Hal Munson, and his portrayer Benjamin Hendrickson, received an onscreen memorial tribute this week fitting for a hero and a beloved daytime star. I didn't make it through the first three minutes without shedding some tears for the character of Hal and for Hendrickson, who passed away earlier this year. The show execs should be applauded for waiting so long before planning the goodbye. Hendrickson's real-life death was too tragic to handle onscreen so quickly after it happened. It was respectful to give his fellow actors, fans and family some time to grieve before the public goodbye.
The memorial show featured flashbacks through the years of Hal with those he loved. To celebrate his life, they all gathered at his favorite bar to reminisce and toast their friend. Even Henry and Barbara, who normally avoid beer like the plague, choked down a brew in honor of Hal. What made the memorial scenes so heart wrenching was that when the actors spoke about "Hal," you knew they were also talking about their friend, Ben. A standout moment was when Jack teased that Hal had populated half of Oakdale, a joke Hendrickson often made in real life about all of Hal's children.
Hal's passing was handled with class and grace, and I'm thankful the funeral wasn't shown onscreen. It would have been too difficult to watch, blurring the line between reality and fiction. Hal Munson touched lives in Oakdale. Ben Hendrickson touched lives beyond a fictional TV town. He will be missed.
In other musings:
--They must be making ice cubes in Hell because Tom Hughes is now working for Craig Montgomery. Oh yeah, this should be good.
--Is it just me, or does new Adam look a little like Jake Gyllenhaal in "Jarhead?" So far, I like the new guy. He's personable. But, I'm a little concerned that another new male has hit town. The show execs haven't figured out what to do with delectable Dallas yet or my guy Henry, as they barely get a couple lines each week. I don't think I'm alone here when I ask, "Can't these guys get some lovin'?"
--The costumes at the Halloween ball were spectacular, particularly the females. Lucy, Lucinda, Margo, Katie and Emily all looked outstanding. But can anyone tell me who Emily was supposed to be? She looked like a saloon girl, not a "romantic royal." The best-dressed prize goes to that beauty queen, Barbara. Amazing. I'm convinced Colleen Zenk-Pinter has an aging portrait in her attic. It's the only explanation as to how this woman gets more beautiful with each passing day. She was breathtaking at the ball. When she made her entrance, she was channeling Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" in that black cocktail gown, complete with a tiara. I don't think Gwen was lying when she said she hoped to someday be as beautiful as Barbara. Me too, Gwen. But, sadly, I don't see it happening for either of us, as Barbara is in a class all by herself.
--To those of you who e-mailed me pitching a Barbara/Dusty romance, I hear you. It would be a little weird for me, though, considering he was married to her daughter. But, Dusty and Barbara do have chemistry. And I'm all for any storyline that puts Barbara front and center. That said, she could definitely pull off a May/December romance with some hot young man. I'd buy that in an Oakdale minute.
--Seriously, how do I get in touch with Simon's contractor? That guy worked a miracle and rebuilt an entire building, complete with Carly's paint, decorations, and houseplants in only two days. Nice.
--Where can I get that t-shirt Luke was wearing sporting the name of my hometown, Bridgeport? Is Bridgeport some hip new band or piece of artwork I don't know about, or has the town started printing tourist shirts?
--I couldn't help but laugh at Jack's line about admiring Vienna's "package." I sometimes forget that Michael Park is hilarious, because he usually has such dramatic scenes. Give us more funny Jack, please.
--In the famous words of the Smallville theme song, "Somebody save me," because I'm falling hook, line and sinker for new Craig. Yes, he's different than old Craig, but he's making it work for him. But why is he pursuing Meg? I never saw that coming. A Craig/Carly flirtation, sure. Even Emily or Barbara would have been understandable, considering their histories. But, it never crossed my mind that Meg would be the one in Craig's sights.
--I am so disappointed in the Simon storyline. Can you say missed opportunity? What was the point of bringing him back, if he's had no character growth at all? I like Simon the scoundrel as much as the next gal, but this plot line is beyond ridiculous. Simon was a lot of things, but he was never stupid, as this storyline is portraying him. He borrowed from a loan shark, didn't invest his fortune wisely, and got maternal Carly involved in the mess. The fact that his latest scheme could very well destroy the character of one of Oakdale's best bad girls, is reprehensible. She'll still be left in Oakdale, long after Simon is gone. Carly isn't stupid either. And while she may massage the law to get what she wants, she isn't an outright thief. Shame on the writers for taking this turn. I wanted to see Simon, for once, coming out on top as a rich billionaire who doesn't always do the right thing. (Think James Bond or Jasper Jax from "General Hospital.") But Simon's latest scheme has just made him look like a fool, once again.
----Note to Emily, stay away from the hair barrettes. Leave them to Maddie. (As gorgeous as Emily is, the hair accessories looked a little strange tucked behind her ears.)
--I'm so happy to see Katie grappling with her leftover feelings for Simon. It's realistic, considering he was her first love. Although by contrast, Simon finally seems to have moved on. Good for him.
--Casey is now apparently Simon Cowell. I foresee a little sibling rivalry, with the introduction of Adam. I like it. That's realism at its best.
