The Branson adventure

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The Branson adventure
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The week of July 9, 2007
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The Branson trip is a mini summer vacation for soap viewers, who are getting a chance to tour the town with Gwen, Will, and the rest of the teens.

Yee-haw and thunderation! Does anyone have a sarsaparilla? The Branson adventure has sure made me thirsty, not to mention delighted that ATWT is spending some money on location shoots outside of the studio. When that remote happens to be beautiful Branson, with all its country music and charm, then all the better. Kudos to the ATWT honchos who planned this excursion.

The Branson trip is a mini summer vacation for soap viewers, too, who are getting a chance to tour the town with Gwen, Will and the rest of the teens. From riding the scenic train, to visiting Silver Dollar City, to tearing through the air on the Thunderation roller coaster, ATWT has shared a piece of the town with viewers. Those of you who'd like to see behind-the-scenes photos of the gang in Branson, as well as Gwen singing with Andy Williams, check out this link:

I remember the '80s when soaps often did location shoots. Those days have gone away, as viewers and budgets have dwindled. So, kudos to ATWT for giving us some color and flavor again through the Branson trip, and to a lesser extent the Craig/Meg honeymoon location shoot. Sure, we all love the Snyder farm, especially if Brad is shirtless, but it still pales in comparison to these gorgeous outside shots. Well done!

--As much as I'm enjoying the aesthetics of the Branson shoot, I can't say the same for the silly Cleo storyline that is driving it. Just once I'd like to see a teen storyline on ATWT that doesn't involve a psychopath stalking one of the kids. Last summer it was the slasher, then it was Adam and his creepy obsession with Gwen. Enough already! And now it's Cleo. Note to ATWT writers, check out General Hospital's LuLu, Georgie, Maxie and Dillon for examples how to write some realistic teen drama or look at the Ali, Lucy and Aaron past storylines.

--I love the Jack/Katie/Brad/Carly storyline the way Cleo loves pistachio ice cream and sprinkles. Brad and Carly are fun together, and a perfect counter to the serious Jack and Katie. Wow, did I just use the terms "Katie" and "serious" in the same sentence? Time sure has changed her character.

--I think I have whiplash from Carly's romantic flip flopping. It took her less than two weeks to get over Simon the man she loved so much that she ditched her kids before deciding that she wanted Jack back. UGHH!!! Writing characters so wishy-washy truly undermines their credibility with viewers. It would have been nice to see Carly go through Simon withdrawal and hit the ice cream and Kleenex, before she jumped into conniving Carly mode and started the "Get Jack Back Attack."

--I give Ali and Aaron's relationship about as much of a chance as Henry ever holding a steady job. We all know that Ali's tryst with Dusty is going to come out eventually and tank Ali's new/old relationship. I'm not loving Ali and Aaron version 2.0. I used to like them, years ago, but new Ali seems too mature for Aaron. Perhaps it's all that porn experience, or the fact that she seems a little too drawn to Dusty, her sister's new boyfriend. Frankly, I'm worried, Scoopers. I'm having flashbacks to the Chris Hughes storyline here, when he cheated on Ali with Emily. Em, you'd better watch your back. You know what they say about payback.

--Plenty of you have e-mailed me asking what is going on with "Barbara's" impaired speech the last couple weeks. In short, I don't know. The actress hasn't said, so it's all speculation at this point. Many of you have suggested dental work may be the culprit, but I can neither confirm nor deny that. Sorry! Don't kill the messenger.

--I know Vienna is used to getting her own way, thanks to all her billions. But, I'm pretty sure you have to have a license to do massage therapy if you're planning to practice or open a spa. If not, you should at least have a technique that doesn't send clients limping from the table.

--It's nice to see someone using Oakdale's most famous summer spot: the Snyder pond. When Katie and Jack mentioned going skinny dipping this week, I thought we'd get a glimpse. (Of the pond, sickos, not the couple.) But, we didn't. I'd like to see the kids go fishing at the old place or perhaps Dusty stop by for a dip.

--I know the teens are having cell phone issues in Branson, but don't you think someone would have called them to tell them that Paul died? (OK, so we all know that Paul "dies" more than Barbara changes hand bags, but someone should have called Will.)

--I think Jade used Lily's money to hire a personal hair stylist. It's the only explanation for her ever-changing styles and lengths from day to day.

--New Alison reminds me so much of old Rosanna, that it's eerie. I can certainly understand why Paul and Lucinda hired her to impersonate Ro.

--Um, Maddie, what were you thinking? Sure, your criminal boyfriend won't take your calls at prison anymore, but falling in to bed with a co-worker is never a good idea. (Not to mention completely out of character for someone with Maddie's sexual issues.) Besides, I thought Noah was brought in as a Luke love interest? Hmm....

--ATWT created soap history this week for inventive weapons. Cleo whacked Will with a wooden gnome to knock him unconscious. Insert your own joke here.

--Can someone explain to me why Meg isn't turning on Craig? He drugged her and has tormented her, so why didn't she flip on him to the cops? I get more confused about Meg on a daily basis.

--Wouldn't you think Paul would have learned to stay away from cliffs by this point? It never ends well for him. I'm starting to think Paul must have Superman's flying abilities. Here's a suggestion for the ATWT honchos: Can we go just one year without Paul tumbling to his supposed death?

Best Lines of the Week:
Sorry, Scoopers, but I had to watch the show "live" last week and didn't get to record any best lines. I've had technology problems all week with my TV equipment and my computer. Did someone out there put a curse on me? I guess I could do what everyone in Oakdale does and blame Jade for this craziness. I promise to have things fixed/replaced as of next week. If not, you have permission to hit me with a wooden gnome. :

Reader Spotlight:
(From Two Scoops Reader Joellen) "I remember Scott Bryce as Craig some years ago, and he is just as devious and "bad" as he was then - not to mention handsome. No one has mentioned that Emily in real life appears to be pregnant. Am I imagining it?"

Joellen, you're not imagining it. In fact, Kelley Menighan-Hensley just gave birth. Check out the news story at Soapcentral for all the details. ---Jennifer

(From Two Scoops reader Patricia)
"Please lose Cleo. I do not know how much longer I can tolerate her creepy voice, blinking eyes, and Halloween teeth. Ditch her or kill me now."

(From Two Scoops reader Frankie)
"I just had to write and say that I so agree with (Two Scoops reader) Staci about Scott Bryce's version of Craig. I know the writer's have turned him into a bit of a psycho, but is there any question at all that the boy can act? Regardless of what they throw at him, he always manages to pull it off. And, no matter how evil his behavior becomes, he still has that dash of "little boy charm." I, for one, don't have any trouble understanding how he manages to con his way out of every sticky situation. I'm so very glad he's back."

That's all for now Scoopers! See ya next time.
Jennifer Biller

Jennifer Biller
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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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