When I think of 2006 in Oakdale, I have some mixed feelings as there were a few good stories; however the year has been just so-so. We lost two pivotal characters: Jennifer Munson and her father, Hal Munson; the story of Luke's coming out and the exciting Slasher story. There was a lot that left me cold wishing for the days of better writing and character development.
Characters That We See Too Much
Jade - She came into town as an outsider then finally became Rose's daughter and now it is part of the Snyder/Walsh families. She continues to be an irritant that seems to still be a huge thorn in everyone's side. I don't blame the actress because she is doing her job but Jade has not learned any lessons at all from any of her misdeeds - she just keeps doing the same things over and over.
Craig - It's as if he never left because he comes back and he is on the screen day after day. It would have been nice if the new actor was slowly integrated back into Oakdale but no, he started off as if the character had never gone to jail. I find it so disconcerting for this show with such a vast amount of talent to focus on certain characters to the point of making the viewer want to kick in the screen or fast-forward.
Iris - It's the same story with Iris; the first time she was in town she was fun and a joy to watch. This time as we expected to see some changes in her character: she is still drinking and trying to bamboozle her daughter and son-in-law. I do not like her this time around because it is such a retread of the story that was told before.
Characters that Need Storylines
Dallas - He does have a connection to Jessica Griffin and also to Maddie because of the rape storyline but now he is just window dressing. There are other characters that have come into town like Adam Munson and given a front burner story right away. So when is it Dallas' turn to get a story of his own or to be a part of one where he is major player? This show has a way of losing characters like Dallas or Curtis or Isaac because for some reason, the writers do not know how to or want to incorporate them into major story.
Henry - When is Henry going to do something else besides support Katie or Emily in their latest schemes? He is being wasted as just finished helping Emily before he was immediately put into the story with the newly single Katie. It is so funny that when Katie and Mike were fine, she had no use for Henry at all. It also appears that his sister doesn't need him either now that the Slasher story has ended - just a lot on inconsistency on the part of the writers.
Any of the Veterans - Why can't this show be more like any of the other CBS shows that really use the veterans with great storylines? We see the vets for a minute here or there without any real story for folks like Tom/Margo, Bob/ Kim, Lisa, Susan or Emma. What would it hurt to see these folks battling a real issue that wasn't tie to a character under 30?
Story that Never Ends
Paul and Emily - Can these two just move on to other things? Emily has been through so much because of Paul so now is the time for her to move on away from him. It can be a bit much to see that her motivation for everything is getting back with Paul.
Why Did They Come Back?
Damian Grimaldi - He came back, caused some trouble but he left before Lily could confront him about his misdeeds. Why waste time if the story could not be told completely?
Simon Frazier - I thought when he came back this time that he would be different. He had money so I thought that he would spend time throwing around his money - no, he became a jewel thief again and dragged Carly along with him; literally destroying her life and turning Katie into a raging maniac who is acting a lot like a vengeful loser.
Characters that Will Be Missed
Jennifer Munson - I was truly shocked at the fact that her character was killed off; she is the daughter of Barbara Ryan. She was a heroine that could have contributed to many more years of high drama. Nevertheless, her death scenes were heartwrenching. Everyone involved was at the top of their acting game as the viewers were reaching for the tissues.
Hal Munson - They waited a respectable period after Benjamin Hendrickson died in real life before his character died on screen. The actor died right before the scenes of his daughter, Jennifer died so this made those scenes so much more touching to watch. It was a good idea for the show to let Hal die a hero because the actor cannot be replaced. It was sad to see two pivotal characters die so closely together and this will leave a huge hole in the Ryan/Munson family.
Lucy Montgomery - It was bit jarring to see Lucy come back after couple of years as a doctor. This was not the same character that the audience had grown to love. Another thing, the writers did not do the character much justice this time around. The best thing that she did was kidnap Johnny and leave Oakdale.
Craig Montgomery - Jeffrey Meek is a good actor and he is doing what he was hired to do but the character of Craig is too in our faces. He is being forced on us everyday and it is too much. Craig needs to show some growth from his misdeeds and maybe the audience would be more welcoming.
Adam Recast #1 and #2 - The recast of a recast happened too quickly. First of all, Adam came back to town for his father's funeral that he missed and was immediately thrown into major story. He also instantly hooked up with Jade, a woman who had caused major trouble for his brother and sister-in-law. Then the face of character changed after a few weeks and the character kisses his sister-in-law; this character is not reminding us of the Adam Munson from years ago.
Best Stories of the Year
Luke Snyder Comes Out - This story was told in a manner that the audience was able to accept this. The actor, Van Hansis, has been doing a great job of showing how Luke has come to realize who he is and telling the people that he needs to. This was done with good writing and great sensitivity. We are now wondering when will Luke find love?
The Slasher - What a great summer ride! I have never been much of a horror fan but I truly enjoyed this story until it ended badly. What was so good about it was how it tied perfectly into Maddie's rape story. It all seemed so plausible about her rape and how she acted until it was revealed that it was her own sister, Eve that was the Slasher. The reveal of Eve as the Slasher took away some of the impact of the story; it should have ended a bit differently.
The show did a great job of celebrating it 50th anniversary with its Diva Episode - this was a stroke of genius for viewers who had watched the show for years. How many times in the last few years have we seen Nancy, Lisa, Kim, Lucinda, Barbara, Susan and Emma in the same place? These ladies have so much history among themselves not to mention the fact that six of the seven women have been involved romantically with Dr. John Dixon. I enjoyed this episode so much because it highlighted the history of the Oakdale we have loved for 50 years - we need to see more of this; it shouldn't be about Gwen and Will or Craig or Jade. It should be more about the character that we have loved forever.
Hopes for 2007
" Let Luke get a love interest.
" Give Dallas Griffin and Henry Coleman front-burner stories.
" Give Will and Gwen a rest - a little less turmoil.
" It may be time for new writing blood to give the show a boost creatively; it is consistently more of the same.
Finally, thanks for all of your feedback this past year as I truly appreciate your taking the time to share your views. Let's hope that 2007 will be a year that we will enjoy happily spending time in Oakdale. Wishing you all a Healthy and Happy New Year!
That's all I have for now.