Best and worst of 2004

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2004 is coming to a close and this is my final column for the year. I wanted to take the time to review what is good and bad about Oakdale in 2004. I know I will not get to everything so let me know if I missed something major.

Storylines that never should have been told
Doc Reese with Jessica and Margo was waste of major talent here. Okay, it gave Margo and Tom some screen time but it was so over the top. Why would two women who excel in their professions fall prey to this overgrown teenager, Doc Reese? This guy never displayed any kind of remorse for any of his childhood actions. I am just sorry that the writers decided to let Jessica commit adultery and get pregnant with his child. This in my eyes was a huge mess that is now starting to work itself out. Special Note: The show should have not had Marshall rape Jessica and kept him around to create havoc in the lives of Jessica and Ben.
The Pilar and Simon debacle was another story gone wrong. The character of Pilar originally was nothing like this scheming creature sent to Oakdale by Katie's estranged husband to break Mike and Katie up. We all know that Katie would have chosen Simon if he had come back on his own. Pilar was such a one note song and almost ruined the character of Mike because it made him look extremely gullible and stupid. At times, this was fast-forward material.
The recasts of Nikki Munson and Molly McKinnon were so wrong. It would have worked better if they cast NuNikki as Molly and chosen a younger actress for Nikki. Both of these women probably would have done better in different roles but were definitely poorly cast here. I, for one, am glad to see the characters put to rest.

Interesting Couples

Dusty and Lucy were the surprise of the year. Lucy is constantly in danger. Lucy is rapidly building on Lily in the kidnapping and life in danger category. Craig's kidnapping plot brought these two unlikely characters together and wow, did the screen light up. These two are hot together. Now, however there are changes in 2005 with a Lucy recast and Lucy and Rafael getting closer - Lucy and Dusty are great together as a couple.

What a surprise see Mike and Jennifer becoming closer. I have always liked Katie and Mike together but Jennifer and Mike are picking up steam. It was not something we saw coming because I was sure that Jennifer was over Jordan but this is going to interesting to see how this all plays out.

Though it was short but Barbara's little flirtation with Rick Decker was hilarious. It was great to watch these two try to out wit and out crazy each other. It's too bad that they were not sane characters and met - he could have been the man to change her life. It's unfortunate that her potential relationship with Walker Daniels was aborted as well.

Allison and Aaron are finally trying to be a couple after he has been pining for her all year long. The handwriting was on the wall that she and Chris was so wrong for each other. It started off with such potential then the writers let Allison slip into her scheming way and weakened Chris. I did like him with Emily because we all know that her marriage to Hal is going nowhere fast.

Goodbye to Old Favorites

The one thing that the current regime has a huge problem with is keeping characters that are the heart of the show. Why is so difficult to write for the older characters in Oakdale like some other shows like Guiding Light, The Bold and the Beautiful and of course, The Young and the Restless. As the World Turns used to be a multigenerational show with storylines for all age groups - that is what has kept me watching for all these years. There are storylines to be told for Bob, Kim, Susan, Lisa, Lucinda, Emma and Nancy. They start stories then abort them just as quickly.

Why didn't John have more interaction with his adopted son, Dusty? Why has Lisa been spending so much time with Julia, a new character and is never seen talking with her son and daughter-in-law about their marital discord or spending time with her former business partner, Barbara? Where is Susan while her daughter is being drugged and Allison is need of parental advice? Where were the celebrations at the Snyder and Hughes home for major holidays? Doesn't Lucinda have a major business In Oakdale so why is she now buying a blue jeans business?

So I say a sad goodbye to the actors - Larry Bryggman (John Dixon) and Benjamin Hendrickson (Hal Munson), these guys are terrific actors and will be sorely missed for their contributions over the years.

The Major Story of the Year - Jack's Amnesia

It had its flaws like Parker's psychic moments and the "Message in the Bottle" rip-off but overall, this was great drama. I have to admit that it went on for a bit longer than it should have in getting Carly and Jack back together. I have said this many times and Jack and Carly are so much better when they are trying to find their way back to each other. This story had a new twist because it was Carly searching for Jack this time and did she fight for her man. Jack found a new woman, Julia and her son, JJ to become a new family. When Carly realized that Jack was not dead she did everything in her power to find him. It was the scenes after she found him that made this the best in daytime drama. The spoiler in this tale was Julia who was always showing up whenever it seemed like Jack and Carly were making progress. When Jack finally chose Carly and their kids was absolutely terrific. Now Julia is moving on to probably Jack's cousin, the turncoat - Holden Snyder. Holden was quite the disappointment in this story.

Overall, despite the fact that was not the best year story wise for ATWT, I enjoyed this because it always gave me some great material for my column. I would like to thank all of you for the many emails I receive for your words of praise and even disagreement. I look forward to another year of drama with those we love and hate in Oakdale in 2005 and hoping the TPTB pull it together for us - the fans.

That's all I have for now.
Reggie Jackson

Reggie Jackson
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