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 Two Scoops: April 6, 2009 columns
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Mark Lawson
N.G.T.L.
For the Week of April 6, 2009
If there was only one reason to want to hit Gigi with a rolled-up newspaper this past week for her stupidity (there's actually dozens), it would be her player-hating on Brody and Jessica.
So, bear with me, my peoples, we're going to try something different this week; streamlining the Two Scoops into a series of carefully-packaged, bite-sized sections, enhancing readability and cutting down on my wheezing Andy Rooney-like rants about rape, John McBain's crappy attitude towards women, or Todd's series of 'inscrutable-yet-horny' facial expressions. Why are we doing this? Well, number one, I'm curious as to how it will look and feel, and number two, I've got a theme for the weekend that corresponds well with this approach, and I intend to run that theme into the frickin' ground. This week's theme is called "N.G.T.L.", better known as the Internet acronym "NGTL," which translates to "Not Going To Lie." "Not Going To Lie" means an opinion or viewpoint that you might not otherwise admit to, for fear of scorn by your friends or neighbors, or for fear of seeming uncouth, but you will because you have to tell the truth. (Example: "I'm Not Going To Lie...I like Full House." I don't actually like Full House. That's just an example. Stop looking at me.) Other, lesser men might fear to play "N.G.T.L." with his readership. But what can I say - they pay me a princely sum to write you my Two Scoops, and I got cookies, a new bed and nothing to lose. I'm wild, untamed, a renegade! I'm like George Washington, I cannot lie! Yes, I chopped up your cherry tree, and I hope they burn in hell! I actually mixed up Samuel L. Jackson in A Time To Kill in there, sorry. N.G.T.L. I am not sure if it was George Washington or John Adams who could not tell a lie. You see? I'm keeping it real with you already. The truth just gets more hardcore from here. It's too real! Anyway, it was a crazy week in Llanview, occasionally punctuated by long and meandering ABC Special Reports from the G20 Summit. Gigi acted a fool, Stacy and Starr both got crazy, Brody and Schuyler once again shed clothing, and then there was The Cannon. We'll get to it all, and at no point...will I lie. So it begins.


N.G.T.L. I am a helpless Gigi and Rex fan. I love them. They do it for me together. Virtually every storyline they have had since the Adriana drama wrapped has been either a noble failure (1968) or a catastrophic disaster (Stacy) and yet it still breaks my heart when Gigi hides her tears from Rex with the most unconvincing, robotic "we-must-break-up-cannot-trust-you-abort-retry-fail" act ever, or collapses into Surrogate Mama Viki's arms for some TLC. At this point in my helpless fan-love, they could probably stage a series of storylines in which Gigi and Rex either a) steal Christmas, b) rob children of their ice cream, or c) become Wall Street CEOs, and I would still enjoy them as a couple. That's where I'm at, here. I'm a sucker. When Gigi asked Viki if she didn't hate her, I melted. I know Gigi's acquiescence to Stacy's ridiculous psycho act is absolutely idiotic, and I know Farah Fath is a green and untrained actress, and I can't understand why the hell Gigi and Rex don't just stage a break-up, but despite the stupid story and stupid actions, I care about these two. And I don't know how to stop. I am waiting for Gigi to deliver an Adriana Special to Miss Trick's jaw. This story would be a million times improved if it would focus on Shane's battle with cancer, and Roxy's battle with the truth about his marrow-ready grandfather.


N.G.T.L. Brody and Jessica are still hot, but if there was only one reason to want to hit Gigi with a rolled-up newspaper this week for her stupidity (there's actually dozens), it would be her player-hating on Brody and Jessica. I do like how Brody tried to play it off when she showed up, though. "O HAI JESSICA LET'S TALK OUTSIDE." That was smooth. Most soap men would lose it in that high-pressure daytime moment. Brody acted like it was just Tuesday. That's Navy SEAL cool for you. BTW, Brody: Never stop exercising on-camera. Ever. And please keep giving Stacy the Maury Povich "out of control teens" coach lecture. Stacy visibly shrinks away from sanity like Dracula from garlic, or Madonna from dignity.


