took over, usually been good about respecting the history.

What makes it worse is that there are elements of the story I want to like. I like Tea as a character even if when she's written badly she's a sexist cliche (the cold-blooded business woman) and I like the idea of Todd having a teenage kid who's like him (ever since they've been positioning Starr to be her generation's Vicki and Jessica).

Plus I've just liked Danielle as a character so far. But that might just be because our other central female teens, Starr and Langston, seem to have lost their personalities since they entered their current relationships.

Co-sign to Greg as Joey! I've been a HUGE fan of that idea from second one!

You said it, you're biased. You don't want Blair's and Todd's perfect record of children to be sullied by a TnT child. I have NEVER seen such ranting over SORAS'g ever. It's really quite ridiculous. No question that if Jack was aged to Dani's age, there would have been NO RANTING. So sorry, as you said, what's done is done. Get over it, the way everyone else does for every other character who's been speedily aged.

"I just like Todd having a kid with Tea because he won't struck with Blair. "

So you'd rather he be stuck with the woman he beat up and the woman he hated so much he left her for dead on an island?

Todd, being such a prize, probably does deserve Tea, but I wish they could just go off to their own storyline. And take Rex with them.

"I have NEVER seen such ranting over SORAS'g ever. It's really quite ridiculous."

You should have seen the fan reactions when GL aged Leah and de-aged Daisy/Susan to the point where timelines were totally screwed up. That's what has happened here. Timelines are completely demolished from what we heard only weeks ago, all so Todd can have another teenage daughter to abuse and so Tea can have another reason to bellow and cry.

I'm thinking the root of all the problems relating to Todd is bad character development leading to poor soras choises. The Todd I remember from before the Starr storyline HAD changed. Not completely, but he wasn't really a beat up children, toss Starr down the stairs person. Then Starr has the stupidest teenage tantrum (I'm moving away so let's get it on while we can - who cares about a condom?????????? You can't get much more self-centered or dumb) ever and Todd goes down the toilet, and drags Blair with him.

My theory is that this Tea story is to try to undo the awfulness of the Starr pregnancy story. They're trying to bring Todd's character back to where he was, so I don't think Todd will abuse his new teenage daughter. Her mother? Well, he is Todd. Anyway, I think I'll take it. I don't like Ross, I don't like Blair when she's chasing after Todd, I hella heart Tea.

In that vein, I would be willing to put up with some really ridiculous crap to undo Stacy. They could re-write just about anything and I'll be on board. (Please?)

"They're trying to bring Todd's character back to where he was,"

I don't think he's back there. Todd goes around leering at the woman he raped (twice) and has used Tea and Blair for sex. He didn't do that before.

I think Todd just changes personality year to year, or has ever since the recast. It wasn't all that long ago he was weeping over Evangeline.

Cabbie2001, it definitely has nothing to do with Blair and Todd's "perfect" record of children being sullied -- one of "their" kids is the product of two rapists, and another Todd sold as a baby, and the other was thrown down a flight of stair by Todd. Plenty sullied enough. And believe me, the last thing I want is a Todd and Blair reunion. I'd love to see Tea and Blair both write off Todd for good. And my problem is with the changing of the birth order, not the SORASing itself (as I said, most of the time it makes practical sense to me).

Carl, you're right, Todd's character is wildly inconsistent from story arc to story arc. He used to be deeply haunted by what he did in college and had major, major issues about sex. That seems to all be out the window now, that's for sure.

It absolutely irritates me when people are rude and obnoxious to the bloggers. If you don't like their opinion or what they have to say DON'T READ THE BLOG. Louise I loved your post and even though the sorasing does not bother me (like someone else said, if we can get over Blair not being Asian anymore we can get over anything)reading what you wrote gave me the giggles. :-)

I don't have a problem with SORAS-ing either. It's about birth order and it making sense. When GL did it with Leah and screwed up Daisy/Susan's age, it infuriated me to no end. It also kind of solidified the joke GL became. Dani would not have been conceived if it weren't for Jack.