--We had a Snickers sighting this week. But I think Katie must have put the poor rabbit on a diet. He's shrunk about two sizes.
--Thanks to all of you who sent mail regarding Dusty and Lucy's romance. I had several readers who love this duo and never bought Dusty with Jen, and others who think the Lucy/Dusty combo is a bust. I'm still undecided. They haven't sparked yet for me, but they really haven't had a scene where Johnny isn't attached to Dusty's hip. I'm not opposed to Lucy dating some new men in Oakdale. But why did she have to go with an unknown doctor to the ball? Last time I checked, there were plenty of single men in town that we know better i.e. Henry, Dallas, etc.
--Jade is Rose's daughter, allegedly. I guess blood work can now determine paternity. Although, as Two Scoops reader Marlyn pointed out, I thought they determined last year that the blood type didn't match Rose. I won't be satisfied until I see some DNA results. Good for Lily for being tough on Jade and challenging Will to empathize about her situation. It was a nice use of history, pulling the Rose death card on guilt-stricken Will, but a little mean-spirited for Lily. But, I guess it's realistic. She's still hurting. I don't think reforming Jade is going to be as easy as Lily thinks, though. Thank goodness Lucinda is there to watch the little vixen.
--Is anyone keeping track of how long it's been since Katie and Henry said a word to one another? I swear it's been at least three seasons. They were finally in the same room this week, at Hal's memorial, but still not a word was uttered between the two. I thought Katie might manage a, "Gee, sorry you're sister turned out to be a serial killer." But, nope. All together now, "UGHHHH!"
Best Lines of the Week:
( Simon steals Carly's newspaper, and she asks him what's on the front page.)
Simon: "It's just the usual bad news: war, economy's down, Lindsay Lohan drunk again."
(Katie and Mike discuss their attire for the costume gala.)
Katie: "The theme is romantic royals. What do you want to be?"
Mike: "I'm thinking I could go as Elvis."
Mike: "He is the king, right?"
(Lucy tells Kim that her father sent her a costume for the ball.)
Kim: "What did he decide you're going to be?"
Kim: "You'd better watch your asp."
(From Two Scoops reader Kristy.)
"I feel cheated that Will and/or Gwen didn't have a chance to rip Jade a new one. This has happen before with "Julia 2" when she died before Holden confronted her. It is such a let down to follow a story, knowing it'll blow up in the villain's face and end up with vague apologies. Lily should be ashamed of throwing Rose in Will's face. He was a few years younger, and he did have to do time in an asylum for what he did. Jade gets to do her time in a cushy mansion. I'm holding out hope that Barbara lays into her, at least. Just give us one scene where we get to hear someone say what we have been yelling at our TV screen whenever Jade shows her face."
(From Two Scoops reader Phyllis.)
"Wow! What amazing doctors they have in Oakdale! Jade has serious injuries, internal bleeding and major surgery, but she's awake and talking that very night and home at Lily's walking around only a few days later. Incredible! And please, Emily, no more doo-dads in your hair. Really, please. And I'm in the wrong line of work, when managing a gym and construction pays so well that Katie can sacrifice an American Express Gold Card to break into Simon's hotel room."
(From Two Scoops reader Lewis.)
"I have to say, I am enjoying the new Craig. I agree with you that Hunt Block left quite an impression on the audience, but after a few months absence, I think the new Craig is needed in Oakdale. It's time to shake things up a bit. Also, Lucy and Dusty are OK together, but do we really want to watch people who are just OK together? They need some sizzle and perhaps they could find it elsewhere. I still like Dusty and Barbara for kicks. Then again, Barbara and Chaz had quite a little moment too. Perhaps the new Adam could spice up Lucy's love life a little bit - wait a minute - they're cousins, right?! Oh, well, it's working on GL right now, so why not? LOL."
(From Two Scoops reader Beth.)
"I love Lucy and Dusty, and I'm so glad that they're on their way back together. I never bought into Jennifer being Dusty's "great love." In fact, I always felt their relationship was more about Johnny than anything else, so it always rings false to me whenever Dusty talks about his "wife" Jennifer. Consequently, I certainly don't mind that he's "moving on" with Lucy because, in my opinion, that's who he belongs with. She is his one true love and the reason he decided to turn over a new leaf, in the first place. I love the direction in which the show is taking them. I only wish we'd see more of them (and less of Johnny). It's great to be excited about ATWT again!"
(From Two Scoops reader Una.)
"I am so sick of Dusty. Do something other than brood. Seriously get over yourself! When is everyone going to find out that Dusty and Jennifer framed Craig? I would think that Dusty would be a little worried, considering if the truth came out Dusty would quickly lose Johnny. I want Craig to take on Jade as a protégé. They are dealing in the same basic circle of enemies. I would love to see what her devious little mind would do with a good plan. Finally, Barbara is whining about using Jennifer's name on a hospital, while a psycho is pretending to be pregnant. She was so upset at Gwen stealing all Will's money, why doesn't she have a problem with Jade?"
That's all for now Scoopers! See ya next time.