N.G.T.L. I think Crystal Hunt is doing a good job as Stacy Morasco. Where are you all going?! Hear me out: I think Crystal Hunt does her job as written, to play a single-minded, obsessive bitch with a chip on her shoulder and an entitlement streak a mile wide. She's sunk her teeth into the role with such nasty gusto and vigor that she is actually unpleasant to watch, and a deeply hateful character. I hate Stacy, I hate her stupid storyline, I want the character gone, but I think Hunt is doing an exceptional job with a vicious, cruel role. You look into Stacy's eyes and there seems to be nothing there but what she wants, and beyond that, a disturbingly flat affect. She's a soap villain, and Hunt isn't afraid to play her as totally unsympathetic. For all the story's lack of merit, I think that courage as an actor should be commended, even if it makes us want her gone that much sooner. Her rapport with Scott Clifton is also actually impressive; they play off each other well. That's about the most nice I can say about Stacy. She's truly a pathetic parasite...and Crystal Hunt knows her bone-deep, in a chilling way.


N.G.T.L. Cole's rehab storyline is actually interesting to me. I think Brandon Buddy has slowly but surely improved as an actor, and I find Cole's struggle with guilt and addiction to be increasingly compelling. His vindictiveness towards Starr and Schuyler is also interesting to see, because it further degrades the artificial halo that had been placed on Cole's relatively thin character since his introduction. The accident storyline with Matthew has been a showcase for everyone involved, and no one's been more surprised than me to see Buddy step it up and hold up his end of the canvas. I hope they don't give Cole's struggles short shrift, since he was already happily chugging OJ with Marty in the Buenos Dias on Friday. Um, when you're in rehab aren't you supposed to be in rehab?


N.G.T.L. Hank "The Cannon" Gannon is still a stone cold killer...of my heart. Oh, the tears, they were welling up deep as soon as I saw that smooth criminal at Nora's door. There is a simple truth to a dignified, refined guy like Hank and his supportive presence. Hank, and characters like him, characters that inform the history of the show or reinforce the families they are part of, should always be around, be they an Andrew, or a Kevin or a Joey. What's more, Hank was not simply the bland, "what are you going to do, Bo?" functionary he'd become in his later years on the show. No, Hank strutted through the door this week. Nathan Purdee is back, and he's back with style and grace. Don't call it a comeback, he's been here for years, and he's brought some Gannon family. Bring 'em all home! Also, kudos to Hank for keeping it real and admitting that he, too, was N.G.T.L. when he asked Bo, "Nora and Clint?!" Tell'em, Hank. I feel for Clint, actually, but he knows he can't compete in Nora's heart with Bo and The Cannon. Nor should he try. Keep walkin', Clint. Walk hard.


N.G.T.L. Cristian and Layla are too forced. They're cute, I guess, and the concept works in theory, but we can see the machinery and 'gears' of this couple from a mile away, am I right? The dialogue and scenarios are extremely staid and trite: They've been locked in a confined space together not once, but twice. Meanwhile, their treatment of each other goes beyond standard love/hate imbroglios into repetitious, increasingly crass insults. How many times does Cris need to call Layla a bitch with bad hair, while she calls him a fat manwhore? It's not exactly Tracy/Hepburn, or even Todd/Blair. It's just subpar and cruel, and it demeans even the cliche but classic "we hate each other but are hot under the collar" schtick. These scenes aren't doing anything to whet my appetite for what looks like these characters' last shot at a minor storyline, and I was willing to give this a whirl.


