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 Two Scoops: May 31, 2010 columns
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Bree Williamson
About last night...
by Michael For the week of May 31, 2010
In one night, everything can change. Half the town can burst into song and choreographed dance, then go back to acting normal without a thought.
It just goes to show -- in one night, everything can change. Half the town can burst into song and choreographed dance, then go back to acting normal without a thought. A widow with a small child can think she's a seventeen-year-old chasing after her first boyfriend, then go back to her hunky sweetheart in the present. A passive-aggressive detective can swap women like Kleenex without having to make a true declaration of love, and two jilted people can fall into bed together, only to wake up in the morning back in the arms of their respective beloveds. Or you can just not wake up at all. Such was the way it went on One Life to Live last week, as a lot of things got back to normal, and a few more got a whole lot worse. Grab the aspirin and the raw eggs, kids, because it's time to wake up with Two Scoops.


Where is there to start this week but with the Coward Robert Ford, who's got the worst migraine ever? Man, that fake award of his looked tacky before, but it looked even worse after someone used it to re-sculpt his skull. I couldn't care less about Ford, but really, Cristian and Layla's apartment situation just gets worse and worse -- this is the second roomie who's been either killed or nearly killed while living there. And Oliver apparently skipped out when the gays were purged from Llanview. How do you even begin a Craigslist search for a replacement after this track record? "Must be comfortable with lingering scent of blood. NO CATS."


So who did the Ford-bashing? Best guess: Hannah. Markko's too obvious with his Macbeth moment in the Buenos Dias kitchen, Langston already told Dorian what happened (and props to the show for finally bringing Dorian back into the mix with her daughter), and Jessica is never going to be tarnished like that (the show apparently prefers to repeatedly sexually violate her instead). Who was left unaccounted for last night? Hannah, who the show is already pinning everything else on, like she's some sort of underage Margaret Cochran, a teenaged cartoon villain the likes of which I thought we only were subjected to on shows like Passions or Days. Hannah had motive and opportunity. Most likely this is another Colin McIver-style "Murder on the Orient Express" deal, where everyone stopped by the building, going in and out like it was a Howard Johnson's, but I'll bet Markko only showed up after the fact. Bo-ring. I have no need for a giant teenage umbrella story, and I find this latest silly business with Ford and co. to be a waste of Jason Tam and Brittany Underwood's collective talents. Tam, in particular, has never been given his due by the show, perhaps by virtue of simply not playing Cole, when I think he's a superior performer and a much more promising character.


The story may be a bit limp for my tastes, but there are some boons to it. For one, the creepy but very watchable Todd/Hannah dynamic continues. No, nothing tells the audience "Todd's changed!" like him abducting a young woman and dragging her into his office bound and gagged. Now I'm totally sold on his redemption! Seriously, though, Trevor St. John and Meghann Fahy play wonderfully off each other. I may object to Hannah becoming a sort of caricature villain, but the squirrelly nature of her character seems to find a home opposite St. John's cold, detached cruelty, which he plays perfectly.


And then we have John's latest partner, the unbelievably hot "Detective Price," presumably no relation to Hank Gannon's ex-wife, Sheila. Don't tell me you didn't notice that tall drink of water who looked almost exactly like Tyrese Gibson -- not only was he a fine, fine police officer, but he apparently can act. Less interesting minor characters have been given larger exposure, so why not this hottie too? I liked him a lot, even if I have a sinking feeling that we are expected to take him as a substitute for Oliver Fish -- I wasn't aware all minority characters were simply trading cards to be swapped, but that is often how daytime treats the issue. Personally, I'd rather they both coexist together.


Meanwhile, across town, nobody got bludgeoned but there's still a big ol' mess between the sheets, namely, the aftermath of Brody and Natalie's one-night freak session, just in time for them to reunite with Jessica and John, respectively. Perfect timing! Okay, let me just get this out of the way -- I have a real problem with a forty-year-old man who can't tell a woman he loves her, but feels fine about huffily warning a recent widow that "I don't know what we've been doing all these years, but above all others, you belong to me!" O RLY He-Man? Go tell it in the cemetery. I'll bet Jared really appreciated that. Unfortunately, I felt John had that same attitude while Jared was still alive. I don't believe John loves anyone but himself; I think he just wants stuff in the moment, and his lame "confession" to Natalie cemented that for me. So under normal circumstances I'd be just fine with Natalie sampling the Lovett buffet -- I think those two have real chemistry. The problem is I also really enjoy Brody and Jessica, and was touched by their reunion, whereas the John and Natalie trip to yesterday, complete with strangers applauding(!), just seemed like regression of her character to me.


