Note to readers: Hey Scoopers! Long time no column, eh? Sorry for the quick disappearing act with no warning, but it couldn't be helped. I was hospitalized unexpectedly on June 30. Those of you who read my Web site, Tube Talk, know that my husband and I were expecting our first child in mid-August. Well, things didn't exactly work out according to schedule, and I had to spend two weeks in the hospital and have an emergency C-section on July 9. Our little bundle was premature, but he's doing fine. His name is Parker Donovan Biller, and he weighed in at 3 pounds and 15 ounces. We just got home from the hospital a couple days ago, so I hope you'll forgive me if this column isn't up to my usual standard. I'm trying to juggle recovering from major surgery, sleepless nights of new mommy hood, and getting caught up on work. Thanks to those of you who missed me, and for those of you who didn't, well, I'm back, so um, sorry!
Watch your back, Oakdale residents. Dr. Death has returned. What a delicious, surprising twist for those of us who are spoiler free. I literally had to close my gaping jaw when Rick Decker made his debut this week. Isn't he gloriously creepy?
I know Barbara is desperate, but wow. Hiring him as a "forensics expert" to help prove that Paul didn't kill Sofie is a bit nutty, even for Babs. In no scenario did I ever think we'd see Decker again, especially with a syringe in his hand. Kudos to the ATWT folks for this twist.
I loved Rick's exchanges with Susan, Barbara, Chris and Ali. Can you imagine what will happen when Dr. Bob finds out Dr. Death is working out of the hospital? I'm already counting the seconds until Rick starts terrorizing the folks of Oakdale again. I'm fully expecting him to escape from police custody. Of course, with the stellar writing of late, I shouldn't expect anything predictable happening in Oakdale. And that, too, has been a jaw-dropping welcome surprise.
--Can Holden Snyder not afford a gas-powered Weed Eater? Seriously. I couldn't help but chuckle as he hacked away at that field of tall grass with a hand tool that looked like Pa Ingalls could have used it on "Little House on the Prairie."
--Maybe it's not watching the show for a couple weeks and catching up by DVR, but wow, ATWT seems to be firing on all cylinders (with the exception of Luke and Noah, in my opinion.) I honestly enjoyed every storyline and even reduced my Paul-Meg fast-forwarding time to almost zero, as this murder mystery unfolded.
--Thank you, Henry, for vocalizing what we've all been saying for months. We miss glamorous Henry, too! I don't think any of us want to see Henry slinging hash at Al's Diner for one more day. He should be jet-setting, wearing Armani, and savoring his martinis. The move to Metro is better, but still not where I want to see Henry permanently. Although, that printed shirt he was wearing while mixing drinks this week was divine, very apropos for a cool, sexy bartender.
--Emma Snyder, get home soon! People are moving into your house and sharing more than pie, if you get my drift. That no-room-sharing rule you put in place, well, let's just say not many people are respecting your authority. (Yes, Jack and Janet, I'm talking to you.)
--Holden Snyder has fallen off his high horse. It's about time. I don't know about you, but I was so sick of his condescending lectures to Lily for months about her feelings for dead Dusty, so seeing him as a cheating husband facing guilt, anger and isolation from his family is a lesson he needs to learn. Newsflash, Holden: No one is perfect; not even you.
--I know I shouldn't be pulled in by this affair of Holden and Carly. It's clearly wrong and an insult to Lily, Jack and all the kids who are inevitably going to get hurt in this twisted mess. I'm disgusted at the very thought of Holden cheating and Carly betraying her best friend. But, Scoopers, I can't help it. When Carly and Holden are on screen together, I just can't turn away. Help me! They're physically beautiful together. Am I mesmerized because it's such a forbidden romance? Is it the fact that Holden and new Lily don't seem to have any spark? Or is it the fact that Carly has chemistry with just about everyone. (Except poor Neil, which I'm assuming is on purpose and a real tribute to the acting skills of Maura West.) She and Holden just pop, and despite that I don't want to be remotely entertained by this tale of adultery and betrayal, I'm finding it positively Shakespearean and must-see-TV.
--I can't believe Lily went homicidal this week. (Sort of.) I guess deciding at the very last moment to NOT run your best friend down with your speeding vehicle doesn't really count as a crime, according to Oakdale's finest crack cop, Jack. But, wow, when Lily hit the gas, I was talking to the television saying some version of, "You've got to be kidding me, Lily. Get a grip!"
--I know some of you hate Janet and her gourmet goodies, but I have to say that her frank discussion with Liberty this week about teen sex was perfection. Thumbs up to the ATWT writers for tackling the topic of teen sex and birth control in such a refreshing manner, before someone ends up pregnant or with a STD. They even brought up Liberty getting the vaccination for HPV. The thing that really stands out with the Liberty/Parker teen sex storyline is that it seems so real. It's not preachy, which is so often the case with these kinds of plots, that usually come off more as corny after-school specials. From Janet dropping the line that Parker should "keep it in his pants" to Brad saying that Parker had "the look," the writers and actors have made the storyline and dialogue 100 percent believable, and during a time when plenty of teens are home and exposed to soaps, it couldn't be better timing.
--What's up with Katie and her low-cut tops lately? Is Janet making her a little nervous, and Katie's upping her game? Don't get me wrong, she looks FABULOUS. If I had that body, I'd probably wear low-cut tops every day, too.
--Is there anything better than when the actors say what we, as viewers, are thinking? I chuckled this week when someone (sorry I don't remember who) stated that only in Oakdale could a convicted murderer like Rick Decker go to work for the D.A.'s office and when Janet pointed out the "eww factor" that she, Katie, and Carly had all slept with Jack and Brad. Brilliant!
--One more comment about the Carly/Holden relationship. As mad as I am at Carly for betraying Lily, she did make an excellent point this week. Everyone is going to blame her for this. It already started as Jack and Lily screamed at her. I'm sure the kids are next, along with Emma and the rest of the town, which will line up to call her some unsavory names. I just hope people equally spew their verbal vomit on Holden as well. He's no less to blame here, and technically, he is the one who is married.
--I was thrilled that Jack busted Paul, just as he was moving Sofie's body from the rose garden to his trunk. For a second there, I thought the storyline of Sofie's body was going to turn into "Weekend at Bernie's."
Best Lines of the Week:
(Brad lectures Parker about dating Liberty, since he's officially an adopted member of the Snyder family and Liberty is a Snyder.)
Brad: "Keep that in mind: Family, respect, loyalty."
Parker: "Are we the Snyders or the Sopranos?"
Brad: "Unless you want to start singing like the Sopranos, I suggest you listen to me and stay away from Liberty."
That's all for now Scoopers! See ya next time.