As someone who was a Todd fan, I find Blair and Tea pining away over him to be sickening. Also, making Blair lie about Dani existing is not going to make Tea look better to me. As for Marty talking about how devastated Todd's going to be when he learns that Blair knew the truth: if Blair can forgive Todd for everything he did concerning Jack, not telling him he has another daughter is cake.

I also am not going to buy that Ross is all of a sudden so violent that Tea is desperate to keep Dani away from him.

I enjoyed your entire post, Louise!

Nope, sorry. While I will admit it is not preferable to SORAS out of order like this, it is not unheard of and I for one am not going to get my panties into a bunch over it. Personally, I adore the idea of a TnT child. Finally, Todd will have a child with a woman I actually like. Finally, Todd will have a family I can actually give a damn about. Finally, I don't have to bring out a bucket every time Blair throws out her infamous mother of Todd's keeeeeedzzzzz line.

There have been a lot of outrageous and impossible things to happen not only on this show but in daytime in general. Blair was once Asian (and I preferred her that way). Her asian heritage was actually referred to and part of why she had some of the issues she did. I thought it was commendable for OLTL to have such diversity and then they threw that away to make Blair your run of the mill blondie. And though people joke about it, people rolled with it. That is what I intend to do here. Roll with it.

As far as Ross not seeming to be as harmless as he appeared...Yes. Things are not always as they appear in life, are they? How many times have we heard stories about neighborhood heroes beating the crap out of their spouses and no one ever suspecting a thing? Ross wasn't on all that long during SISP and has only been on for a few months this year and now you think you know what he is capable of? NO. You don't really know anything about him. Nothing at all, unless you count the neon flashing lights to proceed with caution that have been flashing from the first moment his name was mentioned this year. All I am going to say is this, please don't approach real life the way you have approached Ross. You will end up having your body parts heated up in the microwave for some psycho's dinner.

I don't see Tea as a creepy mother but you know what does strike me as creepy? Blair being Blair and using lies to get him to sleep with her all the while rubbing her hands and smirking with that creepy as hell grin she gets. Now THAT is creepy. But no one can claim Blair is being written out of character. This is who she is.

And finally, love Dani and the actress who plays her.

"As far as Ross not seeming to be as harmless as he appeared...Yes. Things are not always as they appear in life, are they?"

Then we just shouldn't invest in characters at all. Tomorrow, Tea could be revealed as an alien. Todd might be revealed as a zombie. Not that it would be a huge departure from the story as it is...

The whole story seems made up as it goes along. Not long ago, Marty was the only love of Todd's life. Tea is probably today's heroine and tomorrow's compost heap. With Todd, the only real love interest he has is Todd.

"Then we just shouldn't invest in characters at all. Tomorrow, Tea could be revealed as an alien. Todd might be revealed as a zombie. Not that it would be a huge departure from the story as it is..."

OK, do you realize you are comparing characters that have been established for YEARS vs. WEEKS? Do you not see the difference here? This isn't a case of a character being consistently portrayed a certain way for years and had the layers of their character explored. This is for all intents and purposes a blank character who has been on for a total of a few months. We know nothing about him. People decided to ignore the signs and jump to the conclusion that Ross' facade of being the cool, laid back, wouldn't harm a fly surfer guy was the real deal. You got duped. It happens, just like in real life. But to sit up here and claim it is impossible is foolish. People capable of great violence don't always have to come across as evil incarnate. Sometimes they are looked upon in their communities as the kindest, gentlest human beings only to turn out to be complete monsters. (Not saying Ross is a monster, btw) It frightens me a bit that people are struggling with fathoming this.

Snugglebug, I can only speak from my perspective, but it's not so much that I can't believe a character that's pretty heretofore undefined might actually be violent. It's that the people who do know him (for instance someone who has spent the last 15 years with him) have shown us no signs of it. Tea has been in full ball-buster mode with him; she hasn't seemed afraid of him in scenes with Ross, and clearly his daughter isn't scared. I mean I'm open to whatever happens because this show has given us some great stuff out of left field (e.g., obviously they did a pretty huge character turnaround for Kyle overnight, and I love it), it just feels like an afterthought in this story that seems to be rewritten daily. It's hardly the most confounding aspect of the storyline. But we'll see. I, too, am enjoying Dani quite a bit!

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