It seems like a lot of the show is stuck in a weird loop towards the past. It doesn't make sense to me that John and Natalie are now happily back together less than a year after Jared's murder and only a week or two after Marty's miscarriage. It doesn't feel real; it feels artificial and forced. I've always wanted the best for Natalie, but I simply don't believe John is it. While the "one-night stand" secret could prove to be a good story for all these characters, they're first going to have to move beyond these endless, repetitious scenes of Natalie staring into the distance, remembering her orgasmic moans in Brody's bed. I swear they showed that clip eight times last week. Somebody should count it. Count Jessica's flashbacks to her abortive night with Ford, too -- I think that's a lame red herring. I'm also very weary and annoyed by the fact that right on the heels of Jessica getting her memory back, she is saddled with another mental illness subplot, wondering if she almost killed a guy. Can't this character do anything else? I'm hoping the evolution of this quadrangle surprises me. At least Jessica managed to apologize to Natalie and Cristian. Now all she has to do is brave the same to Layla. I'd be scared too.


Hark! Do you hear? That sound on the wind? It's the sound of a fleet of cheesy Peruvian flutes, all tooting as one! It's getting vaguely New Age up in here, and that can only mean one thing: the Rex and Gigi storyline is back. After Rex's idiotic decision not to tell Bo he was in jail -- seriously, is he twelve years old? -- the lovebirds managed to get out anyway and discover his family's cabin in the mountains, leading to the return of a plot device I doubt any of us ever wanted to see again, namely John-Paul Lavoisier and Farah Fath playing "dual roles" as Rex's mysterious parents, star (no second "R")-crossed lovers, "Rick" and "Lili." Clever. Apparently Farah can pass for Native American simply by donning a cheap dark wig, but I am here to tell you right now that Rex Balsom is no more Native American than Val Kilmer in Thunderheart. This whole thing was just sheer pain. I have no idea who Rick and Lili were, and I do not care. I might care even less about them than I do about that Nate kid, I'm honestly not sure yet. All I know is I had to endure several hours' worth of cheesy flashbacks, random extras popping up as Atlantic City mob bosses (I'm sure we all remember how much of a hit Atlantic City stories were from the Spencer Truman years), Lavoisier wearing some sort of bolo tie, a bunch of hokey, offensive "mystical Indian" clichés, and a lot of talk about strangers who mean nothing to me, as narrated by everyone's favorite leading man, Rex. Please, stop the madness. I don't care who his parents are. End this story before I consider self-harm.


Finally, we have The Rest: Tea managed to get Todd out on bail while reeling from chemo. Good for her, I guess? And Starr and Cole continued to bicker about their parents. Seriously, nothing happened there, and I struggled to stay awake. Also, Starr, I'm sorry, but right or wrong, it is incredibly obnoxious for you to keep nagging your father's rape victim to "leave Britney alooooneee!" At least Blair and Téa's...well, it's not a bromance, so what is it? What do we call that? Their not-quite-lesbian romance continued this week, and I do love them together. Lozano and DePaiva can make anything work. Meanwhile, Kelly really has to get that awful vase off her desk at the Sun. It's becoming a metaphor for her entire return to the show. It seems she's been reduced to loitering around town, waiting for John or Todd to have a free moment so she can attempt to develop "word of mouth" with one of them and possibly win an online audience poll. Exciting. Let's hope Gina Tognoni gets something decent to do next week.


Thus, you have the week that was. A lot of characters, several big umbrellas, some good ideas, some bad, but often fixed around on stuff like Ford and Hannah, or Rick and Lili, which really doesn't amount to much. Join me again in two weeks for hopefully 75% less Native American mysticism and stereotyping and 50% more characters I actually care about. Have a great Memorial Day, and I'll see you soon.

Michael


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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