Note to readers: I have pneumonia and am currently in an antibiotic, feverish, drug-induced state, so forgive me if my barbs are a little sharper than usual and my jokes a lot lamer. I'm not myself. (If anyone knows the recipe to "Dr. (Simon) Frasier's miracle tonic" that we saw onscreen this week, please send some my way.)
Katie has now claimed the prize for the most insensitive, self-absorbed character in Oakdale, but it's not her fault. She was happily hunting real estate this week, while her supposed best friend/ex-husband just found out that his sister was a serial killer and his other sister was raped. Did Katie call Henry or stop by to offer some support? Nope. She didn't even send a greeting card saying, "Sorry your sister's a psycho." Ridiculous.
I blame the writers for this sad trend in daytime television. Let's call it character amnesia. When characters get it, they seem normal, but over time, forget the friends/wives/husbands/parents/siblings they spent years confiding in, never to have a meaningful conversation with them again. The constant lack of character continuity is slowly driving me mad. (Well, I guess it could be the fever, but I'm pretty sure it's the complete disregard for character history that has me seeing red.) What would have been the harm in giving Henry and Katie a small scene? He's helped her out of every major crisis she's faced in the last five years, and she can't return the favor? I understand the characters have gone in different directions romantically. I'm fine with that, but the show honchos should note that just because characters' storylines aren't currently connecting, completely cutting them out of one another's lives undermines the believability of the show.
It's not just the Katie/Henry snub. The list is long: It happened when Mike took about a millisecond to grieve for his dead ex-wife, Jennifer, before going to the grocery store. And when Dusty returned to town and barely shared a scene with his once trusted, father figure John. And it appears from Lucy's comments this week that she's going to forget that she once loved her father Craig, despite his deplorable actions. Building character continuity and history are paramount in creating shows that viewers feel connected to. Details are important. Disregarding entire relationships is a recipe to enflame viewers and make them throw down their remotes in disgust. So, don't hate Katie too much. It's not her fault that she forgot she once cared about Henry. It's the amnesia, Scoopers.
--Note to Meg: When you have to wear your engagement ring on a necklace, instead of your finger, so you won't stress out your fiancée's pregnant ex-fiancée, it might be time to rethink your betrothal. I'm just saying.
--Is Jade really pregnant, or is she pulling a "Katie." i.e. lying about a baby to snag a man? I'm not really buying that Jade is expecting. It seems too sudden. Everyone knows that a good teen pregnancy storyline has to have at least a couple bouts of nausea, coupled with a few fainting spells, before discovering the pregnancy. Jade announced the news to Will with the same tone she'd use to tell someone what she'd had for lunch. If this is supposed to be for real, where is the drama, people? We didn't see the stick turn blue or her grappling with the decision to keep the baby, did we? I know scenes on the World have been dark lately and hard to see, but I didn't completely black that out, did I? If this pregnancy is for real, than the storytelling shouldn't have been so rushed. That's why I'm hoping Jade just made up this story on the fly. Hopefully it won't end with Henry dressed in drag and paying off a fake doctor somewhere.
--Dr. Bob's memorial tribute was so sweet. It's too bad all those nice words were wasted on teens that we didn't know at all. Wouldn't it have been nice to see Mike deliver some of that heart-warming prose at Jennifer's memorial? No. I'm not bitter.
--In the famous words of pop princess Shakira, Simon's "hips don't lie." I normally cringe in embarrassment when couples have to dance on daytime, but Carly and Simon's dance was hot. Who could blame Carly for giving in when Simon ended the sultry swaying with a hoarse, "Let's go upstairs?" Gulp. But, Carly should know better than to get involved, sexually, with her business partners. She went there with Craig Montgomery, and we all know how that ended.
--At least Simon is staying true to his past and returned to his "player" roots. Reeling from news that the love of his life is trying to get pregnant, he knocked back drinks at the bar, did some dirty dancing with Carly, who was still reeling from her recent divorce, and advised the divorcee that she needed to "take a man" in order to forget her problems. Kudos to the writers for playing up Simon's womanizing history.
--What is up with Dr. Bob's attitude with Lucy? OK, so she shouldn't be chatting up her date at work, but she wasn't on duty. And if I recall, Bob hasn't always been "Mr. Professional" in the hospital corridors. Bob seems awfully grumpy with Lucy these days. Perhaps he really does blame her for Jennifer's death.
--So call me the cell phone police, but how is it possible that Casey is allowed to use his cell phone from his hospital bed? The last time I checked you had to leave the patient area to use a cell phone. And while I'm on the cell-phone rant, Casey's phone must have one heck of a signal. Despite the cops' repeated announcements last week that the teens had no cell coverage at Raven Lake, Casey's phone was ringing frantically, while he lay on the ground bleeding, as his parents tried to reach him.
--I'm lobbying for Henry and Emily to stay just friends. He certainly needs a new gal pal, after that fickle Katie deserted him. But I don't want to see Emily as Henry's new love interest. I want him to meet someone new. Perhaps Lucy or Meg or a gorgeous brunette we've yet to meet. (Yes, casting, I am available for the part.)
--I loved, loved, loved the Barbara scenes this week with Gwen and Lucy. Barbara steals every scene she's in. And kudos to the writers for acknowledging the sadness facing the Munson/Ryan clan at having to attend another memorial service so soon after Jennifer's death.
--My apologies to the Meg and Paul fans, but watching these two together puts me in a trance. (And not in a good way.) I can't understand it really, because separately I like the characters. But together, not so much. They seem to suck the life out of one another.
--Jack and Carly still have sizzling chemistry even when they're not together. Is there any better couple in daytime?