N.G.T.L. The connection to the KAD fraternity and Marty's rape actually makes me a little interested in this frickin' serial killer storyline. But frankly, I think I've figured it out already, so let me break down my theory for y'all: Sinister DNA expert Kyle Lewis is merely a red herring. Officer Fish himself, our cute nerd, is the killer. He idolizes Todd, Powell, and Zach Rosen for their gang rape of Marty all those years ago, which has become a campus legend; he is committing his crimes 'in honor' of Todd. So if this is anywhere near correct (or if it's Kyle), once again we have a OLTL serial killer storyline which trades on the past by inserting a retroactive newbie as the killer, influenced by another story or character. Like, say, Stephen Haver was the Music Box Killer who also killed John's fiancee; Hayes Barber was the Killing Club Killer by also having gone to school with Marcie. It's almost always a new guy, and always, there's some convoluted link to the past which doesn't do much for the long-standing characters, other than to tie them into a tawdry murder storyline. Yes, I am intrigued by the return of Zach who N.G.T.L. looks exactly the same and maybe hotter than he was 15 years ago, and yes, I would like to see an exploration of the other rapists and how they have changed in relation to Todd, but realistically, what is this story really going to do? Tie Marty, Blair, John and Todd into yet another story based around the victimization and brutalization of women. How are Marty or Todd ever going to get new storylines when everything has to come back to rape and murder? And why does the entire storyline seem to rotate around John, while Marty and Todd spin their wheels as powerless observers? This should be a storyline for the veterans to off-set what is likely a new actor (Scott Evans or Brett Claywell) as the killer; instead, John is once again the prime mover. Boring.


N.G.T.L. Despite the lackluster story, I was touched by Blair's devotion to her shotgun ICU wedding to John. She obviously thinks she's finally found a decent guy, and is leaning on the possibility of true love despite her better judgment. Blair is not your typical wilting Camille; she's not an Audrey Landers type sent to break up Jake and Megan. Blair doesn't play those games. But I fear she will be forced into that type of role soon, which is beneath her, and clearly her marriage to John is a mistake. What it did do, however, was fulfill the Cramers' short-term goal, and I was glad to see Todd foiled. Yet in reality, Blair should be moving on with her own life as quickly as possible; instead, she's a sucker for John, just like every other woman on the show. There is a silver lining to this, though, and that's Jack "Tijuana-Born" Manning. Props to Jack and his borough-spanning accent for picking up all the nasty Internet nicknames for John and hurling them like mad beats. Jack was not having it, and I recognize his massive 'tude.


N.G.T.L. Todd's attempts to prostitute himself to Téa for legal help made me laugh. He is a despicable character these days, but that cracked me up and Trevor St. John played those scenes to the hilt. His comic timing is always exemplary. Truth be told, Ray and Téa were as handsome a couple at Capricorn as Dorian and Ray, but the depth of heat and longing between Robin Strasser and A Martinez, even in just a glance across the bar or while fastening cufflinks, can't be matched, and the possibility of a triangle with them and David Vickers is electrifying...so, of course, OLTL has responded by reportedly dismissing Mr. Martinez from the show. What the hell? Did someone under 18 not get enough airtime this week? I call foul and demand a do-over. Téa's motives, meanwhile, remain as murky and mercurial as ever; she says she wants to get away from Todd, and ostensibly takes on Blair's case to do so, but her first act as her attorney is to marry Blair off to another man to keep her out of Todd's reach, while Téa remains single. That's just the kind of contradictory, schizoid behavior I'd expect from Ms. Delgado, and that's what keeps her character always entertaining, when even she doesn't realize the intensity of her obsessions.


One more N.G.T.L. Starr's behavior in Schuyler's apartment on Friday was demeaning, foolish and deeply immature, but I have to admit it, I can't lie: The physical chemistry and proximity in those scenes? Kinda hot. Reminded me a little of a very young Martha Byrne with a hunky Jon Hensley back in the day on As The World Turns. There was more going on in the physical movement in that wacky scene than there has been in all the forced hugs and stupid, clunky dialogues about "my doctor, my baby" in the past three months. If they can take a more adult track with Starr and Schuyler in the future, by having Starr acknowledge her crazy behavior and take steps to correct herself and move on without him, then they may be able to bottle that obvious chemistry I saw in those scenes and use it wisely from now on, not foolishly, or exploitatively. I don't approve of Starr stripping for her teacher, or pursuing him, but I saw an obvious spark there, and it's too good to waste on tabloid fodder and rush jobs.


So that's my series of things I'm Not Going To Lie about, and that's this week's Two Scoops. Hope you enjoyed it, even if you don't agree with all of it; let me know, that's what I'm here for. Until next time, please remember, a marriage of convenience is always the answer, and if you're still looking for love, don't lose hope: That guy who picked up your Trapper Keeper in sixth grade may yet be the man for you, and that line of thinking in no way makes you a psychopath. Later, players.


Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.



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