--I'd like to see some scenes with Simon and Lucy. Or Simon and Nancy. Or Simon and Meg. Or Simon and Henry. Just because he struck up a partnership with Carly, doesn't mean he has to be excluded from everyone else in Oakdale. (The same could be said for Dusty, who rarely gets a scene with anyone other than Lucy, Lucinda or Barbara.)
--Maddie and Margo's emotional talk was one of the highlights of the week. Margo comforting Maddie about the rape made sense with Margo's history. And Maddie's cry that "Nobody's going to want me," coupled with Margo's reassurance that Maddie would get through it was a perfect example of how to write good drama with moving connections.
--I like the new Lucy, and she looked great in that red dress. I think the Dusty/Lucy pairing is a little forced though. I'd like to see these characters play the field, instead of getting locked into a quickie romance. For once, I agree with Barbara. Besides, I'd like to see Lucy hang out with Simon or Henry. That would at least give her something to do on her off time, other than obsess about work.
--Gwen and Will are back together, but with Jade's pregnancy news, I'm sure it won't be for long. I'm looking forward to seeing Gwen fired up again. She's become a little too docile of late.
--I couldn't help but chuckle at Lucy's giant bucket of popcorn at the movies. I know there is no way her tiny figure could eat that all by herself, so she obviously fell for the "it's only a $1 more and you get a free refill" line. On another note, never sit next to Dusty and Lucy at the theater. Those two are chatty Cathys.
--Henry broke my heart this week during his talk with Emily about the Raven Lake massacres. The ordeal took a toll on him, as he hung his head in his hands. I'm glad he got some support from at least one friend. And the balloon animal was a strange, yet nice, touch.
--If Carly ever has a yard sale, I'll be the first in line. Her wardrobe is the best on the show. She always seems to have the appropriate outfit for the occasion, whether it's a business suit for delivering divorce papers or a floral sundress for a quickie divorce in the Caribbean.
--Casey gets major points this week for being a supportive boyfriend. Publicly standing up to those bratty teenagers and defending Maddie at the memorial service was stellar.
Best Lines of the Week:
(Simon accompanies Carly to the farm, and they catch the smell from the cow pasture.)
Simon: "There's nothing like being back on a farm to make you realize how nice it is not to be back on a farm."
(Henry tries to explain his melancholy to Emily.)
Henry: "You know how manual labor and Mondays always bring me down."
(Casey shows his lack of knowledge of classic literature, while begging Maddie to stay with him at the hospital.)
Maddie: "You're all pale in a hospital bed. It's like saying no to Ashley Wilkes."
Casey: "Right, whoever the hell she is."
(From Two Scoops reader Marie)
Jennifer, can you answer a question for me? Maybe it's my TV set (but I don't think so). Those night scenes at Raven Lake were so poorly lit that I honestly couldn't see much of what was going on. I never could see how Eve ended up falling into that hole or was that (a pole?) that Maddie seemed to lift off her. I was just at the CBS site reading viewers' letters and several referred to how "Casey saved the day!" Did Casey push Eve into the hole? Did he hit her with that pole? I couldn't see a thing except Eve falling head over heals. Thanks."
Marie, I'd love to give you the answer this question, but since I don't have night goggles or a bionic eye, I have absolutely no idea what happened either. There was a hole? You obviously saw more than I did. As you said, the scenes were so "poorly lit" that all I saw was Eve falling and what appeared to be a slow-motion action shot of Casey hitting her with something. I'm still clueless as to what finally did Eve in. Shame on the directors for the incomprehensible ending to this long-standing mystery that left viewers in the dark, literally. Where is the payoff for fans when they can't even see the bad guy, er girl, get her comeuppance?---Jennifer
(From Two Scoops reader Lori)
"The friendship between Jade and Luke is becoming the most "real" friendship on "As the World Turns". He sees her for what she is and what she's not--and often tells her so. She supports him unconditionally. Their scenes together are one of the best part of the show."
Lori, I'm still not on the Jade-loving--bandwagon, but I agree that her friendship with Luke is a one of the bright spots for the character. But if Jade is the new designated bad girl in town, Luke will have to accept her and her trouble-making schemes, and I'm not sure his true-blue nature will let him do that. It'll be interesting to see if he can turn a blind eye to her plots, or if they'll change Jade into a softer villain to make her more likeable. ---Jennifer
(From Two Scoops reader Susan)
"I wish the writers would focus on the CORE characters i.e. Lisa, Nancy, Lucinda, Bob and Kim. Enough already with the "youth" angle. I simply cannot stand the Jade character. She is trouble for every life she touches. And whatever is up with all of the awful men's hair on the show? Jack and Holden both look as if they'd had "Jerry curls!"
Susan, I have no idea what is going on with the messed-up 'dos on the male population of Oakdale. Even clean-cut Henry has been sporting that bed-head style that used to be reserved for surfer-dude Casey. I'm with you. That look doesn't work on everyone. One could argue Jack, Henry and Holden are apparently going through tough times in their lives and perhaps personal grooming has taken a backseat to their angst. But I hope this is a trend that ends soon. As for the core characters, the show usually does a decent job of mixing the newbies with the vets (see my previous column,) but some weeks they don't always succeed. ---Jennifer
(From Two Scoops reader Debbie "a picky person")
" I want to praise the writer of the Two Scoops for September 4, 2006. Personality, excitement, realism of your thoughts. I felt like I was talking to one of my girl friends at my kitchen table over coffee. All of the above qualities are in your writing. I am picky with everything I read. It will be my pleasure to include your writings in my regular reading. You are most talented!"
Mom, (oops, I mean Debbie). Thank you for your kind words. It perked me up more than the NyQuil. Welcome to Two Scoops!---Jennifer